John Winthrop's City on Hill

John Winthrop's City on Hill

John Winthrop spoke of creating a City on a Hill in the New World. Were Winthrop and his Puritan followers successful in doing so? In other words, how successful were the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay Colony in “purifying” the Church of England? Why?

Puritan Essay Outline

I. Puritans’ basic belief- duty to conscience over duty to king
Conflicts deeper
Reject church hierarchy & over- ritualized mass

II. Segregationists- pilgrims
Congregationalists- save church & therefore Eng from within

III. Can’t do it in Eng- culture, church, monarchy, etc too corrupt
Winthrop- City on a Hill- example & inspiration

IV. Next 20 years- establish Mass colony
Purify church membership, structure, worship
Visible saints become members, lead church
Town meetings, led by church leaders

V. England:
1649- Cromwell in charge, Charles II executed
Liberty of conscience becomes triers & ejecters; persecution, repression, etc
Restoration- art, theater, frivolity & fun
Increasing humanism

VI. Mass:
Extraordinary piety excluded most people
Fewer & fewer applying for church membership
People don’t care about England- just want to focus on their world
1657- Half Way Covenant

VII. City on a Hill failed
Society increasingly secular
Religion continues, narrow world- view of the Puritans did not

17th century Puritans held a basic belief that every man had an obligation greater than that of duty to the crown- duty to conscience; a duty to God that frequently brought them into conflict with the established church and the government. As the century progressed these conflicts only became deeper and more divisive. As a rule, Puritans emphasized a direct, personal relationship with God. They rejected the church hierarchy as corrupt and over- politicized (which it was), and the elaborate churches and over- ritualized mass as distracting and unnecessary.
As the situation escalated, the Puritans began to argue amongst themselves. The smaller, more extreme...

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