Asked by: Sidney Wiegelmann
asked in category: General Last Updated: 30th May, 2020

What did John Winthrop mean when he spoke of his city upon a hill?

The phrase “city on a hill” refers to a community that others will look up to. John Winthrop used this phrase to describe the Massachusetts Bay colony, which he believed would become a shining example of Puritan perfection.

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Similarly, you may ask, what is the meaning of John Winthrop city upon a hill?

John Winthrop delivered the following sermon before he and his fellow settlers reached New England. The sermon is famous largely for its use of the phrase “a city on a hill,” used to describe the expectation that the Massachusetts Bay colony would shine like an example to the world .

Secondly, what was the purpose of the City upon a Hill speech? Winthrop referred to their new place in the New World as a “city on a hill” that would be watched by the world in order to inspire the Puritans. The speech was meant to reach out to the public and the office general court.

Herein, what was the Puritan idea of a city upon a hill?

They were to be an example for the rest of the world in rightful living. Future governor John Winthrop stated their purpose quite clearly: "We shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us." The Arbella was one of eleven ships carrying over a thousand Puritans to Massachusetts that year.

What is Winthrop's overall message in this sermon?

The overall theme of the sermon is unity. The colonists are traveling to an untamed wilderness to create an entirely new society, so Winthrop stresses cooperation, as well as the virtues of faith in God's providence, mercy, and justice as necessary to success.

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