The Importance Of Faith In The Confessions

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There is a reoccurring theme throughout The Confessions where Puritans seem entirely burdened with guilt, typically due to their wavering faith or belief in God. It often seems that in times of adversity, they are unable to feel God’s presence and their misery completely clouds and obstructs their faith. Many of them also feel so out-of-touch with God, they feel they are undeserving of his “mercy”. Some even go further and admit to being afraid of God’s wrath, as Joanna Still’s confession demonstrates; “And from Jeremiah—though has forsaken me for I am weary of repenting—and so she thought God would destroy her.” (The Confessions 159). The various circumstances of these confessions bring up some interesting questions and serve as a window into the the everyday lives of these Puritan colonists. For what reasons do these lapses in faith occur? This is just one question that arises while trying to understand Puritan perspectives. The widowed Joanna Still’s confession presents an interesting dilemma, where she says; “I’ll go to the Lord, but could not….But in deep distress, Zachariah 12:10—they shall look and mourn—there she saw she could not believe in the blood which was shed for her. And hence considering God commanded her and condemned her for not believing.” (The Confessions 161). There are two explanations to this dilemma; the first being that she feels God has punished her with misfortune because of her inability to feel God’s presence. The second explanation is that it

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