In the sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” Edwards uses imagery to persuade his congregation to repent their sins so that God will not destroy them in many different ways. He uses imagery by describing into detail of the image he is trying to portray to his readers. He uses words that have a very dark meaning to it, or words that aren’t normally pleasing to the ear. The way he uses persuasion and imagery helps the story flow and it helps the readers to have a clear image in their mind of what the story is trying to say or explain.
The whole sermon itself sets out a very dark and scary image.
Edwards uses imagery to make the story more persuasive. In beginning of the sermon, the first sentence, Edwards talks about when men are on Gods hands and they could fall into hell. Where he says “…thus easy is it for God when he pleases to cast his enemies down to hell….
” is basically saying that men are held in the hands of God over the pit of hell, and knowing that you could fall into hell at any moment gives out an unpleasing image to our mind. The beginning of the sermon is already give us a brief image of what hell looks like, or something we should be scared of. The use of his persuasion makes the readers want to read more about the story.
The quote “The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked.
His wrath towards you bums like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else but to be cast into the fire. He is of purer eyes than to bear you in his sight; you are ten thousand times as abominable in his eyes as the most hateful, venomous serpent is in ours. ” which he uses in the middle of the sermon also sets out a very dark and scary image. He compares sinners to spiders and insects and says that God has much more disdain for sinners than we have for the most creatures. He also uses the images of “black clouds”, “fiery floods”, and “great waters” to describe God’s wrath.
Imagery helps the author draw a picture for the reader. This also helps to give the reader a better understanding. Another quote that he uses is “…would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell. Than a spider web would have to stop a fallen rock.” This also tells the reader that nothing can stop you from going to hell. The use of this quote is trying to scare the reader of going to hell. This quote also gives a perfect description of someone actually going to hell.
Throughout the sermon, Edwards uses imagery to make the story more persuasive to the reader. This strategy really helps the readers because it helps create an image of what hell is actually like, and what will happen to us when were actually there. The words and phrases he uses to describe hell portrays a very dark and scary image, which is what makes readers hooked into the story. Overall the sermon did a very good job in using imagery to describe hell, and made it very persuasive.