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Jonathan Edwards fell in love with Sarah Pierrepont when she was 13. He was moody and stiff; she was as vivacious as a songbird. He could think of nothing else, and one day studying Greek, he scribbled on the cover of his textbook that Sarah goes from place to place, singing sweetly, full of joy. She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves and seems to have someone invisible always conversing with her.
They married on July 28, 1727, the bride (then 17) in a green dress. Jonathan was hired by a Massachusetts church. But parishioners often criticized the young couple. Jonathan was too strict for some, Sarah too extravagant for others. Even worse, they evidently were intimate on the Lord’s Day. Colonial New Englanders believed that babies were born on the same day of the week as conceived. When six of the Edwards’ 11 children arrived on Sundays, it sent tongues wagging. Such intimacy wasn’t appropriate Sunday behavior.
But through all the hardships, the couple nurtured their love. They cherished afternoon horseback rides along forest trails. They had nightly devotions, and Jonathan read Sarah his compositions daily. He devoted an hour each day to the children and took them on trips one at a time.
George Whitefield wrote: A sweeter couple I have not seen. Their children were not dressed in silks and satins, but plain, examples of Christian simplicity. Mrs. Edwards is adorned with a meek, quiet spirit; she talked solidly of the things of God, and seemed to be such a helpmeet for her husband, that she caused me to renew those prayers, I have put up to God, (for) a wife.
Jonathan’s last words were, Give my love to my dear wife, and tell her that the uncommon union which has long subsisted between us has been of such a nature as I trust is spiritual and therefore will continue forever.
Years later a reporter tracked down 1,400 descendants of Jonathan and Sarah, finding among them 80 college presidents, professors, and deans, 100 lawyers, 66 physicians, 80 political leaders, three senators, three governors, countless preachers and missionaries—and one traitor, Aaron Burr.
A woman’s family is held together by her wisdom. …
If you respect the Lord, you and your children have
A strong fortress and a life-giving fountain
That keeps you safe from deadly traps. (Proverbs 14:1,26,27)
Robert J. Morgan, On This Day: 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997). July 28
ALSO ON THIS DAY
1675 – Death of Bulstrode Whitelocke, an influential Christian lawyer during the Commonwealth of Oliver Cromwell. Among Whitelocke’s last words: “There has been one true religion in the world, and that is the work of the Spirit of God in the hearts and souls of men.”
1833 – Three days after his Bill for the Abolition of Slavery passed in the House of Commons, William Wilberforce died.
1974 – Chinese troops massacre Christians of the A-Hmao ethnic group who are worshiping secretly in a cave at Xinglongchang. Their leaders had defied the Chinese by saying if forbidden to worship openly they would worship secretly and if attacked on Sunday they would multiply their meetings to every day of the week.
1991 – Called the “Dean of the House Churches” Wang Ming-Dao, an influential Chinese evangelist who spent many years in a Communist prison for his faith; died.
Accessed ChristianHistoryInstitute.org 27 July 2022.