Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (1741) 3 of 3 O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothingContinue Reading

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (1741) 2 of 3 6.There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God’s restraints. There is laid in the very nature of carnal men, a foundation for the torments of hell. There are those corrupt principles, in reigning power in them, and in full possession of them, that are seeds of hell fire. These principles are active and powerful, exceeding violent in their nature, and if it were not for the restraining hand of God upon them, they would soon break out, they would flame out after the same manner as the sameContinue Reading

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (1741) 1 of 3 INTRODUCTION For better or worse, the sermon for which Edwards is probably most famous—or infamous—is the one preached to the congregation of Enfield, Massachusetts (later Connecticut) in July 1741. Anthologized in high school and college textbooks, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God represents in many persons’ minds the bleak, cruel, and hell-bent outlook of Edwards and his Puritan predecessors. But of course such a representation is only a caricature, for Sinners, if it represents anything, stands for only a small part of Edwards’s view of the relationship between humankind and God. As a specially crafted awakening sermon, Sinners was aimed at a particularly hard-hearted congregation. But,Continue Reading