Edwards delivered the sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", a classic of early American literature, during another revival in 1741, following George Whitefield's tour of the Thirteen Colonies. Edwards is well 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 19th century, and Religious Affections, which many Reformed Evangelicals still read today.
Jonathan Edwards was the only boy among eleven children. In 1720 he graduated from Yale as the valedictorian of his class. He continued at Yale working on a graduate degree in theology and was saved at the age of seventeen. 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 the church. 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. In 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 tuberculosis. 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.
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