Ms. O’ Kelly
18 November 2011
The early American writers Jonathan Edwards had quite little in common even though they were backers of the same basic principles of Christianity. Perhaps this difference is because of the situations each faced during his time of writing sermons. Edwards felt as though the ideals that the new world were built upon were slipping whereas his predecessor, Winthrop, wrote while on the threshold of a new religious and social experience.
When it comes to performing an analysis of Edwards, it should be noted that nonetheless, Jonathan Edwards had a number of traits common to Puritan writers and although these are expressed differently, the same basic understanding of God as a deity who wished for his people to lead good, generous lives is present throughout. Even though these variations between the two men could be situational, it is worth exploring how they were similar based on basic Puritan ideas.
Unlike some earlier prominent Puritans, Jonathan Edwards uses the “fire and brimstone” approach to confront his congregations with what he feels to be the rage of God. The sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was meant to make Edward’s listeners aware of the fact that their behavior and conduct on earth was far more important than anything else and that certain punishment in hell awaited those who did not adhere to proper religious values as expressed in the Bible. While he clearly wished to have an impact on the increasingly different behavior of the colonists, Edwards considered it most effective to discuss God’s wrath with rampant sin rather than offer gentle protestations about sinful behavior. To achieve his end of making his congregants aware of their precarious position on earth (as they could be cast into hell at any time) he reminded them of the power of God and his capacity for doing away with sinners.
In Edwards’ view, despite the fact that...