Please explain one example of Edwards use of powerful sensory imagery in "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God".  

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This single sentence contains a variety of imagery:

Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you one moment; for you are a burden to it; the creation groans with you; the creature is made subject to the bondage of your corruption, not willingly; the sun does not willingly shine upon you to give you light to serve sin and Satan; the earth does not willingly yield her increase to satisfy your lusts; nor is it willingly a stage for your wickedness to be acted upon; the air does not willingly serve you for breath to maintain the flame of life in your vitals, while you spend your life in the service of God's enemies.

Imagery entails the use of any or all of the 5 senses. In the case of this sentence, readers can see sun and earth. Readers can feel lust and understand what it means to have their breath taken from them. Readers understand the capabilities of their bodies and feel the ability of a body to be "on fire" or alive. Had Edwards not chosen to envoke these vivid images, the entire piece would feel less convicting. Because his language is so persuasive, dramatic, and colorful, his audience is completely convicted by his words.

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Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

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