Analysis of John Winthrop's Sermon

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This essay is a sermon delivered by John Winthrop to the Puritans aboard the ship Arbella as it sailed to America in 1630. Winthrop was an early Puritan leader and the first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Winthrop writes that God has purposely made some people to be rich and others poor in order to manifest his work in the areas of mercy, love, gentleness, temperance, faith, patience and obedience. He also speaks of the ‘moral gospel' that requires man to help one another in every want or distress. This essay provides biblical references pertaining to man's obligation to help others. It captures the close relationship between philanthropy and religion as seen by the Puritans. This document was written so that Puritans could have a sense of hope in the goals that they wanted to achieve in New England. In the concluding remarks of his sermon, we can see Winthrop's vision and purpose for New England: "Beloved, there is now set before us life, and good, death and evil in that we are commanded this day to love the Lord our God, and to love one another to walk in His ways to keep His Commandments and His ordinance, and His laws, and the articles of our covenant with Him that we may live and be multiplied, and that the Lord our God may bless us in the land whither we go to possess it...For we must consider that we shall be a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us...." Winthrop expressed his belief that the Puritans were intended by God to be like "a city set on a Hill," a model of civil and ecclesiastical government for the rest of the Christian world. In the document, Winthrop reveals some historical changes that were taking place during the early seventeenth century. As more and more news came from America, the prospects of development and opportunity to begin a new and fresh culture were strongly presented. Many Puritans sought to travel to the Colonies to take advantage of the freedom and prosperity America offered. While on that trip...
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