Which of these is Edwards doing when he refers to Biblical stories in this sermon?
In “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” Jonathan Edwards makes many references to the Bible. This practice of reference to a familiar source is called:
When Jonathan Edwards makes these numerous references to the Bible in this sermon, he is making allusions. An allusion is when you refer to some major piece of literature or some historical event or something like that where just about everyone who is listening to you knows what you are talking about. You would make this allusion so as to be able to illustrate some point that you are trying to make.
An example of this can be found in the following passage from the sermon:
Divine justice says of the tree that brings forth such grapes of Sodom, "Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground?"
The allusion here is to Sodom. He does not explain what it is, but all of his listeners understand what he is talking about.
Any reference to a famous person, event, or book is called an allusion. By referring to the Bible, Edwards expects his audience to be familiar with his allusions.