Fred Sanders of Scriptorium:
It was on July 8, 1741 that Jonathan Edwards preached the sermon for which he is most famous, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”
Edwards had already preached a different version of the sermon a month earlier at Northampton, Massachussetts, but he had strengthened the sermon in a number of ways before preaching it on July 8 to a congregation a little to the south in Enfield, Connecticut. When the Enfield congregation heard it, one eyewitness reported that there was “a great moaning & crying out throughout ye whole House … shreiks & crys – were piercing & Amazing,” and that Edwards had to stop reading the sermon.
“Sinners” looms large in American memory. It is a sermon on hell that has seared itself into the conscience of the country and made people think that most Christian preaching, or perhaps most Puritan preaching, or at least most of Edwards’ preaching, must have been hellfire-and-brimstone.
Read the whole thing here.