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pirateteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Puritans wished to purify for cleanse the Church of England, which was steeped in religious traditions similar to the Roman Catholic Church.  The Puritans wanted to return to a stricter moral code based on the teachings of John Calvin.  Instead of basing their religion on the ritualistic traditions of the Catholic Church Puritans turned to John Calvin's teaching, and so the Puritan belief was that through their good works they would be able to achieve salvation. It was this covenant (or promise) that the Puritans believed was made with God that lead a certain select elect group of chosen to be leaders within the church.  Their beliefs also allowed church elders, leaders of the church who were not ordained ministers, to rule over all aspects of Puritan life- including domestic incidents. Puritans had strict rules against any frivolity that took away from their good works for God- including dancing, singing, drinking, card playing, and other such "immoral acts."

Puritans churches were plain, simple meetinghouses void of any ornate furnishings.  Church met several times during the week, but Sunday service was the main event including a two hour sermon and hymns sung without musical accompaniment.

Look to examples of Puritan sermons like Sinners in the Hands of a Angry God, linked below, to see Puritain views on hell and brimestone.  The Puritains truly belived they were the only path to heaven, and beliving anything different would most certainly lead to a firey, hellish after life.


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