previous next
[387] of the original settlers, the framers of the civil govern-
Chap IX.} 1636
ment, and their adherents; they who were intent on the foundation and preservation of a commonwealth, and were satisfied with the established order of society. They had founded their government on the basis of the church, and church membership could be obtained only by the favor of the clergy and an exemplary life. They dreaded unlimited freedom of opinion as the parent of ruinous divisions. ‘The cracks and flaws in the new building of the reformation,’ thought they, ‘portend a fall;’1 they desired patriotism, union, and a common heart; they were earnest to confirm and build up the state, the child of their cares and their sorrows. They were reproached with being ‘priestridden magistrates,’2 ‘under a covenant of works.’

The other party was composed of individuals who had arrived after the civil government and religious discipline of the colony had been established. They came fresh from the study of the tenets of Geneva; and their pride consisted in following the principles of the reformation with logical precision to all their consequences. Their eyes were not primarily directed to the institutions of Massachusetts, but to the doctrines of their religious system. They had come to the wilderness for freedom of religious opinion; and they resisted every form of despotism over the mind. To them the clergy of Massachusetts were ‘the ushers of persecution,’3 ‘popish factors,’4 who had not imbibed the true doctrines of Christian reform; and they applied to the influence of the Puritan ministers the principle which Luther and Calvin had employed against the observances and pretensions of the Roman

1 Shepherd's Lamentation, 2.

2 The phrase is William Codlington's. See Besse, II. 267.

3 Coddington, in Besse, II. 267.

4 Welde's Rise, Reign, and Ruin

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
Geneva, N. Y. (New York, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Besse (2)
Thomas Welde (1)
T. Shepherd (1)
William Codlington (1)
William Coddington (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: