City Upon A Hill
Topics: Puritan, Bible, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Boston, God, Massachusetts / Pages: 4 (1331 words) / Published: May 26th, 2015

John Winthrop was one of the first settlers of the Massachusetts Bay plantation in 1630. He delivered a sermon called A Model of Christian Charity, while aboard the ship taking these Puritans to the New World “which outlined the principles by which the new colony should be run” (Mulford 237). He uses Bible scripture to reinforce his idea of how their community should be created. As the Bible is the foundation for these Puritans, it is important to see how he uses scripture to create their perfect plantation, or what he describes as a “city upon a hill” (Mulford 244). Winthrop seems to see his plantation’s colonists as the new chosen people and uses the Bible as proof of this. His vision for the community is that their plantation would be looked at as the perfect model for all future plantations. Through his rules of justice and mercy, the laws of nature and grace, and the unifying bond of love, Winthrop sets the boundaries for how their plantation shall be run.
First, Winthrop talks about the laws of nature and grace in regards to what is commonly known as the Golden Rule. This is known as to treat others as one would want to be treated. Winthrop quotes Matthew: 7.12, “‘Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you’” (Mulford 239). This comes from one of the ten commandments of the Bible where one is “commanded to love his neighbor as himself” (Mulford 238). This is important as it sets up how Winthrop feels his community should treat one another. He doesn’t want to see his Puritans as coming to this new world just in search of fortune or only a better life for each individual. Winthrop’s justification for a better life lies in his conviction that “The end is to improve our lives to do more service to the Lord” (Mulford 243). If his plantation is successful financially, it is only because God blesses them so that they might do more service to God when they don’t have to worry about financial hardship, or even just plain survival.
What is interesting is that



Cited: Mulford, Carla, Angela Vietto, and Amy E. Winans. Early American Writings. New York: Oxford UP, 2002. Print.

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