Quotations from the Documentary
About This Collection
The documentary DVD quotes numerous primary sources. This collection offers the context of many of those quotations by providing you with the primary source. The portions used in the DVD are marked in bold.
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The minister Samuel Danforth preached this election sermon in Boston on May 11, 1670. Election sermons were preached one a year on the day that the freeman of Massachusetts elected their governor and magistrates. The election sermons dealt with public themes, especially with the covenant relationship between the Puritan colony and its God.
In this most famous of election sermons, Danforth reminds his audience that they are on an "errand into the wilderness"—a mission to establish pure Chrisitanity in the new world. In the part of the sermon excepted below, Danforth argues that the colony has deviated from its original purpose.
In 1711 a group of ministers published a collection of sermons titled Early Piety. Increase Mather wrote the preface, which was later quoted in The Christian History, by the minister and historian Thomas Prince. In his preface, Mather answers the question, "What did our forefathers come into this wilderness for?"