In June of 1850, Jonathan Edwards’ congregation in Northampton voted whether or not to retain him as their pastor. Only 23 of 230 voted in favor of Edwards—a mere 10 percent—and he was therefore terminated from the pastorate he held for 23 years. Leading up to his farewell sermon on July 1, 1750, Edwards’ demeanor was said to be remarkably calm, as noted at the time by Reverend David Hall in his diary:
I never saw the least symptoms of displeasure in his countenance the whole week, but he appeared like a man of God, whose happiness was out of the reach of his enemies, and whose treasure was not only a future but a present good, overbalancing all imaginable ills of life, even to the astonishment of many, who could not be at rest without his dismission.
“Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7).