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Puritanism Essay

1251 words - 5 pages

The Puritans dream was to create a model society for the rest of the Christians.. Their goal was to make a society in every way connected to god. Every aspect of their lives, from political views and employment to recreation and dress, was taken into account in order to live a more pious life. But to really understand what the aspirations of the puritans were, we must first understand their beliefs. The Puritans believed that a man’s only purpose in life was “to glorify God on earth and, if he were especially fortunate, to continue the good work in Heaven.” For the puritans, to glorify god meant keeping him in mind at all times, working to the best of their ability at whatever job god had had set fate for them to do, and following a strict moral code based on the bible. Every act and thought in a Puritans life was either a working for god or the opposite. Thus, leading a pious life in the form of working hard, praying, and churchgoing, was considered paying homage to God. Through all of these things, the most important was to be mindful of God at all times.
     This does not mean, however, that the Puritans did not allow themselves to be comfortable and happy. First of all, the Puritans took happiness in the knowledge that they were living a pure life the way God had intended it to be. Second they believed in working hard, and if one acquired wealth by working hard, saving, and staying sober, than that was evidence of God favoring that person. Eating well, drinking well, sexual indulgence within the bounds of marriage, and enjoying the comforts of life were not assets that were set by the Puritans. In actuality, the Puritans were against certain human actions that they regarded as evils: greediness, materialism, and concern with the externals of religion rather than with the things of the spirit. The puritan was in constant internal conflict, whether it was restraining his human desires, or if he failed in that, than scolding to try harder in efforts. The Puritans believed that they were God’s select few that could carry out his original orders the way he had intended.
     They came to the New World to bring upon a “City Upon a Hill” that would serve as a model for the rest of the Christian world. The city of God was destined to be built in New England and the Puritans intended to be the founders. An entire community living as God had directed men to live, this was the vision that spurred thousands of people to make the dangerous Atlantic journey to New England. The Puritans goal in New England was to create the perfect pure society where nobody sinned and God ruled completely. They attempted this by making laws about and regulating every aspect of life in the colony. To achieve this, the church needed to rule the colony. And if the church ruled the colony, only the real Puritans could be part of the church. They believed only a minority of the population pure enough to be a part of the...

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