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In “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” one of the literary techniques used by Edwards to persuade his audience is repetition. An author uses repetition to emphasize a point and fix it in the reader’s mind. In the case of wanting the congregation to understand what it is that is keeping them from descending into the fiery pit of Hell, Edwards says it is “the mere pleasure of God,” “Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of God,” “The sovereign pleasure of God, for now, stays his rough wind,” “there is nothing but the mere pleasure of God.” These phrases serve to remind the reader that God could drop the sinner into the pit of hell, but he chooses not to, and because he chooses not to, he could change his mind at any time. For those sinners sitting in the audience, this must have been a powerful reminder that they were only a few short steps from hell.
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