Analysis Of Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God By Johnathan Edwards

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During the Great Awakening Period of America, the Puritan theologian Johnathan Edwards delivered a condescending and radical sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The movement from 1740-1745 focused on reforming religion and morals, since the Puritan hierarchy had grown stagnate (Harmon and Holman 47). The intent of Edwards’ sermon was to strike fear in his congregation; however, he did not use a loud, echoing voice, but instead a dry, monotone voice to present his thoughts. The inspiration for Edwards’ speech was from Deuteronomy 32:25, “Their foot shall slide in due time.” Edwards mastered the use of imagery and Biblical allusion in his sermons to invoke emotion and pull on the heart strings of his listeners. His use of imagery can be broken down into three major categories: figurative language to thoroughly describe his idea, emotional appeal to cause intense feelings in the minds and hearts of his audience, and logical appeal to make distinct comparisons to the Bible; Edwards masterfully combined these techniques in this sermon to …show more content…

To describe the depravity of sin he exclaims, “Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead… and all your righteousness would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock” (Baym and Levine 435). In this quote Edwards uses a simile to compare how man’s wickedness can weigh him down just as much as lead, then he uses a metaphor to emphasize that a man’s righteousness is as much of a safety net to an individual going to hell as a web is to a falling rock. He takes abstract terms such as God’s wrath and man’s wickedness and relates them to concrete images such as lead and spiders, to help his audience wrap their minds around the concepts. Furthermore, Edwards uses personification in his passage when he mentions how creation groans and nature experiences agony in the way that a human

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