Jonathan Edwards Speech Analysis

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Jonathan Edwards argues to the sinning members of the congregation who have not yet accepted Christ that God’s penalties for their iniquities and lack of faith are ineludible to any mortal, and that no attempt to overthrow Him exists that is capable enough. To deliver his point to his audience, Edwards employs multiple rhetorical devices such as simile, polysyndeton, imagery, metaphor, and hyperbole. A simile is present at the beginning of his speech, when he tells the sinners that their “wickedness make[s] [them] as it were heavy as lead.” This connection magnifies how sin poisons one’s soul and causes them to sink into the depths of Hell. Edwards compares the consequence of sin to a concept that the parish can comprehend, provoking the…show more content…
Although comparing different concepts, both of his similes serve to put two perplexing notions into the congregation’s perspective. Edwards use of simile helps the churchgoers understand the boundlessness of God’s fury. In addition to this quote being a simile, it also functions as the introduction to an extended metaphor. Throughout the second paragraph, Edwards uses language like “the Floods of God’s Vengeance,” “waters”, “stream,” and “Flood-Gate.” Edwards selects these words and phrases to equate the detrimental abilities of water to God’s own capacity to ravage. This comparison, like Edwards’ many others, aids in painting a more accurate picture of God’s wrath for his subjects. To conclude his argument, Edwards ends with a hyperbole stating that even “if [one’s] Strength were ten thousand Times greater than it is,” it would still not be enough to withstand God’s retribution. This strategically completes his speech by reimplanting the fact to the congregation once again that it is and always will be futile to fight against God, who overpowers all mundane forces. By ending his address to the church in such a manner, he ensures that his message will not be
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