On March 22, 1758, Princeton University President Jonathan Edwards died from a smallpox inoculation. He had been the valedictorian of his class at Yale. He was ordained in 1727 as a minister in Northampton, Massachusetts, serving as assistant to his grandfather Solomon Stoddard.
That same year, Rev. Jonathan Edwards married Sarah Pierpont, whose father, Rev. James Pierpont, was a founder of Yale University. Sarah’s great-grandfather was Rev. Thomas Hooker, the founder of Connecticut. Rev. George Whitefield preached in Jonathan Edwards’ church during a revival tour in 1739-1740.
In 1741, Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon, “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” which began the Great Awakening, a revival so widespread history credits it with uniting the colonies prior to the Revolution.
Of the revival, Jonathan Edwards wrote: “God made it, I suppose, the greatest occasion of awakening to others, of anything that ever came to pass in the town. I have had abundant opportunity to know the effect it had, by my private conversation with many. The news of it seemed to be almost like a flash of lighting upon the hearts of young people all over the town, and upon many others.”
Ben Franklin wrote of the awakening: “It was wonderful to see. … From being thoughtless or indifferent … it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk thro’ the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in … every street.”
Jonathan Edwards’ grandson was fourth Yale President Timothy Dwight. He helped check the spread of French infidelity. He explained how Voltaire’s atheism laid the groundwork for the French Revolution’s bloody Reign of Terror, 1793-1794, where 40,000 people were beheaded.
Timothy Dwight wrote July 4, 1798: “In societies of Illuminati … the being of God was denied and ridiculed. … The possession of property was pronounced robbery. Chastity and natural affection were declared to be nothing more than groundless prejudices. Adultery, assassination, poisoning, and other crimes of the like infernal nature, were taught as lawful … provided the end was good… The good ends proposed by the Illuminati … are the overthrow of religion, government, and human society, civil and domestic. These they pronounce to be so good that murder, butchery, and war, however extended and dreadful, are declared by them to be completely justifiable…”
Timothy Dwight warned that Voltaire’s agenda included controlling the education of the youth: “The means … were … the education of youth … every unprincipled civil officer … every abandoned clergyman … books replete with infidelity, irreligion, immorality, and obscenity …”
Many writers understood that education in history gives youth their identity.
Plato wrote in Republic (380BC): “When the true philosopher kings are born in a state … they will set in order their own city. … They will … take possession of the children, who will be unaffected by the habits of their parents; these they will train in their own habits and laws.”
Plato explained how the philosopher-king teaches children “noble lies,” but he thought this was alright, as the lies helped him stay in power, and he was the only one who knew how to run everything, it was alright for him to stay in power.
A description of the “noble lie” was given in the winter 2011 Midstream review of James Glazov’s book, “United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror”: “Plato expressed an idea that is related to thought control: he called for the Noble Lie, a contradiction in terms if ever there was one. In particular, he said that the people should be taught that Rulers were made with gold, Auxiliaries with silver, and craftsmen with iron and brass.”
George Orwell wrote in his novel “1984”: “Those who control the past control the future, and those who control the present control the past.”
Adolph Hitler stated Nov. 6, 1933: “When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already. … What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.’”
Hitler stated May 1, 1937: “The youth of today is ever the people of tomorrow. For this reason we have set before ourselves the task of inoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled. … This Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And this new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.”
Karl Marx stated: “Take away the heritage of a people and they are easily destroyed.”