Edwards's sermon is filled with dramatic and persuasive diction designed to motivate his listeners to trust in Christ. Many of these passages are metaphors or allegories that elucidate the spiritual state by comparing it to physical conditions his readers could relate to. In seeking to prove the precarious state of his listeners' souls, he describes the ground they walk on every day as a weak bridge across a dangerous cavern:
Unconverted Men walk over the Pit of Hell on a rotten Covering, and there are innumerable Places in this Covering so weak that they won’t bear their Weight, and these Places are not seen.
He likens the wrath of God to a flood that strains behind a dam, waiting to burst forth:
The Wrath of God is like great Waters that are dammed for the present; they increase more and more, & rise higher and higher, till an Outlet is given, and the longer the Stream is stop’d, the more rapid and mighty is its Course, when once it is let loose.
He emphasizes the power of God and the...
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