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and pleaded for more freedom in their church relations; but they never took the higher ground which characterized the Brownists and Independents, nor that still higher maintained by the Baptists. They vainly endeavored to accomplish inside the Established Church what could only be done by a clear separation. They were content with mere nonconformity, still clinging to the bosom which refused to shelter them. Thus they were guilty of many inconsistencies, and sometimes even disclaimed the name of Puritans. Thomas Cartwright, at one time divinity lecturer at Cambridge, a leading Puritan, earnestly contended for a more thorough reformation than the Queen would grant, more conformed to primitive simplicity. But he really gave up the whole ground by conceding to the civil magistrate authority in matters of religion. True, he qualified it by saying that the magistrate must rule acccording to Scripture, but then the magistrate would be the judge of Scripture. He went yet further, and declared that the laws of Moses must form the basis of Christian legislation.
The civil magistrate [he wrote in his "Second Admonition "], the nurse and foster-father of the church, shall do well to provide some sharp punishment for those that contemn this censure and discipline of the church. . . . We beseech her Majesty to have the hearing of this matter of God's, and to take the defence of it upon her. For though the orders be, and ought to be, drawn out of the book of God, yet it is her Majesty that, by her princely authority, should see everything of these things put in practice, and punish those that neglect them, making laws therefor.
He asserted that, in certain cases, heresy ought to be punished with death.
In these opinions, Cartwright and the rest of the Puritans, agreed exactly with the Reformed Churches of the continent. “There is not," says Underhill, "a Confession of Faith, nor a creed framed by any of the Reformers, which does not give to the magistrate a coercive power in religion.” Very properly does Hopkins, in his “Puritans and Queen Elizabeth,” say: "We do not claim for the Elizabethan Puritans that they had well-defined and correct ideas of civil liberty.” They sought to reconstruct the Reformed Church of England after the Presbyterian model, retaining its national character, and having its doctrines and discipline enforced by the civil arm. Such continued to be the Puritan belief through successive reigns. The Puritans "abhorred” separation, and had sharp disputes with its advocates. Coming down to a period later than the settlement of New England, that of the Civil War and the Commonwealth, we find the Puritan influence still in favor of an established church. The Westminster Assembly and the Long Parliament—the first convened in 1643, the second in 1640– were under Presbyterian and Puritan control, and Presbyterianism became the national religion of England, against the remonstrance of the Independents. A spirit of intolerance prevailed. Prynne, a Nonconformist lawyer, and member of the Long Parliament, in his “Answer to John Goodwin," an Independent, says: “If the parliament and synod shall by public consent establish a presbyterial churchgovernment as most consonant to God's Word, Independents and all others are bound in conscience to submit to it, under the pain of obstinacy,” etc. Thomas Edwards, a Puritan divine, published, in 1647, a book directed against Donatists, Anabaptists, Brownists, Indedendents, etc., entitled: “The Casting Down of the Last and Strongest Hold of Satan; or, A Treatise against Toleration.”
Toleration, she says), is the grand Design of the Devil, his master-piece and chief Engine he works by at this time to uphold his tottering kingdom; it is the most compendious, ready, sure way to destroy all religion; ... it is a most transcendant, catholic, and fundamental Evil. . . . This is the Abaddon, the Apollyon, the destroyer of all religion, the Abomination of Desolation and Astonishment, the Select of Perdition; and therefore the Devil follows it night and day, working mightily in many by writing books for it and other ways, all the devils in hell and their instruments being at work to promote a Toleration.
It is easy, from the foregoing review of Puritanism in England, to understand how our Puritan forefathers came to hold the views they did. A change of residence did not produce a change of sentiments upon the great question of the rights of conscience and religious liberty. Old England and New England were in full accord in the suppression of heresy. This will appear beyond all contradiction when we summon our Puritan ancestors to speak for themselves. The terrible tirade of Edwards upon "Religious Toleration" can be almost matched by the writings of New England Puritan divines. John Cotton, who came over in 1633, at the mature age of forty-eight,—"the father and glory of Boston," a man of great ability and eminent worthwas chiefly influential in shaping the ecclesiastical and civil polity of the Massachusetts Colony. In intimate sympathy with his Puritan brethren of England, having himself been a sufferer there for his nonconformity, he transplanted to these shores their characteristic ideas, with such modifications as seemed to be required or to be possible under the new circumstances in which Providence had placed the colonists. As to church-order, he chose "a middle way between Brownism and the Presbyterial government,” and as to the civil estate, he "propounded an endeavor after a theocracy."
In 1641, an Abstract of the Laws of New England, drawn up by Mr. Cotton, and commended to the General Court, was published in London. The following extracts will show its spirit:
Chapter VII. Of crimes. And first, of such as deserve capital punishment, or cutting off from a man's people, whether by death or banishment. 1, Blasphemy; 2, Idolatry; 3, Witchcraft; 4, Consulters with Witches; 5, Heresy, which is the maintenance of some wicked men, overthrowing the foundation of the Christian religion; which obstinacy, if it be joined with endeavor to seduce others thereunto, to be punished with death ; because such an heretic, no less than an idolator, seeketh to thrust the souls of men from the Lord their God; 6, To worship God in a molten or graven image ; 7, Such members of the church as do wilfully reject to walk, after due admonition and conviction, in the church's establishment, and their Christian admonition and censures, shall be cut off by banishment; ....... 11, Profaning of the Lord's day, in a careless and scornful neglect or contempt thereof, to be punished with death.
Though this code was not adopted by the Colony, yet its spirit largely pervaded its future legislation, and it exhibits the views entertained and urged upon the people by one of the leading characters of that
age. In the year 1647 was published Cotton's “Bloody Tenent Washed and Made White in the Blood of the Lamb,” in reply to Roger Williams' “Bloody Tenent of Persecution," written when he
" was sixty-two. In this work he says:
Though spiritual weapons are mighty through God, ..... yet that is not superseded to civil magistrates to neglect to punish those sins which the church hath censured, if the persons censured do proceed to subvert the truth of the gospel, or the peace of the church, or the salvation of the people.
A civil magistrate ought not to draw out his civil sword against any seducer (whether heretics or idolators), till he have used all good means for their conviction; but if, after their continuance in obstinate rebellion against the light, he shall still walk towards them in soft and gentle commiseration, his softness and gentleness is excessive large to foxes and wolves, but his bowels are miserably straitened and hardened against the poor sheep and lambs of Christ.
He declared that men should be punished for a "fundamental error,” such as “subverted the foundation of the Christian religion,"
" that "it was toleration that made the world anti-Christian," that “the church never took hurt by the punishment of heretics." No wonder that Roger Williams was moved to send forth, in reply, five years after, “The Bloody Tenent yet more Bloody by Mr. Cotton's Endeavor to Wash it White in the Blood of the Lamb." In 1648, a Synod, convened at Cambridge by an order from the General Court, published the “ Cambridge Platform," which was sanctioned by leading divines in the four confederated colonies, and became the authorized creed of the Paritan Churches. This “Platform " declared that “ Idolatry, Blasphemy and Heresy” were to be “restrained and punished by the civil authority.”
Nathaniel Ward, driven from England, in 1655, for his Puritanism, was for ten years pastor at Ipswich, and was highly esteemed in the colony. In 1641 he preached the Election Sermon. Cotton Mather says, that “his wit made him known to more Englands than one," and that he was the "author of many composures full of wit and sense; among which, that entitled “The Simple Cobbler,' was most considered.” Eliot, however,, says that he was “an enemy to all toleration in any shape, a great bigot to his own opinions." This judgment none will question, after reading the following specimen of that quaint, bilious volume, published in London, 1647:
The Simple Cobbler of Agawam, in America, willing to help mend his Native Country, lamentably tattered, both in the upper leather and sole, with all the honest stitches he can take. And as willing never to be paid for his work, by old English merited pay. It is his trade to patch all the year long, gratis. Therefore, I pray gentlemen, keep your purses. By Theodore de la Guard.
Here is a specimen of his patchings :
To authorize an untruth by a Toleration of Hell is to build a Sconce against the walls of Heaven, to batter God out of his Chaire. .... The Persecution of true Religion, and Toleration of false, are the Jannes and Jambres to the Kingdom of Christ, whereof the last is farre the worst. ... If there be roome in England for Familists, Anti-Trinitarians, Anabaptists, Arminians, Millinaries, Antinomians, Socinians, Arians, Brownists, Seekers, etc., religious men but pernicious heretiques—then roome for Manes, Lemures, Dryades, etc. In a word, roome for Hell above ground.
The measured indulgence that he would eke out to heretics appears from the following passage: “I would be understood that ignorant and tender-conscienced Anabaptists, may have due time and means of conviction "—that is, before being dealt with by the civil authorities.
Thomas Cobbett, born in England, in 1602, an Oxford student and a Puritan preacher in his native country, came to America in 1637, and was for many years minister at Ipswich. Cotton Mather
styles him an “eminent saint."
eminent saint.” The subject of toleration being then much debated, he wrote a book entitled, “The Civil Magistrate's Power in Religion," in which he contended that the civil powers ought to “root out what opposeth and undermineth" the laws and government of Christ; that "corruptions in religion, outwardly breaking forth and expressed, may, yea and must, be restrained and punished by such as are called thereunto." In a letter to Increase Mather, 1681, speaking of the “Scandalous Anabaptists,” he asks:
What orthodox and godly-wise person, when he considers the case as it is with us, will say that such principles (“making infant baptism a nullity"], so circumstanced, being openly made and obstinately persisted in against all admonitions and means used of conviction, should be tolerated here?
This was just after the Baptist meeting-house of Boston had been "shut up" by order of General Court.
James Noyes, minister at Newbury, was born in England, 1608, and came to New England in 1634, because of his non-conformity. Here he had a “painful and successful” ministry, and was “much esteemed by his brethren." His colleague, the "renowned" Thomas Parker, who had “no children to afflict him," he being a celibate, because, as Cotton Mather tells us, “at the time he meditated marriage..... he so fell in love" with the study of the prophecies, “that he never got out of it till his death," when he “went unto the apocalyptic virgins”-speaks of Mr. Noyes as “an implacable enemy to all heresie and schism, and a most able warrior against the same." He was the author of "Moses and Aaron; Or, the Rights of Church and State," 1661. Those brothers of ancient Israel were a favorite type, with the Puritans, of the happy conjunction of the civil and ecclesiastical powers, or of the union of church and state. "Moses
“ and Aaron,” says Mr. Noyes, “have cause to embrace each other," or, as another has it, " to kiss each other, on Mount Zion." And this is the character of their kissing:
Magistrates have a just power to use the sword in their hands against any persons, for the good of the Church, and the glory of Christ's kingdom. Kings must serve Christ as kings, by applying their regal powers for the propagation of Christ's kingdom. It appears, by Paul's appealing unto Cæsar, that magistrates have power in some religious controversies ; why not in all ? If a corrupt conscience maketh God's house a den of thieves, it is meet it should be whipt out.
Perhaps Mr. Noyes, in this happy expression, had in mind the