Jonathan Edwards

JONATHAN EDWARDS (1703–1758) was America’s greatest theologian. He was born in East Windsor, CT. His father, Timothy Edwards, as a pastor, and his mother, Esther, was the daughter of Rev. Solomon Stoddard. Jonathan was an only son with ten sisters. 

He was a very intelligent child, and entered Yale College just before his 13th birthday. After his education he became the minister of the Church in Northampton, MA. A few years later, in 1734, an awakening occurred in his congregation. In 1740 the Great Awakening swept across New England, and as many as 50,000 people were awakened to Christ and joined churches. 

Edwards later served as a missionary to Indians at Stockbridge, MA. He wrote around 1,000 sermons, as well as various important works on the Bible and theology, which are still studied today. 

Jonathan and his wife Sarah had eleven children. Their happy home-life was a model to all who visited. Edwards died during a smallpox epidemic soon after moving to New Jersey to become president of the College of New Jersey, later renamed Princeton University.

By the Editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #23 in 1989]

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