Jonathan Edwards: An Unusual Man

He entered Yale at age 14. He said “[I wish] to lie low before God, as in the dust; that I might be nothing, and that God might be all, that I might become as a little child.”

In 1734 Edwards’s preaching on justification by faith sparked a different sort of devotion: a spiritual revival broke out in his parish. It was not due to theatrics. One observer wrote, “He scarcely gestured or even moved, and he made no attempt by the elegance of his style or the beauty of his pictures to gratify the taste and fascinate the imagination.” Instead he convinced “with overwhelming weight of argument and with such intenseness of feeling.”

During the Great Awakening, Edwards contributed perhaps the most famous sermon in American history, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Unfortunately it has since cast Edwards as an emotional and judgmental revivalist, when in fact he preached it as dispassionately as any of his sermons. His Congregation ousted him in 1750 apparently over Edwards insisting that only those that had had a personal conversion and could give a description of it could take the communion.

He would get up at 4:00am everyday and study for 13hrs.

He served as the president of The College of New Jersey, which later became Princeton. He died shortly after taking the position of smallpox vaccination at the age of 55.

[1] Galli, M., & Olsen, T. (2000). 131 Christians everyone should know (43). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[1] Galli, M., & Olsen, T. (2000). 131 Christians everyone should know (44). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[1] Galli, M., & Olsen, T. (2000). 131 Christians everyone should know (44). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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