Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Jonathan Edwards wrote this lecture, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” to preach to the congregation of his church during the period of Great Awakening, a time of religious revival. He knows how to persuade and uses numerous techniques to do so. In his sermons, Edward’s expressive, informative, and argumentative writing style and his use of simile, metaphor, personification, imagery, and tone creates a fearful, emotional image in the minds of his readers.
One of Edward’s productive approaches to scare the audience of the unsaved people was through the use of imagery, which is the usage of words to create an image in the minds of his listeners. The use of imagery serves a purpose in Edward’s sermon mainly to defend his reason. One of the images that Edwards powerfully delivered in his sermon was in lines 14-23 in which he compared God’s wrath to “great waters.
“If God should only withdraw his hand from the floodgate, it would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God would rush forth with inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your strength were ten thousand times greater that the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it. ” In other words, Edwards portrays great waters that rise up and have the potential of destroying the people, that is, if God chooses to do so by opening the floodgate.
Another striking image appears to be in lines 24-30, “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. ” It compares God’s wrath to a bow that is bent, with the arrow ready to pierce a heart of any sinner out there.
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