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had never been confuted,' in spite of the remonstrance CHAP. of the governor, was censured by the general court an for sedition. At the ensuing choice of magistrates, 1637 he religious divisions controlled the elections. The 172 friends of Wheelwright had threatened an appeal to England; but in the colony “it was accounted perjury and treason to speak of appeals to the king."3 The contest appeared, therefore, to the people, not as the struggle for intellectual freedom against the authority of the clergy, but as a contest for the liberties of Massachusetts against the power of the English government. Could it be doubted who would obtain the confidence of the people? In the midst of such high excitement, that even the pious Wilson climbed into a tree to harangue the people on election day, Winthrop and his friends, the fathers and founders of the colony, recovered the entire management of the government. But the dispute infused its spirit into every thing; it interfered with the levy of troops for the Pequod war ;5 it influenced the respect shown to the magistrates; the distribution of town-lots; the assessment of rates; and at last the continued existence of the two opposing May. parties was considered inconsistent with the public peace. To prevent the increase of a faction esteemed to be so dangerous, a law, somewhat analogous to the alien law in England, and to the European policy of passports, was enacted by the party in power; none should be received within the jurisdiction, but such as should be allowed by some of the magistrates. The dangers which were simultaneously menaced from the Episcopal party in the mother
1 Henry Vane, in Hutch. Coll. 82. 4 Winthrop, i. 219, 220. Col.
2 Comp. S. Gorton's Simplicity's Records. Ilutch. Coll. 63, and ff. Defence, 44.
5 Welde, 27. Mather, b. vii. c. 3 Burdett's Letter to Laud. iii. s. 5. Hutch. Coll. 80.
THE FIRST SYNOD IN NEW ENGLAND.
CHAP. country, gave to the measure an air of magnanimous
defiance; it was almost a proclamation of independ1637. ence. As an act of intolerance, it found in Vane an
inflexible opponent, and, using the language of the times, he left a memorial of his dissent. “ Scribes and Pharisees, and such as are confirmed in any way of error,"—these are the remarkable words of the man, who soon embarked for England, where he afterwards pleaded in parliament for the liberties of Catholics and Dissenters,—56 all such are not to be denyed cohabitation, but are to be pitied and reformed. Ishmael shall dwell in the presence of his brethren."
The friends of Wheelwright could not brook the censure of their leader ; but they justified their indignant remonstrances by the language of fanaticism. “A new rule of practice by immediate revelations," 1 was now to be the guide of their conduct; not that they expected a revelation 6 in the way of a miracle ;" such an idea Anne Hutchinson rejected “as a delusion ; "2 they only slighted the censures of the ministers and the court, and avowed their determination to follow the impulses of conscience. But individual conscience is often the dupe of interest, and often but EXILE OF MRS. HUTCHINSON AND OTHERS.
a more honorable name for self-will. The government Aug. feared, or pretended to fear, a disturbance of the
public peace, a wild insurrection of lawless fanatics. A synod of the ministers of New England was therefore assembled, to accomplish the difficult task of settling the true faith. Numerous opinions were harmoniously condemned; and vagueness of language, so often the parent of furious controversy, performed the office of a peace-maker. Now that Vane had returned
i Welde, 45, ed. 1692, or 42, ed. 1644.
2 Testimony of John Cotton, in Hutchinson, ii. 443.
to England, it was hardly possible to find any grounds CHAP. of difference between the flexible Cotton and his an equally orthodox opponents. The general peace of the colony being thus assured, the triumph of the clergy was complete; and the civil magistrates proceeded to pass sentence on the more resolute offenders. Wheelwright, Anne Hutchinson, and Aspinwall, were exiled from the territory of Massachusetts, as “ unfit for the society” of its citizens; and their adherents, who, it was feared, “ might, upon some revelation, make a sudden insurrection,” and who were ready to seek protection by an appeal from the authority of the colonial government, were, like the tories during the war for independence, required to deliver up their arms.
So ended the Antinomian strife in Massachusetts." The principles of Anne Hutchinson were a natural consequence of the progress of the reformation. She had imbibed them in Europe ; and it is a singular fact, though easy of explanation, that, in the very year 1637 in which she was arraigned at Boston, Descartes, like herself a refugee from his country, like herself a prophetic harbinger of the spirit of the coming age, established philosophic liberty on the method of free reflection. Both asserted that the conscious judgment of the mind is the highest authority to itself. Descartes did but promulgate, under the philosophic form of free reflection, the same truth which Anne Hutchinson, with the fanaticism of impassioned conviction, avowed under the form of inward revelations.
son were dnar
1 On this strife I have read the ment of Wheelwright's Sermon; and Col. Records ; the decisions of the the statement of John Cotton himsynod; the copious Winthrop; the self, in his reply to Williams ; also, Documents in Hutchinson's Coll.; Saml. Gorton, Hubbard, C. Mather, Welde's Rise, Reign, and Ruin; Neal, Hutchinson, Callender, BackT. Shepherd's Lamentation ; a frag- us, Savage, and Knowles.
CHAP. The true tendency of the principles of Anne Hutcha inson is best established by examining the institu
tions which were founded by her followers. We shall hereafter trace the career of Henry Vane.
Wheelwright and his immediate friends removed to the banks of the Piscataqua; and, at the head of tide waters on that stream, they founded the town of Exeter; one more little republic in the wilderness, organized on the principles of natural justice by the voluntary combination of the inhabitants.
The larger number of the friends of Anne Hutchinson, led by John Clarke and William Coddington, proceeded to the south, designing to make a plantation
on Long Island, or near Delaware Bay. But Roger 1638. Williams welcomed them to his vicinity; and his own 24. influence, and the powerful name of Henry Vane, pre
vailed with Miantonomoh, the chief of the Narragansetts, to obtain for them a gift of the beautiful island of Rhode Island. The spirit of the institutions established by this band of voluntary exiles, on the soil which they owed to the benevolence of the natives, was derived from natural justice: a social compact, signed after the manner of the precedent at New Plymouth, so often imitated in America, founded the government upon the basis of the universal consent of every inhabitant: the forms of the administration
were borrowed from the examples of the Jews. CodNov. dington was elected judge in the new Israel ; and 11.
three elders were soon chosen as his assistants. The colony rested on the principle of intellectual liberty :
philosophy itself could not have placed the right on a 1641. broader basis. The settlement prospered; and it beMar. 16-19. came necessary to establish a constitution. It was
1 Exeter Records, in Farmer's Belknap, 432
therefore ordered by the whole body of freemen, and chap. " unanimously agreed upon, that the government, an which this body politic doth attend unto in this island, and the jurisdiction therecf, in favor of our Prince, is a DEMOCRACIE, or popular government; that is to say, it is in the power of the body of freemen orderly assembled, or major part of them, to make or constitute just Lawes, by which they will be regulated, and to depute from among themselves such ministers as shall see them faithfully executed between man and man.” 1 " It was further ordered, that none be accounted a delinquent for doctrine;” the law for “liberty of conscience was perpetuated.” The little community was held together by the bonds of affection and freedom of opinion: benevolence was their rule: they trusted in the power of love to win the victory; and 6 the signet for the state” was ordered to be “ a sheafe of arrows," with “the motto Amor VINCET OMNIA.” A patent from England seemed necessary 1641
Sept. for their protection; and to whom could they direct "9. their letters but to the now powerful Henry Vane ? ?
Such were the institutions which sprung from the party of Anne Hutchinson. But she did not long enjoy their protection. Recovering from a transient dejection of mind, she had gloried in her sufferings, as her greatest happiness ; 3 and, making her way through the forest, she travelled by land 4 to the settlement of Roger Williams, and from thence joined her friends on the island, sharing with them the hardships of early
i I copied this, word for word, 3 Winthrop, i. 258. from the Records, now in Provi: 4 Ibid. i. 259. Even Winthrop dence.
could err as to facts ; see i. 296, 2 MS. extracts from R. I. Rec. and Savage's note. The records Compare Callender, 29, &c.; Back- refute Winthrop's statement. us, i. 91.96, &c.; Knowles, c. xi.
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