Jonathan Edwards and Patrick Henry’s biographies and speeches showed a lot of similar
characteristics, but also many differences, Their speeches both contained incredible power
and impact. Yet the effects and results were hardly on the same subject.
Jonathan Edwards was a powerful speaker. He made his audience feel the words
that he spoke. An example of this is in his speech, “Sinners in the hands of and angry
God” when he says “...hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them, and
would fain lay hold of them and swallow them up...” Jonathan’s speeches influenced the
lives of many people. His congregations feared sinning. They fainted and cried at his
services. Edwards was one of the pastors who were greatly involved in the Great
Awakening. He spoke most of his sermons during this time and people listened.
Patrick Henry was also a very powerful speaker. In his speech to the Virginia
Convention, he was said to have grabbed an ivory letter opener and plunged it towards his
breast with the word death. Henry’s speeches influenced many people. A clergyman who
was present at the time of Henry’s speech recalled that during it he felt “sick with
excitement.” He convinced the United States and Virginia governments to fight for the
freedom of our country, and if that isn’t influencing a few lives, then I don’t know what is!
Now you may not have known this, but Patrick Henry was involved in the Great
Awakening too. As a child he and his mother often sat in congregations to hear the great
traveling speakers.
Patrick Henry found his calling in the law. He at first tried farming, but failed. He
was said to have one of the best law minds in the country at that time. Henry spoke about
government issues, like his speech to the Virginia Convention, trying to convince the men
to fight for our freedom. He pointed out faults in government system, rather than
pointing out the faults of the people in the government.
Jonathan Edwards turned to his grandfather’s profession, as a preacher. It was his
calling, even in his early childhood years he knew he would become his grandfathers
successor, and he did. He spoke on religious matters such as in his speech “Sinners in the
hands of an angry God.” He didn’t point out the faults in religions as a whole, but he
pointed out the faults of the people in his audience regarding religious matters.
Patrick Henry and Jonathan Edwards exhibited many of the same characteristics,
like being wonderful speech makers. Both men had many differences between them. They
spoke on different subjects and affected people in different ways but had a great influence
on the way those people lived.