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Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,188 ratings  ·  115 reviews
This is a reprint of Jonathan Edward's famous sermon. Many have said it is the most famous sermon ever preached. The sermon was first delivered in Enfield, MA on July 8, 1741. The sermon had an amazing impact on the audience.
Paperback, 35 pages
Published February 14th 2003 by Christian Life Books (first published 1741)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,164)
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Alex
"I hate you," is the thesis of Jonathan Edward's 1741 Puritan masterpiece of dickery, "And God does too." You are doing a terrible job at not being shitty: "Your foot will slide in due time," as you may have heard. And you will probably get hit by a truck later today, because "the arrows of death fly unseen at noon-day," and then you will burn in exquisite torture forever and ever, because you are the worst.
The God that holds you over the pit of hell much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome
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booklady
Reflecting on Edward’s sermon, there’s nothing technically wrong with it and yet still it doesn’t ring true. It doesn’t sound like the same God I have come to know through the Jesus I’ve met in the Gospels. Where is the Abba, Father we are supposed to address our prayers to?

Yes, Jesus does become angry in the Gospels. In the Gospel of Mark in particular, Jesus is portrayed as rather impatient, brusque even. He curses the fig tree—symbolic of barren Israel and a parable on the fate of Jerusalem—a
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Lee Harmon
This is a little pocketbook sermon Edwards preached in Enfield, Massachusetts in 1741. From the back cover: “With this marvelous sermon, Jonathan Edwards changed history and helped spark a spiritual awakening … Historians recognize Edwards as one of the most brilliant men of all times.”

The torments of hell are vividly described, but according to the book, “Throughout the sermon Edwards demonstrates the utmost compassion for the lost.” See if you can locate the compassion in this quotation from t
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Ben
A very powerful and moving sermon given by Edwards. That said, it is perhaps a bit overdone to accomplish his noble affect of "scaring the hell out of people."

It is clear that Christianity today sadly finds the "wrath of God" as politically incorrect, Edwards view is perhaps not entirely accurate either in terms of how he portrays God. Yes, God is angry and wrathful toward sinners, but He is at the same time compassionate and merciful to them. Edwards does address this point, but fails to make
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John Yelverton
The greatest sermon that I have ever read. I only wish that I could have been there to have heard it in person.
Skylar Burris
Rhetorically? Beautiful. Masterful. Theologically? Not so much.

Is the God who seeks out the very last, lost sheep though he have 99 secure the same God of Edward’s sermon, holding with anger and disdain a spider over a pit of fire? Edward’s God is always overturning the tables of the money changers and never overturning the house in desperate, loving search for the last lost coin.

Though Edward’s God is not God as I understand him from the Gospels, I confess that, for some reason, I am really em
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Philip
Widely considered the most famous sermon in American history, this actually predates the United States by over three decades. I have mixed feelings, since Edwards has some good theology here. However, I am uncomfortable with his habit of attributing motive, intent, or thought process- most importantly when he does it with God. Scripture teaches that God's ways are not our ways(Isa 55:8), that we do not fathom the mysteries of God(Job 11:7), that there are secret things hidden from us that belong ...more
Sarah Marie
2 stars

This sermon is really uncomfortable to read. I couldn't even imagine how horrible sitting there and having Edwards talk down to his congregation must have been. It's a good literary piece to analyze, but besides that it's... uncomfortable. Nobody wants to be told that their lives amount to the life of a bug dangling over a pit as God plays spider. It's just horrible, but a good analytic piece. Besides that I never want to read this again.
Brandon
This is a truly valuable book. It appears that the publisher offers it for historical interest primarily but for those of us who count ourselves the spiritual descendents of the American Puritans these sermons are very much alive. So far I am amazed with Increase Mather's "Predestination and Human Exertions" and John Cotton's "The Life of Faith."
Aase Marit
Had to read this for my American Literature class. As much as I do not agree with the content of the text, I found his use of language quite interesting.
Joe Dantona
There is much truth in this sermon. God's wrath is real and is leveled against evil and evil-doers.

Edwards takes John 8:23 out of context and changes the meaning. He was trying to make the point that people are sinful, therefore we are not only destined to Hell but are also "from Hell" in a sense and that we belong there.

But he uses a verse where Jesus is saying He is from Heaven and the Jews are not, and that is why they ought to listen to Him but don't.
Do we belong in Hell? What about "the fir
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Isaac
This book is amazing. I could not properly review any of this without pointing out the amazing spiritual level that the puritans walked in. This book is on my 'still reading' section, and will probably remain so for a long time as I've found I need to read each sermon slowly, without interuption, and sometimes several times in order to fully assimilate the truths laid out.
The puritans are often portrayed as all hellfire and brimstone (as typified by the sermon which titles this book), yet the fa
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Arnaldo Ibarrientos
One of the most famous sermons ever produced, Jonathan Edwards caused a revival of mass hysteria that led to the Great Awakening when he preached this. The images he employed were great and useful for the time he preached it. At the age of sixteen, I already had an admiration for men like him along with other great preachers such as C.H. Spurgeon and Cotton Mathers.

This wasn’t about fear as it was more about the call to holiness. This would not be a popular sermon in this day and age of cozy fee
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Matthias Vannieuwenhuyze
A sermon written by American Christian theologian Jonathan Edwards, preached to his own congregation in Massachusetts and later in Connecticut.The sermon combines vivid imagery of Hell with observations of the world and citations of the Bible. This is a typical sermon of the Great Awakening, emphasizing the belief that Hell is a real place. Edwards hoped that the message of his sermon would awaken his audience to the horrific reality that awaited them should they continue without Christ.
Natalie Vellacott
This book is composed of a number of sermons by the great preacher Jonathan Edwards. It is worth reading for the famous "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" sermon alone as it will definitely convict, challenge and hopefully inspire. There is also a shorter sermon on Use of Time which is very practical. I found the rest of the sermons hard going...obviously they are Biblical but repetitious in places and very long. I would recommend this for theology students or as a reference book rather than ...more
Michael
"The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or
some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked:
his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing
else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have
you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than
the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely
more than ever a stubborn rebel did his
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Chuck O'Connor
Frightening in its logical progression and theological clarity. This is an important piece to read if one wants to understand the moral divide between conservatives and progressives in America today. I think that Edwards should be studied for his ideas and their impact on modern America as much as we study Jefferson, Madison, Hobbes and Locke. It is important to better see the perspective of those who believe why America is exceptional and how we claim the status of a "Shining City on a Hill"
cashman_cool
most likely one of the worst representations of Christianity I've ever read. It doesn't help that I was forced to read this sadistic sermon from a young age, and that I actually found it 'soul-empowering.' I once viewed this as an enriching, passionate cry from a respectable theologian. A new perspective has brought me to determine this is anything BUT enriching. Only worth reading as a silly 'spook-the-kids' fable, or if you're a staunch, life-denying Christian fatalist like Edwards was.
Mark A Powell
One of the most famous sermons ever preached in American history is transcripted in this book. It’s hard to review a sermon the way one would review a book, because much of the power in preaching comes from the work of the Spirit in that time and place. That said, Edwards’ message about the reality of hell, the guilt of humanity, and the righteous judgment of God remains a poignant, much-needed message in our postmodern age.
Michael Hsu
A powerful message based on the word of God. We are walking on slippery ground and in due time we will slide and fall unless we turn away from sin and run into the hands of God. God is infinitely good, loving and powerful but he is also just (no, this is not a contradiction. Love and justice can co-exist). The sword of divine justice is brandished over our heads and nothing but God’s mercy is holding it back. Let us take no comfort in seeing the lack of visible signs of death at hand or in our a ...more
Matthew Allison
It's the homily on "exquisite horrible misery." Potentially the most famous sermon ever published, Jonathan Edwards gave to his congregation the verbal equivalent of hell. Long-winded, misanthropic, and rhetorically convoluted, "Sinners in the Hand..." sinks into our 21st century below a theological world-view. There is a kind of negative eloquence laced in its message, with phrases like "you shall be continued in being to no other end; for you will be a vessel of wrath fitted to destruction; an ...more
James
Nothing like starting the New Year with a bowl of wrath! The 18th Century Puritan divine, Jonathan Edwards, is probably best known for this sermon which vividly paints God's righteous anger at humanity for their sin. Fire and brimstone are keywords in this sermon and it has served as a template for lesser lights.

I think it is unfortunate that this sermon is what most people today know of Edwards. Other aspects of his theology are more amenable to contemporary tastes. His descriptions of nature a
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Leona Renee
"God has laid himself under no obligation, by any promise to keep any natural man out of hell one moment. God certainly has made no promises either of eternal life, or of any deliverance or preservation from eternal death, but what are contained in the covenant of grace, the promises that are given in Christ, in whom all the promises are yea and amen. 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 t ...more
Patricia C Robbins
Why Neglect So Great Salvation

Edwards truly makes his point. The unsaved are held in God's hand perched over hell and death by the grace of God who hates their sins. These sins truly anger God, but He mercifully allows the unsaved additional opportunities to be saved. God is rich in love but His fierce hatred of sin is as powerful as His unconditional love. He will not allow us to mock Him. There is no hope, only despair, for those who refuse to believe. Sinners in the hands of an angry God will
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Rosie
Jonathan Edwards makes some good points in his sermon, about human reaction to hearing about hell, the misery of hell, etc. But he also makes very untrue points about unsaved people: that before you are saved you are despised by God, Who holds you over hell like one would a spider or insect over a flame. That He does not regard an unsaved man's cries of pity, that He at any point will give you to Satan. This is simply not the loving God we know from the Bible, Who waits for each man to come to H ...more
Keiki Hendrix
Jonathan Edwards' sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" narrated by Max McLean will take your breathe away. This is the pure, unadulterated, hard hitting Truth that, once heard, simply cannot leave you as you were before you heard it.

This sermon is regarded by many as the most famous sermon ever delivered. Written by (or perhaps through) one of the greatest American Theologians. It begins with the Word from Deuteronomy 32:35 '..their foot shall slide in due time', and with these words, t
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Timothy McNeil
This book (the DTE version) was a labor from the beginning to the end. It runs the gamut from musings about immersion in Faith to lectures about the wrongness about falling asleep in church (I have to wonder what else there would be to do on a Puritanical Sunday, so sleeping through a sermon seems to be the fault of the preacher) to a justification for rebellion against the Crown to a poorly reasoned rational approach to accepting God's greatness to the titular warning about how Angry God is goi ...more
Birdie
Oct 15, 2013 Birdie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: I would recommend this to anyone mature enough to partially understand the content.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stevie
A humbling preaching of God’s Word and His wrath

Poignant Quotes:

So that thus it is, that natural men are held in the hand of God over the pit of hell;
they have deserved the fiery pit, and are already sentenced to it; and God is dreadfully
provoked, his anger is as great towards them as to those that are actually suffering the
executions of the fierceness of his wrath in hell, and they have done nothing in the least to
appease or abate that anger, neither is God in the least bound by any promise to
...more
Clydie
Instrumental in my salvation!

2nd Reading on Kindle: So good to read again the sermon that was so influential in my salvation! This clear presentation of the most Holy God demanding a just penalty for sin and providing a way to Heaven through the shed blood of His sinless Son, Jesus Christ, was the reality I needed 32 years ago to place my trust in that shed blood and trust Christ as my Saviour.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database named Jonathan Edwards.

Jonathan Edwards was the most eminent American philosopher-theologian of his time, and a key figure in what has come to be called the First Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740s.

The only son in a family of eleven children, he entered Yale in September, 1716 when he was not yet thirteen and graduated fou
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The Religious Affections Freedom of the Will Jonathan Edwards' Resolutions: And Advice to Young Converts Charity & Its Fruits The Works of Jonathan Edwards, 2 Volumes

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“Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering.” 27 likes
“That the reason why they are not fallen already and do not fall now is only that God's appointed time is not come. 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.” 9 likes
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