Winthrop Society Questions

In 300-400 words total address the following topics from your reading of Winthrop’s sermon:1) What role did the Puritan’s expect religion would play in the new world?2) How was society organized according to Winthrop’s world view?3) What were some of the expectations of Puritan leaders, like Winthrop, as they sailed toward the unknown?4) What is your impression of Winthrop’s leadership style and efficacy?MLA FORMAT!!!! Graded based on their breadth, scope, use of evidence, and coherence.ABSOLUTELY NO PLAGIARISM!! WILL BE TURNED IN ON TURNITIN.COM

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The Winthrop Society: Descendants of the Great Migration
1/9/18, 12(41 PM
A Model of Christian Charity
By Governor John Winthrop
Redacted and introduced by John Beardsley.
This is Winthrop’s most famous thesis, written on board the Arbella, 1630. We love to imagine the
occasion when he personally spoke this oration to some large portion of the Winthrop fleet passengers
during or just before their passage.
In an age not long past, when the Puritan founders were still respected by the educational
establishment, this was required reading in many courses of American history and literature.
However, it was often abridged to just the first and last few paragraphs. This left the overture of the
piece sounding unkind and fatalistic, and the finale rather sternly zealous. A common
misrepresentation of the Puritan character.
Winthrop’s genius was logical reasoning combined with a sympathetic nature. To remove this work’s
central arguments about love and relationships is to completely lose the sense of the whole. Therefore
we present it here in its well-balanced entirety. The biblical quotations are as Winthrop wrote them,
and remain sometimes at slight variance from the King James version. This editor has corrected the
chapter and verse citations to correspond to the King James text, assuming that the modern reader
will wish to conveniently refer to that most popular English version of the Bible, as the Governor lays
out his argument for charity and decent human behavior in the community.
Winthrop’s intent was to prepare the people for planting a new society in a perilous environment, but
his practical wisdom is timeless.
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OD ALMIGHTY in His most holy and wise providence, hath so
disposed of the condition of mankind, as in all times some must be
rich, some poor, some high and eminent in power and dignity;
others mean and in submission.
The Reason hereof:
1st Reason.
First to hold conformity with the rest of His world, being delighted to
show forth the glory of his wisdom in the variety and difference of the
creatures, and the glory of His power in ordering all these differences
for the preservation and good of the whole, and the glory of His
greatness, that as it is the glory of princes to have many officers, so
this great king will have many stewards, counting himself more
honored in dispensing his gifts to man by man, than if he did it by his
own immediate hands.
2nd Reason.
Secondly, that He might have the more occasion to manifest the work
of his Spirit: first upon the wicked in moderating and restraining them,
so that the rich and mighty should not eat up the poor, nor the poor
and despised rise up against and shake off their yoke. Secondly, in the
regenerate, in exercising His graces in them, as in the great ones, their
love, mercy, gentleness, temperance etc., and in the poor and inferior
sort, their faith, patience, obedience etc.
3rd Reason.
Thirdly, that every man might have need of others, and from hence
they might be all knit more nearly together in the bonds of brotherly
affection. From hence it appears plainly that no man is made more
honorable than another or more wealthy etc., out of any particular and
singular respect to himself, but for the glory of his Creator and the
common good of the creature, Man. Therefore God still reserves the
property of these gifts to Himself as Ezek. 16:17, He there calls
wealth, His gold and His silver, and Prov. 3:9, He claims their service
as His due, “Honor the Lord with thy riches,” etc. — All men being
thus (by divine providence) ranked into two sorts, rich and poor; under
the first are comprehended all such as are able to live comfortably by
their own means duly improved; and all others are poor according to
the former distribution.
There are two rules whereby we are to walk one towards another: Justice and
Mercy. These are always distinguished in their act and in their object, yet may they
both concur in the same subject in each respect; as sometimes there may be an
occasion of showing mercy to a rich man in some sudden danger or distress, and
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also doing of mere justice to a poor man in regard of some particular contract, etc.
There is likewise a double Law by which we are regulated in our conversation
towards another. In both the former respects, the Law of Nature and the Law of
Grace (that is, the moral law or the law of the gospel) to omit the rule of justice as
not properly belonging to this purpose otherwise than it may fall into consideration
in some particular cases. By the first of these laws, Man as he was enabled so
withal is commanded to love his neighbor as himself. Upon this ground stands all
the precepts of the moral law, which concerns our dealings with men. To apply this
to the works of mercy, this law requires two things. First, that every man afford his
help to another in every want or distress.
Secondly, that he perform this out of the same affection which makes him careful
of his own goods, according to the words of our Savior (from Matthew 7:12),
whatsoever ye would that men should do to you. This was practiced by Abraham
and Lot in entertaining the angels and the old man of Gibea. The law of Grace or
of the Gospel hath some difference from the former (the law of nature), as in these
respects: First, the law of nature was given to Man in the estate of innocence. This
of the Gospel in the estate of regeneracy. Secondly, the former propounds one man
to another, as the same flesh and image of God. This as a brother in Christ also,
and in the communion of the same Spirit, and so teacheth to put a difference
between Christians and others. Do good to all, especially to the household of faith.
Upon this ground the Israelites were to put a difference between the brethren of
such as were strangers, though not of the Canaanites.
Thirdly, the Law of Nature would give no rules for dealing with enemies, for all
are to be considered as friends in the state of innocence, but the Gospel commands
love to an enemy. Proof: If thine enemy hunger, feed him; “Love your enemies…
Do good to them that hate you” (Matt. 5:44).
This law of the Gospel propounds likewise a difference of seasons and occasions.
There is a time when a Christian must sell all and give to the poor, as they did in
the Apostles’ times. There is a time also when Christians (though they give not all
yet) must give beyond their ability, as they of Macedonia (2 Cor. 8). Likewise,
community of perils calls for extraordinary liberality, and so doth community in
some special service for the church.
Lastly, when there is no other means whereby our Christian brother may be
relieved in his distress, we must help him beyond our ability rather than tempt God
in putting him upon help by miraculous or extraordinary means. This duty of
mercy is exercised in the kinds: giving, lending and forgiving (of a debt).
Question: What rule shall a man observe in giving in respect of the measure?
If the time and occasion be ordinary he is to give out of his abundance.
Let him lay aside as God hath blessed him. If the time and occasion be
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extraordinary, he must be ruled by them; taking this withal, that then a
man cannot likely do too much, especially if he may leave himself and
his family under probable means of comfortable subsistence.
A man must lay up for posterity, the fathers lay up for posterity and
children, and he is worse than an infidel that provideth not for his own.
For the first, it is plain that it being spoken by way of comparison, it
must be meant of the ordinary and usual course of fathers, and cannot
extend to times and occasions extraordinary. For the other place the
Apostle speaks against such as walked inordinately, and it is without
question, that he is worse than an infidel who through his own sloth
and voluptuousness shall neglect to provide for his family.
“The wise man’s eyes are in his head,” saith Solomon, “and foreseeth
the plague;” therefore he must forecast and lay up against evil times
when he or his may stand in need of all he can gather.
This very Argument Solomon useth to persuade to liberality (Eccle.
11), “Cast thy bread upon the waters…for thou knowest not what evil
may come upon the land.” Luke 16:9, “Make you friends of the riches
of iniquity…” You will ask how this shall be? Very well. For first he
that gives to the poor, lends to the Lord and He will repay him even in
this life an hundredfold to him or his. The righteous is ever merciful
and lendeth, and his seed enjoyeth the blessing; and besides we know
what advantage it will be to us in the day of account when many such
witnesses shall stand forth for us to witness the improvement of our
talent. And I would know of those who plead so much for laying up
for time to come, whether they hold that to be Gospel Matthew 6:19,
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,” etc. If they
acknowledge it, what extent will they allow it? If only to those
primitive times, let them consider the reason whereupon our Savior
grounds it. The first is that they are subject to the moth, the rust, the
thief. Secondly, they will steal away the heart: “where the treasure is
there will your heart be also.”
The reasons are of like force at all times. Therefore the exhortation must be general
and perpetual, with always in respect of the love and affection to riches and in
regard of the things themselves when any special service for the church or
particular distress of our brother do call for the use of them; otherwise it is not only
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lawful but necessary to lay up as Joseph did to have ready upon such occasions, as
the Lord (whose stewards we are of them) shall call for them from us. Christ gives
us an instance of the first, when he sent his disciples for the donkey, and bids them
answer the owner thus, “the Lord hath need of him.” So when the Tabernacle was
to be built, He sends to His people to call for their silver and gold, etc., and yields
no other reason but that it was for His work. When Elisha comes to the widow of
Sareptah and finds her preparing to make ready her pittance for herself and family,
he bids her first provide for him, he challenges first God’s part which she must first
give before she must serve her own family. All these teach us that the Lord looks
that when He is pleased to call for His right in any thing we have, our own interest
we have must stand aside till His turn be served. For the other, we need look no
further then to that of 1 John 3:17, “He who hath this world’s goods and seeth his
brother to need and shuts up his compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of
God in him?” Which comes punctually to this conclusion: If thy brother be in want
and thou canst help him, thou needst not make doubt of what thou shouldst do; if
thou lovest God thou must help him.
Question: What rule must we observe in lending?
Thou must observe whether thy brother hath present or probable or
possible means of repaying thee, if there be none of those, thou must
give him according to his necessity, rather then lend him as he requires
(requests). If he hath present means of repaying thee, thou art to look
at him not as an act of mercy, but by way of commerce, wherein thou
art to walk by the rule of justice; but if his means of repaying thee be
only probable or possible, then he is an object of thy mercy, thou must
lend him, though there be danger of losing it. (Deut. 15:7-8): “If any
of thy brethren be poor … thou shalt lend him sufficient.” That men
might not shift off this duty by the apparent hazard, He tells them that
though the year of Jubilee were at hand (when he must remit it, if he
were not able to repay it before), yet he must lend him, and that
cheerfully. It may not grieve thee to give him, saith He. And because
some might object, why so I should soon impoverish myself and my
family, he adds, with all thy work, etc., for our Savior said (Matt.
5:42), “From him that would borrow of thee turn not away.”
Question: What rule must we observe in forgiving (a debt)?
Whether thou didst lend by way of commerce or in mercy, if he hath
nothing to pay thee, thou must forgive, (except in cause where thou
hast a surety or a lawful pledge). Deut. 15:1-2 — Every seventh year
the creditor was to quit that which he lent to his brother if he were
poor, as appears in verse 4. “Save when there shall be no poor with
thee.” In all these and like cases, Christ gives a general rule (Matt.
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7:12), “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye the
same to them.”
Question: What rule must we observe and walk by in cause of community of peril?
The same as before, but with more enlargement towards others and
less respect towards ourselves and our own right. Hence it was that in
the primitive Church they sold all, had all things in common, neither
did any man say that which he possessed was his own. Likewise in
their return out of the captivity, because the work was great for the
restoring of the church and the danger of enemies was common to all,
Nehemiah directs the Jews to liberality and readiness in remitting their
debts to their brethren, and disposing liberally to such as wanted, and
stand not upon their own dues which they might have demanded of
them. Thus did some of our forefathers in times of persecution in
England, and so did many of the faithful of other churches, whereof
we keep an honorable remembrance of them; and it is to be observed
that both in Scriptures and latter stories of the churches that such as
have been most bountiful to the poor saints, especially in those
extraordinary times and occasions, God hath left them highly
commended to posterity, as Zaccheus, Cornelius, Dorcas, Bishop
Hooper, the Cutler of Brussels and divers others. Observe again that
the Scripture gives no caution to restrain any from being over liberal
this way; but all men to the liberal and cheerful practice hereof by the
sweeter promises; as to instance one for many (Isaiah 58:6-9) “Is not
this the fast I have chosen to loose the bonds of wickedness, to take
off the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free and to break every
yoke … to deal thy bread to the hungry and to bring the poor that
wander into thy house, when thou seest the naked to cover them … and
then shall thy light brake forth as the morning and thy health shall
grow speedily, thy righteousness shall go before God, and the glory of
the Lord shalt embrace thee; then thou shall call and the Lord shall
answer thee,” etc. And from Ch. 2:10 (??) “If thou pour out thy soul to
the hungry, then shall thy light spring out in darkness, and the Lord
shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in draught, and make
fat thy bones, thou shalt be like a watered garden, and they shalt be of
thee that shall build the old waste places,” etc. On the contrary most
heavy curses are laid upon such as are straightened towards the Lord
and his people (Judg. 5:23), “Curse ye Meroshe … because they came
not to help the Lord.” He who shutteth his ears from hearing the cry of
the poor, he shall cry and shall not be heard.” (Matt. 25) “Go ye cursed
into everlasting fire,” etc. “I was hungry and ye fed me not.” (2 Cor.
9:6) “He that soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly.”
Having already set forth the practice of mercy according to the rule of God’s law, it
will be useful to lay open the grounds of it also, being the other part of the
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Commandment and that is the affection from which this exercise of mercy must
arise, the Apostle tells us that this love is the fulfilling of the law, not that it is
enough to love our brother and so no further; but in regard of the excellency of his
parts giving any motion to the other as the soul to the body and the power it hath to
set all the faculties at work in the outward exercise of this duty; as when we bid
one make the clock strike, he doth not lay hand on the hammer, which is the
immediate instrument of the sound, but sets on work the first mover or main wheel;
knowing that will certainly produce the sound which he intends. So the way to
draw men to the works of mercy, is not by force of Argument from the goodness or
necessity of the work; for though this cause may enforce, a rational mind to some
present act of mercy, as is frequent in experience, yet it cannot work such a habit in
a soul, as shall make it prompt upon all occasions to produce the same effect, but
by framing these affections of love in the heart which will as naturally bring forth
the other, as any cause doth produce the effect.
The definition which the Scripture gives us of love is this: Love is the bond of
perfection. First it is a bond or ligament. Secondly, it makes the work perfect.
There is no body but consists of parts and that which knits these parts together,
gives the body its perfection, because it makes each part so contiguous to others as
thereby they do mutually participate with each other, both in strength and infirmity,
in pleasure and pain. To instance in the most perfect of all bodies: Christ and his
Church make one body. The several parts of this body considered a part before
they were united, were as disproportionate and as much disordering as so many
contrary qualities or elements, but when Christ comes, and by his spirit and love
knits all these parts to himself and each to other, it is become the most perfect and
best proportioned body in the world (Eph. 4:15-16). Christ, by whom all the body
being knit together by every joint for the furniture thereof, according to the
effectual power which is in the measure of every perfection of parts, a glorious
body without spot or wrinkle; the ligaments hereof being Christ, or his love, for
Christ is love (1 John 4:8). So this definition is right. Love is the bond of
From hence we may frame these conclusions:
First of all, true Christians are of one body in Christ (1 Cor. 12). Ye are the body of
Christ and members of their part. All the parts of this body being thus united are
made so contiguous in a special relation as they must needs partake of each other’s
strength and infirmity; joy and sorrow, weal and woe. If one member suffers, all
suffer with it, if one be in honor, all rejoice with it.
Secondly, the ligaments of this body which knit together are love.
Thirdly, no body can be perfect which wants its proper ligament.
Fourthly, All the parts of this body being thus united are made so contiguous in a
special relation as they must needs partake of each other’s strength and infirmity,
joy and sorrow, weal and woe. (1 Cor. 12:26) If one member suffers, all suffer with
it; if one be in honor, all rejoice with it.
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Fifthly, this sensitivity and sympathy of each other’s conditions will necessarily
infuse into each part a native desire and endeavor, to strengthen, defend, preserve
and comfort the other. To insist a little on this conclusion being the product of all
the former, the truth hereof will appear both by precept and pattern. 1 John 3:16,
“We ought to lay down our lives for the br …
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