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from Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
Transcript of from Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
Jonathan Edwards, in 1741, gave his 6 hour sermon, "from Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," to a congregation in Enfield, Connecticut. His straight forward, and brutal at times, message sent some of his listeners into a scare that they never had to listen to before.
Da Great Awakening
In the 1740s, a religious revival was sweeping over the colonies. This revival included men much like Edwards. It was necessary in recovering the diminishing numbers of the Puritan church. Not every preacher in that time gave messages of such brutality like Edwards did though.
Themes! Where are the themes?!
In Edwards' sermon he had three main themes that he spoke about to awaken his congregation of their sinful ways.
1. God's compassion will not last forever
2. Dependance is sometimes neccesary
3.Obedience and repentence will profit a reward for the future
Obey and Repent Ye Sinners!
Edwards, in the sermon, mainly used fear to promote obedience and repentance in his listeners giving multiple examples and circumstances in doing so. Throughout his message, scenerios are used to show the:
1. Need for God
2. Wrath of God
3. Rewards of God
Edwards states at the beginning of the sermon that a dependence on God is first needed. If this dependence is not met a eternality in Hell is to ensue.
God's In Control (Edwards 87)
He uses the analogy of God holding us over Hell's pit. If we continue to be sinful in our nature, without a dependence upon God or an obedience of Him, we will be dropped into "that lake of burning brimstone."
But if we do depend upon, and obey, Him, He will continue to hold our sinful selfs from Hades.
Obey or Feel His Wrath (88)
In this passage, Edwards' uses an analogy to explain how the disobedience of a person causes God's wrath to slowly build up over time like waters behind floodgates. The water grows larger and larger in size till the gates will not hold it back any longer. This is much like God's wrath upon us humans.
In Edwards's message his speaks on repentence and that "all you that were never born again, and made new creatures, and raised from being dead in sin, to a state of new, and before altogether unexperienced light and life, are in the hands of an angry God." (89)
This tells whoever has not repented from their sinful ways needs to do so. In doing so and obeying God's commands and laws we humans could find ourselves "feasting" and "rejoicing and singing for joy of heart" (91) in God's heavenly resting place.
Edwards, Jonathan. "from Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". Yale University Press, 1999.
Prentice Hall Literature Georgia. New Jersey. Pearson Education, Inc., 2011
It Is Finished! (91)
Edwards, in perfect fashion, gave a gut wrenching scare at the end of his sermon striking fear once more into his already terrified congregation finishing off an incredible horror-story-like message.
Edwards developed his theme on obedience and repentance the most using fear to show what disobedience will lead to and then how to change that outcome when we repent.
A Necessary Evil
Without the fear that Edwards used in his sermon his listeners would not have understood the gratitude of the need for obedience of God. The fear might not be acceptable to our standards nowadays but back then it was necessary in opening the eyes of his listeners and to make them realize their sinful ways.
To Be Specific...
Edwards' most developed theme in his sermon was: obedience and repentance will profit a reward for the future.
A healthy obedience and dependence on God is needed to repent and turn away from our sinful ways as explained in Edwards' powerful sermon. If this is not done we will be "crying in extreme misery and perfect despair" in "a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath."