Jonathan Edwards is one of the leaders of the “Great Awakening.” Before reading the text, determine the historical context (Textbook p. 152). In one or two sentences, briefly define the historical context of Edwards’ speech. What does Edwards hope to accomplish with this sermon? Define his purpose.
What does Edwards mean by “natural man”? How o you know? Describe his primary audience.
In the first paragraph, “appease” means “to pacify”; using this definition as a contextual clue, approximate the meaning of “abate.”
In the second paragraph, Edwards begins three clauses with “there is.” This technique is an anaphora. Why does he use this repetitive structure?
Consider the italicized clause in the following sentence: “That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you.” The italicized clause is an appositive. Notice that it is surrounded by commas. Appositives can also be set off with semicolons, parenthesis, and dashes. What purpose does the clause serve in the sentence? (Not the meaning…the purpose.) Can you find other appositives in the sermon?
Consider the following clause: “…you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge in the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell…” As Edwards lists items, he uses the conjunction “and” before each one. The technique of repeating conjunctions in close succession is polysyndeton. What is the rhetorical effect?
Consider the following sentence: “Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you one moment; for you are a burden to it; the creation groans with you; the creature is made subject to the bondage of your corruption, not willingly; the sun does not willingly shine upon you to give you light to serve sin and Satan; the earth does not...
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