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[151] ‘appeared like such a little white flower as we
chap. VI.} 1754.
see in the spring of the year, low and humble on the ground, standing peacefully and lovingly in the midst of the flowers round about; all, in like manner, opening their bosoms to drink in the light of the sun.’1 In every hand was the Bible; every home was a house of prayer; in every village all had been taught, many had comprehended, a methodical theory of the divine purpose in creation, and of the destiny of man.

Child of the Reformation, closely connected with the past centuries and with the greatest intellectual struggles of mankind, New England had been planted by enthusiasts who feared no sovereign but God. In the universal degeneracy and ruin of the Roman world, when freedom, laws, imperial rule, municipal authority, social institutions, were swept away,— when not a province, nor city, nor village, nor family was safe, Augustin, the African bishop, with a burning heart, confident that, though Rome tottered, the hope of man would endure, rescued from the wreck of the old world the truths that would renew humanity, and sheltered them in the cloister, among successive generations of men, who were insulated by their vows from decaying society, bound to the state neither by ambition, nor by allegiance, nor by the sweet attractions of wife and child.

After the sighs and sorrows of centuries, in the dawn of serener days, an Augustine monk, having also a heart of flame, seized on the same great ideas, and he and his followers, with wives and children,

1 Autobiographical Sketch of Jonathan Edwards in Works, i. 28. Worcester Edition. The late Dr. Channing called my attention to this sketch; he used to speak of it, page 35, 36, as containing the most vivid expression of an overpowering sense of God's omnipresence.

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