Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Puritans on "Heart Religion," No. 3

From Charles Hambrick-Stowe, The Practice of Piety, 53:

The Puritan's goal in preaching and in producing and using manuals with devotional aids was always to promote the individual practice of piety, which ultimately relied on no printed work save the Bible. The entire pastoral work of the clergy, and the most basic thrust of the Puritan movement iself, were aimed at the spiritual regeneeration of sinners through the means of worship and devotional activity. Personal religious experience was at the heart of Puritanism. Everything in church and state was intended to serve this primary end. And this end, in turn, was the means of establishing the new order, which was the vanguard of God's Kingdom itself.

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