Who were the Puritans?

They were heavenly minded, and thus, earthly good.
And today, as back then, so misunderstood.
They are not just a proud piece of Americana-
not all left England, in case you wonder.
They were not rigid, legalistic, prudes.
Though Victorian, they were a humble group.
Persecuted for their simple style of worshipping,
they received the ill-willed title of Puritan.
Born in Queen Elizabeth’s church of England,
they wanted a full steam reformation engine.
When unable to conform to Romish worship,
later ejected, for now some went aboard ship: Mayflower.
Now was the hour of brilliance-
to be “a city on a hill” seen in the distance.
Hunted, murdered, with tormented conscience,
instead of murmur they planted colonies.
In New England they could freely practice
everything God commanded without additives.
A new Geneva, no, a new Jerusalem founded!
Aiming up toward God and doctrinally grounded.
This is how in God’s plan they all got ready,
but where on earth were they theologically?

Down to earth definitely, and most applicable.
Their books are tattered, Anglican ones not so.
Though agreeing with the church universally,
they had quite a knack for furthering diversity.
Who says angels don’t assist in regeneration?
Isaac Ambrose here borders on the pagan.
What about the doctrine of justification?
Baxter walked out when they drafted a statement.
But for all the ways they were inclined to differ,
their Confession of Faith was sealed at Westminster.
1646, eleven-hundred-sixty-three sessions, one voice.
Two Catechisms, and two Directories by Scots’ choice.
With all their books, sermons, and commentaries,
we see one thing with them that was customary:
“Theology is the doctrine or teaching of living to God,”*1
“the chief end of man is the glory of God.*2
How else to live when predestined for this;
and also created, saved, and in covenant for this?

The Triune God is worthy of right worship,
by all, alone, in families, and in corporate.
Think of the majesty and yet meekness of Jesus!
He, for our sake, a Prophet, King, and Priest is!
A pure Human Nature put to the test,
glorified now, but with a bruised heart in His chest.
For the church He bled and died to woo her,
now He calls through preaching to pursue her.
Wins her to His pierced side by His mighty Spirit,
effectually wrought upon so that they will hear it.
Carried into His arms and embraced by faith,
the proper end of all true means of grace.
Repentance sore, and afflictions many,
but out of the Rock issues water, no, honey!
Perseverance is the clearest mark of grace,
through all the faults, fears, and failings of saints.
In order to prevail against a 3-headed enemy,
world, flesh, and devil must die off steadily.
As pilgrims going from this world to the next one,
we must at the same time eye hell and heaven,
working out our salvation while waiting
for the glorious day of earth’s restoration:
Antichrist crushed, Jews brought to Christ,
as He descends to judge all the earth right.
Then will unfold Heaven’s Glories, Hell’s Terrors;*3
then we’ll serve God, adoring without sin or error.
“What is the end of all this dispensation?
The glory of God in our salvation.
Glory be to God on high!”*4

So who exactly were the Puritans?

‘Robert Abbot
Joseph Alleine
Richard Alleine
William Ames
John Arrowsmith
Simon Ashe (Simeon Ashe)
Robert Baillie
John Ball
Henry Barrowe
Richard Baxter
Thomas Baylie
Lewis Bayly
Richard Bernard
Robert Bolton
Samuel Bolton
John Bond (Puritan)
Thomas Boston
William Bradford
William Bradshaw
Anne Bradstreet
William Bridge
John Brinsley the elder
Thomas Brooks (Puritan)
Hugh Broughton
Robert Browne
John Bunyan
Anthony Burges
Cornelius Burgess
Jeremiah Burroughs
Henry Burton
Nicholas Byfield
Richard Byfield
Edmund Calamy
Richard Capel
Thomas Carter
Thomas Cartwright
Joseph Caryl
Thomas Case
Daniel Cawdrey
Thomas Cawton
Laurence Chaderton
William Chaderton
Stephen Charnock
Francis Cheynell
Thomas Coleman
Edward Corbet
John Cotton
Miles Coverdale
Oliver Cromwell
Thomas Danforth
John Darrell
John Davenport
Arthur Dent
John Dod
Philip Doddridge
John Downame
Calybute Downing
John Dury
Theophilus Eaton
Jonathan Edwards, American heir of the Puritans who is often listed with them
Stephen Egerton
Humphrey Fenn
John Field
William Fiennes, 1st Viscount Saye and Sele
John Flavel
John Foxe
William Fulke
Thomas Gataker
Anthony Gilby
George Gillespie
Bernard Gilpin
Christopher Goodman
Thomas Goodwin
William Gouge
Richard Greenham
William Greenhill
John Greenwood
William Guthrie
Edward Hake
Robert Harris
John Harvard
Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon
Thomas Hastings (colonist)
Alexander Henderson
Matthew Henry
Philip Henry
Charles Herle
Richard Heyrick
Gasper Hickes
Francis Higginson
Arthur Hildersham
Robert Hill (clergyman)
Thomas Hooker
John Howe
Joshua Hoyle
Laurence Humphrey
Anne Hutchinson
Henry Ireton
James Janeway
Francis Johnson
Solomon Kane
John Lathrop
Alexander Leighton
John Ley
John Lightfoot
Morgan Llwyd (Arminian)
Christopher Love
Francis Marbury
Stephen Marshall
Walter Marshall (Puritan)
Cotton Mather
Increase Mather
Richard Mather
John Maynard (MP)
Joseph Mede
Walter Mildmay
John Milton
John More
Matthew Newcomen
John Norton (Puritan divine)
Nicholas Noyes
Philip Nye
John Owen
Herbert Palmer
Robert Parker
Thomas Parker
John Penry
William Perkins
Andrew Perne
William Phelps
Matthew Poole
John Preston
John Rainolds
Mary Rowlandson
Edward Reynolds
Edmund Rice
Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick
John Robinson
John Rogers
Rev. John Russell, Jr of Hadley, Mass.
Samuel Rutherford
Thomas Sampson
Henry Scudder
Lazarus Seaman
Obadiah Sedgwick
Jeremiah Shepard
Thomas Shepard
Richard Sibbes
Sidrach Simpson
Peter Smart
William Spurstowe
Edmund Staunton
Peter Sterry
Solomon Stoddard
Thomas Taylor (clergyman)
James Temple
Robert Titus
Walter Travers
Thomas Tregosse
William Twisse
John Udal
Nicholas Upsall
Richard Vines
Thomas Vincent
George Walker
Nehemiah Wallington
John Wallis
Nathaniel Ward
Samuel Ward (minister)
Samuel Ward (scholar)
Thomas Watson
Isaac Watts
Paul Wentworth
Peter Wentworth
John Wheelwright
Jeremiah Whitaker
John White
David Whitehead
William Whittingham
Giles Wigginton
Michael Wigglesworth
John Wilson
John Winthrop
Roger Williams (theologian)
George Wither (became Puritan from c. 1620)
John Woodbridge
Benjamin Woodbridge’*5

Soli Deo Gloria!
*1 Quote by William Ames
*2 Adapted from WCF Shorter Catechism Q/A. 1
*3 The name of one of Christopher Love’s books
*4 Quote from one of John Owen’s Two Short Catechisms
*5 List from www.semperreformanda.com