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Jonathan Edwards Ethos

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Well known reverend and writer, Jonathan Edwards, in his sermon, Sinners in the hands of an Angry God, describes the dramatic fate of those who haven 't accepted Jesus Christ. Edwards purpose is to persuade members of his congregation to be “born again”. To be born again means to accept Jesus Christ. He creates a frightening tone in order to frighten unconverted men to believe in Jesus. Throughout his sermon he continuously reminds the reader of hell. Using vivid imagery and morbid diction he scares them into becoming “born again”. As a writer reverend Edwards wanted to persuade. To accomplish this he used many rhetorical devices. Speakers have been using persuasion for many years but, it was Aristotle who coined the term ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos is persuading an audience using credibility. One…show more content…
Edwards quotes quickly from the Bible, showing that he is well-versed in scripture and therefore, qualified to give spiritual advice to his parishioners. An example from his sermon is when he ask “who knows the power of God 's anger?”(43) This is an allusion to Psalms 90:11 “who knoweth the power of thine anger?” In addition to establishing a biblical credibility he also reveals his knowledge about the events at the time. When Edwards says, “a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God. Many are daily coming.”(44) he is referencing the hundreds of people being converted during the Great Awakening. Using the reference he establishes a more personal trust showing that he is not only a preacher but, a member of society. In conclusion, Edwards was a powerful speaker and writer. His words could bring a room full of people to their knees. His use of strong imagery and diction persuades and shocks the congregation even more than just saying they were going to hell. If they didn 't already leave from fear they were crying from thinking they would go to hell. His speech will go down in history for one of the best fire and brimstone
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