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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941

Book Reviews

Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758. A Biography. By Ola Eliza-
beth Winslow.
New York: The Macmillan Co., 1940. Pp. xii, 406. Illustrations.
In the publication of this book the publishers have presented
the reading and also the studying public with a worth while
book. The author is to be credited with having portrayed a
difficult character in an interesting manner.
The table of contents of the book indicates a narrative of
fifteen chapters divided into three books, preceded by a pro-
logue and followed by an epilogue. For the student there are
forty-two pages of notes and a selected bibliography of twenty-
two pages. The first book, "Foundations," has chapters on the
Edwards family, on the childhood of Jonathan Edwards spent
in East Windsor, on the college days of Jonathan Edwards at
Yale, and on his perception of "a new sense of things." The
second book, "Success and Failure," deals with the career of
this notable New England divine at Northampton, Massachu-
setts, during the years 1727 to 1750. The third book, which
contains only three chapters, presents the account of Jonathan
Edwards' life at Stockbridge as a missionary to the Indians,
1750-1757, and as president of New Jersey College, later known
as Princeton.
Many honors came to Jonathan Edwards. When he graduated
from Yale, being not quite sixteen years old then, "he was
chosen for the honor of the Latin oration." His service of
twenty-three years as minister must be regarded as an honor,
and that honor is recorded on the upright of the third step
of the present church at Northampton. After seven years of mis-
sionary work among the Indians at Stockbridge, Massachusetts,
the board of trustees of New Jersey College, the later Princeton,
unanimously elected him president on September 29, 1757, but
it was an honor that came too late to the man who changed
"the meaning of religion for many thousands, and with it also
the cultural pattern" of his time. On February 16, 1758, he
was inducted into the office of president, and on March 22,
1758, he died from complications following an inoculation for
In the epilogue the author asks the question, "What is his
greatness ?" and answers in several ways, of which the follow-
ing seems to me the best: "In a word, it [his greatness] is


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 29, 2016.

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