The seventeenth century colonists all respected the Bible. Both Puritans and Deists thought in God. However, how they perceived God in their own lives differed. While Puritans assumed God to be all encompassing taking the undoubtedly evilness of human being nature and conserving them through his grace; the Deist opinion deems that humans are inherently good and the decisions they make in the end impact their own fate. As shown in the writings of John Winthrop, Michael Wigglesworth, John Dane and Mary Rowlandson, Puritans believed in predestination and that God played an active role in their lives; whereas, Deist Benjamin Franklin believed that God enjoyed an inactive role in their daily lives and their fate was therefore left up to their own decisions.
Contradictory to the Deist perception, Puritans believe God has already chosen a course for the kids through predestination and they have no capacity to alter this path. As Wigglesworth discusses Gods grace for those he decides to save lots of he quotes a fresh Great britain minister, Thomas Shepard, who thought "your very best tasks are tainted, poisoned, and mingled with some sin, and therefore are most odious in the eyes of a holy God. Your good duties can not save you, yet your bad works will damn you" (Wigglesworth, 4). Wigglesworth, pursuing Puritan ideals, assumed that "good deeds cannot get anyone into heaven" (Wigglesworth, 4). Although God experienced predetermined the people who go to Heaven and who would go to Hell, it was impossible to know whether one was actually damned to Hell or not. This triggered the question of whether or not to do good stuff if one had been damned to Hell. Like a Puritan ideal, individuals were to exist by doing as much good as is possible. While Deists decided their own fate and could change it established after decisions they made, Puritans accepted the actual fact that folks were either chosen to be kept and go to Heaven or damned to Hell. In Puritanism "saved moms, fathers, husbands and siblings will be satisfied with the damnation with their relations" (Wigglesworth, 4). The Puritans were content in the fact that their God acquired chosen a path on their behalf that these were unable to alter and accepted that even some of their members of the family will be damned to Hell.
An clear difference between Puritan and Deist beliefs is the reason that God takes in one's life. The Puritans have confidence in an all encompassing God. All bad and the good things are acts of God and are not of a person's doing. On this belief both bad and the good things are seen in a good way; times of hardship are equally as rewarding as times of benevolence. Nearly all Mary Rowlandson's early life was resided in wealth, everything in perfect tranquility while others lived through "many trials and afflictions, in sickness, weakness, poverty, losses, crosses, and cares of the World" (Rowlandson, 8). During these times of bliss she sometimes wished that she would have her own trials and tribulations so that she'd know God was thinking about her. Then, as she got wished for, Mary Rowlandson experienced times of hardship. When she was captured and imprisoned for years by the Indians, she thought of this period as good for her. These problems proved Rowlandson to believe "when God telephone calls a person to any thing, and through never so many troubles, he is completely able to take them through, and make them see and say they are gainers therefore" (Rowlandson, 8). Instead of dreading times of adversity, Rowlandson noticed them as a feeling of caring. God cared enough to test her, using her times of attempting to bring her nearer to him. In recollection to be captured by the Indians and her imprisonment, Rowlandson says, "it is good for me that I have already been afflicted" (Rowlandson, 8). Without this vital event, she may haven't begun to seriously count on God as she did throughout this period. The Puritans presumed that bad and the good events in their lives were "taken by the providence of God" or as his abuse (Dane, 9). Dane thinks of the intervention God takes in his life and speaks of how there were many "wonderful, unspeakable, unsearchable mercies of the God that taketh health care of us whenever we take no health care of ourselves" (Dane, 8). Dane viewed the event where he was stung by way of a wasp as consequence from God because he did not regularly attend chapel on Sundays. Puritan opinion is the fact that everything is an act of God, signifying our activities are solely predicated on God's decisions, not of our very own ability to choose what is believed to be the best option. If God decides to save lots of someone, he'll save them because humans have no ability to save themselves.
The Deist Franklin's view of God's role in one's life is quite contradictory of this of the Puritans. Deism beliefs are that of God's inactive role with man. Corresponding to Franklin, God is the inventor of man but he will not interfere with every day decisions of humans. God grants or loans man free will and the capability to change one's fate centered upon his or her decisions. Deist Franklin thought the particular one works towards moral perfection through virtuous works. Consequently, he developed thirteen virtues that "at that time occurr'd to [him] as necessary or desirable" to accomplish moral perfection (Franklin, 12). Where Puritans looked to the Bible as a work of God with specific types of occurrences that God created in various people's lives, the Deists assumed the Bible to be "mostly fables", a collection of stories created to educate lessons and help others accomplish that moral excellence (Franklin, 6). To them the Bible was used as a guideline of ideals that are morally acceptable and how the alternatives one made influenced the results of his or her situation. Franklin attributed any bad or good event in his life to his own doing. He gauged his closeness to God structured upon his degree of success. He presumed that he previously achieve success because he had maintained his lifestyle near that of the thirteen virtues. In Deist values, God had not been thought of as person who made the ultimate decisions for a person but more so led people in the route in which was honorably suitable.
Deists believe humans had the capability to change their own fate. They have free will to make their own decisions and every action and good and bad situation was of their own doing. The procedure of reaching moral excellence is displayed through the thought of self-improvement. People have the ability to choose to raised oneself by wanting to imitate that of God. Franklin stated that in an effort to better oneself you need to "always be employ'd in something useful [and] cut off all unnecessary activities" (Franklin, 13). With the creation of Franklin's thirteen virtues(temperance, silence, order, quality, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, sanitation, tranquility, chastity and humility), Franklin got created his own journey and so long as he strove to accomplish these virtues, good would eventually him. Franklin, as well because so many Deists, believed that a person is taught right and wrong and then they are to make decisions based mostly after these ideals to finally decide his / her own fate. When Franklin speaks of his attempt at moral perfection he says that "I understood what was right and wrong, I did not see why I might not necessarily do the main one and steer clear of the other" (Franklin, 12). In Deist Franklin's notion of self-improvement it is unacceptable for you to be lethargic; when the first is unproductive he or she is not at his / her best. The lack of motivation or need to be improving oneself lessens their chances of heading to Heaven.
Rowlandson, Dane, Winthrop, Wigglesworth and Franklin use their first hands experiences to clarify the Puritan and Deist values of the 17th century. While the Puritans believed in predestination and every event that occurred in one's life was simply an act of God, the Deists assumed in the ability for one to make his / her own decisions and decide his / her fate. God was mixed up in everyday activities of Puritans; whereas, in Deism God is the originator not and prevalent in the everyday activities of man; he teaches right from wrong but leaves the ultimate decision of one's actions up too him or herself.