Samuel Davies was Jonathan Edwards’s successor at what is now Princeton University. He is considered the founder of Southern Presbyterianism and was a key proponent of religious tolerance and social justice in early eighteenth-century America. He convinced the king of England to be tolerant to the American colonies in matters of religious observance and was also a champion of educating slaves in accordance with their equal standing in heaven. His prime legacy, however, is in the form of his sermons. Davies was regarded as one of the preeminent evangelists of his era and its finest preacher.
All three volumes of this collection of Davies’s sermons are titled Sermons on Important Subjects, and all three show the vitality that pervaded Davies’s oratory. These are indeed important writings on important subjects.
SAMUEL DAVIES (1723–1761) was a Presbyterian preacher in colonial British America who helped lead the Southern phase of the Great Awakening. Davies was a leading proponent of religious tolerance and social justice—particularly in his encouragement of the education of slaves in accordance with their equal standing in heaven. He raised funds in England for the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), which he served as its fourth president. His work during the Great Awakening centered at Hanover, Virginia, where he became the first moderator of the first presbytery of Virginia. He further enhanced his reputation by defending Dissenters in court and was considered the outstanding preacher of his day.