From the Archives: The Earliest Known Letter of Jonathan Edwards

Windsor May 10, 1716

Dear Sister,

Through the wonderful mercy and goodness of God there hath in this place been a verry remarkable stirring and pouring out of the Spirrit of God, and likewise now is but I think I have reason to think it is in some mesure diminished but I hope not much. About thirteen have been joyned to the church in an estate of full communion.

These are those which by enquiry I find you have not heard of that have joynd to the church, viz; John Huntington, Sarah Loomas the daughter of Thomas Loomas, and Esther Elsworth. And their are five that are propounded which ave not added to the church, namely, John Loomas, John Rockwell’s wife, Serg’t Thomas Elsworth’s wife, Isaac Bessel’s wife, and Mary Osband I think there comes commonly a Mondays above thirty persons to speak with Father about the condition of their souls.

It is a time of general health in this place. There has five persons died in this place since you have been gone, viz, Old Goodwife Grant and Benjamin Bancraft who was drowned in a boat many rods from shore wherein four young women and many others of the other sex, which were verry remarkably saved, and the two others which died I suppose you have heard of, Margaret Peck of the New Town who was once Margaret Stiles hath lost a sucking babe who died very suddenly and was burried in this place

Abagail Hannah and Lucy have had the chicken pox and are recovered but Jerusha has it now but is almost well.

I myself sometimes am much troubled with the tooth ack but these two or three last days I have not been troubled with it but verry little as far as I know the whole family is well except Jerusha

Sister I am glad to hear of your welfare so often as I do I should be glad to hear from you by a letter and therein hope it is with you as to your crookedness

Your Loving Brother Jonathan E

Father and Mother remember their love unto you. Likewise do all my sisters and Mercy and Tim.

By Jonathan Edwards

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #8 in 1985]

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