Rhetorical Analysis: Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

Improved Essays
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
Christians were constantly reminded of the consequences of sinning during the Great Awakening. However one church in Enfield, Connecticut was largely unaffected. So they invited Johnathan Edwards, one of the most dynamic pastors of the time to speak. His mission was to convert, and convince the congregation of their sins. He accomplished this by delivering a compelling sermon that helped the congregation realize that they are going to be judged by God, and that this judgment will be more fearful and painful than they could imagine. The sermon that Johnathan Edwards delivered became one of his most famous teachings, because it embodied his entire system of belief. He titled it “Sinners in the Hands of an
…show more content…
Each of these topics is made more effective with the use of rhetorical devices, which are the heart and soul of Edwards’s emotional appeal to his listeners.
Edwards uses rhetorical devices to scare his audience from the path of eternal damnation and onto the path of boundless righteousness. He used imagery when he said, “It is that natural men are held in the hand of God, over the pit of hell” and “the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them, and would fain lay hold on them, and swallow them up” (Edwards 198). He says this to paint a picture to the congregation of how close they are to eternal damnation, and that it is only because of God’s grace that they are alive
…show more content…
There is no doubt as to the effectiveness of his tactics in using imagery to penetrate the hearts and minds of those who are present. This was mainly because people were a lot simpler minded at that time. Nevertheless, I can’t say that I’d condone this method for getting people saved. Despite the fact that a desire for God may be the motive, fear of going to hell is not faith in God. Only faith in God leads to salvation. When Edwards uses fear of hell as a means to bring people to God, sinners don’t have faith in God. They have faith in the possibility of going to hell. This is a distorted form of faith. It is only faith in God and His goodness that will save

Related Documents

  • Great Essays

    Jonathan Edwards Rhetoric

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages

    In the first part of the sermon Edwards convinces them of God’s terrifying power of wrath. He said, “thus easy is it for God when he pleases to cast his enemies down to hell....” (Edwards 121). His tone conveys God’s power over them causing them to be scared for the future. They are frightened by the intensity of his metaphors and imagery that he uses to describe God. Next, he explains that having faith in God was the only thing that could save them.…

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He continuously leads his readers to heaven, hell, or the judgment seat of Christ. His view is eternal, and his insights are amazing and passionate. Those who read Edwards embrace their fear of death. They enjoy in the hope of expressing the glory of God, and they quiver at the horrors of damnation. Edwards’ sermon will enhance the audiences concept of eternity and transform several…

    • 520 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Congregation Uproar Well respected Puritan Minister, Jonathan Edwards, in his sermon “Sinners In the Hands Of An Angry God” (1741), vilifies the consequences of unrepentant sinners. Edwards’s purpose was to outline for the congregation by the refusing of repenting would lead to many punishments. He implies a dramatic tone in order to propose that non repentance is inescapable. Edwards employs imagery, repetition, and vivid metaphors in his use of pathos. Edwards operation of imagery is expressed through his sermon by saying ¨casting his enemies to hell¨ (11) .…

    • 435 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God “You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.” Jonathan Edwards stated this quote in his famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. On July 8th, 1741, in Enfield, Connecticut, Edwards expressed his beliefs to his audience: people who were not saved by God will go to Hell; these “people” were also known as “Unconverted Men”. Edwards was known for the uprising theology of the Great Awakening. Henceforth upon reading Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, it can be concluded that Edwards followed his strict religion that he strongly believed in, Puritanism, during the seventeenth century. The emotion and manner of Edwards expression towards his audience was filled with irritation and rage.…

    • 494 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    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.…

    • 1100 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In chapter 13 Jesus predicts the coming persecution, calling people to continue to preach the gospel even when families turn against themselves. Jesus not only suffers with the Christian people but promises that the first will be last and the last will have more in the next life. This is the ultimate promise of hope for a people who are last and are oppressed in the here and…

    • 705 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Jonathan Edwards, the author of “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, wrote vivid sermons about the Puritan religion and the destiny that awaited those who did not accept Jesus as their savior. He was an enthusiastic writer that wanted people to clearly hear his messages. Jonathan Edwards wrote this piece over 300 years ago in an era where religion was very strict and there were distinct beliefs that were followed. Darrow’s claim acknowledges the sharp and cynical tone and attitude that Edwards attempted to convey the path in which to gain salvation. Edwards committed to his style of writing in order to establish purpose and instill fear into the reader.…

    • 732 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God A Persuasion Analysis of the Persuasion in Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Jonathan Edwards famous work entitled Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is a sermon that was given on the eighth of July in the year 1741. This sermon was preached to a congregation in Northampton, Massachusetts. Although this particular sermon seems to have a dark and gloomy idea and perception of religion, it left many in tears and wanting to hear more. The purpose of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God was to inform and persuade the people. Edwards wanted to show them that there was absolutely no hope of salvation found outside of Jesus Christ.…

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He explains that God is furious; raging at those who have not accepted Him. Edwards brings forth that God can easily accept those who are converted or send those who are not in the pits of flames. Some lines from Edwards’ sermon support his argument, “...the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash for them”. (Edwards 14) This quote explains that God will send those who have betrayed him to the pit of flames where Satan is waiting for them. Edwards gives another example, “The God that holds you over a pit of hell, much as one holds a spider over an open flame”.…

    • 663 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In this stanza of the sermon, Edwards portrays God as an all powerful force that is there to damn sinners to hell. He mentions that God already has hell prepared and it is horrifying. It is set up to make sinners suffer in pain and torcher them forever. In contrast to Edwards horrifying distinction, Bradstreet is very hopeful and positive. Bradstreet shows a much more positive side of literature.…

    • 928 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays