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Andy Campbell Mrs.

Nogarr AP English 3, Period 6 October 21st, 2013 Title: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” Author: Jonathan Edwards Discussed: October 29th, 2013

Imagery: “The bow of God's wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood.” (Paragraph 7)

Repetition: “You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment.”(Paragraph 8)

“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is an example of a typical Puritan sermon preached during the Great Awakening, a time of religious revival in the late eighteenth century. With this resurgence of religion, intense and frightening sermons that persuaded sinners to repent became commonplace, emphasizing the belief that Hell is a real place. Edwards hoped that the imagery and message of his sermon would awaken his audience to the horrific reality that awaited them, if they continue living the way they do. Edwards uses imagery to paint a

without any promise or obligation at all. Edwards conveys these frightening images throughout his sermon to induce his audience into believing they are vulnerable to God's wrath. and justice bends the arrow at your heart. such as going into detail about what Hell is like and what kind of tortures await sinners. His use of graphic words describing the horrors and torment awaiting sinners has a powerful effect on his audience.horrifying picture of eternal damnation for unsaved souls. repetition . the dangers of which everyone understands. and that of an angry God. many of whom were illiterate. Later. Edwards' way of delivering his message is so successful that it scares his listeners into believing and following his instructions. and strains the bow. Edwards used both of these images to convey the power of God to the people. a creature despised by humans just as sinners are despised by God. For example. and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God. that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood ” contains extremely vivid imagery that puts the listener into the situation described. For example. The listener can almost feel the arrow of striking their flesh. This metaphor shows that God could unleash his wrath at any moment but his kindness stops him from doing so. Edwards continuously uses repetition of images of pain and damnation. and the arrow made ready on the string. the sentence: “The bow of God's wrath is bent. Edwards compares sinners to spiders. Even if Hell isn't a real place and all of the pain and suffering described is a lie. in order to frighten those present into leaving their old ways and converting. and could not understand complex words. Edwards held his audience captive with his promises of eternal damnation if proper steps were not taken. Edwards uses these figures of speech to compare abstract concepts of God's wrath to common experience such as the bow and arrow.

or to refrain from doing acts. Edwards’ diction is effective because fear blinds one’s ability to use logic and common sense to question authority. and ready every moment to singe it. Most people would agree that a certain amount of fear is beneficial for man because it injects in him a certain amount of discipline. no matter how unjust or bizarre. His use of repetition is prevalent throughout the sermon. The fear of the unknown remains a useful technique in persuading people to do some act. The answer lies in the underlying principle of which religion is built upon: fear. to induce God to spare you one moment. despite the lack of evidence used to support Edwards’ claims. Certainly. nothing that you can do. from an evolutionary perspective. nothing to keep off the flames of wrath. It appears that religion must constantly degrade and humiliate its followers in order to glorify and elevate its god. nothing that you ever have done. However. This keeps the followers in a continuing state of fear and compliance. and you have no interest in any Mediator. providing a somewhat rhythmic quality to underscore the importance of his words and get the message across more effectively.” This sentence concludes Edwards’ sermon.is seen in: “You hang by a slender thread. and burn it asunder. sometimes fear is misused. . based on the laws of God. and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself. just as it always did. afraid to question the intentions of their god. It is interesting to see how effective this sermon was. Fear sells today. fear is an advantageous trait that prevents humans from doing potentially life-threatening things. From Edwards’ condescending tone. nothing of your own. The fear factor is dangled in front of people to persuade them to act in a certain way because it will keep them safe from terror. using the repletion of “nothing…” extensively to emphasize the futility of the sinner’s efforts. he makes is apparent that we have virtually no power over the authority of God. with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it.