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[154] it invited every man to read the
chap. VI.} 1754.
Bible, and made itself dear to the common mind, by teaching, as a divine revelation, the unity of the race and the natural equality of man; it claimed for itself freedom of utterance, and through the pulpit, in eloquence imbued with the authoritative words of prophets and apostles, spoke to the whole congregation; it sought new truth, denying the sanctity of the continuity of tradition; it stood up against the Middle Age and its forms in church and state, hating them with a fierce and unquenchable hatred.

Imprisoned, maimed, oppressed at home, its independent converts in Great Britain looked beyond the Atlantic for a better world. Their energetic passion was nurtured by trust in the divine protection, their power of will was safely intrenched in their own vigorous creed; and under the banner of the gospel, with the fervid and enduring love of the myriads who in Europe adopted the stern simplicity of the discipline of Calvin, they sailed for the wilderness, far away from ‘popery and prelacy,’ from the traditions of the church, from hereditary power, from the sovereignty of an earthly king,—from all dominion but the Bible, and ‘what arose from natural reason and the principles of equity.’

The ideas which had borne the New England emigrants to this transatlantic world were polemic and republican in their origin and their tendency. And how had the centuries matured the contest for mankind! Against the authority of the church of the Middle Ages Calvin arrayed the authority of the Bible; the time was come to connect religion and

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