Jonathan Edwards Rhetorical Devices

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On July 1741, in Enfield Connecticut, a puritan man delivered a sermon that is still well-known to this day. The man was Jonathan Edwards, and the sermon he gave is called “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” He uses many rhetorical devices to help get his point across to his people. The sermon is very repetitious, mainly discussing God’s wrath against sinners and hell. The purpose of his sermon was to help his people and sinners to avoid the wrath of God and to convert them into Christians. Using the Bible to support his claims about God’s wrath, Jonathan Edwards stresses the horrible judgement God can bear through his utilization of emotional appeal, fear, guilt, etc. with the help of vivid imagery throughout his sermon.
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In the eyes of Edwards, people 's wickedness makes them heavy as lead, and they will fall straight through hell without a problem, like a spider web trying to stop a rock from going through. He also states that God doesn’t have mercy among the sinners and will “crush [them] under his feet without mercy; he will crush out [their] blood” for asking for his pity (217). The Lord’s wrath is painful, and Edwards tries to have his people picture it. He also explicitly states the full potential of God when he compares the powers of rulers with the powers of the Lord. These rulers are feeble when compared to God, despicable worms, compared to the “great and almighty Creator and King of heaven and earth” (216). No King, Emperor or Leader is able to go against God. Indeed, God is stronger than any human on Earth, and Edwards doesn’t want any of his people to underestimate His abilities. He describes God as having great wrath while those who face it will experience infinite …show more content…
He tries to build up fear, anxiety, misery, and despair, making his people clueless as to what to do to in order to save themselves. Mercifully, Edwards gives them an opportunity for redemption towards the end of his sermon. He brings joy and comfort to his people knowing that they can save themselves. If Edwards skipped his entire sermon and just tells of God’s mercy, not a lot of people would seek and take hold of the opportunity. It is because emotions, which vivid imagery plays with, gives the will to act. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God offered many rhetorical devices but the play on emotions is the most effective device being

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