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Language of the Puritans and Enlightenment Thinkers

Puritans and Enlightenment thinkers both write to help shape a new nation through truth.As seen in Puritan writer’s figurative language, Puritans seek God’s truth from his laws, whereas Enlightenment writers seek scientific truth through reason. Benjamin Franklin was a man of God and a man of science.As demonstrated in “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin ?, he thought spirituality had a place in governing life, but that discovery was where real truth lie.In contrast, John Winthrop’s beliefs in “A Model of Christian Charity ? show that all truth is from God and His rules govern His people.Man and spirit, according to Anne Bradstreet, will reveal the truth together, as illustrated by her poem “The Flesh and the Spirit ?.The literary works of both Puritan and Enlightenment thinkers, aided to form a nation of democracy and religious freedom.
Although Benjamin Franklin was very religious, he was an important figure in the enlightenment movement, and helped pave the way for democracy, the form of government the United States would eventually take. In the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Franklin writes to his son. He writes about how he, a man that came from poverty could accomplish so much. “Having emerged from the poverty and obscurity in which I was born and bred, to a state of affluence and some degree of reputation in the world, and having gone so far through life with a considerable share of felicity, the conducing means I made use of, which with the blessing of God so well succeeded, my posterity may like to know, as they may find some of them suitable to their own situations, and therefore fit to be imitated. ? In this quote, Franklin tell his son that he should imitate him, and help the nation in which they lived. Although Franklin says that emerging from poverty was all thanks to God, he believes that to help your nation you must never waste a second and work for discovery, rather than spending time in prayer to God.
Having fled England to pursue the puritan religious beliefs, John Winthrop writes of “a city upon a hill ?. He opposed a democracy that had no constraints, but spoke of justice and mercy for all men. “There are two rules whereby we are to walk one towards another: Justice and Mercy. ? He believed that the rich and the poor must moderate one another. No rich man should dominate the poor, and the poor should not overtake the rich. “If one member suffers, all suffer with it; if one be in honor, all rejoice with it. ? “True Christians are of one body in Christ. ? In Winthrop’s Model of Christian Charity, he speaks of togetherness with Christ and with each other. He helped to shape the ideals of a young, predominantly christian country.
Anne Bradstreet’s poem, Flesh and Spirit can be interpreted as a metaphor for the enlightenment and puritan writers and their beliefs. ” ¦Dost honour like? Acquire the same, As some to their immortal fame; And trophies to thy name erect Which wearing time shall ne’er deject ¦ ? (Bradstreet 17). This quote from Bradstreet’s poem shows that Flesh, like the Enlightenment writers, believe in materialistic things, and believe that humans can obtain truth from reason and discovery. ” ¦Farewell, my pelf; farewell, my store. The world no longer let me love; My hope and Treasure lies above. ? (Bradstreet 19). This quote shows that like the Puritans, Spirit believes that worldly things are no use, and that all devotion is to be set on God, and seeking truth from his laws.
In conclusion, as evident in Puritan writer’s figurative language, Puritans seek God’s truth, whereas Enlightenment writers seek scientific truth, all have some overlap of beliefs.The writings of Benjamin Franklin, John Winthrop and Anne Bradstreet have two basic things in common.First, some rule must be administered in order for a young nation to survive and develop.Secondly, each thought their point of view was the correct path to follow.In truth, all had input to the shaping of the new nation, both spiritually and democratically.

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Language of the Puritans and Enlightenment Thinkers. (2018, Oct 11). Retrieved from https://thepoetrytrust.org/language-of-the-puritans-and-enlightenment-thinkers-essay

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