“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is a sermon written by British Colonial Christian theologian Jonathan Edwards, preached to his own congregation in Northampton, Massachusetts to unknown effect, and again on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut
Summary of the Sermon
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God publication
Jonathan Edwards’s Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, preached on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut, is an appeal to ‘sinners’ to recognize that they will be judged by God and that this judgment will be more fearful and painful than they can comprehend. Three themes stand out as particularly important for understanding Edwards’s approach to his message:
Corrupt sinners face a fearful judgment.
Time is short for the unrepentant: God’s righteous wrath will come suddenly and unexpectedly.
It is only God’s free choice that extends the ‘day of mercy’ and provides another opportunity to respond to his call.
Each of these themes is made more potent by the use of vivid metaphors, which are the heart and soul of Edwards’s emotional appeal to his listeners. We’ll look at each of these themes in order and examine some of the key metaphorical language that Edwards uses to make these points.