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History Essays

In his essay A Model of Christian Charity, John Winthrop (1630) laid out what he believed to be the historical and religious mission of the Puritans who would settle the Massachusetts Bay Colony. By Divine Right, Winthrop maintains that America will become a city on a hill, one that required community and fraternity to follow the mandates of God and be admired by others as a shining example of community. One of WinthropÆs biggest goals is to show the Puritans how much they much embrace an interdependent existence and worldview in order to be one with Christ. Like all Christians are of one body in Christ, so, too, Winthrop (1630) maintains that all individuals must be united in all ways for the new community to succeed in GodÆs way, ôAll the parts of this body being united are made so contiguous in a special relation as they must needs partake of each otherÆs strength and infirmity; joy and sorrow, weal and woe. If one member suffers, all suffer with it, if one be in honor, all rejoice with itö (7).

Winthrop (1630) continues to repeat this analogy over and over again in his sermon in order to express to the Puritans that they must remain united and concerned for each other in order to live up to the perfection of God, wherein ôloveö for each other is the ôbond of perfectionö (6). Winthrop cautions against selfish behavior and greed. He preaches for mercy and compassion. He repeatedly turns to scripture to demonstrate to the Puritans that their main purpose in order to survive in the new land is to look out for the security and maintenance of each otherÆs welfare. If any individual among them has material goods and fails to extend compassion to a brother in need, Winthrop (1630) asks, ôhow dwelleth the love of God in him?ö (4).

Winthrop also maintains that such an attitude should even be extended to aspects of community such as commerce with others. He demands a certain selflessness from the Puritans as a mea...

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History Essays. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:12, April 21, 2019, from