Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

571 Words3 Pages
“The God … abhors you!” Imagine a preacher who would openly insult the congregation, tell them they were all damned, and that they could and should go to hell. Jonathan Edwards was one of these preachers. In “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” Jonathan Edwards uses strong imagery to “excite” his audience into stronger religious devotion and sometimes even move them to hysteria. These powerful sermons sparked the religious revival in which people lived more devoted, spiritual lives. This “Great Awakening” spread throughout New England during the eighteenth century. He uses strong imagery such as the “floodgate,” the “bow and arrow,” and the “spider held in Gods hand” to “excite” the congregations into reforming their lives and become more devote. Jonathan Edwards describes God’s wrath as water that is constantly rising in paragraph seventeen. God’s hand forms the floodgate that prevents the water from bursting out and destroying the sinners. A hand that is only kept steady by his pleasure and if he should remove his hand, it would be the end for the entire congregation. This imagery describes how the congregation was not living virtuous lives and how God’s wrath was building up as time passed. This incited a sense of fear of damnation in the congregation as they realized how much danger they were in and pushed them to become more devoted. The second example of imagery is found in paragraph nine. Jonathan compares God’s wrath to a taunt bow, ready to fire at any moment. Ready to fire an arrow that he has no reason to hold back, yet God holds it back out of his loving nature. This imagery describes how the congregation members have nothing to hang onto to save them from hell. Jonathan sends the message that the sinners have made more offences to God then what would be forgivable, and if they do not reflect upon and correct their actions soon, they
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