The infamy of the Salem witchcraft trials inwhich sent twenty persons to their death and another to prison, festered in the community for a generation as a tragic episode that exposed the excesses of misguided Puritan zeal. In the early part of the century, New Englanders enjoyed a rising level of affluence that induced a sense of both material and spiritual comfort and eventually led to the introduction of the Half-Way Covenant. Whereas full church membership was the privilege only of those and the children of those who could testify to a personal experience of conversion, the Half-Way Covenant extended such membership to the third generation of those who confessed an experiential faith. His sermons were intended as a wake-up call for those who underplayed the majesty of a holy God and overemphasized their own worthiness as decent, hard-working, successful citizens.
Under all the cultivations of heaven, they brought forth bitter and poisonous fruit; as in the two verses next preceding the text.
That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to fall. This is implied in the manner of their destruction coming upon them, being represented by their foot sliding. The same is expressed, Psalm As he that walks in slippery places is every moment liable to fall, he cannot foresee one moment whether he shall stand or fall the next; and when he does fall, he falls at once without warning: Which is also expressed in Psalm How are they brought into desolation as in a moment!
For it is said, that when that due time, or appointed time comes, their foot shall slide. Then they shall be left to fall, as they are inclined by their own weight. God will not hold them up in these slippery places any longer, but will let them go; and then, at that very instant, they shall fall into destruction; as he that stands on such slippery declining ground, on the edge of a pit, he cannot stand alone, when he is let go he immediately falls and is lost.
The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. The strongest have no power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his hands.
Sometimes an earthly prince meets with a great deal of difficulty to subdue a rebel, who has found means to fortify himself, and has made himself strong by the numbers of his followers. But it is not so with God. There is no fortress that is any defence from the power of God.
They are as great heaps of light chaff before the whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring flames.
We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth; so it is easy for us to cut or singe a slender thread that any thing hangs by: What are we, that we should think to stand before him, at whose rebuke the earth trembles, and before whom the rocks are thrown down?
Yea, on the contrary, justice calls aloud for an infinite punishment of their sins. Divine justice says of the tree that brings forth such grapes of Sodom, "Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground?
They are already under a sentence of condemnation to hell. They do not only justly deserve to be cast down thither, but the sentence of the law of God, that eternal and immutable rule of righteousness that God has fixed between him and mankind, is gone out against them, and stands against them; so that they are bound over already to hell.
They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God, that is expressed in the torments of hell. And the reason why they do not go down to hell at each moment, is not because God, in whose power they are, is not then very angry with them; as he is with many miserable creatures now tormented in hell, who there feel and bear the fierceness of his wrath.
Yea, God is a great deal more angry with great numbers that are now on earth: So that it is not because God is unmindful of their wickedness, and does not resent it, that he does not let loose his hand and cut them off.
God is not altogether such an one as themselves, though they may imagine him to be so. The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow.
The glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them. The devil stands ready to fall upon them, and seize them as his own, at what moment God shall permit him.
They belong to him; he has their souls in his possession, and under his dominion. The scripture represents them as his goods, Luke The devils watch them; they are ever by them at their right hand; they stand waiting for them, like greedy hungry lions that see their prey, and expect to have it, but are for the present kept back.
If God should withdraw his hand, by which they are restrained, they would in one moment fly upon their poor souls. The old serpent is gaping for them; hell opens its mouth wide to receive them; and if God should permit it, they would be hastily swallowed up and lost.
There is laid in the very nature of carnal men, a foundation for the torments of hell. There are those corrupt principles, in reigning power in them, and in full possession of them, that are seeds of hell fire.
These principles are active and powerful, exceeding violent in their nature, and if it were not for the restraining hand of God upon them, they would soon break out, they would flame out after the same manner as the same corruptions, the same enmity does in the hearts of damned souls, and would beget the same torments as they do in them.
The souls of the wicked are in scripture compared to the troubled sea, Isa. For the present, God restrains their wickedness by his mighty power, as he does the raging waves of the troubled sea, saying, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further;" but if God should withdraw that restraining power, it would soon carry all before it.
Sin is the ruin and misery of the soul; it is destructive in its nature; and if God should leave it without restraint, there would need nothing else to make the soul perfectly miserable. It is no security to wicked men for one moment, that there are no visible means of death at hand.At a Glance.
Jonathan Edwards delivered his famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" on July 8, in Enfield, Connecticut. In his sermon, Edwards appeals to sinners everywhere.
Edwards delivered the sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", a classic of early American literature, Avihu Zakai, Jonathan Edwards's Philosophy of History: The Reenchantment of the World in the Age of Enlightenment.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, . Jonathan Edwards delivered his famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" on July 8, in Enfield, Connecticut.
In his sermon, Edwards appeals to sinners everywhere, warning them that. Jonathan Edwards | Reformed Bible Church, Central Virginia. Considered to be one of the most famous sermons in American history, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" was first delivered in Enfield, Connecticut on July 8, SINNERS In the Hands of an Angry G O D.
A SERMON Preached at Enfield, July 8th 1 7 4 1. At a Time of great Awakenings ; and attended with remarkable Impreſſions on many of the Hearers. Rev. Jonathan Edwards delivered the execution sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in Enfield, Connecticut on July 8, This execution sermon is a lurid and bitter jeremiad against the "New York Negro rebels" who were then being hanged and burned at the stake for a suspected plot to destroy the village of New York by arson fire.