Beyond the Theatre

Indian Emperor was a play performed during the restoration period. There were great shifts of power and culture. The status quo is being challenged. One of the cultural and power shifts was King Charles II becoming a patron of theatre. The stage underwent great change during this time as well. It became more grand, giving plenty of room for exotic scenery. It is here that Dryden’s play will take place. His themes of love and honor are strong throughout, characteristics which fill the heroic drama requirements.

Dryden’s play follows a few complex relationships. There is an incredibly provocative affair between Cydaria, the emperor Montezuma’s daughter, and Cortez, the Spanish general. They are star crossed lovers, from two different worlds and cultures. Dryden purposefully does not resolve their relationship. He does this to show how messy it can be for love and honor to be intertwined. This is a very political statement. Can one truly give them self to another and still have unwavering honor?  Dryden is saying here that at some point a leader will have to chose to either love or be admirable. The two simply cannot mix. The whole story is a series of relationships which go escalate and decrease very rapidly. This is to demonstrate how messy love and honor are together. This is completely different than Lovelace who has very binary and strong views on love and honor. Dryden is represents his characters this way to reflect the culture he lives in. Charles II and England were going through a cultural shift, debauchery was not necessarily frowned upon. Perhaps Dryden was trying to voice his opinions to his leaders through his play. His message perhaps was work and play are both good but need to be separate. This could also explain why Dryden eventually turned to Catholicism. He was uncomfortable with the lack of structure the leadership displayed. 

  • Maya Gonzales
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How Dryden’s Play Conjoins Nationalism and Anti-Colonialism Perspectives

John Dryden promotes themes of nationalism in The Indian Emperor or the Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, yet, ironically, he also hints at anti-colonialism ideas in his heroic play.  Given the context of the restoration period, and Dryden’s background as a royalist, his overarching undertones of nationalistic consent should come as to no surprise to the audience.  Charles II knew the vitality of theatre and heroic plays as patriotic forms of expression. As mentioned in lecture, watching a live performance was more preferable than having to scrutinize the small font of a text.  Such plays that spotlighted the stage must relate to the politics of the era, so Dryden was careful to focus on the restoration, and use Mexico and the empire as a metaphor for the actual period. The playwright’s reasons for the transient romance between Cortes and Cydaria stems from his desire to showcase Protestant nationalism and to innovate stories told during the restoration era.

Dryden wanted to show how England was not only more tolerant of natives, but also more civilized as well.  Since the English did not largely interbreed with natives as much as other cultures, this not only showcases a respect for them, but also reveals how civilized they are for not dominating them sexually to the point of a population overgrowth. Notably, a romance between such two persons of different political rank “excites the passions” as is the aim of Dryden as a poet and playwright. Cortez’s affair is not only forbidden, but also risky in the political realm, and imagining such an encounter would heighten the audience’s fantasy and the drama of such a situation. Instead of displaying doubts between these two unlikely partners, his play functions to reveal the struggle between honor and love. Even Cortez tells Pizarro he is “graced by no triumph, but a lover’s name.”  He still prioritizes love, even after the war has started, and Cydaria places importance on love rather, than her people, based on her pursuit of her relationship with Cortez. Dryden tries to instill an image of the Spanish Conquistadors as an oppressive, hyper-Catholic people, so his consistency with this stereotype works in his favor for England’s anti-Catholic nationalism. The play poses questions to the audience even after they have left the theatre; were Cortez’s actions moral?  Should Cortez still be seen as the heroic character or should Montezuma be the titular hero?  The relationship has nothing to do with anxieties about foreign imperialists, since it is evident to England that they are seen as antagonists, but moreover to accomplish what he desires in his art. Whatever are the politics of the time, Dryden must conform to England’s set of values, while also innovating his story with anti-colonial thinking to spark an interest in his audiences.-Jessica Mijares

John Dryden’s “The Indian Emperour, or the Conquest of Mexico”

In John Dryden’s The Indian Emperour, the theme of love versus honor, private interests versus the public good, drives the characters’ dramatic actions, especially between the conquering male Spaniards and the female natives.  However, while the play’s ending hints at the requited love between Cydaria and Cortez, Dryden never explicitly brings them together in union and matrimony.  In making this decision, is the playwright conveying to his audience doubts or anxieties about the relationship between the foreign imperialists (Catholic Conquistadors) and the Aztec natives?  Situate your answer in the context of the Restoration theater and politics that colored the audiences’ reception of the play (feel free to reference the inserted images).

The posts are due this Wednesday (Feb. 1st) by 1pm, but students have the option to edit and revise it until Friday 6pm.  Before you write the post, please review the directions on blog post writing and the blog post grading rubric in the syllabus, as well as the “How to Post” tab above.  Please categorize your post under “Restoration Theatre and Drama” and don’t forget to create specific and relevant tags.  And please sign your posts so that your TA, Hannah, and I know who wrote what.

Scene from John Dryden's 'the Indian Emperor or the Conquest of Mexico', 1732 Giclee Print

Scene from John Dryden’s “The Indian Emperour or the Conquest of Mexico,” print by English artist William Hogarth, 1732.  The play is here staged in a private English residence.

A city upon the hill for who?

The phrase ‘city upon a hill’ used by John Winthrop and various 20th and 21st century American politicians has a similar meaning for the two despite being used almost 300 years later. When John Winthrop used the phrase city upon a hill he is using it to further push this promised success for the puritans on board the Arbella. He has just described his ideal christian society where an oligarchy would rule and christianity would be at the forefront. Whenever the phrase is used politically, it is most likely being used to push a political agenda. For example, when Reagan used the term he had a specific idea for this ‘city’, that symbolizes the country, where republican ideals were central to the country. For each of them, the phrase represents their own individual idea of an ideal society.

While the context and the situations surrounding the phrase changes throughout the course of history, the meaning and purpose of the phrase remains the same. For both Winthrop and politicians, it is crucial that their readers and listeners believe whole hardly in what they are preaching whether it be a new christian centralized government or a liberal or conservative government. They are both very aware that by becoming the city upon the hill, the world will have their eyes on them and they want to insure that the world is looking at a city where their own ideals are implemented and used throughout. Winthrop having deep faith in Christianity pushed him to write A Modell for christian  Charity and Politicians strong believes pushed them into the political world. Both uses also take advantage of the power the word possess. The people listening are also usually unhappy with the current situations whether it be being sick and dying aboard the Arbella or living in a post-war country that was facing a serious stock market crash. They were moved and listened to what they speaker had to say, what they believed was the meaning of the city upon a hill and what needed to be done in order to become this city.

 

-Noel Nevarez

“City Upon a Hill”: A Utopia for its Time

I can see in John Winthrop’s “A Model of Christian Charity” how it may have been considered some kind of manifesto for a utopia in England in those times. Unlike today, Winthrop would not exclude the presence of a god from his rhetoric. Back then, to talk about “Justice and Mercy” meant that one was talking about the natural laws of man. However, the laws of man really mean the laws that have been given by a Judaeo-Christian God. It was not that they were trying to be tyrannically Christian, virtue really was synonymous with this idea of a God–one could not exist without the other. Although today this rhetoric is typically attributed to the far-right fundamentalist realm of politics, in Winthrop’s time this was revolutionary in the face of the vastly dominant Roman Catholic religion.

Winthrop was an advocate of people having the right to interpret the Bible for themselves. One specific part of Winthrop’s essay that doesn’t sound like the far-right fundamentalists of today, is when he alludes to the biblical idea that people should treat others how they would like to be treated and the idea that people should love their enemies. Whether this is wrong or not is a different question, but it puts into perspective how many ways the Bible was interpreted, which rings true today on how the Constitution is interpreted in different ways. Although we try to be much more secular now, Winthrop hints to something foreshadowing that represents the status quo of religion in our country. Winthrop advocates for religious freedom, and even goes as far as to say there should be peace “between Christians and others.” This reflects our country today where we advocate for religious freedom, but “other” any other religion. By othering any other religion, we mark our citizens as second-class, as if to say Christianity is the official language, so to speak, of our country. A subtlety like this encourages the ideas of “Justice and Mercy” to be filtered through–not the Bible–but those wielding the power to say “this is how it should be interpreted.” Unfortunately, this does not usually represent the country fairly. Furthermore, the problem with Christian rhetoric it often becomes cliche and it makes for empty promises. One example of the cliche that it could become would be the overused language of getting “tougher on crime.” What this means on the surface area is that criminals will get longer sentences and communities will be policed more–overall, this means justice, but this idea of justice is outdated and it usually distracts the public with seeing more arrests as a way of saying this policing is working. However, no one ever stops to question if sentences are fair or if there is a method of rehabilitation/education that could help rid communities of crime. People are more focused on “Justice” because it is an attractive pillar of Christianity.

The same, for SOME folks.

Winthrop’s phrase, ‘A City Upon a Hill’ refers to the Massachusetts Bay Colony and how it would be in plain sight for others to follow and see as he believed it was a shining example of Puritan perfection. Personally, I believe this phrase is prevalent today because America is a prime example of “A City Upon a Hill.” Though our country is currently facing some controversial times right now, despite it all, we come together as “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” However, I do believe that it is all a load of crap today as well. Winthrop was being optimistic and hopeful for white Puritans like himself at the time and no one else. Today, Trump supporters argue that he will “make America great again” by advancing Christian values and beliefs. Yet, we consider ourselves “the land of the free?” Millions of people live in fear today since our newly elect President has been inaugurated such as Muslims, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other minority groups.

During Winthrop’s time, America was not yet established and could have formed in anyway which is why Winthrop’s phrase was nothing but an innocent belief of American exceptionalism. He wanted to unite others and build communities as the Puritan he was. Today, Trump is considered by many as a “Baby Christian” which is an utter joke because if anyone is a true Christian they know the substantial difference between Christ’s definition of greatness and Trump’s. Examples that we have seen of him this past year are the complete opposite of what Jesus would consider as “making America great again” because he is trying to unify the country with hate and anger. Matthew 22:36-40 states, “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” A true Christian who wants to make this country great again knows that Trump is the last person to ever follow the religion truly. Winthrop’s phrase is still prevalent in America, but followed in a way that is only true for white, Christian Americans.

 

-Rahma K.

A City upon Intolerance and Genocide

First and foremost, John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill” absolutely does not carry the same context if it was used in speech today, and we can be thankful for this. I for one am certainly glad that we have overall improved our approach on human ethics to ascend beyond such an abysmal level of religious intolerance, gender inequality, and an acceptance of genocide.  The references to this model state in modern times refer to a sociopolitical transformed term. Rather than the primary focus of religion, “City upon a Hill” has become a model to represent democracy and a right to freedom for countries across the world. The reference to the term appeals to the general ignorance of the American public, where a “City upon a Hill” can be imagined as glorious and almighty, but was originally a fanatic’s fantasy of religious superiority and human inequality.

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Anne Hutchinson, who lived during Winthrop’s time, believed that it was unnecessary to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Christian institution as she encouraged looking to one’s own intuition to find salvation, as God lived inward amongst the souls of each and other, rather than through every day practice. In “The Humble Request” we learn how devout and intolerant the Puritans could be, “The Puritans exalted preaching; they taxed themselves voluntarily to secure additional preaching on market days by evangelical clergymen, who were called lecturers.” She was met with fierce opposition from the colony’s ministers, and was directly accused by John Winthrop of troubling the peace of the churches. Winthrop described her as a demonic extremist in his journals,  “hell-spawned agent of destructive anarchy”. Remaining confident with the belief that God remained within her, she countered Winthrop’s accusations intelligently over days of trial, but she would cement her fate as her character showed eminently whilst addressing the court in an impassioned outcry, “You have no power over my body, neither can you do me any harm…Therefore take heed how you proceed against me—for I know that, for this you go about to do to me, God will ruin you and your posterity and this whole state.” Hutchinson was shattering Christian ideals while paving the way for religious interpretation and women’s representation alike. Ultimately she and her family were banished from the Massachusetts “City upon a Hill”, to New Netherlands and were later murdered in a Native American raid (likely a retaliation of colonist aggression in the “Kiefts War”). New Netherlands (New York and New Jersey today) was a colony of considerable diversity, and its inhabitants carried a significant amount of war experience from Europe. The most gruesome interactions between Natives and colonists in all of U.S. history probably occurred in this region between the Dutch and Algonquian peoples. “(Native) Infants were torn from their mother’s breasts, and hacked to pieces in the presence of their parents, and pieces thrown into the fire and in the water, and other sucklings, being bound to small boards, were cut, stuck, and pierced, and miserably massacred in a manner to move a heart of stone. Some were thrown into the river, and when the fathers and mothers endeavored to save them, the soldiers would not let them come on land but made both parents and children drown…”. New Netherlands was a religiously tolerant society however, and the blood-rage in many of their souls was a result of the blindness of conquest, as well as the influence of atrocities that the Massachusetts colony had committed previously. Their overall view of the Natives never fully reached the dreadful dehumanizing extent of pure genocidal intent; that the religion-imbued fanatics located on John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill” were consumed by.

The most gruesome interactions between Natives and colonists in all of U.S. history probably occurred in this region between the Dutch and Algonquian peoples. “(Native) Infants were torn from their mother’s breasts, and hacked to pieces in the presence of their parents, and pieces thrown into the fire and in the water, and other sucklings, being bound to small boards, were cut, stuck, and pierced, and miserably massacred in a manner to move a heart of stone. Some were thrown into the river, and when the fathers and mothers endeavored to save them, the soldiers would not let them come on land but made both parents and children drown…”. New Netherlands was a religiously tolerant society however, and the blood-rage in many of their souls was a result of the blindness of conquest, as well as the influence of atrocities that the Massachusetts colony had committed previously. Their overall view of the Natives never fully reached the dreadful dehumanizing extent of pure genocidal intent; that the religion-imbued fanatics located on John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill” were consumed by.

Of all the savage bloodshed between the natives and the colonists before the revolution, some of the most horrific occurrences took place by the so-called “City upon a Hill”. In perhaps the most inhumane incident of all colonist and native exchanges, a Pequot fort containing 500 men, women, and children, was encircled by troops and incinerated. Only a handful managed to escape. The captain of the forces John Mason insisted that the attack was an act of God who “laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to scorn making [the Pequot fort] as a fiery Oven.” Even the Narragansett and Mohegan, the Native American allies of the English forces and also fierce enemies of the Pequot, were horrified by the brutal disregard for ethics. The colonists celebrated their victory, and affirmed their religious fanaticism, declaring the Pequot extinct, and explained their victory once again as an act of God: “Let the whole Earth be filled with his glory! Thus the lord was pleased to smite our Enemies in the hinder Parts, and to give us their Land for an Inheritance.”

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The Mystic Massacre during the Pequot War. Hundreds of men, women, and children were burned alive mercilessly. 

When John Winthrop landed alongside Arbella and its fleet, he was not focused on the presence of later dictators, globalization and trade, but rather, the establishment of Christian ideals on a clean slate. Invigorated by the lack of constraints and a dark history, he sought to create a society greater than its predecessors, “Secondly that he might haue the more occasion to manifest the work of his Spirit: first upon the wicked in [Page 34] moderating and restraining them: soe that the riche and mighty should not eate upp the poore nor the poore and dispised rise upp against and shake off theire yoake.” Winthrop wanted his city to be the most ideal place for a Christian, and one that would affect the lives of all who examined their lives. As centuries passed, and the fallacy of religion continued to be exposed, like the unraveling of the antiquated geocentric model; our concerns shifted to immediate concerns and threats. Milton writes in Areopagitica, what is far more relevant to today’s political agendas. Whereas, Winthrop focused solely on the institution of religion, Milton brings a radical concept of liberty that attempts to reverse the censorship. “While things are yet not constituted in Religion, that freedom of writing should berestrain’d by a discipline imitated from the Prelats, and learnt by them from the Inquisition to shut us up all again into the brest of a licencer, must needs give cause of doubt and discouragement to all learned and religious men. Who cannot but discern the finenes of this politic drift, and who are the contrivers; that while Bishops were to be baited down, then all Presses might be open; it was the peoples birthright and priviledge in time of Parlament, it was the breaking forth of light.” Milton references classical works in a well-thought prose that speaks to liberty and denounces the evil of tyranny.

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Ronald Reagan faced a seemingly imminent but dwindling threat during the Cold War, and mentioned a “Shining City upon a Hill” to bring the American people together under an exaggeration of success. His focus was not establishing Christian ideals, but rather uniting the dreams and hopes of a nation to unite against a common foe. Barack Obama brings up the “City upon a Hill” at U. Mass, and mentions the imperfection of the dream over centuries of human inequality, but ultimately concludes that America has made significant advancements in civil rights, while pushing the boundaries of opportunity. He expressed contentment over the transformation and abundance of diversity in a city which carried a history of discrimination, “I see students that have come here from over 100 different countries, believing like those first settlers that they too could find a home in this City on a Hill – that they too could find success in this unlikeliest of places.” Obama mentions the “City upon a Hill” in a social manner, as well as Reagan, who also puts importance on the political implications. John Winthrop envisioned a wholly righteous and ideal Christian place for all of the world to admire, and while Obama and Reagan also speak to inspire the hopes and dreams of not just Americans, but  people across the world, their focus is far more centered on the movement of civil rights and based on maintaining political structure.

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-Thomas Pham

The legacy of ” A city upon a hill”

 

John Winthrop, the first leader of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and devout Puritan, wrote A Modell of Christian Charity, to facilitate the development of a strong community, as he and many other puritan settlers were on their way to the new land on the ship Arabella. In his sermon he discusses how the colonist should treat each other in order to ensure the survival of the new colony as well as listing the three reasons for differentiation of rank in society. He notes that firstly, God demonstrates his wisdom in creating different ranks of man, each rank is meant to respect each other, and lastly it brings mankind closer together so that through love and respect we can also depend on one another. To finish his sermon, he states “For wee must consider that wee shall be as a city upon a hill”, meaning that the colony must follow those three guidelines in order for the community to survive because they will be watched by outsiders and if they fail as a community they will have failed God and their beliefs. Winthrop intended for the community to lead by example with Puritan beliefs, due to him and many other Puritans not being able to live under Charles I, who was against the Puritan ideology. Winthrop wanted each class to work together and be able to rely on one another for a properly functioning community, but today we have conflicts amongst majority of Americans in regards to beliefs, gender conformity, politics, and many more. In some regards the “city upon the hill” is still in tact in that America is still one of the leading countries for opportunity and equality, and in some aspects Winthrop was expressing a faith in American Nationalism that would predate the founding of the United States in 1776 which in a sense gave way to the idea of our first amendment. The key difference being that Winthrop was enforcing Puritan ideals and today we focus on a separation of church and state although religion does come up a lot in politics. John Milton on the other hand had different intentions on the meaning of “a city upon the hill” in his speech given to Parliament in 1644, he titled it AREOPAGITICA, in reference to the speech given to the ancient counsel of Athens in regards to the diminished power of the Aeropagus counsel, elders of the community, that would meet on top of a hill. Milton referenced the City on the hill to demonstrate just like the Aeropagus lost rights from the council, people elected from the community, the English people lost their rights when parliament put restrictions on literature. Both Winthrop and Milton are similar in their use of a “city upon a hill” to demonstrate the importance of freedom but they differ on what it means to be that city on the hill. Winthrop means to lead by example with puritan beliefs while Milton means to demonstrate the effects of restriction on their freedom, but they both are stressing the importance of freedom and respect of different ideas which in most aspects is still held in todays world although it is not always as effective as some may wish it to be.  The recent Women’s march that began in the united states was a movement seen all around the world, demonstrating just how important America is to the rest of the world. Marches were seen across the globe in support of women’s rights, although here in America women have more rights than many other women across the globe. The point being that America is still a “city upon the hill” in that across the globe we as a nation have influences everywhere. What happens in America is discussed globally whether that be good or bad. With such a powerful country and an emphasis on freedom of speech and equality, America is constantly in the spotlight and scrutinized for everything that happens as a nation. For example, the election of Trump is globally talked about and has many other governments not only responding on social media in response to Trumps winning the election but also taking political matters into their own hands to support international efforts that trump has just attempted to stop funding for. America will always be “the city upon the hill” I think because with such a powerful country that is so different and so free compared to most other places in the world, we will always be scrutinized for being essentially the symbol of freedom.

Getting the gist of the phrase “city upon a hill”

If we trace the origins of the phrase “city upon a hill” which was taken from Matthew chapter 5 of the Bible, the connotations are made pretty evident. Jesus, the speaker, is encouraging Christians to becoming a shining example of holiness; to practice all of the admirable qualities the “blessed” have (Matthew 5:3-11). Just as a city upon a hill cannot hide, Jesus asks that Christians therefore “in the same way, let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). This request isn’t meant to be one that asks Christians to boast about their good works, in fact in the very next chapter of Matthew, Jesus admonishes: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1). The city upon a hill, in this sense, is then meant to serve as a “beacon”, and a Christian is not necessarily meant to be a flashy, pompadour, and self-righteous individual, but one that is a role model for goodness and holiness. Obviously we can’t ignore the denotative qualities of the phase “city upon a hill”. A city is a group of individuals coming under one nation; similarly, Christians recognize themselves as the people of God, and so there is a sense of nationality amongst the group. Of course, I believe that this second connotation that we may have derived from the phrase takes second chair. I say this primarily because how the metaphor was wedged in between two other metaphors (the salt and light, the candle and bowl) that were all essentially conveying the same message. This message, as we know, was summarized in Matthew 5:16.

After acknowledging that “city upon a hill” has two meanings, the latter not so important, it’s interesting that Winthrop chose to use the phrase. This isn’t to say that John Winthrop was hijacking the phrase and using it out context, only that he wasn’t using the primary metaphor. If we can recall, John Winthrop in his sermon, A Model of Christian Charity, uses “city upon a hill” to describe the colony being established in America. He asks his followers to obey certain cardinal values, for example “Justice and Mercy” (34), and treat others the way you want to be treated (35). The motive behind this sermon, is to encourage the people to work together, so that England can see that they are doing just fine on their own: “For wee must consider that wee shall be as a citty upon a hill. The eies of all people are upon” (47). Winthrop’s sermon is optimistic, it encourages the people that they too can be a beacon of hope to other pilgrims, provided that they follow a certain set of ideals and more importantly, get along with each other (which ties in the nationality part).

In regards to modern usage of the phrase, if we can successfully separate the fact that John Winthrop was a fervent Christian, knowingly using the phrase with religious connotations, but moreover to encourage a pride of nationality, we can see that modern usage doesn’t do justice to Winthrop’s meaning and definitely not Jesus’. Winthrop, like Jesus was arguing for sense of morality, a goodness that could bring the people together and serve as a beacon, Regan on the other hand, focuses on the city aspect of the phrase. He remarks that we’re different, coming together under the same nation, but that we are a melting pot who is open to everyone. In the speech, he makes it clear that America is a beacon of freedom and that is the only attribute, not that it’s just or that its good or that it’s moral, as Jesus and Winthrop alluded to. Similarly, Obama’s farewell speech took on the same verbiage that America was a beacon of freedom, a melting pot, etc. which changes the original meaning significantly, but not exceptionally. Obviously secular people may disagree, arguing that they’re essentially equal to each other, but as a Christian myself I can see the ways the Word of God has been augmented to fulfill a separate agenda, in the case of Regan and Obama, almost completely. Of course, there are parallels, the ones I have aforementioned, and so I can definitely see the similarities though they are broad.

 

-Sara Nuila-Chae

A Response to Winthrop’s “A Modell of Christian Charity”

Winthrop’s sermon goes back to a very central sermon given by Jesus  and related in the scripture of Matthew. The actual words used there were that a city on a hill had such a light that it could not be concealed from the rest of the world. That has been interpreted by the Church as saying that being a Christian it should be obvious that there is no question to those around you what you believe, indeed this is one of the words of Jesus and so is held in even higher regard (typically a red text color and italics). Thus it is no surprise that Milton should take it as his inspiration for writing a sermon on a similar subject, the place of Divine Right in his modern world. The main argument of Winthrops rather structured sermon is the demonstration of Biblical Love. But I want to draw your attention to something here. The biblical love expounded on by Winthrop is not entirely the same love that Jesus’ words imply. Winthrop claims that there are times when a Christian is called to demondstrate love through charity. But what Jesus called for was the consistent presence of love in all of dimensions. By giving freely you demonstrate your committment rather than fulfilling a requirement. Consider before the story of Daniel and the Lions den, as told in the But if Not Sermon by the late Martin Luther King JR. King defines an If Faith versus a Though Faith. Winthrop demonstrates a crucial error in his analysis, that the demonstration of love should be a set of requirements. The fact is that your willingness to die for an idea or give to charity is not based on your expected role. The three men in the story who were before Nebuchadnezzar and went to their supposed death demonstrated such a pure Faith that there was no doubt of it. They fulfilled no requirement. When Jesus called for the rich man to give everything you have to the poor, he did not literally mean that you have to give everything. Merely that as a demonstration of Faith you should want to do that and sometimes should, if that makes sense. Winthrop makes what is called a fundamental attribution error. An FAE, in brief, is when an idea is corrupted from the authorial intent, or when something is interpreted incorrectly because its source is either contexualless or misinterpreted. Jesus, in fact, did not ever issue a commandment in the traditional sense. Indeed, of all the stories and phrases he generated there is a clean three times more Parables than Miracles (physical demonstrations of power) given over the time of his Ministry.

-Joshua Jolly