The exaltation of the faculty of reason in the Puritan ethos--based partly on the conception of rationality as a curbing device of the passions--inevitably led to a sympathetic attitude toward those activities which demand the constant application of rigorous reasoning.  But again, in contrast to medieval rationalism, reason is deemed subservient and auxiliary to empiricism.  Sprat is quick to indicate the pre-eminent adequacy of science in this respect.  It is on this point probably that Puritanism and the scientific temper are in most salient agreement, for the combination of rationalism and empiricism which is so pronounced in the Puritan ethic forms the essence of the spirit of modern science.  Puritanism was suffused with the rationalism of neo-Platonism, derived largely through and appropriate modification of Augustine's teachings.  But it did not stop there.  Associated with the designated necessity of dealing successfully with the practical affairs of life within this world--a derivation from the peculiar twist afforded largely by the Calvinist doctrine of predestination and certitudo salutis through successful worldly activity--was an emphasis upon empiricism.  These two currents brought to convergence through the logic of an inherently consistent system of values were so associated with the other values of the time as to prepare the way for the acceptance of a similar coalescence in natural science (1968, p. 633).

Empiricism and rationalism were canonized, beatified, so to speak.  It may very well be that the Puritan ethos did not directly influence the method of science and that this was simply a parallel development in the internal history of science, but it is evident that through the psychological compulsion toward certain modes of thought and conduct this value-complex made an empirically-founded science commendable rather than, as in the medieval period, reprehensible or at best acceptable on sufferance.  This could not but have directed some talents into scientific fields which otherwise would have engaged in more highly esteemed professions.  The fact that science to-day is largely if not completely divorced from religious sanctions is itself of interest as an example of the process of secularization (1968, p. 633).