1703 - 1758
of misery, that lake of brimstone, is extended abroad under you. There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath
of God...and you have nothing to stand upon...; there is nothing between you and Hell but the air."-from "Sinners in the Hands
of an Angry God""
Jonathan Edwards was the only boy among eleven children. In 1720 he graduated from Yale as the
valedictorian of his class. He was saved that same year at the age of seventeen. He continued at Yale working on a graduate
degree in theology.
Edwards was ordained in 1727 and joined his grandfather as an assistant pastor. In 1729 he became
pastor of the church in Northampton, Massachusetts, which had some six hundred members.
In 1735 God's blessing on his preaching resulted in a great revival with more than three hundred people saved and added to
Edwards is considered to be one of the men most responsible for the Great Awakening. His famous sermon,
"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," was first preached in 1741 at Enfield,
Massachusetts. In 1750 Edwards was voted out by his church after his attempt
to limit church membership to those who made a profession of faith in Christ. He spent the next seven years as a missionary
to the Indians at Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
1758 he accepted the presidency of the College of New Jersey
(now called Princeton). After just weeks on the job, he died from smallpox brought on by
an inoculation to protect him from the disease. Jonathan Edwards and his wife had eleven children. He spent one hour each
night in conversation and instruction with his family. His daughter Jerusha was engaged to David Brainerd when he died of
Edwards' two most famous literary works are The Life and Diary of David Brainerd (1749) and Freedom
of the Will (1754).
Edwards is buried in Princeton, New Jersey.