The use of imagery in sinners in the hands of an angry god a sermon by jonathan edwards

What is 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God' about? This sermon, preached by Jonathan Edwards at the church at Enfield Conneticut, on July 8,has as its text Deuteronomy He described how, even though they were indeed condemned, and God was not lacking in power, they were not yet fallen to destruction because of the grace of God which gave them opportunity to repent and change their ways before it was too late.

The use of imagery in sinners in the hands of an angry god a sermon by jonathan edwards

The sermon, even when read silently, is effective in forcefully projecting a specific interpretation of the wrathful nature of God and the sinful nature of man.

In crafting his highly effective sermon, Edwards utilizes his authority as a man of God and as an interpreter of the scriptures, a logical and direct organization of arguments, and violent imagery to convince his audience of the vengeance of God against man.

Jonathan Edwards begins his sermon by quoting Deuteronomy He places the verse in context by mentioning the "unbelieving Israelites," then passes judgment on the doctrinal situation by saying that the scripture "seems to imply" the points to be illustrated in the rest of the document Edwards He is also aware of the influence his position as a preacher has on the congregation.

He uses two authorities to which he knows his audience claims allegiance; that is, he exercises both his own authority and the authority of the Bible to make his arguments about the nature of sinners more powerful.

The scripture quoted at the beginning of the sermon then becomes irrefutable proof of the precarious nature of sinners in the sight of God.

Navigate Guide The sermon was riddled with horrifying imagery and threats to instill fear into the audiences of Puritan Minister, Jonathan Edwards.
Who can edit: Doctrine[ edit ] Edwards, Rev. God may cast wicked men into hell at any given moment.

As the sermon goes on, Edwards continues to utilize his authority as a man of God, specifically by creating his own interpretation of the nature of God. This interpretation of God becomes the reference point for the rest of the sermon.

Edwards characterizes God as a being that "abhors" mortal men and "looks upon [them] as worthy of nothing else but to be cast into the fire" Edwards then uses scriptural references to support his claims about the nature of God. Once again, he justifies his arguments by relying upon the word of God scripture and his own authority to interpret those words.

The sermon follows a very logically formulated course.

A Short Guide to Imagery, Symbolism, and Figurative Language

Edwards begins by explaining the situation of the Israelites, as outlined in the Bible. He then supports this claim, once again, with a numbered list of fully articulated explanations.

Finally, after creating a well-structured argument about the Israelites, Edwards shifts his attention toward the members of his congregation and applies his claims about the Israelites to their present-day situation. His language immediately reflects this directional shift. He says that the subject thus far addressed "may be for awakening unconverted persons in this congregation" Edwards Edwards addresses the audience very directly, saying "This that you have heard is the case of every one of you that are out of Christ"emphasis added.

Before this shift, Edwards uses generalized language that is not directed at any specific individuals. When speaking of the condemnation of men, he says "the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them," etc.

Edwardsemphasis added By shifting his attention directly to the audience before him, Edwards makes a logical transfer of ideas from the Israelites to the Americans in his congregation. The punishments and dire consequences assigned to the Israelites in the first half of the speech, before the shift, are then applied to the congregation.

Edwards also makes direct and powerful arguments by addressing specific groups within his congregation.


Near the end of the sermon, Edwards begins to identify groups within the audience, then speaks directly to them. He speaks to older individuals, saying, "Do you not see how generally persons of your years are passed over and left," then turns to the younger audience members, saying, "And you, young men, and young women, will you neglect this precious season which you now enjoy.

He says, "And you, children, who are unconverted. Will you be content to be children of the devil. Edwards also appeals to his audience through the use of extreme imagery.

After identifying his audience members as sinners, Edwards reemphasizes the gravity of their situation through frightening images of destruction.

The use of imagery in sinners in the hands of an angry god a sermon by jonathan edwards

He directly pinpoints the sins of the congregation, telling them that "wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell" Edwards Through the use of this image, Edwards creates a notion of hell that is very physical, not merely spiritual or mental.

The physical reality of the torture of hell increases the negativity of the consequences of damnation. Edwards continues to use similar imagery in his explanation of the wrath of God. The wrath of God is compared to "black clouds," "fiery floods," a bent bow loaded with an arrow pointed at the heart of the sinner, etc.

Edwards The images used in the second half of the sermon after the shift towards the audience parallel those used in the first half of the sermon. The audience members are thus in danger of the punishments directed at the Israelites. They can now picture themselves "held in the hand of God, over the pit of hell" Edwards Jonathan Edwards’ sermon “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” is the most famous sermon in the history of America.

The sermon was read in Enfield, Connecticut, July 8, , at the peak of the First Great Awakening. What does Edwards think is true of the members of his congregation in Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God? Toward the end of the sermon, Edwards ton shifts from. sinners in the hands of an angry god- jonathan edwards.

20 . The wise theologian, Jonathan Edwards, wrote a vigorous and persuasive sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Edwards’ use of imagery, figurative language, and angered arguments shaped this sermon, to show the congregation the gruesome consequences of sinning.

In Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Jonathan Edwards created the emotion of fear by using imagery and figurative language to persuade his audience.

Expert Answers

He used imagery and figurative language so the wrath of God is more fearsome and gave you a mental picture of hell in your head. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is the text of a sermon that Edwards preached to his congregation. I know of no author/preacher who is more consistently captivated by God's glory in his grace and love towards sinners, especially as manifested in the eternal joy in Him of heaven.

Jonathan Edwards "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is the transcript of his multiple-hour sermon which he delivered in Enfield, Connecticut, on July 8, Jonathan Edwards was a brilliant man who spoke with a quiet voice and who had severe myopia (nearsightedness)/5().

The use of imagery in sinners in the hands of an angry god a sermon by jonathan edwards
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God - Jonathan Edwards