Chapter III. The Puritans
Religious parties in England; not unequal division; the Churchmen's theory; the "Pilgrims"; the Salem Colony; Puritan theory and practice; the Puritan temper; the Puritan laws; planting the Church; John Morton; the Brown brothers; the Rev. William Blaxton; Churchmen in Massachusetts; withdrawal of the Charter; the Church and the Government; parish organized in Boston; Governor Andros; the Old South; King's Chapel; the quarrel ended.
To comprehend the Puritans in New England we must first look at them in Old England. The Acts of "Uniformity" and "Supremacy" precipitated the confused ecclesiastical life in England into its three component ingredients, Churchmen, Romanists, and Independents. They compelled men to range themselves. It took half a generation for them to find out definitely to which camp each belonged, but it created the necessity for an ultimate choice, however long it might be postponed. The three camps were very unequal in size. The Romanists were few in numbers and utterly discredited in the eyes of the people, in point of their faith and their loyalty.
Churchmen and "Puritans," however, were not very unequal in weight and numbers. Romanists and Puritans complained of the same grievances. It was the "Supremacy" even more than the "Uniformity" which burdened their souls. They might possibly have borne the enforced Liturgy, which was less an abomination before it was enforced. This they could have learned to endure, and might have learned to love. At worst, this only constrained their conduct. But the Supremacy touched their souls. To the Romanist, the Supreme Head of the Church was Christ, and the Pope his vice--gerent. To the Puritan the Supreme Head of the Church was Christ, and He had and could have no vice--gerent. To compel one upon his faith as a Christian to swear allegiance to any secular authority, was not tolerable. Romanist and Puritan alike held that between the Church and the State there could be no compact made as between equals, but that in the organization of society the secular must be subordinate to the spiritual. The Puritan could not find it in his conscience to answer before any civil tribunal for his religious conduct, much less to swear upon his faith as a Christian that he would acknowledge any mortal man, even though he be King of England, as "Supreme Head of the Church." It was worse than Popery! It was a doctrine of devils! It was Antichrist! He would go to jail first; he would fight; he would emigrate, and found a society where Antichrist would not be allowed to exalt himself into the seat of God; a society in which the saints should rule as they had the right to reign.
To the Churchman this position was incomprehensible. To his mind, England was simply a nation composed of Christian men, in which the Church and the State were not differentiated and could not be. The King as head of the realm was head of the Church, ipso facto. To quarrel with it was like quarrelling with the structure of the human body or the solar system. The man who did so must either be mad or have some sinister motive which he hid behind the plea of a tender conscience. It was as reasonable and natural for King and Parliament to decree a doctrine as to levy a tax, to punish a heretic as to imprison a thief, for were they not both offenders against the common order? For any man to boggle at avowing his allegiance to the powers ordained by God, was to avow himself a bad citizen, and bad citizens should be made to feel the hand of the law.
One little group of men there was who were wise beyond their time. They saw even then that religious and secular things each had their own sphere. They perceived that while the Church is "the blessed company of all faithful people," it has its existence in a world filled with all people. They saw that while Christians live in the State they must, perforce, have relations with it. They dreamed of no theocracy where the saints should reign as the chosen of God; but they did dream of a state where the things that belong to God and the things that belong to Cesar might be mutually apportioned in peace. Under the lead of their good pastor, John Robinson. a priest of the Church of England, and one of the noblest men of his own or any time, this little band of pilgrims set upon their wanderings in search of their new Canaan. They sought it first in Holland. But after half a generation their hearts turned back to Merrie England. They wished their children to retain their mother tongue. There was not room for them and theirs in the dyke--belted Low Countries. To England they could not return. Their thoughts roved over the sea to where the English flag was planted on an unpossessed land. The good ship Mayflower carried them away, and in 1620 they landed in Plymouth Bay. But they were men born out of due time. Their little company never grew large. Their pious leader said of them, more truly than he knew, that "they knew they were pilgrims, and looked not much on the things of earth, but lifted up their eyes to heaven, their dearest country, and quieted their spirits." "Deeply touched as all must be by the idyllic grace of the story of the Pilgrims, and pleasant as it is to linger over it, yet candor compels us to acknowledge that the true genesis of New England life is not to be traced to Plymouth, and that the Pilgrims had no direct and but little indirect influence in shaping its later development. [Bishop Harris: Christianity and Civil Society, p. 95.]
It was with the Puritan colony who landed in Massachusetts Bay in 1629 that the New England life really began. Five ships brought them over, two hundred and fifty strong. The projector of the enterprise was Arthur Lake, the Puritan Bishop of Bath and Wells. He declared that if he were not so old he would go out with the colony himself. [Bancroft: vol i. p. 264, last edition.] It is interesting to speculate what might have been the development of Puritan New England if Bishop Lake had come! But all the colonists were members of the English Church. Their leader was Rev. John White, Vicar of Dorchester. Francis Skelton of Clare Hall, and Francis Higginson of Jesus College, Cambridge, Episcopal ministers both, were forward in the enterprise. Why, then, did a company of English Churchmen, led by priests, and with a bishop for their patron, leaving home with words of love for their Mother on their lips, become her sullen and relentless foes? It is not necessary and would not be true to charge them either with hypocrisy or ingratitude. The logic of events is more potent than the theories of man. The root of the quarrel was partly in the situation and partly in the unconscious temper of the men themselves.
The theory of England was that every subject of the realm was a member of the Church. The relation established a mutual obligation. It formed the basis for protection and control on the one side; it created the duty of obedience and support on the party of the second part. The King was to be a nursing father to the Church, but a father whose counsels must be heeded under penalty. The leaders of the Church naturally subscribed to the theory. They were glad to believe that Church and State were each necessary to the other, but they made the sad blunder of identifying the State with the Crown. They hailed as almost divine wisdom the apothegm of the "wisest fool in Christendom," when he summed up the whole situation in his famous words, "No bishop, no king." [Graham: Colonial History of the United States, vol. i. p. 139. Whitgift did not scruple to declare that "undoubtedly his Majesty spoke by the special assistance of God's Spirit."] They established the ill--omened conjunction of Episcopacy and Monarchy. It did not occur to them that the obverse of James I's aphorism might sometime be deemed true, No king, no bishop. It seemed to them that they were doing well and wisely by linking Episcopacy to that institution which seemed to the world of their day the most abiding of all things. But their mistake well--nigh worked ruin to the Church. It led it to form that fatal friendship with the Stuarts which brought Episcopacy into discredit with half of England, extinguished it in Scotland, and made it impossible for a hundred and fifty years in America. This ill--starred alliance remained as a sentiment many a year after it had degenerated from a mere mistake of judgment to a very inanity. There are probably not wanting Churchmen even yet who, in defiance of the facts of history, and with slight regard for the honor of the Ten Commandments, still think and speak of "the blessed martyr, King Charles." [A well--known bishop, still living, tells of a Scotch clergyman who, while visiting in this country, was asked by him before going to Church, if he would object at all to reading the Prayer for the President. "Hoot, man," was his reply, "dinna I pray for the Hoose o' Hanover?"] And this in the face of the fact that, with the single exception of poor Queen Anne, the Church has never had a wholehearted friend on the English throne, from the time of James I until now.
Now, when the Puritans left England they unconsciously turned their backs to the theory upon which the Church had taken its stand. Even had the theory been true, it would have been impossible of application to a people angered for other causes, and farther away from the machinery of government than now would be a colony on Lake Nyanza. When they landed, and saw the situation, they saw they had expatriated themselves. They had left both Church and State behind. The Episcopate, by becoming the creature of the Crown, had lost its power to follow the Church's children. Had the English Church understood then what both her fathers and her sons have known, the true catholic and independent foundation of the Church, she could have adjusted her spiritual machinery to this and all the colonies. But the things which made for her peace were hid from her eyes. The Salem colony saw at once what it took the people of Maryland and Virginia a century to realize, that the Church of England, holding the theories she did, could never become the Church of the colonies, however deeply she might yearn over her departing children.
But this necessity to live their own life, apart from their old relations, was realized by the Puritans quite as much, or more, through their temper than through their understanding. It was easy for them to reach a conclusion which, though logical, was entirely in accord with their wishes. The Puritan's temper has been his bane, while the Churchman's has been his strong deliverer. The former is now only a character in history, while the latter is a present force, chiefly because, in the long run, moral qualities win over intellectual ones. In the long and weary conflict of the Church with dissent, that conflict precipitated by the Act of Uniformity, patched up by the Toleration Act of 1688, and only ended within the memory of living men, the strong weapon of the Church has been a certain broad kindliness of spirit. This, in the Puritans, was wanting. Their sour, saturnine, ultra--logical, disputatious temper led them, in Massachusetts, almost at once to the betrayal of their principles. They had come to found a State. Their ill--regulated enthusiasm changed their purpose, and they set about to found a Church.
The prodigious rapidity of growth which marks the colony shows that there were multitudes like--minded with them. Immigrants came out by the scores and hundreds. In the tenth year after their landing at Salem, a single fleet of twenty ships brought three thousand at one time. Before the colony was twenty years old it had pushed its outposts to the Connecticut, and planted settlements at Windsor and Hartford. They had followed the coast to Saybrook and New Haven, had crossed the Sound to Long Island, and planted a settlement at the mouth of the Housatonic.
And all this was done in the face of a fierce climate, a sterile soil, ferocious savages, and wild beasts. The grimness of the Nature where they struggled reproduced itself again in the tempers of the men. The kindly Englishmen of old Boston and Dorchester became the gloomy, rigid religionists of the new towns which bore the old names. By the middle of the century they had founded fifty towns and villages, in each of which the ministers and magistrates were the sterner censors of the religion and manners of their stern people. From the first it had been determined that none but godly members of the Church should possess the rights of citizenship. This accepted principle could not but beget both fanatics and hypocrites. They were dominated by the idea that they held the place in the New World which the chosen people of God had held in the old economy. They were to go in and possess the land; to destroy utterly the old Canaanites; not to permit a witch to live; to observe all the commandments and statutes of the Lord to do them. They would have none but Church--members for freemen. They called their children Patience, Faith, Prudence, Deliverance, Thankful, and Hold--fast. Their laws present a picture of their lives. [It is hardly needful to say that the oft--quoted "Blue Laws" are of no historic value. The authorities are,--The Book of General Laws and Liberties; by authority of the General Court of Massachusetts 1640; Printed at Cambridge 1660; pp. 3, 8, 9, 26, 33, 35, 38, 69, 74; The same, revised and reprinted by Saml. Green, Cambridge 1672. General Laws and Liberties of Connecticut; Revised and Published by order of General Assembly; Hartford 1672; pp. 28, 37, 21. In illustration of these are the Abridgment of Ordinances of New England; Neal; Hutchison; and Graham: Colonial History of United States. This last has the indorsement of the Massachusetts Historical Society.] Roman Catholics and Quakers were to be banished, and upon their return executed; shipmasters were forbidden to bring in any of that accursed sect or their writings; it was forbidden to run or walk on the Sabbath Day, except "reverently to meeting;" to sweep the house, to cook, or to shave; mothers were advised not to kiss their children on the Lord's Day; adultery, blasphemy, and idolatry were punishable by death; heresy and keeping Christmas Day, by fine and the stocks; absence from public worship, by fine and whipping; renouncing Church membership, or questioning the canonicity of any book in the Bible, by fine and banishment; all gaming was prohibited and cards and dice forbidden to be imported; dancing anywhere, and kissing a woman in the street, "even in the way of honest salutation," was punished by flogging; women were forbidden under penalty of imprisonment to wear clothing beyond their station in life, to cut their hair like a man; and for speaking ill of the minister, to have their tongues fastened in a split stick.
Nor were these decrees empty threats. [Graham: Colonial History of United States, vol. i. p. 189. Note.] Extracts from the early records of the Massachusetts courts show that John Wedgewood, for being in the company of drunkards, is ordered to sit in the stocks; Catherine, the wife of Richard Cornish, was found suspicious of light conduct and admonished to take heed; Thomas Pettit, for suspicion of slander and stubbornness, to be severely whipped; Josiah Plaistowe, for stealing four baskets of corn, to be hereafter called by the name "Josias and not Mr.," as heretofore. A farmer in the New Hampshire settlement barely escaped excommunication, by confession and repentance, for having killed a bear which was tearing up his garden on Sunday.
One may readily suppose that this unnatural manner of religious life would revenge itself. "Religentem esse oportet, non religiosum." The constant checking and repression of the natural life turned men's minds inward upon themselves. The hard mechanical service of rule was more than they could bear. The story of the internal revolts against it has often been told. The Baptists challenged it, and were coldly told to go elsewhere. The Quakers provoked it, and felt the dreadful weight of its hand. We are only concerned to ask, How shall the Church of England find a lodgement in such a society?
There is a feeble little settlement of Church people on the Kennebec, and the rapidly developing colony in of Virginia, but these have their hands more in than full with their own affairs. If the Church is to be planted in New England, Old England must do it. No one would have prophesied in 1640 that two centuries and a half later the most rapid growth of the Episcopal Church would be in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Certainly there was nothing then to indicate it. When Sir Ferdinando Gorges' son Robert brought his little colony to the "Wessagusset" in 1623, an English clergyman was in the company as chaplain. In the late summer, when the colonists' cabins had been built and their gardens were growing, the chaplain, with a few companions, went for a visit to their neighbors at Plymouth. The first summer voyage of pleasure along the silent coast of Maine was this. The good Plymouth people received their guests with a hearty welcome. The best they had was set before them. In the intolerable loneliness of the grim solitude, a visitor was a godsend. The talk was upon the work in which both settlements were engaged. But the priestly capacity of their guest was silently ignored. As an Englishman and a fellow backwoodsman they would give him of their best. But when the Sunday came he was allowed to take his seat on the benches while their own pastor held forth. The visit was not greatly prolonged and was never repeated.
Even at that early day there were Churchmen in Massachusetts. One of them, John Morton, was a conspicuous figure in the earliest settlements. He had been a rich man and a generous liver in England. The attractive field which the New World offered for adventure and fortune drew him as it did so many of his kind. In 1623 he took up a plantation, including the present town of Quincy. He brought with him thirty servants, stock, utensils, and furniture. With his people about him, on the fat land he lived a jolly life. Choleric, devout, profane, and generous, he lived in Massachusetts the typical English squire. A tall pole set on the bluff in front of his house bore an English pennant. On Christmas Day abundant roasts of venison and mince pies galore rejoiced his people. Every morning he read prayers before his household, and on Sunday acted as their reader. So long as the kindly Pilgrims were his only neighbors, there was no attempt to interfere with his ways. But when the Puritans came and multiplied, Morton's manners could no longer be tolerated. Presently he had a visit from "that worthy gentleman, John Endicott, of Boston," who grimly ordered the flagpole to be cut down and "to look to it there should be better walking." Morton raged and fumed and was roundly fined for "ungodly speech." He certainly did swear. He declared in a letter to a friend, "I found in these parts two sets of people, Christians and heathens, and these last more friendly and full of humanity." He refused to pay his fine, and was clapped in the bilboes. His servants and tenants were sharply brought into Puritan order. The stout old offender himself was packed off to England and warned to stay there. His offences were gravely asserted to be these two: being "of a gay humor," and using the Book of Common Prayer. To the mind of the Puritan these were capital. One of them was an offence against the eternal fitness of things, and the other against the solemn judgment of the saints. In England Morton was foolish enough to write a book about his American neighbors. A copy of it found its way to Boston. It was not pleasant reading for "the worthy Mr. Endicott" and his friends. Still more foolishly, Morton ventured to follow his book himself, and came back to gather up the fragments of his estate. He had better have let it go. No sooner had he returned than he was seized and imprisoned. Several years of such discipline broke the old man's spirit and heart both, and he laid him down and died.
In the original Puritan company were two brothers, Brown by name, a lawyer and a merchant, who declined to join in the action by which the company separated from the Church. They had been born and reared in it, like all the others, and saw no reason why they should turn their backs upon it. When they landed, and had built their little cabins in the new town of Salem, they continued to gather their families morning and evening, and read with them the daily prayers. For a while this was coldly permitted by their neighbors. But presently the brothers ventured to gather a company together in a place distinct from the public assembly, and there "sundry times the Book of Common Prayer was read unto such as resorted thither." This that worthy gentleman Mr. Endicott could not endure. He "convented" the brothers before himself and the ministers. Very plain speech ensued. The ministers argued that the enforced use of the Prayer Book was the very thing they had not been able to abide on the other side of the water, and that it would be the height of folly to allow it to creep into a place of honor here. The Browns replied, reminding them of the language they themselves had used only a few weeks before, when they had solemnly declared that they had no notion of separating from the Church their mother, but only to protest against her abuses and corruptions. The Prayer Book they certainly could not call a corruption, since it had been used till lately by themselves, and was, in substance, either the words of God or of godly men. They accused the ministers openly, and not politely for they were sturdy Englishmen, these Browns of being "separatists" and "Anabaptists." The governor and council, however, "finding these two to be of high spirit and their speeches and practices tending to mutiny and faction," the governor told them that "New England was no place for such as they." The governor was quite right. The New England of that time was no place for any except that peculiar people who had embarked upon their religio--political experiment, nor would it be until that experiment should have been carried out to its necessary failure. The Browns, with their families, were ordered to return to England, which they did within the year, losing their share in the colonial venture.
While the Salem people were diligently purging their colony of the Church leaven, a Church of England clergyman was quietly living and prospering, far away from neighbors, where Boston now stands. The Rev, William Blaxton was a quiet, peaceable man, who, wearied with the din of religious controversy at home, had come to America to be at rest. He had taken up a farm, built a comfortable house, planted orchards, and made for himself and family a pleasant home, before the Salem people came. It was not to exercise his ministry he had come, but to escape the strife of tongues. One day in 1630, Winthrop, with a little band of land hunters, laid down their packs and built their fire at Charlestown. Blaxton's servants reported their presence, and the kindly man brought the cold and hungry hunters to his house. They admired his place "as a paradise," being chiefly delighted with his apples, whose fragrance reminded them of home. From his house they went morning by morning to their clearings, building their cabins in Charlestown, to which they soon removed. New settlers flocked in, and the town of Boston grew apace. Soon Blaxton was surrounded. His peaceful solitude was gone. A town was built and a community organized around him. He was graciously permitted to become a "freeman;" but his Episcopal neighbors Maverick and Walford were denied the same privilege. No attempt was made by Blaxton to hold services of the Church. But gradually and surely he was made to feel that "New England was no place for such as he." When the town passed an order that only those of the "Established Order" should be counted as freemen, thus taking away his citizenship, he sadly accepted its paltry offer of one hundred and fifty dollars for his property, and moved away. "I left England," he says, "because I misliked my lords the bishops: I leave here because I like still less my lords the brethren." Providence, in Rhode Island, afforded him an asylum, as it had Roger Williams. The effect of his removal was to quicken his own zeal in his office. He began at once in his new home to officiate as a minister, and continued to do so until he died, an old man.
Blaxton's removal closed the Prayer Book in Massachusetts for fifty years. The Churchmen who were in the colony then, as well as the considerable number who came from time to time, conformed with what grace they could to the " Established Order." They went to the meetinghouse, had their children baptized by and received the Sacrament at the hands of the Puritan ministers. It was the easier for them to do so for the reason that the early Puritan ministers had been in point of fact Episcopally ordained; and also because the idea of the exclusive validity of Episcopal Orders was net generally entertained at that time by the great majority of Churchmen even in England. By conforming to the Puritan order of things they did violence only to their tastes and habits and not their consciences.
But by this time the zeal of the Puritans had grown into bigotry. They were not content with closing the Prayer Book in their own territory. Massachusetts claimed jurisdiction over the Eastern Colony as well. Nothing less than the suppression of the Church there would content them. By vexatious legal proceedings, and by still harder measures, they, to all practical purposes, succeeded. By 1680 there was only one Episcopal clergyman in the whole of New England. Old Father Jordan still lived in Portsmouth, but broken in fortune and in spirit.
New England had purged herself of all disturbers of the peace. The Baptists had been banished to Rhode Island. The Quakers had been whipped and driven into the wilderness. The Churchmen had been harried either into conformity or exile. But their success was its own Nemesis.
In 1684 their charter was withdrawn. They had sided with Parliament against the Crown. When the Crown was at last triumphant the enmities they had so diligently cultivated returned to plague them. They might no longer be trusted with the powers of government. The American Theocracy, after a gloomy life of sixty years, fell in a day. By the resumption of the charter, Massachusetts, including all the territory east of the New York line, became a "royal colony". [Graham: Colonial History of U.S., vol. i. p. 254] Its special privileges were gone. Its territory became again part of the kingdom. The Church of England became established in the eyes of English law.
A wide door seemed now to be opened to the Church. But, unfortunately, her champions proved as ready to take the sword as their enemies had been. They had now the secular power on their side. But it was British power. It required still another century of failure before the Church could learn that this which she so fondly believed to be her strength was her hopeless weakness. Meanwhile she exploited it.
On a May day in 1686 the man--of--war Rose sailed into Boston harbor, bearing the first governor and the first incumbent. The ill--starred alliance began its century of failure. Boston had five thousand inhabitants, and three meeting--houses. The frigate arrived on a Thursday. On Sunday the new clergyman read service and preached in the Town House. The room was small and ill arranged. But it was packed, and a great crowd of curious hung about the open door and windows. Mr. Ratcliffe was pronounced on all hands to be "an extraordinary fine preacher." Next day a wedding was celebrated, and with a ring! During the week Mr. Ratcliffe formally requested from the Town Council the use of one of the meeting houses to hold service in. His request was refused, and he was recommended to continue using the Town House. The governor, following his instructions, did not interfere. The people of the town, of whom a considerable number had always held in spirit to the Church of their birth, continued to attend the services in the hall. In June they took steps to organize a parish. A vestry was chosen, composed of Ed. Randolph, Captain Lydgett, Messrs. Luscombe, White, Macartie, Clarke, Turferry, Ravenscroft, and Bullivant. The rector's salary was fixed at $200 a year. They asked for a share of the fund raised by taxation in the town, for the support of public worship, and were refused. Every slight and affront which might safely be used was put upon them. Social pressure in its extremest form was brought to bear against any who might forsake the meeting house for the Church. But the congregation continued to grow until the mean Town House could in no wise accommodate it. They tried to borrow one of the meeting houses at such times as it was not in use by its own congregation. They were answered that "we cannot, with a good conscience, consent that our meeting house should be made use of for the Common Prayer worship."
Upon the arrival of Andros as governor, the situation took on a new complexion. He was too domineering in temper and too pronounced a Churchman to carry out effectively the conciliatory policy which the home government was just then experimenting with. For six months, in obedience to instruction, he put enough constraint upon himself to keep his official hands off. He went with the other Episcopalians to the little Town House and sat upon the hard benches with what dignity and comfort he could. But after six months his ill--disguised impatience broke out. The personal discomfort might have been endured. The hinderance to the growth of the Church, as such, did not disturb him much. But that his Excellency the Governor, the representative of His Royal Majesty, should be stewed week after week in a mean little barn, while the rascally, canting, crop--eared Puritans should be sitting at their ease in comfortable sanctuaries, this was not to be borne! By the governor's order the "Old South Meeting House" was appropriated to the new parish for morning service, leaving its own congregation to use it in the afternoon, if they liked. There was no appeal from this order to any human authority. The Puritans therefore changed the venue to a court in which it had always been their peculiarity to believe themselves influential; they appointed and kept a day of fasting and prayer. They also made representations to the governor which led him to partially relax the order. The meeting house was to be used on alternate Sunday mornings by the two congregations. For some time this arrangement continued. But it worked badly. The Churchmen, when it was their morning in possession, grew strongly rubrical, which made the service so long that the afternoon was half spent before the Puritans could have their turn. When the Puritans were in possession they "had such freedom" in prayer and the expounding of the Word, that no time was left for Evening Prayer. The unseemly spectacle became common Sunday after Sunday of one congregation, shivering in an ill--humor outside, waiting for the one piously chuckling inside to have done and get away. The Church had been placed, as usual, by the governor, in a false position. They had no right to the meeting house at all, either at law or in equity. In England such a thing as its forcible use would have been impossible, and this the Boston people very well knew. There was nothing for the Church to do but to abandon its claim with what grace it might. They determined to build for themselves. A subscription was started for the purpose, which produced a sufficient amount almost at once. Pity they had not done it six months sooner. For by now the Puritans were so exasperated that they refused to sell a foot of ground for any such purpose. Sewall, in his Diary, writes: "Captain Davis spoke to me today for land to set a church on. Told him I could not and would not put Mr. Cotton's land to such a use: first, because I would not set up that which the people of New England came over to avoid; and secondly, the land was entailed!" After repeated failure to make private purchase, the governor came again with heavy hand to the rescue. By pressure and thinly disguised threats, he persuaded the council to cede enough of common land for the purpose. On it the "King's Chapel" was built, at a cost of $1,800. With a church of its own, the parish grew more rapidly and more wholesomely.
But when the news of the Revolution of 1688 reached New England, and it was learned that the trusty Protestant, and, as they believed, Presbyterian, William of Orange, was on the throne, the Puritans thought their innings had come. Without waiting for accurate information, they clapped Governor Andros into jail, shipped the Episcopal rector off to England, smashed the windows of the church, pelted its walls with mud and filth, mobbed and harried the Churchmen within an inch of their lives. For months the poor, dilapidated church stood silent and desolate, bearing scurrilous extempores scribbled on its walls alluding to Jezebel and the Scarlet Whore.
But the Puritans presently discovered that they had been premature. They learned that William was not the man they had taken him to be. With no enthusiastic love to the Church, or to anything else, for that matter, it was now his Church, officially, and must be decently treated. He was as ready to lay his hand upon an ultra--Puritan as an ultra--Papist; and his hand was not a pleasant one to be touched with angrily. The gloomy Bostonians had the mortification to see the rector come back again, with, as they phrased it, "seven other devils worse than himself." The church was rehabilitated, services recommenced, new books, plate, and paraphernalia of worship brought in, the scattered congregation regathered and increased, and the worship of God by the Common Prayer set up, to grow steadily through two centuries, till now the Church in New England includes in her roll of members the name borne by almost every prominent Puritan in the early annals of the colony. While the Church stood with the Crown against the popular will, they hated her with that sustained and smouldering hatred of which only Puritans were capable. When that unholy alliance was shaken loose, and the Church had the chance to show what she is in herself, the grandsons of her enemies became her loving children.
Thirty years ago a tablet of brass was set in the rebuilt wall of the "Founders' Chapel" of St. Botolph's Church in old Boston, Lincolnshire. It bears an inscription to the memory of John Cotton, the Puritan preacher of new Boston, Massachusetts. When the chapel was re--opened the flags of England and America floated together from the tower, in sign that the old quarrel was over and past. The Bishop of London, Laud's successor, was present, and the Bishop of Lincoln preached fittingly front the text, "Let us build with you, for we seek God as ye do." [Thornton: The Pulpit of the Revolution, p. xxii.]