He entered Yale College at age 13 and graduated with honors. He became a pastor, and his sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God,” started the Great Awakening, a revival involving numerous preachers which swept America, uniting the colonies prior to the Revolution.
His name was Jonathan Edwards and he was born OCTOBER 5, 1703.
Jonathan Edwards’ wife, Sarah Pierrepont Edwards, wrote to her brother in New Haven of the effect of Great Awakening preacher George Whitefield:
It is wonderful to see what a spell he casts over an audience by proclaiming the simplest truths of the Bible….Our mechanics shut up their shops, and the day laborers throw down their tools to go and hear him preach, and few return unaffected.
Jonathan Edwards became President of Princeton College.
In A History of the Work of Redemption, 1739, Jonathan Edwards wrote:
Those mighty kingdoms of Antichrist and Mohammed…have trampled the world under foot..(and) swallowed up the Ancient Roman Empire…Satan’s Mohometan kingdom swallowing up the Eastern Empire.
Jonathan Edwards resolved:
Never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
Illustrating the priority Jonathan and Sarah Edwards placed on training their children, A.E. Winship’s A Study in Education and Heredity (1900), revealed the Edwards’ descendants included:
1 U.S. Vice-President,
3 U.S. Senators,
13 college presidents,
80 public office holders,
100 lawyers and
This same study examined a family known as “Jukes.”
In 1877, while visiting New York’s prisons, Richard Dugdale found inmates with 42 different last names all descending from one man, called “Max.” Born around 1720 of Dutch stock, Max was a hard drinker, idle, irreverent and uneducated.
Max’s descendants included:
50 women of debauchery,
130 other convicts.
310 paupers, who, combined spent 2,300 years in poorhouses, and
400 physically wrecked by indulgent living.
The “Jukes” descendants cost the state more than $1,250,000.
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.