judge he deduced from the constitution of man, and
held to be as universal as reason itself.
At once becoming revolutionary, he scoffed at receiving opinions because our forefathers had embraced them; and pushing the principle of Protestantism to its universal expression, he sent forth the American
mind to do its work, disburdened of prejudices.
The ocean which it had crossed had broken the trail of tradition, and it was now to find its own paths and make for itself a new existence, with not even its footsteps behind it, and nothing before it but its own futurity.
In January, 1750, the still youthful Mayhew
self a declared ‘volunteer’ in the service, instinctively alarmed at the menaced encroachments of power, summoned every lover of truth and of mankind to bear a part in the defensive war against ‘tyranny and priestcraft.’1
He reproved the impious bargain ‘between the sceptre and the surplice.’
He preached resistance to ‘the first small beginnings of civil tyranny, lest it should swell to a torrent and deluge empires.’
‘The doctrines,’ he cried, ‘of the divine right of kings and non-resistance are as fabulous and chimerical as the most absurd reveries of ancient or modern visionaries.’
‘If those who bear the title of civil rulers do not perform the duty of civil rulers,— if they injure and oppress,—they have not the least pretence to be honored or obeyed.
If the common safety and utility would not be promoted by submission to the government, there is no motive for submission;’ disobedience becomes ‘lawful and glorious,’ —‘not a crime, but a duty.’
Such were the ‘litanies of nations’2