Each of these themes is made more potent by the use of vivid metaphors, which are the heart and soul of Edwards's emotional appeal to his listeners. The fires of hell are already burning in the souls of the wicked. There is this clear evidence that men's own wisdom is no security to them from death; that if it were otherwise we should see some difference between the wise and politic men of the world, and others, with regard to their liableness to early and unexpected death: but how is it in fact? However you may have reformed your life in many things, and may have had religious affections, and may keep up a form of religion in your families and closets, and in the house of God, it is nothing but his mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction. Oh, who can express what the state of a soul in such circumstances is! The seas of sin are uncontrollable, but God has the power to keep them in check. 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? They are as great heaps of light chaff before the whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring flames. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God's enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces. The wrath of the great King of kings, is as much more terrible than theirs, as his majesty is greater.
No good could come of thinking about it. Christians pray for God to fire-try us to refine us in Him and His love. More importantly, Ephraim is Israel in its worst spiritual and moral condition. The use may be of awakening unconverted persons in this congregation. And where might the natural implications of this theological framework lead us? Couldn't be very similar in meaning to the Parable of the Prodigal Son? But surely they have no interest in the promises of the covenant of grace who are not the children of the covenant, who do not believe in any of the promises, and have no interest in the Mediator of the covenant. I had portions of it memorized. Puritans, who were escaping persecution, formed some of the 13 colonies but in turn they enforced their religion and beliefs in the colonies.
As we can see he used plenty of persuasive techniques, he is very descriptive in his imagery and uses simple metaphors to persuade thousands to repent of their sinful ways and turn to Christ. 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 73:18,19. 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. Ultimately, however, the sermon stresses the grace of God who, for reasons known only to him, has to this point kept the wicked from experiencing this horrible destruction which they deserve. Oh that you would consider it, whether you be young or old! Edwards uses numbered lists throughout the sermon in order to make the structure of his thought explicit.
To see so many others feasting, while you are pining and perishing! Another thing implied is, that they are liable to fall of themselves, without being thrown down by the hand of another; as he that stands or walks on slippery ground needs nothing but his own weight to throw him down. He does not ignore justice at the expense of mercy — look at the Cross! Further, he describes hell as a bottomless pit, which seems to be a different analogy than either fire or storm. It is difficult to know how an ancient Jew thought of Sheol. Thank you for posting this, I am very happy to read this today. All the means that there are of sinners going out of the world, are so in God's hands, and so universally and absolutely subject to his power and determination, that it does not depend at all the less on the mere will of God, whether sinners shall at any moment go to hell, than if means were never made use of, or at all concerned in the case. But is the result of our sin still the same, just with different causes? I intended to take effectual care; but it came upon me unexpected; I did not look for it at that time, and in that manner; it came as a thief — Death outwitted me: God's wrath was too quick for me.
Softly and tenderly I wait for him. His religion didn't encourage him to think about it. Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen. The wrath of the great King of kings, is as much more terrible than theirs, as his majesty is greater. Jonathan Edwards began his sermon towards the Puritan congregation by trying to scare the people.
Oh, who can express what the state of a soul in such circumstances is! We get it all the time. The sovereign pleasure of God, for the present, stays his rough wind; otherwise it would come with fury, and your destruction would come like a whirlwind, and you would be like the chaff on the summer threshing floor. It is no security to wicked men for one moment, that there are no visible means of death at hand. Their case is past all hope; they are crying in extreme misery and perfect despair; but here you are in the land of the living and in the house of God, and have an opportunity to obtain salvation. I was flattering myself, and pleasing myself with vain dreams of what I would do hereafter; and when I was saying, Peace and safety, then suddenly destruction came upon me. Everything is trending toward the destruction of the sinner and the only thing holding that back is the arbitrary will and the mere pleasure of God. Like Edwards' other works, it combines vivid imagery of with observations of the world and citations of the.
Another thing implied is, that they are liable to fall of themselves, without being thrown down by the hand of another; as he that stands or walks on slippery ground needs nothing but his own weight to throw him down. The time is coming when it will be withheld and only his wrath will be poured out on the unregenerate. Your guilt and hardness of heart is extremely great. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail. But surely they have no interest in the promises of the covenant of grace who are not the children of the covenant, who do not believe in any of the promises, and have no interest in the Mediator of the covenant. He does not intend to come to that place of torment; he says within himself, that he intends to take effectual care, and to order matters so for himself as not to fail.
If it were only the wrath of man, though it were of the most potent prince, it would be comparatively little to be regarded. To see so many rejoicing and singing for joy of heart, while you have cause to mourn for sorrow of heart, and howl for vexation of spirit! The scripture represents them as his goods, Luke 11:21. Daniel knew a bit about fires. Second, he notes that a fall on a slippery surface is always sudden and unexpected—destruction might come to sinners at any time. There are the black clouds of God's wrath now hanging directly over your heads, full of the dreadful storm, and big with thunder; and were it not for the restraining hand of God, it would immediately burst forth upon you.