Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is a religious sermon written by Jonathan Edwards in 1741. The sermon was delivered during the Great Awakening, a time when there was a renewed interest in Christianity in the United States.
The sermon’s purpose was to warn sinners of the consequences of their actions and to encourage them to turn to God for salvation. In order to achieve this goal, Edwards used various rhetorical devices, such as fearmongering and emotional appeals.
One of the most effective techniques employed by Edwards was his use of metaphors and similes. For example, he compared sinners to “a great wave of water” that is about to crash down on them and likened Hell to a “bottomless pit.”
Many famous sermons began circulating throughout the English-speaking world from the 16th century, and their potent phrases are still heard by millions of people today, especially those in modern society. Both sermons, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and “A Model of Christian Charity,” contain a number of images, analogies, and other rhetorical strategies to persuade readers.
As a result, these two sermons have been very successful in teaching religious morals to the people. Although both sermons were created for different reasons, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was meant to scare people into being saved while “A Model of Christian Charity” was meant to inspire individuals to be loving and accepting.
The sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was written by Jonathan Edwards during the Great Awakening. The purpose of this sermon was to convert sinners so that they would not end up going to hell. This could be seen through Edwards’ use of various rhetorical devices such as pathos, metaphors, and similes. For example, he uses the metaphor of a spider over a fire to explain how sinners are constantly hanging by a thread over the eternal flames of damnation.
This is effective in scaring people into repenting for their sins because it creates a visual image that is easy to understand. In addition, Edwards also uses similes to compare the sinners to different objects such as rats and dogs. This is effective in making the sinners seem like less than human, which would make them more likely to repent and be saved.
“A Model of Christian Charity” was written by John Winthrop while he was on board the Arbella. The purpose of this sermon was to inspire the Puritans to be loving and accepting towards one another. This could be seen through Winthrop’s use of various rhetorical devices such as logos, pathos, and ethos.
For example, he uses logos when he talks about how the Puritans need to be unified in order to survive in the new world. This is effective in inspiring people to be loving because it shows them that they need to work together in order to achieve their goals. In addition, Winthrop also uses pathos when he talks about how the Puritans are all children of God. This is effective in making the Puritans feel connected to one another and more likely to be accepting of each other.
Furthermore, their use of language and word repetition aid in the emphasis of the message that the author is attempting to convey to readers. Furthermore, Edwards and Winthrop understand their audience, making it simpler for them to get their point across. Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is more successful because it employs a more exciting vocabulary and imagery throughout the sermon.
The sermon, “A Model of Christian Charity” written by John Winthrop is about the Puritans journey to America and how their society should be based off the Bible. He starts off the sermon with a metaphor comparing their ship to Noah’s Ark and how they are all sinners. He talks about how they need to love each other as Christ loved them and be willing to die for one another. Though this sermon is more effective than Edwards’ in terms of ethos, it lacks in pathos.
Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” uses much more shocking diction which creates a sense of urgency in the readers. For example, he talks about how God is holding sinners over the “Pit of hell” and how they will be “plunged into the bottomless gulf” if they do not repent. This use of diction is effective in getting the message of salvation across to the readers.
He also uses a lot of repetition throughout the sermon which helps drive home the point that sinners need to repent or suffer eternal damnation. In addition, Edwards employs a lot of imagery in his sermon which makes it more interesting to read. For instance, he talks about how sinners are like “wicked spiders” and how God is like a “flaming sword.” This use of imagery makes the sermon more engaging for the reader.
Overall, both sermons are effective in their own ways. However, Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is more effective due to its use of shocking diction, repetition, and imagery. These literary devices help hold the reader’s attention and drive home the main point of the sermon, which is that sinners need to repent or face eternal damnation.
To convey his harsh tone, Edwards uses repetition throughout the sermon. He repeats, “….and nothing to grasp on to save yourself, nothing that can keep you from the anger of God’s wrath, and no part of your own; naught that you ever performed or could perform to persuade God to preserve you one single moment.” Edwards is emphasizing that there is no one who can match the power of a God.
This is repeated later in the sermon when Edwards speaks of how sinners “have no refuge, nothing to take hold of”(10). This repetition reinforces Edwards’ point that sinners are helpless and at the mercy of God.
He also employs a lot of visual and concrete images to drive home his points about the wrath of God and the suffering of sinners. He talks about how sinners are “hanging over the firy abyss” and talks about the “flaming sword” that God holds over them (7). These images make it easy for the reader to picture the horror that sinners will face if they do not repent.
Edwards also uses rhetorical questions throughout his sermon to engage his listeners and get them thinking about their own salvation. He asks questions like “How shall you be able to bear the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God?” and “What will become of you?” (7). These questions force the listener to think about the consequences of their actions and hopefully motivate them to change their ways.
In conclusion, Jonathan Edwards was a very effective preacher and his use of rhetoric played a big part in that. His ability to engage his listeners and make them think about their own salvation was key in getting his message across.