Visible Saints: The History of a Puritan Idea
Through a richly detailed account of the genesis, flowering, and decline of the Puritan ideal of a church of the elect in England and America, Professor Morgan offers an important reinterpretation of a pivotal era in New England history.
Historians have generally supposed that the main outlines of the Puritan church were determined in England and Holland and transplanted to the new world. The author convincingly suggests, instead, that the distinguishing characteristic of the New England churches—the ideal of a church composed exclusively of true and tested saints—developed fully only in the 1630's and 1640's, some time after the first settlers arrived in New England. He also examines the influence of the Separatist colony at Plymouth on the later settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and follows the difficulties created by a definition of the religious community so selective that the New England churches nearly expired for lack of saints to fill them.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - dougshow - LibraryThing
I found this book very helpful in understanding early Puritanism in America. I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to study that era of American religious history. The two very helpful things about ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - karenmerguerian - LibraryThing
A very useful introduction to Puritan ideas and practices. First, Morgan argues that the Puritan church in New England was not a follower of the Puritan movement in England, but a leader in its ... Read full review