The Puritans - Owlcation - Education
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The Puritans

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

THE COURAGEOUS PURITANS CAME ACROSS THE SEA TO FOUND THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY

THE COURAGEOUS PURITANS CAME ACROSS THE SEA TO FOUND THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY

The Puritans

The ideas of the Puritans have been balanced throughout American history by the ideas of the Enlightenment, particularly the Scottish Enlightenment. The tension and compromise between these ideas has been a part of America since its founding. Though the Puritans are either ignored, or sneered at, as primitive religious fanatics by academics today, there is no denying their place in forming America's moral and political foundation, and in the enduring character of the American people and culture. Protestant Christianity unquestionably defined the moral substance of America when it was born as a nation.

The Puritans came to America to escape the religious intolerance and political persecution that characterized Europe. They sought to establish a political society in which one could practice religion freely. Harmony, virtue and public service were to characterize Puritan society. This is the basis for liberty and good government in traditional America. The Puritan spirit of liberty, democracy, and Christianity brought grand accomplishment and progress that stands as a model and foundation for America.

JOHN WINTHROP

JOHN WINTHROP

John Winthrop

John Winthrop (1588-1649) said, "We shall be as a city upon a hill." He believed that Divine Providence had given Puritans the freedom to determine their destiny, but that the eyes of the world would be upon them. Winthrop saw widespread moral corruption in the Christian political society of Europe. He and the Puritan pilgrims founded an unprecedented Christian society, combining their sense of destiny with a practical political program. The Puritan idea that God had bestowed His blessings of liberty on them, defined and bound them together, in a "Bond of brotherly affection."

The Puritans sought to form a distinct kind of human being and citizen, based on the Bible as a sacred text revealed to human beings by God. Life, liberty, and property are gifts from God to be used for the common good. A Christian should not act as the owner of God's gifts but rather as a "steward" of God, in obedience to divine ordinances. The individual had a duty to serve others and the community as a whole, through Christian charity. Charity unites right actions of the body with the proper condition of the soul. It is a full expression of one's love of God in this world.

John Winthrop wrote: "God Almighty in his most holy and wise providence has so disposed of the condition of mankind, as in all times some must be rich, some poor, some high and eminent in powers and dignity; others mean and in subjection." Human beings can understand their essence and purpose on earth only in the light of faith in and devotion to the Word of God as revealed in the Bible.

STATUE OF JOHN WINTHROP IN BOSTON

STATUE OF JOHN WINTHROP IN BOSTON

All human beings are equal—equally subject to the ordinances of God. But the unequal distribution of power and goods is simply a fact of life to be accepted. The economic, social, and political inequality or hierarchy that is evident throughout the world is permanent and has a purpose.

People need each other. The purpose of Christian community is to create that bond in which people may best share the gifts of God. Wealth, honor, and authority over others are not given for the personal benefit of individuals, but for the "glory of his Creator and the common good of the Creature, Man."

Love your neighbors as yourself, and do unto others as you would have them do to you. With faith in Christ, people can exercise such virtues as love, mercy, temperance, patience, and obedience; find the spiritual strength to resist temptations, and stand up to evil. It is difficult to live up to the highest of standards. The faithful will fall short, stray from righteousness, and perhaps even lose sight of their principles. Nonetheless, it is important to positively define how we should live, and address the vices and temptations common to man.

Put the commands of God before your own desires, lest you succumb to selfishness and sin. Follow the example of Christ—love, sacrifice, and forgiveness. The faithful even love their enemies. Peace and prosperity can be attained by understanding why the world is as it is—and living as a Christian.

The vices of the rich and the poor can fracture a community. Religious and political authorities must establish strong inducements to virtue. The Puritans sought to bond the members of the community so closely together in love for each other that they could feel each other's pleasures and pains; share in one another's infirmities and strengths; suffer together and rejoice together.

Justice is defined by political rules that regulate ordinary actions and the keeping of contracts. Mercy defines the inner disposition with which Christians should treat others in need. The wealthy exercise the duty of mercy in three ways: giving, lending, and forgiving. A Christian father must provide for his own family. Parental duty is fundamental to a Christian community.

THE PURITANS IN AMERICA

THE PURITANS IN AMERICA

We must not love wealth, which is temporary and subject to rust, the thief, and the moth. Physical pleasure is as ephemeral as the body itself. True treasures are gained through loving and obeying God—divine treasures that are fulfilling and everlasting. If we love and serve God we serve our own good. God will reward the righteous and merciful when they stand before Him on the day of account.

Puritans believed church and state should be separate in structure and function but united in purpose. As Winthrop said, "The end is to improve our lives to do more service to the Lord the comfort and increase of the Body of Christ whereof we are members that ourselves and posterity may be better preserved from the common corruptions of this evil world to serve the Lord and work out our Salvation under the power and purity of his Holy Ordinances."

The Puritans consented to be God's agents in the advancing of divine Providence. They made a covenant with God to be his chosen people, continuing the line of sacred covenants made between God and Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the nation of Israel. They were willing to obey the ordinances of God, be subject to God's will, and do God's work. America is the new promised land. A land of freedom, justice, and charity under God.

A covenant with God holds two possibilities. Failure to observe its articles will bring God's wrath down upon them. But if they fulfill their covenant God will richly bless them. Failure will be to give in to carnal intentions. Success will be a model of Christian charity. To obey or to refuse to obey is an act of free will.

JOHN COTTON

JOHN COTTON

ST BOLTOLPH VICARAGE OF JOHN COTTON

ST BOLTOLPH VICARAGE OF JOHN COTTON

John Cotton

John Cotton (1585-1652) established work as a necessary ingredient of any successful society, and by doing so defined what we call the Protestant Work Ethic. "A true Christian practices his vocation in the light of faith in the teaching of Jesus Christ. It is God who calls upon Christians to seek out some worldly vocation or work. Willful unemployment is a vice that reflects a condition of sin. A warrantable calling that serves God aims at the public good. A vocation is not a means to one's material self-interest but an opportunity and a vehicle to serve others." The core of the Protestant Work Ethic is not hard work but good works.

Since God distributes human talents, individuals must always remember that they owe their talents to God. The credit goes to God, not to oneself. Cotton says, "God must give a person the gifts for a particular vocation. A person must have the intellectual capacity and emotional disposition to succeed or even to excel at one's vocation. Indeed, one must seek out that vocation that utilizes one's greatest gifts or capacities to the best advantage of the community. One serves God by serving men, and serves men by serving God."

Cotton wrote: "One must humbly depend on God as the source of all benefits and for strength. One should work cheerfully, and must not be proud—for pride springs from the overweening sense of one's worth and abilities. Faith encourages one to seek the most humble, homely, difficult, and dangerous of vocations—especially those that carnal and proud heart would feel ashamed to perform. Humbly seek God's guidance in all ways. The fruits of one's labor belong to God."

KING'S CHAPEL BURIAL GROUND ESTABLISHED IN BOSTON IN 1630 INCLUDES GRAVES OF JOHN WINTHROP AND JOHN COTTON

KING'S CHAPEL BURIAL GROUND ESTABLISHED IN BOSTON IN 1630 INCLUDES GRAVES OF JOHN WINTHROP AND JOHN COTTON

The Puritans

The Puritans wanted to establish the highest standard of how human beings should act. They warned that liberty was vastly different from license—the unhindered pursuit of one's own desires. Liberty is subject to laws that promote the greatest good of the community. Everything that tends to disserve the interests of the community must be forbidden. That does not mean they were religious or political fanatics out to transform the world into a paradise by forcing others to conform to the perfect standard of liberty. The Puritans all came to and joined the community voluntarily. They knew what they were signing up for.

Liberty promotes individual virtue and industry and produces wealth and generosity. Liberty ensures the rights of conscience and makes room for dissent. But perfect liberty and licentiousness are incompatible. Precisely because liberty is a gift entrusted to human beings by God, and because our citizens are stewards of that blessing, they have a sacred duty to defend liberty. As Nathaniel Niles said in his "Discourse in Liberty": "How good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."

Sources

  • My source for this story is History of American Political Thought by Bryan-Paul Frost and Jeffrey Sikkenga.

Comments

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 14, 2019:

Rich Goodwin ~ Thank you much for coming by to read my work. And you are welcome. I could not agree more with your analysis of the Puritan writers, and their neglect by our society today. I can see you certainly know more about them than anyone I know. I appreciate your message.

Rich Goodwin on October 13, 2019:

The neglect of reading Puritan writers has been to the detriment of the Church in America, not to mention the Church of their origins in the British isles. The most prolific writers in the history of Christianity, I believe. Christians today don't even recognize the names of Flavel, Hooker, Manton, Owen, Rutherford, Goodwin, Sibbs, Lightfoot, etc. Thanks for your post James.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 20, 2018:

warren ~ I appreciate that tip. Thank you for reading my article!

warren on September 12, 2015:

please read the book, AMERICAN JEZEBEL She is an ancestor of mine.

You might get a different slant on the facts.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 04, 2013:

What'suppeasedog--- Thank you!! Thank you very much!

What'suppeasedog on January 02, 2013:

Nice

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 24, 2011:

shakes2@aol.com— Why, thank you so much for saying so. I am gratified to read your warm words. Thank you for reading my article.

shakes2@aol.com on April 24, 2011:

I liked your style of writing and I felt this was a subject that was researched brilliantly

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 30, 2010:

FloBe— I admire the Puritans immensely. Many who criticize them from the comfort of their lazyboys have not a whit of the strength, tenacity, and courage of these people. They are the true founders of America. At least the America that used to be. You know, the one tens of millions of people came to in rickety boats with a few dollars BEFORE there were any welfare programs. Thank you for your penetrating insights.

Flo Belanger from British Columbia, Canada on September 29, 2010:

The phrase: "They warned that liberty was vastly different from license—the unhindered pursuit of one's own desires. Liberty is subject to laws that promote the greatest good of the community." is so true and sadly lacking in our modern age. We have cried FREEDOM without understanding that it isn't "free" unless there are boundaries to protect us and others from anarchy. I admire the Puritans for having the courage to take a stand for what they believed even if it meant to completely uproot and head for another land where they could start afresh.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 29, 2010:

CMerritt— I certainly concur with every word you wrote. You get it. Thank you so much for the laudations! You know how to make a writer feel good. I am uplifted by your comments.

Chris Merritt from Pendleton, Indiana on September 29, 2010:

James, I am such a fan of yours. THIS is the stuff that ALL Americans need to read and understand. THIS is what America is ALL about. Our forefathers was at their finest during those times. They knew the significance of God's grace, and the opportunity they had for this country. How shameful it is today how our "liberty" is taken for granted.

Awesome HUB!!..you seem to have the very words I wish I could put to pen, and you do it so elequently.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 26, 2010:

Hopmoney wizard— Glad you liked it. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

Hopmoney wizard from barak on August 25, 2010:

good hub like it. didn't have knowledge about puritans but now I know.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 15, 2010:

Allan McGregor— I do not know if they are related, I doubt it. Yes, the tension. I love your violin string analogy. Perfect! Ah yes, He does hear when we are off key. Brilliant analysis my friend! Thanks for dropping in.

Allan McGregor from South Lanarkshire on June 10, 2010:

Really enjoyed this, as always.

I wonder if John Cotton is an ancestor of Joseph Cotten the actor?

I liked your comment on the 'tension' between 'the Enlightenment' and 'compromise'.

In a recent hub I compared the truth of God's Word to the tension of a violin string. A little too tight or a little too slack and it plays off-pitch - too high (legalism) or too low (license). But tweak it just right and you get that pitch-perfect sweet-note which is balance.

Truth is a true note to God's ear, and he hears all too clearly whenever we are off-key.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 30, 2010:

cristina327— I am so glad that you found it inspiring. I do too! Thank you for visiting my Hub and leaving your kind regards. And you are welcome.

Cristine Santander from Manila on May 30, 2010:

What an inspiring hub it is. Truly I am inspired by the virtues and principles lived out by the Puritans. Thank you for sharing this great hub here at Hubpages.Remain blessed. Best regards.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 30, 2010:

Tom Whitworth— You are welcome. Your memory is quite good. Reagan was indeed quoting Winthrop. Reagan was the greatest of American Presidents besides one—George Washington. Thank you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 30, 2010:

Nell Rose— Thank you very much. I appreciate your astute analysis, dear. You are spot on. Cromwell, like so many reformers of various stripes, got carried away and went too far. This is common to man in general. Wrongs get righted but then the fixers go way overboard.

You are most welcome.

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on May 30, 2010:

James,

Thank you brother for a great history of America.

Ronald Reagan was repeating the words of Winthrop in his famous saying of "A shining city on a hill." Reagan was the last great leader in my life who stuck to and governed by the Protestant work ethic.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 29, 2010:

Tom T— You're welcome. What you mentioned there is a shame. The trend in teaching American History over the last 30 years is to produce shame and make her not seem worth defending. I wonder who would be interested in that scheme?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 29, 2010:

ethel smith— Thank you for your kind compliments, my dear. I do appreciate your affirmation.

Nell Rose from England on May 29, 2010:

Hi, James, great hub, loads of information. I think the trouble with the puritans in England back in the 1600s was the fact that when Cromwell got in charge, it became too radical for the people. The churches were stripped bare of any sort of statues or things that would distract the congregation, and even more so the people were not allowed to celebrate anything, and always had to be demure or carry a bible in their hands otherwise they would be persecuted. When they went over to America, it became a bit more balanced and was a good foundation for the first settlers. Thanks again nell

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 29, 2010:

akirchner— Thank you! I agree with you about the sorry state of history books these days. Revisionism. It sucks!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 29, 2010:

Captain Jimmy— Thank you! Thank you very much. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 29, 2010:

tom hellert— My humble thanks to you Sire Hellert for your precious praise. Methinks it was well to receive it. I pray you will go well. Godspeed.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 29, 2010:

TinaMarieTad— You are welcome. I thank you so much for the laudations. Your comments are terrific! I especially enjoyed reading this:

"Freedom of religion where Christianity is concerned is under seige and the very foundation of this freedom is slowly being rewritten."

You know that's right!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 29, 2010:

prasetio30— Thank you for taking the time to read my Hub and for the Thumbs Up! Nice to hear from you.

James

Tom T from Orange County, CA on May 29, 2010:

I grew up in Massachusetts. I remember being taught how the Puritans were responsible for the Salem Witch trials and that was pretty much all they said about them. Thanks for sharing the rest of the story.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on May 29, 2010:

I tend to agree with Tonymac but this hub is so well researched and written. Great job James

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 29, 2010:

boba020682— Hey! I've got you both here! I agree with you that Americans owe a big debt to the Purtians and that their legacy has been distorted. Gee, who would want to do that? Your remarks are outstanding in their wisdom and simplicity. Thank you for making them here, my friend.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 29, 2010:

v_kahleranderson— Good morning! Thank you! I appreciate your encouraging words and your prayers. I am praying for you also that God will bless you in the way you need it most right now.

James

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on May 28, 2010:

Great information, James - if we only believe what we read in our history books, I think we may all be sunk!

Captain Jimmy from WV on May 28, 2010:

Great hub!

tom hellert from home on May 28, 2010:

Sire watkins I thank Thee for thine portrayal of our sect , God has truly given the the gift of superior loqution, pray tell how dost thou come up with such scintilating verse?

ALAS,fair thee WELL and good travels SIRE WATKINS

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 28, 2010:

Pastor_Walt— It's great to hear from you again, Pastor Walt. Thank you for your gracious compliments. And you're welcome, too.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 28, 2010:

GojiJuiceGoodness— You are most welcome! I agree with your words. Thanks for coming!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 28, 2010:

reddog1027— I'm well pleased that you learned something new today. Yes, we are all merely human. Thank you for your kind comments and you are welcome. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 28, 2010:

Micky Dee— You are surely welcome, brother. That is quite a quote there. I love it!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 28, 2010:

Joshua Kell— You're welcome. The lesson is there for the taking. :D

Thanks for the compliment.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 28, 2010:

Hello, hello,— Why, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate you!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 28, 2010:

Pamela Kinnaird W— You're welcome. I love history and I try to breathe some life into it. Thank you for your comments.

TinaMarieTad from Michigan on May 28, 2010:

James~ Love this series of Hubs! The Puritans in my opinon are the reason we in America have the freedom of religion. It was these beliefs and values that were instrumental in the development and writing of our Constitution. Freedom of religion where Christianity is concerned is under seige and the very foundation of this freedom is slowly being rewritten. Thanks for your passion on this subject and your presentation of the history!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on May 28, 2010:

I found great history from you. I learn much from this hub. Thumbs Up, James.

Prasetio

boba020682 from Silicon Valley on May 28, 2010:

Another excellent hub James!

As Americans we have a lot to be grateful to the Puritans for. But there is much in the modern interpretations of the freedoms the Puritans put forth that is being distorted.

Our founding fathers for the most part firmly believed in religious freedom. But now the freedom to worship as you saw fit has been changed to "I have the right to not see or know anything about your beliefs!" Interesting that the concept first articulated here by Christians is being used to remove any mention of God from our sight.

May God bless you and keep you writing these thought provoking hubs!

v_kahleranderson from San Jose, California on May 28, 2010:

Good morning Mr. Watkins, another beautiful hub!

"Since God distributes human talents, individuals must always remember that they owe their talents to God. The credit goes to God, not to oneself." How lovely it would be if many did believe this, instead of boasting and living in conceit, credit [glory] never given to God!

The Puritans had the right idea, but how far we have strayed.

Keep your words coming, Mr. Watkins, and I will keep you, daily, in my prayers.

VKA

Pastor_Walt from Jefferson City, Tennessee on May 28, 2010:

Another profound hub, James. Informative from a talented and quality writer. Thanks.

GojiJuiceGoodness from Roanoke, Virginia on May 28, 2010:

Puritans are really men we should look up to and read their works. Thanks for the awesome hub!

reddog1027 from Atlanta, GA on May 28, 2010:

I have learned something new today. What I knew about the Pilgrims was what I learned in high school history books.

No they weren't perfect. Their beliefs and their actions were not always in syn but then neither our ours. It's what makes us all human.

Thanks for a glimpse into their beliefs and view of life and religion. It gives me a better understanding of the American psyche.

Micky Dee on May 28, 2010:

"Love your neighbors as yourself, and do unto others as you would have them do to you. With faith in Christ, people can exercise such virtues as love, mercy, temperance, patience, and obedience; find the spiritual strength to resist temptations, and stand up to evil."

Thank you James!

Levi Joshua Kell from Arizona on May 28, 2010:

Great hub James. We should all take a lesson from this. Thanks.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on May 28, 2010:

The number of fans and their comments and their appreciation prove the quality of your work -- including me.

Pamela Dapples from Just Arizona Now on May 28, 2010:

Thank you for a really well-researched and well-organized article. History is my favorite of all subjects.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

suziecat7— Thank you for your kind compliments. I have a tiny Hub written about Tocqueville's thoughts on the American Experiment, which I shall publish this weekend.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

Vladimir! Great to hear from you my friend. I agree with you, I thank for your comments, and you are welcome.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

katiem2— You are welcome. Thank you very much for visiting and commenting. :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

fetty— You are welcome and thank you rating my Hub "Up." The Hub score always starts around 49 but it then goes higher and higher. At least I hope it does. :-)

Your remarks are extraordinary and I am grateful that you posted them here.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

Kaie Arwen— I am honored to receive you. You painted a pretty picture, my dear. Thank you very much for being who you are. :D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

singlemomat52— You are quite welcome! Thank you ever much for your gracious remarks.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

stars439— Thank you for coming by, Leon. I always enjoy seeing your name on my screen. God Bless You!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

Amber Allen— Thank you, Amber. I am sincerely glad that you enjoyed it.

James

suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on May 27, 2010:

I enjoyed the detail in this Hub - very interesting. Alexis de Tocqueville said in his book Democracy in America that "America is great because America is good". I believe his observation is the result of earlier Puritan influence. Great work, as usual.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

DeBorrah K. Ogans— You are quite welcome, my dear. I appreciate you coming by and offering your encouraging and inspiring words. Thank you very much. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

SilverGenes— You are truly welcome. Thank you for your kind compliments. I believe it did extend to all worldly assets, yes.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

drbj— You're welcome. I pray it isn't too detailed. I did not know about the doughnut but I will surely come over and read your Hub about it. Thanks for that tip.

Vladimir Uhri from HubPages, FB on May 27, 2010:

I like Puritan's concept. Thanks James.

Katie McMurray from Westerville on May 27, 2010:

Great topic, I enjoyed reading your hub on the puritans what a great amount of facts. Bravo! Thanks and Peace :)

fetty from South Jersey on May 27, 2010:

I have always believed that this country was created to be the best country to worship in / or not to worship and to be the best government possible for the majority of the people. "Put the demands of God before your own and the vices of the rich and the poor can fracture a community." What I have experienced in my own life is the dismantling of the middle class either by corporate greed, unscrupulous politicians and the free ride many citizens or immigrants have taken on the back of the earning public. So many so called reforms are nothing but small interest groups stealing the taxes of the working public. This is a wonderful hub and comes at a really urgent time in the American experience. We always need to be reminded what our nation stood for and who helped design these values. Thankyou again , James . I voted this up. I believe it is way too low of a score.

Kaie Arwen on May 27, 2010:

James- I could live like this! A Christian community, a little cottage outside of the village green, a few pegs to hold the wardrobe, a sense of family outside the ties of blood, respect for neighbors, acceptance of responsibility, thankfulness for what we've been blessed with.

"How good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."

A great dream that would make an even better reality................ the hills are calling ;-D

K

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

Joni Douglas— You wrote:

"When they try and take away our rich Christian history, we must consider all that has to leave with it."

Well put. It is a danger we face right now as Progressives try to cover up or denigrate the Christian foundations of our nation.

I do love studying this history. Excellent perception on your part. Thank you for the compliments. :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

sheila b.— In your first sentence you hit on an extraordinary point, and one that I think about a lot. Many people today look at folks of old and judge their actions as if they were here in our times. That is no way to look at history. Your last sentence is excellent,too.

"My own study of Early Americans has convinced me they were as much determined to create a good government as they were to worship as they chose."

Yep.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 27, 2010:

tonymac04— Thank you for being my first visitor! You are most assuredly welcome, my friend. I appreciate your excellent insights, too. Love and Peace back at you, Tony.

James

singlmomat52 on May 27, 2010:

What is there left to say? The others ahead of me have said it all. Great Hub!! You are just boiling over with superb information!! Thank You!!

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on May 27, 2010:

Thank you for a wonderful hub. I loved it. The Puritans were very cool. God Bless You Brother.

Amber Allen on May 27, 2010:

Hi James

Another well researched hub which I enjoyed reading.

Amber:)

DeBorrah K Ogans on May 27, 2010:

James A. Watkins, As always a splendid read professor! Excellent narrative on the Puritans! We all benefit greatly from your incredible and thorough well researched detailed writings!

“A Christian should not act as the owner of God's gifts but rather as a "steward" of God, in obedience to divine ordinances. The individual had a duty to serve others and the community as a whole, through Christian charity. Charity unites right actions of the body with the proper condition of the soul. It is a full expression of one's love of God in this world “ Amen! Wonderful job! Thank you for sharing, In His Love, Peace & Blessings!

SilverGenes on May 27, 2010:

"A Christian should not act as the owner of God's gifts but rather as a "steward" of God, in obedience to divine ordinances." Did this extend to land ownership? Another interesting hub in which I learn more and more about the evolution of Christianity. Thanks, James.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on May 27, 2010:

James - this is an exceedingly detailed and thorough examination of Puritans in the 1600s and their beliefs. Thank you for your engrossing research.

Ah, but you left one detail out. In addition to their beliefs, the Puritans were also responsible for bringing the doughnut (without its hole) to American shores. How do I know? See my hub: Doughnuts Are Good for You.

Joni Douglas on May 27, 2010:

Chalk up another great one, James. As you pointed out, the puritan thought that all men are equal in the sight of God is what our founders believed and tried to hold for this country. You must love the studying of this history. Your presentation of it all shows it.

This quote is very apt for our times..."Precisely because liberty is a gift entrusted to human beings by God, and because our citizens are stewards of that blessing, they have a sacred duty to defend liberty. "

One has to realize, or remember, that it is a blessing before one feels any sort of sacred duty to defend liberty. When they try and take away our rich Christian history, we must consider all that has to leave with it. Great hub James.

sheila b. on May 27, 2010:

What we too often overlook when studying history is to understand it in the context of the time. And, by doing that, we better appreciate how much we've advanced. My own study of Early Americans has convinced me they were as much determined to create a good government as they were to worship as they chose.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on May 27, 2010:

"How good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." - I like that. Would it were true! Difficult to square that with "God Almighty in his most holy and wise providence has so disposed of the condition of mankind, as in all times some must be rich, some poor, some high and eminent in powers and dignity; others mean and in subjection." Sounds a bit too convenient to me? And a bit difficult to love a God who would keep his people "mean and in subjection."

Thanks for an interesting Hub.

Love and peace

Tony

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