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daring position of liberty and power under Christ's sole authority, without any regard to the will of the monarch, or the state, or the hierarchy, as to exclude all persons of scandalous lives from the table of the Lord and from the privileges of his covenant. It was found, moreover, that these ministers and this church not only could but would pray without a prayer-book, and that the Book of Common Prayer, which had been imposed by violence in England, was no more to bind them here, than the Book of Sports, which James, Charles, and Laud were making the gospel of the nation, or the May-pole itself, which Governor Endicott had cut down from Mount Dagon. It was discovered, in fine, that what was a poor, miserable, mere, outlawed, despised, down-trodden conventicle in England, was going to be, here in the wilderness, the sole, august, spiritual, beautiful Church of Christ, almost the Church Triumphant, instead of the Church Militant. It seemed, to those who had admired and relished the old order of things, as if here the Old Conventicle had become the Living Temple of God, while the Old Hierarchy would be regarded as nothing better than Satan's Conventicle.

There was an uprising against all this, immediately. We shall give the account of it, first, in the words of Mr. Neal in his History of New England.

“Some of the passengers, who came over with these first planters, observing that the ministers did not use the Book of Common Prayer; that they administered Baptism and the Lord's Supper without the ceremonies [of the Liturgy of the Church of England] ; that they refused to admit disorderly persons, and resolved to use discipline against all scandalous members of the church, set up a separate assembly, according to the usage of the Church of England. Of these Mr. Samuel Browne and his brother were the chief, the one a lawyer, and the other a merchant, both of them men of estates and figure, and of the number of the first patentees. The Governor, perceiving the disturbance that was like to arise on this occasion, sent for the two brothers, who accused the ministers as departing from the order of the Church of England, adding that they were Separatists, and would shortly be Anabaptists, but for themselves they would hold to the orders of the Church of England. The ministers replied that they were neither Separatists nor Anabaptists, that they did not separate from the Church of England, nor from the ordinances of God there, but only from the corruptions and disorders of that Church; that they came away from the Common Prayer and Ceremonies, and had suffered much for their Nonconformity in their native land, and therefore, being in a place where they might have their liberty, they neither could nor would use them, because they judged the impositions of these things to be sinful corruptions of the word of God. The Governor, the Council, and the people generally, approved of the ministers' answer; but the two brothers, not being satisfied, and endeavoring to raise a mutiny among the people, were sent back to England by the return of the same ships that brought them over."*

Thus far with the testimony of Mr. Neal, which in this matter is mainly drawn from that of Cotton Mather in his Magnalia.

Let us now take the record of an admirable historian of our country, whose sympathies indeed, as a religious Scotchman of a free and generous mind, are with our Pilgrim Fathers, but who is confessed, on all hands, to have written with great fairness and impartiality, the testimony of Mr. Grahame, in his Colonial History of the United States.

“Two brothers,” he says, “ of the name of Browne, one a lawyer and the other a merchant, both of them men of note, and among the original patentees, dissented from this constitution (of the Plymouth church as copied by the church at Salem), and arguing with great absurdity that all

* Neal's History of New England, vol. i., p. 129.

who adhered to it would infallibly become Anabaptists, endeavored to procure converts to their opinion, and to establish a separate congregation, on a model more approximated to the form of the Church of England. The defectiveness of their argument was supplied by the vehemence of their clamor; and they obtained a favorable audience from a few persons who regarded with unfriendly eye the discipline which the provincial church was disposed to exercise upon offenders against the rules of morality, Endicott, the Governor, called those men together with the ministers before a general assembly of the people, who, after hearing both parties, repeated their approbation of the system that had been established ; and as the two brothers still persisted in their attempts to create a schism in the church, and even endeavored to excite a mutiny against the government, they were declared unfit to remain in the colony, and compelled to re-embark and depart in the vessels in which they had accompanied the other emigrants in the voyage from England. Their departure restored harmony to the colonists, who were endeavoring to complete their settlement, and extend their occupation of the country, when they were interrupted by the approach of winter and the ravages of disease, which quickly deprived them of nearly one half of their number, but produced no other change on their minds than to cause the sentiments of hope and fear to converge more steadily to the Author of their existence.” *

Notwithstanding the censure," continues Mr. Grahame, " with which some witers have commented on the banishment of the two individuals whose case we have remarked, the justice of the proceeding must commend itself to the sentiments of all impartial men."

Now this judgment is the more striking and trustworthy because it comes from a man who did not fail on other occasions to rebuke severely the spirit of intolerance, when

* Grahame's Colonial History of the United States, vol. i., p. 216.

he saw it displayed in the acts or temper of any of the Puritans. He adds that on the return of these men to England, when they preferred their complaint and accusation against the colonists for oppression towards themselves and enmity to the Church of England, the total disregard which their complaint experienced confirms the opinion that the intendment of the Massachusetts Charter was to give the colonists unrestricted liberty to regulate their own ecclesiastical estate. They had, therefore, a legal right, as well as the right of equity, to return these disturbers of the peace to the bosom of that native establishment, the laws of which the disturbers would, if they could, have enforced upon the colony.

We regard this opinion of the historian Grahame, in the case of these men, as a righteous and true judgment; and we cannot but contrast it honorably with the sneer of the historian Bancroft, on the same occasion, “ that the blessings of the promised land were to be kept for Puritanic Dissenters, and that these Brownes were banished from Salem because they were churchmen.”

If indeed this had been the case, it was a lesson taught by the churchmen themselves, who were just now endeavoring to prevent, for ever, any other lesson from being taught or learned, either in the New World or the Old. The truth is, if the blessings of the promised land, the blessings of religious liberty, had not been kept for Puritanic Dissenters, they would neither have been permitted to, nor enjoyed by, any other sects in the world. The sanctuary of these Puritanic Dissenters was the only place in the whole world where they could be enjoyed. Indeed, it was the only place where the nature of a perfect religious liberty was beginning to be understood. These blessings were not regarded as blessings by any others than these same Puritanic Dissenters. There were no others who saw far enough into the nature of the Gospel, and the preciousness and glory of a free conscience, to esteem these

things as the free and most precious gifts of God to man. Nay, these blessings of free church covenants, and a church free to exercise Christ's spiritual discipline upon scandalous persons, and free to pray without the Common Prayer Book, and to be baptized without the sign of the cross, and to exercise the gifts of brethren, without the soldiers of a High Commission committing them to prison, were regarded as the superstitions of a knot of poor, pitiful, obstinate fanatics; blessings which they of the Establishment not only did not wish to share, but would not leave quietly for the dissenters themselves to share.

They had with great difficulty been prevailed upon to connive at this region of New England becoming a sort of Botany Bay for those who were punished as criminals against the Establishment; and now they were endeavoring to bring the Establishment itself over into this very Botany Bay; they were exclaiming against the exclusiveness of these criminals in wishing to maintain that freedom which had been connived at, and for the enjoyment of which they had suffered themselves to be transported like criminals, from their native land. Perhaps, if we look fairly at both sides of the point before us, we shall find that these men were not banished because they were churchmen, but because they would not suffer others quietly to be dissent

It was evident, beyond question, to the foresight of Governor Endicott, that they were just introducing, with the whole weight of the regal and ecclesiastical despotism of England on their side, the same exclusive and tyrannical system here, which had ground the Nonconformists into powder there. Let them get footing with their Common Prayer Book and Rubrics, and their accusations against the Pilgrim Ministers and churches, of Separatism and disobedience, rebellion and dissent, and how long would it have been, before King Charles's and Archbishop Laud's troops would have been transported from England into America, to dragoon these rebels into submission, and to sustain here

ers.

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