Rhetorical Analysis: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” Preacher Jonathan Edwards does a great job at devoting the audience’s attention towards his speech. During the message, Edwards emphasizes that people will go to hell, but if you’re saved by the grace of God then the idea of spending eternity in the flames is dismissed. Although his choices of words were harsh, he managed to keep the audience entertained. Jonathan Edwards began his sermon towards the Puritan congregation by trying to scare the people. Edwards used loud words and an aggravated disposition in order to attempt to convert people to a new life. Jonathan Edwards’s purpose for writing the message was to change people’s beliefs and realize that the actions humans are taking part in are destroying a Holy God’s heart. By scaring the audience it makes people realize that all the bad stuff they have done in the past has destroyed their lives, and God’s. When you scare an audience during a message or sermon it shows the amount of trouble or the amount of help they need. Edwards performs very well in that style because not only did it scare people it brought a wonderful message as well. Edwards starts off one of his paragraphs by saying “The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and strains the bow”.
He then proceeds to say “only the mere pleasure of God keeps the arrow from releasing towards your heart” which explains to the audience that at any time God can take away their life just as easy as he gave it to them. Jonathan Edwards used a lot of similes and metaphors to compare his reasoning to, and he also uses many literary terms to explain his story. After reading this story sometimes you have to sit back and imagine the audiences’ minds after receiving this information. You wonder how fast the mind processes all of the negative comments and stories.
In the second paragraph of the sermon Jonathan Edwards says “God is a great deal more angry with great numbers that are now on earth; yea, doubtless, with many that are now in this congregation, who it may be are at ease, than he is with many of those who are now in the flames of hell”. How do you think the audience responded to this? Although Edwards may present himself as a rapacious individual, he is only trying to help and save the congregation. Someone (God) had to have told him to write this in order to save people’s lives. “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God” is a great sermon, and qualifies the point of converting people’s minds and beliefs to a certain view. Jonathan Edwards prepared this message very well, and proposed his way of living in a very orderly fashion. He makes sure to keep the audience focused on his one point by using harsh words and ways to imply the main root of his message.