him a mystery.
This was he, whom, for his abilities
and services, his contemporaries placed ‘in the first rank’ of men; praising him as ‘the one rich pearl, with which Europe
more than repaid America for the treasures from her coast.’
The people to whom Hooker
ministered had preceded him; as he landed, they crowded about him with their welcome.
‘Now I live’
—exclaimed he, as with open arms he embraced then —‘now I
live, if ye stand fast in the Lord
Thus recruited, the little band in Massachusetts
grew more jealous of its liberties.
‘The prophets in exile see the true forms of the house.’
By a common impulse, the freemen of the towns chose deputies to consider in advance the duties of the general court.
The charter plainly gave legislative power to the whole body of the freemen; if it allowed representatives, thought Winthrop
, it was only by inference; and as the whole people could not always assemble, the chief power, it was argued, lay necessarily with the assistants.
Far different was the reasoning of the people.
To check the democratic tendency, Cotton, on the election
day, preached to the assembled freemen against rotation in office.
The right of an honest magistrate to his place was like that of a proprietor to his freehold.
But the electors, now between three and four hundred in number, were bent on exercising ‘their absolute power,’ and, reversing the decision of the pulpit, chose a new governor and deputy.
The mode of taking the votes was at the same time reformed; and instead of the erection of hands, the ballot-box was introduced Thus ‘the people established a reformation of such things as they judged to be amiss in the government.’
It was further decreed, that the whole body of the freemen should be convened only for the election of the magistrates; to these, with deputies to be chosen by