American Providentialism through Eras
Centuries ago John Winthrop preached on board Arbella to the people full of hopes and desires for their new life. He talked about the beautiful Promised Land and the new paradise on earth. Winthrop’s motivational speech “A Model of Christian Charity” was supposed to encourage people on board Arbella to fulfill their destiny and create a pure society just like God intended them to. The inhabitants of the New World were chosen by God to create a new society which will serve as an example for the rest of the world. John Winthrop insisted on people being united as one body in Christ through brotherly love for one another and through love for God. “[T]rue Christians are of one body in Christ (1 Cor. 12). Ye are the body of Christ and members of their part. All the parts of this body being thus united are made so contiguous in a special relation as they must needs partake of each other's strength and infirmity; joy and sorrow, weal and woe. If one member suffers, all suffer with it, if one be in honor, all rejoice with it. [T]he ligaments of this body which knit together are love.” (Winthrop, 4) At the very beginning of existing of America, the main task of its inhabitants was to be united. Religion was their knitting thread. Since they had not yet formed their laws, they lived according to laws of the Church. America’s destiny was to be “one nation under God” and God was leading them closer to the fulfillment of this destiny. “[W]hile the law did not abrogate [their] institutions, and the theocracy to be inaugurated did not supercede them, God was all the time educating them to broader views of their destiny … they were to perform as a chosen people among the nations of the earth.” (Pierce, 3) God has chosen the people abroad Arbella to create a nation of all nations and He was along their side in all times.
During the Civil War the knitting thread between the people was lost because of different views on the issue of...
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