I can’t remember where I found this and I don’t have the reference, but it’s interesting to note the legacy this man left behind.

Jonathan and Sarah’s Luminous Lineage

Let’s take a peek at the family of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards. You may remember Jonathan Edwards for his famous sermon, “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.” Jonathan and Sarah had 11 children and were ardent in training their children for God. In 1900 A. E. Winship tracked down 1400 descendants of this family. By 1900 this godly marriage had produced:

  • 13 college presidents
  • 65 professors
  • 100 lawyers and a dean of an outstanding law school
  • 30 judges
  • 60 doctors and a dean of a medical school
  • 80 holders of public office including
  • 3 United States Senators
  • 3 Mayors of large cities
  • 3 State governors
  • Vice President of the United States, and
  • Controller of the United States Treasury.
  • Members of the family wrote 135 books and edited 18 journals and periodicals.

They entered the ministry in platoons, and sent 100 missionaries overseas as well as stocking many mission boards with lay trustees. They directed banks, insurance companies, owned coalmines, iron plants and vast oil interests. Winship states, “There is scarcely any great American industry that has not had one of this family among its chief promoters.”

Because of the responsibilities of Jonathan Edwards’ ministry, Winship goes on to say, “Much of the capacity and talent, intensity and character of the Edwards family is due to Mrs. Sarah Edwards.” The influence of one godly mother has continued down through the generations to affect the destiny of a nation! Oh how far reaching is the power of a godly mother!

In contrast to the Edwards family, 1200 of the Jukes family were tracked down. They originated with one immigrant who settled in upstate New York in 1720 and produced a tribe of “idleness, ignorance and vulgarity.” Only 20 of the 1200 Jukes ever had any gainful employment and all the others were criminals or lived on state aid.