Quotation by Ralph Barton Perry

Puritanism prolonged in America the medieval Christian view of the world and of human destiny. It taught men to distrust their natural inclinations as well as their natural faculties, and to find their origin and their salvation in a supernatural order.... The Enlightenment, on the other hand, was humane, optimistic, and eudaemonistic. The fact that Benjamin Franklin formulated maxims for conduct only served to accentuate the difference in the ultimate ground of moral appeal. The puritan maxims consisted largely in prohibitions, and were imposed by the will of God; the maxims of the new philosophy were recipes for success, discovered by common sense, and motivated by the end of happiness.
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