“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” Essay
In Connecticut during the mid-eighteenth century, Jonathan Edwards, a zealous pastor and preacher, gave a sermon called, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The purpose of doing so was to awaken the people of the congregation to the Puritan philosophy. Edwards does not deliver this sermon lightly for he must use other factors, such as fear, to make up for the lack of evidence. Throughout Edwards’ sermon, he uses the fallacies an appeal to fear and an appeal to negative consequences by describing in full detail, images of how close God is to ending humanity, thus awakening, or manipulating, his subjects with fear.
To start off, Edwards gives a perspective for his subjects to ponder. For them to even begin to realize how terrifying their predicament is based on this description, they must know where they stand at that moment and where God stands. Edwards states, “Your wickedness make you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downward with great weight and pressure toward hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf…” This quote shows just how important it is for the non-awakened people to wake up. Through this description, his subjects can see how powerful God is and just how much they rely on his mercy otherwise they will descend. To think that they are comparable to a heavy brick of lead dangling over hell by a thread of God’s mercy gives them a very clear view to where they stand in relation to God. The reason behind using such a disturbing image is to scare his subjects into awakening because Edwards has no facts to support his claim.
After have giving them an aspect to start off with, Edwards proceeds to preach to his sleepers about where God’s wrath is at that moment. Edwards preaches, “The bow of God's wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is...
Sinners in the Hands of an AngryGod
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,...
...Rhetorical Analysis: “Sinners in the Hands of an AngryGod”
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”...
...Sinners in the Hands of an AngryGod
Jonathan Edwards wrote this lecture, “Sinners in the Hands of an AngryGod,” 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 beliefs of the time can shape an author's words. Sinners in the Hands of an AngryGod 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...
...Sinners in the Hands of an AngryGod
The sermon ”Sinners in the Hand of an AngryGod” 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 that God 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...
... In Jonathan Edwards’ powerful sermon Sinners in the Hands of an AngryGod it is evident that Edwards sought to coax the members of his congregation into salvation as well as convince “natural men”, or those who had not had a spiritual rebirth that their sinful actions would ultimately lead to the wrath of a merciless God. To persuasively convey this notion, Edwards utilizes various metaphors to compare God’s wrath and the sinner’s evil to heightened circumstances and attempts to provoke religious revival through fear.
Edwards used an extended metaphor for emphasis as he described how “the bow of God’s wrath is bent […] and justice bends the arrow at [the sinner’s] heart” and that it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God […] that keeps the arrow one moment from being drunk with blood” (lines 1-3 pp. 6). This comparison of the relationship between God and the sinner to a bow and arrow shows how God has absolute control and has the power to unleash his wrath and condemn sinners at any time. Edwards also used a metaphor to express how “the wrath of God is like great waters that […] that […] increase more and more, and rise higher and higher” and that “it is the mere pleasure of God that holds the waters back” (lines 1-7, pp.5). This shows how God’s wrath, like great waters, after being continually contained, rises up...
...Damned or not Damned! A unique look at “Sinners In The Hands Of An AngryGod”
You are nothing but a mouse before the eyes of an almighty being who is extremely ticked off! Have you ever wondered if your life has upset the Lord? Well the sermon of Jonathan Edwards,“Sinners in the Hands of an AngryGod,” will answer that and surprise even you. The Puritans beliefs of direct connections to real life and God, exploring their lives for God’s workings, the plain style, whether you’re a chosen or not, and their self reliance, are blindingly clear in the sermon of Edwards.
first off, In Edwards moving speech he clearly covers the basis of God is real life and many Puritans would say that real life is absolutely nothing with out God. The Puritans believed that God has done all things. And that you had to look for it and find him such as on page 77 of “elements of literature, fifth course, literature of the United States” “-Science, reason, and observation of the physical world confirmed Edwards deeply spiritual vision of a universe filled with the presence of God-” The writer of the Sermon was Jonathan Edwards, a man who constantly observed his life and looked for God. As you can see in the text overhead Jonathan looked to the real world, what he could see and hold in his hands, and saw the...
... Jonathan Edwards’ sermon ‘Sinners in the Hands of an AngryGod’ 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, torturousGod, 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...