14 terms

Edwards-Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Rhetorical devices used in the speech
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rhetorical question
"what are we, that we should think to stand before him, at whose rebuke the earth trembles, and before whom the rocks are thrown down" (Edwards, p1)
-logos/syllogism leads to what are we? We are nothing - this instills fear
metaphor
"So it is easy for us to cut or singe a slender thread that any thing hangs by: thus easy it is for God, when he pleases, to cast his enemies down to hell." (Edwards, p1)
-audience can relate to something tangible
polysyndeton
"so that, thus it is that natural men are held in the hand of god, over the pit of hell; they have deserved the fiery pit, AND are already sentenced to it;AND God is dreadfully provoked....AND they have done nothing in the least to applease or abate that anger..."(Edwards p4)
-hell never ends, continues on, gives breathless effect and builds anxiety
simile
"the wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present"(Edwards p7)
complex sentence/periodic sentence
"However you may have reformed your life in many things, and may have had religious affections, and may keep up a form of religion in you families and closets, and in the house of God, it is nothing but this mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction." (Edwards p9)
-"however" in the subordinate clause conceding to what people believe/validate counter arguments. Independent clause is the but part
-dependent clauses are the "hope" clauses where the audience has thought they were safe, independent clause destroys the hope and scares the audience
imagery
"the god that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire..."(Edwards p10)
anaphora
"And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God's had has helped you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you no not this very moment drop down into hell."(Edwards p10)
-repetition of 'there is no other reason to be given' emphasizes that audience doesn't have anywhere to turn, they are going to hell no matter what,
-repetition emphasizes that it's so easy for God to drop you in hell, so do everything possible to get on his good side
absolute language
"there is no other reason"(Edwards p10)
-scares audience more and emphasizes God's power
conditional sentence
"if we knew that there was one person, and but one, in the whole congregation, that was to be the subject on the misery, what and awful thing would it be to think of! if we knew who it was, what an awful sight would it be to see such a person."(edwards p12)
-undermines audience
bandwagon appeal
"Are not your souls as precious as the souls of the people as Suffield, where they are flocking from day to day to Christ?"(edwards p13)
-They do it, you do it feeling, audience fears of missing out/being ostracized, especially relevant in society with Puritan roots
allusion
"The wrath of Almighty God is now undoubtedly hanging over a great part of this congregation: Let every one fly out of Sodom 'Haste and escape for your lives, look not behind you, escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed." (Edwards p14)
-Edwards alludes to this particular anecdote because at the time,' sodomites' was a derogatory term so the audience would have understood it a little. He doesn't allude to any other throughout the sermon because the audience wouldn't understand them. They are illiterate.
-audience understands the negativity of the allusion and don't want to be associated with it
tone (condescending)
"you probably are not sensible of this; you find you are kept out of hell, but do not see the hind of God in it; but look as other things, as the good state of your bodily constitution, your care of your own life, and the means you use for your own preservation." (Edwards p6)
-condescending, loose and adds ethos
-undermines audience's previous beliefs, especially with accusatory "you"
simile
the wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present; they increase more and mores and rise higher and higher, till an outlet is given." (Edwards p8)
-audience is the outlet, anger will be directed towards them
-creates fear in audience
bandwagon appeal
"How awful is it to be left behind at such a day! To see so many others feasting, while you are pining and perishing!" (Edwards p13)
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