• Gregory Sterling


American Religious History


Jonathan Edwards entered the Connecticut Collegiate School at the ripe old age of 13 in 1716, just fifteen years after the founding of the College. It was a trying time for the fledgling institution that had no permanent home. In the spring of that year, the school was dissolved with the hope that it would reconvene in September. Students went to different locations including Hartford, New Haven, and Weathersfield. Edwards went to the last of these, to the home of a distant cousin. The Connecticut General Assembly resolved the issue of location when it ordered the Weathersfield group to move to New Haven which it did in 1718. Two years later, Edwards was selected to deliver the oration at Commencement on the basis of his academic record. In his address, Edwards reflected on his Yale experience in words that we would like every Yale graduate to express: “Yet the thoughts that distress us intolerably about leaving these delights do not allow me to say my final words, so that even as we are about to leave we simply cannot express ourselves adequately as we look forward to the school flourishing with the greatest splendor and the ultimate glory.” I wonder what Edwards would think if he could be here today.