Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

A sermon preached by Jonathan Edwards to his Enfield, Connecticut, congregation in July 1741, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is particularly noted for its vivid descriptions of the torments of Hell and mankind’s natural depravity. At the same time, it was also an appeal to man’s need for salvation and a reminder of the agonies that awaited the unreformed.

Coming during the height of the Great Awakening–a period of religious fervor in the first half of the eighteenth century–the homily was at once regarded by many as the greatest ever given on American soil and vehemently attacked by others as puritanical “fire and brimstone.” One thing seems certain: it made a lasting impact on American Christianity.