But now the democratic revolution
had given an immediate political importance to religious sects: to tolerate Puritanism was to nurse a republican party.
It was, therefore, specially ordered
that no minister should preach or teach, publicly or privately, except in conformity to the constitutions of the church of England,1
and non-conformists were banished from the colony.
The unsocial spirit of political discord, fostering a mutual intolerance, prevented a frequent intercourse between Virginia
and New England
It was in vain that the ministers, invited from Boston
by the Puritan
settlements in Virginia
, carried letters from Winthrop
, written to Berkeley
and his council by order of the general court of Massachusetts
. ‘The hearts of the people were much inflamed with desire after the ordinances;’ but the missionaries were silenced by the government, and ordered to leave the country.2 Sir William Berkeley
was ‘a courtier, and very malignant towards the way of the churches’ in New England
thus displayed, though with comparatively little bitterness, the intolerance which for centuries had almost universally prevailed throughout the Christian world, a scene of distress was prepared by the vindictive ferocity of the natives, with whom a state of hostility had been of long continuance.
In 1643, it was enacted by the assembly, that no terms of peace should be entertained with the Indians; whom it was usual to distress by sudden marches against their settlements.
But the Indians had now heard of
the dissensions in England
, and taking counsel of their passions, rather than of their prudence, they resolved