Lasting Impressions

John Owen is said to have been the greatest systematic theological thinker of the Puritan movement. He was an adviser to Oliver Cromwell, who in 1651

made him dean of Christ Church and later vice-chancellor of Oxford University. Not only did Owen sit on England’s parliament, he was one of Cromwell’s

Triers and a participant of the Savoy Conference. Jonathan Edwards also influenced New England theology. He wrote The Freedom of the Will (1754) and

Original Sin (1758), which defended the idea of God’s sovereign act in the salvation of the individual. John Milton (Paradise Lost) and John Bunyan (The

Pilgrim’s Progress) are two noted Puritan authors who put the movement’s ideals into prose and poetry.

By the dawn of the eighteenth century, Puritanism was winding down. War with Native Americans, the influx of other Protestant and Catholic settlers,

issues of religious freedom, the Salem witch trials, and many other issues all contributed to the weakening of the Puritan ideal in New England.

Puritanism lives on today in the theology and ideology of the Reformed, Presbyterian, and Congregational Churches around the world.

Robert Leach

See also: Boston; Christ and Christianity; Massachusetts Bay Colony; Pilgrims; Religion (Chronology); Religion (Essay);

Documents: A Modell of Christian Charity (1630); The Trial of Anne Hutchinson (1637); Psalm 23 from The Bay Psalm Book



Carden, Allen. Puritan Christianity in America: Religion and Life in Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1990.

James, Sydney V., ed. The New England Puritans. New York: Harper and Row, 1968.

Lloyd-Jones, D. M. The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors. Edinburgh, UK: Banner of Truth Trust, 1987.

Neal, Daniel. The History of the Puritans. Vols. 13. Minneapolis, MN: Klock & Klock, 1979.

Packer, J. I. A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1990.

Rutman, Darrett B. American Puritanism: Faith and Practice. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1970.

Winship, Michael P. Godly Republicanism: Puritans, Pilgrims, and a City on a Hill. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012.

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