Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1841, by


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.


FEB 29 1908



Allen & Morrill, Printers, Andover.


This volume contains the history of Congregationalism from about A. D. 250 to 1616. Much of it, consequently, is occupied with the history of the principles and doctrines now embraced by the denomination, rather than by the history of Congregationalists themselves. Though as a denomination, we had no distinctive, organized existence until near the close of the sixteenth century; yet, inasmuch as some of our denominational peculiarities have always found advocates and friends, since the days of the apostles,

-a very imperfect notion could be formed of our history, if these facts were entirely overlooked. But, in order to bring them out, it has been necessary to travel over a very extensive field of observation, and to introduce more of gen. eral history than, at first thought, may seem strictly proper in a denominational work.

The sources whence this history has been drawn, will sufficiently appear by reference to the margin. Original authorities have been appealed to whenever they have been within my reach ; and when they have not, the defect has been, in part at least, supplied, by comparing several second-hand authorities, and when it was possible, men of different views and habits of thought.

I have not been anxious to avoid the charge of making my pages“ bristle with notes and references.' It would have saved a great deal of labor to have omitted them altogether; but I could not persuade myself that an historical work would be of any value which did not furnish vouchers for its statements. The pretty copious extracts from the early Congregational writers, will, I am confident, be regarded as among the most valuable portions of this vol

To the community generally, these writings are unknown, and utterly inaccessible; and yet, they are among the richest and most important materials of our history: and I flatter myself that I have performed an acceptable service to the denomination by bringing to light the sentiments of our ancestors in their own quaint but vigorous style.


So far as I know, this is the first attempt ever made to write a history of Congregationalism. It may seem strange and unaccountable fact, that so large, and important, and learned a denomination has never before found a historiographer. And some may think that the present undertaking requires explanation and apology. I have thought so myself; and designed to say a few words to palliate, if not to excuse my boldness. But, on reflection, it has occurred, that, if the undertaking should prove measurably successful, no apology will be necessary; and if a failure, none will avail offered. Conscious of having done what I could to render the work acceptable and valuable to the intelligent part of the denomination, I shall cheerfully submit to their judgment, be it what it may. And if, in travel. ing so long, and difficult a path, and one hitherto untrodden, I have sometimes stumbled by the way, it will not be a matter of much surprise ; and I shall feel that they deserve my thanks, rather than my complaints, who shall discover and point out my mistakes ; remembering that a wise man has said, “ He that commits anything to writing, gives men a bill of his manners ; which every one that reads may put in suit against him, if there be cause."

Should the success of this volume warrant it, another -which is already in a state of forwardness—will be published, containing the history of the denomination at home and abroad from about 1616, to the present time.

GEORGE PUNCHARD. Plymouth, N. H. June, 1841.

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Luciferians-Ærians, about A. D. 363.

LUCIFER highly commended by Milner, 70. By Fleury, 71.

The Luciferians, “a sort of Trinitarian Independents,” 72. The

schism confined chiefly to Sardinia and Spain, 73, Suffer perse-

cution from the Arians and Orthodox, 74.

Ærius a native of Pontus, Asia Minor, 74. Maintained that

jure divino, there was no difference between Bishops and Presby-

ters, 75.

si Aimed to reduce religion to its primitive simplicity":

Persecution, 76. Regarded the Scriptures as a sufficient guide to

church order, 78.


The Paulicians, A. D. 660.

One Constantine, the reputed father of this sect, 79. The New

Testament the source whence their ecclesiastical opinions were

derived-What they were, 80. Their sentiments misrepresented

by enemies, 82. The sect increases, 85. Constantine stoned to

death-Persecution rages, 86. The Paulicians begin to defend

themselves, 88. Theodora, attempts to exterminate them—100,

000 butchered by her orders, 89. The remnant defend themselves

in the mountains, 90. Become the terror of the emperors-Alli-

ance with the Moslems, 91. Spread into Europe, 92. Known by

different names, as Paterini, Cathari or Gazari, Albigenses, Sepa-

rates-Objects of inquisitorial persecution down to the Lutheran

Reformation, 94,


The Waldenses and Albigenses, A. D. 1100.

Points in dispute respecting them, 95. The author's theory re-

specting them-Not so much independent sects as the collected

remnants of several, 97. Names of Dissenters between the 7th

and 12th centuries, 103. Ecclesiastical opinions of the Waldenses

and Albigenses, 104. In several particulars Congregational-

ists, 109.


Historical View of Great Britain, from B. C. 55, to A. D. 1350.

Reasons for giving this, 113. Druidism of ancient Briton, 115.

Becomes a Roman Province, 116. Invasion of the Scots and

Picts, 118. Saxon Conquest, 120. Christianity introduced-Cor-

rupt and superstitious in its character, 122. Danish invasion, 126.

Story of St. Dunstan, 127 Norman Conquest, 129. Incroach-

ments of the Pope, 130. Thomas à Becket, 131. England be-

comes a vassal to the Pope, 133. Papal tyranny at its height, 135.

Dominican and Benedictine monks introduced to England, 137.

Bishop Grosseteste or Greathead, 1:38. Bradwardine and Fitzralph,

139. The Star of the Reformation, 140,

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