Rev. Jonathan Edwards

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Jonathan Edwards, Sr.

Birthdate:
Birthplace: East Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony, (present USA)
Death: Died in Princeton, Mercer County, Province of New Jersey, (present USA)
Cause of death: Small Pox immunization reaction
Place of Burial: Princeton Cemetery, Princeton, Mercer County, Province of New Jersey, (present USA)
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Timothy Edwards and Esther Edwards
Husband of Sarah Edwards
Father of Sarah Parsons; Esther Burr; Jerusha Brainerd; Mary Dwight (Edwards); Lucy Woodbridge and 9 others
Brother of Esther Hopkins; Elizabeth Huntington; Anne Ellsworth; Mary Edwards; Abigail Metcalf and 5 others

Occupation: American Theologan; "Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God" Author, Early American Evangelist & Minister;, Minister and President of the College of NJ (Princeton), Reverend, Evangelist, PREACHER, TEHOLOGIAN, MISSIONARY TO NATIVE AMERICANS
Managed by: John Michael Lee
Last Updated:

About Rev. Jonathan Edwards

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Edwards_%28theologian%29

Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) was a preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans. Edwards "is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian,"[3] and one of America's greatest intellectuals.[4] Edwards's theological work is very broad in scope, but he is often associated with his defense of Reformed theology, the metaphysics of theological determinism, and the Puritan heritage. Recent studies have emphasized how thoroughly Edwards grounded his life's work on conceptions of beauty, harmony, and ethical fittingness, and how central The Enlightenment was to his mindset.[5]

Edwards played a critical role in shaping the First Great Awakening, and oversaw some of the first fires of revival in 1733–1735 at his church in Northampton, Massachusetts.[6] Edwards's sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", is considered a classic of early American literature, which he delivered during another wave of revival in 1741, following George Whitefield's tour of the Thirteen Colonies.[7] Edwards is widely known for his many books: The End For Which God Created the World; The Life of David Brainerd, which served to inspire thousands of missionaries throughout the nineteenth century; and Religious Affections, which many Reformed Evangelicals read even today.[8] Edwards died from a smallpox inoculation shortly after beginning the presidency at the College of New Jersey (later to be named Princeton University), and was the grandfather of Aaron Burr.[9]

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A summary of the life of Jonathan Edwards presented by the webpage "Guardians of the Gospel" says: Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758 American theologican and philosopher.

Jonathan Edwards was born in Connecticut. At the age of 13, after having mastered Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, he entered Yale, and was graduated at the age of 17. Soon after his graduation, he was converted to Jesus Christ. He served pastorates in Massachusetts during the Great Awakening, a tremendous revival which began through the influence and preaching of George Whitefield, William Tennant, and others. This revival ran from 1734 to 1744, with mass conversions adding 50,000 converts to the churches of New England.

Edwards preached a sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, during which strong men fell as though shot and women became hysterical. Through his preaching, thousands were converted to the Lord Jesus Christ.

"A Minister who has been called the last of the great Puritans, Jonathan Edwards married a Pierrepont. His descendants went on to be influential ministers, college presidents, financiers, surgeons and judges. Perhaps the most famous descendant was Aaron Burr.

Being an only son, he was named by his father "the gift of the Lord". When but six years of age he began to learn Latin under his father & eldest sisters, all of whom the father had made proficient in that language. He was carefully instructed at home until he was thirteen years of age. The very first exercises of his mind were doubtless of the nature of religious meditation & he could not recollect the time when he was not imbued with a deep sense of religion. In account of his own conversion, written later for the benefit of his children, he says:

I had a variety of concerns and exercises about my soul from my childhood, but had two most remarkable seasons of awakening before I met with that change by which I was brought to those new dispositions and that new sense of things that I have since had.  

The first ime was when I was a boy, some years before I went to college, at a time of remarkable awakening in my father's congregation. I was concerned about the things of religion and my soul's salvation and was abundant in religious duties. I used to pray five times a day in secret and to spend much time in religious conversation with other boys.

At thirteen years of age he entered Yale College, far advanced in general and classical learning and in his freshman year read Lock's "Essay on human Understanding" with appreciation & delight, as shown by some of his notes which have been publishes. His pleasure in reading and annotating on the topics of this great work has been likened to that of the miser when gathering up handful of silver and gold from some newly discovered treasure.

" In college, when it pleased God to seize me with a pleurisy in which he brought me nigh unto the Grave and shook me over the pit of hell, and yet it was not long after my recovery before I again fell into my old ways of sin". At seventeen he graduated with great reputation for both knowledge and Wisdom. "I remember the time very well, when I seemed to be convinced and fully satisfied as to the sovereignty of God, and his justice in eternally disposing of men according to his sovereign pleaser.

To this day, I scarce ever have found so Much as the rising of an objection against God's sovereignty, in God's showing mercy to whom he will show mercy and hardening whom he pleases, leaving them eternally to perish and be everlastingly tormented in hell. Shortly afterwards, as I was walking in contemplation, in my father's pasture, I looked up on the sky and clouds, there came into my mind so sweet a sense of the glorious majesty and grace of God that I know not how to express it. God's excellency, his wisdom, his purity and love, seemed to appear in everything, in the sun, moon, and stars, in the clouds and blue sky, in the grass, flowers and trees, in the water and all nature, which used greatly to fix my mind. "

After graduating he remain two years in New Haven, studying divinity. In the 19th year of his age, 1722, he was licensed to preach and in August of that year, accepted a call to New York City. His diary while there shows that his mind was constantly employed in religious meditation. About this time, he wrote out 70 resolutions which he kept before him as his guides through the remainder of his life. They refer mostly to the governing of his morals and the performance of religious exercises. They are published in his "Life by Dr. Dwight". After a ministry of eight months in NY, which gave abundant satisfaction, circumstances induced him to return to his father's house. The summer of 1723 was devoted to theological studies at his father's house. In the fall he went to New Haven to receive the degree of Master of Arts. He was elected a tutor of Yale College and continued in this position two years.

The only real estate then belonging to the college of Yale, was the old homestead of William Tuttle on which had been erected its first building and on the very spot where Edwards studied, taught, and won his great and excellent tutorial renown. Elizabeth Tuttle, the grandmother of Edwards, had passed the years of her childhood and youth, until as the wife of Richard Edwards, she removed to Hartford and became the ancestress of a glorious posterity. A posterity that has reflected, perhaps, more lust re on the name of Yale, than that of any pilgrim to these shores from the landing on the Plymouth Rock!

On the 28th of the following July, he married Sarah, daughter of Rev. James and Mary Hooker Pierpont of New haven. She was born Jan 9, 1707. Her father was the 2nd Pastor of the first church in New Haven, a son of John and Thankful Stowe Pierpont of Roxbury, Massachusetts. Her mother was the Daughter of Rev. Samuel Hooker of Farmington, and Grandaughter of Rev Thomas Hooker, the leader and first pastor of the colony at Hartford. His ancestry was noble & she did it no discredit. To her natural advantages were added all that a superior education could give. she was gentle, courteous and amiable, and the law of kindness appear to given all her conduct and conversation. She was a rare example of early piety. Edwards had known her several years before her marriage and in 1723 when she was but thirteen years of age, he wrote on the blank leaf of a book this remarkable description of her:

"They say there is a young lady in New Haven who is beloved of that Great Being who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being in some way or other, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding delight, and that she hardly cares for anything except meditation of Him. That she expects after a while to be received up where he is , to be raised up of the world and caught up into heaven. being assured that He loves her too well to let her remain at a distance from him always. That she is to dwell with him and be ravished with his love and delight forever. She has a superior purity in her affections, is most just and conscientious in all her conduct, and you could not persuade her to do anything wrong or sinful, if you should give her this world, lest she should offend this Great Being. She is of the wonderful sweetness, calmness, and universal benevolence, especially after Great God has manifested himself to her being. She will sometimes go about from place to place singing sweetly and seems always to be full of joy and pleasure, and no one knows for what!?

In 1731, Edwards visited Boston & and while there delivered before an association of ministers, a sermon, which by their reuest was published. It was the first of his works that was printed & it made such a great impression that public thankgs were offered to the Head of the Church for raising up so great a teacher. In 1734 occurred a remarkable revival in his own church at Northampton, an account of which he published at the time under the title "A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundreds of Souls in Northampton. This work excited great interest and was republished in England from EDard's manuscript under the editorship of the celebrated Dr. Isaac Watts in 1736. This was the beginning of "The Great Awakening" which culminated in 1740. This revival was general throughout the country and extended to the remotest colonies of America and to England and to Scotland. Ministers and congregations from all parts of New England applied to Edwards for assistance and besought him to come among them and preach.

In the year 1747, David Brainerd, the famous missionary to the Indians, came to the house of Edwards to die. During his sickness, Jerusha Edwards gave him her constant care and attention. They were not doubt betrothed. She was a person of much the same spirit as Branerd, said her father. He died Oct 9, 1747 and Jerusha folled him about four months later and was buried by his side. Jonathan Edwards wrote "The Life of David Brainerd" published in 1749.

About six years before June 1750, when he was ignominiously dismissed by his congregation, he had offended an influential part of his congregation by taking some very active and, as they affirmed, arbitrary measures in consequence of the reported circulation of obscene books among the younger member of his flock. He was openly resisted in his attempts to make a public example of the offenders, and his influence over people from that time began to wane. But his departure was caused by a different issue. In the eastern colonies, upwards of a century ago, all the politicians and men of fahsion managed to retain a regular standing in some religious society. It was essential to their respectabililty. It was not deemed necessary that they should make a public profession of faith or practice the duties of Christianity, only so far as to give an intellectual assent to its doctrines. They could not, or would not , say that they had really embraced Christianity. He short, they wre unconverted persons. Mr. Edwards predecessor had admitted such persons to participation in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. About 1744, Edwards began to insist on a return to the old custom.

The next six years was spent in continual discussion, and vain attempts to break the rsolutie will of Edwards, determined that the line of demarkation between the church and the world should not be entirely obliterated. Efforts at compromise and mediation failed. His dismissal was clamored for. When it came to the people for a final vote, it is said that those who never were in church thronged the meeting house to prevent their own disfranchisement. A mob succeeded in procuring the dismissal of the wisest and most faithful of all pastors. After this, he occasionally supplied the pulpit, pending the appointment of his successor, until a vot ewas passed prohibting his return. Through all this, Edwards bore himself heroically. No passionate word or unseemly act marred the grand composure of his speech or the dignity of his conduct, but with strong and steady persistence in what he knew to be his duty, he fought the good fight to the end, willing to suffer all things for the sake of his Master.

In 1751 he removed to Stockbridge, Masschusetts as a missionary to preach to the Indians, and as mall church of Anglo-Amerians which had been formed there by an earlier missionary. He had a wife and eight children to support, his salary was small, his daugthers made laes and painted fans which were sent to Boston for sale. Edwards had much spare time in Stockbridge and had in view several great literary enterprises, one of which ws begun but not ready for the press. It was "A History of the Work of Redemption", and would have been his masterpiece, would have raised him in reputation above all other teological writers of his age. In the autmn of 1754 he was seized with a sever fever, from which he did not recover, until the following January. The French & Indian Wars further interuppted his wriing. "God's Last End in the Creation of the World", and the "Nature of True Virtue" were written however during this time.

While Edwars was laboring with his wonted industry at Stockbridge, he received intelligence of the death of his son-in-law, Rev. Aaron Burr, President of the College of New Jersey, and a few days afterward a letter from the Trustee's advised him that he had been elected to the vacant office. He arrived Jan 1758. A few days afterward, he was informed of the death of his father. On the 23rd he was inoculated for the smallpox which then prevailed in the town, and on the 22 day of March he died of that disease. Persons at his bedside who lamented his eminent passing heard him say "Trust in God, and ye need not fear!" These were his last words.

In person he was tall & slender, slightly stooping, his face, very pale and wasted, his manner calm and gentle. A memorial window in Yale College is inscribed in the memory of Jonathan Edwards. "Jonathan Edwards, the most gifted of all the men of the 18th century, perhaps the most profound thinker of the world, clear-sighted as an eagle, untiring as the light, he stands the foremost among all philsophical thinkers, ancient or modern" said Hollisters History of Connecticut. "

Here is what the "American Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol III" has to say:

Edwards, Jonathan, theologian, was born in East Windsor, Conn., Oct. 5, 1703; son of the Rev. Timothy and Esther (Stoddard) Edwards; grandson of Richard and Elizabeth (Tuthill) Edwards, and great-grandson of William Edwards, the immigrant, who with his mother, the widow of the Rev. Richard Edwards of the Established church, and her second husband, James Coles, came to America and settled at Hartford, Conn., about 1640.

Jonathan was the only son in a family of eleven children. He early developed the theological instinct, preparing a paper when but ten years of age in which he ridiculed the idea of the soul being material. He entered Yale when twelve years old and was graduated in 1720. His favorite book while at college was Locke's "Essay on the Human Understanding," and he was proficient in natural philosophy, moral philosophy and divinity. As a boy "the doctrine of God's sovereignty" appeared to him "a horrible doctrine," but while at college he became convinced of "God's absolute sovereignty and justice with respect to salvation and damnation," and his experience was attended with "an inward sweet delight in God." He then, after consulting with his father, united with the church and remained at Yale, devoting two years to the study of divinity.

He preached for eight months in a Presbyterian church in New York city. He then prepared a series of seventy resolutions, definitely outlining his theory and plan of life "which have been effective in quickening the piety of succeeding generations." He declined calls from several congregations and accepted a tutorship in Yale where he served, 1725-26. In 1729 he was ordained the colleague of his grandfather, the Rev. Solomon Stoddard, at Northampton, Mass. He was married, July 28, 1727, to Sarah, daughter of the Rev. James Pierrepont, minister at New Haven. On the death of his grandfather in 1729 he continued alone in the pastorate of the church.[p.400] His theological views, which are a part of the religious history of his time, attracted wide attention and received severe criticism. In 1740 the Rev. George Whitefield visited him and preached during his four days' stay several times to large audiences. His preaching led to a great religious awakening throughout New England, in which Mr. Edwards was a powerful factor. Mr. Edwards visited various churches by invitation of their pastors and his preaching produced extraordinary results. Fearing fanatical excesses, he published "The Distinguishing Marks of the Work of the Spirit of God"; "Thoughts concerning the Present Revival of Religion," and "Treatise on Religious Affections." He differed with the majority of his parishioners as to the policy of allowing what was known as the "half-way covenant," and condemned its practice so earnestly that on June 22, 1750, he was forced to resign after a ministry of nearly twenty-four years.

This left him without an income and with a large family dependent on him. Friends in Scotland sent him money and invited him to settle in that country. The Rev. Samuel Dates of Virginia offered to surrender to him his own parish and some of his friends in Northampton sought to have him remain and live on their bounty. He declined these offers, however, accepting from the London society for the propagation of the gospel an offer to become missionary to the Housatonnuck Indians, and removed to Stockbridge in August, 1751. Here he preached to the Indians through an interpreter and his slender stipend was augmented by the sale in Boston of the delicate handiwork of his wife and daughters. His work on his books was greatly facilitated by reason of his light pastoral duties and was only interrupted by the death in 1757 of his son-in-law, the Rev. Aaron Burr, president of the College of New Jersey. This event led the curators of the college to select and appoint Mr. Edwards as president, in 1757, and he was installed, Feb. 16, 1758. He was at the head of the institution only thirty-four days, but long enough to win the respect and admiration of the students. Having been inoculated for small pox, then prevalent in the neighborhood, he died from the effects. He was buried in the college burying ground, in proximity to the grave of President Burr, and but a few days thereafter his wife and his daughter Esther, the widow of President Burr, fell victims to the same malady and were buried beside him.

On the first Sunday of the year of his death he preached from the text, "This year thou shalt die." He left in published books, sermons and manuscript abundant evidence of his superior spiritual attainment. Among his more important publications are: Treatise Concerning the Religious Affections (1746); Inquiry Into the Qualifications for Free Communion in the Church (1749); a treatise On the Freedom of the Will (1754); Original Sin (1757); True Nature of Christian Virtue (1788); Dissertation Concerning the End for which Created the World (1789); Thoughts on the Revival of Religion; History of the Redemption; and Life of David Brainerd. His name was given a place in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, October, 1900, in "Class G, Preachers and Theologians," with Beecher and Channing. He died in Princeton, N.J., March 22, 1758. zzz

In the year 2000, the following book sold for $125.00 on Ebay.

Edwards, Jonathan, A. M. Edwards on Revivals: containing A Faithful Narrative of the surprising Work of God in the Conversion of many hundred Souls in Northhampton, Massachusetts, A. D. 1735. Also, Thoughts on the Revival of Religion in New England, 1742, and the way in which it ought to be acknowledged and promoted. With Introductory Remarks, and a full general Index, prepared by the present editor. New York: Dunning & Spalding. 1832. Leather binding in very good

Jonathan Edwards (b. Oct. 5, 1703, East Windsor, Conn. -d. March 22, 1758, Princeton, N.J.), "greatest theologian and philosopher of British American Puritanism, stimulator of the religious revival known as the "Great Awakening," and one of the forerunners of the age of Protestant missionary expansion in the 19th century. He has been called "The greatest philosopher-theologian yet to grace the American scene".

After a short pastorate in New York, he was appointed a tutor at Yale. In 1724 he became pastor of the church at Northampton, Massachusetts, a colleague of his grandfather Samuel Stoddard until the latter's death in 1729. Under the influence of Edwards's powerful preaching, the Great Awakening occurred in 1734-35, and a geographically more extensive revival in 1740-41. Edwards became a firm friend of George Whitefield, then itinerating in America. After various differences with prominent families in his congregation, and a prolonged controversy over the question of the admission of the unconverted to the Lord's Supper, he was dismissed as pastor in 1750 and became, in 1751, pastor of the church in the frontier town of Stockbridge, and a missionary to the Indians. He was elected president of Princeton in 1757, but was reluctant to accept because of his desire to continue writing. He was inaugurated in February 1758. One month later he died of the effects of a smallpox injection.

Edwards was firmly in the tradition of New England Calvinism and the Westminster Divines. Because of his commitment to salvation by sovereign grace, Edwards was agitated by what he considered to be the religiously destructive developments in New England, particularly Arminianism and Socinianism, and revivalistic excess. The first concern prompted the book Freedom of the Will and, later, Original Sin. The second inspired a group of writings, notably the Religious Affections." 125.00

The Necessity of Atonement, and the consistency between that and Free Grace, in Forgiveness. Illustrated in Three Sermons, Delivered at New-Haven, Oct 1785, by Johnathan Edwards, D.D.,

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[following downloaded 2009 from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Edwards_(theology)]

Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) was a colonial American Congregational preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans. Edwards "is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian." His work is very broad in scope, but he is often associated with his defense of Calvinist theology, the metaphysics of theological determinism, and the Puritan heritage. His famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," is credited for starting the First Great Awakening. Edwards is widely known for his books Religious Affections and The Freedom of the Will. He died from a smallpox inoculation shortly after beginning the presidency at the College of New Jersey (later to be named Princeton University). Edwards is widely regarded as America's greatest theologian.

Early life

Jonathan Edwards, born on October 5, 1703, was the son of Timothy Edwards (1668–1759), a minister at East Windsor, Connecticut (modern day South Windsor) who eked out his salary by tutoring boys for college. His mother, Esther Stoddard, daughter of the Rev. Solomon Stoddard, of Northampton, Massachusetts, seems to have been a woman of unusual mental gifts and independence of character.

Jonathan, their only son, was the fifth of eleven children. He was trained for college by his father and by his elder sisters, all of whom received an excellent education. When ten years old, he wrote a semi-humorous tract on the immateriality of the soul. He was interested in natural history and, at the age of eleven, wrote a remarkable essay on the habits of the "flying spider."

He entered Yale College in 1716, at just under the age of thirteen. In the following year, he became acquainted with John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, which influenced him profoundly. During his college studies, he kept note books labelled "The Mind," "Natural Science" (containing a discussion of the atomic theory), "The Scriptures" and "Miscellanies," had a grand plan for a work on natural and mental philosophy, and drew up for himself rules for its composition. Even before his graduation in September 1720, as valedictorian and head of his class, he seems to have had a well formulated philosophy. He spent two years after his graduation in New Haven studying theology.

In 1722 to 1723, he was, for eight months, "stated supply" (a clergyman employed to supply a pulpit for a definite time, but not settled as a pastor) of a small Presbyterian Church in New York City. The church invited him to remain, but he declined the call. After spending two months in study at home, in 1724–1726, he was one of the two tutors at Yale, earning for himself the name of a "pillar tutor", from his steadfast loyalty to the college and its orthodox teaching, at the time when Yale's rector (Timothy Cutler) and one of her tutors had gone over to the Episcopal Church.

The years, 1720 to 1726, are partially recorded in his diary and in the resolutions for his own conduct which he drew up at this time. He had long been an eager seeker after salvation and was not fully satisfied as to his own conversion until an experience in his last year in college, when he lost his feeling that the election of some to salvation and of others to eternal damnation was "a horrible doctrine," and reckoned it "exceedingly pleasant, bright and sweet." He now took a great and new joy in the beauties of nature, and delighted in the allegorical interpretation of the Song of Solomon. Balancing these mystic joys is the stern tone of his Resolutions, in which he is almost ascetic in his eagerness to live earnestly and soberly, to waste no time, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.

On February 15, 1727, he was ordained minister at Northampton and assistant to his grandfather, Solomon Stoddard. He was a scholar-pastor, not a visiting pastor, his rule being thirteen hours of study a day. In the same year, he married Sarah Pierpont. She was then aged seventeen and daughter of James Pierpont (1659–1714), a founder of Yale and, through her mother, great-granddaughter of Thomas Hooker. Of her piety and almost nun-like love of God and belief in His personal love for her, Edwards had known when she was only thirteen, and had written of it with spiritual enthusiasm. She was of a bright and cheerful disposition, a practical housekeeper, a model wife and the mother of his eleven children. Solomon Stoddard died on February 11, 1729, leaving to his grandson the difficult task of the sole ministerial charge of one of the largest and wealthiest congregations in the colony, and one proud of its morality, its culture and its reputation.

Great Awakening

On July 8, 1731, Edwards preached in Boston the "Public Lecture" afterwards published under the title "God Glorified — in Man's Dependence," which was his first public attack on Arminianism. The leading thought of the lecture was God's absolute sovereignty in the work of salvation: that while it behooved God to create man pure and without sin, it was of his "good pleasure" and "mere and arbitrary grace" for him to grant any person the faith necessary to incline him or her toward holiness; and that God might deny this grace without any disparagement to any of his character.

In 1733, a religious revival began in Northampton, and reached such intensity, in the winter of 1734 and the following spring, as to threaten the business of the town. In six months, nearly three hundred were admitted to the church. The revival gave Edwards an opportunity for studying the process of conversion in all its phases and varieties, and he recorded his observations with psychological minuteness and discrimination in A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton (1737). A year later, he published Discourses on Various Important Subjects, the five sermons which had proved most effective in the revival, and of these, none, he tells us, was so immediately effective as that on the Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners, from the text, "That every mouth may be stopped." Another sermon, published in 1734, on the Reality of Spiritual Light set forth what he regarded as the inner, moving principle of the revival, the doctrine of a special grace in the immediate, and supernatural divine illumination of the soul.

In the spring of 1735, the movement began to subside and a reaction set in. But the relapse was brief, and the Northampton revival, which had spread through the Connecticut valley and whose fame had reached England and Scotland, was followed in 1739–1740 by the Great Awakening, distinctively under the leadership of Edwards. It was at this time that Edwards became acquainted with George Whitefield, and Edwards preached his most famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in Enfield, Connecticut in 1741. This sermon has been widely reprinted as an example of "fire and brimstone" preaching in the colonial revivals.

The movement met with opposition from conservative Congregationalist ministers. In 1741, Edwards published in its defense The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, dealing particularly with the phenomena most criticized: the swoonings, outcries and convulsions. These "bodily effects," he insisted, were not distinguishing marks of the work of the Spirit of God one way or another; but so bitter was the feeling against the revival in the more strictly Puritan churches that, in 1742, he was forced to write a second apology, Thoughts on the Revival in New England, his main argument being the great moral improvement of the country. In the same pamphlet, he defends an appeal to the emotions, and advocates preaching terror when necessary, even to children, who in God's sight "are young vipers… if not Christ's." He considers "bodily effects" incidentals to the real work of God, but his own mystic devotion and the experiences of his wife during the Awakening (which he gives in detail) make him think that the divine visitation usually overpowers the body, a view in support of which he quotes Scripture. In reply to Edwards, Charles Chauncy wrote Seasonable Thoughts on the State of Religion in New England in 1743 and anonymously penned The Late Religious Commotions in New England Considered in the same year. In these works he urged conduct as the sole test of conversion; and the general convention of Congregational ministers in the Province of Massachusetts Bay protested "against disorders in practice which have of late obtained in various parts of the land."

In spite of Edwards's able pamphlet, the impression had become widespread that "bodily effects" were recognized by the promoters of the Great Awakening as the true tests of conversion. To offset this feeling, Edwards preached at Northampton, during the years 1742 and 1743, a series of sermons published under the title of Religious Affections (1746), a restatement in a more philosophical and general tone of his ideas as to "distinguishing marks." In 1747, he joined the movement started in Scotland called the "concert in prayer," and in the same year published An Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God's People in Extraordinary Prayer for the Revival of Religion and the Advancement of Christ's Kingdom on Earth. In 1749, he published a memoir of David Brainerd who had lived with his family for several months and had died at Northhampton in 1747. Brainerd had been constantly attended by Edwards's daughter Jerusha, to whom he was rumored to have been engaged to be married, though there is no surviving evidence for this. In the course of elaborating his theories of conversion Edwards used Brainerd and his ministry as a case study, making extensive notes of his conversions and confessions.

Science and aesthetics

Edwards was fascinated by the discoveries of Isaac Newton and other scientists of his age. Before he undertook full-time ministry work in Northampton, he wrote on various topics in natural philosophy, including "flying spiders," light, and optics. While he was worried about the materialism and faith in reason alone of some of his contemporaries, he saw the laws of nature as derived from God and demonstrating his wisdom and care. Hence, scientific discoveries did not threaten his faith, and for him, there was no inherent conflict between the spiritual and material.

Edwards also wrote sermons and theological treatises that emphasized the beauty of God and the role of aesthetics in the spiritual life, in which he anticipates a twentieth-century current of theological aesthetics, represented by figures like Hans Urs von Balthasar.

Later years

In 1748, there had come a crisis in his relations with his congregation. The Half-Way Covenant, adopted by the synods of 1657 and 1662, had made baptism alone the condition to the civil privileges of church membership, but not of participation in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Edwards's grandfather and predecessor in the pastorate, Solomon Stoddard, had been even more liberal, holding that the Supper was a converting ordinance and that baptism was a sufficient title to all the privileges of the church. As early as 1744, Edwards, in his sermons on Religious Affections, had plainly intimated his dislike of this practice. In the same year, he had published in a church meeting the names of certain young people, members of the church, who were suspected of reading improper books, and also the names of those who were to be called as witnesses in the case. It has often been reported that the witnesses and accused were not distinguished on this list, and so, therefore, the entire congregation was in an uproar. However, Patricia Tracy's research has cast doubt on this version of the events, noting that in the list he read from, the names were definitely distinguished. Those involved were eventually disciplined for disrespect to the investigators rather than for the original incident. In any case, the incident further deteriorated the relationship between Edwards and the congregation. In a time of significant cultural foment, he was associated with the old guard.

Edwards' preaching became unpopular. For four years, no candidate presented himself for admission to the church, and when one did, in 1748, he was met with Edwards's formal but mild and gentle tests, as expressed in the Distinguishing Marks and later in Qualifications for Full Communion (1749). The candidate refused to submit to them, the church backed him, and the break between the church and Edwards was complete. Even permission to discuss his views in the pulpit was refused him. He was allowed to present his views on Thursday afternoons. His sermons were well attended by visitors, but not his own congregation. A council was convened to decide the communion matter between the minister and his people. The congregation chose half the council, and Edwards was allowed to select the other half of the council. His congregation, however, limited his selection to one county where the majority of the ministers were against him. The ecclesiastical council voted that the pastoral relation be dissolved. The church members, by a vote of more than 200 to 23, ratified the action of the council, and finally a town meeting voted that Edwards should not be allowed to occupy the Northampton pulpit, though he continued to live in the town and preach in the church by the request of the congregation until October 1751. He evinced no rancour or spite; his "Farewell Sermon" was dignified and temperate; he preached from 2 Cor. 1:14 and directed the thoughts of his people to that far future when the minister and his people would stand before God; nor is it to be ascribed to chagrin that in a letter to Scotland after his dismissal he expresses his preference for Presbyterian to Congregational church government. His position at the time was not unpopular throughout New England; his doctrine that the Lord's Supper is not a cause of regeneration and that communicants should be professing Christians has since (very largely through the efforts of his pupil Joseph Bellamy) become a standard of New England Congregationalism.

Edwards, with his large family, was now thrown upon the world, but offers of aid quickly came to him. A parish in Scotland could have been procured, and he was called to a Virginia church. He declined both, to become, in 1750, pastor of the church in Stockbridge and a missionary to the Housatonic Indians. To the Indians, he preached through an interpreter, and their interests he boldly and successfully defended by attacking the whites who were using their official positions among them to increase their private fortunes. In Stockbridge, he wrote the Humble Relation, also called Reply to Williams (1752), which was an answer to Solomon Williams (1700–1776), a relative and a bitter opponent of Edwards as to the qualifications for full communion; and he there composed the treatises on which his reputation as a philosophical theologian chiefly rests, the essay on Original Sin, the Dissertation Concerning the Nature of True Virtue, the Dissertation Concerning the End for which God created the World, and the great work on the Will, written in four months and a half, and published in 1754 under the title, An Inquiry into the Modern Prevailing Notions Respecting that Freedom of the Will which is supposed to be Essential to Moral Agency.

In 1757, on the death of the Reverend Aaron Burr, who five years before had married Edwards' daughter Esther and was the father of future US vice-president Aaron Burr, he reluctantly agreed to replace his late son-in-law as the president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), where he was installed on February 16, 1758.

Almost immediately after becoming president, he was inoculated for smallpox, which was raging in Princeton, New Jersey. Never in robust health, he died of the inoculation on March 22, 1758. He was buried in Princeton Cemetery. Edwards had three sons and eight daughters.

Legacy

The followers of Jonathan Edwards and his disciples came to be known as the New Light Calvinist ministers, as opposed to the traditional Old Light Calvinist ministers. Prominent disciples included Samuel Hopkins, Joseph Bellamy, Jonathan Edwards's son Jonathan Edwards Jr. and Gideon Hawley. Through a practice of apprentice ministers living in the homes of older ministers, they eventually filled a large number of pastorates in the New England area. Many of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards's descendants became prominent citizens in the United States, including the Vice President Aaron Burr and the College Presidents Timothy Dwight, Jonathan Edwards Jr. and Merrill Edwards Gates. Jonathan and Sarah Edwards were also ancestors of the First Lady Edith Roosevelt, the writer O. Henry, the publisher Frank Nelson Doubleday and the writer Robert Lowell.

Edwards's writings and beliefs continue to influence individuals and groups to this day. Early American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions missionaries were influenced by Edwards' writings, as is evidenced in reports in the ABCFM's journal "The Missionary Herald," and beginning with Perry Miller's seminal work, Edwards enjoyed a renaissance among scholars after the end of the Second World War. The Banner of Truth Trust and other publishers continue to reprint Edwards's works, and most of his major works are now available through the series published by Yale University Press, which has spanned three decades and supplies critical introductions by the editor of each volume. Yale has also established the Jonathan Edwards Project online. Author and teacher, Elisabeth Woodbridge Morris, memorialized him, her paternal ancestor (3rd great grandfather) in two books, The Jonathon Papers (1912), and More Jonathon Papers (1915). In 1933, he became the namesake of Jonathan Edwards College, one of the first of the twelve residential colleges of Yale.

Edwards is commemorated as a teacher and missionary by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on March 22.

[The following was downloaded 2010 from a history of Stockbridge at http://www.berkshireweb.com/plexus/eminent/index.html]

Jonathan Edwards, in the frontier parsonage built by Sergeant on The Plain, doubtless found sermonizing to the Indians an awkward task, and spent far more congenial hours on Original Sin than expostulating through his interpreter, John Wouwanonpequunount, to a people of "barbarous and barren tongue." Edwards's heart was bound up in marvellous metaphysics which he squared and multiplied in Stockbridge's laurel-lined forest lanes, subsequently pouring out his soul on paper in his famous little room, measuring scarcely a man's length, but broad enough to hold Freedom of the Will. The Doctor's study, is marked by a sun-dial on the present Caldwell estate on Stockbridge Street.

The Edwardses rejoiced in living "in peace," after unhappy controversies which had driven them from Northampton, and Dr. Edwards writes to his father at Fast Windsor," The Indians are very much, pleased with my family, especially with my wife" (the beautiful Sarah Pierpont of New Haven, great-great-granddaughter of Thomas Hooker).

The daughters eked out the pastor's salary (6,3s. 4d. "lawful money, " and twenty-five loads of wood from his white congregation, also eighty sleigh-loads of wood from the Indians) by embroidering and painting fans for Boston domes thus Esther Edwards earned her wedding outfit, and the village was in a buzz of excitement when the rather elderly Rev. Aaron Burr arrived to carry away his youthful and lovely bride. On the Thanksgiving Day when the first grandchild, Aaron, was brought home there was unusual festivity at the Edwards house. As a lad, Aaron often tarried in Stockbridge at the home of his uncle, Deacon Timothy Edwards.

     The fascinating and wayward blade Colonel Aaron Burr, who would fain conquer every feminine heart, even daring to coquette with Dorothy Q., after she was promised to John Hancock, was of a fibre unlike his grandfather's household. Our well-beloved Donald Mitchell has flung the high lights of a sweet humor across that gray homespun age when the rod was not spared, and domestic life ran by rule at the homestead on Stockbridge Street. Jonathan Edwards was "rigid with the Westminster Assembly's Shorter Catechism on every Saturday evening, never al lowing his boys out of doors after nine o'clock at night: and if any suitor of his daughters tarried beyond that hour he was mildly but peremptorily informed that it was time to lock up the house. Among those suitors . . . was a Mr. Burr, who came to be President of the College of New Jersey at Princeton, and whose son, Aaron Burr--grandson of the Doctor-had, in later days, a way of staying out- after nine".

-------------------- Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) was a preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans. Edwards "is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian,"[3] and one of America's greatest intellectuals.[4] Edwards's theological work is very broad in scope, but he is often associated with his defense of Reformed theology, the metaphysics of theological determinism, and the Puritan heritage. Recent studies have emphasized how thoroughly Edwards grounded his life's work on conceptions of beauty, harmony, and ethical fittingness, and how central The Enlightenment was to his mindset.[5]

Edwards played a critical role in shaping the First Great Awakening, and oversaw some of the first fires of revival in 1733–1735 at his church in Northampton, Massachusetts.[6] Edwards's sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", is considered a classic of early American literature, which he delivered during another wave of revival in 1741, following George Whitefield's tour of the Thirteen Colonies.[7] Edwards is widely known for his many books: The End For Which God Created the World; The Life of David Brainerd, which served to inspire thousands of missionaries throughout the nineteenth century; and Religious Affections, which many Reformed Evangelicals read even today.[8] Edwards died from a smallpox inoculation shortly after beginning the presidency at the College of New Jersey (later to be named Princeton University), and was the grandfather of Aaron Burr.[9]

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A summary of the life of Jonathan Edwards presented by the webpage "Guardians of the Gospel" says: Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758 American theologican and philosopher.

Jonathan Edwards was born in Connecticut. At the age of 13, after having mastered Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, he entered Yale, and was graduated at the age of 17. Soon after his graduation, he was converted to Jesus Christ. He served pastorates in Massachusetts during the Great Awakening, a tremendous revival which began through the influence and preaching of George Whitefield, William Tennant, and others. This revival ran from 1734 to 1744, with mass conversions adding 50,000 converts to the churches of New England.

Edwards preached a sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, during which strong men fell as though shot and women became hysterical. Through his preaching, thousands were converted to the Lord Jesus Christ.

"A Minister who has been called the last of the great Puritans, Jonathan Edwards married a Pierrepont. His descendants went on to be influential ministers, college presidents, financiers, surgeons and judges. Perhaps the most famous descendant was Aaron Burr.

Being an only son, he was named by his father "the gift of the Lord". When but six years of age he began to learn Latin under his father & eldest sisters, all of whom the father had made proficient in that language. He was carefully instructed at home until he was thirteen years of age. The very first exercises of his mind were doubtless of the nature of religious meditation & he could not recollect the time when he was not imbued with a deep sense of religion. In account of his own conversion, written later for the benefit of his children, he says:

I had a variety of concerns and exercises about my soul from my childhood, but had two most remarkable seasons of awakening before I met with that change by which I was brought to those new dispositions and that new sense of things that I have since had. The first ime was when I was a boy, some years before I went to college, at a time of remarkable awakening in my father's congregation. I was concerned about the things of religion and my soul's salvation and was abundant in religious duties. I used to pray five times a day in secret and to spend much time in religious conversation with other boys.

At thirteen years of age he entered Yale College, far advanced in general and classical learning and in his freshman year read Lock's "Essay on human Understanding" with appreciation & delight, as shown by some of his notes which have been publishes. His pleasure in reading and annotating on the topics of this great work has been likened to that of the miser when gathering up handful of silver and gold from some newly discovered treasure.

" In college, when it pleased God to seize me with a pleurisy in which he brought me nigh unto the Grave and shook me over the pit of hell, and yet it was not long after my recovery before I again fell into my old ways of sin". At seventeen he graduated with great reputation for both knowledge and Wisdom. "I remember the time very well, when I seemed to be convinced and fully satisfied as to the sovereignty of God, and his justice in eternally disposing of men according to his sovereign pleaser.

To this day, I scarce ever have found so Much as the rising of an objection against God's sovereignty, in God's showing mercy to whom he will show mercy and hardening whom he pleases, leaving them eternally to perish and be everlastingly tormented in hell. Shortly afterwards, as I was walking in contemplation, in my father's pasture, I looked up on the sky and clouds, there came into my mind so sweet a sense of the glorious majesty and grace of God that I know not how to express it. God's excellency, his wisdom, his purity and love, seemed to appear in everything, in the sun, moon, and stars, in the clouds and blue sky, in the grass, flowers and trees, in the water and all nature, which used greatly to fix my mind. "

After graduating he remain two years in New Haven, studying divinity. In the 19th year of his age, 1722, he was licensed to preach and in August of that year, accepted a call to New York City. His diary while there shows that his mind was constantly employed in religious meditation. About this time, he wrote out 70 resolutions which he kept before him as his guides through the remainder of his life. They refer mostly to the governing of his morals and the performance of religious exercises. They are published in his "Life by Dr. Dwight". After a ministry of eight months in NY, which gave abundant satisfaction, circumstances induced him to return to his father's house. The summer of 1723 was devoted to theological studies at his father's house. In the fall he went to New Haven to receive the degree of Master of Arts. He was elected a tutor of Yale College and continued in this position two years.

The only real estate then belonging to the college of Yale, was the old homestead of William Tuttle on which had been erected its first building and on the very spot where Edwards studied, taught, and won his great and excellent tutorial renown. Elizabeth Tuttle, the grandmother of Edwards, had passed the years of her childhood and youth, until as the wife of Richard Edwards, she removed to Hartford and became the ancestress of a glorious posterity. A posterity that has reflected, perhaps, more lust re on the name of Yale, than that of any pilgrim to these shores from the landing on the Plymouth Rock!

On the 28th of the following July, he married Sarah, daughter of Rev. James and Mary Hooker Pierpont of New haven. She was born Jan 9, 1707. Her father was the 2nd Pastor of the first church in New Haven, a son of John and Thankful Stowe Pierpont of Roxbury, Massachusetts. Her mother was the Daughter of Rev. Samuel Hooker of Farmington, and Grandaughter of Rev Thomas Hooker, the leader and first pastor of the colony at Hartford. His ancestry was noble & she did it no discredit. To her natural advantages were added all that a superior education could give. she was gentle, courteous and amiable, and the law of kindness appear to given all her conduct and conversation. She was a rare example of early piety. Edwards had known her several years before her marriage and in 1723 when she was but thirteen years of age, he wrote on the blank leaf of a book this remarkable description of her:

"They say there is a young lady in New Haven who is beloved of that Great Being who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being in some way or other, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding delight, and that she hardly cares for anything except meditation of Him. That she expects after a while to be received up where he is , to be raised up of the world and caught up into heaven. being assured that He loves her too well to let her remain at a distance from him always. That she is to dwell with him and be ravished with his love and delight forever. She has a superior purity in her affections, is most just and conscientious in all her conduct, and you could not persuade her to do anything wrong or sinful, if you should give her this world, lest she should offend this Great Being. She is of the wonderful sweetness, calmness, and universal benevolence, especially after Great God has manifested himself to her being. She will sometimes go about from place to place singing sweetly and seems always to be full of joy and pleasure, and no one knows for what!?

In 1731, Edwards visited Boston & and while there delivered before an association of ministers, a sermon, which by their reuest was published. It was the first of his works that was printed & it made such a great impression that public thankgs were offered to the Head of the Church for raising up so great a teacher. In 1734 occurred a remarkable revival in his own church at Northampton, an account of which he published at the time under the title "A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundreds of Souls in Northampton. This work excited great interest and was republished in England from EDard's manuscript under the editorship of the celebrated Dr. Isaac Watts in 1736. This was the beginning of "The Great Awakening" which culminated in 1740. This revival was general throughout the country and extended to the remotest colonies of America and to England and to Scotland. Ministers and congregations from all parts of New England applied to Edwards for assistance and besought him to come among them and preach.

In the year 1747, David Brainerd, the famous missionary to the Indians, came to the house of Edwards to die. During his sickness, Jerusha Edwards gave him her constant care and attention. They were not doubt betrothed. She was a person of much the same spirit as Branerd, said her father. He died Oct 9, 1747 and Jerusha folled him about four months later and was buried by his side. Jonathan Edwards wrote "The Life of David Brainerd" published in 1749.

About six years before June 1750, when he was ignominiously dismissed by his congregation, he had offended an influential part of his congregation by taking some very active and, as they affirmed, arbitrary measures in consequence of the reported circulation of obscene books among the younger member of his flock. He was openly resisted in his attempts to make a public example of the offenders, and his influence over people from that time began to wane. But his departure was caused by a different issue. In the eastern colonies, upwards of a century ago, all the politicians and men of fahsion managed to retain a regular standing in some religious society. It was essential to their respectabililty. It was not deemed necessary that they should make a public profession of faith or practice the duties of Christianity, only so far as to give an intellectual assent to its doctrines. They could not, or would not , say that they had really embraced Christianity. He short, they wre unconverted persons. Mr. Edwards predecessor had admitted such persons to participation in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. About 1744, Edwards began to insist on a return to the old custom.

The next six years was spent in continual discussion, and vain attempts to break the rsolutie will of Edwards, determined that the line of demarkation between the church and the world should not be entirely obliterated. Efforts at compromise and mediation failed. His dismissal was clamored for. When it came to the people for a final vote, it is said that those who never were in church thronged the meeting house to prevent their own disfranchisement. A mob succeeded in procuring the dismissal of the wisest and most faithful of all pastors. After this, he occasionally supplied the pulpit, pending the appointment of his successor, until a vot ewas passed prohibting his return. Through all this, Edwards bore himself heroically. No passionate word or unseemly act marred the grand composure of his speech or the dignity of his conduct, but with strong and steady persistence in what he knew to be his duty, he fought the good fight to the end, willing to suffer all things for the sake of his Master.

In 1751 he removed to Stockbridge, Masschusetts as a missionary to preach to the Indians, and as mall church of Anglo-Amerians which had been formed there by an earlier missionary. He had a wife and eight children to support, his salary was small, his daugthers made laes and painted fans which were sent to Boston for sale. Edwards had much spare time in Stockbridge and had in view several great literary enterprises, one of which ws begun but not ready for the press. It was "A History of the Work of Redemption", and would have been his masterpiece, would have raised him in reputation above all other teological writers of his age. In the autmn of 1754 he was seized with a sever fever, from which he did not recover, until the following January. The French & Indian Wars further interuppted his wriing. "God's Last End in the Creation of the World", and the "Nature of True Virtue" were written however during this time.

While Edwars was laboring with his wonted industry at Stockbridge, he received intelligence of the death of his son-in-law, Rev. Aaron Burr, President of the College of New Jersey, and a few days afterward a letter from the Trustee's advised him that he had been elected to the vacant office. He arrived Jan 1758. A few days afterward, he was informed of the death of his father. On the 23rd he was inoculated for the smallpox which then prevailed in the town, and on the 22 day of March he died of that disease. Persons at his bedside who lamented his eminent passing heard him say "Trust in God, and ye need not fear!" These were his last words.

In person he was tall & slender, slightly stooping, his face, very pale and wasted, his manner calm and gentle. A memorial window in Yale College is inscribed in the memory of Jonathan Edwards. "Jonathan Edwards, the most gifted of all the men of the 18th century, perhaps the most profound thinker of the world, clear-sighted as an eagle, untiring as the light, he stands the foremost among all philsophical thinkers, ancient or modern" said Hollisters History of Connecticut. "

Here is what the "American Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Vol III" has to say:

Edwards, Jonathan, theologian, was born in East Windsor, Conn., Oct. 5, 1703; son of the Rev. Timothy and Esther (Stoddard) Edwards; grandson of Richard and Elizabeth (Tuthill) Edwards, and great-grandson of William Edwards, the immigrant, who with his mother, the widow of the Rev. Richard Edwards of the Established church, and her second husband, James Coles, came to America and settled at Hartford, Conn., about 1640.

Jonathan was the only son in a family of eleven children. He early developed the theological instinct, preparing a paper when but ten years of age in which he ridiculed the idea of the soul being material. He entered Yale when twelve years old and was graduated in 1720. His favorite book while at college was Locke's "Essay on the Human Understanding," and he was proficient in natural philosophy, moral philosophy and divinity. As a boy "the doctrine of God's sovereignty" appeared to him "a horrible doctrine," but while at college he became convinced of "God's absolute sovereignty and justice with respect to salvation and damnation," and his experience was attended with "an inward sweet delight in God." He then, after consulting with his father, united with the church and remained at Yale, devoting two years to the study of divinity.

He preached for eight months in a Presbyterian church in New York city. He then prepared a series of seventy resolutions, definitely outlining his theory and plan of life "which have been effective in quickening the piety of succeeding generations." He declined calls from several congregations and accepted a tutorship in Yale where he served, 1725-26. In 1729 he was ordained the colleague of his grandfather, the Rev. Solomon Stoddard, at Northampton, Mass. He was married, July 28, 1727, to Sarah, daughter of the Rev. James Pierrepont, minister at New Haven. On the death of his grandfather in 1729 he continued alone in the pastorate of the church.[p.400] His theological views, which are a part of the religious history of his time, attracted wide attention and received severe criticism. In 1740 the Rev. George Whitefield visited him and preached during his four days' stay several times to large audiences. His preaching led to a great religious awakening throughout New England, in which Mr. Edwards was a powerful factor. Mr. Edwards visited various churches by invitation of their pastors and his preaching produced extraordinary results. Fearing fanatical excesses, he published "The Distinguishing Marks of the Work of the Spirit of God"; "Thoughts concerning the Present Revival of Religion," and "Treatise on Religious Affections." He differed with the majority of his parishioners as to the policy of allowing what was known as the "half-way covenant," and condemned its practice so earnestly that on June 22, 1750, he was forced to resign after a ministry of nearly twenty-four years.

This left him without an income and with a large family dependent on him. Friends in Scotland sent him money and invited him to settle in that country. The Rev. Samuel Dates of Virginia offered to surrender to him his own parish and some of his friends in Northampton sought to have him remain and live on their bounty. He declined these offers, however, accepting from the London society for the propagation of the gospel an offer to become missionary to the Housatonnuck Indians, and removed to Stockbridge in August, 1751. Here he preached to the Indians through an interpreter and his slender stipend was augmented by the sale in Boston of the delicate handiwork of his wife and daughters. His work on his books was greatly facilitated by reason of his light pastoral duties and was only interrupted by the death in 1757 of his son-in-law, the Rev. Aaron Burr, president of the College of New Jersey. This event led the curators of the college to select and appoint Mr. Edwards as president, in 1757, and he was installed, Feb. 16, 1758. He was at the head of the institution only thirty-four days, but long enough to win the respect and admiration of the students. Having been inoculated for small pox, then prevalent in the neighborhood, he died from the effects. He was buried in the college burying ground, in proximity to the grave of President Burr, and but a few days thereafter his wife and his daughter Esther, the widow of President Burr, fell victims to the same malady and were buried beside him.

On the first Sunday of the year of his death he preached from the text, "This year thou shalt die." He left in published books, sermons and manuscript abundant evidence of his superior spiritual attainment. Among his more important publications are: Treatise Concerning the Religious Affections (1746); Inquiry Into the Qualifications for Free Communion in the Church (1749); a treatise On the Freedom of the Will (1754); Original Sin (1757); True Nature of Christian Virtue (1788); Dissertation Concerning the End for which Created the World (1789); Thoughts on the Revival of Religion; History of the Redemption; and Life of David Brainerd. His name was given a place in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, October, 1900, in "Class G, Preachers and Theologians," with Beecher and Channing. He died in Princeton, N.J., March 22, 1758. zzz In the year 2000, the following book sold for $125.00 on Ebay.

Edwards, Jonathan, A. M. Edwards on Revivals: containing A Faithful Narrative of the surprising Work of God in the Conversion of many hundred Souls in Northhampton, Massachusetts, A. D. 1735. Also, Thoughts on the Revival of Religion in New England, 1742, and the way in which it ought to be acknowledged and promoted. With Introductory Remarks, and a full general Index, prepared by the present editor. New York: Dunning & Spalding. 1832. Leather binding in very good

Jonathan Edwards (b. Oct. 5, 1703, East Windsor, Conn. -d. March 22, 1758, Princeton, N.J.), "greatest theologian and philosopher of British American Puritanism, stimulator of the religious revival known as the "Great Awakening," and one of the forerunners of the age of Protestant missionary expansion in the 19th century. He has been called "The greatest philosopher-theologian yet to grace the American scene". After a short pastorate in New York, he was appointed a tutor at Yale. In 1724 he became pastor of the church at Northampton, Massachusetts, a colleague of his grandfather Samuel Stoddard until the latter's death in 1729. Under the influence of Edwards's powerful preaching, the Great Awakening occurred in 1734-35, and a geographically more extensive revival in 1740-41. Edwards became a firm friend of George Whitefield, then itinerating in America. After various differences with prominent families in his congregation, and a prolonged controversy over the question of the admission of the unconverted to the Lord's Supper, he was dismissed as pastor in 1750 and became, in 1751, pastor of the church in the frontier town of Stockbridge, and a missionary to the Indians. He was elected president of Princeton in 1757, but was reluctant to accept because of his desire to continue writing. He was inaugurated in February 1758. One month later he died of the effects of a smallpox injection.

Edwards was firmly in the tradition of New England Calvinism and the Westminster Divines. Because of his commitment to salvation by sovereign grace, Edwards was agitated by what he considered to be the religiously destructive developments in New England, particularly Arminianism and Socinianism, and revivalistic excess. The first concern prompted the book Freedom of the Will and, later, Original Sin. The second inspired a group of writings, notably the Religious Affections." 125.00

The Necessity of Atonement, and the consistency between that and Free Grace, in Forgiveness. Illustrated in Three Sermons, Delivered at New-Haven, Oct 1785, by Johnathan Edwards, D.D.,

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[following downloaded 2009 from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Edwards_(theology)]

Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) was a colonial American Congregational preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans. Edwards "is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian." His work is very broad in scope, but he is often associated with his defense of Calvinist theology, the metaphysics of theological determinism, and the Puritan heritage. His famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," is credited for starting the First Great Awakening. Edwards is widely known for his books Religious Affections and The Freedom of the Will. He died from a smallpox inoculation shortly after beginning the presidency at the College of New Jersey (later to be named Princeton University). Edwards is widely regarded as America's greatest theologian.

Early life

Jonathan Edwards, born on October 5, 1703, was the son of Timothy Edwards (1668–1759), a minister at East Windsor, Connecticut (modern day South Windsor) who eked out his salary by tutoring boys for college. His mother, Esther Stoddard, daughter of the Rev. Solomon Stoddard, of Northampton, Massachusetts, seems to have been a woman of unusual mental gifts and independence of character.

Jonathan, their only son, was the fifth of eleven children. He was trained for college by his father and by his elder sisters, all of whom received an excellent education. When ten years old, he wrote a semi-humorous tract on the immateriality of the soul. He was interested in natural history and, at the age of eleven, wrote a remarkable essay on the habits of the "flying spider."

He entered Yale College in 1716, at just under the age of thirteen. In the following year, he became acquainted with John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, which influenced him profoundly. During his college studies, he kept note books labelled "The Mind," "Natural Science" (containing a discussion of the atomic theory), "The Scriptures" and "Miscellanies," had a grand plan for a work on natural and mental philosophy, and drew up for himself rules for its composition. Even before his graduation in September 1720, as valedictorian and head of his class, he seems to have had a well formulated philosophy. He spent two years after his graduation in New Haven studying theology.

In 1722 to 1723, he was, for eight months, "stated supply" (a clergyman employed to supply a pulpit for a definite time, but not settled as a pastor) of a small Presbyterian Church in New York City. The church invited him to remain, but he declined the call. After spending two months in study at home, in 1724–1726, he was one of the two tutors at Yale, earning for himself the name of a "pillar tutor", from his steadfast loyalty to the college and its orthodox teaching, at the time when Yale's rector (Timothy Cutler) and one of her tutors had gone over to the Episcopal Church.

The years, 1720 to 1726, are partially recorded in his diary and in the resolutions for his own conduct which he drew up at this time. He had long been an eager seeker after salvation and was not fully satisfied as to his own conversion until an experience in his last year in college, when he lost his feeling that the election of some to salvation and of others to eternal damnation was "a horrible doctrine," and reckoned it "exceedingly pleasant, bright and sweet." He now took a great and new joy in the beauties of nature, and delighted in the allegorical interpretation of the Song of Solomon. Balancing these mystic joys is the stern tone of his Resolutions, in which he is almost ascetic in his eagerness to live earnestly and soberly, to waste no time, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.

On February 15, 1727, he was ordained minister at Northampton and assistant to his grandfather, Solomon Stoddard. He was a scholar-pastor, not a visiting pastor, his rule being thirteen hours of study a day. In the same year, he married Sarah Pierpont. She was then aged seventeen and daughter of James Pierpont (1659–1714), a founder of Yale and, through her mother, great-granddaughter of Thomas Hooker. Of her piety and almost nun-like love of God and belief in His personal love for her, Edwards had known when she was only thirteen, and had written of it with spiritual enthusiasm. She was of a bright and cheerful disposition, a practical housekeeper, a model wife and the mother of his eleven children. Solomon Stoddard died on February 11, 1729, leaving to his grandson the difficult task of the sole ministerial charge of one of the largest and wealthiest congregations in the colony, and one proud of its morality, its culture and its reputation.

Great Awakening

On July 8, 1731, Edwards preached in Boston the "Public Lecture" afterwards published under the title "God Glorified — in Man's Dependence," which was his first public attack on Arminianism. The leading thought of the lecture was God's absolute sovereignty in the work of salvation: that while it behooved God to create man pure and without sin, it was of his "good pleasure" and "mere and arbitrary grace" for him to grant any person the faith necessary to incline him or her toward holiness; and that God might deny this grace without any disparagement to any of his character.

In 1733, a religious revival began in Northampton, and reached such intensity, in the winter of 1734 and the following spring, as to threaten the business of the town. In six months, nearly three hundred were admitted to the church. The revival gave Edwards an opportunity for studying the process of conversion in all its phases and varieties, and he recorded his observations with psychological minuteness and discrimination in A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton (1737). A year later, he published Discourses on Various Important Subjects, the five sermons which had proved most effective in the revival, and of these, none, he tells us, was so immediately effective as that on the Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners, from the text, "That every mouth may be stopped." Another sermon, published in 1734, on the Reality of Spiritual Light set forth what he regarded as the inner, moving principle of the revival, the doctrine of a special grace in the immediate, and supernatural divine illumination of the soul.

In the spring of 1735, the movement began to subside and a reaction set in. But the relapse was brief, and the Northampton revival, which had spread through the Connecticut valley and whose fame had reached England and Scotland, was followed in 1739–1740 by the Great Awakening, distinctively under the leadership of Edwards. It was at this time that Edwards became acquainted with George Whitefield, and Edwards preached his most famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in Enfield, Connecticut in 1741. This sermon has been widely reprinted as an example of "fire and brimstone" preaching in the colonial revivals.

The movement met with opposition from conservative Congregationalist ministers. In 1741, Edwards published in its defense The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, dealing particularly with the phenomena most criticized: the swoonings, outcries and convulsions. These "bodily effects," he insisted, were not distinguishing marks of the work of the Spirit of God one way or another; but so bitter was the feeling against the revival in the more strictly Puritan churches that, in 1742, he was forced to write a second apology, Thoughts on the Revival in New England, his main argument being the great moral improvement of the country. In the same pamphlet, he defends an appeal to the emotions, and advocates preaching terror when necessary, even to children, who in God's sight "are young vipers… if not Christ's." He considers "bodily effects" incidentals to the real work of God, but his own mystic devotion and the experiences of his wife during the Awakening (which he gives in detail) make him think that the divine visitation usually overpowers the body, a view in support of which he quotes Scripture. In reply to Edwards, Charles Chauncy wrote Seasonable Thoughts on the State of Religion in New England in 1743 and anonymously penned The Late Religious Commotions in New England Considered in the same year. In these works he urged conduct as the sole test of conversion; and the general convention of Congregational ministers in the Province of Massachusetts Bay protested "against disorders in practice which have of late obtained in various parts of the land."

In spite of Edwards's able pamphlet, the impression had become widespread that "bodily effects" were recognized by the promoters of the Great Awakening as the true tests of conversion. To offset this feeling, Edwards preached at Northampton, during the years 1742 and 1743, a series of sermons published under the title of Religious Affections (1746), a restatement in a more philosophical and general tone of his ideas as to "distinguishing marks." In 1747, he joined the movement started in Scotland called the "concert in prayer," and in the same year published An Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God's People in Extraordinary Prayer for the Revival of Religion and the Advancement of Christ's Kingdom on Earth. In 1749, he published a memoir of David Brainerd who had lived with his family for several months and had died at Northhampton in 1747. Brainerd had been constantly attended by Edwards's daughter Jerusha, to whom he was rumored to have been engaged to be married, though there is no surviving evidence for this. In the course of elaborating his theories of conversion Edwards used Brainerd and his ministry as a case study, making extensive notes of his conversions and confessions.

Science and aesthetics

Edwards was fascinated by the discoveries of Isaac Newton and other scientists of his age. Before he undertook full-time ministry work in Northampton, he wrote on various topics in natural philosophy, including "flying spiders," light, and optics. While he was worried about the materialism and faith in reason alone of some of his contemporaries, he saw the laws of nature as derived from God and demonstrating his wisdom and care. Hence, scientific discoveries did not threaten his faith, and for him, there was no inherent conflict between the spiritual and material.

Edwards also wrote sermons and theological treatises that emphasized the beauty of God and the role of aesthetics in the spiritual life, in which he anticipates a twentieth-century current of theological aesthetics, represented by figures like Hans Urs von Balthasar.

Later years

In 1748, there had come a crisis in his relations with his congregation. The Half-Way Covenant, adopted by the synods of 1657 and 1662, had made baptism alone the condition to the civil privileges of church membership, but not of participation in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Edwards's grandfather and predecessor in the pastorate, Solomon Stoddard, had been even more liberal, holding that the Supper was a converting ordinance and that baptism was a sufficient title to all the privileges of the church. As early as 1744, Edwards, in his sermons on Religious Affections, had plainly intimated his dislike of this practice. In the same year, he had published in a church meeting the names of certain young people, members of the church, who were suspected of reading improper books, and also the names of those who were to be called as witnesses in the case. It has often been reported that the witnesses and accused were not distinguished on this list, and so, therefore, the entire congregation was in an uproar. However, Patricia Tracy's research has cast doubt on this version of the events, noting that in the list he read from, the names were definitely distinguished. Those involved were eventually disciplined for disrespect to the investigators rather than for the original incident. In any case, the incident further deteriorated the relationship between Edwards and the congregation. In a time of significant cultural foment, he was associated with the old guard.

Edwards' preaching became unpopular. For four years, no candidate presented himself for admission to the church, and when one did, in 1748, he was met with Edwards's formal but mild and gentle tests, as expressed in the Distinguishing Marks and later in Qualifications for Full Communion (1749). The candidate refused to submit to them, the church backed him, and the break between the church and Edwards was complete. Even permission to discuss his views in the pulpit was refused him. He was allowed to present his views on Thursday afternoons. His sermons were well attended by visitors, but not his own congregation. A council was convened to decide the communion matter between the minister and his people. The congregation chose half the council, and Edwards was allowed to select the other half of the council. His congregation, however, limited his selection to one county where the majority of the ministers were against him. The ecclesiastical council voted that the pastoral relation be dissolved. The church members, by a vote of more than 200 to 23, ratified the action of the council, and finally a town meeting voted that Edwards should not be allowed to occupy the Northampton pulpit, though he continued to live in the town and preach in the church by the request of the congregation until October 1751. He evinced no rancour or spite; his "Farewell Sermon" was dignified and temperate; he preached from 2 Cor. 1:14 and directed the thoughts of his people to that far future when the minister and his people would stand before God; nor is it to be ascribed to chagrin that in a letter to Scotland after his dismissal he expresses his preference for Presbyterian to Congregational church government. His position at the time was not unpopular throughout New England; his doctrine that the Lord's Supper is not a cause of regeneration and that communicants should be professing Christians has since (very largely through the efforts of his pupil Joseph Bellamy) become a standard of New England Congregationalism.

Edwards, with his large family, was now thrown upon the world, but offers of aid quickly came to him. A parish in Scotland could have been procured, and he was called to a Virginia church. He declined both, to become, in 1750, pastor of the church in Stockbridge and a missionary to the Housatonic Indians. To the Indians, he preached through an interpreter, and their interests he boldly and successfully defended by attacking the whites who were using their official positions among them to increase their private fortunes. In Stockbridge, he wrote the Humble Relation, also called Reply to Williams (1752), which was an answer to Solomon Williams (1700–1776), a relative and a bitter opponent of Edwards as to the qualifications for full communion; and he there composed the treatises on which his reputation as a philosophical theologian chiefly rests, the essay on Original Sin, the Dissertation Concerning the Nature of True Virtue, the Dissertation Concerning the End for which God created the World, and the great work on the Will, written in four months and a half, and published in 1754 under the title, An Inquiry into the Modern Prevailing Notions Respecting that Freedom of the Will which is supposed to be Essential to Moral Agency.

In 1757, on the death of the Reverend Aaron Burr, who five years before had married Edwards' daughter Esther and was the father of future US vice-president Aaron Burr, he reluctantly agreed to replace his late son-in-law as the president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), where he was installed on February 16, 1758.

Almost immediately after becoming president, he was inoculated for smallpox, which was raging in Princeton, New Jersey. Never in robust health, he died of the inoculation on March 22, 1758. He was buried in Princeton Cemetery. Edwards had three sons and eight daughters.

Legacy

The followers of Jonathan Edwards and his disciples came to be known as the New Light Calvinist ministers, as opposed to the traditional Old Light Calvinist ministers. Prominent disciples included Samuel Hopkins, Joseph Bellamy, Jonathan Edwards's son Jonathan Edwards Jr. and Gideon Hawley. Through a practice of apprentice ministers living in the homes of older ministers, they eventually filled a large number of pastorates in the New England area. Many of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards's descendants became prominent citizens in the United States, including the Vice President Aaron Burr and the College Presidents Timothy Dwight, Jonathan Edwards Jr. and Merrill Edwards Gates. Jonathan and Sarah Edwards were also ancestors of the First Lady Edith Roosevelt, the writer O. Henry, the publisher Frank Nelson Doubleday and the writer Robert Lowell.

Edwards's writings and beliefs continue to influence individuals and groups to this day. Early American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions missionaries were influenced by Edwards' writings, as is evidenced in reports in the ABCFM's journal "The Missionary Herald," and beginning with Perry Miller's seminal work, Edwards enjoyed a renaissance among scholars after the end of the Second World War. The Banner of Truth Trust and other publishers continue to reprint Edwards's works, and most of his major works are now available through the series published by Yale University Press, which has spanned three decades and supplies critical introductions by the editor of each volume. Yale has also established the Jonathan Edwards Project online. Author and teacher, Elisabeth Woodbridge Morris, memorialized him, her paternal ancestor (3rd great grandfather) in two books, The Jonathon Papers (1912), and More Jonathon Papers (1915). In 1933, he became the namesake of Jonathan Edwards College, one of the first of the twelve residential colleges of Yale.

Edwards is commemorated as a teacher and missionary by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on March 22.

[The following was downloaded 2010 from a history of Stockbridge at http://www.berkshireweb.com/plexus/eminent/index.html]

Jonathan Edwards, in the frontier parsonage built by Sergeant on The Plain, doubtless found sermonizing to the Indians an awkward task, and spent far more congenial hours on Original Sin than expostulating through his interpreter, John Wouwanonpequunount, to a people of "barbarous and barren tongue." Edwards's heart was bound up in marvellous metaphysics which he squared and multiplied in Stockbridge's laurel-lined forest lanes, subsequently pouring out his soul on paper in his famous little room, measuring scarcely a man's length, but broad enough to hold Freedom of the Will. The Doctor's study, is marked by a sun-dial on the present Caldwell estate on Stockbridge Street. The Edwardses rejoiced in living "in peace," after unhappy controversies which had driven them from Northampton, and Dr. Edwards writes to his father at Fast Windsor," The Indians are very much, pleased with my family, especially with my wife" (the beautiful Sarah Pierpont of New Haven, great-great-granddaughter of Thomas Hooker).

The daughters eked out the pastor's salary (6,3s. 4d. "lawful money, " and twenty-five loads of wood from his white congregation, also eighty sleigh-loads of wood from the Indians) by embroidering and painting fans for Boston domes thus Esther Edwards earned her wedding outfit, and the village was in a buzz of excitement when the rather elderly Rev. Aaron Burr arrived to carry away his youthful and lovely bride. On the Thanksgiving Day when the first grandchild, Aaron, was brought home there was unusual festivity at the Edwards house. As a lad, Aaron often tarried in Stockbridge at the home of his uncle, Deacon Timothy Edwards.

The fascinating and wayward blade Colonel Aaron Burr, who would fain conquer every feminine heart, even daring to coquette with Dorothy Q., after she was promised to John Hancock, was of a fibre unlike his grandfather's household. Our well-beloved Donald Mitchell has flung the high lights of a sweet humor across that gray homespun age when the rod was not spared, and domestic life ran by rule at the homestead on Stockbridge Street. Jonathan Edwards was "rigid with the Westminster Assembly's Shorter Catechism on every Saturday evening, never al lowing his boys out of doors after nine o'clock at night: and if any suitor of his daughters tarried beyond that hour he was mildly but peremptorily informed that it was time to lock up the house. Among those suitors . . . was a Mr. Burr, who came to be President of the College of New Jersey at Princeton, and whose son, Aaron Burr--grandson of the Doctor-had, in later days, a way of staying out- after nine". -------------------- From http://home.earthlink.net/~herblst/tuttle_family.htm:

Notes for JONATHAN EDWARDS: Colleague pastor of the Church in Horthampton, Mass. Rev. Jonathan Edwards died about six weeks after his installation as President of the Union College, in Princeton N.J., where he succeeded his son-in-law. The Encyclopedia Britannica describes him as "the most distinguished metaphysician and divine of America." John Fisk says: "Jonathan Edwards was one of the wonders of the world, probably the greatest intelligence that the Western Hemisphere had yet seen." Jonathan Edwards was capable in his sermons of producing so great pain to the quick sensibilities of his hearers that during his discourses the house would be filled with weeping and wailing auditors; on one occasion another minister present is said to have cried out in his agony, "Oh! Mr. Edwards! is God not a God of mercy?" This celebrated preacher succeeded the elder Burr, who died in September, 1757, in the presidency of Princeton college, but he did not take his seat until in February of the following year. Mr. Edwards held the position scarcely a month, dying while undergoing inoculation for the smallpox. He has been called the turning point in the spiritual existence of the congregations of the last century. -------------------- From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Edwards_(theologian)

Jonathan Edwards (theologian)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jonathan Edwards

Born October 5, 1703(1703-10-05)[1] East Windsor, Connecticut

Died March 22, 1758(1758-03-22) (aged 54)[1] Princeton, New Jersey

Occupation Pastor, theologian, and missionary

Spouse Sarah Pierpont[2]


Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) was a preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans. Edwards "is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian,"[3] and one of America's greatest intellectuals.[4] Edwards's theological work is very broad in scope, but he is often associated with his defense of Reformed theology, the metaphysics of theological determinism, and the Puritan heritage. Recent studies have emphasized how thoroughly Edwards grounded his life's work on conceptions of beauty, harmony, and ethical fittingness, and how central The Enlightenment was to his mindset.[5]

Edwards played a very critical role in shaping the First Great Awakening, and oversaw some of the first fires of revival in 1733–1735 at his church in Northampton, Massachusetts.[6] Edwards delivered the sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", a classic of early American literature, during another wave of revival in 1741, following George Whitefield's tour of the Thirteen Colonies.[7] Edwards is widely known for his many books: The End For Which God Created the World; The Life of David Brainerd, which served to inspire thousands of missionaries throughout the nineteenth century; and Religious Affections, which many Reformed Evangelicals read even today.[8]

Edwards died from a smallpox inoculation shortly after beginning the presidency at the College of New Jersey (later to be named Princeton University), and was the grandfather of Aaron Burr.[9]

Early life

Jonathan Edwards, born on October 5, 1703, was the son of Timothy Edwards (1668–1759), a minister at East Windsor, Connecticut (modern day South Windsor) who eked out his salary by tutoring boys for college. His mother, Esther Stoddard, daughter of the Rev. Solomon Stoddard, of Northampton, Massachusetts, seems to have been a woman of unusual mental gifts and independence of character.[10]

Jonathan, their only son, was the fifth of eleven children. He was trained for college by his father and by his elder sisters, all of whom received an excellent education. When ten years old, he wrote a semi-humorous tract on the immateriality of the soul.

He entered Yale College in 1716, at just under the age of thirteen. In the following year, he became acquainted with John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, which influenced him profoundly. During his college studies, he kept note books labelled "The Mind," "Natural Science" (containing a discussion of the atomic theory), "The Scriptures" and "Miscellanies," had a grand plan for a work on natural and mental philosophy, and drew up for himself rules for its composition. He was interested in natural history and, at the age of seventeen, wrote a remarkable essay on the habits of the "flying spider."[11] Even before his graduation in September 1720, as valedictorian and head of his class, he seems to have had a well formulated philosophy. He spent two years after his graduation in New Haven studying theology.[12]


A Faithful Narrative of the Surprizing Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton, by Jonathan Edwards, published in London, 1737In 1722 to 1723, he was, for eight months, "stated supply" (a clergyman employed to supply a pulpit for a definite time, but not settled as a pastor) of a small Presbyterian Church in New York City. The church invited him to remain, but he declined the call. After spending two months in study at home, in 1724–1726, he was one of the two tutors at Yale, earning for himself the name of a "pillar tutor", from his steadfast loyalty to the college and its orthodox teaching, at the time when Yale's rector (Timothy Cutler) and one of her tutors had gone over to the Anglican Church.[13]

The years, 1720 to 1726, are partially recorded in his diary and in the resolutions for his own conduct which he drew up at this time. He had long been an eager seeker after salvation and was not fully satisfied as to his own conversion until an experience in his last year in college, when he lost his feeling that the election of some to salvation and of others to eternal damnation was "a horrible doctrine," and reckoned it "exceedingly pleasant, bright and sweet." He now took a great and new joy in the beauties of nature, and delighted in the allegorical interpretation of the Song of Solomon. Balancing these mystic joys is the stern tone of his Resolutions, in which he is almost ascetic in his eagerness to live earnestly and soberly, to waste no time, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.[13]

On February 15, 1727, Edwards was ordained minister at Northampton and assistant to his grandfather, Solomon Stoddard. He was a scholar-pastor, not a visiting pastor, his rule being thirteen hours of study a day. In the same year, he married Sarah Pierpont. Then seventeen, Sarah was from a storied New England clerical family: her father was James Pierpont (1659–1714), the head founder of Yale College, and her mother was the great-granddaughter of Thomas Hooker.[14] Sarah's spiritual devotion was without peer, and her relationship with God had long proved an inspiration to Edwards—he first remarked on her great piety when she was a mere 13 years old.[15] She was of a bright and cheerful disposition, a practical housekeeper, a model wife and the mother of his eleven children, who included Esther Edwards. Solomon Stoddard died on February 11, 1729, leaving to his grandson the difficult task of the sole ministerial charge of one of the largest and wealthiest congregations in the colony, and one proud of its morality, its culture and its reputation.[13]

Great Awakening

On July 7, 1731, Edwards preached in Boston the "Public Lecture" afterwards published under the title "God Glorified — in Man's Dependence," which was his first public attack on Arminianism. The emphasis of the lecture was on God's absolute sovereignty in the work of salvation: that while it behooved God to create man pure and without sin, it was of his "good pleasure" and "mere and arbitrary grace" for him to grant any person the faith necessary to incline him or her toward holiness; and that God might deny this grace without any disparagement to any of his character.

In 1733, a religious revival began in Northampton and reached such intensity in the winter of 1734 and the following spring as to threaten the business of the town. In six months, nearly three hundred were admitted to the church. The revival gave Edwards an opportunity for studying the process of conversion in all its phases and varieties, and he recorded his observations with psychological minuteness and discrimination in A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton (1737). A year later, he published Discourses on Various Important Subjects, the five sermons which had proved most effective in the revival, and of these, none, he tells us, was so immediately effective as that on the Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners, from the text, "That every mouth may be stopped." Another sermon, published in 1734, on the Reality of Spiritual Light set forth what he regarded as the inner, moving principle of the revival, the doctrine of a special grace in the immediate, and supernatural divine illumination of the soul.

By 1735, the revival had spread—and popped up independently—across the Connecticut River Valley, and perhaps as far as New Jersey.[16] However, criticism of the revival began, and many New Englanders feared that Edwards had led his flock into fanaticism.[17] Over the summer of 1735, religious fervor took a dark turn. A number of New Englanders were shaken by the revivals but not converted, and became convinced of their inexorable damnation. Edwards wrote that "multitudes" felt urged—presumably by Satan—to take their own lives.[18] At least two people committed suicide in the depths of their spiritual duress, one from Edwards's own congregation—his uncle, Joseph Hawley II. It is not known if any others took their own lives, but the suicide craze effectively ended the first wave of revival, except in some parts of Connecticut.[19]

However, despite these setbacks and the cooling of religious fervor, word of the Northampton revival and Edwards's leadership role had spread as far as England and Scotland. It was at this time that Edwards was acquainted with George Whitefield, who was traveling the Thirteen Colonies on a revival tour in 1739–1740. The two men may not have seen eye to eye on every detail—Whitefield was far more comfortable with the strongly emotional elements of revival than Edwards was—but they were both passionate about preaching the Gospel.They worked together to orchestrate Whitefield's trip, first through Boston, and then to Northampton. When Whitefield preached at Edwards's church in Northampton, he reminded them of the revival they had experienced just a few years before.[20] This deeply touched Edwards, who wept throughout the entire service, and much of the congregation too was moved. Revival began to spring up again, and it was at this time that Edwards preached his most famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in Enfield, Connecticut in 1741. This sermon has been widely reprinted as an example of "fire and brimstone" preaching in the colonial revivals, though the majority of Edwards's sermons were not this dramatic. Indeed, he used this style deliberately. As historian George Marsden put it, "Edwards could take for granted...that a New England audience knew well the Gospel remedy. The problem was getting them to seek it."[21]


Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God, A Sermon Preached at Enfield, July 8, 1741, by Rev. Jonathan Edwards. Published at Boston, 1741The movement met with opposition from conservative Congregationalist ministers. In 1741, Edwards published in its defense The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, dealing particularly with the phenomena most criticized: the swoonings, outcries and convulsions. These "bodily effects," he insisted, were not distinguishing marks of the work of the Spirit of God one way or another; but so bitter was the feeling against the revival in the more strictly Puritan churches that, in 1742, he was forced to write a second apology, Thoughts on the Revival in New England, his main argument being the great moral improvement of the country. In the same pamphlet, he defends an appeal to the emotions, and advocates preaching terror when necessary, even to children, who in God's sight "are young vipers… if not Christ's." He considers "bodily effects" incidental to the real work of God, but his own mystic devotion and the experiences of his wife during the Awakening (which he gives in detail) make him think that the divine visitation usually overpowers the body, a view in support of which he quotes Scripture. In reply to Edwards, Charles Chauncy wrote Seasonable Thoughts on the State of Religion in New England in 1743 and anonymously penned The Late Religious Commotions in New England Considered in the same year. In these works he urged conduct as the sole test of conversion; and the general convention of Congregational ministers in the Province of Massachusetts Bay protested "against disorders in practice which have of late obtained in various parts of the land."

In spite of Edwards's able pamphlet, the impression had become widespread that "bodily effects" were recognized by the promoters of the Great Awakening as the true tests of conversion. To offset this feeling, Edwards preached at Northampton, during the years 1742 and 1743, a series of sermons published under the title of Religious Affections (1746), a restatement in a more philosophical and general tone of his ideas as to "distinguishing marks." In 1747, he joined the movement started in Scotland called the "concert in prayer," and in the same year published An Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God's People in Extraordinary Prayer for the Revival of Religion and the Advancement of Christ's Kingdom on Earth. In 1749, he published a memoir of David Brainerd who had lived with his family for several months and had died at Northampton in 1747. Brainerd had been constantly attended by Edwards's daughter Jerusha, to whom he was rumored to have been engaged to be married, though there is no surviving evidence for this. In the course of elaborating his theories of conversion Edwards used Brainerd and his

view all 22

Rev. Jonathan Edwards's Timeline

1688
1688
Reverend
1703
October 5, 1703
East Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony, (present USA)
1727
July 28, 1727
Age 23
New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut Colony
1728
August 25, 1728
Age 24
Northampton, Hampshire, MA
1730
April 26, 1730
Age 26
Northampton, Hampshire, Massachusetts, USA
1732
February 13, 1732
Age 28
Northampton, MA, USA
1734
April 7, 1734
Age 30
Northampton, Hampshire, Massachusetts
1736
August 31, 1736
Age 32
Northampton, Hampshire, MA, USA
1738
July 25, 1738
Age 34
Northampton, Hampshire, Massachusetts, USA
1740
June 20, 1740
Age 36
Northampton, Hampshire, MD