Life as a Puritan

Life as a Puritan

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While I'm sitting here at my computer, in my air conditioned home, with the radio blaring and the t.v. on downstairs, I try to imagine how life was as a young Puritan. To be honest, I don't think I could live a week the way they do. I could try but it would be excruciatingly difficult.

The Puritans didn't have all the luxuries we have today. They were told many things by preachers such as Jonathon Edwards, who lit a candle of fear in their minds. If I was alive to hear Edwards preach, I'd certainly have to question myself. He preached that God holds us in his hands and he can make or break us. If God decides it so, he will let us go and we will fall from his hands to nothing but Hell. Certainly no one wants to go to Hell. So, the Puritans tried to better their lives, and go by rules or "resolutions." They believed if they followed these resolutions, even though their fate was predetermined by God, they could live a life of good and maybe prove they are meant to go to Heaven.

One of the many detailed resolutions they had to follow was "To think much, on all occasions, of my own dying and of the common circumstances which attend death." I certainly would be frightened to think of dying every second of the day. I'd be paranoid, looking around, thinking how I would die, what would happen to me after I die. I don't think I'd be a happy person to be around. I often wonder how many Puritans walked around day to day thinking about "I could die today!"

The other resolution, similiar as above, "Never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life." When I was in class, I actually tried to think what I would actually do, if it was the last hour of my life and if what I was doing then, is what I would actually do. I think I'd have a lot more to say, I'd speak my mind more. I once thought, if I was on an airplane that was crashing, what I would do. I think I'd write. I'd write my finals words in my journal which I always carry and then close my eyes. Nothing more, nothing less. But, I wouldn't actually know that is what I'd do until faced with the situation.

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I see this resolution as not a good thing, yet not bad. It mostly depends on the person.

The resolution I find would benefit me the most would have to be "Never to lose one moment of time; but improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can." I think this would help me a great deal. I tend to wait till the last minute to do things or say, "I'll do it later" and then I never do it. I think it would be hard for me to get used to not being a procrastinator. This weekend, I didn't even try to do my history homework, I kept saying, "I have all weekend, I'll do it later." Before I realized, it was 5:30am Monday morning. I was very tired and wanted to sleep but I couldn't because I had slacked off all weekend and I needed to do my history homework.

What would be very hard to follow would have to be "To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently as that I may find and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same." I'm not a very religious person. I would make a bad Puritan. My family has always been torn between religions somehow. My father is Buddhist, my mother is Lutheran. I don't go to church. I don't ever read the Bible or any type of Scriptures. I don't think I even read the Bible once last year. I have friends of all types of religions, Mormon, Catholic, Jewish, Wiccan, Atheist and Christian. Some are more religious than others, they go to church every Sunday and they truly are dedicated and firm believers in their religion. How they "grow" from their religions is they see how people have sinned and try to better themselves and not do the same. That doesn't seem like it changed much in many decades except people are more tolerant to other religions.

I read the Puritan's code and try to think of positively as of why Jonathon Edwards would want each resolution. There is quite a good reasoning behind them all. I may not be able to follow a select few but ones such as "After afflictions, to inquire what I am the better for them; what good I have got, what I might have got by them." is a very good resolution to follow. To think how you benefit from things that people have done to you or you do have done to others.

Even though I may never be able to really experience the true life of a Puritan and be influenced by Jonathon Edwards, I believe if I did indeed follow these resolutions it would change my life a great deal. I'd probably be eating healthy and living with all my might and living every day to the fullest. I'd also be asleep and not still sitting here at my computer at almost 11pm at night. What can I say, I'm a procrastinator, not a Puritan.
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