Persuasion in John Edwards Sermons

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John Edwards is known for her sermons, preached during Puritan times. Where the Puritans were evangelical in nature, and his style of persuasive writing, did nothing but strengthen the time period known as the Great Awakening. Edwards was very skilled in using many forms of persuasion in his writing, and often used biblical allusions, or reference to biblical figures, event and locations that would be easily recognized by the congregation. Primarily, Edwards was able to persuade the American Colonists the most with his use of emotional appeals. Sermons were written and read so that even the simplest, or even illiterate of Colonist could understand, language that they could relate too. It was very sensory and vivid, used to evoke fear, pity and guilt in a group of people that had survived and were facing all manner of unknowns as the shaped a new nation. Like any writer that is trying to persuade his audience he begins his emotional appeal from the very beginning, as he very directly addresses the audience. "Yea, God is a great deal more angry with great numbers that are now on ear; yea, doubtless, with many that are now in this congregation, who it may be are at ease, than he is with many of those who are now in the flames of hell." This statement was not on an attention grabber, but evoked fear in the congregation, fear of hell and their own safety from Gods wrath, as well as fear and pity for those sitting around them. Another instance, are the strong emotional appeals used to influence his congregation, "So that, thus it is that natural men (unsaved) are held in the hand of God, over the pit of hell; they have deserved the fiery pit, and are already sentenced to it; and God is dreadfully provoked," potentially evoking fear, pity and even guilt in the Colonists. Lastly Edwards uses common comparisons to appeal to the audience's fear, with a multitude
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