In addition to believing in the absolute sovereignty of God, the total depravity of man, and the complete dependence of human beings on divine grace for salvation, they stressed the importance of personal religious experience. These Puritans insisted that they, as God's elect, had the duty to direct national affairs according to God's will as revealed in the Bible. This union of church and state to form a holy commonwealth gave Puritanism direct and exclusive control over most colonial activity until commercial and political changes forced them to relinquish it at the end of the 17th century. Because of its diffuse nature, when Puritanism began to decline in America is difficult to say. Some would hold that it lost its influence in New England by the early 18th century, but Jonathan Edwards and his able disciple Samuel Hopkins revived Puritan thought and kept it alive until 1800.
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
While original settlers came to America to create a Christian homeland where they could practice their faith how they wanted, America quickly became a homeland for religious freedom through a mixing pot of differing religions, cultures, and ethnicities, enough open land for them to exist together, and the key idea of the separation of Church and State. The Protestants who emigrated to America knew from experience of the negative effect the government had on religion when the two were operating together. With the mindset of creating a new perfect holy land, they decided to make sure both church and state worked separately. While Puritans still did everything they could to enforce their beliefs in New England, including exiling those who did not attend church regularly, the core idea of separation of church and state was in the minds of the people. In order to have a country that values the freedom of religion, the church has to be out of any government policy.
Sharpe argues that Laud truly believed in the Church of England, and he was seeking peace and unity in the church. Sharpe points out, “Laud had much in common with them (Puritans). Like the puritans he sought an upright and well-educated clergy; like them he was virulent against popery, hard against clerical failings and intolerant lay profligacy” (1983). Sharpe concludes his essay by arguing that Laud’s name was blacken because he tried to reverse the Reformation.
In his classic reformation style, Calvin symbolically compared Catholic to Protestant theology by framing his theocracy not on the church as the government, but rather he separated civil government from spiritual government into a divinely ordained, segregated Protestant theocracy. Intricately expressed and executed, Calvin’s doctrine is dripping with figurative language, suggesting that Calvin went to great lengths to insure that his dislike for the Catholic papacy would not go unnoticed. Calvin’s writings, teachings and beliefs were the platform for the Puritans (Polishook). "[The Puritans] sought an intellectual, moral, and spiritual "clean-up" of institutionalized Christianity. Their standard of purity was the Bible.
At first there was little difference between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic but later with the spread of Protestant reformers such as John Calvin the church began to change. Some people thought the church of England retained too many of the superstitious practises of the Roman Catholic Church. They wanted simpler truths and less structured forms of worship like the earlier Christians, because they wanted to purify the Church of England, they got the name of Puritans. John Geree describes the puritans as "one, that honoured God above all, and under God gave every one his due"! These Puritans followed a very strict code of practise; they were greatly influenced by the bible, their ministers and the government.
Martin Luther and the Break With Rome Martin Luther began as a simple Augustinian Friar in the Roman Catholic Church, the reigning power of Western Europe for hundreds of years, and he soon became the leader of the most important stand against the Catholic Church. I call Luther’s actions a stand rather than a revolt because he did not willingly mean to disrespect the entire church or even start a new denomination of Christianity, he was only trying to bring truth to it. Luther published writings such as The Ninety-five Theses, Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation and A Treatise on Christian Liberty, all which produced outrage in the Church for the fact that it blatantly accused the clerics, and especially the pope, of many wrong doings in their practice. Luther belonged to a church in Wittenburg, Germany and here he was a scholar as well as a priest. He, like many others, came to notice the corruption in the Church.
John Winthrop made his voyage to America as part of the Great Migration in 1629. As governor of the new Massachusetts Bay Company, Winthrop had a cohesive moral plan which “…clearly and eloquently set out the ideals of a harmonious Christian community” (166). He advertised their religious pursuits comparing them to those of the Israelites, convinced they were chosen by God to set an example for the world. Their “city on a hill” was to be the ideal model of a rightful and just way of life, in which all men could be free from judgement and persecution from one another. During their long journey to America, Winthrop shared his vision with the migrants in the form of a sermon, explaining the ideals and authority of his model Christian vision for the community.
Rowlandson recounts her story with heroism and appreciation for God. Although John Winthrop and Mary Rowlandson were in entirely different situations when composing their literary works, both writings reflect many of the same ideals that characterize the Puritan mind, such as the belief in God's mercy, the acceptance of one's condition in life, and the importance of a strong community. According to both Winthrop and Rowlandson, if one has true faith in God, he will be able to witness God's mercy in his own life. Winthrop clearly underscores this point in his sermon, where he stresses that the Puritans must uphold their covenant with God in order to have a harmonious and successful colony. If one is faithful and obedient to God, he will be the recipient of God's providence: "Now if the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He ratified this covenant and sealed our commission, [and] will expect a strict pe... ... middle of paper ... ...ve Indians.
Their leaders, highly trained scholars knowledgeable of the Scriptures, sought to bring the Church of England to a state of purity that matched Christianity in the same way Christ had (Settling for determinism, 2011, para. 3). The Puritans strongly emphasized the communal righteousness of their entire congregation before God. Although the Puritans came to America for relig... ... middle of paper ... ...dom he longs for. Irving’s piece incorporates many elements of the new American romanticism: an emphasis on imaginations and emotions, an exultation of the common man, and an appreciation for external nature.