Friday, July 13, 2012


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We as Americans use figurative language everyday yet, we do not realize it. Some of us use it knowingly, but do not care. Figurative language can be defined as a word or phrase that describes one thing in terms of another and that is not meant to be taken literally. Jonathan Edwards is not a zealous preacher, but he is a bright, anxious, and difficult man. Edwards is known as a Calvinist. His detailed sermons helped to start the religious revival known as the Great Awakening. This time period is noted by waves of transformation that were so emotional. In Edwards’ sermon he uses figurative language to compare a life of a natural man as opposed to a life of a sinner.

A metaphor is an example of figurative language Jonathan uses. To illustrate, Edwards writes, “and best contrivance … fallen rock” (80). This shows that, when Edwards mentions this statement he is using the rock ant one’s righteousness as a comparison. This also shows that he is saying that, although we do right by God, we still will be falling to hell like a fallen rock through a spider web. As a result, Edwards is trying to get the reader to understand that just because you do good does not mean you automatically go to heaven.

Edwards also uses similes to attract the reader’s attention. To demonstrate, Edwards says, “The wrath of … let loose” (80). This shows that Edwards is comparing the building up of anger from God and the waters trapped behind a dam. This also shows that, while the wrath is building up and once it has an outlet, it will be let loose and will flow rapidly, just like damned waters. As a result, the waters are mighty and strong and a sinner could not endure them.

A hyperbole is another form of figurative language Edwards uses to persuade his people. For example, Edwards writes, “and that fiery … endure it” (80). This shows that because God’s wrath has been let loose, even a man with the strength of ten thousand men cannot handle the anger from God. This also shows that, while the anger of God is more powerful that we will ever be. As a result, Edwards is telling everyone that they should not upset God for any reason or his wrath will be put upon us.

In Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, he uses figures of speech to allow everyone to see the comparison of life from a natural man and a sinner. He uses a metaphor to compare a fallen rock and one’s righteousness. A simile is used to compare the wrath of God to damned waters. Lastly, he uses a hyperbole to say that the strength of ten thousand men cannot stop God’s wrath. Edwards’ sermon has a powerful twisted message, but yet it allows him to demonstrate his feelings towards sinners. Although our lives are being controlled by God, every person will do what he or she wants to do. Whether it is to stand by God or live their life one moment at a time. In conclusion, the anger the Edwards expresses God has towards the people can lead us to hell.

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