theology behind it.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony, chartered by the Massachusetts Bay
Company under King Charles I (Brinkley 37), was made up of about one thousand Puritan
merchants and led by Governor John Winthrop.
Together, they created a Covenant with God,
known as “A Model of Christian Charity,” so that they would be granted spiritual happiness and
Within this Covenant, the Puritans communicated that they wished to be “a holy
commonwealth, a model –a ‘city upon a hill’– for the corrupt world to see and emulate”
The Covenant did more than create a theocracy: it laid the guidelines by which
Puritans were expected to live.
The concept of brotherhood amongst believers was greatly
emphasized, stating that all Puritans were “fellow members of Christ,” that they “must bear one
another’s burdens,” and that “the care of the public must oversway all private respects”
By these means, Puritan New England was born.
As a minister’s wife and a self-
portrayed “devout Puritan,” Mary Rowlandson’s narrative,
The Sovereignty and Goodness of
was destined to be full of Puritan theology and thinking (Salisbury 5).
continual assertion of God’s supreme authority over the lives of herself and others, and her
constant references to the Bible, Rowlandson demonstrated such a mindset; however, she neither
remains entirely consistent in her piety nor steadfast in her faith throughout the narrative.
Because “she was a Puritan Saint,” Mary Rowlandson “recognized in her experience a
testimony to her utter dependence on God’s grace for salvation in the afterlife and on his
providence for her fate while still on earth,” and this belief is evident throughout her narrative
Consistent with Puritan theology, Rowlandson recognized that “the end is to improve our
lives to do more service to the Lord” (Winthrop).
This ideal explains why, instead of an
objective narrative of captivity during Metacom’s War,
The Sovereignty and Goodness of God
described as “a Narrative of the wonderfully awfull, wise, holy, powerfull, and gracious