likewise the oppressive Hierarchical system, in all its power and grandeur.

The colonists had fled from the despotism of that system in England; they were wise and just not to admit it here, nor even an entering wedge for it. It was as a ferocious wild beast, whom they could not conquer there, though they could happily fly beyond the reach of his violence here. And now, shall they be accused of intolerance, simply because here, where they could confine him, they would not let him go at large; or because here they shut him up in a vessel, and transported him back to his original, national menagerie?

“I will be tolerant of everything else," said Mr. Coleridge, “ but every other man's intolerance.” Now here it was plainly the intolerance of others, not their religion, of which Governor Endicott would not be tolerant. And in this thing he and the colonists were evidently guided by Infinite wisdom. For, if the churchmen had been permitted to go on, there would have been an end to this sanctuary of freedom in the wilderness. There would have been no New England in existence, in the history of which there should be scope for a sneer at the piety, or the freedom, or the superstition of its founders. Their not being suffered to go on, is the reason why they, and all other sects, even Bunyan's Giant Grim, with his nails pared, are here in quiet now. God, in his gracious divine providence, would not suffer any others than the persecuted Puritanic Dissenters to get footing here, until both in the Old World and the New the great lesson of religious liberty had been more fully taught and understood. He had much light yet for Cromwell and the Independents of England to pour upon this question. The sneers at the course of our Pilgrim Fathers are sneers against the providence of God and the freedom of man.

If the Brownes had been permitted to go on in their factious course, the formal church, which they were seeking to set up, must have been an Established Church; it must

have been a church, which, so soon as it got power, would have put down every other church as a Conventicle, would have compelled every other church to conform to it. And it would have got power immediately. A single petition to the Church and Government of England for aid would have brought over a commission from Laud and Charles, charged with power to uproot the dissenting heresy from its foundations. So that, whether it were the wisdom and foresight of Endicott and his coadjutors, or their mere fanaticism, or not, that produced their course of conduct on this occasion, it was the salvation of that colony, it was the preservation of New England liberty from extinction in the bud. It was the providential wisdom and goodness of God, guarding the system which the Puritans were seeking to establish; preserving the newly planted Vine from the boar out of the woods and the wild boar out of the Establishment, that they should not devour it. Our fathers were too vigilant and wise to tolerate in their infant church and state what they saw plainly would utterly destroy its freedom, and make it in the end merely a branch of the Church-and-State system of England.

That their conclusions were true, that their foresight was timely, that their course was the only course which a true regard to the freedom of the colony admitted, is fully proved by what, within a very short period, did take place under Laud; by the imprisonment of Winslow, and the High Commission under Laud for overthrowing completely the Puritan Churches of New England, and establishing the English church upon their ruins; a thing which most certainly would have been accomplished, if meanwhile there had been but the very commencement of an Episcopal church, under government of the Establishment, already planted. Viewed as a mutinous effort against the Government, the movement of these Brownes was most justly restrained and prevented by the Government ; viewed as simply and merely an attempt to set up the Church of England, and thus put down Separation and Dissent, the course pursued by the Government must be regarded as an act of pure self-defence, and they must be confessed to have exercised great wisdom in transporting those men back to the enjoyment of the Establishment in their own country. It was fully proved that the Church and Dissent would not be tolerated together by the Government of England. Dissent had fled to New England and gained possession of a place, where, by itself, it could live at liberty. When the Established Church came also, it was really a question which should be expelled. The right of previous possession alone, were that all which could be urged in the premises, would decide the case in favor of the right of the Puritanic Dissenters.

Dr. Bacon remarks, that as to the principle of requiring a sympathy with the great design of the plantation in those who were admitted to share its power and privileges, and a membership in the simple Church of Christ, out of which it was constituted, one simple fact which the Fathers knew right well, is the vindication of their policy. “They knew that as soon as they should have built their houses, and got their lands under cultivation, as soon as they should have got enough of what was taxable and titheable to excite covetousness, the King would be sending over his needy profligates to govern them, and the Archbishop his surpliced commissaries to gather the tithes into his storehouse. Knowing this, they were resolved to leave no door open for such an invasion. They came hither to establish a free Christian commonwealth ; and to secure that end, they determined that in their commonwealth none should have any civil power, who either would not or could not enter at the door of Church Fellowship. They held themselves bound, they said, to establish such civil order as might best conduce to the securing the purity and peace of the ordinances for themselves and their posterity. When they introduced the principle, it was not for the sake of bestowing honors


or privileges upon piety, but for the sake of guarding their liberty, and securing the end for which they had made themselves exiles. If you call their adoption of this principle fanaticism, it is to be remembered that the same fanaticism runs through the history of England. How long has any man in England been permitted to hold any office under the crown without being a communicant in the Church of England ? Call it fanaticism if you will. To that fanaticism which threw off the laws of England, and made these colonies Puritan Commonwealths, we are indebted for our existence as a distinct and independent nation.”


* Bacon's Historical Discourses, p. 27.




To show the correctness of the preceding views, nothing more is requisite than just to glance at the attempts really made, and the steps actually taken from time to time, to set up a church despotism in the colonies under Archbishop Laud ; attempts signally defeated by the good Providence of God, but which to all human appearance would have been successful, had there been a single Established Church set up in New England. The exclusion of the Episcopal Hierarchy for the present from the colonies was the only guarantee by which New England was looked to from abroad as being, in the words of Hallam, a secure place of refuge from present tyranny, and a boundless prospect for future hope. Hallam says that in 1638, hopeless of the civil and religious liberties of England, there were men of high rank, and of capacious and commanding minds, such as Jay, Hazlerig, Brooke, Hampden, and Cromwell, preparing to embark for America, when Laud, for his own and his master's cause, procured an order of council to stop their departure. He quotes the royal proclamation, and remarks that any trackless wilderness seemed better

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