Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

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“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” John Edwards was a radical speaker during the The Great Awakening, who gave one of the most famous sermons, known as “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” This sermon was given to provoke people to turn from secular things, and come back to God, lest they burn in hell. John Edwards uses very strong imagery, tone, and details to get his point across while frightening the congregation. John Edwards strong use of imagery ignites fear into the people to help get his point across. He starts off his sermon with, “ Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead. and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards Hell; and if God should let you go you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf…” This immediately causes a sense of fear, making it seem as if the only thing keeping the people out of hell was God’s hand. The quote is using pathos to cause a sense of fear and repentance in the congregation. The use of imagery in this sermon is largely what causes the congregations reactions of horror to this. To get his point across even further, Jonathan Edwards uses strong tone in the sermon. The use of negative tone in this sermon is evident in the quote, “The God that holds you above the pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked.” The tone in this quote is very negative saying how God abhors you. This again is using pathos to strike a sense of fear into the congregations lives. The use of Jon Edwards negative tone causes the congregation to re-think how they were living. One final thing that Jonathan Edwards uses is his explicit details throughout this sermon. He says, “There are black clouds of God’s wrath hanging directly over your heads, full of the dreadful storm, and big with thunder: and were it not

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