be repealed or restrained by human laws—rights de-
rived from the Great Legislator of the Universe.’
Tracing the gradual improvement of human society from the absolute monarchy of the earliest ages, and from the more recent tyrannies of the canon and the feudal law, he saw in the Reformation the uprising of the people, under the benign providence of God, against the confederacy of priestcraft and feudalism—of spiritual and temporal despotism.
‘This great struggle’—these are his words—
Not religion alone, a love of universal liberty projected, conducted, and accomplished its settlement.
After their arrival here, the Puritans formed their plan, both of ecclesiastical and civil government, in direct opposition to the canon and feudal systems.
They demolished the whole system of diocesan episcopacy.
To render the popular power in their new government as great and wise as their principles of theory, they endeavored to remove from it feudal inequalities, and establish a government of the state, more agreeable to the dignity of human nature than any they had seen in Europe.
Convinced that nothing could preserve their posterity from the encroachments of the two systems of tyranny but knowledge diffused through the whole people, they laid very early the foundations of colleges, and made provision by law, that every town should be furnished with a grammar-school.
The education of all ranks of people was made the care and expense of the public, in a manner unknown to any other people, ancient or modern, so that a native American, who cannot read and write, is as rare an appearance as a comet or an earthquake.
There seems to be a direct and formal design on