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A "City Set on a Hill"

“City upon a hill” is a phrase that is associated with John Winthrop’s sermon “A Model of Christian Charity,” given in 1630. The phrase is derived from the metaphor of Salt and Light in the Sermon on the Mount.. Matthew 5:14 states “you are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Winthrop warned the Puritan colonists of New England who were to found the Massachusetts Bay Colony that their new community would be a “city upon a hill,” watched by the world:

“For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken... we shall be made a story and a by-word throughout the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God... We shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us til we be consumed out of the good land whither we are a-going.”