David F. Bacon, ed. Memoirs of Eminently Pious Women of Britain and America (Hartford, 1833), detail from plate containing five separate portraits opposite p. .
SARAH EDWARDS (1710 - 1758)
By all accounts, Sarah Edwards, daughter of James Pierpont, one of the principal founders of Yale, was a deeply pious woman. In 1728, she married the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, who initiated the revival in Northampton, Massachusetts, which grew into the First Great Awakening. Mrs. Edwards’s own religious life was marked by the extreme fervor of the Awakening, which became a major movement in American religious history.
A short biography, along with her portrait, is included in Memoirs of Eminently Pious Women (Hartford, 1833), which describes her intense, mystical worship:
“Near the close of the year 1738, according to the testimony of Mr. Edwards, she was led, under an uncommon discovery of God’s excellency, and in an high exercise of love to God, and of rest and joy in him, to make a new and most solemn dedication of herself to his service and glory, an entire renunciation of the world, and a resignation of all to God. After this, she had often such views of the glory of the Divine perfections, and of Christ’s excellencies, and at times, for hours together, without any interruption, that she was overwhelmed, and as it were swallowed up, in the light and joy of the love of God.” (p. 307)