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Jonathan Edwards “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

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1 Jonathan Edwards “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

2 For Edwards, science, reason, and observation of the universe confirmed for him the existence of God. A brilliant thinker and speaker, Edwards entered Yale at 13 and became a minister 12 years later. His passionate, yet frightening, sermons helped to bring about The Great Awakening, a time when many who attended church were not “saved” or could testify to an emotional encounter with God and His grace. “Unregenerate” Christians were those who attended church and accepted church teachings but had not been “born again” by God’s grace.

3 He was dismissed as pastor in 1750 because his sermons were too extreme; he “called out” those in the congregation who were leading lives “relapsing into sin.”  Ironically, Edwards died of a smallpox vaccination, a modern medical procedure many Puritans considered sinful.

4 On the one hand, Edwards believed “in reason and learning, the value of independent intellect, and the power of the human will.” VS. “On the other hand, he believed in the lowliness of human beings in relation to God’s majesty and the ultimate futility of merely human efforts to achieve salvation.” “Edwards, as ‘the last Puritan,’ stood between Puritan America and modern America. Tragically, he fit into neither world.”

5 Figurative Language in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” By Jonathan Edwards

6 “The devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them…” (79). Imagery

7 “The devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them, and would fain lay hold on them and swallow them up…” (79). Personification

8 “…the fire pent up in their own hearts is struggling to break out…” (79). Personification

9 “The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow of your heart, and strains the bow…” (109). Metaphor

10 “The God that holds you over the pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, …” (81). Simile

11 “…you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours” (81). Simile

12 “…it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath…” (81). metaphor

13 “…if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into a bottomless gulf…” (80). Imagery

14 “The wrath of God is like great waters that are damned for the present…” (80). Simile

15 “…if your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea, ten thousand times greater that the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it” (80). Simile

16 “That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you” (80). Imagery/ metaphor

17 “Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead” (80). Simile

18 “…your own care and prudence, …would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of Hell, than a spider’s web would have to stop a fallen rock” (80). Simile

19 “You have offended Him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince…” (81). Simile

20 “…his wrath towards you burns like fire;” (81). Simile

21 “…they would avail no more to keep you from falling than the thin air to hold a person that is suspended in it” (80). Simile

22 “It is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God…” (81). metaphor


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