[Page]
[Page]

Copies of the TWO LETTERS Cited by The Rev. Mr. CLAP, Rector of the College at NEW-HAVEN, In his late printed Letter to a Friend in Boston, con­cerning what he has reported, as from Mr. EDWARDS of Northampton, concerning the Rev. Mr. WHITEFIELD. Communicated in A Letter to a Friend. With some Reflections on the Affair those Letters relate to, and Rector CLAP'S Manage­ment therein.

By JONATHAN EDWARDS, A. M. Minister of the Gospel at Northampton, and Writer of those Letters.

BOSTON: Printed and Sold by S. Kneeland and T. Green in Queen-Street. 1745.

[Page 2]
SIR,

I Have lately had a Sight of a printed Letter from the Rev. Mr. Clap, Rector of the College at New-Haven, to his Friend in Boston, concerning that he has declared that he heard me say, that Mr. Whitefield told me, of a Design he had, of turning out the Generality of the Ministers in the Country, &c.—wherein he cites two Letters that I sent to him about that Affair. The Representation he makes of what I said in those Letters, make it necessary, in my Opinion, that those Letters should be published at large. I therefore here send you a Copy of each of them; and would pray you to publish them as soon as may be.

The LETTERS are as follows:

A Copy of the first Letter cited by the Rev. Mr. Clap.

Rev. Sir,

I Have often heard that you, when you was down at Boston and Cambridge the Summer past, did be­fore many Persons, declare that you heard me say, that Mr. Whitefield told me, that he had a Design of turning out of their Places, the greater Part of the Ministers in New-England, and of supplying their Pulpits with Ministers from Great Britain and Ire­land. [Page 3] Particularly Mr. Williams of Pomfret told me that he was there, and heard you say it: But only in­stead of Great Britain and Ireland, says, that you said to him, Scotland and Ireland. And says that he could scarcely believe it: and therefore was particular in enquiring of you; taking Care that he might not misunderstand you: and you asserted to him more than once. I was exceedingly astonished to hear it; not only because that I knew that I never had said it to you, nor to any Mortal, as well as it is possible for me to know a Negative, or to know that I had not said any Thing whatsoever that could be mention'd; but also, because when I first heard this Report, the Thought of Mr. Whitefield's saying any such Thing, was perfectly new to me. Indeed I heard Mr. White­field say that he had Thoughts of bringing over a Number of young Men from England, into the Jer­seys and Pennsylvania, to be ordain'd by the Tennents; but said not one Word of any Design of their supply­ing the Pulpits of other Ministers (made vacant by their being turn'd out) either there, or in New-Eng­land. I have also on some Occasions mention'd it as my Opinion, that Mr. Whitefield was formerly in the Opinion and Scheme of People's forsaking un­converted Ministers, which possibly you might hear of from others; for I have no Remembrance of my ever having any Conversation with you about Things of this Nature; and think it on some Accounts very unlikely that I should; I have had but very little Opportunity of Conversation with you, as you know, since Mr. Whitefield has been in the Country; and I have always known that your Thoughts of Mr. Whitefield, and the late Work, were generally sup­posed [Page 4] to be diverse from mine, and less favourable: It is much more unlikely on that Account, that I should enter into Conversation with you, tending to confirm Prejudices against Mr. Whitefield. But how­ever, THIS I DECLARE, that I have no Manner of Remembrance that I ever heard Mr. Whitefield ex­press, or hint any Design he had of turning out the grea­ter Part of the Ministers of New-England, or any Part of them, and introducing others into their Places, from Great Britain and Ireland, or any other Place, or any Thing like it; nor have I any Imagination that I ever heard Mr. Whitefield say any Thing of this Na­ture, any more than that I heard him say he had a De­sign of dethroning the great Turk, and introducing a new Sultan to sit upon his Throne: And I have equal Reason to be confident that I never represented, that Mr. Whitefield said the former, as I have, that I ne­ver represented that he said the latter. If I have ever reported any such Thing to you, who are at so great a Distance from me, and with whom I have had so little Conversation; it is exceeding likely that I have told others the same; But I challenge the whole World besides you, to say that they ever heard me say any such Thing. Therefore I desire you to do me and Mr. Whitefield the Justice, as publickly to correct your Mistake in this, which you have so publickly de­clared; which I perceive has been very much taken Notice of, and has been much the Subject of Talk. I can't but think, that when you come to consider of the Matter, you will soon be sensible that you have been greatly mistaken; and have by some Means or other, strangely confounded Things in your Mind; and that Justice and Integrity will constrain you speedily to de­clare [Page 5] your Mistake to the World. In Expectation of this I remain,

Sir,
Your humble Servant, Jonathan Edwards.

A Copy of the second Letter cited by Mr. Clap.

Rev. Sir,

THE Relation you give in your Letter of Octob. 12. of the Conversation that passed between us as we rode together through Leicester, the last May was Twelvemonth, is one of the most amazing Things to me that ever I met with in my Life. I don't re­member our having any Conversation about Mr. Whitefield: But that might be, and I might forget it. But if I told such a Story about Mr. Whitefield, and what pass'd between him and me, with so many Particulars and Circumstances (which must have been altogether of mine own Invention, without the least Foundation in Truth) I don't believe I should have forgot it. I have sometimes said to others, (as I informed you, in my late Letter to you) that I supposed that Mr. Whitefield was formerly of the Opi­nion, that unconverted Ministers ought not to con­tinue in the Ministry: And I do suppose he endea­voured to propagate this Opinion, and a Practice agreable to it. But all that ever I have said about it, has been only as expressing my Opinion; and not any declared Design of Mr. Whitefield. You are express in it, that I said that Mr. Whitefield not only spake to me of bringing over Ministers from England, but [Page 6] also from Scotland and Ireland: which is peculiarly wonderful to me: For I not only, never heard Mr. Whitefield say any Thing of bringing Ministers into America from those Countries last mentioned, and from neither of the Countries into NEW-ENGLAND: But I had never heard, at that Time when Mr. White­field was here, of his having any Followers in those Countries; and I suppose he had none: The won­derful Work that has been in Scotland has been all since, and Mr. Whitefield's Design of going to Scot­land, was I suppose form'd afterwards: Some Things that he told me of his Designs, seem'd inconsistent with his having formed the Design thon. But the most amazing of all is, that Ireland should be men­tion'd as one of the Countries from whence Mr. Whitefield would supply New-England with Mini­sters. If I had ever heard any such Thing from Mr. Whitefield, doubtless I should have remember'd it; for I should have looked upon it very strange; hav­ing never heard of any Thing like a Revival of Re­ligion, of late in Ireland; or any Interest that Mr. Whitefield had there; or any Expectations he had from thence. I don't know that Mr. Whitefield ever so much as mention'd the NAME of THAT LAND to me. You say that I told you, "That I took all Opportunities to talk with Mr. Whitefield alone about this Matter▪ But when Mr. Whitefield saw that I did not approve of his Design in that Matter, he did not seem to chuse to say any Thing about it; he would either turn off the Discourse upon some­thing else, or go out of the Room." This Account is amazing to me: It is all of it perfectly new to me. Nor can I conceive what any Imagination, that ever [Page 7] I said any such Things, should arise from. I indeed have told several Persons, that I once purposely took an Opportunity to talk with Mr. Whitefield alone about Impulses: and have mention'd many Particu­lars of our Conference together, on that Head: That I told him some Reasons I had to think he gave too great Heed to such Things: and have told what Manner of Replies he made; and what Reasons I offered against such Things. And I also said that Mr. Whitefield did not seem to be offended with me: but yet did not seem to be inclined to have a great deal of Discourse about it: And that in the Time of it he did not appear to be convinced by any Thing▪ I said. I have also said that I at that Time talked with Mr. Barber (who came to my House with Mr. Whitefield) about some of his Impulses; dealing plainly with him; whereby he seem'd to be dis­pleased, and replied with Earnestness and Zeal. It is also true (tho' I don't know that ever I spake of it before) that I thought Mr. Whitefield liked me not so well, for my opposing these Things. And tho' he treated me with great Kindness; yet he never made so much of an Intimate of me, as of some others. It is also true, that I once talked with Mr. White­field (tho' not alone) about judging other Persons to be unconverted. But that I took all Opportunities to talk with him, about a Design of his, of turning out the Generality of the Ministers of New-England, or any Ministers; or that I took any one Opportunity to talk with him about it; or that I ever said a Word to him, or he to me, either alone, or with others, about any such Design; or that I took many Opportunities to talk with him about any of his Errors, (as your Expression seems [Page 8] to imply) or that he ever went out of the Room when I was talking with him about any of his Errors, so put­ting an End to, or avoiding the Discourse; or that be ever turned off such Discourse to any Thing else; I SAY THESE THINGS ARE NOT TRUE. And if I ever told you any such Things as these when we were riding through Leicester, or at any other Time, I was beside my self and knew nothing what I said; or else I am beside my self now, and have had some strange supernatural Change passed upon me, so ob­literating my own Ideas, and all Memory of most remarkable Things that formerly I knew, and re­member'd for a long Time, so as to give a particu­lar Account of 'em to you; that they are to me as if they never had been. I do solemnly declare in the Fear of GOD, that I han't the least Trace or Footstep of any one of these Things in my Memory, either as true in Fact, or spoken by me. And dear Sir, if these re­markable Things are true, is it not strange that I should keep these great Secrets shut up in my own Breast, from all Mankind, to reveal 'em to you only; that when I knew such remarkable Things of one so famous as Mr. Whitefield, and so much the Subject of Con­versation thro' New-England, I should make you, above all the World, my Confident, to declare them so freely to you, after I had kept them secret for two or three Years. If I had mention'd such remarkable Things to any other, it could not but be much taken Notice of by them: and it would doubtless have been talked of by some-body else besides you. These Things are all new to my nearest Friends; they never heard of any of them, 'till they heard of them as coming from you. And I am willing that all my Acquain­tance, [Page 9] and those that I have been most conversant with, Ministers or others, in this Town or elsewhere, should be enquired of, whether they ever heard me report any such Thing. I have most diligently search'd my Memory as to what pass'd between Mr. Whitefield and me, to find out what there was that I could say about it, from whence it should be possible for you so to conceive of Things. And I cannot conceive what it should be. Whether you have heard some Report from some-body else, that in Length of Time is become insensibly blended with something that I might say, and you might misap­prehend, I cannot tell; if you diligently enquire, you will be most likely to find out: But certainly there has been some strange and wonderful Misapprehen­sion and Confusion arisen in your Mind, by some Means or other, that caus'd you so confidently, publickly & plentifully to report these Things of me. I beg of you thoroughly to consider it; and insist upon it, as what Justice to others Characters does greatly require from you, publickly to correct these gross Mistakes.

I am, Sir, your humble Servant, J. E.

P. S. Rev. Sir, I just now received your Letter of Oct. 28. and would only say, That I don't say it was not possible for you to mistake any Thing I might say to you, about Mr. Whitefield, going to Boston; so as now to think that I said as you have represented. I do suppose that it arises from some strange Mistake, that you have reported as you have. Tho' as I said, I remember no Conversa­tion [Page 10] about Mr. Whitefield at that Time (tho' I remember considerable of other Conversation, as about my Book, and about Connecticut Laws) yet it's possible I might say to you, that I believ'd Mr. Whitefield did aim at People's forsaking un­converted Ministers, and to endeavour that there should be a Supply of converted Ministers, as far as in him lay; or something to that Purpose. In the same Discourse it's possible I might mention what Mr. Whitefield told me of his Design of bringing over a Number of young Men from Eng­land, to be ordain'd by the Tennents, in the Jer­seys: And might say that I thought I dealt more plainly with Mr. Whitefield, about his Errors, than any other Minister: And that when I talked with him about Impulses, he did not seem to like to have much Discourse about it. And how far you might mistake any such Things, I might say, I do not determine: But certain I am, that by some Means or other, you have laboured under an exceeding great Mistake.

I am yours, &c.J. E.

These Sir, are the Letters that Mr. Clap mentions, and cites, in what he has lately published about this Affair. These are some of the Letters that have passed between us, (and those of 'em which he cites as most to his Purpose) considering which, he tells the World, that it was very unexpected to him, to hear that I should write a Letter to Boston, to be printed, wherein there is a De­nial of some Things which he had reported: insinuating to the World, that in these Letters, I had in Effect [Page 11] own'd all. Whereas it appears that I have own'd no Part of his Report, but have most solemnly deny'd every Article of it. These are the individual Letters, of which he says expresly, that in these Letters; tho' I have not used exactly the same Terms with him; yet I have used a Variety of those which are equally full and strong: And if we still differ, it is only about some particular Terms, and inconsiderable Circumstantials, which are not worthy of any Dispute. These are the Letters in which Mr. Clap▪ plainly insinuates, that I in a Manner had conceded to all that he had reported, by sundry fair and ingenuous Concessions to him, as he expresses himself; slightly adding these Words, Indeed Mr. Edwards seems not willing to allow that he mention'd Ireland; because he never heard of any Interest Mr. Whitefield had there &c. Just as tho' this was almost the only Circumstance wherein he and I differ'd; and as tho' I scarcely de­nied that; tho' (as he says) I seem'd not willing to allow it; because I never heard of any Interest Mr. Whitefield had there. Now dear Sir, you have Opportunity to compare these Letters with what he has published to the World about them. And I am willing to leave it with you, and every one that pleases, to judge how full his Paper is of Artifices, intirely to mislead the Minds of his Readers, as to their Conception of the whole Import and Drift of these Letters; not only in what has been mention'd, but in his Manner of introducing and intermingling broken Scraps of these Letters, and his Manner of joining together distant Sentences, and broken Pieces of Sentences, (that have no Connection in the Letters themselves) as tho' they were a conti­nued Discourse, and his Manner of discanting on them.

[Page 12] I am willing that every Reader, who has read his Pa­per, should judge for himself, whether in reading it his own Mind was not lead to conceive of these Letters, as Things extremely diverse from what he finds them to be. Doubtless Mr. Clap trusted to it, that I had kept no Copies of my Letters; otherwise he would never have so exceedingly exposed himself: I am willing that you and others should judge for themselves, how far, one whose Conscience will not restrain him from mak­ing such Representations of Letters written, that he may destroy others Characters, and render 'em odious to the World, is capable of unfair dealing in representing pri­vate Conversation; where there are no Witnesses, or written Words, that can be produced to confute him. And who can be safe in human Society, if such Liber­ties are taken, in order to ruin their Fellow-Creatures and Brethren, by Gentlemen from whom so different Things might be expected? If it had been true, that I had said just as Mr. Clap has reported, yet how vehe­mently has that Practice been cried out of, by Gentle­men on that Side of the Controversies of the present Day, of publickly making Use of private Conversation, and the Report of single Persons, to destroy the Characters of others? And especially how ill does this become Rector Clap, after he knows that that single Person that he says thus reported to him, does so strongly and so­lemnly deny it, intreating of him therefore to forbear? What a Treatment is this of Christian Brethren!—This dear Sir, is a Specimen of the Manner and Spirit, in which the Controversies of the present Day are carried on against Mr. Whitefield, by many Persons (for I am far from thus charging all his Opposers) the Persons frequently hiding themselves, & concealing their Names. [Page 13] And tho' I think it but to little Purpose, to carry on a Controversy with these Persons from the Press, unless when forced to it by gross Slanders; yet I can't but say on this Occasion, that it seems to me worthy greatly to be lamented, by all true Lovers of the Christian Religion, which consists so much in Love & Forgiveness, that Mr. Whitefield should be pursued with so much Violence, and Appearance of inveterate Opposition, and indefatigable Endeavours to blacken him to the ut­most; and with such Artifices, as it would be mean to use, with Respect to the basest Miscreant; and that for former Errors, which are not at all to be wondred at, considering his Youth, and the Circumstances of his Education &c—; when there seems to be so little Appearance of Obstinacy and Incorrigibleness in him, and so much of the contrary; and when so little can be found, by his most watchful Enemies, now, to blame him for. I think this is a proper Occasion, for the meek Followers of the Lamb of God, to lie low before God, and lament the Corruption of human Nature, and the Sin and Shame of their dear Country, and cry humbly to Christ, that he would ride forth prosperously, because of Truth, Meekness, and Righte­ousness.

And with Respect to the Affair that is the Subject of the preceeding Letters, doubtless so great a Contra­diction between Mr. Clap and me, in such a State of Things as the Country is now in, and relating to a Per­son, concerning whom the Country is so much divided in their Sentiments, with Spirits so deeply, and con­trarily engaged, will cause a Variety of Reflections and [Page 14] Censures; and every one will say as he is disposed. However, I think my self now called openly to make this DECLARATION: That ever Mr. Whitefield said any Thing to me, or I to him, of any Design of his of turning out the bigger Part of the Ministers of New-England, or any where else, or ever so much as hinted, either he or any of his Company, any Thing of that Nature; or of his bringing over any Minister, or Candidate for the Ministry, from Scotland, or Ireland, into any Part of America, or from any one Country in Europe, into New-England; or that I ever reported any such Thing to Mr. Clap, or any other Person, or that ever any Thought of Mr. Whitefield's saying, or hinting, any Thing like either of these Things, ever entred into my Heart, 'till I heard 'em as coming from Mr. Clap; or that Mr. Whitefield ever intimated to me, any Design of his going to Scotland, or making any Interest there; or that he ever mention'd the Name of Ireland in my bear­ing; I say that any of these Things ever were, I have no Remembrance: God is my Witness who searches my Heart, and will bring to Light the hidden Things of Darkness, and make manifest the Counsels of the Heart. And whether it be probable that I should wholly forget all these Things, if they indeed had been; especially those remarkable, great Things, that Mr. Clap has reported that I said, after I had well remembred them for two Years and an half, so as to give Him a distinct Account of them, I leave others to judge. And whether I have a Conscience sufficient to restrain me from Lying with this Solemnity or no; yet, I must also leave it to others to judge, whether it be likely that when I had so grand a Secret committed to me, of a Scheme to bring about [Page 15] so great a Revolution, as the turning out most of the Ministers in the Country, and bringing over four or five Hundred from Europe, to settle in their Places, I should carefully keep it secret from every Mortal for two or three Years, and declare it freely to Mr. Clap, and never to any other Person before or since. For I now publickly Challenge the whole World besides Mr. Clap to declare, if they ever heard me report any such Thing.

Mr. Clap says, he and I well agreed to condemn many Errors &c.—: That might be; for all the Land knows that I ever condemned many Errors. But there was little in our Conversation, in the Journey Mr. Clap speaks of, to draw me to such a Confidence in him, as to choose him above all the World, to reveal my great­est Secrets to: For he immediately fell upon me, as he knows, as soon as ever we began to ride the Road to­gether, about some Passages in my Book, concerning the Revival of Religion, greatly blaming me, earnestly disputing [...] suppose, for Hours together. After this we had [...] Dispute about Connecticut Laws. And these Disputes were about the same Part of the Journey, in which he says I told him this about Mr. Whitefield.

Thus dear Sir, I have endeavoured to set forth this latter as it is▪ Publick Controversy from the Press, [...] especially publick Contradiction, is not, for it's [...] desireable, but much otherwise; and is [...] a great Aversion to. But Mr. Clap has [...] to carry Things to that Length, that I [...] render'd it my indispensible Duty, publickly [Page 16] to contradict him. I therefore desire that you [...] publish what I now send you, as soon as may be herein you will oblige.

Sir,
Your affectionate Friend, and humble Servant. Jonathan Edwards.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.