How do Edwards' comparisons heighten one's awareness of humanity's perilous state? 

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Edwards' comparisons are reflective of the idea that human beings' actions have angered God and that human salvation is only capable through divine mercy.  The idea that God's wrath is being "dammed" by his own will is one such comparison.  It brings out the very idea that human beings are not in control, contrary to what they might feel. Rather, they must surrender to God's own notion of the good and recognize that their own salvation lies in his timing.  The opening quote suggesting that "in due time" the human condition will worsen is another comparison to bring this out in full view.  In the same way, Edwards suggests that individuals must acknowledge that the element of control and autonomy is not essential to God's judgment and the more one submits to God's will, the greater the chance they will be saved.  The idea of the arrow being bent at humanity and God being the archer is another comparison that brings to light how perilously placed humanity is in this context.  It is a condition for which Edwards suggests the only solution is that human beings grasp the concept of God's mercy and that the divine power is the only source for personal salvation.

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