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Four notable theologians and clergymen of Colonial America are presented here in four lengthy biographical essays. Courtney Anderson writes about Jonathan Edwards; the editor treats of Gilbert Tennent; David Brainerd is the subject of Clyde Skilby's chapter; and Henry W. Coray deals with John Witherspoon. The four subjects were curiously interconnected in their situations and activities. Edwards edited Brainerd's Journals and wrote his life, and his daughter was engaged to marry a missionary to the Indians when tuberculosis struck him down. George Whitefield's visit to America seems to have had a strong influence upon the first three; and all had some connection with Princeton University, of which Witherspoon was a notable president. The essay on Edwards is the most scholarly and comprehensive of the group, possibly because of the available resources. A considerable part of the Witherspoon account is given over to his part in the deliberations leading to the Declaration of Independence, of which he was a signer. Modern readers will be struck by a certain trait of stern rigidity in the characters of all of these men that tempers the praise which the authors are inclined to give. A helpful resource for the student of history of colonial times.

Pub Date: July 29th, 1966
Publisher: Lippincott