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Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

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Jonathan Edwards is a preacher who captivates his congregations by deliberately choosing words with strong, negative diction. This is extremely evident in his sermon, "Sinners in the hands of an Angry God." Edwards uses words with negative connotation to make unrepentant sinners doubt their faith. Also, he uses imagery to depict vivid pictures of sinners being saved from hell merely because of God's grace. Jonathan Edwards uses positive diction and imagery to compare the joy that converted believer will experience to the despair of those who will experience the terrors of hell. In ''Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," Jonathan Edwards uses diction and imagery to persuade his congregation to undergo a religious conversion.

Starting off, Jonathan Edwards uses negative connotation to scare individuals from his audience in to experiencing a spiritual conversion. Using words that convey negative meanings, he puts the fear of God into the audience. For example, he says, "Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead..." (91). Edwards is telling the people that their wicked ways, or evil doings, makes them heavier on the strings of God's grace that are holding them from falling into the pit of hell. Edwards also uses phrases such as "everlasting destruction" to describe the horrors of hell that will last for eternity (91). Being "abominable in His eyes" is another example of diction that Edwards uses (91). Negative connotation is a tool Jonathan Edwards uses in order to bring his audience to salvation.

Furthermore, Edwards clearly depicts images using carefully chosen words to scare the audience. Filled with fear, the individuals in the audience will then experience an awakening to God. Edwards uses words to create images; for example, he says, "The bow of God's wrath is bent and the arrow made ready on a string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry god, without any promise or obligation at all that keeps the arrow one moment from being drunk with your blood" (91). Edwards is saying that God's mercy is what keeps an arrow, or death, from capturing them. Also, "The devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them" is an expression used by Edwards to describe how hell is waiting to devour them (90). He does this for the purpose of convincing the congregation to repent of their sins and turn to God. Planning word choices carefully, Edwards make references that God is the only thing separating the individuals from hell. Imagery is yet another way that Edwards puts the fear of god's wrath into the congregation's hearts.

Despite Edwards' negative connotation and imagery, he occasionally uses positive imagery and positive diction in order to compare the grace and glory that the converted experience to the "extreme



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