GOD ALMIGHTY in his most holy and wise providence, hath
soe disposed of the condition of’ mankind, as in all times some must
be rich, some poore, some high and eminent in power and dignitie;
others mean and in submission.
The Reason hereof . . .
There is likewise a double Lawe by which wee are regulated in our
conversation towardes another; in both the former respects, the lawe
of nature and the lawe of grace, or the morrall lawe or the lawe of
the gospell, to omitt the rule of justice as not propperly belonging to
this purpose otherwise than it may fall into consideration in some
perticular cases. By the first of these lawes man as he was enabled soe
withall is commanded to love his neighbour as himself. Upon this
ground stands all the precepts of the morrall lawe, which concernes
our dealings with men. To apply this to the works of mercy; this lawe
requires two things. First that every man afford his help to another
in every want or distresse.
Secondly, that hee performe this out of the same affection which
makes him carefull of his owne goods, according to that of our
John Winthrop’s Sermon
“A Model of Christian Charity”
Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop gave this sermon aboard the Arabella,
the ship upon which the Puritan community arrived in New England. Winthrop served
as both spiritual and political leader of the community. In this sermon he prepares the
people for the hardships that lie ahead with a promise of the blessings and rewards so
long as they live in the spirit of charity and moral decency. This sermon is one of the most
important in American history and, according to some, introduces the theme of American
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