• Puritanism- Christian faith- originated in
England during the 17th Century
• Goes back to the beliefs of reformer- John
• Puritans followed a Covenant of Grace- A
call for all Puritans to be actively faithful
• Basic Puritan Beliefs
• Predestination/Unconditional Election: God has
previously chosen those who will be saved.
• Total Depravity of Man: Because of original sin,
man has no right to salvation
• Emphasis on preaching and the laws contained
within the Bible.
• Goal: To “Purify” the church. Puritans wanted
to rid their religion of all Catholic influence.
• Puritan Literature/Early Colonial Writing
• 17th Century was a period of religious literature
in New England.
• Literature represented life as the Puritans saw it.
Writings were therefore somber and serious.
• A popular topic of the Puritans was the vanity of
man’s earthly endeavors.
• Literature comes in various forms: sermons,
histories, diaries, autobiographies, and poetry.
Colonial Writing, cont…
• Sermons were the most highly developed
literary type in colonial literature.
• Diaries kept for practical purposes.
• Poetry often written to dignify or embellish
• History/Biographies were written to preserve a
record of happenings in the New World.
Delivery of the Sermon:
• Puritans believed the real power of the sermon
was found in the words themselves.
• Words were divinely inspired and powerful
enough to affect the congregation.
• The sermon was generally presented in a
Structure of the Sermon
• Five sections of the sermon,
a. Grammatical Meaning
b. Logical Meaning
c. Figurative Meaning
a. Breaking down the topic
b. Provide evidence from scripture
a. Establish the validity of the teaching
b. Explanation of why listeners should be
a. Personal Life
b. Community and World
a. Emphasis of Arguments
b. Call to Action
c. Emotional Appeal
America’s First Book
“This humble and well-worn hymnal was
printed in 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
by Stephen Daye, first printer of the
Massachusetts Bay Colony. It is the very first
book printed in what is now the United States.
Known as The Bay Psalm Book, but really
titled The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully
Translated into English Metre, it represents
what was most sacred to the Puritans--a
faithful translation of God's Word, to be sung in
worship by the entire congregation. Other
Protestant denominations relied on selected
paraphrases of the Scripture, but the Puritans
believed this could compromise their salvation.
The same faith that compelled them to leave
England and strike out for the New World
prompted them to commit this text to print
before all others.”
• http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trm004.html - Library of Congress
• First permanent settlement in North America.
• Founded May 14, 1607.
• 120 men: Virginia Company of London.
• Capt. Christopher Newport leader of expedition.
• Struggled due to focus on searching more for
gold than trying to grow crops, etc.
• 6,040/,7289 immigrants died in first two decades
of its settlement.
• Member of the Virginia Company of London, and
eventually became leader of the colony.
• Captured by Powhatan Indians and saved by
Pocahantas, daughter of the chief.
• Responsible for expansion of the Jamestown
• Injury forced him to return to England in 1609.
• Returned to New England in 1614 to map out
the coast and describe the new territority.