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Compare and Contrast Essay: Jon Edwards and John Winthrop

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Compare and Contrast Essay: Jon Edwards and John Winthrop

In this essay, I will be doing a comparison and contrast of John Winthrop's "A Model of Christian Charity" and Jon Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". I will be discussing the purpose of the sermons, techniques and their audiences.

When reading John Winthrop's sermon, I actually enjoyed it. The whole purpose of his sermon was to let the people know what God desired and what he desired for them in the New World. He wanted to let them know that God wanted the Puritans to love one another and help each other out in times of need. If they could not do these things and live together under God, then they would not survive. He attempted to show the Puritans how they could live the most Christian life possible and reap the benefits of it. He also wanted to give the people faith, immigrating to a new world was obviously a challenge. His whole purpose was to guide the people into the right direction. Considering what a legacy this sermon was, I was shocked to read in Edmund Morgan's "John Winthrop's Modell of Christian Charity" in a Wider Context" that Winthrop made no mention of his most famous sermon in his journal or anywhere else. Morgan also states "Though there seems no doubt that the authorship is properly ascribed to him, the

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circumstances under which he may have delivered it aboard the Arbella are therefore uncertain" (Morgan, 146). I found that very interesting.

In Jonathan Edwards "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", I felt the purpose of his sermon was to scare you into abiding by God's laws and make you repent for whatever mistakes you may have previously committed. He wanted people to understand how important religion was, but he went about it the wrong way. Hell and God's wrath was the center of his sermon. If you did not follow God's will; you will go to hell, if you did not repent; you would go to hell. He wasn't very positive in his messages. He constantly reminded the people that God could take them away from this earth whenever he wanted and send them to hell. He was attempting to convey the message that they needed to do right by God. In general, his sermon was about changing the behavior of the people by reminding them that God was watching and they were at his mercy at all times. He was attempting to make them better people. As scary as his sermon was, it was clear he was simply trying to help. He wanted people to save themselves from hell and be better Christians.

I believe the sermons only shared one common goal of being true to God and his wants, but completely different executions. Winthrop gently urged his people to act their best and live up to the morals God would want. He used many examples from the Bible to assist them. Edwards, however, was mostly concerned with sins and going to hell. Not really with guiding people to a better life, but forcing them to what he considered to be a better life.

Winthrop's and Edwards' techniques in their sermons were like night and day. Winthrop's sermon was refreshing, encouraging and gentle. John Winthrop conducted his

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sermon in a question-answer format including objections in some



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