Excerpts from the Life of Jonathan Edwards
In this world, so full of darkenss and delusion, it is of great importance that all should be able to distinguish between true religion and that which is false. In this, perhaps none has taken more pains, or labored more successfully, than he whose life is set before the reader (from the Preface).
He had a strict and inviolable regard to justice in all his dealings with his neighbors, and was very careful to provide for things honest in the sight of all men; so that scarcely a man had any dealings with him, that was not conscious of his uprightness. He appeared to have a sacred regard to truth in his words, both in promises and narrations, agreeable to his Resolutions. This doubtless was one reason why he was not so full of words as many are. No man feared to rely on his veracity….
His conversation with his friends was always savory and profitable: in this he was remarkable, and almost singular.— He was not wont to spend his time with them, in scandal, evil-speaking and back-biting, or in foolish jesting, idle chat and telling stories: but his mouth was that of the just, which bringeth forth wisdom, and his lips dispersed knowledge. His tongue was as the pen of a ready writer, while he conversed about important, heavenly, divine things, which his heart was so full of, in such a natural and free manner, as to be the most entertaining and instructive: so that none of his friends could enjoy his company without instruction and profit, unless it was by their own fault.
His great benevolence to mankind discovered itself, among other ways, by the uncommon regard he showed to liberality, and charity to the poor and distressed. He was much in recommending this, both in public discourses and private conversation. He often declared it ...