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Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume Two
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the judiciousness of the “advice” given to Dr. Edwards, and with which he complied, may be justly questioned, respecting the “large quotations” referred to by Dr. Erskine, as they greatly swelled the publication, and thereby impeded the circulation of the President’s original and very valuable thoughts. However, in the present edition of his works, it would be extremely improper to insert “long quotations” out of Tillotson, Jones on the Canon, &c. indiscriminately, and without abridgment; not only because these authors are so common in England, compared with America, but also because it will be more satisfactory to the biblical student to consult the originals themselves, and to see the arguments in their proper connexion. This equally applies to the series of “Observations,” and to that of the subsequent “Remarks.” The latter of these were before cast into distinct chapters, and the former are now reduced to their proper heads, by which they acquire a more interesting aspect, and from the circumstance of an easy connexion, an additional persuasive force.

It is certain that many of the original “Observations,” and of the “Remarks on important Theological Controversies,” were inserted in the author’s common-place book prior to the composition of some of his elaborate publications on the same subjects, when his thoughts appear in a more mature state, and in a more connected form. Of course, where the subjects coincided, he would avail himself of the substance of such adversaria in those treatises. On these grounds, independent of other considerations and especially from a due regard to the author’s reputation, which is deservedly high it is obviously necessary, that a selection more choice and scrupulous be now made. And it may be confidently asserted that these two series, as they now stand, form a very valuable part of the author’s work.

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