American Minute with Bill Federer MAR. 22 - 'If our religion were gone, our state of society would perish with it...' - Yale President Timothy Dwight
American Minute with Bill Federer
MAR. 22 - 'If our religion were gone, our state of society would perish with it...' - Yale President Timothy Dwight
On MARCH 22, 1758, Princeton University President Jonathan Edwards died from a smallpox inoculation.
He had been the valedictorian of his class at Yale.
He was ordained in 1727 as a minister in Northampton, Massachusetts, serving as assistant to his grandfather Solomon Stoddard.
That same year, Jonathan Edwards married Sarah Pierpont, whose father, James Pierpont, was the founder of Yale University.
Sarah's great-grandfather was Thomas Hooker who founded Connecticut.
Rev. George Whitefield preached in Jonathan Edwards' church during a revival tour in 1739-1740.
In 1741, Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon, "Sinners in the hands of an angry God" which began the Great Awakening, a revival so widespread history credits it with uniting the colonies prior to the Revolution.
Of the revival, Jonathan Edwards wrote:
"God made it, I suppose, the greatest occasion of awakening to others, of anything that ever came to pass in the town.
I have had abundant opportunity to know the effect it had, by my private conversation with many.
news of it seemed to be almost like a flash of lighting upon the hearts
of young people all over the town, and upon many others."
Ben Franklin wrote of the awakening:
was wonderful to see...From being thoughtless or indifferent...it
seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not
walk thro' the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung