Alliteration In Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

Unleash the Power of Alliteration in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

Prepare to be captivated by the literary masterpiece “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” where the skillful use of alliteration ignites a symphony of sounds that reverberates with emotion. It’s a journey into the depths of human anguish and the terror of impending judgment.

The relentless repetition of consonants creates a haunting rhythm that mirrors the relentless wrath of an unforgiving God. Words like “wicked” and “wretched,” paired with “destruction” and “damnation,” paint a vivid picture of the fate that awaits sinners. The harsh consonants evoke a sense of impending doom, leaving readers trembling with trepidation.

This masterful use of alliteration is not merely a literary device; it is a powerful tool that intensifies the message. By crafting words that cascade with consonant sounds, Jonathan Edwards aimed to imprint the horror of judgment upon the hearts of his listeners. It’s a sermon that shakes the soul and leaves an enduring impression.

In conclusion, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” exemplifies the transformative power of alliteration. Through the skillful repetition of consonant sounds, Edwards creates a symphony of terror that underscores the gravity of human sin. It’s a literary masterpiece that continues to captivate and horrify readers centuries after its inception.

Alliteration In Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

Alliteration in Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Jonathan Edwards’ fiery sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” is renowned for its powerful imagery and rhetorical devices. Among these, alliteration plays a significant role in enhancing the sermon’s persuasive force and emotional impact.

What is Alliteration?

Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds in close succession. It creates a rhythmic and emphatic effect that draws attention to certain words or phrases.

Alliteration in the Sermon’s Title

The sermon’s title itself employs alliteration: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The repetition of the “s” sound suggests the deep and relentless menace hanging over sinners.

Alliteration in the Introduction

Edwards opens the sermon with a vivid image:

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

“The wrath of God burns against them; their damnation don’t slumber; the pit is prepared; the fire is made ready; the furnace is hot; the flames do roar.”

The accumulation of “d” and “r” sounds creates a sense of urgency and impending danger.

Alliteration in the Body of the Sermon

Edwards repeatedly uses alliteration to amplify his arguments:

  • “These rumbling thunders may not be heard thus plainly”
  • “Your murdered carcasses may now be sleeping quietly in your graves”
  • “The fury of God, the flames of wrath, are ready to pour forth upon you”

Alliteration in the Conclusion

Edwards ends the sermon with a chilling warning:

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

“That we… the God of justice and fury infinitely offended and provoked… may… take our lives out of our hands… must doubtless be infinitely more dreadful than your present sufferings”

The repetitive “s” and “t” sounds intensify the fearsome consequences of God’s wrath.

Emotional Impact of Alliteration

Edwards’ use of alliteration contributes to the sermon’s emotional power in several ways:

  • It creates a sense of rhythm and flow that draws listeners in.
  • It emphasizes key words and phrases, making them more memorable.
  • It evokes a sense of urgency and danger, heightening the tension and gripping the audience.


Alliteration is a powerful rhetorical device that Jonathan Edwards masterfully employs in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” By repeating initial consonant sounds, Edwards enhances the sermon’s persuasive impact, emotional intensity, and overall effectiveness in conveying the dire consequences of sin and the need for repentance.


  1. What is the purpose of alliteration in the sermon?
  • To emphasize key points, evoke emotions, and enhance the sermon’s persuasive power.
  1. How does alliteration create a sense of rhythm and flow?
  • By repeating similar consonant sounds, creating a pleasing cadence that draws listeners in.
  1. What is an example of alliteration from the sermon’s introduction?
  • “The wrath of God burns against them; their damnation don’t slumber.”
  1. How does Edwards use alliteration to warn of God’s wrath in the conclusion?
  • By repeating “s” and “t” sounds in phrases like “more dreadful than your present sufferings.”
  1. What is a key aspect of the emotional impact created by alliteration in the sermon?
  • It heightens the tension and sense of danger, gripping the audience and conveying the urgency of repentance.



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