A Study of the Literary Career of Jonathan Edwards.
Although many think of Jonathan Edwards as one of the greatest American theologists, he was an amazing philosopher and scientist as well. His accomplishments were many, and his impact on those who have read his works everlasting, but most people know little about him. He was a brilliant man, entering Yale at the age of thirteen and came to be a pastor in Massachusetts. Edwards came from a family with a long line of ministers and took his grandfather's place in Northampton, Massachusetts when he died in 1729 (Browning). .
Although his preaching was received with mixed emotions, the major affect his sermons had on society was America's first great awakening, which sparked religious revival throughout the colonies. It started in Massachusetts with him in 1734, but he eventually drew people from over a hundred miles away (Browning). The Great Awakening affected America in ways unimaginable, as he brought people back to their faith, and changed their outlook on life entirely. His sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God was written to "guide Christians back to the path of righteousness.""(Binder and Reimers). It did just that, even if it scared many people, it definitely brought a lot back to the church. The speech was so effective because it was directly questioning people's faith and practices and accused people of being materialistic and devoting too much time to material items and profit and not enough to their religion and God. .
Some people today, and maybe some back when the sermon was presented, believe that Edwards's idea of God was distorted and that the speech was too exaggerated. The bible depicts God as a loving, merciful and compassionate being and in Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, He is made to seen unforgiving, offended and very angry, which is why some believed the speech to be in certain ways inaccurate.