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The following interesting particulars of the ancestors of Jonathan Edwards will be acceptable to the reader. They are introduced in this separate form that the thread of the narration may not be interrupted; and this plan will be adopted for a similar reason in other instances.

The family of Edwards is of Welch origin. The Rev. Richard Edwards, the great-great-grandfather, and earliest known ancestor of President Edwards, was a clergyman in London, in the time of Queen Elizabeth. He came, according to the family tradition, from Wales to the metropolis, but in what county his family lived, or of what church in London he was minister, is not know. His wife, Mrs. Ann Edwards, after the death of her husband, married Mr. James Coles; who with her son, William Edwards, then young and unmarried, accompanied her to Hartford in Connecticut about the year 1640, where they both died.

William Edwards, Esquire, the great-grandfather, resided in Hartford, and is supposed to have been by profession a merchant. His wife, whose christian name was Agnes, and who came when a young lady with her parents to America, had two brothers in England(one the mayor of Exeter, the other the mayor of Barnstable. Their marriage occurred probably about the year 1645. It is not known whether they had more than one child.

Richard Edwards, Esquire, the grandfather, and so far as can now be ascertained, the only child of William and Agnes Edwards, was born at Hartford in May, 1647, and resided in that town during his life. 9696    See Appendix, No. II. He also was a merchant, and a man of wealth and respectability. At an early age he became a communicant in the presbyterian church in Hartford, and adorned his profession by a long life of conscientious integrity, and unusual devotedness to the prosperity of religion. He married Elizabeth Tuthill, the daughter of William and Elizabeth Tuthill, who came from Northamptonshire in England. Mr. Tuthill was a merchant of New-Haven, and one of the proprietors of the colony attempted on Delaware Bay. By this connecxion Mr. Edwards had seven children, the eldest of whom was the Rev. Timothy Edwards. After her decease, he married a Miss Talcot, of Hartford, sister of the Hon. John Talcot, by whom he had six children. He died April 20, 1718, in the 71 year of his age; exhibiting, resignation and triumphant faith.

The family of Stoddard is of English descent. Anthony Stoddard, Esquire, the maternal great-grandfather of President Edwards, and the first of the family in America, emigrated from the west of England to Boston. He had five wives; the first of whom, Mary Downing, the sister of Sir George Downing, was the mother of the Rev. Solomon Stoddard of Northampton. His other children were Anthony, Simeon, Samson, and Israel.

The Rev. Solomon Stoddard, his eldest child, and the maternal grandfather of President Edwards, was born in 1643, and received the degree of A. B. at Harvard college in 1662. Soon after his licensure, the first minister of Northampton, the Rev. Eleazar Mather, then a young man, died, 9797    Mr. Mather was ordained June 18, 1661, and died July 24, 1669. and the parish applied to one of the ministers of Boston to designate a successor. He advised them at all hazards to secure Mr. Stoddard. When the parish committee applied to him, he had already taken his passage for London, and put his effects on board the ship with the expectation of sailing the next day; but through the earnest solicitation of the gentlemen who had recommended him, he was induced to relinquish the voyage and go to Northampton. He began to preach there in 1669, soon after the death of Mr. Mather, and on the 4th of March, 1670, received a unanimous call from the church and people of that village to become their minister; but was not ordained until September 11, 1672. On the 8th of March, 1670, he married Mrs. Esther Mather, originally Miss Warham, the youngest child of Rev. John Warham, of Windsor in Connecticut, 9898    The Rev. John Warham was originally one of the ministers of Exeter. “He was distinguished for piety and the strictest morals; yet at times was subject to great religious melancholy. Such were his doubts and fears, at some times, that when he administered the Lord’s supper to his brethren, he did not participate with them, fearing that the seals of the covenant did not belong to him. It is said he was the first minister in New England who used notes in preaching; yet he was applauded by his hearers, as one of the most animated and energetic preachers of the day. He was considered as one of the principal fathers and pillars of the churches of Connecticut.” Trumbull’s Hist. of Connecticut. I. 467. and widow of his predecessor, who had left three children. Mr. and Mrs. Stoddard had twelve children; six sons and six daughters. He was a man celebrated throughout the colonies for his capacity, his knowledge of men, his influence in the churches, and his zeal for vital religion; and will long be remembered for his valuable writings, which have often been published on both sides of the Atlantic. 9999    The following is a list of the publications of the Rev. Mr. Stoddard 1. The trial of Assurance 1696. 2. The Doctrine of Instituted Churches 1700. 3. The Necessity of acknowledging Offences 1801. 4. The Danger of Degeneracy 1702. 5. Election Sermon 1703. 6. A Sermon on the Lord’s Supper, Ex. xii. 47, 48 1707. 7. A Sermon at the Ordination of the Rev. Joseph Willard of Swampfield 1708. 8. The Inexcusableness of Neglecting the Worship of God 1708. 9. The Falseness of the Hopes of many Professors 1708. 10. An Appeal to the Learned on the Lord’s Supper 1709. 11. A plea for Tythes: Divine Teachings rende, Persons blessed 1712. 12. A Guide to Christ 1714. 13. Three Sermons: The Virtue of Christ’s Blood: Natural Men under the Government of Self-love: The Gospel the Means of Conversion: and a fourth to stir up young men and maidens 1717. 14. Sermon at the Ordination of Mr. Thomas Cheney 1718. 15. Treatise concerning Conversion 1719. 16. Answer to Cases of Conscience 1722. 17. Inquiry whether God is not angry with the Country! 1723. 18. Safety of appearing in the Righteousness of Christ He was the minister of Northampton from 1672 until his death in 1729, and left impressions of a character strongly marked for originality, for talents, for energy, and for piety, on the minds of its inhabitants, which the lapse of a century has scarcely begun to diminish.

The Rev. Timothy Edwards, the father of President Edwards, was born at Hartford, May 14, 1669, and pursued his studies preparatory to his admission to college, under the Rev. Mr. Glover of Springfield, a gentleman distinguished for his classical attainments. In 1687, he entered Harvard college, at that time the only seminary in the colonies; and received the two degrees of Bachelor and Master of Arts on the same day, July 4, 1691, one in the morning, and the other in the afternoon, “an uncommon mark of respect paid to his extraordinary proficiency in learning,” such is the statement in the records of East Windsor. After the usual course of theological study, at that time longer and more thorough than it was during the latter half of the following century, he was ordained to the ministry of the gospel in the east parish of Windsor in Connecticut, in May, 1694.

ccix Windsor was the earliest settlement in that colony, the first house having been erected there in Oct. 1633. The original inhabitants came from Devonshire, Dorsetshire, and Somersetshire in England. They arrived at Boston in the beginning of the year 1630; and planted themselves at Dorchester in Massachusetts, were there formed into a congregational church on the 20th of March; when the Rev. John Warham, previously a distinguished clergyman in Exeter, but ejected as a nonconformist, was installed their pastor. Finding themselves straitened for room at that place, in consequence of the great number of emigrants from England, the church with their minister left Dorchester, and planted themselves in Windsor, in the summer of 1635. This town, lying immediately north of Hartford, and delightfully situated in the valley of Connecticut, originally comprehended a very large tract of land on both sides of the river, and is distinguished for the fertility of its soil, and the beauty of its scenery. The inhabitants constituted one parish until the year 1694; when those residing on the eastern side of the Connecticut, finding it inconvenient to cross the river, and being grown sufficiently numerous to support public worship among themselves, proceeded to build a church, which stood near to the present burying ground, and invited Mr. Timothy Edwards, son of Richard Edwards, Esquire, of Hartford to be their minister.

Mr. Edwards was married, on the 6th day of November, 1694, to Esther Stoddard, the second child of the Rev. Solomon Stoddard, who was born in 1672. His father, immediately after his settlement, purchased for him a farm of moderate extent, and built him a house, which was regarded, at the time of its erection, as a handsome residence. It was still standing in 1803; it was a solid, substantial house of moderate dimensions, had one chimney in the middle, and was entered, like all other houses at that period, by stepping over the sill. In this house his children were born, and he and Mrs. Edwards resided during their lives. They had one son and ten daughters, whose names follow in the order of their births:(Esther, Elizabeth, Anne, Mary, Jonathan, Eunice, Abigail, Jerusha, Hannah, Lucy, and Martha. 100100    See Appendix. No. III.

In the spring of 1711, Mr. Edwards and the Rev. Mr. Buckingham of Milford, were appointed by the legislature of the colony, the chaplains of the Connecticut troops in a military expedition, designed for Canada. He left Windsor for New-Haven in July. A fleet, consisting of twenty men of war and eighty transports, sailed from Canada on the 30th of that month. Three companies under the command of Lieut. Col. Livingston, marched from New-Haven for Albany on the 9th of August, with whom went Mr. Edwards and Mr. Buckingham. The country through which their march lay, was at that time chiefly uncleared; and the troops were obliged to lie out two nights in the forest. They reached Albany on the 15th, and found there, including their own regiment, about 1100 whites, and 120 Indians. The following letter, addressed to Mr. Edwards from Albany, not only details the state of the expedition, but unfolds the character of the writer, and the circumstances of his family.

“To Mrs. Ester Edwards, on the east side of Connecticut river, in Windsor.

Albany, August 17, 1711.

My dear and loving wife,

The last Wednesday we came to this place. That we might not travel too hard for the footmen of our troops, (which consisted but of half the regiment, the rest not marching out of New-Haven when we did,) we spent seven days in the journey, which Col. Livingston judges to be about 160 miles, and I am apt to think it may not be much short of it. I lay with our troops two nights in the woods. I took cold in my journey, and have something of a cough, and am otherwise not much amiss. Notwithstanding this I am able to travel, and hope I shall be so through the whole journey. Col. Livingston has been very careful of me, so that through the whole march, both as to diet and lodging, I fared as well in the main as himself. The rest of the officers and the troops carry themselves as well to me as I can expect or desire.

Here are about 1100 white men, (or will be, at least, when the rest of the regiment come up, whom we expect to-night) and 120 Indians, beside what are expected of the Five Nations, which many here think will be 1600 or 1800 men, but Col. Schuyler told me that he did not expect more than 1000. About 200 or 250 more whites are expected; so that the whole army that goes to Canada is like to be about 2500 men; to carry whom over the lake, there are provided, as I am told here, 350 batteaux and 40 or 50 bark canoes. The Governor of New York and the General are here. The General is in great haste to have the forces on their march; so that Col. Schuyler’s regiment was, as I understand, ordered to march out of town yesterday; but as I slept last night, and still am, on the east side of the river, I am uncertain whether they are yet gone. The General told Col. Livingston and me also afterwards, that we must march for Wood Creek to-morrow, but I am apt to think we shall hardly march till Monday.

Whether I shall have any time to write to you after this I know not; but however that may be, I would not have you discouraged or over anxious concerning me, for I am not so about myself. I have still strong hopes of seeing thee and our dear children once again. I cannot but hope that I have had the gracious presence of God with me since I left home, encouraging and strengthening my soul, as well as preserving my life. I have been much cheered and refreshed respecting this great undertaking, in which I verily expect to proceed, and that I shall, before many weeks are at an end, see Canada; but I trust in the Lord that he will have mercy on me, and thee, my dear, and all our dear children, and that God has more work for me to do in the place where I have dwelt for many years, and that you and I shall yet live together on earth, as well as dwell together for ever in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ, and all his saints, with whom to be is best of all.

Remember my love to each of the children, to Esther, Elizabeth, Anne, Mary, Jonathan, Eunice, and Abigail. The Lord have mercy on and eternally save them all, with our dear little Jerusha! The Lord bind up their souls with thine and mine in the bundle of life. Tell the children, that I would have them, if they desire to see their father again, to pray daily for me in secret; and above all things to seek the favour of God in Christ Jesus, and that while they are young.

I would have you very careful of my books and account of rates. I sent you from New-Haven a 40s. bill in a letter by Lieut. Willis, and since that ordered the treasurer to deliver to my father six pounds more for you. You may call for it, or send for it by some sure hand.

Though for a while we must be absent from each other, yet, I desire that we may often meet at the throne of grace in our earnest prayers one for another, and have great hopes that God will hear and answer our prayers. The God of grace be with you.

I am, thy loving husband,

On Monday, August 20th, they marched for Wood Creek. At Saratoga, in consequence of the fatigues and exposure of the march, Mr. Edwards was taken severely ill. On the 4th of September, being unable to proceed with the army, he was conveyed in a boat to Stillwater. Thence he was carried back through the woods to Albany, where he arrived in three days in a state of extreme danger. On the 10th he wrote to Mrs. Edwards as follows:

“To Mrs. Esther Edwards in Windsor, New England.

Albany, Sept. 10, 1711.

My dear,

I came last Tuesday from Saratoga towards Albany, very ill, in order to return home; having been ill more than a month, and growing at last so weak that I could ccx go no further than that place, which is near fifty miles above Albany. I came to Albany in a waggon, lying along in a bed, prepared for me, last Thursday night. Since then I have been at the house of Madam Vandyke, a Dutch gentlewoman, where I have been so kindly taken care of, that I am much better, and daily gain strength, and my lost appetite is somewhat recovered. I hope to be able to ride homeward next week.

Last Friday I sent Mr. Hezekiah Mason to New England, to acquaint my father and my friends at Windsor how it is with me, and to desire three or four of them to come hither and to bring an easy horse with them for me to ride upon, and to come provided to carry home my effects, and to bring a blanket or two with them in case we should be forced to sleep in the woods. I should have written by him, but was too ill to do it. This is the first day I have been able to sit up. If the neighbours have not started when you receive this, speak to Mr. Drake that they set out as soon as possible.

I rejoice to learn, by a letter from my father, that you were all well on the 2d, and hope in the mercy of God to see you all ere long.

Lieut. Silvy, sent over by the queen to serve in this expedition, a stout, active young man, who came sick with me in another waggon from the camp to Albany, died this evening just by my lodgings. We came together from the camp sick, we lay together in one room by the way sick, we lodged just by one another several days in this town sick(but he is dead, and I am alive and recovering. Blessed be God for his distinguishing and underserved grace to me! Remember my love to all the children. Give my respects to Mr. Colton, who I understand stays with you. I wish you to provide something for my cough, which is the worst I ever had in my life. Remember my love to sister Staughton, and my duty to my father and mother, if you have opportunity.

I am your very affectionately loving husband,

Timothy Edwards.”

Owing to the lateness of the season and to numerous disappointments, the expedition was soon after relinquished; and in the course of the months Mr. Edwards returned home.

Mr. and Mrs. Edwards lived together in the married state upwards of sixty-three years. Mr. Edwards was about five feet ten inches in height, of a fair complexion; of a strong robust frame, bull, but not corpulent. He was a man of polished manners, and particularly attentive to his external appearance.(The management not only of his domestic concerns, but of his property generally, was intrusted to the care of Mrs. Edwards, who discharged the duties of a wife and a mother with singular fidelity and success. In strength of character she resembled her father, and like him she left behind her, in the place where she resided for seventy-six years, that “good name which is better than precious ointment.”

“On a visit to East Windsor, in the summer of 1823,” remarks Mr. Dwight, “I found a considerable number of persons advanced in years, who had been well acquainted with Mrs. Edwards, and two upwards of ninety, who had been pupils of her husband. From them I learned that she received a superior education in Boston, was tall, dignified, and commanding in her appearance, affable and gentle in her manners, and was regarded as surpassing her husband in native vigour of understanding. They all united in speaking of her as possessed of remarkable judgment and prudence, of an exact sense of propriety, of extensive information, of a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures and theology, and of singular conscientiousness, piety, and excellence of character. By her careful attention to all his domestic concerns, her husband was left at full liberty to devote himself to the proper duties of his profession. Like many of the ministers of the gospel of that early period in New England, he was well acquainted with Hebrew literature, and was regarded as a man of more than usual learning; but was particularly distinguished for his accurate knowledge of the Greek and Roman classics. In addition to his other duties, he annually prepared a number of pupils for college, there being at that time no public schools endowed for this purpose. One of my aged informants, who pursued his preparatory studies under him, told me, that on his admission to college, when the officers had learned with whom he had studied, they remarked to him, that there was no need of examining Mr. Edward’s scholars.”

He was for that period unusually liberal and enlightened, with regard to the education of his children; preparing not only his son but each of his daughters also for college. In a letter, bearing date Aug. 3, 1711, while absent on the expedition to Canada, he wishes that Jonathan and the girls may continue to prosecute the study of Latin; and in another of Aug. 7, that he may continue to recite his Latin to his elder sisters. When his daughters were of the proper age, he sent them to Boston, to finish their education. Both he and Mrs. Edwards were exemplary in their care of their religious instruction; and, as the reward of their parental fidelity, were permitted to see the fruits of piety in them all during their youth.

He always preached extemporaneously, and, until he was upwards of seventy, without noting down the heads of his discourse. After that time, he commonly wrote the divisions on small slips of paper, which, as they occasionally appeared beyond the leaves of the Bible that he held in his hand, his parishioners called, “Mr. Edwards’s thumb papers.” Apologizing for this one day to one of his pupils, he remarked to him, that he found his memory beginning to fail, but that he thought his judgment as sound as ever; and this was likewise the opinion of his people, till near the close of his life. He is known to have written out but a single sermon, which was preached at the general election, in 1732, and was published. It is a solemn and faithful application of the doctrine of a general judgment to his hearers, particularly as legislators and magistrates. As he lived till within a few months of his son’s decease, the latter often visited his father, and preached in his desk. It was the customary remark of the people, that “although Mr. Edwards was perhaps the more learned man, and more animated in his manner, yet Mr. Jonathan was the deeper preacher.”

His influence over his congregation was commanding, and was steadily exerted on the side of truth and righteousness. When he knew of any division among them, he went immediately to see that the parties were reconciled; and when he heard of any improper conduct on the part of any individuals, it was his uniform custom to go and reprove them. Under his preaching, the gospel was attended with a regular, uniform efficacy, and in frequent instances, with revivals of religion, yet no record is preserved of the actual admissions to the church. From some of the family letters, evidence appears of a revival of religion existing in 1715 and 1716; during which Mrs. Edwards, and two of her daughters, made a profession of their christian faith; and several others of the family are spoken of, as “travelling towards Zion, with their faces thitherward.” His son observes, in 1737, that he had known of no parish in the west of New England, except Northampton, which had as often been favoured with revivals of religion, as that of his father.

During the whole of his ministry, he was regarded by his people with great respect and affection; no symptoms of dissatisfaction having been manifested by them for sixty-three years. In the summer of 1752, on account of his increasing infirmities, he proposed to them the settlement of a colleague; and they actually settled one, the Rev. Joseph Perry, June 11, 1755; but continued his salary until his death, which took place Jan. 27, 1758, when he was eighty-nine years of age.

Mrs. Edwards survived him twelve years; her fourth daughter, Mary, residing with her and watching over the infirmities of age. “From a lady in East Windsor, far advanced in life, I learned,” says Mr. Dwight, “the following facts.—‘Mrs. Edwards was always fond of books, and discovered a very extensive acquaintance with them in her conversation; particularly with the best theological writers. After the death of her husband, her family being small, a large portion of her time was devoted to reading. A table always stood in the middle of her parlour, on which lay a large quarto Bible, and treatises on doctrinal and experimental religion. In the afternoon, at a stated hour, such of the ladies of the neighbourhood ccxi as found it convenient, went customarily to her house, accompanied not unfrequently by their children. Her daughter regularly read a chapter of the Bible, and then a passage of some religious author; but was often stopped by the comments of her mother, who always closed the interview with prayer. On these occasions it was a favorite point with the neighbouring females, even with those who were young. to be present; all of them regularly attending when they were able, and many of them, among whom was my informant, dating their first permanent attention to religion from the impressions there made. In this way she was regarded with a respect bordering on veneration, and was often spoken of by Mr. Perry, as one of his most efficient auxiliaries. She died Jan. 19, 1770, in the 99th year of her age, retaining her mental faculties until the close of her life. Her daughter Mary spent many years of her early life at Northampton with Mr. and Mrs. Stoddard; and returning thence to her father’s house, she was the nurse and attendant, and I may almost say, support of her aged parents. She was a woman of most amiable disposition, fine understanding, and uncommon attainments, had read much, and appeared to have made the best improvement of the knowledge that she obtained. 101101    From the letter of an excellent lady in Middletown, in whose family she resided several years. She survived her mother six years.”

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