Elizabeth Freake and Baby Mary

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Grace and Humility
The life of a Puritan was one filled with hard work and praising the lord God. We are able to learn more about their ideals through their works of art. The Portrait of Elizabeth Freake and her Baby Mary reflects the two main ideals in puritan philosophy which are so simply summarized in Ephesians 2: 8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast". The two main ideals of puritan philosophy are humility and the grace of God.

Puritans believed that by the grace of God alone could one be saved; they attributed anything in the world that was good to the work of God. In Mary Rowlandson's fifth remove of A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson is an example of a puritan woman giving credit to God for what seems like a small stroke of luck. It reads, "They quickly fell to cutting dry trees, to make rafts to carry them over the river: and soon my turn came to go over. By the advantage of some brush which they had laid upon the raft to sit upon, I did not wet my foot (which many of themselves at the other end were mid-leg deep) which cannot but be acknowledged as a favor of God to my weakened body, it being a very cold time. I was not before acquainted with such kind of doings or dangers. 'When thou passeth through the waters I will be with thee, and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee' (Isaiah 43. 2)." Here Mary is accrediting the fact that she happened to be put on a raft that worked well to the hand of God watching over her while in a weak physical state. This idea of grace is based on the first of three covenants that all puritans must make-the covenant of grace. This covenant states that all humans are inherently evil; they are doomed to Hell and can do no good unless the saving grace of God acts on their hearts to make them do good. Puritans are humbled by the idea that everything good in their lives is not due to...
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