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[463] train; and as for courage, a coward and a Puritan
Chap. X.}
never went together. ‘He that prays best, and preaches best, will fight best;’ such was the judgment of Cromwell, the greatest soldier of his age.

It was in self-defence that Puritanism in America began those transient persecutions of which the excesses shall find in me no apologist; and which yet were no more than a train of mists, hovering, of an autumn morning, over the channel of a fine river, that diffused freshness and fertility wherever it wound. The people did not attempt to convert others, but to protect themselves; they never punished opinion as such; they never attempted to torture or terrify men into orthodoxy. The history of religious persecution in New England is simply this;—the Puritans established a government in America such as the laws of natural justice warranted, and such as the statutes and common law of England did not warrant; and that was done by men who still acknowledged the duty of a limited allegiance to the parent state. The Episcopalians had declared themselves the enemies of the party, and waged against it a war of extermination; Puritanism excluded them from its asylum. Roger Williams, the apostle of ‘soul-liberty,’ weakened the cause of civil independence by impairing its unity; and he was expelled, even though Massachusetts always bore good testimony to his spotless virtues.1 Wheelwright and his friends, in their zeal for strict Calvinism, forgot their duty as citizens, and they also were exiled. The Anabaptist, who could not be relied upon as an ally, was guarded as a foe. The Quakers denounced the

1 Backus, i. 155. Winthrop, II. 193.

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