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 a serious matter to offend the hierarchy, even in the days of its decline, and far more serious to attack. But the days of its domination were numbered, and after 1720 the secular authority of the Puritan divines swiftly decayed. The old dream of a Kingdom of God was giving way, under pressure of economic circumstance, to the new dream of a commonwealth of free citizens. The theological age was to be followed by a political age, and in this later world of thought the Puritan divines were unfitted to remain leaders of the people.
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