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Kamarri Williams

Mr. Lucero
Period 3
11/4/13

Tom Walker in the Hands of an Angry God


The belief in some type of God has been around since most likely the beginning of man
kind. Every culture has some sort of euphoric utopia. Those who do good things deserve to go
there, go there in the afterlife. But, there is an opposite place, for the sinners who go and spend
time with the devil. Tom Walker has a decision to make. He can sell his soul, obtain riches, or
just have a plain regular non prosperous life. In Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God,
Jonathan Edwards explains how if God is not obeyed, he punishes you with a great wrath
Washington Irving and Jonathan Edwards include both religion based details in their two
works. They include the wrath of religious figures and how they punish individuals. While there
are more similarities, the main ones end there. In The Devil and Tom Walker, God is not really
the main focus of this narrative. Tom Walker goes to church and praises the lord in his older
days, but thats about it. The only religious figure is the Devil and he is there to trap and punish
Tom.
Jonathan Edwards wrote Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God, while Washington
Irving wrote The Devil and Tom Walker. Both use a punishing figure, but they are different in
varied ways. Edwardss sermon includes both the Devil and God, yet the God portrayed in
Edwardss sermon is not the same as the one alluded to in Tom Walker. The God is very
punishing and almost merciless, taking on some of the qualities from the Devil that was in Tom
Walker.
For example, in Sinners, God is said to be holding sinners in his hand, over a pit of
flames, anxiously waiting to drop them in, forever punishing them for their sins. In Tom
Walker, the Devil is just waiting for souls to be sold to him, and he waits until it is time to
collect his debt. Then he does unspeakable things, punishing them forever. While both God and
the Devil hold souls over fiery pits of hell, the similarities are quite over and end there. God is
almost merciless in Sinners this has been established. But it must be taken account that key
word, almost. God does forgive and rewards those deserving of such.
The Devil does no rewarding; his servants who praise and worship him are given nothing.
Or, he does, but not the kind that pays off in the long run. He rewards with riches for a short
period of time. Then he takes it all away and all of your influence you had on the world after

your death. The Devil does not care who he takes, as long as they are willing (or more
appropriately corruptible.) God care who he takes and punishes, like those who praise him and
obey his commands. Whoever does not sin and perform good Samaritan deeds, they are
privileged with the chance to go to heaven. Jonathan Edwards uses his powerful and emotional
diction to make sure those can comprehend and understand Gods infinite power and mighty
wrath. But he also lets his audience know the great pleasure that awaits them when they praise
and follow God. God is loving and accepting to them. As evidenced in Tom Walker, the Devil
does not forgive. He takes those as he pleases, like Toms wife, and is in no shape or form
understanding.
The Devil and Tom Walker shows how greed and corruption is destructive and
dangerous. All of the names on the trees in the Devils forest signify how easy it is to corrupt and
lead people down the wrong path. The trees are great evidence to support Edwardss. The trees
are huge reason why God is so strict. So many people just in Tom Walkers small town sold their
souls. That is not the only place that the devil resides, though. So it can be assumed, since there
are more places, more peoples souls are being sold. This greatly frustrates God and invokes a
ruthless aggression.
Tom Walker recognizes a slew of people in the sea of names engraved on the trees. All of
those people are known by others as well. So if people know, than of course God knows, and
God punishes them. He does this to show others and warn them of the mistakes they can possibly
make. The Devil and Tom Walker, and The Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God both show
the dangers of toiling with God and not obeying him. God is ruthless and easily angered, while
the Devil is aggressive. Lastly, God rewards his followers and the Devil just does anything he
wants as he pleases.
If you were confronted by the Devil, and he told you he could fulfill your wildest dreams
while you lived on Earth, would you take his offer? You were also only given a minute to decide
and then the offer will be left of the table forever, making you ponder your decision for the rest

of your life. Not only this, but you will also be reminded about it in your dreams and it will haunt
you with an unbelievable annoyance.