What images and figures of speech might have helped Edward's listeners to feel the peril of thier sinful condition?
Edwards was directing his sermon to what he calls ''natural men'', those members of his congregation who had not been ''reborn''.
The primary image that Edwards seems to be railing against is a social order that has lost sight of a Christian or Divine notion of life. At the time of the composition of his sermon, the Colonies were moving towards the qualities of a secular, or not as heavily religious form of existence. Literacy had been increasing throughout the colonies and with it was the growth of industry and commerce. Colonists were sensing that pursuing material acquisition had become a part of existence that was previously unknown. For Edwards, this move translated, in his mind, to a rejection of the almighty. His notion of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" helped to reflect this idea of a move of lifestyle which displeased God. The concept of being "reborn" for Edwards was one where this conception of materialism had become replaced with spirituality of a zealous and denominational nature.