Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) was the one of the foremost religious figures of early America. Born into a family of influential New England Puritans, Edwards was educated at Yale. Upon the death of his grandfather Solomon Stoddard in 1729, Edwards became a congregational leader at Northampton, Massachusetts, where his sermons became increasingly focused on religious revival and conversion. In 1737, he published A Faithful Narrative of the Suprising Work of God, an account of “remarkable conversions” in Northampton. In July 1741, soon after George Whitefield’s preaching tour of New England, Edwards gave his most famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, warning against the “torments of Hell” and urging acceptance of Christ. Edwards spent the 1740s championing the revival and clashing with Boston church leaders as well as with other revivalists, and in 1750 was dismissed from his post in Northampton. Edwards continued writing about religious experience and responsibility until his death in 1758.

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