Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Some of us might have heard about Jonathan Edwards, probably through sermons about revivals. Some of us might even have heard about his famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. However, have any of us actually read the sermon? (Of course, none of us would have heard it "live", unless we are of the Methuselah generation where men lived for 900 years)

For better or worse, this is probably one of the most famous sermons of all time. Jonathan Edwards preached it in the early 18th century in Connecticut, provoking a revival that still affects New England to this day. It is said that during the sermon people cried out in fear, grabbing at pew backs and pillars in the church for fear they were about to fall into Hell.

Was it due to his oratory style? Was it because he was charismatic, preaching in tongues and performing miracles? Did he psych up the congregation through hype and drama?   Actually, it was none of that. Jonathan Edwards fasted and prayed in the week prior to the delivery of his sermon. By the time he got up to the pulpit to preach, he was so weak with hunger that he could barely prop himself up on the lectern. In a barely audible voice, he simply read out his sermon from his prepared notes. Just that. No drama, no fuss, no rough stuff. Yet, conviction fell on all those gathered there. It was the Word of God that was communicated, not theatrics or "Christianized"-psychology which seem to characterize preachers of the 1990's.

The next page contains the sermon, which was faithfully transcribed by Greg Hartman in his webpage. Think you've got the guts to read the sermon?   Then....

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