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Puritanism and Religious View in Jonathan Edwards Puritanism ruled New England and its literary sphere. The Puritans accepted Calvinism, the doctrines of which can be described as total depravity, predestination, and irresistible grace. Jonathan Edwards concentrates theologically on predestination, the possibility of the elect’s achieving some assurance of salvation, and the persistent reality of sin. Edwards combines religious intensity with intellectual rigour and moral earnestness. Morality is the permanent value achievable only by personal spiritual conquest and life is constantly spiritualized. He stresses the spiritual life as the core of the human character. As a Puritan writer his literary objective is to communicate in terms of genuine emotion his sense of devotion, of faith, of the splendor and majesty of God. To him the inspiration of art is religious ecstasy and literature is a form of worship. Through literary means, he stimulates true religious feeling as opposed to mere understanding of life. Edwards’ style is a way of turning experience into himself and of refining that sensible comprehension with the language of introspection. Sense images are plentiful, the language is splendid in its sensuous evocation, but there is usually a pattern of restraint and a recurrent emphasis on the idea that beauty of words and images typifies or represents the ideal of what is holy. Mystical and pantheistic overtones are added to his Calvinistic belief to effect the union of the self with the divine or sacred. His mystic path to that union is developed by purification of the bodily desires and illumination of the mind. The essence of Edwards’ nature mysticism is the assertion of an intuition which transcends the temporal categories of the understanding of man. He attempts to realize the presence of the living God in the soul and in nature.


Puritanism and Religious View in Jonathan Edwards Puritanism ruled New England and its literary sphere. The Puritans accepted Calvinism, the doctrines of which can be described as total depravity, predestination, and irresistible grace. Jonathan Edwards concentrates theologically on predestination, the possibility of the elect’s achieving some assurance of salvation, and the persistent reality of sin. Edwards combines religious intensity with intellectual rigour and moral earnestness. Morality is the permanent value achievable only by personal spiritual conquest and life is constantly spiritualized. He stresses the spiritual life as the core of the human character. As a Puritan writer his literary objective is to communicate in terms of genuine emotion his sense of devotion, of faith, of the splendor and majesty of God. To him the inspiration of art is religious ecstasy and literature is a form of worship. Through literary means, he stimulates true religious feeling as opposed to mere understanding of life. Edwards’ style is a way of turning experience into himself and of refining that sensible comprehension with the language of introspection. Sense images are plentiful, the language is splendid in its sensuous evocation, but there is usually a pattern of restraint and a recurrent emphasis on the idea that beauty of words and images typifies or represents the ideal of what is holy. Mystical and pantheistic overtones are added to his Calvinistic belief to effect the union of the self with the divine or sacred. His mystic path to that union is developed by purification of the bodily desires and illumination of the mind. The essence of Edwards’ nature mysticism is the assertion of an intuition which transcends the temporal categories of the understanding of man. He attempts to realize the presence of the living God in the soul and in nature.