Contrary to stereotypes, the Puritans were engaged in life on this earth because of their thoroughly integrated Christian worldview that “all of life is God’s.”
In Puritan thinking, the Christian life was a heroic venture, requiring a full quota of energy. “Christianity is not a sedentary profession or employment,” wrote Baxter, adding, “Sitting still will lose you heaven, as well as if you run from it.” The Puritans were the activists of their day. In a letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Oliver Cromwell crossed out the words wait on and made his statement read “who have wrestled with God for a blessing.”
Stressing the God-centered life can lead to an otherworldly withdrawal from everyday earthly life. For the Puritans, it produced the opposite. Richard Sibbes sounded the keynote: “The life of a Christian is wondrously ruled in this world, by the consideration and meditation of the life of another world.” The doctrinal matrix that equipped the Puritans to integrate the two worlds was their thoroughly developed ideas on calling or vocation.