I am reading “The American Pageant” by Thomas A. Bailey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_A._Bailey. Bailey has given a short introduction of Calvinism.
Calvin argued, was all- powerful and all-good. Humans, because of the corrupting effect of original sin, were weak and wicked. God was also all-knowing—and he knew who was going to heaven and who was going to hell. Since the first moment of creation, some souls—the elect—had been destined for eternal bliss and others for eternal torment. Good works could not save those whom “predestination” had marked for the infernal fires.
But neither could the elect count on their predetermined salvation and lead lives of wild, immoral abandon. For one thing, no one could be certain of his or her status in the heavenly ledger. Gnawing doubts about their eternal fate plagued Calvinists. They constantly sought, in themselves and others, signs of “conversion,” or the receipt of God’s free gift of saving grace. Conversion was thought to be an intense, identifiable personal experience in which God revealed to the elect their heavenly destiny. Thereafter they were expected to lead “sanctified” lives, demonstrating by their holy behavior that they were among the “visible saints.”
These doctrines swept into England just as King Henry VIII was breaking his ties with the Roman Catholic Church in the 1530s, making himself the head of the Church of England. Henry would have been content to retain Roman rituals and creeds, but his action powerfully stimulated some English religious reformers to undertake a total purification of English Christianity. Many of these “Puritans,” as it happened, came from the commercially depressed woolen districts (see p. 28). Calvinism, with its message of stark but reassuring order in the divine plan, fed on this social unrest and provided spiritual comfort to the economically disadvantaged.
Well, "the American pageant" is an American high school history textbook. I am teaching this book to my students. The quote is from chapter 3 under the section title "The Protestant Reformation Produces Puritanism". The whole chapter can be read here. https://wchs.pasco.k12.fl.us/wp-content/uploads/wchs/2012/05/American-Pageant-CH-3.pdf
I need help interpreting the part in bold. I think "divine plan" means “predestination”.But what does "order" mean here?