How did Cotton and Winthrop view the emigrating people’s connection with the Old Testament? According to Wikipedia, “John Cotton was a clergyman in England and the American colonies, and was considered the preeminent minister and theologian of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He studied for five years at Trinity College, Cambridge, and nine years at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.'” and “John Winthrop was an English Puritan lawyer and one of the leading figures in founding the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the second major settlement in New England following Plymouth Colony. Winthrop led the first large wave of colonists from England in 1630 and served as governor for 12 of the colony’s first 20 years.” John Winthrop is best known for being the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and for being a leading Puritan founder of New England. One thing that these men have in common is that they are both authors, and they both have books on the emigration to New England in America from Europe. They sailed to America to resist forced religion coming from the Parliament. When they left for America, they did not know what to expect, but thought it was worth it to start their religion with their fellow Puritans.
Cotton is the well known speaker of the famous sermon “God’s Promise to His Plantation”. In this sermon Cotton explained that leaving Europe and emigrating to America was part of God’s will and said that the land in America would be free for settlement for the Pilgrims once they arrived. It is still debated today whether this sermon was spoken before the departure from Europe, or during. Cotton’s reason for leaving was mainly for better business opportunities for the Pilgrims, for the Pilgrims to plant their own colony, better employment, and to have the freedom to have their own form of worship and religion, different than what the Parliament was forcing them to follow back in Europe. I think that this departure for America is very similar to the Israelite’s departure for Canaan in the Bible. Both groups had no idea what was laid ahead of them, but were willing to risk everything in order to make the journey. Cotton also quotes many Biblical passages in his sermon.
Winthrop was in charge of the Puritan fleet going to America. His account is set up in an odd kind of question and answer format. In this ‘different’ account, he tells of the struggles of not knowing what to look forward to in this place where they were setting up this new colony. This is kind of like the account of the Israelites. His hope was that the Puritans would work together to build a strong working body, but it did not turn out as hoped. Many Puritans disobeyed laws and grew further from the reason they even set foot in America in the first place.
Cotton and Winthrop spoke about a lot of Old Testament commandments and regulations that they put into their accounts that they spoke to the Puritans. You could tell that despite their lack of knowledge of knowing the future, they were confident that is was in God’s will to go to America and set up a new colony.