Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Essay

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Jonathan Edwards's sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is moving and powerful. His effectiveness as an eighteenth century New England religious leader is rooted in his expansive knowledge of the Bible and human nature, as well as a genuine desire to "awaken" and save as many souls as possible. This sermon, delivered in 1741, exhibits Edwards's skillful use of these tools to persuade his congregation to join him in his Christian beliefs.
As many religious leaders before and after him, Edwards's source of inspiration and guidance is the Bible. His understanding of this cornerstone of New England society enables him to reinforce a persuasive dissertation with biblical quotes and passages; however, not all the quotes cited by
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Unfortunately, this particular section in Luke deals more with asking for God's salvation than giving into Satan:"If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" Luke 11:11-13. The complete passage shows how salvation is so easily granted whereas Edwards's purpose is to imply certain irreversible doom. Of course, this manipulation is not always the case, but it can seem misleading under analysis.
Just as effective as language manipulation is Edwards's use of language transformation; indeed, his skillful employment of descriptive language adds a visual dimension to his message. Even if the foundation is misinterpreted, these transformations allow any listener to mentally "see" Edwards's overall direction. For instance, God's wrath is referred to as "great waters that are dammed", "a glittering sword", and a "drawn arrow". These terms indicate powerful and deadly forces. On the other hand, sinners are likened to "worms of the dust", "miserable creatures", and "loathsome insects"; consequently, these labels are receptors of God's wrath through the forces Edwards introduces. Although these conceptual images appear basic, Edwards's frequency and placement throughout his delivery produce a clear and precise overview to even
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