Rhetorical Analysis Of Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

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Over the years, opinions on God have changed. Some people believed that God is terrifying and vengeful while others disagreed saying that He is loving and accepting of all. Jonathan Edwards was a Calvinist, who argued that unless one never sins, he or she is most likely doomed to hell. Edwards believed that humans are powerless in comparison to the power of God. In “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards, the author achieves his purpose of arguing that in order to be saved from an afterlife in hell, one must ask for forgiveness and accept Christ, through the uses of intense imagery, a terrifying tone, and understandable metaphors. The author appeals to his audience’s emotion when writing this sermon. Specifically, he targets…show more content…
While the tone does encompass such a powerful tone, it also shifts to a calmer, more hopeful tone. These tones help to argue that people must ask for God’s forgiveness to be saved. The aggressive, strong tone in the beginning helps to scare the audience into believing him. Because they are scared of him, they are more likely to listen out of fear. The calm, hopeful tone helps to assure the audience that there is still a possibility for them to make it into heaven. This nicer tone, written almost like a sales pitch, convinces them that they do just need to ask for forgiveness and accept Christ. An example of this aggressive tone is, “How might all the rest of the congregation life up a lamentable and bitter cry over him! But alas! instead of one, how many is it likely will remember this discourse in hell? And it would be a wonder if some that are now present should not be in hell in a very short time, even before this year is out” (11). His loud, accusatory tone scares the audience. It makes the audience fear him and listen to him out of fear for their existence in the afterlife. This enhances his purpose because it scares them into believing what he is saying. The transition of tone occurs when the author says, “And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open, and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners…” (13). This change in tone from
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