English 208 February 22, 2000 Puritanism The puritan religion is one that is hardly understood in todays world of never-ending excuses and finger pointing. This is human nature at its finest. Puritanism probably couldnt make it today. In fact, it probably wouldnt have a chance. Todays society would not be willing to make the sacrifices of chosen hardships to make the cut. One of the most demanding religions, puritan belief forced its followers to change their life in accordance to Gods holy word, only to guess that he could possibly be one of the elect. The puritan religion was based on five basic principles; supremacy of the divine will, the depravity of man, election, free grace, and predestination. Each having a distinct and overpowering effect on all who followed and basically scaring the living *censored* out of people who did not. To live in the puritan society, a person had to play by the puritan rules, or face banishment or even death. The first major belief, and subject of great controversy, was the belief of the supremacy of the divine will. Simply stated, everything that happened in the world was because God wanted it that way. If God was pleased, good times came. If he wasnt hardship and famine followed. Another possible explanation to hardships, though, was that since god was good, unexplainable negatively impacting phenomenon that seemed to be unheralded must be the work of something outside of Gods realm. This is where not only did the religion get tricky, but actually entered a sort of slippery slope. The Salem witch trials are a prime example of this. Although the Bible states, Judge not, lest ye be judged, the puritans apparently did not believe this pertained to them, and if it did, they felt they were justified in trying to preserve the city on the hill. Although in theory this ideal is harmless, it relied on the entire congregation buyi…
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