his son, ‘the youth,’ in whom all saw good hope,
was sent to the Charter House
in 1621, and passed with honor from that school to Pembroke College, in Cambridge
, where he took a degree; but his clear mind went far beyond his patron in his persuasions against bishops, ceremonies, and the national church; and he was pursued by Laud
out of his native land.
He was not much more than thirty years of age; but his mind had already matured a doctrine which secures him an immortality of fame, as its application has given religious peace to the American
A fugitive from English persecution, he had revolved the nature of intolerance, and had arrived at its only effectual remedy, the sanctity of conscience.
In soul matters he would have no weapons but soul weapons.
The civil magistrate
should restrain crime, but never control opinion; should punish guilt, but never violate inward freedom.
The doctrine contained within itself an entire reformation of theological jurisprudence: it would blot from the statute-book the felony of non-conformity; would quench the fires that persecution had so long kept burning; would repeal every law compelling attendance on public worship; would abolish tithes and all forced contributions to the maintenance of religion; would give an equal protection to every form of religious faith; and never suffer the force of the government to be employed against the dissenters' meeting-house, the Jewish synagogue, or the Roman
In the unwavering assertion of his views he never changed his position; the sanctity of conscience was the great tenet, which, with all its consequences, he defended, as he first trod the shores of New England
; and in his extreme old age it was the last pulsation of his heart.
The doctrine was a logical consequence of either of the two