Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) was an American Congregational preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans. He is known as one of the greatest and most profound of American theologians and revivalists. His work is very broad in scope, but he is often associated with his defense of Calvinist theology and the Puritan heritage. His fire-and-brimstone sermons, such as “Sinners in the hands of an angry God,” emphasized the punishment of God and contrasted it with the provision of God for salvation; the intensity of his preaching sometimes resulted in members of the audience fainting, swooning, and other more obtrusive reactions. The swooning and other behaviours in his audience caught him up in a controversy over “bodily effects” of the Holy Spirit’s presence.
Edwards preached at Northampton, Massachusetts during the years 1742 and 1743, a series of sermons published under the title of Religious Affections (1746), a restatement in a more philosophical and general tone of his ideas as to the distinguishing marks of a work of God.
Eighteen of Edwards’ sermons, including “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (see below).