January 14, 2018
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This paragraph was interesting to me because of how love among Christians is framed. From what I understood of this reading, Winthrop is advocating for love among all Christians, love for your neighbors and your enemies, and love even for those who have sinned. However, throughout the rest of the reading, there are several examples, including Mrs. Hutchinson, where differences in opinion led to her being banished and excommunicated from the church. Mrs. Hutchinson was still a Christian, but due to her different opinion about this church, she was an exile in the community. This directly contradicts the teachings in this paragraph, especially where “love among Christians” ties in.
I have to say i completely agree with what you are pointing out about how it contradicts the teaching, or preaching for that matter, of the loving everyone. Earlier in the reading Winthrop mentions the two rules being Justice and Mercy. Where was the mercy for Mrs. Hutchinson? Did they community forget compassion and mercy all together and just jump straight to justice all over a matter in difference of opinion? What happened to “do good to all”?
Data Visualization for Winthrop’s Model of Christian Charity.
I feel as though there is a lot of ‘American Exceptionalism’ in this sermon, especially when Winthrop is explaining how there are different types of men: rich, poor, high in power and dignity, and mean and in submission. His first reason is that men are God’s stewards and will distribute God’s gifts to each other. This gives me the impression that those traveling to America were the men that were ‘higher’ up and who were responsible for dispersing their gifts (that God had given them) to those who are living in America or the Native Americans.
This section stood out to me particularly because you can see that the true message of the Christian faith and the purpose of evangelism stemmed from an honest concern for those who didn’t believe it – much like anyone else today would earnestly try to convince someone of an idea that they believe is true. “All are to be considered as friends in the state of innocency…” It is sad to see the honesty of this message so easily compromised by power-hungry and controlling authorities at this time, which turned something that could have been peaceful and just into a subversion of the truth which resulted in so much pain, bloodshed and horrendous injustice. I wonder what would have changed in the settling of America if true Christian ideals and values had actually been put into practice instead of hypocritically claimed and subsequently ignored.
This paragraph goes along with our class discussion about John Smith’s writings that pertain to Biblical scripture and the “golden rule.” Do unto others as you would want to be done on yourself. Also, to work hard and to see good for your hard work. This plays into the idea of promise and prosperity, a fresh beginning and a new start in this “New World.” The hopes of bringing godliness and moral standards along with the Bible are hindered by human imperfection and greed. The law of nature and grace is another example of hopeful prosperity and a chance for a new “garden of Eden” away from the sins of Europe. They refer to Abraham and Lot, both men who took up their sinful home to live away from the comforts in order to do God’s will. The end of the paragraph, though, seemingly backtracks on this idea by referring to the Christian faith making a difference between Christians and non-Christians, seemingly going against the ideals that all men are equal.
Jessica, you make many excellent points about this paragraph, specifically in regard to their hopes and plans for the New World. I was particularly drawn to Winthrop’s statement that “all men being thus (by divine providence) ranked into two sorts, rich and poor” (207). He doesn’t necessarily believe that all men are equal; he believes that all men are created the way God intended them for the common good. All men should be treated with mercy and assistance per God’s instruction for people to love their enemies. This again refers to the golden rule: treat others how you wish to be treated. So, even though they drew a distinction between Christians and non-Christians, they still believed that non-Christians needed to be treated with courtesy.
This paragraph really stood out to me as rather touching. If I’m interpreting it correctly, this paragraph is saying a Christian must be generous and selfless. They say that “…a christian must sell all and give to the poor” and that if a christian brother is in distress, “we must help him beyond our ability…” It seems that as a congregation, the church stands together. They seem to help one another out in times of need, or to provide a support system for those in need of it most. It’s cool to see how that hasn’t changed through all the years. Most congregations today still serve as a support system for individuals in distressed situations. When I think of the English, their sense of entitlement often vexes me, but it was nice to see here that their intentions toward others were good, and that they ultimately strived to help those who needed it.
I agree with your thoughts on this part. The importance of the entire piece is to stress charity, (hence the title). I find that the piece becomes even more profound when it gives the examples in the bible. For those that were firm believes in this gospel would have found it even more outstanding because it gave them textual examples of the people they followed and knew of.
[but if wee shall neglect the observation of these articles which are the ends wee have propounded, and, dissembling with our God, shall fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our carnall intentions, seeking greate things for ourselves and our posterity, the Lord will surely breake out in wrathe against us; be revenged of such a [sinful] people and make us knowe the price of the breache of such a covenant.]
I understand that religion was of high importance during this time. I understand that this is a sermon that was meant to be read aloud and inspire the audience to remain a servant of God, and the end goal was religious success (pertaining to the Non-Conformist ideals) in New England. I also see something here that I still see today: fear as motivation. Winthrop is discussing love, loyalty, brotherhood and community through the entirety of this sermon; and now he uses fear to instill those values onto his audience.
I agree with your interpretation, It does seem as if the passage is actively voicing that as Christians they must give back to the poor. There comes a time for them to be a helping hand and give all they have to better the other. I also feel as if Winthrop take a small jab at those “Christians” who aren’t too fond of the idea of giving back as he notes,”There is a time allsoe when christians (though they give not all yet) must give beyond their abillity, ” The idea behind this is very inspiration but I can’t help but think many others didn’t see it his way hence the conflict between setters and the conflict between religions later on in Americas early years.
[For wee must consider that wee shall be as a citty upon a hill. The eies of all people are uppon us.]
This passage heavily features American exceptionalism. By mentioning that they will be a “city upon a hill”, Winthrop has placed himself and his group above all others. Further down, he mentions that they have undertaken God’s work in this New World. This to me means that Winthrop has declared that the mission of his group is one that must be delivered in order to better the “savages” and other settlers in the New World. Through his words he has elevated the status and importance of the purpose of his voyage to Massachusetts Bay.
I agree with your point on this and I think that it is evident in the reasons why they came to America. To them they are the chosen ones by God. I think it is interesting to see their views on their religion and their place in it.
I think you make an excellent point here, and I have to say that I agree fully with your comment. As is the case in many forms of organized religion, these all encompassing statements such as “That which the most in theire churches mainetaine as truthe in profession onely, wee must bring into familiar and constant pactise; as in this duty of loue, wee must loue brotherly without dissimulation, wee must loue one another with a pure hearte fervently” are undercut with these fear inducing motivators that do little to reinforce the messages of love. Instead of encouraging a sense of community and togetherness, sermon’s like Winthrop’s tend to breed doubt and mistrust within the targeted spiritual group. From fear of God’s reprisal due to their “brethren’s” lack of piety, constancy etc. an unhealthy dynamic forms and does more harm than good.
I agree with you about this passage. He does place himself and the group above others. I also agree with you whole heartedly that when he mentions that they have undertaken God’s work in the New World, he is saying that they must help the “savages” and the other settlers of the New World become better.
Actually historians disagree about the meaning of the “city upon a hill” reference. It is indeed easily associated with American exceptionalism, and its invocation in political and cultural utterances to this day typically involve appeals to claims regarding a unique mission and status occupied by the United States. But looking closely at the passage, we see content suggesting that Winthrop is perhaps more concerned about the consequences of failure than about the perceived eminence of the colony at that point in time. “All eyes are upon us,” he says, and our failure will discredit not only ourselves but our beliefs and and our doctrines. In this sense, the message is not “Look at how great we are.” It’s “Don’t screw this up!”
This is pretty interesting that historians disagree about the “city upon a hill” section. I remember first learning about this text in the 200 level American literature classes, but I can’t remember what interpretation of this paragraph was taught. I see this section less as an American exceptionalism type thing (although it has probably had an influence on what would eventually become the United States) and more as a plea to not “… screw this up!” as you said. I think the odd comparison I would make with this line is to the eventual settlement of humans on other planets. I could imagine a speech like this being used to help the settlers to be inspired, mostly because the failure of my hypothetical settlement on other planets, and the failure of the group in the text, would lead to problems for the betterment of the whole of the respective civilizations.
When reading through this I got kind of upset. As stated in the fourth paragraph some must be rich, some poor etc. However, this paragraph is saying that the rich can’t “eate upp on the poor”, which I took for taking advantage of the poor and their issues to further their own power. This part is fine, the next part, however, says “nor the poore and dispised rise upp against and shake off theire yoake.” This part upset me, personally I saw it as the poor must stay poor to keep things in line, and how god attended. Saying the poor must only be obedient to the ones in power as in the “grate ones”.
Reading this paragraph makes me think of today’s relationships. This passage continuously refers to how those who birth must love those they birthed, how they care, and would do anything for them because they resemble each other. They protect their own and are happy to see them grow, find joy being near them. This make me think about how now mothers and fathers ignore their children and neglect them for their own selfish reasons. Are annoyed as their children grow. An opposite to what was told in this paragraph.
This paragraph also makes me think about friendships. One little thing can cause the formation of a deep friendship. In these friendships a friend might be willing to do any and everything for their close friend. Often our closest friends are not welcomed by our families, just as Jonathan’s father did not welcome David. Some friendships prevail over familiar ties.
[When he gave Saule a commission to destroy Amaleck, Hee indented with him upon certain articles, and because hee failed in one of the least, and that upon a faire pretense, it lost him the kingdom, which should have beene his reward, if hee had observed his commission.]
This section presents a different idea from the one we’ve been discussing in class, the idea of Divine Sponsorship. Where before we were reading accounts that show the beginning beliefs that God was rewarding the colonists or at least favored them over the natives, we now get an idea of God only rewarding if the the faith of the person is, more or less, enough. And that reward has fairly heavy conditions set upon it as well as very strict observance of the rules as determined by the Scripture. Or at least someone’s interpretation of the Scripture.
Following a detailed sermon that promotes love and charity, Winthrop transitions to language of “commission” and “strict performance”, where performing the duties prescribed to them comes with reward, but failing to perform will bring a “wrath against” them. This may address the question, “so what?” for those who need more motivation than being a blessed servant, with ultimate love as a compass, to follow the path that Winthrop implores them to take. Claiming that God is a jealous God is also used here, a concept that certainly persists today, where setting up altars leads to judgement and destruction. It seems that Winthrop attempts to use fear tactics to instill how important following scripture is for the prosperity of the individual and more to the whole of the community in its success in religious pursuit.
Mikaela, I felt the same way when I read this passage. These values that the passage speaks to should have been followed. History has shown that power has overcome any type of moral grounds and led to horrendous events. Although Christian’s in these days claim to follow the bible and listen to the word of God, it is evident that they did not love their enemies but made them as slaves or killed them to make room for their own people. Your final comment has me thinking too, it is an interesting thing to ponder on.
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January 18, 2018 at 10:12 am
See in context
January 17, 2018 at 11:35 pm
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April 30, 2018 at 10:35 pm
In Charles Brockden Brown’s article, “The Difference between History and Romance” he writes about the novel, Wieland, and the relationship that the novel has between history and romance. He explains how history and romance are intertwined and how imperfections of man are part of our future, present, and past. In this paragraph, Clara is overtaken by her senses of this man, “I count among the most extraordinary incidents of my life”. Clara is an irrational character taken over by romantic ideas. Her history and her future are based on her emotional decisions. There is no separation between the two. Brockden Brown writes, “when busy in assigning motives to actions, are not historians but romancers.” Which relates directly to what is happening to Clara in this passage. When talking about history, it is the “noting and recording of the actions of men” which I think is very important because mankind is often if not always driven by passion and emotion. This also plays well with the strong theme of passion and emotion that is current throughout Wieland and all the characters.
Barnard, Philip, and Stephen Shapiro, editors. “The Difference Between History and Romance.” Wieland or the Transformation, with Related Texts, by Charles Brockden Brown, Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2009, pp. 195–198.
April 27, 2018 at 11:10 pm
This passage is very focused on individualism, Franklin seems to be looking at the better things in his life instead of focusing on the negative. He doesn’t dwell on the idea that he wish he lived life without committing fault instead he touches on it and shifts into how he’s basically glad with how he’s lived life. In “Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the Education of America.” Steven Forde presents the idea that Franklin Autobiography should be used as a model of developing good character and morals. Franklin states, “conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection”, but soon realizes that he had, “undertaken a task of more difficulty than he had imagined.” Forde believes, “each of the loopholes… is deliberate”. The loopholes represent another idea, that being that when striving for greater morality the individual must also take all aspects of life in consideration and be reasonable. Forbes introduces another idea, “If Franklin had viewed virtue more strictly, he might have been forced to give up on it”.
Forde, Steven. “Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the Education of America.” The American Political Science Review, vol. 86, no. 2, 1992, pp. 357–368. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1964225.
April 27, 2018 at 4:40 pm
In her article “What’s Wrong With Charlotte Temple” Marion Rust addresses Charlotte’s passions as well as her inability to make decisions and relates it to her overall fall from her position in society. Rust uses this paragraph as an example of Charlotte’s indecisiveness. Here it is exemplified that Charlotte can’t even make a simple decision on her own. She has to reach out to her mentor in order to decide what to even do with something as simple as a written letter. Rust catapults off this point by claiming that Charlotte’s future will continue to be unguided and spiral downward farther than she already has. Rust bases this claim on the idea that Charlotte will not be able to support herself because she is always looking to some one outside herself to guide her through obstacles.
Rust, Marion. “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple?”.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1, 2003, pp. 99–118. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3491497.
April 27, 2018 at 4:16 pm
Andrew Scheiber’s article “The Arm Lifted against Me”: Love, Terror and the Construction of Gender in “Wieland” explores Clara’s gendered role in Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland. Scheiber points to patterns of Clara’s marginalization and enclosure throughout the story, specifically in relation to her role in the context of the familial structure of the story’s plot. Scheiber explains that, “though the Age of Reason invites her to identify herself with the life of the mind, Clara is barred by her womanhood from fully achieving such an identification, since the gender ideology of the times defines the intellect as secondary rather than primary, to the essence of “feminine” nature” (Schieber 178) which is an interesting perspective considering the emphasis on reason and intellect throughout the story, and the fact that Clara is the primary protagonist of the story. Schieber claims that when Clara questions the audience, “was I not likewise transformed from rational and human into a creature of nameless and fearful attributes” (Brown 137) that she is exposing her “self-condemnation” that is born out of the gendered system that relates “rational” and “human” on the masculine side of gender axis, and the negation of those qualities to the feminine side of the axis.
Brown, Charles Brockden, Philip Barnard, and Stephen Shapiro. Wieland ; or the Transformation. An American Tale with Related Texts. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2009. Print.
Scheiber, Andrew J. “‘The Arm Lifted against Me’: Love, Terror, and the Construction of Gender in ‘Wieland.’” Early American Literature, vol. 26, no. 2, 1991, pp. 173–194.
April 27, 2018 at 4:07 pm
In his article, entitled ‘Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture’, scholar Robert A. Ferguson examines the character of Rip Van Winkle in depth and identifies some of the key flaws that keep this iconic figure of early American Folklore in conversation to this day. One of the flaws identified in Ferguson’s article is the issue of drink, which is brought up in the selected paragraph. Ferguson argues that Rip’s problems with being a “naturally thirsty soul” can be attributed to and explain his lack of success in life: “Habitual drinking keeps him from the steady application that every good farm requires” (533). This explanation of Rip’s tendency to ‘bum around’ aligns to the events of the story, as well as illuminating a reason why he continues to be a influential character in American literature. According to Ferguson, “We value Rip most of all because we find something of our own foibles in him, not because we worry about drink or because we fear an encounter with Heinrich Hudson when we enter the Kaatskill Mountains. Rip’s faults…are our own bad habits carried to extremes. Irving keeps to the lighter side of these extremes” (533-534). Through the relatable aspects and complexities of Rip’s character, readers throughout the years are enabled, through Irving’s lighthearted storytelling, to return to this original American folktale with as timeless a perspective as the readers who scanned the first print-warmed lines of this work.
Ferguson, Robert A. “Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture.” Early American Literature, vol. 40, no. 3, 2005, pp. 529–544. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25057421.
April 27, 2018 at 3:46 pm
In “Charlotte Temple and the End of Epistolarity” by Blythe Forcey, it is said that the motherly affection of the narrator is what really makes this story relatable. I found this article to be interesting because I think that it very true. I think the way that the narrator acts in a motherly way really helps the story along. Forcey states, “Early American readers were able, as they read this novel, to live through a nightmare of dislocation, alienation, and abandonment that mapped their worst fears. But, guided by the careful and caring narrative of Mrs. Rowson, they emerged safe and unscathed, with all troubling ambiguities and terrors temporarily put to rest” (227-228). I think this is a very important quote because it makes you, as the reader, realize just how good of an author Susana Rowson truly was. To be able to make her readers feel safe even during a scary time, all due to the way this story is narrated. Forcey also states, “The motherly character of Rowson’s narrative voice is evident from her first addresses to the reader… Thus she offers, quite explicitly, to stand in for those ‘natural friends’ that the reader might have lost and to protect them from the horrors of the world” (228). I think this is a very important statement as well. Forcey makes it clear that even from the very first sentence of this story, Susana Rowson manages to take our hand and make us feel safe.
Forcey, Blythe. “Charlotte Temple and the End of Epistolarity.” American Literature, vol. 63, no. 2, 1991, pp. 225–241. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2927163.
April 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm
I also really loved this line. The Earth is the beginning and the end of the cycle of life, and that gets so overlooked in our day to day struggles. Nature and death are like you said, both important parts of the cycle of life. The connection being made in these two lines applies to most of what we have studied through the semester in this class. Even the puritans had themes of nature as a part of their beliefs. Nature and death are the two things that connect humanity because no human on Earth can avoid either one of these things. We will all die and become a part of nature once more, because that is how we began the cycle.
April 27, 2018 at 3:12 pm
Within this passage, we witness the first instance of Charlotte beginning to distrust her own instincts. While at the party she was led to believe would be fun and entertaining, she realizes that being obedient and staying home would have been better than sneaking out with La Rue. As the story progresses we see Charlotte trust those instincts less and, according to Marion Rust’s article “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple'”, her behavior becomes increasingly described as some “form of collapse, in which her future direction is determined by nothing more deliberate than her center of gravity.” This continual falling down that Charlotte experiences effectively acts to demonstrate Rowson’s commentary on the unreliability of young women’s own moral character and how they are insufficiently able to stand up to the force of external moral corruption.
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Rust, Marion. “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple?”.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1, 2003, pp. 99–118.
April 27, 2018 at 2:25 pm
Throughout her essay, “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself”, Cath N. Davidson expresses the aspects which make the text so significant. She explains the strength of emotion that is brought because the narrative is told from Equiano himself. She also expresses that the non-traditional storytelling is what makes it interesting and evokes emotion throughout. Davidson ultimately points out that, “Many aspects of the text make it significant, but especially impressive is it expansive reach” (19). His story is told in many parts of the world and allows readers to feel this narrative from place to place based on his narrating abilities. For example, Equiano himself states “in the preceding chapter I have set before the reader a few of those many instances of oppression, extortion, and cruelty, which I have been a witness to in the West Indies”. As readers have been taken from place to place Equiano stops to show the places he’s been and the things he’s seen. Davidson also points out the emotion-evoking tones and voice used by Equiano. Addressing the many aspects of the text Davidson writes, The text combines (in unequal parts) slave narrative, sea yarn, military adventure, ethnographic reportage, historical fiction, travelogue, picaresque saga, sentimental novel, allegory, tall tale, pastoral origins myth, gothic romance, conversion tale, and abolitionist tract, with different features coming to the fore at different times, and the mood vacillating accordingly” (20). His slave trade journey was terrible and cruel; as readers see Equiano journey from place to place they empathize with him more and begin to realize the terrible conditions in which he was under. The narrative of Equiano become more and more effective for readers because of the places Equiano takes us and the voice he uses to evoke that emotion out of readers.
Davidson, Cathy N. “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, vol. 40, no. 1/2, 2006, pp. 18–51. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/40267683.
April 27, 2018 at 1:26 pm
According to William Pencak, author of “Benjamin Franklin’s Biography, Cotton Mather, and a Puritan God,” in this paragraph, Franklin is defending the stakes on which he wrote his autobiography, as well as defending his own morality. Franklin was very dedicated to his moral standing with himself and God and went through extreme measures to ensure that he would end up on the ‘right’ side of things. This particular passage is about the ‘justification of his book’ which ‘illustrates an important philosophical point: the need for ideal principles, realized in practice, to subdue “Natural Inclination,” as well as the bad effects of, “Custom and Company” (Pencak 8). The ‘artifice’ that Franklin describes represents the civilization of people that he is surrounded by and he believes that they should be informed of his knowledge, life, and commitment to God. Franklin didn’t believe that being religious meant attending church, donating to pastors, or things alike. It was about believing in God, Praying honestly, and being virtuous. Throughout this autobiography, Franklin defends and justifies his beliefs and morality.
Pencak, William. “BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY, COTTON MATHER, AND A PURITAN GOD.” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, vol. 53, no. 1, 1986, pp. 1–25. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/27773087.
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