I need help with this question, it says what picture of god is the author painting? How do you think this relates to the author's purpose?can you guys please give me a good answer? thanks

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jonathan Edwards puts god as a hand that holds us over the fire-pit of hell, basically. These hands are unpredictable, unexpected, and we have no control over them. Change and repentance must happen, and people must go back to the faith or else that God is capable of burning us all not on a specific day, but any day he chooses.

Now, he did this revival speech to the congregation of Enfield, Massachusetts (later Connecticut) in July 1741. His group was falling apart and people were becoming more interested in making it in the colonies rather than to preserve a religiosity that takes over everything.

Edwards was quite upset about it, and did this revival speech to persuade people to follow him. He does this persuasion through fear, which is the most efficient way to convince.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the title of the sermon can tell you something about how Jonathan Edwards wants to portray God.  He is showing God as a very angry being who cannot stand the wickedness of the people he has made.  This is why God wants to cut the thread that holds the people like a spider above the pit of hell.

By portraying God in this way, Edwards is trying to scare people into reforming themselves.  He wants them to realize how evil they are and how much they deserve to go to Hell.  If they do that, he hopes, they will turn to God and will try to be better people as well.

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

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