A Short Reflection on Edwards' Future Wife

Biographical Writings of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

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Apostrophe To Sarah Pierrepont by Jonathan Edwards

They met in 1723 in New Haven, Connecticut, when Edwards was twenty years old, a graduate student and tutor at Yale. Sarah was then thirteen years old, and she was the daughter of James Pierrepont, the mighty minister of the New Haven church. One of her great-grandfathers had been Thomas Hooker, and another had been the first mayor of New York City. Hers was an impeccable social background and Sarah’s burnished manners matched her breeding. When the gawky Edwards first met Sarah, he scared her. Unusually tall, in an era when men tended to be short of stature; abstemious in a society of jolly drinkers; intense and studious, Edwards made an awkward beau. Looking on as Sarah would shine in social situations, Edwards would be conscious of his own shortcomings, and would go home to admonish himself in his journal with such entries as “Have lately erred, in not allowing time enough for conversation.” When he went home to East Windsor, Connecticut at the end of the school term, he was supposed to be studying for his M.A. degree. He had a great deal of studying to do, but the usually focused Edwards found that his mind was wandering. In the front page of a Greek grammar, he wrote the famous digression to his future wife:

“They say there is a young lady in New Haven who is beloved of that almighty Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight, and that she hardly cares for anything, except to meditate on him — that she expects after a while to be received up where he is, to be raised up out of the world and caught up into heaven; being assured that he loves her too well to let her remain at a distance from him always. There she is to dwell with him, and to be ravished with his love and delight forever. Therefore, if you present all the world before her, with the richest of its treasures, she disregards it and cares not for it, and is unmindful of any pain or affliction. She has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular purity in her affections; is most just and conscientious in all her actions; and you could not persuade her to do anything wrong or sinful, if you would give her all the world, lest she should offend this great Being. She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness and universal benevolence of mind; especially after those seasons in which this great God has manifested himself to her mind. She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly; and seems to be always of joy and pleasure; and no one knows for what. She loves to be alone, and to wander in the fields and on the mountains, and seems to have someone invisible always conversing with her.”

Consider the following two works by Edwards that have been updated and republished for easy reading:

Ripe for Damnation: Sermons on the Book of Revelation – by Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758). Are you hungry for more of Edwards’ sermons? On the book of Revelation? These new works are not found anywhere on A Puritan’s Mind, and there are new ones not found in his large 2 volume works. 4 deal with the plight of the wicked, and 2 deal with the bliss of saints in heaven. These sermons are powerful, practical, and biblical, glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ, and contain 2 never before published sermons.

Justification by Faith Alone – by Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758). In this classic work, Edwards covers the intricacies of how believers are made righteous only through Christ’s merits, and that this justifying righteousness is equally imputed to all elect believers. This is accomplished by the condition of faith as an instrument.

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