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[463] quakers, it mutilated no heretics. Its early legislation
is the breath of reason and charity; and Jonathan Edwards did but sum up the political history of his native commonwealth for a century, when, anticipating, and in his consistency excelling, Godwin and Bentham, he gave Calvinism its political euthanasia, by declaring virtue to consist in universal love.

In Boston, with Henry Vane and Anne Hutchinson, ‘Calvinism ran to seed;’ and the seed was ‘incorruptible.’ Election implies faith, and faith freedom. Claiming the Spirit of God as the companion of man, the Antinomians asserted absolute freedom of mind. For predestination they substituted consciousness. ‘If the ordinances be all taken away, Christ cannot be;’ the forms of truth may perish; truth itself is immortal. ‘God will be ordinances to us.’ The exiled doctrine, which established conscience as the highest court of

appeal, fled to the island gift of Miantonomoh; and the records of Rhode Island, like the beautiful career of Henry Vane, are the commentary on the true import of the creed.

Faith in predestination alone divided the Antinomians from the Quakers. Both reverenced and obeyed the voice of conscience in its freedom. The near resemblance was perceived so soon as the fame of George Fox reached America; and the principal followers of Anne Hutchinson, Coddington, Mary Dyer, Henry Bull, and a majority of the people, avowed themselves to be Quakers.

Thus had the principle of freedom of mind, first asserted for the common people, under a religious form, by Wickliffe, been pursued by a series of plebeian sects, till it at last reached a perfect development, coinciding with the highest attainment of European philosophy.

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