Edwards, Jonathan, an American theologian; born in East Windsor, Conn., Oct. 5, 1703. Jonathan entered Yale College in September, 1716, and after taking his degree in 1720, remained nearly two years at Yale, preparing for the ministry. In September, 1723, he was elected a tutor in Yale, and in the following year began to act in that capacity, but resigned the post in 1726, in order to become minister at Northampton, Mass., where he was ordained Feb. 15, 1727. His various sermons and disquisitions procured for him a wide reputation. His "Treatise on Religious Affections" was republished in England and Scotland, and won a place for him among the first writers of his sect.
After more than 23 years in Northampton he accepted a call to serve as a missionary among the Indians at Stockbridge, Mass. Here he remained six years, exerting himself with an apostolic spirit, and here he composed his famous works on the "Freedom of the Will," and on "Original Sin." In 1757 he was chosen president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), and accepted with reluctance owing to his desire to accomplish two great literary enterprises which he had begun long before -- a "History of the Work of Redemption," and a "View of the Harmony of the Old and New Testaments." In January, 1758, he went to Princeton, where he died March, 1758.
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Edwards, Jonathan,, the younger, the second son of the preceding; was born at Northampton, Mass., in 1745. He graduated at Princeton in 1765, and after serving as pastor in several Connecticut churches, became president of Union College, Schenectady, N. Y. He was the founder of the "New England theory of the Atonement." He died in 1801.
Entries from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.