Dr. Owen H. Jones
20 September 2011
The Sovereignty and Goodness of God (Question 1)
It is believed that Mary Rowlandson, a Puritan, was writing mainly to her beloved church of Puritan believers and to the Colony of Massachusetts. This conclusion can be made by examining Puritan beliefs and lifestyle. In this time, Puritan’s believed that God had already chosen His ‘elect’ or ‘saints’ at the beginning of creation. In order to be recognized as the ‘elect’ of God you must prove yourself worthy; this can only be validated by a person’s behavior and daily denial of sinful temptation (Bedford/ St. Martin's , 92). So, after having being captured by ‘Indians’ or the heathen as she called them, she must prove to the Puritans that she is one of God’s elect. In her book, she wants to let everyone know that even during her time of captivity, while she was living amongst the heathen, she did not become infiltrated or indoctrinated with the Indians beliefs and yet remained true to her faith with all of the temptation that surrounded her daily (Rowlandson , 112).
Her narrative reflects her Puritan religious beliefs in many different ways. First of all, it is believed that the very purpose and reasoning behind this narrative being written shows her dedication to Puritanism. Having to prove to that she is the elect of God is very much a part of the Puritan belief system (Bedford/ St. Martin's , 89). Having reviewed much evidence it is believed that if she had returned and had not written this narrative she would have been removed from the church membership or not believe to be the elect of God (Bedford/ St. Martin's , 92-93). Another Puritan belief is that everything happens for a reason (Bedford/ St. Martin's , 92). In everything, whether good or bad, she would find how God had a purpose for it happening to teach her a lesson. When her child died and the other sold into slavery, Rowlandson found that she could find hope in...
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