In his view, notwithstanding that humans could be saved through Christianity and were created for neither hell nor heaven, they are wretched creatures, always surviving on God’s mercy.
He relates the association between God and men by reminding the congregants how it should be, “easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth” (499). By likening humans to worms in this sermon, Edwards stresses the degree of Lord’s mercy and at the same time inspiring his listeners to struggle for some “status” and acquire tangibility in God’s eyes.
According to the sermon, Edwards was advocating for obeying religious rules, which he said was to ensure that the people avoided hell.
Quoting and giving other examples from the Holy Bible, Edwards shows Puritan belief, which teaches the people to live according to the expectations of the Bible in all ways.
The sermon was designed to make every member of the congregation accept one main idea: for I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God, I must be aware that my conduct and actions on earth outweigh any other thing.
The preach also seeks to add that particular punishments awaited the sinners in hell because they fail to comply with proper religious virtues as provided by the Holy Scriptures.
According to the Edwards's Puritan beliefs, and while observing the tenets of the Irresistible Grace, wrongdoers are only allowed to stay on the world because God isn't yet ready to wipe them out of the face of the earth.
At a particular point in the sermon, he articulates this by saying that, “The only reason why sinners are not fallen already and do not fall now, is only that God’s appointed time has not yet come.
It's unclear exactly when was written and first proclaimed; yet, we know for sure that for the second time it was preached in Enfield, Connecticut on July 8, 1741.
Long after, it became a subject of study among history and theology scholars by providing insights to the period from 1730 to 1755 of the Great Awakening.