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The main belief among the Puritans was that they were God’s chosen people. In their eyes, they held supremacy over the average man. They believed in Pelagianism based on the Doctrine of Elect. This was the belief that man could redeem himself through acts of charity, religious devotion, and by living an unselfish life. Many of these strict beliefs were based on John Calvin’s principle of predestination. Predestination was that through God’s grace, one would reach heaven and that this special grace could not be earned; it was predetermined at birth. This principle of predestination forced Puritans to truly believe that their actions did not matter and their devotion to God had no bearing over their destiny.
Puritans also believed in the degradation of one’s self, which meant that they had to make themselves worthy to God so that he would not instill his wrath on the Puritan community. They feared God and his special power, but considered themselves God’s special elects. Basically, they felt they had the right to perform any necessary deeds that would satisfy God’s will. Sin was thought of as an unavoidable element of human nature, and since this was a natural occurrence, all sins had to be confessed.
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