His sermons vividly described the torments of hell

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and to “fright persons away from hell.” His sermons vividly described the torments of hell and the pleasuresof heaven. By 1735, Edwards reported that “the town seemed to be full of the presence of God; it never wasso full of love, nor of joy.”Listen to excerpts from Jonathan Edwards’s and George Whitefield’s sermons. See the transcripts of the full sermons.Jonathan EdwardsGeorge WhitefieldSinners in the Hands of an Angry GodThe Folly and Danger of Parting with
(transcript)Christ for the Pleasures and Profits of Life(transcript)Did you know?Benjamin Franklin heard George Whitefield speak andwrote of it later in his biography. “In 1739 arrivedamong us from Ireland the Reverend Mr. Whitefield,who had made himself remarkable there as an itinerantpreacher. He was at first permitted to preach in someof our churches; but the clergy, taking a dislike to him,soon refus'd him their pulpits, and he was oblig'd topreach in the fields. The multitudes of all sects anddenominations that attended his sermons wereenormous, and it was matter of speculation to me, whowas one of the number, to observe the extraordinaryinfluence of his oratory on his hearers, and bow muchthey admir'd and respected him, notwithstanding hiscommon abuse of them, by assuring them that theywere naturally half beasts and half devils. It waswonderful to see the change soon made in the mannersof our inhabitants. From being thoughtless orindifferent about religion, it seem'd as if all the worldwere growing religious, so that one could not walkthro' the town in an evening without hearing psalmssung in different families of every street.He had a loud and clear voice, and articulated hiswords and sentences so perfectly, that he might beheard and understood at a great distance, especially ashis auditories, however numerous, observ'd the mostexact silence. He preach'd one evening from the top ofthe Court-house steps, which are in the middle ofMarket-street, and on the west side of Second-street,which crosses it at right angles. Both streets were fill'dwith his hearers to a considerable distance. Beingamong the hindmost in Market-street, I had thecuriosity to learn how far he could be heard, byretiring backwards down the street towards the river;and I found his voice distinct till I came near Front-street, when some noise in that street obscur'd it.Imagining then a semi-circle, of which my distanceshould be the radius, and that it were fill'd withauditors, to each of whom I allow'd two square feet, Icomputed that he might well be heard by more thanthirty thousand. This reconcil'd me to the newspaperaccounts of his having preach'd to twenty-fivethousand people in the fields, and to the antient
histories of generals haranguing whole armies, ofwhich I had sometimes doubted.By hearing him often, I came to distinguish easilybetween sermons newly compos'd, and those which hehad often preach'd in the course of his travels. Hisdelivery of the latter was so improv'd by frequentrepetitions that every accent, every emphasis, everymodulation of voice, was so perfectly well turn'd andwell plac'd, that, without being interested in thesubject, one could not help being pleas'd with the

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