Jonathan Edward's sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," is an attempt by Edwards by using fear and terror tactics to scare people in becoming even more puritanically rooted. He overwhelms people with images of hell and rejection from god in this sermon. Edward's efforts to scare people into a more rigid, pious lifestyle can be seen throughout his sermon. .
One of the many fear tactics used by Edwards, is evident when he says, "If god should only withdraw His hand from the floodgate , it would immediately fly open , and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God, would rush forth with inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your strength were ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest , sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it"(503-504). Edwards is very good at using different images of god and the destruction he is capable of, if people stray from the righteous path. I think Edwards uses water because of the destruction water can cause in its own right. When hurricanes and flooding occurred, it wasn't thought of as nature's way or there wasn't a weather channel explaining to us why. It was accepted by most that God was unhappy and was punishing the people for their actions when these situations happened. It is easy to associate great destruction with water; Edwards effectively uses tactics in which people can relate to scare them.
Another method of Edwards is to relate your damnation with fiery images of hell. Edwards in this passage uses those images he says, "The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: His wrath towards you burns like fire; He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else but to be cast in the fire" (504). The ever burning fires of hell are appropriately used as means in terrorizing people.