Sermon Analysis

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630 words
Boston College
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What would be your reaction to the sermon had you been in the congregation?

If I was in the congregation, I could have reacted to the speech by being surprised and excited in equal measure. Rev. Jonathan Edwards gave a sermon that carried a powerful message. The topic was somewhat sensitive and critical. Certain points from the speech would be surprising to me since they are things I would hear for the first time and I would not have thought of at any time. For instance, the point that sinners are always exposed to destruction was surprising to me since I always believed that God never has the intention of destroying people but rather wants them to repent and hence gives them that opportunity. The sermon was exciting on the other hand because it carried an essential message regarding sinners and their relationship with God. He used good analogies and other literary elements to deliver an excellent sermon.

Did you agree with the points that he made? Which parts might you disagree with?

I agreed with most of the points that Rev. Edwards made especially because he always used Bible verses to support his arguments. His sermon was a great deal the truth of what the Bible says. However, I did not agree with the point that the sinners are already condemned to hell as he put it. This is because according to the Bible, God wants the sinners to repent and get back to Him. He doesnt want to destroy them. He even sent Jesus Christ His son to earth, so that he could die for the sinners and have their sins forgiven. If sinners are already condemned to hell, God would not have sent His son to save them. I, however, agree with the rest of his points.

Part 2

What figure of speech does Edwards use to describe his congregation's "wickedness"?

In describing his congregations wickedness, is hyperbole. He uses exaggeration to emphasise on the seriousness of sins. For instance, he says There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. He emphasises that wickedness is a dangerous thing that can lead to one being cast to hell by God. He dreads it by using strong exaggerated statements.

List and describe at least THREE figures of speech (metaphors, similes, hyperboles, etc.) that Edwards uses to describe God's wrath.

The first figure of speech that he uses to describe Gods wrath is hyperbole. He exaggerates the anger with which God deals with the sinners and the extent to which offenders are not liked by Him.

He also uses metaphors to compare the manner with which God will deal with sinners to great heaps of light chaff before the whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring flames. Stubbles are stalks of grain plants that are usually left on the ground after the grains have been harvested. They are not important. Rev. Edwards compares sinners to such stubble and says that the wrath of God on them will be like the way dry stubble devours in flames.

Which rhetorical strategy (logos, pathos, ethos) does Edwards use the most effectively? Cite a specific example from this text of this

The rhetorical strategy that Edwards use most efficiently is pathos. This is a quality that triggers the reader to feel pity and sadness. He explains how sinners will suffer the wrath of God in a manner that makes one feel sad for them. For instance, he says They do not only justly deserve to be cast down thither, but the sentence of the law of God, that eternal and immutable rule of righteousness that God has fixed between him and mankind, is gone out against them. This statement evokes pity and sadness.


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