Visible Saints: The History of a Puritan Idea

Front Cover
Cornell University Press, 1965 - History - 159 pages
0 Reviews

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.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The Ideal of a Pure Church
1
The Separatist Contribution 55
33
The New England System
64
The Halfway Covenant
113
Full Circle
139
INDEX
153
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1965)

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Edmund Morgan spent most of his youth in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was educated at the Belmont Hill School, Harvard, and the London School of Economics. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1942 and three years later began his teaching career at the University of Chicago.From there he moved first to Brown University and then to Yale, where he became Sterling Professor in 1965 and emeritus in 1986. Morgan's historical writings greatly enhance our understanding of such complex aspects of the American experience as Puritanism, the Revolution, and the relationship between slavery and racism. At the same time, they captivate readers in the classroom and beyond. His work is a felicitous blend of rigorous scholarship, imaginative analysis, and graceful presentation. Although sometimes characterized as the quintessential Whig historian, in reality Morgan transcends simplistic categorization and has done more, perhaps, than any other historian to open new and creative paths of inquiry into the meaning of the early American experience.

Bibliographic information