Among other things, Protestantism had the effect of taking the sacred and holy away from specific sites, such as religious shrines and monasteries, and into the very heart of the day-to-day community. This meant that activities which had previously been regarded as purely secular—such as business—were now suddenly infused with a divine purpose. Devout Protestants, such as the Puritans, began to see the hand of God everywhere, constantly intervening in his creation.
As a devout Puritan himself, William Bradford passionately believed that God regularly intervened in his life and that of his fellow pilgrims during their long, arduous voyage to the New World. One such example comes from chapter 9 in Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation. A rude young sailor has been routinely insulting the Puritans on board the ship, telling them that he'll be pleased when they die and how much he's looking forward to throwing their bodies into the sea. However, it is the sailor himself who passes away and whose body is the first to be dumped overboard. Bradford interprets his death as a sign of divine wrath, a just punishment for the young sailor's abuse of God's elect. More importantly, he regards the sailor's death as a sign that the Puritans are under God's protection.