In Jonathan Edwards’ personal narrative, he uses language to convey a remorseful attitude towards his own spiritual condition. The imagery of hell as seen by Edwards creates a punishment in “the lowest place in hell. ” He feels like he is the “very worst of all mankind. ” In the simile, “as bad as the devil himself,” his followers make him feel as though his “wickedness” and “vileness” are greater. This portrays his remorseful attitude.
By utilizing the simile, “like an infinite deluge or mountains over my head,” Edwards depicts the severity of his wrongdoing as being of such magnitude that it is “swallowing up all thought and imagination. ” The use of repetition in “Infinite upon infinite— Infinite upon infinite! ” supports Edwards’ view of his wickedness as “an abyss infinitely deeper than hell. ” This expresses his internal pain and anguish. Edwards proceeds to use the phrase, “nauseous and detestable to me,” to describe his sense of self-loathing.
He feels as if he does not morally deserve to be “exalted and raised up to the infinite height of all the fullness and glory of the great Jehovah. ” Throughout the narrative, Edwards is vividly describing his belief that if it were not for the “sovereign grace” of his Lord, that the earth would simply not bear him or all humanity for a single moment because as far as he is concerned, we are all corrupt individuals- creatures even, that spend our lives in the service of God’s enemies. It is through all the aforementioned that he illustrates his remorseful sentiment in his personal narrative.