Massachusetts Bay Colony was a man's world. Women did not participate in town meetings and were excluded from decision making in the church. Puritan ministers. Puritanism in New England: The term "Puritan" first began as a taunt or insult applied by traditional Anglicans to those who criticized or In each town, male. The American concept of democracy witnessed its first incarnation in Puritan New England. All male citizens participated in the town meetings that decided the rules. Separation of Church and State One of the central reasons for the Puritan departure from Europe was the overbearing nature of the Church of England, the national religion. Meetings on controversial meetjng are often adjourned to a the puritan town meeting conducted by machine vote on a date in the future. All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from May Commons category with local link different than on Wikidata. Through measures Sex dating in greenfield arkansas these, which combined economic and spiritual restraints, New England towns achieved extraordinarily high levels of persistence and social cohesion" The origin of the town meeting form of government, the puritan town meeting prevalent in New England today, can be traced to meetinghouses of the colonies.
Definitions The term "Puritan" first began as a taunt or insult applied by traditional Anglicans to those who criticized or wished to "purify" the Church of England. Although the word is often applied loosely, "Puritan" refers to two distinct groups: Most Massachusetts colonists were nonseparating Puritans who wished to reform the established church, largely Congregationalists who believed in forming churches through voluntary compacts.
Beliefs Several beliefs differentiated Puritans from other Christians. The first was their belief in predestination. Augustine, told in his Confessions. In religious terms, several types of covenants were central to Puritan thought. The Covenant of Works held that God promised Adam and his progeny eternal life if they obeyed moral law. This covenant requires an active faith, and, as such, it softens the doctrine of predestination.
Although God still chooses the elect, the relationship becomes one of contract in which punishment for sins is a judicially proper response to disobedience.
Those bound by the covenant considered themselves to be charged with a mission from God. The Covenant of Redemption was assumed to be preexistent to the Covenant of Grace. Having accepted this pact, God is then committed to carrying out the Covenant of Grace. According to Perry Miller, as one contemporary source put it, "God covenanted with Christ that if he would pay the full price for the redemption of beleevers, they should be discharged. Christ hath paid the price, God must be unjust, or else hee must set thee free from all iniquitie" New England Mind Since the state did not control the church, the Puritans reasoned, there must be an alternate method of of establishing authority.
According to Harry S. Checks and balances in this self-governing model included the requirement that members testify to their experience of grace to ensure the purity of the church and its members and the election of church officials to ensure the appropriate distribution of power, with a pastor to preach, a teacher to "attend to doctrine," elders to oversee the "acts of spiritual Rule," and a deacon to manage the everyday tasks of church organization and caring for the poor Stout The system of interlocking covenants that bound households to each other and to their ministers in an autonomous, self-ruling congregation was mirrored in the organization of towns.
As churches came into being only by means of a local covenant, so individual members could be released from their sacred oath only with the concurrence of the local body. Persons leaving without the consent of the body sacrificed not only church membership but also property title, which was contingent on local residence. Through measures like these, which combined economic and spiritual restraints, New England towns achieved extraordinarily high levels of persistence and social cohesion" A true church, they believed, consisted not of everyone but of the elect.
As a test of election, many New England churches began to require applicants for church membership to testify to their personal experience of God in the form of autobiographical conversion narratives. Since citizenship was tied to church membership, the motivation for experiencing conversion was secular and civil as well as religious in nature.
Not all underwent a conversion experience, however, thus leaving in doubt the future of their children, the grandchildren of the original church members. Drafted by Richard Mather and approved in , the Half-way Covenant proposed that second-generation members be granted the same privilege of baptism but not communion as had been granted to the first generation. According to Norman Grabo, "This encouraged individual congregations to baptize the infant children of church members but not to admit them to full membership until they were at least 14 years old" and could profess conversion.
Stoddard said that no man could know he was saved with absolute certainty; thus all well-behaved Christians should be admitted to the sacrament in hopes that they might secure saving grace or be converted by it. In choosing the plain style, Puritan writers eschewed features common to the rhetoric of the day; they declined to stuff their sermons with the rhetorical flourishes and learned quotations of the metaphysical style of sermon, believing that to be the province of Archbishop Laud and his followers.
The Puritan sermon traditionally comprised three parts: According to Perry Miller in The New England Mind , "The Anglican sermon is constructed on a symphonic scheme of progressively widening vision; it moves from point to point by verbal analysis, weaving larger and larger embroideries about the words of the text.
The Puritan sermon quotes the text and "opens" it as briefly as possible, expounding circumstances and context, explaining its grammatical meanings, reducing its tropes and schemata to prose, and setting forth its logical implications; the sermon then proclaims in a flat, indicative sentence the "doctrine" contained in the text or logically deduced from it, and proceeds to the first reason or proof.
Reason follows reason, with no other transition than a period and a number; after the last proof is stated there follow the uses or applications, also in numbered sequence, and the sermon ends when there is nothing more to be said.
The Anglican sermon opens with a pianissimo exordium, gathers momentum through a rising and quickening tempo, comes generally to a rolling, organ-toned peroration; the Puritan begins with a reading of the text, states the reason in an order determined by logic, and the uses in an enumeration determined by the kinds of person in the throng who need to be exhorted or reproved, and it stops without flourish or resounding climax" In a similar manner, Puritans preferred the plainness of the Geneva Bible to the rich language of the King James version.
Some information adapted from Resisting Regionalism: Gender and Naturalism in American Fiction, Athens: Ohio University Press, To cite this page on a Works Cited page according to current MLA guidelines , supply the correct dates and use the suggested format below.
Date you accessed the page. The term "Puritan" first began as a taunt or insult applied by traditional Anglicans to those who criticized or wished to "purify" the Church of England. Several beliefs differentiated Puritans from other Christians. The concept of a covenant or contract between God and his elect pervaded Puritan theology and social relationships.
The concept of the covenant also provided a practical means of organizing churches. Unlike Anglican and Catholic churches of the time, Puritan churches did not hold that all parish residents should be full church members.
The children of first-generation believers were admitted to limited membership in the Congregational church, on the grounds that as children of the elect, they would undoubtedly experience conversion and become full members of the church.
The plain style is the simplest of the three classical forms of style.