How does Jonathan Edwards want the congregation to respond to his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"?

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may-stone | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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As one of the most influential preachers and instigators of The First Great Awakening, which swept America in a fever of repentance and rededication to a sort of Puritanical Christian doctrine, Jonathan Edwards designed his sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” to convert as many hearers to Christianity as possible.  The text is a classic example of a Jeremiad, which warns of the dire consequences if some behavior or trend is not corrected.  In this case, Edwards wants to make his audience so afraid of going to Hell that they will convert immediately, at the end of his sermon; he finishes up by exhorting his audience, "therefore let everyone that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the wrath to come."  At the end of his sermon, Edwards would ask that those that had been convinced by him to come up to the front and dedicate their lives to his religion, and many people did.