Jonathan Edwards' Sermons

Introduction

"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,[1] and again on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut.[2] Like Edwards' other works, it combines vivid imagery of Hell with observations of the world and citations of the scripture. It is Edwards' most famous written work, is a fitting representation of his preaching style,[3] and is widely studied by Christians and historians, providing a glimpse into the theology of the First Great Awakening of c. 1730–1755.

This is a typical sermon of the Great Awakening, emphasizing the teaching that Hell is real—a place that actually exists. Edwards hoped that the imagery and language of his sermon would awaken audiences to the horrific reality of hell that awaits them should they continue living without calling on Christ to be saved.[4] The underlying point is that God has given humans a chance to confess their sins. Edwards said that it is the mere will of God that keeps wicked men from the depths of Hell. This act of restraint has given humans a chance to believe and trust in Christ.[5]


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