John Winthrop


The story of John Winthrop starts off by introducing his life. He lives on his father’s farm, which will later give him the advantage of his father’s position. Later he attends Cambridge University where he is introduced to Puritan ideas. With this, Winthrop wishes to practice the “traditional Catholic rituals” (205). Knowing that practicing Puritan ideas openly is a restriction, Winthrop gathers supporters to immigrate to the New World. His crew is known as “The Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England.”


While voyaging to the New World, Winthrop delivers his first sermon, A Model of Christian Charity. His sermon focuses on the ideas and duties of Christians. He talks about the power and glory of God and how he and fellow Christians should serve God. He goes on to talk about the two rules that must be followed when they “are to walk one towards another” (207). These two rules that he includes are justice and mercy. He says justice and mercy is only the beginning, the law of nature and the law of grace or moral law must be obeyed as well. He gives several examples of duties by reading specific scriptures from the Bible. One example that he uses is from the book of Matthew 5, 43; 19, 19; “by the first of these laws man as he was enabled so withal [is] commanded to love his neighbor as himself” (207).


Winthrop was not only looked at as a politician, but a “perfect earthly ruler” (206). His sermon was said to be something that “set out clearly and eloquently the ideals of a harmonious Christian community and reminded all those on board that they would stand as an example to the world either of the triumph or else the failure of the Christian enterprise” (206).