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The New Zealand Evangelist



The same parental kindness and wisdom, which under God guided the mind of Jonathan Edwards to the knowledge and love of things eternal, were also much discovered in the direction of his powers to useful objects of earthly science. When only six years of age, the study of the Latin language engaged his attention, under the care of his father, and occasionally that of his elder sisters. The whole family appear to have practised English composition and used the pen to a great extent. This course, though rarely pursued with children, is evidently advantageous, and in the case before us was obviously followed with the best results. He was educated until he entered college, at home, and under his father's personal instruction, while his elder sisters were daily pursuing their respective branches of study in his immediate presence.

At the age of 13 he entered Yale College in New Haven.—While a member of College he was distinguished for the uniform sobriety and correctness of his behaviour, for diligent application to his studies, and for rapid and thorough attainments in learning. Even while a boy, he began to study with his pen in his hand, not for the purpose of copying off the thoughts of others, but for the purpose of writing down and preserving the thoughts suggested to his own mind from the course of study he was pursuing.

At the age of 19 he was licensed to preach the Gospel. When 20 he took the degree of Master of Arts and was elected a tutor in the College. The duties of this office he discharged for upwards of two years with great success. In 1727, in his 26th year, he was ordained as a minister of the Gospel, and placed over the Church and congregation of Northampton, as a colleague to his maternal grandfather, the Rev. S. Stoddard. A few months after his ordination Mr. Edwards was married to Miss Sarah Pierrepont, the daughter of the Rev. John Pierrepont, of New Haven. She was a young lady of uncommon beauty; in her manners she was page 87 gentle and courteous, amiable in her behaviour, and the law of kindness appeared to govern all her conversation and behaviour.—She was also a rare example of early piety, and continued through life to increase more and more in holiness. They had eleven children; three sons and eight daughters.