From a review essay in The Nation entitled (brilliantly) “Vexed and Trouble Englishmen”:

Rodgers’s book is not only a close reading of the reception and history of Winthrop’s speech but also a rescue operation for Puritanism itself. Rather than instigating the pernicious idea of the United States as God’s most favored nation, the Puritans, he argues, were unsure of their worthiness and subjected themselves to “the moral scrutiny of the world.”