Religious Persecution And Historical Accounts Of Abuse Essay

Religious Persecution And Historical Accounts Of Abuse Essay

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Religious persecution and historical accounts of abuse of power paint the pages of world history. In the early 17th century the Puritans fled England in exile to escape the religious persecution and corrupt rule of King Henry VIII. During the first large-scale migration from England to the new world, John Winthrop gave his sermon “A Model of Christian Charity” to share his (and God’s) vision of a colony built on a foundation of purity, goodness, and most importantly Godliness, where all of mankind may live in harmony. In “Of Plymouth Plantation” William Bradford recounts the events of Puritan life in early New England, along with dealings in indiscretion, discrimination, brutality, and torture that bring to question the true religious integrity of this pure and good community. Their actions suggest that their extreme intolerance for differentness often superseded their moral tenants. Bradford’s recollection of events calls to question if a society formed of purity and love can band together in the face of adversity, or if fear and total depravity ultimately corrupts even the best of intentions.
With the morality of the Church of England crumbling, many believed the strife would lead to great affliction from God. England quickly divided over the subversion in the church which lead to a widespread religious uprising. During the reformation, the non-conformists were subjected to cruel persecution and imprisonment in their home land. Viewing the King’s convictions as “anti-Christian bondage” (Bradford 123), many felt that there was no other option but to flee England and begin a new colony in America, under God. Led by Bradford, the pilgrims first arrived in the wilderness of the new world in 1621 to begin their lives of religious f...


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...ody which knit together are love…” (172). They must flex with each other’s strength and deficiency to in turn strengthen the whole. In an attempt to appeal to the fears, concerns, and rebuttal of his fellow travelers, he was careful to select biblical passages that would exemplify his convictions throughout his sermon as infallible proof of Gods true will and faith in his elect followers. With hopes high and the dawn of a new day, God’s holiest people set out on a righteous mission to settle their new colony.
Although a steadfast foundation had been paved for the Puritan community, Bradford’s accounts reveal a remarkable absence of Winthrop’s pious convictions. With the influx of new settlers and steady growth of the community, prosperity was on the rise. Bradford claims it was this new-found potential for affluence that truly divided and thus weakened the community

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