Puritan doctrine in 17th C. Lit

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In seventeenth century America, the world was a frightening place. God could, and would, strike a man down at any time for any missteps he might take. Nature was filled with horrors, like Indians, and the Devil resided in the forest, waiting to steal peoplesí souls. In the eighteenth century, however, the Enlightenment began. Man discovered that he could learn by following othersí example, or by observing nature, rather than looking solely to the Bible …

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showed last 75 words of 1216 total
…between the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries. Man became less focused on the omnipotence of God and became more interested in increasing his own knowledge of the world around him. God began to shrink into the background and man emerged as the ruler of his own fate. Although many differences existed between Paine and Franklinís opinions, the two of them are examples of who the ideal person of the Enlightenment was supposed to be.