Jonathan Edwards And Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

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Despite their similar clergy-centric upbringings, Emerson and Edwards branched off into opposite philosophical directions early in life. In fact, even with the reason-oriented Paines and Franklins that came between them to battle, these two minister’s sons had perhaps the most to dispute of early influential American writers. Jonathan Edwards became a model of what could be accomplished by hard work as a good, obedient churchman from his religious background, though his high intellect might have played a part in the drive and success he experienced through attending Yale at thirteen to writing some of the most powerful imagery and effective ethos-driven rhetoric of the early American language. Emerson’s comparatively downhill path of attending …show more content…
The question becomes one of man’s innate character and relationship with God. Edwards obviously believes in an intense relationship with God relating to his strong Puritan beliefs, but the text of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God shows to what extent his God is omnipotent and inarguably angry. The carefully chosen rhetoric of the sermon depicts almost graphic images of the sheer revulsion of humanity and the ultimate power God holds over such contemptuous and weak beings. “The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you” (Edwards 436). Though the possibility of revelation sets each person apart from one another, the collective contains a complete lack of individuality at the hands of total uniformity of moral horror. “He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in His sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in His eyes than the most hateful venomous serpent in ours.” The forceful language he utilizes here and all throughout the sermon juxtaposes the extremes of God’s heavenly purity and our hellbent depravity as sinners, a word apparently synonymous with human being. But for every of Edwards that puts such distance between God and man, Emerson has another that bridges this gap. “The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God” (Emerson 217).” These lines express the exact opposite assertion, and clearly outline where Edwards would find blasphemy in the Emersonian. “I am the lover,” Emerson continues, “of uncontained and immortal beauty. [...] Man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own

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