Religion before the Great Awakening was strictly based on class and social status. Most people in the colonies sat in different seats, and they were divided into sections. It was not until the Great Awakening that these different social groups of people started to mix. Women, for example were treated harsh in the Puritan churches. They were considered as subordinates of men, and they did not have any roles in churches.
In search of religious freedom a group of devout Christians sailed across the ocean only to come across a new land, radically different from the one they left behind. From the initial journey, to the formation of the colonies, and finally their complicated relationship with “non-believers” Puritans strongly held religious convictions has played a key role in all of this. The Puritans were a group of reformed Protestants seeking to reform the English Church. After the fall of the Roman Catholic Church, a new church was established “The English Anglican Church”. While most Puritans sought to reform the church others wanted nothing to do with it these Puritans would eventually be known as Separatists.
An intense religious movement called, The Great Awakening, occurred in the 1730’s and 1740’s. This movement started in Colonial America, which originally came from a town named Northampton located in Massachusetts. Two preachers whose name’s are, Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield both called Northampton home. Between these two men and their belief that the only thing that could save us humans, from the eternal fires of hell, was The Lord’s mercy. This had a massive affect on the colonists of America, due to there spiritual beliefs coming to end for the past century.
An article by Frank Lambert discusses how Edwards help start the Great Awakening and also explained some of his beliefs. He says“.. Edwards set forth one of his most original explanations: the divine impinges on the human when, through God’s grace, the saint undergoes a transformation of the heart that leads him or her to a new understanding of things divine” (Lambert). Edwards, as well as other Puritans, believed that God could help anyone through any kind of trouble they may have been having and God could also make one believe that they were capable of doing extraordinary things. They also believed that anyone who denied God would be in for some serious troubles.
In the 1600s many emigrants from England came to settle in North America. Most of the English at the time were Christian, and one of the several reasons to explore was to spread the word of God. Most of the documents mention how the new colonists must serve their God and keep themselves holy and to not indulge in temptations that would stray them from their original goals. However, by the 1700s the distinct group that settled in the New England region was split into two groups. The split of the two groups came from gold diggers, the temptation of gold overweight their original goal, thus causing the group to split into two groups, the Christians and the Gold Diggers.
Being the first two well-known places in which the English would set out to colonize in 1607 and 1620, Jamestown, Virginia and Plymouth, Massachusetts hold very separate set of beliefs, standards, and outlooks on life then and the future to come. While paving the way for things such as slavery, taxes, ownership of land, inclusion of women, tobacco and government assemblies, John Smith and the people of Jamestown became a classical foundation for new life and economic growth for the new world that is, the United States. On the other hand, William Bradford and his people began to realize the intentions of the Church of England were unholy and had strayed away from God’s teachings from the Bible. With this in mind, the Pilgrims set on a voyage to the new world to seek religious freedom. As we know it, the Pilgrims sought for peace and a new way of living that was fair, just and free from religious corruptions.
Although all the colonists all came from England, the community development, purpose, and societal make-up caused a distinct difference between two distinct societies in New England and the Chesapeake region. The distinctions were obvious, whether it be the volume of religious drive, the need or lack of community, families versus single settlers, the decision on minimal wage, whether or not articles of agreements were drawn for and titles as well as other social matters were drawn, as well as where loyalties lay in leaders. New England was, overall, more religious than the Chesapeake region. Settlers in New England were searching relief for religious persecution in Europe. Puritans, Quakers, and Catholics were coming in droves to America searching for an opportunity to have religious freedom.
This journal, “Of Plymouth Plantation”, which was from Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 1, written by William Bradford between 1630 and 1651, and edited by Samuel Eliot Morison in 1953, describes the story of the pilgrims who sailed from Southampton, England, on the Mayflower and settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620. Those pilgrims were English Christians in the 16th and 17th centuries and religious separatists who saw no hope of reforming the Church of England from within; therefore, they hoped to separate from the Church of England and form independent local churches in another place. In order to , those pilgrims overcame many obstacles. The author had used the power of rhetoric, especially in the use of the three rhetorical
Jonathan Edwards’s sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and Anne Bradstreet’s “Upon the Burning of Our House” seem at first glance quite similar to one another regarding context, however, after taking a closer look, it becomes apparent that there are some substantial differences. These differences cannot be understood without the knowledge of cultural context concerning the Puritan belief system and their lifestyle. “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was written with the sole purpose of scaring and intimidating the people that purtinans believed to be sinners. Edwards’s work contributed to a movement called “The Great Awakening”. It’s objective was to make the so-called ‘sinners’ aware of their wrongdoings and compel them to repent.
The subject of this sermon is the ideology of success in the colonies. Winthrop used various emotions to create imagery of the ideal society. He presented the subject through the ideals of God: unity, community, and self-pleasure under the
Literary analysis of “The sinners in the hands of an angry god” The great awakening was a religious revival that occurred in the 1730s and 1740s. It started in England and then gradually made its way over to the American colonies. During this time, many different preachers and religious speakers went around and gave speeches to the people. Jonathan Edwards was one of Americas most important and original philosophical theologians who also went around and gave speeches about God and hell.
The arrival of the first Europeans in the Americas is dramatically captured through the many writers who attempted to communicate what they saw, experienced and felt. What is more, the very purposes of their treacherous travel and colonization are clearly seen in their writings; whether it is poetry, history or sermons. Of the many literary pieces available today, William Bradford and John Winthrop’s writings, even though vary because the first is a historical account and the second is a sermon, stand out as presenting a clear trust in God, the rules that would govern them and the reason they have arrived in the Americas. First of all, William Bradford provides an in-depth look into the first moment when the Puritans arrived in the Americas. In fact, he chronicles the hardships they face on their way to Plymouth, yet he includes God’s provision every step of the way.
Therefore the sermon given by John Winthrop is very powerful in the creation of the Massachusetts colony and provides the determination needed for it to succeed along with details on how to live and serve god the right way. The sermon helps establish the foundation for which the society should be build up on and how to make sure the society doesn’t walk away from the same beliefs and thereby ensuring its
Samuel Sherwood and Jonathan Boucher were both ministers tasked with preaching in this climate of resistance. Sherwood delivered his sermon titled, Scriptural Instructions to Civil Rulers in 1774. Simultaneously Samuel Boucher imparted biblical analysis in, On the Character of Absalom. Both Sherwood and Boucher offer a glimpse into the political climate following the passage of the Intolerable Acts. Both men identified what they believed the present danger to colonists and their efforts of resistance.