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[45] the people are not deprived of their naturall freedome by the power of Tyrants.

Narr. Club Pub., III., 249.

Clearly the radical times, his own experience, and his discussions with Sir Harry Vane had carried Roger Williams far into the field of political speculation, and confirmed his prepossessions of broader political rights for the common people from whom he had sprung. In all his later thinking there stood sharply before his mind the figure of the individual citizen, endowed with certain inalienable rights, a free member of a free commonwealth; and it was this profoundly modern conception which he transported to the wilderness of Rhode Island, providing there a fit sanctuary for the ark of the democratic covenant which was soon to be roughly handled by the tory reaction of Restoration England.

A courageous and unselfish thinker was this old-time Separatist and democrat. The friendliest of souls, time has brought him the friends which his restless intellect drove from him in his own day. However hopelessly we may lose ourselves in the tangle of his writings, confused by the luxuriance of his Hebraic tropes, we can plainly discern the man, the most charitable, the most open-minded, the most modern, amongst the notable company of Puritan emigrants — the sincerest Christian among many who sincerely desired to be Christians. His own words most adequately characterize him: ““Liberavi animam meam”: I have not hid within my breast, my souls belief.” Naturally such a man could not get on with the Presbyterian leaders of Boston Bay; the social philosophies which divided them were fundamentally hostile; and the fate which Roger Williams suffered was prophetic of the lot that awaited later zealots in the democratic cause — to be outcast and excommunicate from respectable society.

A man of far different mettle was old Thomas Hooker of Hartford. The sternest autocrat of them all, a leader worthy to measure swords with the redoubtable Hugh Peters himself, a man of “mighty vigour and fervour of spirit” who, to further “his Master's work, would put a king in his pocket,” he would seem to be the very stuff out of which to fashion a dictator

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