Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God
It is a message that was written by Jonathan Edwards, a Christian theologian of the colonial British. He preached the sermon to his own people in Northampton in Massachusetts to an unknown effect. Later on, he also preached the same in Enfield, Connecticut. Just as he had done in some of his other works, the message puts together a clear imagery about hell with several observations concerning the world and quotes from the scripture. However, it stands out as the most famous work written by this author. It is an exact representation of the style of preaching he used and is largely studied by historians and Christians offering a sight into the Great Awakening theory.
It was a Great awakening sermon
This sermon as written by Edwards was a message on the Great Awakening that focused on the idea that hell is indeed a real place. Edwards had hopes that the message and imagery of what he wrote would bring his audience to awakening about the terrible reality that lay in wait for them if they did not live with Christ in their lives. The main point put forward was the fact that, God has given humanity an opportunity to correct their sins and mistakes. Edwards believed that God’s will was to make people escape the ravages of hell. This restraint act has offered humanity with a chance to correct their ways and go back to Christ.
Edwards was a fourth generation descendant of the Puritan ministers. These were the most famous and powerful Puritan leaders who brought a lot of influence when Puritanism was about to die out. The infamous Salem Witchcraft trials that took place in 1692 that saw twenty people killed another hundred and fifty imprisoned irritated the community for a long time regarded as the most tragic event that uncovered the extremes of the zeal by the Puritans that was highly misguided.
This was movement of revival and caused many people to intensify their religious affiliation, not only in the congregation led by Edwards but also throughout the entire region of New England. The sermon was aimed at waking up everyone who underplayed God’s majesty and valued their decency, success and hard work. The author was guided by the belief that only a sincere conversion encounter must qualify an individual for membership in the church.
AP English 3
11 September 2013
Rhetorical Analysis: Imagery
In the sermon, “Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God,” Jonathan Edwards utilizes imagery as one of the rhetorical devices in order to scare his audience back to the pious ways of the first generation Puritans. Edwards’ vivid descriptions of hell and eternal torment are examples of the emotional appeal pathos. He uses figurative language including metaphors, similes, and personification to illustrate this unfortunate scenario in the minds of his listeners. For example, Edwards’ states, “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, and swallow them up…” (8-10). In this example the audience can clearly imagine the horrors of hell, which encourages them to look to God for salvation, thus also making use of logos as the audience rationalizes and considers the situation.
Hell is described as a “world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone…” (19-10), among many other things. The speaker/writer’s depictions of hell work to keep the audience members on their toes so they remember what they are doomed for if they dare to stray further from the Church or anger God even more than they have already done so. The rich imagery in this sermon is significant to the uniqueness of the piece because Edwards’ uses this literary device to scare the audience into compliance, and it serves as a main support for the author’s overall purpose, which is to get people to solidify ties to the Church.