Hands folded together in prayer, eyes closed peacefully and the mind in deep thought; clearly this portrays that religion was regarded as a personal, inner experience in Puritanism. So how can we fathom the essence of Puritanism? The excessive involvement of the government in the religion resulted in a group of Protestants’ desire to “purify” the Church of England during Henry VIII’s rule thus the term Puritanism.
As religion was considered a personal experience, Puritans believed that the clergy and government could not perform as a mediator between the individual and God. In order to achieve a special connection with God, the Puritans resorted to simpler forms of worship and church organization which was described in the Christian Scriptures. (Beers and Odell 11). In addition, Puritanism comprised of a unique religious sensibility towards God by carrying out His commands with complete faith and fervor as everyone was born sinful through Adam and Eve’s sin of disobedience. Puritans respected God by being “good” but to be saved or damned was dilemma that every person grappled with.
Most of the humankind was damned because of Adam and Eve, however God sent his son Jesus Christ to Earth to save certain people. People wondered who would go to heaven (“saved” or “elect”) or who would go to hell (“damned” or “unregenerate”). Though it was not absolutely certain, there were two key indicators of the state of one’s soul: you were saved by the grace of God, and you could feel the grace approaching in a powerfully remote manner. One’s outward behavior reveals the inner arrival of God’s grace (Beers and Odell 12).
The Puritan beliefs...