A City on a Hill - 1 Essay

Submitted By breezy569307
Words: 1549
Pages: 7

Throughout history America has always been placed on a throne where it is unique from all of the other countries, and that it has a world mission to spread democracy and peace. Due to the corruption of both religion and government in England, John Winthrop one of the early pilgrims, wanted to create a purified city where people could live by the laws of god and that everything would be perfect. “The city upon a hill” was how John described America in his own sermon The Model of Christian Clarity, making a reference to the Sermon in which Jesus addressed a large crowd "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:14-16). Although John Winthrop was politically successful at creating this “city on a hill” by forming a government and avoiding the way of the Church of England, there were religious flaws that did not allow the city to be as perfect as he wanted it to be. England at the time was undergoing a lot of corruption within the church system, and conflict was arising due to the new religious views against the Church of England. John Winthrop was enlightened by a growing religious group called the Puritans where they believed in not separating from the church, but to purify it and avoid sin even though they were going to. One of their beliefs was to focus on the individuals and to get rid of the remains of the Catholic Church such as its hierarchy of positions in the church. Winthrop’s idea of being a puritan involved living in a world where there was a “bond of love” where despite the religious diversity; love will unite all and help better the world. It also included that people would only think about god and that he had to come before anything because they had to serve him and do right in that life time and not in an afterlife. To try and change all of the corruption within the church, John was appointed as justice of the peace and continued to study law and later on became an attorney for the court of Wards and Liveries where he was exposed to the ongoing corruption of renting and selling misappropriated land to make a profit. John and fellow puritans who were also justices worked hard to enforce strict interpretations of the law to try and clean up England’s mess. Things turned for the worst when King Charles I came into power conflicting with the “purified” parliament’s actions and taking it into his own hands that puritans be removed from parliament, banning any puritan preaching’s in England, and arresting all those who disobeyed. “The foundations of learninge and religion are so corrupted…that most children even the best wittes and of fairest hopes, are perverted corrupted and utterly overthrowne by the multitude of evill examples and the licentious government of those seminaryes” (pg. 36). John was very displeased with all of the events occurring in England and felt that it was time for him to seek a purified city in the new world. John Winthrop and several other followers received a charter to start a colony in New England and named it the Massachusetts Bay Company. He wanted to create a city that served as a model for others “the eies of all people are upon us; soe that if wee shall deal falsely with our god in this worke wee have undertaken and soe cause him to withdrawe his present help from us, wee shall be made a story and a by-word through the world, wee shall open the mouthes of enemies to speake evill of the wayes of god and all professours for Gods sake; wee shall shame the faces of many of gods worthy servants, and cause theire prayers to be turned into Cursses upon us till wee be consumed out of the good land whither wee are goeing” (pg.64). Once they were able to sneak these plans by king, they voted John governor of