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In: English and Literature

Submitted By maryannjoe
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The purpose of Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “The Sinner’s in the Hands of an Angry God,” is to influence the listeners to absorb the Puritan beliefs. The sermon uses powerful imagery, various metaphors and intense emotion to portray the wrath of an angry God towards the sinners. Thus, Edwards impresses upon the audience, the fury of the God towards those who haven’t repented their sins. The use of imagery by Edwards helps him to convey his message to the audience in an effective manner. One instance of a strong imagery used in the sermon is “The wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present; they increase more and more …If God should only withdraw his hand from the flood-gate, 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…” This segment provides a clear picture to the audience about the uncontrollable angst of the Almighty towards the guilty. It paints a picture of horror and agony among the the listeners. The tone created by Edwards’ imagery in this excerpt is intimidating to the audience. Edwards conveys the intensity of the wrath of God to the audience by giving them a visual of the fierceness of the great waters that would rush forth from a dam if God wishes to release his hands from the flood-gate. The choice of imagery by Jonathan Edwards is very effective in this segment because, by comparing the fiery overflow of the great waters from the dam to the inconceivable fury of the God, he fills the hearts of the listeners with fear and anxiety. The audience also feels guilty about the sins they have committed during their life along with a realization of the omnipotent power of the Almighty God. Another example for imagery in this sermon is “You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of a divine wrath flashing about…...

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