For the former Senator from North Carolina, see John Edwards
Speaker of the Great Awakening and author of the famous sermon "Sinners in the hands of an angry God," Jonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758 AD) was an early American Congregationalist preacher. He graduated first in his class from Yale University, and was serving as the president of Princeton University when he received the smallpox innoculation, having been assured it would be safe. However, like today's vaccines, it was very dangerous and killed him.
His inspiring preaching helped start the Great Awakening, which became a huge religious revival that helped unite the colonies prior to the American Revolution. Benjamin Franklin wrote about this revival:
- It was wonderful to see ... From being thoughtless or indifferent ... it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk thro' the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in ... every street."