Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God / (A Pure Gold Classic) (Classics)

ISBN: 0882709496
ISBN 13: 9780882709499
By: Jonathan Edwards Mark Trigsted

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About this book

Though first, delivered 250 years ago, Edwards's most memorable sermon is no less needed today. Far more than a depicition of the punishments of hell, it is a call to personal salvation through Christ and spiritual revival in our time.

Reader's Thoughts

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"

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 ability to master a plan to escape damnation. The wrath of God is real and it is beyond human’s ability to truly comprehend the full fury of the Almighty. Ezekiel 8:18. “Therefore will I also deal in fury; mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and tho they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet I will not hear them”. To suffer the everlasting wrath of God is truly dreadful so those of us interested in seeking salvation must change our way of life. This is an incredibly powerful sermon…I strongly recommend it to all believers.


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.


Well this is a scare tactic sermon I had to read for my American Literature class. I imagine this must have really scared a lot of people in the 1700's.


I actually listened to recording of this by Max Mclean. I was a bit disappointed, I thought this was supposed to be one of the best sermons ever. Yes we have a just and righteously angry God but He is also compassionate and slow to anger which he did not mention. Nor did he mention God's gift of grace and forgiveness in His son Jesus. Maybe I zoned out but don't think the name of Jesus was ever mentioned, not even once.

Jake Yaniak

In light of his own teachings about God, moral agency and causality, as they are found in his book on the Freedom of the Will, I cannot but find this sermon, not merely offensive, but offensive to the gospel.

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 feel good Christianity that left out the aspect of a holy wrathful God in place of a big friendly guy in the sky.This was Edwards’ way of pushing responsibilities on Christians to strive for holiness in a wicked place. That God is a holy God who would strike down wickedness in his presence. I think Edwards is on the right track, that God’s will must be followed and his entire persona (love, holiness, mercy) considered.But I don’t think anyone is really prepared to know God’s will in their life. The same God who called Abraham from the city of Ur and Moses back to Israel, is the same God that commanded Israel to slay the Canaanites and had the prophet Hosea marry a promiscuous woman (a harlot) or had the early apostles go in to martyrdom.It doesn’t matter if that was an Old Testament wrath and fury Lord; God, according to the Bible is the same always all the time. We can throw in some good Aristotlean philosophy and say that perfection does not change. And no, I don’t believe in the dispensation of time like many other Dispensationalist who like to section off God’s revelation in chuncks of time.If God asked someone to leave the comforts of family and the United States and go to Turkey or China or Iran to preach the gospel, would they obey God’s will? Work has to be done, and God has a record of getting people to do his work, e.g. Jonah and the whale. That is why I don’t think people should be quick to ask what God’s will is in their life, unless they’re prepared to obey or disobey.The sermon would be relevant for this time, but I don't know if people are interested in holiness, the way it pertains in the bible. They want teaching that centers around their universe. Unfortunately, the only one who prospers from good natured prosperity teachings are the prosperity teachers who dangle “hope” in front of people and ask them by “faith” to send money to their ministry because they “love” their God.Like, Benny Hinn who have mansions (one in Dana Point) and a fleet of expensive cars and a private jet (he asked people to donate for his jet, wow) by collecting money from poor little old ladies who want to be healed from an incurable disease. I think Jonathan Edwards and the old prophets would never think of buying a mansion in Dana Point, nor would they care if they fly coach. Their blessing is knowing they are in God's perfect will. That is why I can admire this sermon and this brilliant preacher; besides the fact that he entered Yale at the age of 13 and was also considered both a philosopher and a theologian.I think Christians should be able to appreciate 'old time relgion' preached like this, to see humanities frailty at the hands of an angry God.That is my rant and review of this sermon.

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 going to flay His enemies, get His clothes bloody in the process, and the souls in Heaven will love Him even more when bearing witness to it.My real objections here are that Dover made no attempt to impose standard spelling (nobody is picking up a DTE book for scholarship), apparently because doing any editing would not have been 'fair use'; and that there is no narrative flow to the collected works. There is no theme or message, or evolution of religion. It is just a collection of existent works with no context.


A humbling preaching of God’s Word and His wrathPoignant 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 dreadfullyprovoked, his anger is as great towards them as to those that are actually suffering theexecutions of the fierceness of his wrath in hell, and they have done nothing in the least toappease or abate that anger, neither is God in the least bound by any promise to hold ‘emup one moment; the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gatherand flash about them, and would fain lay hold on them, and swallow them up; the firepent up in their own hearts is struggling to break out; and they have no interest in anymediator, there are no means within reach that can be any security to them.There is thedreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell’s wide gaping mouthopen; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor anything to take hold of: there is nothingbetween you and hell but the air; ‘tis only the power and mere pleasure of God that holdsyou up.‘Tis true, that judgment against your evil works has not been executed hitherto; the floodsof God’s vengeance have been withheld; but your guilt in the meantime is constantlyincreasing, and you are every day treasuring up more wrath; the waters are continuallyrising and waxing more and more mighty; and there is nothing but the mere pleasure ofGod that holds the waters back that are unwilling to be stopped, and press hard to goforward; if God should only withdraw his hand from the floodgate, it would immediatelyfly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God would rush forth withinconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if yourstrength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea ten thousand times greater thanthe strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand orendure it.However unconvinced you may now be of the truth of what you hear, by and byyou will be fully convinced of it.

Starr Bruner

Read in highschool. All the fire and brimstone was interesting as a piece of literature. The intensity of his speech and prose, and the imagery he calls on the audience to conjure up about hell --- all of these things were powerful, regardless of whether or not I agree with the actual content.

Eric Rudd

A humbling reminder of what should be, if not for the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ - clearly defines one end of the continuum.


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."


Jonathan Edward's classic 1741 Puritan sermon is a masterpiece of dickery. "I hate you," is his basic thesis, "And God does too." You are doing a terrible job at not being shitty - "your foot," as you may have heard, "will slide in due time" - and you will probably get hit by a truck later today - "the arrows of death fly unseen at noon-day," you know - 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 insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked,says Edwards, describing his vision of God as a squeamish child. You can picture her complaining about it later. "I was so dreadfully provoked!" she says. "This world is icky." It's been slightly fashionable for writers like Sarah Vowell to try to redeem Puritans lately - to show their more tolerant side. I think that's a lost cause, and certainly Edwards isn't doing anything to help as he picks out all the grossest quotes from the Bible, like the one that imagines us crushed in "the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (19:15 of the gloriously Grand Guignolish Revelations). "He will crush you under his feet without mercy," Edwards elucidates, in case you weren't clear on the image here: "He will crush out your blood, and make it fly, and it shall be sprinkled on his garments, so as to stain all his raiment." That's God, just stomping gleefully around in his blood-spattered robe, poppin' dudes like bubble wrap.So obviously this is terrific fun and highly recommended. Listen: your forefathers were assholes, and Jonathan Edwards is the high priest of fuck you. "It would be a wonder if some that are now present should not be in hell in a very short time," he predicts. "Nor will God then at all stay his rough wind."Puritan God will fart in your face, friends. And it's gonna stink.

Josh Russell

Wish that more men would preach like this

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.

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