for maintaining that the civil power had no jurisdiction over conscience.
This doctrine was fatal to the existence of a theocratic state dominated by the church.
John Cotton was perfectly logical in “enlarging” Roger Williams
into the wilderness, but he showed less than his usual discretion in attacking the quick-tempered Welshman in pamphlets.
It was like asking Hotspur if he would kindly consent to fight.
Back and forth the books fly, for Williams
loves this game.
His Bloody Tenet of Persecution for cause of conscience
calls forth Mr. Cotton
's Bloody Tenet washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb
; and this in turn provokes the torrential flood of Williams
's masterpiece, The Bloody Tenet yet more Bloody, by Mr. Cotton's endeavor to wash it white in the blood of the Lamb
There is glorious writing here, and its effect cannot be suggested by quoting sentences.
But there is one sentence in a letter written by Williams
in his old age to his fellow-townsmen of Providence
which points the whole moral of the terrible mistake made by the men who sought spiritual liberty in America
for themselves, only to deny that same liberty to others.
“I have only one motion and petition,” begs this veteran pioneer who had forded many a swollen stream and built