John Winthrop Essay: A Model Of Christian Charity

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Analysis Essay: "A Model of Christian Charity" In 1630, Puritan layman and leader John Winthrop delivered a sermon to the Puritan people on board the ship Arbella while en route to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Unbeknownst to him or those in attenedence, his sermon would go down in history and serve as a defining literary example of American colonization. The main purpose of his speech can be linked to preparing the puritans on how to develop a new society in a dangerous environment. During the sermon, Winthrop reminded the colony of its purpose and the reason for existence. Drawing from biblical scripture, Winthrop declared the colonists to be a city set on a hill; chosen by the Lord God for a great work. He declared them to be God’s demonstration …show more content…
They eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we shall deal falsely with our god in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw his present from us, we shall be made a story and a by word through the world”(177). This excerpt points to the fact that God put the Puritans on this journey to fulfill the covenant and this new colony was their purpose. He declares them and this new Colony as the City upon the hill. This city is based on Christian ideals, making it unlike any other city before it. Because of the community being united and founded upon Christian ideals the Colony sets a precedent for future cities and they have the ability to set a precedent for generations to come. The rest of the world will take note of what they are doing and they will be leading by example. Additionally, this passage is also displays the idea of American exceptionalism. American exceptionalism is described as “the idea that the United States, with its unique formation and development, is fundamentally different from any other country in the world”(“Introduction & Overview”). The idea of American exceptionalism holds the United States to a higher standard than the rest of the world; it has also been used to justify actions that might otherwise be viewed negatively, such as the appropriation of land from Native American …show more content…
Unbeknownst to him or those in attenedence, his sermon would go down in history and serve as a defining literary example of American colonization. The main purpose of his speech can be linked to preparing the puritans on how to develop a new society in a dangerous environment. During the sermon, Winthrop reminded the colony of its purpose and the reason for existence. Drawing from biblical scripture, Winthrop declared the colonists to be a city set on a hill; chosen by the Lord God for a great work. He declared them to be God’s demonstration project and pilot program in creating a model community with righteousness and justice for the entire world to see and imitate. Winthrop continues to convey the Puritan mission by describing the themes of American exceptionalism, communalism, and unity throughout his

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