His mother, a daughter of the Rev. Solomon Stoddard, of Northampton, Mass., seems to have been a woman of unusual mental gifts and independence of character.
Solomon Stoddard died on the 11th of February 1729, leaving to his grandson the difficult task of the sole ministerial charge of one of the largest and wealthiest congregations in the colony, and one proud of its morality, its culture and its reputation.
Edwards's grandfather and predecessor, Solomon Stoddard, had been even more liberal, holding that the Supper was a converting ordinance and that baptism was a sufficient title to all the privileges of the church.
Stoddard, In the Footprints of the Padres (San Francisco, 1900); Bernard Moses, The Establishment of Municipal Government in San Francisco (Johns Hopkins University Studies, 1889).
He was bitterly opposed, however, to the liberal practices that followed the Half-Way Covenant and (after 1677) in particular to "Stoddardeanism," the doctrine of Solomon Stoddard (1643-1729) that all "such Persons as have a good Conversation and a Competent Knowledge may come to the Lord's Supper," only those of openly immoral life being excluded.