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[244] of churches; the power of creating manors and
Chap. VII.} 1632
courts baron, and of establishing a colonial aristocracy on the system of sub-infeudation. But these things were practically of little moment. Even in Europe, feudal institutions appeared like the decrepitude of age amidst the vigor and enterprise of a new and more peaceful civilization, they could not be perpetuated in the lands of their origin; far less could they renew their youth in America. Sooner might the oldest oaks in Windsor forest be transplanted across the Atlantic, than the social forms, which Europe itself was beginning to reject as antiquated and rotten. But the seeds of popular liberty, contained in the charter, would find, in the New World, the very soil best suited to quicken them into life and fruitfulness.

Calvert deserves to be ranked among the most wise and benevolent lawgivers of all ages. He was the first in the history of the Christian world to seek for religious security and peace by the practice of justice, and not by the exercise of power; to plan the establishment of popular institutions with the enjoyment of liberty of conscience; to advance the career of civilization by recognizing the rightful equality of all Christian sects. The asylum of Papists was the spot, where, in a remote corner of the world, on the banks of rivers which, as yet, had hardly been explored, the mild forbearance of a proprietary adopted religious freedom as the basis of the state.

Before the patent could be finally adjusted and pass

April 15.
the great seal, Sir George Calvert died,1 leaving a name against which the breath of calumny has hardly whispered a reproach. The petulance of his adversaries

1 Chalmers. 201

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