The Role Of God In Puritan Literature

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During the 17th century, a group of people known as the Puritans came to the United States from England. The Puritans fled from England to escape religious persecution, and they settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where they were free to practice their own religious beliefs. The Puritans believed in ideologies involving predestination, original sin, and the Bible as being the sole source of God’s law, and they focused much of their lives around living a minimalistic-styled lifestyle without excess. Many Puritan writers emerged during the time, and much of these religious beliefs are expressed in their writing. Two notable Puritan writers include Anne Bradstreet, who wrote “Upon the Burning of our House”, and Jonathan Edwards, writer of “Sinners…show more content…
The idea of God being a just provider is a very key idea in many faiths and belief systems. People generally don’t want to think that things happen randomly, and instead they want to make it seem as though everything happens for a reason. In Puritan faith, many people, including Anne Bradstreet and Jonathan Edwards, believed that God was just with all of His decisions. In the story “Upon the Burning of our House”, Bradstreet makes references to God being just, suggesting that she believed in the idea of God being a just father. After she watches as her house burns down, Bradstreet says, “yea, so it was, and so ’twas just, it was His own, it was not mine” (line 16-17). Here, she explicitly claims that God burned down her house because it was a just move, showing how she is putting God before all else. Later in the story, she again expresses God as being just when she says that she “give[s] [her] heart to chide” (line 37). Bradstreet is blaming herself for what happened and she accepts God’s plan because she realizes that she must have done…show more content…
They touch upon the concepts of God being unpredictable with punishment, God as a just figure, and God acting both angrily and mercifully. Although the two stories conflict with their attitudes towards God as being either angry and merciful, the two characteristics of God were still greatly felt within Puritan principles. The similar qualities of the two stories show how Puritan writing greatly expressed the lifestyle of the Puritan people, and they also validate each other’s authenticity as expressions of Puritan
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