Can I have a brief analysis of Chapter 1 from History of Plymouth Plantation, with emphasis on God's loving chastisement?
I'm mostly looking for examples of God's loving chastisement, and I'm having a hard time understanding what is God's work or Satan's work.
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Chapter one of History Of Plymouth Plantation has several parts. First, Bradford recounts the work of Satan first in the world and finally in England. He discusses the major movements of Christianity as well as the acts of Satan from earliest times to more recent times in England--starting with the reign of the Tudors. This section is more about the works of Satan as he tried (mostly successfully) to undermine major movements of Christianity.
The second part of the chapter narrows down to focus on the group who will eventually be the Pilgrims on the Mayflower. Bradford details their hardships and persecutions after
many became inlightened by the word of God, and had their ignorante and sins discovered unto them, and begane by his grace to reforme their lives, and make consciente of their wayes, the worke of God was no sooner manifest in them, but presently they were both scoffed and scorned by the prophane multitude, and the ministers urged with the yoak of subscription, or ele must be silenced.
In short, they recognized their need for salvation and God's grace, and they repented. Once they did, however, they were persecuted by those who were not believers. One could make the case, based on Bradford's previous section, that Satan was once again doing his work of tormenting Christians and trying to hinder Christianity.
Your question about loving chastisement is only a small portion of the chapter, and I alluded to it above. These were people who were convicted by God's spirit and their sins were revealed to them. When that happened, their response was to reform their lives and examine their own consciences. Bradford's writing suggests a loving God who will not tolerate sin but who will demonstrate grace when there has been repentance.
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