The Protestant Reformation Puritans and Pilgrims
Martin Luther (1483-1546) Address To The Nobility of the German Nation, 1520• 25. The universities also require a good, sound reformation. I must say this, let it vex whom it may. The fact is that whatever the papacy has ordered or instituted is only designed for the propagation of sin and error. What are the universities, as at present ordered, but, as the book of Maccabees says, "schools of Greek fashion and heathenish manners" (2 Macc. iv. 12, 13), full of dissolute living, where very little is taught of the Holy Scriptures of the Christian faith, and the blind heathen teacher, Aristotle, rules even further than Christ? Now, my advice would be that the books of Aristotle, the Physics, the Metaphysics, Of the Soul, Ethics, which have hitherto been considered the best, be altogether abolished, with all others that profess to treat of nature, though nothing can be learned from them, either of natural or of spiritual things. Besides, no one has been able to understand his meaning, and much time has been wasted and many noble souls vexed with much useless labour, study, and expense. I venture to say that any potter has more knowledge of natural things than is to be found in these books. My heart is grieved to see how many of the best Christians this accursed, proud, knavish heathen has fooled and led astray with his false words. God sent him as a plague for our sins.
Protestant Reformation (1517 c.e.-1648 c.e.)• Catholic church convened Council of Trent 1545-1563. The council issued condemnations on what it defined as Protestant heresies and defined Church teachings. – The Counter reformation
So how do Puritans fit in?• Heaven • Hell – God – Lucifer – Angels – Demons – Saints – Witches – Christ – Anti-Christ – Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Puritan Divisions• Reform of Anglican church• Separatists – King James I(1603-1625) • Harry the Puritans out of this land – Defy religious leadership can lead to political • Divine right beliefs • He was no Elizabeth!
Separatist Pilgrims break away from Anglican church• Holland in 1608 – "Dutchification" of children • Desire to maintain English heritage • Separatists want both heritage and religion
Opportunity in America• Virginia company negotiations – 1620 Mayflower • 102 passengers
Opportunity in America• Plymouth rock legend? – 95 year old Thomas Faunce- 1741 – Evidence of preliminary surveys • Impossible due to currents• Landed outside domain of Virginia company and knew it
Mayflower Compact• Communists – Will of majority for common good
Plymouth• Positive relationship with natives- Wampanoag – Weakened by disease and lack of unity• Leadership of William Bradford – Godly experiment – Feared corruption by non-puritans• Merged with Massachusetts Bay in 1691
Puritans of Massachusetts Bay-1629• Charles I sanctions persecutions by Archbishop William Laud – Puritan mass migration out of England- Quitters! – Well populated and equipped due to turmoil and persecution • Anywhere but England
John Winthrop• "We shall be as a city upon a hill" – Communists – Opposed direct democracy- voting only by "Elect" men – Idea of the covenant • Church=State
Roger Williams• Government does not have religious authority – Opposed Indian policies and treatment – Banished in 1635• Rhode Island founder – Religious tolerance – Separation of Church and state – Viewed with contempt by Massachusetts
Anne Hutchinson• Daughter of a Puritan minister held Sunday bible study meetings in her home – Criticized New England ministers for deluding their congregations into the false assumption that good deeds would get them into heaven (Visible Saints).• Put on trial in 1638 – Argued antinomianism • Stated the Holy Spirit in the hearts of true believers relieved them of responsibility to obey laws of ethics or morality established by community. – Claimed direct communication with God • Threat to religious leadership – Status as a woman may have contributed• Banished in 1638- went to Rhode Island until 1642 when her husband died and moved to New Netherland (now the Bronx) – She and 10 of her 11 children died in 1643 Indian attack
Basic Puritan Beliefs• God controls ALL aspects of life. All-powerful God. God was also very active in everyday life. If it was a nice day, God must be happy or pleased with his children. If storms hit the community or if a child died of smallpox, it was a sign of God’s anger. Tragedies that could not be explained were feared. Fear and superstition faced this group in part because of a lack of scientific knowledge. Salem Witchcraft trials?• Government was a theocracy ruled by Gods representatives on Earth.• Predestination- God, and only God, knows in advance all those who will go to heaven and those who will go to hell. Visible saints showed signs of Gods gift of grace.• Innate depravity- all are stained by Adams fall. Humans are wicked by nature.• The "Elect“, or Gods chosen ones, were to be an example to the rest of the world. Church membership should be restricted to those who have had a "conversion" experience.• Irresistible Grace- the richest man cannot buy salvation and the worst sinner cannot resist Gods grace.
Puritan and Pilgrim theology• Puritans believed governors are accountable to God to protect and reward virtue and to punish wrongdoers. They argued that the only head of the Church in heaven or earth is Christ.• The idea of personal Biblical interpretation was shared with Protestants in general. They believed that man existed for the glory of God; that his first concern in life was to do Gods will and so to receive future happiness. Puritan reforms were typified by a minimum of ritual and decoration. Calvinists generally believed that the worship in the church ought to be strictly regulated by what is commanded in the Bible. Simplicity in worship led to the exclusion of vestments, images, candles, etc. They did not celebrate traditional holidays which they believed to be in violation of the regulative principle. Puritans were believers in the demonic forces as were almost all Christians of this period.