Essay On Puritanism

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When the Massachusetts Bay Colony was established in 1630 with the goal of escaping the corruption of the Anglican Church, the colonists quickly established the precedent that Puritanism was the only righteous form of Protestantism. This belief continued for many years and consequently spurred a number of conflicts between the Puritans and other religious groups that were deemed as threatening to their ideals. Following the Great Migration in the mid-1600s, the Puritans exercised a strict devotion to their religious beliefs in order to “purify” the Anglican Church, thus making Massachusetts Bay Colony an unwelcoming environment to religious dissenters. However, due to the circumstances of the First Great Awakening, by 1750 the Massachusetts…show more content…
Roger Williams exemplified radical thinking in many of his ideas as they far surpassed the principles of rigid Puritanism, specifically in his identification as “an avowed Separatist.” Contrary to the Puritan goal of merely purifying the Anglican Church, Williams felt “no attachment whatever to the Church of England.” The Puritan goal was solely to create a more extensive reformation of England, not to sever their ties completely. In order to live peacefully in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the mid-1600s, one needed to abide by all Puritan principles, which included the goal to “purify” the Anglican Church. Radicalism, to the Puritans, needed to be eradicated from the Massachusetts Bay Colony as it would threaten the uniformity of Puritan beliefs and hinder their overall mission to create a purified version of…show more content…
The Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the mid-1600s placed a large emphasis on the road to salvation. According to them, “sanctification” was evidence of “justification,” meaning Godly behavior could be seen as a sign of eternal salvation. Another religious dissenter, Anne Hutchinson, disagreed. Hutchinson was an Antinomian, meaning she endorsed “the principles of divine omnipotence and human helplessness.” The Puritans became extremely alarmed and brought Hutchinson to court in 1638 in order to suppress her beliefs as soon as possible. Convicting Hutchinson of heresy proved to be very difficult as the court could not elicit a chargeable confession from her. After being asked how she was aware of her eternal salvation, Hutchinson finally admitted that God spoke directly to her “By the voice of his own spirit to my soul,” thus effectively banishing her from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Hutchinson made the Puritans especially uneasy because her beliefs forced them to question their own personal salvation. She preached that a life of holiness and devotion to God was no indication of salvation, the very principle to which the Puritans had dedicated their lives. The treatment of Anne Hutchinson was not unusual, but rather just one example of religion prosecution stemming from the Puritan sense

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