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[261] sects; and Maryland itself was the prize contended
Chap VII.} 1654
for. The Puritans, ever the friends of popular liberty, hostile to monarchy, and equally so to a hereditary proprietary, contended earnestly for every civil liberty; but had neither the gratitude to respect the rights of the government, by which they had been received and fostered, nor magnanimity to continue the toleration, to which alone they were indebted for their residence in the colony. A new assembly, convened at Patux-
ent, acknowledged the authority of Cromwell; but it also exasperated the whole Romish party by their wanton disfranchisement. An act concerning religion confirmed the freedom of conscience, provided the liberty were not extended to ‘popery, prelacy,1 or licentiousness’ of opinion. Yet Cromwell, a friend to religious toleration, and willing that the different sects, ‘like the cedar, and the myrtle, and the oil-tree, should be planted in the wilderness together,’ never approved the ungrateful decree. He commanded the commissioners ‘not to busy themselves about religion, but to settle the civil government.’2

When the proprietary heard of these proceedings, he was indignant at the want of firmness which his lieutenant had displayed.3 The pretended assembly was esteemed ‘illegal, mutinous and usurped;’ and Lord Baltimore and his officers determined, under the powers which the charter conferred, to vindicate his supremacy.4 Towards the end of January, on the ar-

rival of a friendly ship, it was immediately noised abroad, that his patent had been confirmed by the protector; and orders began again to be issued for the entire restoration of his authority. Papists and others5 6

1 Bacon, 1654, c. IV

2 Chalmers, 236.

3 Hazard, i. 629. Strong.

4 Langford, 9, 10.

5 Strong, 5

6 Hammond, 22. Sad State 9.

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