The New Zealand Evangelist
Rev. Jonathan Edwards, A.M
Rev. Jonathan Edwards, A.M.
President Of Princetown College, New Jersey, United States.
The following brief sketch of the life of President Edwards,—the most eminent divine that America ever produced, according to the testimony of the late Dr. Chalmers,—is extracted and abridged from the deeply interesting and copious Memoirs of his life, written by his descendant Sereno E. Dwight, and prefixed to a late edition of his works:—
Jonathan Edwards was born on the 5th of October, 1703, at Windsor, on the banks of the Connecticut. His father, the Rev. Timothy Edwards, was minister of that place about 60 years. He died in 1758, in the 89th year of his age, not two months before this his only son. He was a man of great piety and usefulness. He married Esther Stoddard, daughter of the reverend and celebrated Solomon Stoddard, of Northampton. They lived together in the married state above 63 years. Mrs. Edwards survived her husband 12 years, she died in 1770, in the 99th year of her age, and retained her mental faculties until the close of her life. In strength of character she resembled her father, and like him she left behind her, in the place where she resided for 76 years, that “good name which is better than precious ointment.” She received a superior education in Boston, was tall, dignified, and commanding in her appearance, affable and gentle in her manners, and was regarded as surpassing her husband in native vigor of understanding. She was possessed of remarkable judgment and prudence, of an exact sense of propriety, of extensive information, of a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures and theology, and of singular conscientiousness, piety, and excellence of character. In her latter years she was regarded with a respect bordering on veneration. Such was the mother of Jonathan Edwards. His father was regarded as a man of more than usual learning. He was well aequainted with Hebrew literature, and was particularly distinguished for his accurate knowledge of the Greek and Roman classics. He was for that period unusually liberal and enlightened with regard to the education of his children; preparing not only his son but each of his ten daughters so as to be fit for College. When his daughters were of the proper age he sent them to Boston to finish their education. Both he and Mrs. Edwards were exemplary in the care of their religious instructions; and as the reward of their parental fidelity, were permitted to see the fruits of piety in them all during their youth.