Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

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“SINNERS IN THE HANDS
OF AN ANGRY GOD”
JONATHAN EDWARDS
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Jonathan Edwards was the son of a minister, and had a
religious bent early in life
• As a young boy, he played "revival" in the woods with other
children. With the use of a home-made wooden booth, a child
would play the pastor.
• He was born in 1703, and was diligently playing revival with his
neighbors around 1711 or 1713.
• He attended Yale University - Five years after he had
completed
his theological studies he accepted the pastorate of the
Congregational Church of Northampton, Massachusetts. His
predecessor was Samuel Stoddard, his grandfather.
• In 1734 he began a series of sermons on "Justification by Faith
Alone."
HOW THINGS GOT SO BAD
 Great
Migration - 1630-1642 = 20,000
Puritans
 Not all the other colonists were Puritans
 Towns created - Governed by strict
Puritan
 Farms/plantations far from center of town
 People lived far from center of town and
place of worship
 People couldn’t spend time at church; they
had to take care of their land = survival
IN ADDITION:
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In the 17th C - people like Sir Isaac Newton
emerged
Humans had the ability to discover secrets of the
universe
 People could control their destiny
 Unlike early thoughts, one’s destiny was not solely in
the hands of God
 Religion became more rational
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The Great Awakening
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Revivals in different towns
“SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF ANGRY GOD”
Delivered 1741
 Subject matter - salvation from the wrath of God.
God is an angry and wrathful being.
 Message - those who feel the power of God may
come forward, confess their sins and profess their
new-found faith and join the family of God, thus
ensuring salvation
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“SINNERS …”
Persuasive - tone, word choice, pace, rhetorical
questions
 ‘the voice of passion”
 “the furnace is ready, the fire is hot, the flames
are leaping,the pit is ready to receive you into its
depths”
 Quick to rapid
 “abominable, abhors, sinful”
 “Do you understand “everlasting”??
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LISTEN!!!
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http://www.thesermon1741.com/index.html
WHAT IS IMAGERY?
An image is a literal and concrete representation
of a sensory experience or of an object that can be
known by one or more of the senses. The image
is a distinctive element of the language of art by
which experience in its richness and complexity
is communicated….
 The image is, therefore, a portion of the essence
of the meaning of the literary work, not just
decoration.
 Images appeal to sensuous experience or
memory—an appeal that seems to work best
through specifically visual images.
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When analyzing imagery, it is very important to
avoid simply listing the images used. For each
image, you should consider:
 What
type of image is being used
 Why this particular image is being used
 What the effect of this image is on the
reader
 How the image contributes to the
literature as a whole
IMAGES CAN BE LITERAL OR FIGURATIVEEXAMPLE
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free;
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility.
Literal Pictures
1st line- literal imagery (picture a clear evening
with the stars shining in the sky, perhaps a faint
breeze is blowing.
4th line – literal imagery (imagine the sun looking
huge on the horizon, descending slowly and
calmly).
IMAGES CAN BE LITERAL OR FIGURATIVEEXAMPLE
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free;
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility.
Highly figurative
The time of day is compared to a nun in a simile. We
can picture this nun “breathless with adoration”—in
her black and white habit with her eyes cast down
humbly, with hands folded in prayer and a look on
her face of complete reverence and joy in God’s
presence.
EXAMPLE- ANALYSIS OF FIGURATIVE
LANGUAGE (METAPHOR)
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“Life is a blank page, waiting for us to write on
it.”
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This metaphor offers a clever description of life. It is
a blank page, the writer states, that we can write on
as we wish. By using this image, the poet suggests
that we have power over the way that we “write” our
lives. It is up to us how the story turns out.
TYPES OF FIGURES OF SPEECH
SIMILE: Compares two unlike things using like
or as.
 METAPHOR: Compares two unlike things
without using like or as.
 EXTENDED METAPHOR: a metaphor developed
over several lines.
 PERSONIFICATION: Gives human
characteristics to objects, animals, abstractions.
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WHY DO WRITERS USE FIGURES OF
SPEECH?
To help us see the world in new, imaginative
ways
 J. Edwards wants to make his readers/listeners
experience the horrors he is describing.
 For example, he describes “wickedness” as being
“heavy as lead.” By using this simile, Edwards
compares the idea of wickedness to an everyday
material his audience is familiar with. The figure
of speech helps them feel the dead weight of
wickedness.
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GROUP TASK
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Each group must choose one quote from the text
and visually represent the image that is being
created. Explain the effectiveness of this
particular image.
“LIKE A BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED
WATER…”
SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW
EVERY ROSE HAS ITS THORNS
HELL BUT THE AIR; IT IS ONLY THE POWER
AND MERE PLEASURE OF
YOU UP.”
GOD THAT HOLDS
SIMILEWickedness” as being “heavy as lead.”
 By using this simile, Edwards compares the ideas of
wickedness to an everyday material his audience is
familiar with.
 The figure of speech helps them feel the dead weight of
wickedness.
 Nothing can protect you (not your health, your care,
your righteousness)
 Could a spider’s web stop a falling rock???
METAPHOR
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His use of metaphors- the bow of God's wrath
being drawn and held over the hearts of sinners.
This metaphor shows that God could unleash his
wrath at any moment but his kindness saves them.
 compares sinners to spiders and serpents, creatures
despised by humans just as sinners are despised by
God. This shows his unconverted congregation how
poorly God thinks of them.
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EXTENDED METAPHORS
“Wrath of God is like great waters that are
damned for the present” - (5)
 “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”(6)
 “The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much
as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect
over the first, abhors you, and is dreadfully
provoked: his wrath toward you burns like fire”
(7)
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MEANING OF METAPHORS
 Like
waters temporarily blocked by a
dam, God’s anger is ready to burst forth.
 Hs wrath will bend like a bow to send the
arrow of retribution into a sinner’s heart.
 His wrath holds humanity like a spider
over the spider over the fire of the pit of
hell.
 GOD CAN LET GO!!!
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