In addition to a new wave of liberal theology, Edwards was also taking up arms against the spread of rationalism expressed in … Those that are gone from being in the like circumstances with you see that it was so with them; for destruction came suddenly upon most of them; when they expected nothing of it, and while they were saying, Peace and safety: now they see, that those things that they depended on for peace and safety were nothing but thin air and empty shadows. Yea, on the contrary, justice calls aloud for an infinite punishment of their sins. The greater part of those who heretofore have lived under the same means of grace, and are now dead, are undoubtedly gone to hell; and it was not because they were not as wise as those who are now alive: it is not because they did not lay out matters as well for themselves to secure their own escape. Divine justice says of the tree that brings forth such grapes of Sodom, “Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground?” Luke xiii. 12 0 obj <> endobj There is no fortress that is any defence from the power of God. “Sinners in the Hands of Angry God” is a direct reply to the threat of liberalism which Edwards viewed as a threat to the purity of his church. They belong to him; he has their souls in his possession, and under his dominion. I. To this, divine providence and universal experience do also bear testimony. Almost every natural man that hears of hell flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security, he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do; every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters Home[Pg 84]himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes won’t fail. God’s creatures are good, and were made for men to serve God with, and don’t willingly subserve to any other purpose, and groan when they are abused to purposes so directly contrary to their nature and end. The use may be of awakening to unconverted persons in this congregation. 0 In this verse is threatened the vengeance of God on the wicked unbelieving Israelites, that were God’s visible people, and lived under means of grace; and that notwithstanding all God’s wonderful works that he had wrought towards that people, yet remained, as is expressed verse 28, void of counsel, having no understanding in them; and that, under all the cultivations of heaven, brought forth bitter and poisonous fruit; as in the two verses next preceding the text. God is not altogether such a one as themselves, though they may imagine him to be so. 18, 19: “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. It was given in Enfield, Massachusetts (which is now in Connecticut) in 1741. xref Deuteronomy 32:35— . You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince: and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. The wrath of God burns against them; their damnation don’t slumber; the pit is prepared; the fire is made ready; the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow. But surely they have no interest in the promises of the covenant of grace who are not the children of the covenant, who do not believe in any of the promises, and have no interest in the Mediator of the covenant. 0000008481 00000 n In short they have no refuge, nothing to take hold of; all that preserves them every moment is the mere arbitrary will, and uncovenanted, unobliged forbearance of an incensed God. %äüöß Filed under Ch5, Colonization, Primary Source. There is this clear evidence that men’s own wisdom is no security to them from death; that if it were otherwise we should see some difference between the wise and politic men of the world, and others, with regard to their liableness to early and unexpected death: but how is it in fact? In Honour of the High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth, 47. Wonders of the Invisible World: The Trial of Martha Carrier at the Court of Oyer and Terminer, Salem, August 2, 1692, 49. Escape will cancel and close the window. Sometimes an earthly prince meets with a great deal of difficulty to subdue a rebel that has found means[Pg 80] to fortify himself, and has made himself strong by the number of his followers. Yea, on the contrary, justice calls aloud for an infinite punishment of their sins. And the[Pg 87] world would spew you out, were it not for the sovereign hand of him who hath subjected it in hope. 2. 21. The old serpent is gaping for them; hell opens its mouth wide to receive them; and if God should permit it, they would be hastily swallowed up and lost. ( Log Out / Chapter XXXIII: We See Traces of Christians (Excerpt), 19. The devils watch them; they are ever by them, at their right hand; they stand waiting for them, like greedy hungry lions that see their prey, and expect to have it, but are for the present kept back; if God should withdraw his hand by which they are restrained, they would in one moment fly upon their poor souls. 6. The devil stands ready to fall upon them, and seize them as his own, at what moment God shall permit him. This is implied in the manner of their destruction’s coming upon them, being represented by their foot’s sliding. Edwards begins “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” with an extended metaphor based on a passage from Deuteronomy, and this metaphor recurs throughout the sermon. Yea, God is a great deal more angry with great numbers that are now on earth, yea, doubtless, with many that are now in this congregation, that, it may be, are at ease and quiet, than he is with many of those that are now in the flames of 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, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment…. ’Tis ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world after you closed your eyes to sleep; and there is no other reason to be given why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up. 0000002081 00000 n x��\I�,���_�gC�SKnPTgu|x�����`�\��-�R.=���E Jonathan Edwards. But the foolish children of men miserably delude themselves in their own schemes, and in confidence in their own strength and wisdom; they trust to nothing but a shadow. startxref SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD SERMON VI. In this excerpt, Edwards describes sinners’ relationship with God. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God’s enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces: they are as great heaps of light chaff before the whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring flames. Chapter XXXIV: Of Sending for the Christians (Excerpt), 23. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God study guide contains a biography of Jonathan Edwards, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. 0000000016 00000 n —Deut. They are already under a sentence of condemnation to hell. The wrath of God is like great waters that are damned for the present; they increase more and more, and rise higher and higher, till an outlet is given; and the longer the stream is stopped, the more rapid and mighty is its course, when once it is let loose. They are already under a sentence of condemnation to hell. Chapter VII: The Character of the Country (Excerpt), 12. 0000002439 00000 n ’Tis 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. There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he can most easily do it. There is nothing between you and hell but the air; ’tis only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up. It is no security to a natural man, that he is now in health, and that he does not see which way he should now immediately go out of the world by any accident, and that there is no visible danger in any respect in his circumstances. Sin is the ruin and misery of the soul; it is destructive in its nature; and if God should leave it without restraint, there would need nothing else to make the soul perfectly miserable. So that, whatever some have imagined and pretended about promises made to natural men’s earnest seeking and knocking, ’tis plain and manifest, that whatever pains a natural man takes in religion, whatever prayers he makes, till he believes in Christ, God is under no manner of obligation to keep him a moment from eternal destruction. That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you. HOW THE SPANIARDS CAME TO SHUNG-OPOVI, HOW THEY BUILT A MISSION, AND HOW THE HOPI DESTROYED THE MISSION, 25. God has laid himself under no obligation, by any promise, to keep any natural man out of hell one moment. So that it is not because God is unmindful of their wickedness, and don’t resent it, that he don’t let loose his hand and cut them off. Decennium Luctuosum: An History of Remarkable Occurrences in the Long War, 52. 0000000813 00000 n 18, “He that believeth not is condemned already.” So that every unconverted man properly belongs to hell; that is his place; from thence he is: John viii. Almost every natural man that hears of hell flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security, he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do; every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters [Pg 84]himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes won’t fail. This is a good example of the types of sermons used to revive religious piety during the First Great Awakening. What are we, that we should think to stand before him, at whose rebuke the earth trembles, and before whom the rocks are thrown down? But the foolish children of men do miserably delude themselves in their own schemes, and in their confidence in their own strength and wisdom; they trust to nothing but a shadow. Have questions or comments? x�b```f``���������ǀ |@f�8��#��600�,��B�� /30(1�2}P������@� �-����!BH3�W� �:f The glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them. Your email address will not be published. The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow. 0000001667 00000 n For it is said that when that due time, or appointed time comes, their foot shall slide. But indeed these things are nothing; if God should withdraw his hand, they would avail no more to keep you from falling, than the thin air to hold up a person that is suspended in it. Yea, God is a great deal more angry with great numbers that are now on earth: yea, doubtless, with many that are now in this congregation, who it may be are at ease, than he is with many of those who are now in the flames of hell. By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God’s mere will had in the least degree or in any respect whatsoever any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment. The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood. And theHome[Pg 87] world would spew you out, were it not for the sovereign hand of him who hath subjected it in hope. “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was a sermon that was preached by John Edwards in July 8 th , 1741 at Enfield. He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he can most easily do it.
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