Satisfactory Essays
Although the main theme of this sermon was the Anger of God, this sermon is meant to depict the relationship between the Holy God and sinful man. First of all, Edwards describes the natural condition of man as being bleak. He says that God’s fury “burns against them”, that God’s “glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them” (196). What he means by this is that “unconverted men” are in a standing with God that is precarious (196). They have not yet fallen under the judgment of God, but could at any given time be swallowed whole by the wrath of God. He continues to picture this situation by describing a man as “walk[ing] over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen” (197). The general reason that man is in this state is because his wickedness is great. Edwards believes that man in his natural state is completely sinful. He states that “There are those corrupt principles, in reigning power in them, and in full possession of them, that are seeds of hell fire” (196). He shows that every man has nothing but evil inside of him, and can do nothing to rid himself of it. All of this evil makes a man “as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell” (199). He also believes that man’s righteousness is weak, and anyone that relies on his good works to earn his way into a relationship with God is destined to fail. He says that all of the good deeds that a man could do would keep him out of hell just as much as “a spider's web would have to stop a falling rock” (199).
Secondly, Edwards believes the wickedness of man necessitates God...

... middle of paper ...

...ife, are in the hands of an angry God” (199). Another author, affirms this truth. “The truth was, and is, that man must be reborn in order to know himself as a distinctly human being and to be, in Christian terms, saved” (Davidson, 79).
Although Edwards did have the depiction of God’s wrath in mind when he performed this sermon, the main goal was to accurately describe to his audience their standing before God, or what dilemma they were in. Many modern readers view Edwards as a man who just wanted to call down fire and brimstone on his hearers, but Edwards just wanted to tell them what he thought to be true. According to the Bible, what he preached then is still true now. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God "is intended to create a spiritual crisis by calling to the fore one's desperate and lost condition, which one may have been totally unaware of" (Harding 38).
Get Access