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The Puritans

Updated on March 18, 2017
James A Watkins profile image

James Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician and writer. James enjoys people, music, film, and books. He is a lifelong student of history.

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."

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    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      "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

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 6 years ago

      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.

    • Joni Douglas profile image

      Joni Douglas 6 years ago

      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.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      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.

    • profile image

      SilverGenes 6 years ago

      "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.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 6 years ago

      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!

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 6 years ago

      Hi James

      Another well researched hub which I enjoyed reading.

      Amber:)

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

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

    • singlmomat52 profile image

      singlmomat52 6 years ago

      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!!

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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 profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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. :-)

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

      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

    • fetty profile image

      fetty 6 years ago from South Jersey

      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.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

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

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

      I like Puritan's concept. Thanks James.

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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.

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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. :)

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

      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 profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

      James

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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 profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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 profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

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

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

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

    • Joshua Kell profile image

      Levi Joshua Kell 6 years ago from Arizona

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

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      "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!

    • reddog1027 profile image

      reddog1027 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      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.

    • GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

      GojiJuiceGoodness 6 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

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

    • Pastor_Walt profile image

      Pastor_Walt 6 years ago from Jefferson City, Tennessee

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

    • v_kahleranderson profile image

      v_kahleranderson 6 years ago from San Jose, California

      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

    • boba020682 profile image

      boba020682 6 years ago from Silicon Valley

      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!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

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

      Prasetio

    • TinaMarieTad profile image

      TinaMarieTad 6 years ago from Michigan

      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!

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

      Thanks for the compliment.

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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 profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 6 years ago from home

      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

    • Captain Jimmy profile image

      Captain Jimmy 6 years ago from WV

      Great hub!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

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

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

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

    • Tom T profile image

      Tom T 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      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.

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

      James

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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 profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      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

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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?

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      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 profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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.

    • cristina327 profile image

      cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

      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 profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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.

    • Allan McGregor profile image

      Allan McGregor 6 years ago from South Lanarkshire

      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 profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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.

    • Hopmoney wizard profile image

      Hopmoney wizard 6 years ago from barak

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

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

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

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      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 profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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.

    • FloBe profile image

      FloBe 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      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.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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.

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      shakes2@aol.com 6 years ago

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

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      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.

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      What'suppeasedog 4 years ago

      Nice

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      James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

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

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      warren 19 months ago

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

      You might get a different slant on the facts.

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