By Perry Miller
A cautious exam of the Puritan brain and the highbrow improvement of seventeenth-century New England.
Perry Miller (1905-1963) was once an historian and literary critic. he's the writer of diverse books, together with the lifetime of the brain in the United States: From the Revolution to the Civil battle, which received the Pulitzer Prize for historical past in 1956, Jonathan Edwards, Errand into the desert, American idea: Civil warfare to international conflict I, and the recent England brain: From Colony to Province.
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Extra resources for The New England Mind: From Colony to Province
For three years New England was held up to standards not of its own making, to the requirements of an imperial administration which had nothing to do with any sort of covenant. For the moment, New England THE JEREMIAD 59 could hardly pretend that it was a peculiar people. But in Apnl 1689, by revolution and violence, it overthrew Sir Edmund, broke up the "Dominion of New England," and setting up again the government of the charter (while awaiting news from Increase Mather, their agent in London), put itself once more under the dominion of the external covenant.
The ceremonial of the fast day-the whole town gathered in the church-inevitably centered upon the sermon. The ministers were, on these occasions more than on any other, the voice of the community, articulators of its awareness and spokesmen for its resolve to reform. They quickly devised a special kind of sermon for these convocations. Instinctively they responded to the demands of the situation: they arraigned sins that had caused the judgments, and pointed out what other terrors would descend THE JEREMIAD 29 unless repentance were forthcoming.
True, the promise of blessing was attached to performance, but the Puritan J ehovah , even when tied in a covenant, WaS still inscrutable. The principal effect of distinguishing the federal covenant as a separate transaction from the Covenant of Grace was not to assert that public prosperity could be earned whereas personal comes only by election, but merely to mark off the public realm from the private, and to specify the difference in the respective terms. " A communal thanksgiving, recognizing that felicity was a sign of divine favor, would therefore, in Bacon's phrase, create confidence and alacrity.