“The name of Jonathan Edwards is held in profound veneration by thinking men of all parties; and this universal homage, when contrasted with the obscurity of his life and the peculiarities of his opinions, is one, among a thousand proofs, that real merit will never be long overlooked, and that the rewards of fame are not so capriciously bestowed as is often imagined. Though public opinion sometimes makes preposterous attempts to elevate the mean and the little, and even leaves transcendent merit to struggle for awhile with neglect, it is sure, sooner or later, to rectify its errors. We invariably find that those laurels with which as if in mockery, it has graced inferior genius, begin to wither in the very hour of their bloom; and that it has reserved its “immortal amaranth” for brows worthy of such imperishable honours.”
And so begins the introductory essay to the first volume of the writings of Jonathan Edwards of which i shall endeavour to commence perusal in the course of this Christmas break. Very comforting words as we end a year and begin another, that my genius so long ignored, so sorely neglected, so gravely despised even by those who have feigned notice of it will someday, somehow be publicly acknowledged and indeed celebrated, that it cannot forever go unnoticed; truly comforting words.
Over and above the promise of recompense and recognition is the delight of reading these words penned in an age when the english language was spoken, written and valued; when men did not simply put words on paper because they had occasion to, but rather carefully crafted their prose and thought as much of giving delight in the expression as they did in the content. To put it simply, it is a pleasure to read good Engish.