The colonial period was a time of much change, as is the modern period. Many people viewed things differently in the colonial period than they do today. The people of the colonial period had much more traditional values than the people of today. The people of the colonial period thought of religion much more sternly than I do.
John Winthrop believed in a very stern God. He wrote, Now if the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath he ratified this Covenant and sealed our Commission, and will expect a strict performance of the Articles contained in it” (43). He believed that God acts completely as He wishes, without any thought for man. Samuel Sewall also used religion to help him when he needed it.
In his diary, Samuel Sewall writes, My son, the minister, came to me in the afternoon.”
By appointment, we pray for one another in the Old Chamber, especially regarding my courtship (63). Sewall only acted religious when it was convenient for him. Personally, I believe in a God who is much more caring than the one Winthrop believed in. I also believe that God is always present, not just when I need Him. Different people have many different religious beliefs.
Throughout history, views of love have changed. Anne Bradstreet valued love as a strong romantic bond. In Bradstreet’s poem, “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” she writes, “I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold, or all the riches that Earth doth hold” (51). In this excerpt, Bradstreet is speaking to her husband. John Winthrop viewed love as a religious bond between all men.
He writes, Love is the bond of perfection” (39). Winthrop gives few references to romantic love. Personally, I think of love as something that people feel for each other just because they are both people. I believe there is an element of love between all people. Love is viewed differently by different people, but these beliefs have little to do with the time period in which they lived. It appears that as time goes by, people view marriage more romantically and less economically.
Samuel Sewell viewed marriage as a way to advance monetarily. In his diary, he writes, I said ‘twould cost L100 per annum; she said ‘twould cost but L40″ (63). This is just one example of him carefully calculating the costs of marriage. Anne Bradstreet viewed marriage more as a way of expressing love.
In her poem To My Dear and Loving Husband,” Bradstreet writes, “If ever man were loved by wife, then thee; If ever wife was happy in a man, compare with me ye women if you can” (51). Bradstreet obviously married for romantic reasons. I believe marriage should be done for romantic reasons. This is a popular belief in modern America.
Throughout time, marriage has changed greatly, and so have the reasons people marry. I personally relate to Bradstreet in many ways, but rarely agree with Winthrop or Sewell. Overall, the people of the colonial period had more traditional values than people of today.