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Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,405 Ratings  ·  127 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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Bookworm Sean
Mar 09, 2016 Bookworm Sean rated it liked it
This is not just a sermon, but also a warning of what awaits those should they slip into sin. I’m not a Christian, so please don’t think this is about me spreading religion by writing a review of this. Quite the contrary, this is about the sheer power behind these words. Edwards is a passionate writer who, to his mind, is trying to save people through his speech. It is forceful, authoritative and completely compelling. I should imagine that if I was a Christian, at the time of its original publi ...more
"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
Dec 13, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, christian, history
I first discovered this sermon in an 11th grade English class. The sermon made a dent in history as it started a "Great Awakening" of the Christian religion in America. Edwards writes with amazing literary skill, using vivid imagery to describe the wrath of God. Reports say people screamed and cried out during this sermon and some thought the floor shook and opened up to drag them under. I wanted to hear it, so I found a video on YouTube from a Pastor. I chose a pastor so it may be more dramatiz ...more
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
Lee Harmon
Apr 12, 2011 Lee Harmon rated it liked it
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
Oct 22, 2009 Ben rated it liked it
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
John Yelverton
Sep 30, 2011 John Yelverton rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 06, 2011 Skylar Burris rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
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
Natalie Vellacott
Mar 21, 2016 Natalie Vellacott rated it really liked it
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
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.
Aase Marit
Aug 23, 2011 Aase Marit rated it liked it
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
May 19, 2011 Joe Dantona rated it it was ok
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
Arnaldo Ibarrientos
Mar 20, 2013 Arnaldo Ibarrientos rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
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
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.
Charles Sr.
Jan 07, 2016 Charles Sr. rated it did not like it
This is, by far, the most revolting thing I have ever read. How can its adherents not view the lost in the same manner that they believe God views them? He frequently mentions the arbitrariness of God. What?! This book is of the devil, if anything is. It presumes that God desires worship that is motivated by threats. What a sad world we live in. Once again, Christians play a large part in its savagery.

God loves our loved once far more than we could. Christ died for them, after all. He died for
Oct 09, 2015 matt rated it it was ok

The human capacity for masochism astounds me sometimes- especially when I can relate to it myself.
Matt Flipp
Oct 07, 2015 Matt Flipp rated it it was amazing
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
Many scare tactics changed the way that the colonist lived their everyday life because of the sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. These scare tactics really worked on many of the colonists in the new world. It scared them in many different ways such as fear of hell, and fear of death, hoping to get to heaven.
Many colonist lives were changed after they heard this sermon. One line from the Sermon was “So that, thus it is that natural men are held i
Tabi Card
Sep 27, 2015 Tabi Card rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before starting this review, I must state three things:
- Yes, I am a Christian
- Yes, I believe wholeheartedly in God and His Word as laid out in the Bible
- Yes, this my first time reading Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

“…whatever some people have imagined and pretended to understand about the promises made to natural man’s earnest seeking and knocking, it is clear and manifest that, whatever pains natural man takes in religion, whatever prayers he makes, until he believes in Christ, God is
Aug 26, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
"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
Chuck O'Connor
Feb 03, 2011 Chuck O'Connor rated it it was amazing
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"
Lincoln Forlong
Mar 02, 2015 Lincoln Forlong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Jason Dollar has done an outstanding job of presenting the original work in modern english, this is still a serious read not to be taken lightly.
Jonathan Edwards presents perhaps two of the most needs messages this world will ever know. this read is encouraging, challenging and drives the reader to a healthy time of self-examination leading to surrender to the Saviour of our souls.
This read may not be to every readers taste, however, everyone desperately needs to read this book!
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.
Jan 01, 2016 Kate rated it it was ok
This is a sermon written by American theologian Jonathan Edwards in 1741. As I recall Edwards entire premise was that all humans are evil, wicked, dirty and vile creatures and that we all deserve to go to burn in hell for all eternity. Edwards further claimed that God himself knew this full well and has no qualms about sending humans there if we do anything further (than simply existing, that is) to tick Him off. So much for God is love, right?

I had to read this in my junior year of high school.
Mark A Powell
Dec 30, 2013 Mark A Powell rated it it was amazing
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.
Matthew Allison
Jan 19, 2015 Matthew Allison rated it it was ok
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
Dec 11, 2015 Christian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this back in 1997-1999, powerful is the word. He preached this with the goal of telling the masses that they are in need of understanding that just because God is Love he is of Hate... yes towards Sin. We are sinner in the hands of angry God because we are born of sin, thanks to Adam but, the hope of this message was to let the mass know of God's anger and to have them recognize this and confess this to the Almighty in the name of His Son Jesus. This was and is one of the most ...more
Jan 07, 2014 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: church-history
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
The Literacy Advocate

This fire-and-brimstone sermon, dated July 8,1741, was first preached by Jonathan Edwards to his Puritan congregation in Northampton, Massachusetts. It is a well-constructed example of fire-and-brimstone preaching, filled with imagery and persuasive appeals of pathos to encourage sinners (being all people) to accept the fact that we survive only at the pleasure and whim of God, and that unless we turn our backs on sin, in which all humans are drowning, we wi
Leona Renee
Jan 18, 2015 Leona Renee rated it it was amazing
"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
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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
More about Jonathan Edwards...

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“Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering.” 32 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.” 11 likes
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