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[462] who, in his moments of ecstasy, had felt the
Chap. X.}
assurance of the favor of God, was in his own eyes a consecrated person. For him the wonderful counsels of the Almighty had chosen a Savior; for him the laws of nature had been suspended and controlled, the heavens had opened, earth had quaked, the sun had veiled his face, and Christ had died and had risen again; for him prophets and apostles had revealed to the world the oracles and the will of God. Viewing himself as an object of the divine favor, and in this connection disclaiming all merit, he prostrated himself in the dust before heaven; looking out upon mankind, how could he but respect himself, whom God had chosen and redeemed? He cherished hope; he possessed faith; as he walked the earth, his heart was in the skies. Angels hovered round his path, charged to minister to his soul; spirits of darkness leagued together to tempt him from his allegiance. His burning piety could use no liturgy; his penitence could reveal his transgressions to no confessor. He knew no superior in sanctity. He could as little become the slave of a priest craft as of a despot. He was himself a judge of the orthodoxy of the elders; and if he feared the invisible powers of the air, of darkness, and of hell, he feared nothing on earth. Puritanism constituted, not the Christian clergy, but the Christian people, the interpreter of the divine will. The voice of the majority was the voice of God; and the issue of Puritanism was therefore popular sovereignty. The effects of Puritanism display its true character still more distinctly. Ecclesiastical tyranny is of all kinds the worst; its fruits are cowardice, idleness, ignorance, and poverty: Puritanism was a life-giving spirit; activity, thrift intelligence, followed in its

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