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[65] cannot be read today without a deep stirring of the heart.

At the age of forty-six Edwards was thrust upon the world, discredited, in broken health, with a large family to support, but undaunted. Then befell a strange thing. This philosopher, whose thoughts and emotions ranged beyond the ken of most educated men, was sent to the frontier town of Stockbridge as a missionary to the Indians. There for six years he laboured faithfully and, at least in the practical management of affairs, successfully. It must have been one of the memorable sights of the world to see him returning on horseback from a solitary ride into the forest, while there fluttered about him, pinned to his coat, the strips of paper on which he had scribbled the results of his meditations. His days were little troubled, and not overburdened with work, peaceful it is thought; and now it was he wrote the treatise on the Freedom of the will upon which his fame chiefly depends.

In 1757 his son-in-law, the Rev. Aaron Burr, died, and Edwards was chosen by the Trustees of the College of New Jersey to succeed him as president. Edwards hesitated, stating frankly to the Trustees his disabilities of health and learning, but he finally accepted the offer. He left his family to follow him later, and arrived in Princeton in January, 1758. Smallpox was in the town, and the new president was soon infected. His death took place on 22 March, in the fifty-fifth year of his age. His last recorded words were: “Trust in God and ye need not fear.”

The child was indeed father of the man, and it was peculiarly fitting that he who from youth upward had been absorbed in the idea of God should have died with the sacred word on his lips. But what shall be said of the fearlessness-and there is no reason to question the perfect sincerity of his spiritual joy --in the breast of one who had made terror the chief instrument of appeal to men and had spent his life in fighting for a dogma which the genial author of The one-floss Shay thought no decent man could hold without going crazy? To understand that charge properly we must throw ourselves back into the age in which Edwards lived.

Now the Edwardian theology was a part of the great deistic debate which took its root in the everlasting question of the

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