previous next
[463] quakers, it mutilated no heretics. Its early legislation
Chap XVIII}
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

Wheelwright.
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.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Rhode Island (Rhode Island, United States) (1)
Boston (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Henry Vane (2)
Anne Hutchinson (2)
Wickliffe (1)
Wheelwright (1)
Miantonomoh (1)
Thomas Godwin (1)
George Fox (1)
Jonathan Edwards (1)
Mary Dyer (1)
Coddington (1)
Jesus Christ (1)
Henry Bull (1)
Bentham (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: