According to Edwards, have human beings appeased God?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Part of what is Edwards's driving motivation in the sermon is to make clear how human beings have not appeased God.  Edwards wishes to convince individuals that they are living on borrowed time from the divine. Edwards suggests that part of the reason that human beings have not appeased God is because they operate under the belief that they are infallible and incapable of death. Edwards sees human beings possessing a mentality that they are the beginning and end of their existence, without paying proper homage to the divine. Edwards seeks to repudiate this idea and make human beings understand how fragile their existence is due to the presence of the divine:

It is no security to wicked men for one moment, that there are no visible means of death at hand. 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. 

Edwards continues this with suggesting that human beings are “walking over the pit of hell on a rotten covering."  For Edwards, this becomes the basis of why human beings have not appeased the divine.  They live as if they are the reason for their being in the world.  It is this attitude that Edwards sees that underscores a lack of faith in the divine and a complete lack of appeasement in terms of the divine.  For Edwards, the realization of their own lives are "living on borrowed time" is of vital importance and in this recognition, a change can become more evident.  Edwards asserts that "Wickedness" and the "rejection of Christ" are rooted in a mentality in which human beings assert themselves as more of a primal force than the divine.  Edwards argues that God cannot be appeased in such a mindset.

Read the study guide:
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question