How Edwards& Paine portrayed God differently

The two philosophers, Jonathan as a puritan, and Thomas as a deist, portrayed their Gods differently in the texts sinners in the hands of an angry God and age of reason. The major differences are stated as follows:

Jonathan believes in the trinity: God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all one being. And they take on a human form, that is to say, he believes in an anthropomorphic god. Thomas believes in only one God, of unknown form, but only one. He acknowledges the existence of Jesus but not the resurrection.

Jonathan’s God is, according to his descriptions, angry, provoked, fearful and tyrannical. All men are born with sins which substantially offended God. God abhors wicked man and cannot bear the sight of them. “They are already under a sentence of condemnation to hell.” Thomas’ God is more loving and kind to its own creations. No men bear sins, something he believes the churches and priests made up.

The “revealed” God has absolutely no toleration for the pagans. Jonathan refers them as “the wicked men” and “those who never been reborn”。 If one does not accept Jesus as his savior and let him wash away his sins, God would “let you go” and in due time, one is doomed to suffer the vengeance of the angry God, a sudden unexpected destruction. However, the “natural” God cares less about human recognition, as it has same little interest in interfering with the material world. As the creator of this whole universe, it is satisfied with the design and mechanism. It would rather sit back and watch the world spin. And eventually, people would come to the realization of its existence through the act of reasoning.

A quantity of the Bible was quoted in Jonathan’s writing. He arrived to most of his conclusions by analyzing the bible. Such as “the pit” and “torments of hell”。 It is reasonable to believe that Jonathan’s God fits the description of the bible. But Edward pointed out that the bible is merely a human invention about God and that it is a “fabulous mythology”。 Whether hell or Satan exists still remains a question. Yet the nature of God and his creations can only be sought through scientific discoveries.

Through many vivid examples of metaphors, we can see that God in Jonathan’s text is unlimitedly powerful. Nothing can stand against him. He is responsible for every supernatural events. Tomas’ God, on the other hand, must follow a certain set of rules which he made up for the universe and even himself to function upon. That is to say, everything can be explained by this set of rules and supernatural events are nothing but stories.

The “revealed” God shed light on a small portion of his followers and the rest are expected to fully believe those reported statement and do as told to. The “natural” God doesn't require such a thing. One has every right to remain skeptical until he sees it or hear it for himself. “It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other. They are not obliged to believe it.”

Jonathan describes the hellish principles that lie in the nature of carnal man as “seeds of hell fire”, and it is God’s restraining hand that stops man from burning his own soul. But this is not the case for Tomas’ God. Humans are to follow his nature as previously designed to honor God’s delicate work.

[大学1年级] 字数:2694 投稿日期:2014-8-11 17:34:00

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