Free Online Bible Library | John Winthrop

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John Winthrop

1588-1649. English lawyer who became governor of Massachusetts. Born in Suffolk, he attended Trinity College, Cambridge, and then studied law at Gray's Inn. Elected governor of the migrating Puritans, he led the exodus of 1630 to Massachusetts where he served as governor many times. His principles, enunciated in A Model of Christian Charity (1630), focused the life of the colony on the covenant of God with His people, patterned after OT Israel, in which corporate obedience to God's law of love was the major condition determining whether God would bless or curse the enterprise. The civil magistrates accordingly attempted to maintain both moral purity and theological conformity, the latter principle leading to the exiling of Anne Hutchinson* and Roger Williams.* Winthrop helped to organize, and was the first president of, the New England Confederation of 1643.