An Angry God Ethos

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In 1741, Jonathan Edwards delivered a sermon called “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” to a congregation in Enfield, Connecticut. This sermon was so influential and poignant that today it has transformed into a piece of literature that many study in classes. This bit of literature is so utterly jam-packed with the use of rhetorical appeals, often referred to as ethos, pathos, and logos. These three appeals are derived from ancient Greece, or more precisely, the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Ethos appeals to the audience’s sense of trust, pathos, to their sense of emotion, and logos, to their sense of logic. The use of ethos, pathos, and logos in any type of writing or speaking can create a commanding and arresting effect on the reader/listener.…show more content…
In the NMSI chart, pathos is defined as appealing to the "audience 's emotions" and can "evoke anger, laughter, sadness, fear, joy, pride, etc." ("Using" 13). In the sermon, this is the primary appeal that Edwards uses to influence the unconverted. The author appeals to the reader 's sense of vanity by asking " How awful is it to be left behind at such a day [the day when the saved are in Heaven]! To see so many others feasting while you are pining and perishing [in hell]..."(Edwards 44). This pathos appeal helps Edwards persuade the unconverted because they would not want to be left behind. He also illuminates that “God has so many different unsearchable ways of taking wicked men out of the world and sending them to hell” (Edwards 41). Edwards discusses the interminably amount of diverse means that God could damn the unconverted to try getting the argument across that they will not comprehend death approaching and it could be at any moment. Another use of pathos in “Sinners” is when Edwards describes to the unconverted that “the wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber” (Edwards 41). Every time that Jonathan Edwards uses the appeal of pathos he uses it to evoke fear or to touch hearts into turning to…show more content…
The third appeal described in the NMSI paper is logos. Logos is the appeal to the “audience’s logic by constructing a well-reasoned argument” (“Using” 13). In “Sinners”, Edwards uses the audience’s appeal to logic by stating facts or common sense. He appeals to the unconverted’s sense of intelligence in saying “it would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer to it all eternity” if they do not choose to follow God (Edwards 43). Edwards also says “all you that were never born again, and made new creatures, and raised from being dead in sin. . .are in the hands of and angry God” (Edwards 42). This quote from “Sinners” appeals to the sense of logic because it is cause and effect which makes the reader think of what will happen if they do not choose to follow Christ. Edwards says that it is “nothing of your own, nothing that you have ever done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment” (Edwards 43). This is another instance that he uses logos to show common sense by saying that we do not deserve God’s forgiveness, but we have received it, and the unconverted could not care less. Ethos, pathos, and logos: from ancient times and still being used now due to their relevancy and accomplishments. Jonathan Edwards uses all three of these appeals in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” to get his point across and to persuade the unconverted to turn o Jesus Christ. When truly analyzing this sermon
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