he felt the righteous indignation of the conservative who desires no altering of the fundamental arrangements of society. Only the Word of God could justify change; and so when he was commissioned to write a body of liberties for the new commonwealth, he presented as harsh and rigid a code as the sternest theocrat could have wished, a strange compound of the brutalities of the old common law and the severities of the Mosaic rule. He was too old a man to fit into the new ways — a fact which he recognized by returning to England to die, leaving behind him as a warning to Congregationalism the pithy quatrain:
The upper world shall Rule,The more one reads in the literature of early New England the more one feels oneself in the company of men who were led by visions, and fed upon Utopian dreams. It was a day and a world of idealists, and of this number was John Eliot, saintly apostle to the Indians, who, in the midst of his missionary dreams and the arduous labours of supplying the bread of life to his native converts, found time to fashion his brick for the erection of that temple which the Puritans of the Protectorate were dreaming of. The idols had been broken under the hammer of Cromwell; the malevolent powers that so long had held sway at last were brought low; it remained now only for the people of God to enter into a solemn covenant to establish a commonwealth after the true divine model. That no mistake should be made in so important a matter, John Eliot sent out of the American wilderness the plan of a Christian Utopia, sanctioned by Mosaic example and buttressed at every point by chapter and verse, which he urged upon the people of England as a suitable guide to their feet. Naked theocracy is nowhere more uncompromisingly delineated than in the pages of The Christian commonwealth. At the base of Eliot's political thinking were the two germinal conceptions which animated his theocratic brethren generally: the conception that Christ is King of Kings, before whom all earthly authority must bow, and the conception that the
While Stars will run their race:
The nether world obey,
While People keep their place.