Analysis of Jonathan Edwards’ speech Essay
Analysis of Jonathan Edwards’ speech, 498 words essay example
September 6, 2016
Jonathan Edwards' powerful speech, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" was written
with a persuasive technique. He tries to persuade the audience to be committed to being a good
Christian. To achieve this he uses repetition, restatement, and an emotional appeal.
Jonathan Edwards uses repetition throughout his speech. A good point is on page
eighty-nine and demonstrates repetition, "and sees how your poor soul is crushed, and sinks
down... he will have no compassion upon youor in the least lighten his hand...no moderation or
mercy. "God stands ready to pity you, this is a day of mercy...encouragement of obtaining mercy." The
repetition of the word mercy influences the listener to want forgiveness from God. Another point
in Edwards' speech is on page eighty-nine, "... and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to
keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that your ever done, nothing that you can do,
to induce God to spare you one moment" The repetition of the word nothing emphasises to the
listener that there is nothing at all that the people could do to save themselves from the lower world.
This quote actually helps the listener to visualize what will happen to them in case of their actions.
Edwards uses different words to express the same ideas. In his speech he states on page
eighty-seven,"...you find you are kept out of Hell, but do not see the hand of God in it...If God should
withdrawal his hand, they would avail no more to keep you from falling than the thin air to hold up a
person that is suspended in it." This example means that God is the only one keeping the listeners from
going to the lower world. This quote was used by Edwards to persuade the people that they cannot do
anything from going to the lower world. Like the rest of his speech it provides a good visual to
Edwards' listeners. He also says on page page eighty- eight, "The wrath of God is like great waters
they increase more and more, and the rise higher and higher till an outlet is given...the waters are
constantly rising." This example emphasises God's anger and that eventually his anger gets worse. His
listeners could depict God's anger from Jonathan Edwards' description.
Jonathan Edwards' speech evoked emotion in his speech in his listeners. For example on
page eighty-nine he says, "The God that holds you over the pit of hell, as much as one holds a spider, or
some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked his wrath towards you
burns like fire he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire." Edwards
appeal is emotion because it seems like he is trying to scare the people. If the people listening to him
were not terrified Edwards' speech would have no effect on them.