This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Jonathan Edwards The Great Preacher Essay

1585 words - 6 pages

He was a man whose very words struck fear into the hearts of his listeners. Acknowledged as one of the most powerful religious speakers of the era, he spearheaded the Great Awakening. “This was a time when the intense fervor of the first Puritans had subsided somewhat” (Heyrmen 1) due to a resurgence of religious zeal (Stein 1) in colonists through faith rather than predestination. Jonathan Edwards however sought to arouse the religious intensity of the colonists (Edwards 1) through his preaching. But how and why was Edwards so successful? What influenced him? How did he use diction and symbolism to persuade his listener, and what was the reaction to his teachings? In order to understand these questions one must look at his life and works to understand how he was successful. In his most influential sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, Jonathan Edwards’ persuasive language awakened the religious fervor that lay dormant in colonial Americans and made him the most famous puritan minister of the Great Awakening in North America.

In order to understand Edwards use of language however, one must look at his early life and formative influences. His family undoubtedly shaped his religious career because “[H]e was the only son among the eleven children of Rev. Timothy Edwards and Esther Edwards, the daughter of influential puritan clergymen Solomon Stoddard” (Wachal 1). Growing up in a religious family must have influenced his career path. Then “Edwards attended Yale School of theology at 13 years of age” (Paposian 1). This is important because at Yale, Edwards would create his own “unique style of preaching” (“Jonathan Edwards” Dictionary 1). Here “his theology which soon came to be known as Edwardseanism had developed in his youth as a product of his attempts to apply enlightenment thought to traditional Calvinism” (Wachal 2). Edwards was influenced by “Locke’s ‘Essay Concerning Human Understanding’”(1717) which said that for an individual to truly experience the word of god he must “possess empirical knowledge, that is experience it firsthand, which contrasted with Calvinism’s idea of predestination” (1). Locke’s essay had a great impact on Edwards because it made him realize that when he gives sermons, his listeners should experience firsthand the message of God by making his audience more in tune with their spiritual selves. At Yale he was also interested in the workings of the human mind (1). His foray into the human mind would help him in life to manipulate others to listen to his message. Overall his childhood and early years would help Edwards persuade others to listen to his message. He does this well with his brilliant use of persuasive language to manipulate the emotions and thoughts of others.

Edward’s is able to persuade his listeners to follow his doctrine by manipulating their emotions and thoughts while they listen to his sermon. In his speeches “Edwards evoked vivid, terrifying images of the utter corruption of human...

Find Another Essay On Jonathan Edwards the Great Preacher

Jonathan Edwards' Sinnners in the Hands of An Angry God

1048 words - 4 pages Jonathan Edwards' Sinnners in the Hands of An Angry God Jonathan Edwards delivered his sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, in Enfield Connecticut on July 8, 1741, the year following George Whitefield's preaching tour which helped inspire the "Great Awakening." Weeping and emotional conviction among Edwards’ audiences came at a time of great spiritual thirst. While very foreign to mainstream American opinion today, this

Jonathan Edwards on the Doctrine of Original Sin

3061 words - 13 pages humanity. Critical Review of Edwards’ Theology The fact that such time and care has been spent on this development of Edwards’ theology alone is a testament to the contribution that he has made to the Christian world. Due in great parts to his diligence to write out his thoughts, thesis and sermons, we now have a treasury of wisdom to draw from. Heralded by many as ‘America’s greatest theologian’, Jonathan Edwards gave abundantly to the Church. In

Jonathan Swift: The Great Satirist

2126 words - 9 pages Jonathan Swift is known as one the greatest satirists in literature. His experience in religion, politics and science allow his works to be considered genius in the world of writing. Swift’s writing laid the foundation for several satirical successors. Swift was born in 1667 in Dublin, Ireland. His father had passed away “right before [he] was born” (Draper 3531). He was left “in the care of relatives” for the first three years of his life

Comparing St. Augustine's and Jonathan Edwards' Views on the Origin of Sin

1313 words - 6 pages the fall of Adam affected the whole humanity directly (Augustine, Confessions, 1961). Jonathan Edwards was a preacher, philosopher and a theologian considered as one of the greatest American scholars. His theological thoughts were based on reformed theology. He is acknowledged for mainstreaming the First Great Awakening especially in his church at Northampton Massachusetts between 1733 and 1735 (Woo, 2014). His works came in the 18th century and

Anaylsis of a Sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards

1051 words - 5 pages Jonathan Edwards, in 1741, preaches at Enfield Connecticut, to the congregation with a desire of converting men who thought too highly of themselves to Christianity. Edwards establishes points by using different strategies of figurative language with the intention of capturing the emotional side of his audience. By using a variety of styles to scare his audience, Edwards’ sermon, with powerful diction, had a great outcome of repenters

Hell Sermon By Robert Forest - English - Research Paper

516 words - 3 pages sermon was so effective. In today age, Jonathan Edwards sermon would be accepted, but I don’t think it would be received. The reasoning is because in today age people believe what they what, not what some man screaming at them wants. Even church people know what they’re doing is a sin, yet they still do it, even when the preacher tells them it wrong. They believe that God will understand what they’re doing, because it’s a different age. But God is

Shedding Light

1007 words - 5 pages . Jonathan Edwards and Frederick Douglass shared a similar faith, and similarly depended on religion when things were rough. In both works, it is easy to see how religion influenced their lives. Douglass, always hoping and praying to get through rough times, and Edwards always searching for God to help him save the souls of many. The faiths of both men were astonishing, and very respectable. As mentioned before, Edwards was a preacher, and wanted to

Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield

1453 words - 6 pages Any time the Great Awakening is discussed from a religious standpoint, the religious figures Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield are two names that are difficult not to discuss. Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield are to revivalism and the Great Awakening as Vince Young and Reggie Bush are to athletes and a new age of football. Edwards and Whitefield were revolutionists during the 18th century revival know the Great Awakening. Their

Individualism

1304 words - 6 pages trying to educate himself. Benjamin wanted to improve daily life for everyone, and make himself a better person along the way, also. Franklin lived in the time of the enlightenment, making it easier for his discoveries to become better known, and his goals more easily accessible. Edwards, on the other hand, was a preacher. He was more concerned with life after death. He was motivated by his religion and the mystical powers of God. Jonathan

American Pageant Chapter 5 IDs

507 words - 2 pages Chapter five IdsGreat Awakening1. Took place from 1720 to the 1740s2. Was an intense revival of interest in religion3. Men such as Jonathan Edwards preached the importance of religionHistorical Significance: The Great Awakening flared up an interest in religion that lasted many years after it took placeGeorge Whitefield1. Preacher during the eighteenth century2. Preached for about forty years3. Preached during the Great Awakening to help revive

Religion in Colonial America

1555 words - 6 pages hateful venomous serpent is in ours. (Edwards, 2008) In that passage Edwards is stating that God hates sinners and that people better have accepted Christ into their lives or they would be cast into the fire known as hell. In his memoirs it was noted that, “there was such a breathing of distress, and weeping, that the preacher was obliged to speak to the people and desire silence” (Edwards, Rogers, Dwight & Hickam, 1839). Jonathan Edwards had a

Similar Essays

Jonathan Edwards: Revivalist Preacher And Philosopher

1784 words - 8 pages people of the church about their experiences with God and grace (Williams 143). Solomon was also a revival preacher and was extremely successful with that. The reason for going into detail about Edwards’ grandfather’s career has to do with the fact that this is how Edwards learned and began to preach in the church, and later on his own. His grandfather’s way of preaching greatly impacted Jonathan and his later successes. While preaching at the

The Great Awakening With Jonathan Edwards

1398 words - 6 pages described as a revitalization of religious piety that swept through the American colonies between the 1730s and the 1770s. The Protestant cultures during the middle decades of the eighteenth century, reaffirmed the view that being truly religious meant trusting the heart rather than the head, prizing feeling more than thinking, and relying on biblical revelation rather than human reason. Jonathan Edwards, sometimes known as the

Excerpts From The Diary Of Jonathan Edwards

2104 words - 8 pages role of the congregation. This congregation is one of the largest in the entire colony, so I have a greater responsibility now more than ever ("Biography of Jonathan Edwards"). #10: 1735 The pastor of Brattle Street Church, Pastor Benjamin Colman, recently asked me to come up with an account of the current Great Awakening. After completing this work, Pastor Colman published my writing into a pamphlet. I have decided to re-write it as a book

The Beliefs Of Locke And Newton, Inspired Jonathan Edwards

1521 words - 6 pages In Jonathan Edwards's The Nature of True Virtue his beliefs of following God's supremacy leads to moral beauty, the virtue in nature, and the selflessness of true virtue will unite society all stem from John Locke's beliefs of the social contract, Isaac Newton's belief of the logical perfection of nature, and both of their beliefs of human morality. An important point which Edwards writes in his sermon is his belief that when man is truly