Rhetorical Analysis Of Jonathan Edwards 's ' Sinners 's The Hands Of An Angry God '

Rhetorical Analysis Of Jonathan Edwards 's ' Sinners 's The Hands Of An Angry God '

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In 1741, Jonathan Edwards, a Puritan preacher of that time, had one thing on his mind: to convert sinners, on the road to hell, to salvation. It just so happened to be, that his way of doing that was to preach the reality to them and scare them to the point of conversion. Sermons of this time were preached to persuade people to be converted and to me it seemed that Edwards just had a special way of doing it. Just as people are being influenced by rhetoric appeals today Edwards used the same method on his congregation. In “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” Jonathan Edwards positively affected his readers using pathos, logos, and ethos, while trying to convince the unconverted members of his sermon to be born again.
Pathos is the most obvious appeal that Edwards expresses because of the emotion and heart that he puts into his sermon. The forms of pathos mostly used by Edwards consist of Imagery, Figurative language, and connotative diction. For the most part, Reverend Edwards uses pathos while appealing to fear. For example, Edwards stated that “hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them, and would fain lay hold on them and swallow them up” (Edwards 41). He uses the imagery to explain hell and how detrimental it would be to have to go there and he really emphasizes how much of a negative place that hell is, using his word choice. Edwards could have simply told the congregation about hell and the seriousness of their condition, but because of the details and syntax that he uses a greater affect is made upon his audience. According to the text, Edwards also states that, “You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of age, in wrestling and conflicting with his almighty mercil...


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... filled with love to him who has loved them" (Edwards 44). He told them about the others who have already came and been converted to Christianity and hopes that showing them the others that have came they would also change their ways and be converted. Also, this being the time of the great awakening he wants the unconverted of his congregation to become a part of it and referencing to this event helps contribute to their conversion.
Edwards seemed to be an important player in contributing to the great awakening. The sermon that he presented to his congregation was a to the point sermon about hell. There were many sermons in this time period being preached but Edwards seemed to go above and beyond, showing hell in a more realistic way to convert his audience. That is how Edwards used Pathos, logos, and ethos in his attempt to convert to sinners to be born again.

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