Essay About Puritans

Essay About Puritans-6
The force of Puritanism, further-more, has been accentuated because it was the first of these traditions to be fully articulated, and because it has inspired certain traits which have persisted long after the vanishing of the original creed.Without some understanding of Puritanism, it may safely be said, there is no understanding of America.

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Any inventory of the elements that have gone into the making of the "American mind" would have to commence with Puritanism.

It is, indeed, only one among many: if we should attempt to enumerate these traditions, we should certainly have to mention such philosophies, such "isms," as the rational liberalism of Jeffersonian democracy, the Hamiltonian conception of conservatism and government, the Southern theory of racial aristocracy, the Transcendentalism of nineteenth-century New England, and what is generally spoken of as frontier individualism.

The King gave his permission for the migration in order for England to acquire raw materials, to check the power of Spain, to find a new route to the Orient, and to convert the Indians.

The Puritans saw in the Bible a rational and consistent doctrine, the covenant, which set forth rules and regulations which covered every aspect of life [covenant: (1) a binding and solemn agreement by 2 or more people, parties, etc.

In other words, society was one unit and members were subordinated to its purpose; the holy and regenerate (i.e., the saved or visible saints) ruled.

With the Fall of Adam and Eve, human nature and reason fell too, so that they were corrupted, i.e., perverted or depraved.Consequently, the Puritans began to lose their political stranglehold on the colony, and the church and state were being separated.Accelerating this trend was the tendency of subsequent generations to lack the fervor and commitment of the first generation of Puritans, and the increasing number of non-Puritan immigrants.As a consequence human beings distorted the truth, even God’s revealed truth.For this reason, Samuel Mather (1643-1671) attributed all sin and misery to “hearkening to reason against Institution.” Nevertheless, men of learning could use right reason to interpret the Bible and to direct others.Therefore, government was formed by the consent of the governed to God’s law of justice and of subordination to superiors.Government depended on the compact or agreement of the governed, whose willing and active participation created society.Among these factors Puritanism has been perhaps the most conspicuous, the most sustained, and the most fecund.Its role in American thought has been almost the dominant one, for the descendants of Puritans have carved at least some habits of the Puritan mind into a variety of pursuits, have spread across the country, and in many fields of activity have played a leading part.As Uriah Oakes explained: "Wisdom lies in the Rational Application of general rules of Scripture to ourselves and our own conditions, and in the introduction of particulars, and due Reasoning from it." Christians generally accept the position that God predestines or elects the good to salvation; the fate of sinners regarding salvation and damnation is an open issue.The Puritans, however, accepted Calvin's belief in double predestination: By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every person.


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