John Piper has said that Puritan writing is so powerful because they lived on the precipice of life and death. Their lives were naturally difficult, not having the conveniences that we enjoy today and without the health care advances that all of us profit from … many of them outlived some or all their children.
That’s part of the story for sure. But, in addition, they were also persecuted for their faith. Other than for a short period of time, they were on the outside of the established church and were ridiculed and persecuted, in some cases even to death, for what they believed and refused to compromise.
Much has been written about the soft life Americans, in general, live. We have heaters and air conditioners, food in abundance packed into refrigerators and stores that are a short drive away if we need anything else, doctors and hospitals providing the kind of care that would have been unthinkable even 50-100 years ago, and entertainment available 24X7 to distract us from “real life.”