In "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," what are some examples of hyperbole?

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lusie0520 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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There are many examples of hyperbole in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”  Hyperbole is a figure of speech which uses an obvious exaggeration to make a point.  A really good example is:

“…wrath of God would rush forth with inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea, ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it.”

In this example, Edwards uses hyperbole to suggest to his listeners that if God released his anger, they would not have enough strength to stand against it.  Even if his listeners had the strength of the strongest devil in hell, they would not be able to stand against it.

Another example of hyperbole is when Edwards says:

“Were It not for the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you one moment….The world would spew you out, were it not for the sovereign hand of Him who have subjected it in hope.”

In this example, Edwards uses hyperbole to suggest to his listeners that if God chose to open his hand and let the sinner fall, the world would be so disgusted by their sins that it would spit them out.  Their sins, in other words, would make them so heavy the world could not bear their weight.  Edwards uses these images, which are obvious exaggerations, to show listeners that their sins were incurring the wrath of God, a God who is so enraged over their sinful behavior that he will not hesitate to destroy them.

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