FROM THE PULPIT: Two families, different outcomes

Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 09:36 AM.

Atheist Max Jukes, born in 1700, married a woman who dabbled in the occult.

Of their 1,200 descendants, 310 lived as beggars and died poor; 440 ruined their lives through corruption; 130 spent time in prison — seven for murder — with an average 13-year sentence. More than 600 became alcoholics; 60 were habitual thieves; 190 became prostitutes; and 20 became tradesmen, 10 of whom learned their trade in prison.

That family tree cost the state $1.2 million.

Jonathan Edwards, a Presbyterian minister born in 1703, had strong faith in Jesus Christ at 24 and married a 17-year-old woman of strong faith. They consecrated their marriage to the Lord on their wedding night.

Their descendants included 300 clergypersons — some were missionaries and theological professors. There were 100 professors, 100 attorneys, 30 judges and a dean of law school.

There were 60 authors of classic writings, 60 became physicians, and one became a medical school dean. There were 14 university presidents, three mayors of large cities, three governors, one U.S. Treasury controller, and one United States vice president.

Their descendants cost the state nothing.

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