The Great Awakening of the early 1740s marked a critical point in Edwards= life. He engaged in powerful preaching to further this Great Awakening, and one of his most famous sermons, ASinners in the Hands of an Angry God,@ was preached in 1741. Edwards was dismissed from his post as pastor after a disagreement with his congregation. Edwards believed that allowing unconverted people to participate in the Lord=s Supper was wrong. However, the congregation did not go along with this belief and dismissed him rather than abandon their custom. Edwards then became a missionary to Indians at Stockbridge. In 1757 he was elected president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), and he died a short time after that in 1758.
Dominant Themes Addressed in the Work: Edwards was one of this country=s finest philosophers as well as theologians. His school of disciples known as the ANew Divinity@ had a powerful influence on the religious and political cultures of late colonial and early republican America.
The Great Awakening was a turning point in Edward=s religious and philosophic thought, and he felt that basically the Awakening was the work of the Holy Spirit. One of his most famous sermons preached to further this Great Awakening was the influential Enfield sermon which was called ASinners in the Hands of an Angry God.@ As Fern put it, A(Edwards) was by now an itinerant evangelist bent upon helping his brother ministers