“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” Summary and Analysis From http://associatedcontent.com/article/37806/a_look_at_sinners_in_the_hands_of_an_pg2.html?cat=38
The Puritans of early America were constantly reminded of the consequences of sinning. One such dynamic pastor of the time was Jonathan Edwards whose mission was to convert and convince his congregation of sinners. He did this through his powerful sermons. In "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," Edwards uses several rhetorical devices that contribute to the effectiveness of his sermon.
Edwards uses imagery to paint 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 on his audience. Even if Hell isn't a real place and all of the pain and suffering described is a lie, Edwards' way of delivering his message is so successful that it scares his listeners into believing and following his proposed method of redemption.
Elsewhere, he uses imagery to give his congregation a mental picture of God holding sinners above the fiery pits of Hell. After filling their hearts with fear, he uses this image to show them that there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of God's mercy and forgiveness. There is no doubt as to the effectiveness of his tactics in using imagery to penetrate into the hearts and minds of those who are present.
Edwards uses figures of speech to compare abstract concepts of God's wrath and the sinner's evil to common experiences. His use of metaphors span over whole paragraphs, such as the one about the bow of God's wrath being drawn and held over the hearts of sinners. This metaphor shows that God could unleash his wrath at any moment but his kindness saves them. Later, Edwards compares sinners to spiders and serpents, creatures despised by humans just as sinners are despised by God. This shows his unconverted congregation how poorly God thinks of them....
...The beliefs of the time can shape an author's words. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is a sermon written by Jonathon Edwards in 1741. During this time was the Great Awakening, a series of religious revivals meant to turn church members from passive listeners to passionate and emotionally involved. Puritans were a large part of the colonies in this time also. Puritans, who were escaping persecution, formed some of the 13 colonies but in turn they enforced their religion and beliefs in the colonies. Jonathan Edwards focused this sermon on the beliefs of the Puritans to turn them to God.
"1. That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to fall. This is implied in the manner of their destruction coming upon them, being represented by their foot sliding." (Edwards) Here Edwards is saying that God can cast the wicked men into hell any time He wants. Similarly, Puritans believed that you were predestined for either heaven or hell. God alone determined a person's salvation.
"Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf..." (Edwards) Likewise, the Puritans believed in total depravity. Everyone is full of sin. They accepted that every...
...Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
The sermon ”Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God” was written by Christian theologian Jonathan Edwards, in 1741,during the Puritan Revival also called Great Awakening.The doctrine was intended to plunge the fear of God into those who were being sinful. The author wants the audience to achieve grace and go to heaven. Jonathan Edwards tried to scare the audience into believing thatGod could do away with them at any second. He uses comparisons to portray the wrath of God. He also gave them hope they could be saved. The author shows people what might happen if they continue to sin and disobey the will of God.
To Edwards, God was a mighty, omnipotent figure, capable of anything he so desired. “God has so many different unsearchable ways of taking wicked men out of the world”. Not only was God powerful, but he was unpredictable, and impossible to stop.”Who knows the power of God’s anger”. Neither the most educated, the most intelligent, nor the most faithful man, could ever imagine what God had planned for the future. In speaking of arrows of death, he said, “the sharpest eye can’t discern them”. Although the sermon does describe God as angry and his anger in particularly directed toward sinners, we must not ignore the other major category of...
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
Jonathan Edwards was a talented and inspiring man. Throughout his life, he worked as an educator, a philosopher, a scholar, a theologian, a journalist, and even as a musician. There can be no denying his hard work and his contributions to each and every one of those fields; yet the one thing that makes him stand out from all the others was his input and leadership during the First Great Awakening of 1740-1742.
Around the time of Edwards delivering this speech, there was a great depravity of true religious meaning and accountability. There was only one practiced religion during this period of time, called the Church of England. All other religions like Catholicism, Judaism, and Puritanism were suppressed. Historians describe numerous accounts of church members, ’Going through the motions’, if you will. People’s faith and worshipping were ‘dry’, and there were no convictions of the heart when speaking to the Lord. There was a desperate need of change and revival in the church. Enter the First Great Awakening. Enter John Edwards.
On a sweltering day in Northampton, Massachusetts, July 1741, Jonathan delivered his speech to Christians and non-Christians alike. Noticing the general lack of fear for God among his people, he decided to ‘amp up’ the intensity of his sermons and capture the attention of his audience. Searching through the Bible, Edwards found...
... Jonathan Edwards’ sermon ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’ is a window into an age fraught with religious controversy and moral confusion. The sermon was riddled with horrifying imagery and threats to instill fear into the audiences of Puritan Minister, Jonathan Edwards. The movement of religious revivalism that occurred in part because of Edwards caused the Puritan society to think of God as a vengeful, torturous God, of whom to be afraid. The Puritans fear of God and being condemned to hell forced them to live in accordance with God’s will in hopes of spending eternity free from sin, living in salvation with Christ. Sinners is a work grounded in the concerns and struggles of its time, and it offers insights into a significant period of cultural transition in American history (Winslow 193). Simultaneously a conservative and a revolutionary text, the sermon hangs between the new and the old, science and Scripture, individual freedom and sovereign authority.
Jonathan Edwards was born on October 5, 1703 in East Windsor Connecticut into a Puritan family. He was the only son of eleven children. His father was the Reverend Timothy Edwards and his mother was Esther Stoddard Edwards, the daughter of Reverend Solomon Stoddard (Winslow 28). He grew up in an atmosphere of puritan piety, affection and learning. After years of rigorous schooling at home, Edwards entered Yale in 1716 at the...
...congregation of sinners. He did this through his powerful sermons. In "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," In all actuality our society abuses god’s powers and holds you accountable for abusing that privilege as explained in this story.
Edwards uses imagery to paint a horrifying picture of unsaved souls. His use of graphic words describing the horrors and torment awaiting sinners made an amazing effect on his readers so I think . Even if Hell isn't a real place and all of the pain and suffering described is a lie, Edwards' message is so good and real. In society some people’s beliefs are like the ones that Edward’s describes in his story. It plays a big role in society as religion.
He uses imagery to give his side of the story, a mental picture of God holding sinners above the fiery pits of Hell. After filling their hearts with fear, he uses this image to show them that there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of God's mercy and forgiveness. There is no doubt that people what he is saying and imagines are real in our world today. People fear Hell and worship god as their savior when in need of his help.
Edwards uses figures of speech to compare God's experiences and the sinner's evil. His uses these metaphors threw out the story, such as the one about the bow of God's wrath being drawn and held over the hearts of sinners. This...
...Rhetorical Analysis: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”
Preacher Jonathan Edwards does a great job at devoting the audience’s attention towards his speech. During the message, Edwards emphasizes that people will go to hell, but if you’re saved by the grace of God then the idea of spending eternity in the flames is dismissed. Although his choices of words were harsh, he managed to keep the audience entertained.
Jonathan Edwards began his sermon towards the Puritan congregation by trying to scare the people. Edwards used loud words and an aggravated disposition in order to attempt to convert people to a new life. Jonathan Edwards’s purpose for writing the message was to change people’s beliefs and realize that the actions humans are taking part in are destroying a Holy God’s heart. By scaring the audience it makes people realize that all the bad stuff they have done in the past has destroyed their lives, and God’s. When you scare an audience during a message or sermon it shows the amount of trouble or the amount of help they need. Edwards performs very well in that style because not only did it scare people it brought a wonderful message as well.
Edwards starts off one of his paragraphs by saying “The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and strains the bow”. He then proceeds to say “only the mere pleasure of God keeps the arrow from releasing towards your heart” which explains to...
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
Jonathon Edwards, famous for preaching during “The Great Awakening” lived as a puritan, but later found out that church needed reform. Spreading the gospel with his colleague George Whitefield created a style of teaching using something called the” Holy Tone”. The Holy Tone became the new and energetic way of preaching. Attracting the people of the colonies and connecting them to the gospel and the word ofGod inspired them to start evangelizing. “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, wrote by Jonathan Edwards in the 1700’s uses literary devices such imagery, metaphors to get his congregation to understand his sermon easily. This entices the congregation to repent for their sins.
Deuteronomy 32:35; “Their foot shall slide in due time”, the verse basically talks about sinners going down an unrighteous path. Sinners will soon fall into the pits going against the word of god. A piece of imagery that he uses informs them that if they do not change their ways they will burn in the pits of hell. He uses the illustration of a spider over a fire. The spider represents the sinner and the person/hand represents God’s ability to hold you. The illustration simply conveys, God will hold you but, also has the ability to let the sinner go if he/she does not change. The more you sin, the...
...Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
Jonathan Edwards wrote this lecture, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” to preach to the congregation of his church during the period of Great Awakening, a time of religious revival. He knows how to persuade and uses numerous techniques to do so. In his sermons, Edward’s expressive, informative, and argumentative writing style and his use of simile, metaphor, personification, imagery, and tone creates a fearful, emotional image in the minds of his readers.
One of Edward’s productive approaches to scare the audience of the unsaved people was through the use of imagery, which is the usage of words to create an image in the minds of his listeners. The use of imagery serves a purpose in Edward’s sermon mainly to defend his reason. One of the images that Edwards powerfully delivered in his sermon was in lines 14-23 in which he compared God’s wrath to “great waters.” “If God should only withdraw his hand from the floodgate, it would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God would rush forth with inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your strength were ten thousand times greater that the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it.” In other words, Edwards portrays great waters that rise up and have the potential of destroying...