Did the Puritans Have Fun?

There is a common misunderstanding about the Puritans. Many think that they were ultra-prudish kill-joys. Now they were conservative, and certainly their version of "fun" may not be fun to the average unconverted sinner. However, the Puritans could have fun. They held celebrations and feasts often. During these events and at home, they sang and told stories. Children had homemade toys to play with and were allowed to play games with their parents' permission. Wine and beer drinking in moderation were common place. Puritans would also read books, go to church, hunt, and fish. They kept diaries, wrote sermons, psalm books, literature, and made art all while seeking to avoid vice. At least that was their goal. I seriously doubt every one of them were perfect in their quest for holiness. In fact I know different. If you have read "The Valley of Vision," or any other Puritan work, you will see that they lamented their own sin greatly and sought to have a better relationship to God on a daily basis. So the next time someone tells you that the Puritans were "evil legalistic prudes," you can tell them you know different. I will leave you with a great work from a Puritan called Resting in God.

"O God, most high, most glorious, the thought of Thine infinite serenity cheers me, for I am toiling and moiling, troubled and distressed, but Thou art for ever at perfect peace. Thy designs cause thee no fear or care of unfulfilment, they stand fast as the eternal hills. Thy power knows no bond, Thy goodness no stint. Thou bringest order out of confusion, and my defeats are Thy victories: The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
I come to Thee as a sinner with cares and sorrows, to leave every concern entirely to Thee, every sin calling for Christ's precious blood; revive deep spirituality in my heart; let me live near to the great Shepherd, hear His voice, know its tones, follow its calls. Keep me from deception by causing me to abide in the truth, from harm by helping me to walk in the power of the Spirit. Give me intenser faith in the eternal verities, burning into me by experience the things I know; Let me never be ashamed of the truth of the gospel, that I may bear its reproach, vindicate it, see Jesus as its essence, know in it the power of the Spirit.
Lord, help me, for I am often lukewarm and chill; unbelief mars my confidence, sin makes me forget Thee. Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots; grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to Thee, that all else is trifling. Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy. Abide in me, gracious God."


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