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 by the law of God alone; a challenge of existing institutions and regnant philosophies, which if successful could not fail to bring about profound social changes. Necessarily, therefore, the Puritan reformation was allied with political reformation, and the period of ecclesiastical reorganization was equally a period of political reorganization. Modern political parties were thrown up out of the ferment of religious dispute, and the inevitable cleavages of Puritan thought were determined broadly by the cleavages of political thought. The three parties in the ecclesiastical field, Anglican, Presbyterian, and Independent, reflected the current political ideals of tory, whig, and democrat. The first was monarchical in principle, the ecclesiastical expression of tory absolutism. It gathered to its support the hereditary masters of society, who held that there should be one authoritative church, to which every subject of the crown must belong, to the support of which all must contribute, and in the governance of which only the appointed hierarchy should share. The second party was aristocratic in principle, the expression of the rising ideal of whiggery, or government by property through the instrumentality of landed gentlemen. Country squires and prosperous London citizens desired a church system which they could control, and this system they discovered in Presbyterianism, newly brought over from Geneva, which gave the control of the parish to the eldership, composed of responsible gentlemen who should serve as trustees for the good of the whole. The third party was more or less consciously democratic in principle, the expression of the newly awakened aspirations of the social underling. The poor man wanted to be ruled neither by bishops nor by gentlemen, but preferred to club with the like-minded of his own class, and set up an independent church along democratic lines. That was the true Christian church, he believed, which withdrew from all communion with sinners and established a “Congregation of the Saints” ; and so he called himself a Separatist. But whatever name he might call himself by, he was at bottom a democrat who demanded the right of self-government in the church, and who, when times were ripe, would assuredly assert the greater right of self-government in the state. Broadly speaking, the Anglicans kept the situation pretty
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