Edwards uses a simile, a comparison of two unalike things that uses like or as , when he writes, "That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to fall." Here, he speaks of the Israelites who, he says,...
Edwards uses a simile, a comparison of two unalike things that uses like or as, when he writes, "That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to fall." Here, he speaks of the Israelites who, he says, could not know from one moment to the next whether or not they would fall from grace, just as someone who walks on slick spots never knows when he or she will physically slip and fall.
Another famous simile occurs when Edwards writes, "God will not hold them up in these slippery places any longer, but will let them go; and then at that very instant, they shall fall into destruction; as he that stands on such slippery declining ground, on the edge of a pit, he cannot stand alone, when he is let go he immediately falls and is lost." He compares the Israelites' inevitable fall from God's grace to a person who is on a slippery hill near a pit; when that person is let go of, he surely falls and is lost forever, just as they will be. However, it is not their lives that will be lost, but their souls. This line also contains a metaphor, a comparison of two unalike things where one is said to be the other, when Edwards compares the metaphysical danger people face to "slippery places." These places are not physically slippery and dangerous to the body, but, rather, they are spiritually dangerous to one's soul.
Yet another two similes occur when Edwards discusses the legions of God's enemies. Although groups of rebels might thwart a prince, "They are as great heaps of light chaff before the whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring flames." He compares God's enemies to the insignificant debris that is separated from the seed when grain is threshed in the face of a wind storm, and then again to cut grain, left to die and dry in the field, in the face of a raging fire. Both would be obliterated immediately.