the Calvinists of Massachusetts
, scrupulously re-
fusing to the clergy the least shadow of political power, established the reign of the visible church—a commonwealth of the chosen people in covenant with God.
The dangers apprehended from England
seemed to require a union consecrated by the holiest rites.
The public mind of the colony was in other respects ripening for democratic liberty.
It could not rest satisfied with leaving the assistants in possession of all authority, and of an almost independent existence; and the magistrates, with the exception of the passionate Ludlow
, were willing to yield.
It was therefore agreed, at the next general court, that the governor and assist-
ants should be annually chosen.
The people, satisfied with the recognition of their right, reelected their former magistrates with silence and modesty.
The germ of a representative government was already visible; each town was ordered to choose two men, to appear at the next court of assistants, and concert a plan for a public treasury.
The measure had become necessary; for a levy, made by the assistants alone, had already awakened alarm and opposition.
While a happy destiny was thus preparing for Massachusetts
a representative government, relations of friendship were established with the natives.
From the banks of the Connecticut
came the sagamore of
the Mohegans, to extol the fertility of his country, and solicit an English plantation as a bulwark against the Pequods; the nearer Nipmucks
invoked the aid of the emigrants against the tyranny of the Mohawks; the
son of the aged Canonicus
exchanged presents with
the governor; and Miantonomoh
himself, the great warrior of the Narragansetts, the youthful colleague
, became a guest at the board of Winthrop
, and was present with the congregation at a