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Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

In the story “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, Jonathan Edwards’ purpose was to convert and make born again the congregation of Puritan sinners. He was able to achieve this with his eye opening sermons to the congregation. In “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, Edwards uses rhetorical devices such as diction, imagery, and tone to contribute to the effectiveness of his sermon.

Edwards paints a horrifying picture of eternal damnation for unsaved souls. His use of graphic words describing the horrors and torment awaiting sinners has a remarkable effect oh his audience. Edwards’ way of delivering his message is so successful that it scares his listeners into believing and following his proposed method of redemption. Furthermore, Edwards uses imagery to give the puritans an example of how God is holding them in his hands over the “fiery pits of hell”, he makes them feel fear toward God and reconsider their actions because now they have in mind that what they do is being judged. On the contrary after telling them this he gives them hope and tells them there is a light at the end of the tunnel which is represented by God’s mercy and forgiveness. We see how he uses imagery to build up strong images in the hearts and minds of those in the congregation. Edwards uses figures of speech to compare and contrast ideas of Gods wrath and the sinners evil experiences. His use of metaphors span over whole paragraphs such as the one about the bow and arrow of Gods wrath and how it is one pull away from him being “made drunk with [their] blood.” This metaphor shows that God could unleash his wrath at any moment but his kindness saves them. also, it makes the puritans feel scared because of their negative experiences with the Indians and how they killed people they know with bows and arrows. Later, Edwards compares sinners to spiders and serpents creatures despised by humans just as sinners... Show More

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