Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God -Jonathan Edwards
Fire, hell, and eternity were essential topics of puritan preachers during the colonial period. Theologian, Jonathan Edwards took a new view on God, that he was heartless and condemning toward those known as sinners. Edwards outlined this belief in his famous sermon, “Sinners in the Eyes of An Angry God.” His fiery images, advanced topics, and effective use of rhetoric created a successful speech that struck terror and conversion into the hearts of his followers. Initially, Edwards implements frightening and vivid imagery in order to establish fear and dread, two motives that focus on the negative aspects of life. The first refers to God’s wrath and the evils of humanity. To emphasize this point, Edwards compares the fierceness of God’s wrath to images such as a terrible storm, a hurricane, an explosive flood, and an everlasting fire, all of which show his audience that God’s wrath cannot be stopped, appealing to emotion by scaring them so that they crave redemption. The second negative point describes the terrors of hell, the consequences for the unconverted. Edwards describes hell as a gaping mouth, waiting to consume them in flames, and only the true converted-those that were “…raised from being dead in sin, to a state of new, and before altogether unexperienced light and life…”-can escape hell’s custody. All of the unconverted non-believers are destined for an inescapable suffering in hell, waiting “…in the hands of an angry god,” who will toss them into the fire. These images and ideas cause fear in the audience and make them hope for salvation for their sins and the threat of hell, a request that Edwards has the answer to. Furthermore, Edwards’ style also established his purpose. His diction is full of words and development that create dynamic images. For example, “You are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in yours.” Edwards varies his sentence...
...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....
...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...
...“Sinners in the Hands of an AngryGod” (102) is a speech given in a house of worship where Jonathan Edwards connects logical instances and literary rhetoric to attract and maintain the attention of his congregation. Edwards uses imagery to portray images of water, air, and fire, and to paint a picture. “…to see so many rejoicing…while you have cause to mourn for sorrow of heart”(106) casts fear upon the listeners and persuades them into his point of view, an “angry” god. In order to develop a positive relationship with unity between him and the multitude, Edwards uses diction and promises “…an opportunity to obtain salvation”(105) to re-engage listeners.
Jonathan Edwards utilizes figures of speech to enhance the two tones. The author uses imagery to express a fearful situation, describing to the people how in hell "..the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot....". This can very well serve as a threatening aspect because the use of imagery indicates that all the information is imperative in depicting the horrid thought. Also portraying an intimidating tone, the apostrophe that describes how hell awaits all sinners with eagerness and how "...the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them, and would fain lay hold on them...." The use of an apostrophe is practical because it is threatening to know...
... 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...
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...
...Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an AngryGod”)
b. Thesis – Jonathan Edwards’s sermon portrayed Puritans as sinners of their religion through the use of rhetorical strategies such as ethos, pathos, and logos.
2. Body Points
c. Body 1
i. Topic Sentence - Ethos is referred to as the trustworthiness or credibility of the speaker and their tone of the literature.
d. Body 2
ii. Topic Sentence – Pathos is referred to as the literature’s emotional appeal to the audience’s senses or imagination.
e. Body 3
iii. Topic Sentence – Logos is referred to as clear the message is and how effective it is to the audience.
f. Re-Stated Thesis – Through the use of the rhetorical triangle, Puritans are portrayed as sinful people of their own religion in Jonathan Edwards’s sermon.
g. Clincher – “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (A quote from the bible Matthew 6: 14-15)
“Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering” (Edwards, Jonathan). The Puritans of early America were constantly reminded of the consequences of sinning. They were told that sinning would lead them directly to hell where they would rot. Jonathan Edwards was a very dynamic preacher of his time...
...Sinners in the hands of an angryGod by Jonathan Edward
* Is a Christian preacher and theologian.
* He is well known as widely acknowledged to be America’s most important and original philosophical theologian, and one of America’s greatest intellectuals.
* He is famous for delivering the sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an AngryGod,” a classic of early American literature.
* This was written during the revival in 1741, following George Whitefield’s tour of the Thirteen Colonies.
* The works inspired thousands of missionaries throughout the 19th century, and made Religious affections.
* His works played a critical role in shaping the First Great Awakening, and affected some of the first revivals in 1733 to 1735 at his church.
* His sermons were preached during the period of First Great Awakening, a time of religious revival.
What kind of God present in the story
* God is merciful to us now but God may cast wicked men into hell at any given moment.
* God has given the humanity a chance to rectify their sins.
* The will of God is that keeps wicked men from the depths of Hell.
* At any moment God shall permit him, Satan is ready to fall upon the Wicked and seize them as...
...Powerful Puritan Persuasion
“Sinners in the hands of an AngryGod” was an influential sermon that described the “torments of Hell to be endured by sinners”(85). Jonathan Edwards used an appeal to fear to persuade the 18th century Puritans to repent their sins. This emotional sermon had powerful analogies and vivid imagery that made it effective.
In the beginning of the sermon, Edwards takes away all the audience’s confidence in themselves. He breaks them down and makes them feel vulnerable. He uses phases such as “your wickedness”(88) and “the earth would not bear you one moment”(88) to make them feel inferior. He tells them that they don’t know it but that they are going to Hell (87). Edwards used effective imagery in this first part to establish a mental representation of the audience’s approaching fate. He says things such as: “Hell’s wide gaping mouth open”(87) and “dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God”(87). Edwards also uses strong analogies in the first section. The most powerful in this section, and quite possibly the whole sermon, is comparing the audience righteousness to a spider web and them to a falling rock (88). Edwards says that the audience’s decency, wariness, wellbeing, and best life plan would have “no more influence to hold you up than a spider web would have to hold up a falling rock”(88). This first section succeeds in making to...