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[350] as men ‘factious and evil conditioned,’ who could
Chap. IX.} 1629.
not be suffered to remain within the limits of the grant, because they would not be conformable to its government. Thus was Episcopacy professed in Massachusetts, and thus was it exiled.

The Brownes, on their arrival in England, raised rumors of scandalous and intemperate speeches, uttered by the ministers in their public sermons and prayers, and of rash innovations begun and practised in the civil and ecclesiastical government. The returning ships also carried with them ‘letters which were venerated as sacred scripts, or as the writing of holy prophets.’ So deeply was the English people touched with sympathy for the young colony, that within a few months three editions were published of the glowing description of New England by Higginson.

For the concession of the Massachusetts charter seemed to the Puritans like a summons from Heaven, inviting them to America. There they might profess the gospel in its spotless simplicity, and the solitudes of nature would protect their devotions. England, by her persecutions, proved herself weary of her inhabitants, who were now esteemed more vile than the earth on which they trod. Habits of expense degraded men of moderate fortune; and the schools, which should be fountains of living waters, had become corrupt. The New World shared in the providence of God; it had claims, therefore, to the benevolence and exertions of man. What nobler work than to abandon the comforts of England, and plant a church without a blemish where it might spread over a continent?

But was it right, a scrupulous conscience demanded, to fly from persecutions? Yes, they answered, for

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