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The Puritan Age: Religion Government Moral Standards.

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Presentation on theme: "The Puritan Age: Religion Government Moral Standards."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Puritan Age: Religion Government Moral Standards

2 Outlook on the World The Puritans considered the Bible as the true law of God that provided guidelines for church government. They emphasized Bible reading, prayer, and preaching in worship services. They simplified the ritual of the sacraments. They also wanted more personal and fewer prescribed prayers. The Puritans stressed grace, devotion, prayer, hark work ethics, strict morals, and self-examination to achieve religious virtue.

3 Religion Religion impacted every facet of life in a Puritan community They believed they were chosen by God and lived every moment in a God- fearing manner The Sabbath was to be respected, or else punishment would occur The church was simple and bare, and men and women were separated during the services Sermons could last up to four hours

4 Guilt The Puritans tried to live by a set of values that would enable them to reach perfection, and when they felt that they were not living up to those values, it was considered a sin. If you sinned, you were having a moral rebellion with God. This meant that you would be eternally plagued by a sense of guilt. Not only feeling as thought you have sinned, but also feeling or being told that you were not being a good citizen led to a sense of guiltiness in the Puritans.

5 Guilt Preachers such as Jonathan Edwards told their congregations that God hated Puritans for their sins, which led them to feel guilty for their sins. This became a focus of the teachings of Puritanism, and the preachers often used this sense of guilt and the wrath of God in their sermons. Jonathon Edwards

6 Crime The Puritans were devout Christians who set out to establish a colony that would represent the true and “proper” manner in which Christianity should be practiced. Puritans had some beliefs which had major affects on the basic ideals of a law. One belief was that each person would be tempted by the devil and saved by God. Another belief is that people were born evil, and could only be forgiven through a lifetime of proper Christianity. Some examples of Puritan laws were: The church believed it was illegal to enjoy any form of entertainment that might distract people from God. Any form of idleness or laziness was prohibited. They valued land and animals, so any form of hunting or obliterating land was prohibited. Puritan laws were often tied to the Bible in some way. Swearing, sleeping during sermons, and skipping church were also punishable.

7 Adultery In 1641, the Puritans had constructed the first code of laws. Among those was the penalty of death for the crime of adultery. Adultery is basically, "Any sexual relationships outside of marriage.” In Puritan society, adultery was considered the ultimate sin, and a moral violation against God's will.

8 Sin The Puritans’s lives centered on sin and what it did and didn’t consist of. They believed that the definition of sin was the primary problem that confronted mankind and it was man’s enemy and eternal problem. Solution to sin was to believe in God and follow his rules and the Bible.

9 Government The Puritans’ religious values impacted the way they set up their government. Included in the Puritans’ belief system was the idea that there was a contract between humans and God. This principle translated to their opinion that there shouldn’t be any restrictions that would prevent one from becoming involved in governmental matters. “Government by contract” influenced later American democratic ideas.

10 Government The Mayflower Compact was a document written by the Puritans which defined how their government would be run in the New World. Puritans looked to the Bible for guidelines on creating government, combined with their previous knowledge of English government. People who held power in the Puritans’ government had very strict interpretation of the law since their views were tied to their religion. This idea is important in explaining why the Salem witch trials were so harsh and widespread- knowing the ethics of their community was being threatened, those with authority used excessive measures to keep their society together.


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