Clergy and The Church

Puritans did not set out to improve their economic situations. They were on a religious mission and left England in order to escape from religious oppression.

The Beliefs of the Church

Puritan Priests
*The Puritans believed a covenant, or agreement, existed between God and humans. God gave his first humans, Adam and Eve, the utopia that was The Garden of Eden as long as they avoided the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge.

*Because the humans disobeyed God, He changed Eden into a partial image of the once beautiful place it was.

*According to the Puritans, everyone became evil after this event, which is called the Fall. The only way one can be saved is if God chose them. His choice was predetermined and set in stone since the beginning of time.

Puritan Church
A view of a Puritan church.

*The Church had assigned seats and was divided into a male and female section.

*The Puritans created on oath, which was the first paper to be printed in the New World and was established in Massachusetts in 1634. It stated that the Puritans had to obey God, and the laws, and preserve liberties; it forbade them to plot against such laws or against their religion.

*Taxes were created to support churches and the clergy.

*Government had to approve the organization of new churches.

Church/Clergy and Government

*In England, church and government collided. However, Puritans wanted to seperate the two.

*Church was headed by a king in England, but in Massachusetts Bay, the clergy could not be involved in government and state could only handle community problems.

*Furthermore, English kings could remove clergymen from office. In Massachusetts Bay, the clergy could be imprisoned, but not removed by the government.

*Politicians in England could be removed by the church if nessesary, unlike in Massachusetts, where politicians could not lose their rights to hold office, but could lose their church privileges.

*Harvard College was founded in 1636 in order to train new ministers.

Puritan Beliefs

*God had created both church and government.

*Puritans thought the government should force people to believe in Puritanism.

*Church attendance was mandatory.

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