Puritans are famous for being extremely critical about the political compromises during the reign of Elizabeth I and James I. They asked for several reforms and the abolition of bishops but it wasn’t grant because the church became repressive, so the puritans decided to emigrate in U.S.A. (Massachusetts) where they started a political revolution and development.
Many of them were graduated at Cambridge University and some of them became Anglican priests to make changes in the local church.
The theological roots of puritans are the continental reformed theology (John Wycliffe reform) and the native dissenting tradition.
The puritans encouraged:
- direct personal religious experience
- sincere moral conduct/ behaviour
- simple worship services.
Puritanism was based on four convictions:
1) Personal salvation was entirely/ totally in God.
2) The Bible provided the indispensable guide in men’s life (it was a point of reference)
4) The society was one unified whole
So they believed in the authority of the Scriptures (the supremely force of Bible) and they thought that the reconciliation with God come as a gift of his grace received by faith.
Puritans believed also in hard work, the base of an Anglo-Saxon’s idea: every man by working hard could reach success, that is a sign of God benevolence (a gift)--> Self-made man.
The hard work attitude was to be great value in the future development of a commercial and industrial England. The persisting influence of puritans is still be found in some features of the English characters and life style (self-made men, democracy…). Puritanism was one of the moving forces in the rise of English Parliament at the early 16th century/ Puritanism was a religious and political movement during the reign of Elizabeth I and James I.