March 13, 2013
A Model of Christian Charity by John Winthrop Essay
John Winthrop began his and his fellow Puritan’s journey to the New World with words meant for comfort, guidance, and inspiration. Instead, what he delivers is a speech of timeless philosophy and life guiding principles. “A Model of Christian Charity” was a sermon delivered to the passengers aboard the Arabella in 1630. Winthrop delivered this sermon as he led a massive expedition to their new home in the New World. Winthrop’s and his fellow Puritan’s purpose for going to the New World was to build a society with its foundation deeply rooted in strong, devout Christian values and ideas. He wanted to build a community with an established civil government, but more importantly, an ecclesiastical government, in which their covenant to God was absolute. If they broke their covenant they believed there would be dire consequences. One of the common themes that one can observe from the text is this, one must love their neighbor, be it friend or foe, and honor all around them in order for their New World to thrive. This was what Winthrop stated was a part of their covenant with God. He states this clearly when he says the quote, “…we must bring into familiar and constant practice; as in this duty of love, we must love brotherly without dissimulation, we must love one another with a pure heart fervently. We must bear one another’s burdens…” Winthrop guides his people not only in loving one’s neighbor, but also in loving God by putting his will before their own. By doing so, the Lord will show them more favor. In the text, Winthrop said, “Therefore let us choose life, that we and our seed may live, by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him, for He is our life and our prosperity.” What he is saying is choosing to obey God is the key to the success and freedom they long to have by moving to the New World. Winthrop stresses throughout the text hoe important...