Thursday, August 07, 2008

Puritans -

My ancestors were Puritans from England. They arrived here in 1648 in the hope of finding greater restrictions than were permissible under English law at that time. - Garrison Keillorp

Nearly every association which now clings tot he word puritan has to be eliminated when we are thinking of the early Protestants. Whatever they were, they were not sour, gloomy, or severe; nor did their enemies bring any such charge against them... For More, a Protestant was one "dronke of the new must of lewd lightness of minde and vayne gladness of harte."... Protestantism was not too grim, but too glad,to be true. CS Lewis

Asceticism is far more characteristic of Catholicism than of the Puritans. Celibacy and the praise of virginity are Catholic; the honour of the marriage bed is Puritan. CS Lewis

What was it that obliged Jerome to write his book, Concerning Illustrious Men? It was the common reproach of old cast upon Christians, 'That they were all poor, weak, unlearned men.' The sort of men sometime called 'Puritans' in the English nation have been reproached with the same character. . . But when truth shall have liberty to speak, it will be known that Christianity never was more expressed unto the life than in the lives of the persons that have been thus reproached.

What the Puritans gave the world was not thought, but action. Wendell Phillips. 1811-1884. Speech, Dec. 21, 1855

Puritanism in England was essentially a movement within the established church for the purifying of that church&emdash;for ministers godly and able to teach, for a simplifying of ritual, for a return to the virtues of primitive Christianity. There was nothing revolutionary about the main body of its doctrine. It accepted the medieval view of a world in which man was the center, and though it may have said that man was made in God's image it tended to think, rather, of a God made in man's. It believed literally in the two "cities" of God and the devil and in the constant struggle waged between them and made apparent in the human struggle between body and soul. It believed that man having fallen through Adam was redeemed through Christ. Its innovating principle was in the idea that the Bible, rather than any established religious hierarchy, was the final authority. Therefore every man, every individual, had direct access to the word of God. It was the Puritan's aim to reconstruct and purify not only the church, but individual conduct and all the institutions men live by. -- Bradford Smith, Bradford of Plymouth.

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