Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan EdwardsGod hates you, is the thesis of Jonathan Edwards 1741 masterpiece of Puritan dickery, And I do too. Hard as you try not to be shitty, your foot will slide in due time. So when youre hit by a truck later today, which is likely since the arrows of death fly unseen at noon-day, you will burn in exquisite torture forever and ever, because you are the worst.
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,says Edwards, describing his vision of God as a squeamish child. You can picture Him complaining about it later. I was so dreadfully provoked! He says. This world is icky.
Its been slightly fashionable for writers like Sarah Vowell to try to redeem Puritans lately - to show their more tolerant side. I think thats a lost cause, and certainly Edwards isnt doing anything to help as he picks out all the grossest quotes from the Bible, like the one that imagines us crushed in the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God (19:15 of the gloriously Grand Guignolish Revelations). He will crush you under his feet without mercy, Edwards elucidates, in case you werent clear on the image here: He will crush out your blood, and make it fly, and it shall be sprinkled on his garments, so as to stain all his raiment. Thats God, just stomping gleefully around in his blood-spattered robe, poppin dudes like bubble wrap.
So obviously this is terrific fun and highly recommended. Listen: your forefathers were assholes, and Jonathan Edwards is the high priest of fuck you. It would be a wonder if some that are now present should not be in hell in a very short time, he predicts. Nor will God then at all stay his rough wind.
Puritan God will fart in your face, friends. And its gonna stink.
This Day in History: Jonathan Edwards Preaches “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”
Edwards begins the body of his sermon by contextualizing these quotations. Even though God was kind to the Israelites, they betrayed him, and therefore God brought vengeance upon them. Second, he notes that a fall on a slippery surface is always sudden and unexpected—destruction might come to sinners at any time. Third, Edwards clarifies that when a person falls on a slippery surface, the fall is due only to their own weight or, metaphorically, their sin —they do not need to be pushed. Fourth, Edwards changes the metaphor from a person on a slippery surface to a person held by the hand of God on a slippery slope with a pit at the bottom. While powerful men on earth, like princes, might have trouble subduing a rebellion, God has no such difficulty casting sinners into hell.
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
Anna is a pastor, writer, and theologian who obtained her BA in religion in '06, Diploma of Ministry in '16, and Diploma of Divinity in ' As one can well imagine, anything that begins with such a heavy verse is not all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. Edwards focused on the "foot that shall slip," insisting that God will not prop the sinner up, but rather will let him fall of his own accord. The only thing that keeps sinners from hell is the arbitrary will of God. Justice demands that all sinners face infinite punishment. The glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened her mouth under them. The fervor of the first Great Awakening left such a profound mark on American Protestantism that its effects remain starkly visible even today, years later.
Posted on November 2, This is a text that is taught unfailingly in American literature courses in high school and college; students read a short excerpt, one of the many that focuses all too intently on describing the horrors of hell and the wretched situation of humans living seemingly comfortable and happy lives on Earth but destined—pre-destined—to wind up scorching eternally. The church these people created in the New World came to be called Congregational, because each individual congregation was completely autonomous—there were no bishops and archbishops assigning ministers and dictating doctrine. The people attending a church had complete control over who became their minister, voting for and against candidates for that office, and each church was free from interference by the state. When on earth, you ask, will we get to the sermon? This original Congregational church was strong from , when the Puritans arrived in New England, until about
This article is part of the This Day in History series. The fires of Great Awakening revival were burning brilliantly throughout New England. Iain Murray notes,. As spring passed into summer no one could well keep track of the number of places which were also witnessing the revival. Churches, which in some cases had been cold and dry at the beginning of the year, were transformed before the end.