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Puritan Prayer - I was surprised - Printable Version

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Puritan Prayer - I was surprised - SCG - 11-24-2011

The following prayer comes from “The Valley of Visions - A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.” I thought the Puritans were stern, glum, prudish, against all earthly pleasures and delights. Yet today I stumbled over this.....


THANKSGIVING

O My God,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admires, adores, and loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fulness before thee in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee,
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou has created,
for adorning it, sanctifying it,
for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigor,
for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding,
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for the ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joy of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express.
Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.


Re: Puritan Prayer - I was surprised - Vetus Ordo - 11-24-2011

(11-24-2011, 09:15 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: I thought the Puritans were stern, glum, prudish, against all earthly pleasures and delights.

Mischaracterisations never accomplished any good, did they?

First and foremost, "Puritanism" is about the purity of worship and doctrine within the evangelical fold. Yes, prudery became associated with it, especially in Colonial America that was home to the more radical wing that fled from Britain, but that's not necessarily so and that's not what the word itself means.


Re: Puritan Prayer - I was surprised - Someone1776 - 11-24-2011

What we describe as Puritan is more accurately described as Victorian.


Re: Puritan Prayer - I was surprised - Resurrexi - 11-24-2011

(11-24-2011, 09:31 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(11-24-2011, 09:15 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: I thought the Puritans were stern, glum, prudish, against all earthly pleasures and delights.

Mischaracterisations never accomplished any good, did they?

First and foremost, "Puritanism" is about the purity of worship and doctrine within the evangelical fold.

By "purity of worship" they meant removing everything--altars, vestments, candles--that smacked of Catholic liturgy, and by "purity of doctrine" they meant renouncing anything--the episcopate, the Real Presence, Confession--that reminded them of Catholic dogma.


Re: Puritan Prayer - I was surprised - Vetus Ordo - 11-25-2011

(11-24-2011, 10:43 PM)Resurrexi Wrote:
(11-24-2011, 09:31 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(11-24-2011, 09:15 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: I thought the Puritans were stern, glum, prudish, against all earthly pleasures and delights.

Mischaracterisations never accomplished any good, did they?

First and foremost, "Puritanism" is about the purity of worship and doctrine within the evangelical fold.

By "purity of worship" they meant removing everything--altars, vestments, candles--that smacked of Catholic liturgy, and by "purity of doctrine" they meant renouncing anything--the episcopate, the Real Presence, Confession--that reminded them of Catholic dogma.

Indeed.

Hence my words "within the evangelical fold."


Re: Puritan Prayer - I was surprised - SCG - 11-25-2011

It's such a beautiful prayer. I found it this morning while I was at Mass. It's in my Magnificat. I always read the “meditation of the day” right after Holy Communion. It's usually the writing of a saint. Today it was the prayer of a Puritan. It didn't surprise me so much that it was printed in a Catholic book; after all, today is Thanksgiving, a national holiday and we recall the first Thanksgiving with the pilgrims (Puritans) and the Indians. What blew me away was its beauty and celebration. After Mass I stayed in church and talked it over with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I felt troubled and peaceful at the same time.

The prayer haunted me, followed me all day long; during the drive to my sister's house, during the meal as we passed the turkey and the dressing and dessert. It followed me all the way home and I felt I had to post it here at Fisheaters, albeit in the “Other Religions/Cults” subforum, of course. Now I feel I should study and research more about the Puritans. I now feel perhaps my judgments were harsh and based on mischaracterizations, rather than historical facts.


ETA: Not that I think they were correct doctrinally, of course! I'm talking more about their reputation for prudery, etc.


Re: Puritan Prayer - I was surprised - miss_fluffy - 11-25-2011

I've read elsewhere that their reputation for prudery is unfounded.  Research has shown that they had just as much fornication and adultery going on as everyone else.


Re: Puritan Prayer - I was surprised - SCG - 11-25-2011

(11-25-2011, 10:47 AM)miss_fluffy Wrote: I've read elsewhere that their reputation for prudery is unfounded.  Research has shown that they had just as much fornication and adultery going on as everyone else.

The Scarlet Letter! Of course that's a fictional story.... but it's all I know of the Puritans, besides the Mayflower Pilgrims and the Salem Witch Trials. Wasn't Ben Franklin raised in a Puritan home?


Re: Puritan Prayer - I was surprised - devotedknuckles - 11-25-2011

no shit



Re: Puritan Prayer - I was surprised - Vetus Ordo - 11-25-2011

(11-25-2011, 12:35 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote:
(11-25-2011, 10:47 AM)miss_fluffy Wrote: I've read elsewhere that their reputation for prudery is unfounded.  Research has shown that they had just as much fornication and adultery going on as everyone else.

The Scarlet Letter! Of course that's a fictional story.... but it's all I know of the Puritans, besides the Mayflower Pilgrims and the Salem Witch Trials. Wasn't Ben Franklin raised in a Puritan home?

Again, it's worth mentioning that many of the Puritans that emigrated to America represented the more radical non-conformist wing within the Church of England.

Whilst the core beliefs of both English and American Puritanism have to do with "purity" of doctrine and liturgy - hence its name - certainly there were distinct aspects of Puritan theocracy that translated into culture. For instance, take this interesting quote:

Wikipedia Wrote:In modern usage, the word puritan is often used to describe someone who has strict views on sexual morality, disapproves of recreation, and wishes to impose these beliefs on others. This popular image is more accurate as a description of Puritans in colonial America, who were among the most radical Puritans and whose social experiment took the form of a theocracy. The first Puritans of New England certainly disapproved of Christmas celebrations, as did some other Protestant churches of the time. Celebration was outlawed in Boston from 1659. The ban was revoked in 1681 by the English-appointed governor Sir Edmund Andros, who also revoked a Puritan ban on festivities on Saturday nights. Nevertheless, it was not until the mid-19th century that celebrating Christmas became fashionable in the Boston region. Likewise the colonies banned many secular entertainments, such as games of chance, maypoles, and drama, on moral grounds.

They were not, however, opposed to drinking alcohol in moderation. Early New England laws banning the sale of alcohol to Native Americans were criticized because it was “not fit to deprive Indians of any lawfull comfort aloweth to all men by the use of wine.” Laws banned the practice of individuals toasting each other: it led to wasting God's gift of beer and wine, as well as being carnal. Bounds were not set on enjoying sexuality within the bounds of marriage, as a gift from God. In fact, spouses (albeit, in practice, mainly females) were disciplined if they did not perform their sexual marital duties, in accordance with 1 Corinthians 7 and other biblical passages. Puritans publicly punished drunkenness and sexual relations outside of marriage.