Sermon Illustrations

New York state sociologists studied two families-the Max Jukes family and the family of Jonathan Edwards.

The head of the Max Jukes family (not his real name), was an unbeliever, a man with no obvious sense of morals, and he married a girl with similar values.

Among the known descendants of the Jukes family (a contemporary of Jonathan Edwards), over 1200 of them were studied. Of those 280 were professional vagrants-130 were sent to a penitentiary for an average of 13 years each, 7 of them were murderers-100 were alcoholics-128 were prostitutes. Of the 20 who learned a trade, 10 learned it in a state prison. None of them made a significant contribution to society. On the contrary they cost the state of New York $1,308,000.

What about the Jonathan Edwards family? He came from a Christian family and married a girl with similar values. Among his descendants 100 became clergy men, missionaries, or theological professors-over 100 became college professors-over 100 became lawyers, 30 of them judges-over 60 became physicians-and over 60 became authors. There were 75 army or navy officers-13 presidents of universities. There were numerous giants of industry, several members of congress, 3 senators and one became vice president of the united states.