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[404] the free planters of the colony desired a more perfect
Chap. IX.} 1639. June 4.
form of government, the followers of Him who was laid in a manger held their constituent assembly in a barn. There, by the influence of Davenport, it was solemnly resolved, that the Scriptures are the perfect rule of a commonwealth; that the purity and peace of the ordinances to themselves and their posterity, were the great end of civil order; and that church members only should be free burgesses. A committee of twelve was selected to choose seven men, qualified for the foundation work of organizing the government. Eaton, Davenport, and five others, were ‘the seven Pillars’ for the new House of Wisdom, in the wilderness. In August,
Aug. 23.
1639, the seven pillars assembled, possessing for the time absolute power. Having abrogated every previous executive trust, they admitted to the court all church members; the character of civil magistrates was next expounded ‘from the sacred oracles;’ and the election followed. Then Davenport, in the words of Moses to Israel in the wilderness, gave a charge to the governor, to judge righteously; ‘the cause that is too hard for you,’—such was part of the minister's text,— ‘bring it unto me, and I will hear it.’ Annual elections were ordered; and God's word established as the only rule in public affairs. Thus New Haven made the Bible its statute-book, and the elect its freemen. As neighboring towns were planted, each was likewise a house of wisdom, resting on its seven pillars, and aspiring to be illumined by the Eternal Light. The colonists prepared for the second coming of Christ, which they confidently expected. Meantime their pleasant villages spread along the Sound, and on the opposite shore of Long Island, and for years they nursed the hope of
1640 to 1649.
‘speedily planting Delaware.’

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