is to George Fox
in painting the England of the Restoration.
was an admirably solid figure, keen, forceful, honest.
Most readers of his Diary
believe that he really was in luck when he was rejected by the Widow Winthrop
on that fateful November day when his eye noted — in spite of his infatuationthat “her dress was not so clean as sometime it had been.
One pictures Cotton Mather
as looking instinctively backward to the Heroic Age
of New England
with pious nervous exaltation, and Samuel Sewall
as doing the day's work uprightly without taking anxious thought of either past or future.
But Jonathan Edwards
is set apart from these and other men. He is a lonely seeker after spiritual perfection, in quest of that city “far on the world's rim,” as Masefield says of it, the city whose builder and maker is God.
The story of Edwards
's career has the simplicity and dignity of tragedy.
Born in a parsonage in the quiet Connecticut valley in 1703-the year of John Wesley
's birth-he is writing at the age of ten to disprove the doctrine of the materiality of the soul.
At twelve he is studying “the wondrous way of the working of the spider,” with a