Life And Services Of Professor B. B. Edwards -- By: Edwards A. Park

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 009:36 (Oct 1852)
Article: Life And Services Of Professor B. B. Edwards
Author: Edwards A. Park


Life And Services Of Professor B. B. Edwards

Edwards A. Park

John 21:7. — That disciple whom Jesus loved.

Men will cross the sea in order to view a mountain or a waterfall; but there is more grandeur in the human spirit, than in all material nature. There is a glory of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars, but the glory of one mind excelleth them all. What shall it profit a man, if he gain all worlds, and lose his own soul! And we feel a peculiar interest in the mind which has an original, distinctive character. The mass of men copy after one another. They lose their individual traits. But when we find the man who has a character of his own, and exhibits a marked specimen of human worth, we pause and survey and admire. Especially are our hearts drawn toward him, when he may be described, not as a philosopher whom men respect, not as a patriot whom they applaud, but, in the beautiful words of our text, as that disciple whom Jesus loved.

The brother who has so recently been called to lean on his Redeemer’s breast, had rare traits and a unique history. His character was formed by a severe discipline. We may estimate its worth by its cost. In proportion to our interest in it, is the difficulty of describing it. No man can paint the exact hues of the morning sky. In our attempts to portray the delicate features of our friend, we are often obliged to fall back on the comprehensive but apt designation: He was that disciple whom Jesus loved. Let us hear a broken narrative of his outer and his inner life.

Bela Bates Edwards was born at Southampton, Massachusetts, on the fourth of July, 1802. He had, therefore, nearly completed a half century, when, on the morning of April 20,1852, he was called home-It was often a pleasing anticipation to him, that when he died he should go to dwell with a long line of godly progenitors. He sprang from that old Welsh family, which embraces among its descendants the two Jonathan Edwardses and President Dwight. His grand-

father, Samuel Edwards, was a parishioner of the exemplary divine at Northampton. Spiritually born under the instruction of the President, he loved to consider himself as a son of that great man. He removed to Southampton in middle age, and remained deacon of the church in that town, until he died, “an old disciple.” Not long after the death of Samuel, his son Elisha Edwards, the father of our friend, was chosen deacon of the church, and he continued faithful in that office forty years. He was a vigorous, sedate, discreet man; a firm, well-informed, energetic, self-distrusting Christian. His wife, Ann Bates, was perhaps...

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