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Book Title: The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2: Religious Affections|
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The author of the book: Jonathan Edwards
Edition: Yale University Press
Date of issue: August 25th 2009
ISBN 13: 9780300158410
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This volume contains Edwards’ most mature and persistent attempt to judge the validity of the religious development in eighteenth-century America known as the Great Awakening. In developing criteria for such judgment he attacked at the same time one of the fundamental questions facing all religion: how to distinguish genuine from spurious piety? The Awakening created much bitter controversy; on the one side stood the emotionalists and enthusiasts, and on the other the rationalists, for whom religion was essentially a matter of morality or good conduct and the acceptance of properly formulated doctrine. Edwards, with great analytical skill and enormous biblical learning, showed that both sides were in the wrong. He attacked both a “lifeless morality” as too pale as to be the essence of religion, and he rejected the excesses of a purely emotional religion more concerned for sensational effects than for the inner transformation of the self, which was, for him, the center of genuine Christianity.
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Read information about the authorLibrarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database named Solomon Stoddard. He was a student minister, not a visiting pastor, his rule being thirteen hours of study a day. In the same year, he married Sarah Pierpont, then age seventeen, daughter of Yale founder James Pierpont (1659–1714). In total, Jonathan and Sarah had eleven children.
Stoddard died on February 11th, 1729, leaving to his grandson the difficult task of the sole ministerial charge of one of the largest and wealthiest congregations in the colony. Throughout his time in Northampton his preaching brought remarkable religious revivals.
Yet, tensions flamed as Edwards would not continue his grandfather's practice of open communion. Stoddard believed that communion was a "converting ordinance." Surrounding congregations had been convinced of this, and as Edwards became more convinced that this was harmful, his public disagreement with the idea caused his dismissal in 1750.
Edwards then moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, then a frontier settlement, where he ministered to a small congregation and served as missionary to the Housatonic Indians. There, having more time for study and writing, he completed his celebrated work, The Freedom of the Will (1754).
Edwards was elected president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in early 1758. He was a popular choice, for he had been a friend of the College since its inception. He died of fever at the age of fifty-four following experimental inoculation for smallpox and was buried in the President's Lot in the Princeton cemetery beside his son-in-law, Aaron Burr.