What is another image that conveys a predicament similar to the plight of the sinner that Edwards speaks of and why?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In describing God's wrath, Edwards spares few details in evoking the rage and anger of the divine.  As a leader of the Great Awakening, Edwards was fairly convincing in his assertion that God was angry at the colonists and their secular ways that sought to advance society without the controlling influence of God.  Attempting to prove this, Edwards suggests that higher powers will exact revenge on human beings for straying from the path of the divinely ordained.  He employs the image of angry archer to vividly portray the desire of the divine to rectify the lack of spirituality in the Colonists:

The arrows of death fly unseen at noon-day; the sharpest sight cannot discern them. God has so many different unsearchable ways of taking wicked men out of the world and sending them to hell, that there is nothing to make it appear, that God had need to be at the expense of a miracle, or go out of the ordinary course of his providence, to destroy any wicked man, at any moment.

Such an image highlights the anger that Edwards seeks to use in his characterization of God and justice will be exacted in a precise and deliberate manner, like an archer delivering an arrow from his quiver.

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

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