by Jonathan Edwards
Formatted, corrected, modernized, and annotated by William H. Gross
Though the work was glorious, I was still filled with concern about the effect it might have on others. I was ready to conclude (though too rashly) that some would be hardened by it, in carelessness and looseness of life; and would take occasion from it to open their mouths in reproaches of religion. But it was the reverse, to a wonderful degree. God made it, I suppose, the greatest occasion of awakening to others, of anything that ever came to pass in the town. I have had abundant opportunity to know the effect it had, by my private conversation with many. The news of it seemed to be almost like a flash of lightning on the hearts of young people all over the town, and on many others. Those people among us, who used to be furthest from seriousness, and I most feared would make an ill-use of it, seemed to be greatly awakened by it. Many went to talk with her concerning what she had encountered; and what appeared in her, seemed to be to the satisfaction of all who did so.
Immediately upon this, a great and earnest concern about the great things of religion, and the eternal world, became universal in all parts of the town, and among people of all degrees, and all ages. The noise among the dry bones grew louder and louder. All other talk except about spiritual and eternal things was soon thrown aside. All the conversation in all the gatherings, and on all occasions, was on these things only, except what as was necessary for people to carry on their. ordinary secular business. Other discourse than about the things of religion, would scarcely be tolerated in any group. The minds of people were wonderfully taken off the world; that was treated among us as a thing of very little consequence. They seemed to follow their worldly business more as a part of their duty, than from any disposition they had to it. The temptation now seemed to lie on that hand, to neglect worldly affairs too much, and to spend too much time in the immediate exercise of religion. This was exceedingly misrepresented by reports that were spread m distant parts of the land, as though the people here had wholly thrown aside all worldly business. and turned entirely to reading and praying, and similar religious exercises.