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[440] should be settled; the order against Anabaptists
Chap. X.} 1646.
was likewise left unrepealed; and, notwithstanding strong opposition from the friends of toleration in Boston, it was resolved to convene a synod to give counsel on the permanent settlement of the ecclesiastical polity.

At length the general court assembled for the discus-

Nov. 4.
sion of the usurpations of parliament, and the dangers from domestic treachery. The elders did not fail to attend in the gloomy season. One faithless deputy was desired to withdraw; and then, with closed doors (that the consultation might remain in the breast of the court), the nature of the relation with England was made the subject of debate. After much deliberation, it was agreed that Massachusetts owed to England the same allegiance as the free Hanse Towns had rendered to the empire; as Normandy, when its dukes were kings of England, had paid to the monarchs of France. It was also resolved not to accept a new charter from the parliament, for that would imply a surrender of the old. Besides, parliament granted none, but by way of ordinance, which the king might one day refuse to confirm, and always made for itself an express reservation of ‘a supreme power in all things.’ The elders, after a day's consultation, confirmed the decisions. ‘If parliament should be less inclinable to us, we must wait upon Providence for the preservation of our just liberties.’

The colony then proceeded to exercise the independence which it claimed. The general court replied to the petition in a state-paper, written with great moderation; and the disturbers of the public security were summoned into its presence. Robert Childe and his companions appealed to the commissioners in

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