Unitarianism was brought to America with the Pilgrims and the Puritans. Its origins are not to be found in the religious indifference and torpidity of the eighteenth century, but in the individualism and the rational temper of the men who settled Plymouth, Salem, and Boston. Its development is coextensive with the origin and growth of Congregationalism, even with that of Protestantism itself. So long as New England has been in existence, so long, at least, Unitarianism, in its motives and in its spirit, has been at work in the name of toleration, liberty, and free inquiry.

The many and wide divergences of opinion which were an essential result of the spirit and methods of Protestantism were shown from the first by the Pilgrims and Puritans. In Massachusetts, stringent laws were adopted in order to secure uniformity of belief and practice; but it was never achieved, except in name. Antinomianism early presented itself in Boston, and it was quickly followed by the incursions of the Baptists and Friends. Hooker did not find himself in sympathy with the Massachusetts leaders, and led a considerable company to Connecticut from Cambridge, Watertown, and Dorchester. Sir Henry Vane could not always agree with those who guided the religion and the politics of Boston; Roger Williams had another ideal of church and state than that which had come to the Puritans; and Sir Richard Saltonstall would not submit himself to the aristocratic methods of the Boston preachers.

These are but a few of the many indications of the individualistic spirit that marked the first years of the Puritan colonies. It was a part of the Protestant inheritance, and was inherent in the very nature of Protestantism itself. Although the Puritans had only in part, and with faltering steps, come to the acceptance of the individualistic and rational spirit in religion, yet they were on the way to it, however long they might be hindered by an autocratic temper. In fact, the Puritans throughout the seventeenth century in New England were trying at one and the same time to use reason and yet to cling to authority, to accept the Protestant ideal and yet to employ the Catholic methods in state and church. In being Protestants, they were committed to the central motive of individualism; but they never consistently turned away from that conception of the church which is autocratic and authoritative.
The Church of Authority and the Church of Freedom.

Looked at from the modern sociological point of view, there are two types of church, the one socialistic or institutional and the other individualistic, the one making the corporate power of the church the source of spiritual life, the other making the personal insight of the individual man the fountain of religious truth. Such a church as that of Rome may be properly called socialistic because of its corporate nature, because it maintains that revelation is to, and by means of, an institution, an organic religious body.[1]

Catholicism, whether of Rome, Greece, or England, makes the church as a great religious corporation the organ of religious expression. Such a corporation is the source of authority, the test of truth, the creator of spiritual ideals. On the other hand, such a church as the Protestant may be called individualistic because it makes the individual the channel of revelation. It emphasizes personality as of supreme worth, and it makes religious institutions of little value in comparison.

Practically, the difference between the socialistic and the individualistic church is as wide as it is theoretically. In all Catholic churches the child is born into the church, with the right to full acceptance into it by methods of tuition and ritual, whatever his individual qualities or capacities. In all distinctly Protestant churches, membership must be sought by individual preference or supernatural process.[2] The way to it is through individual profession of its creed or inward miraculous transformation of character by the profoundest of personal experiences. In all socialistic or Catholic churches–whether heathen, ethnic, or Christian–young people are admitted to membership after a definite period of training and an initiation by means of an impressive ritual. In all Protestant churches, initiation takes place as the result of personal experiences and mature convictions, and is therefore usually deferred until adult life has been reached.

When we bring out thus distinctly the ideals and methods of the two churches, we are able to understand that the Puritans were theoretically Protestants, but that they practically used the methods of the Catholics. This will be seen more clearly when we take the individualistic tendencies of the Puritans into distinct recognition, and place them in contrast with their socialistic practices. The Puritan churches were thoroughly individualistic in their admission of members, none being accepted into full membership but those who had been converted by means of a personal experience. In theory every male church member was a priest and king, authorized to interpret spiritual truth and to exercise political authority. Therefore, in 1631 the General Court of Massachusetts (being the legislative body) established the rule that only church members should exercise the right of suffrage. This law was continued on the statute books until 1664, and was accepted in practice until 1691.

Because the individual Christian was accounted a priest, however humble in learning or social position, he had the right to join with others in ordaining and setting apart to the ministry of God the man who was to lead the church as its teacher or pastor, though this practice was abandoned as the state-church idea developed, as it did in New England by a process of reaction. Every man could read the Bible for himself, and give it such meaning as his own conscience and reason dictated. By virtue of his Christian experience he had the personal right to find in it his own creed and the law of his own conduct. It was not only his right to do this, but it was also his duty. Revivalism was therefore the distinct outgrowth of Puritanism, the expression of its individualistic spirit. It was the human means of bringing the individual soul within reach of the supernatural power of God, and of facilitating that choice of the Holy Spirit by which one was selected for this change rather than another. The means were social, it is true; but the end reached was absolutely individual, as an experience and as a result attained. What confirmation was to the Catholic, that was conversion to the Puritan.

The Puritans in New England, however, inherited the older socialism to so large an extent that they proceeded to establish what was a state church in method, if not in theory. Though they began with the idea that the churches were to be supported by voluntary contributions (and always continued that method in Boston), yet in a few years they resorted to taxation for their maintenance, and enacted stringent laws compelling attendance upon them by every resident of a town, whatever his beliefs or his personal interests. They forbade the utterance of opinions not approved by the authorities, and made use of fines, imprisonment, and death in support of arbitrary laws enacted for this purpose. These methods were the same as those used by the older socialistic and state churches to compel acceptance of their teachings and practices. They were based on the idea of the corporate nature of the church, and its right to control the individual in the name of the social whole.

The harshness of the Puritan methods was the result of this attempt to maintain a new idea in harmony with an old practice. The Baptists were consistently individualists in rejecting infant baptism, accepting conversion as essential to church membership, maintaining freedom of conscience, and practising toleration as a fundamental social law. The Puritans inconsistently combined conversion and infant baptism,–the Protestant right of private judgment with the Catholic methods of the state church,–a democratic theory of popular suffrage with a most aristocratic limitation of that suffrage to church members. As late as 1674 only 2,527 men in all had been admitted to the exercise of the franchise in Massachusetts. One-sixth or one-eighth of the men were voters, the rest were disfranchised. The church and the state were controlled by this small minority in a community that was theoretically democratic, both in religion and politics.

It is not surprising that there began to be mutterings against such restrictions. It shows the strength of character in the Puritan communities of Massachusetts and New Haven that a large majority of the men submitted as long as they did to conditions thoroughly undemocratic. As a political measure, when the grumblings became so loud as to be no longer ignored, what is called the half-way covenant was adopted, by means of which a semi-membership in the churches could be secured, that gave the right of suffrage, but permitted no action within the church itself.[3] Many writers on this period fail to understand the significance of the half-way covenant; for they attribute to that legislation the disintegrating results that followed. They forget that these half-members were not admitted to any part in church affairs; and they refuse to see that the methods employed by the Puritans were, because of their exclusiveness, of necessity demoralizing. In fact, the half-way covenant was a result of the disintegration that had already taken place as the issue of an attempted compromise between the institutional and the individualistic theories of church government.
Seventeenth-century Liberals.

By arbitrary methods the Puritans succeeded in controlling church and state until 1688, when the interference of the English authorities compelled them to practise toleration and to widen the suffrage. The words of Sir Richard Saltonstall to John Cotton and John Wilson show clearly that these methods were not accepted by all, and even Saltonstall returned to England to escape the restrictions he condemned. “It doth not a little grieve my spirit to hear what sad things are daily reported of your tyranny and persecutions in New England,” he wrote, “as that you fine, whip, and imprison men for their consciences. First you compel such to come into your assemblies as you know will not join with you in your worship, and when they show their dislike thereof or witness against it, then you stir up your magistrates to punish them for such (as you conceive) their public affronts. Truly, friends, this your practice of compelling any in matters of worship to do that whereof they are not persuaded is to make them sin, and many are made hypocrites thereby, conforming in their outward man for fear of punishment. We pray for you and wish you prosperity in every way, hoped that the Lord would have given you so much light and love there, that you might have been eyes to God’s people here, and not to practise those courses in wilderness which you went so far to prevent. These rigid ways have laid you very low in the hearts of the saints.”[4]

Another man who withdrew to England from the narrow spirit of the Puritans was William Pynchon, of Springfield, one of the best trained and ablest of the early settlers of Massachusetts. In 1650 he published a book on the Meritorious Price of our Redemption, in which he denied that Christ was subject to the wrath of God or suffered torments in hell for the redemption of men or paid the penalty for all human sins; but such teachings were too liberal and modern for the leaders in church and state.[5] What is now orthodox, that Christ’s sacrifice was voluntary, was then heretical and forbidden.

If during the first half-century of New England no liberalism found definite utterance, it was because of its repression. It was in the air, even then, and it would have found expression, had there been opportunity or invitation. There were other men than Williams, Saltonstall, Pynchon, and Henry Vane, who believed in toleration, liberty of conscience, and a rational interpretation of religion. In a limited way such men were Henry Dunster and Charles Chauncy, the first two presidents of Harvard College, who both rejected infant baptism because it was not consistent with a converted church membership. It was a small thing to protest against, and to suffer for as Dunster suffered; but the principle was great for which he contended, the principle of individual conviction in religion.

The better spirit of the Puritans appears in such a saying as that of Sir Henry Vane, the second governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, that “all magistrates are to fear or forbear intermeddling with giving rule or imposing their own beliefs in religious matters.”[6] To a similar purport was the saying of Thomas Hooker, the founder of Connecticut, that “the foundation of authority is laid in the free consent of the people.”[7] In the writings of John Robinson, the Pilgrim leader, a like greatness of purpose and thought appears, as where he says that “the meanest man’s reason, specially in matter of faith and obedience to God, is to be preferred before all authority of all men.”[8] Robinson was a very strict Calvinist in doctrine; but he was tolerant in large degree, and thoroughly convinced of the worth of liberty of conscience. His liberality comes out in such words as these: “The custom of the church is but the custom of men; the sentence of the fathers but the opinions of men; the determinations of councils but the judgments of men.”[9] How strong a believer in individual reason he was appears in this statement: “God, who hath made two great lights for the bodily eye, hath also made two lights for the eye of the mind; the one the Scriptures for her supernatural light, and the other reason for her natural light. And, indeed, only these two are a man’s own, and so is not the authority of other men. The Scriptures are as well mine as any other man’s, and so is reason as far as I can attain to it.”[10] When he says that “the credit commending a testimony to others cannot be greater than is the authority in itself of him that gives it nor his authority greater than his person,”[11] he puts an end to all arbitrary authority of priest and church.

It will be seen from these quotations that the spirit of liberality existed even in the very beginnings of New England, and in the convictions of the men who were its chief prophets and leaders. It was hidden away for a time, it may be, though it never ceased to find utterance in some form. The breadth of the underlying spirit finds expression in the compacts by which local churches united their members. The liberality was incipient, a promise of the future rather than a realization in the present.

The earliest churches of New England were not organized with a creed, but with a covenant. Occasionally there was a confession of faith or a creedal statement; but it was regarded as quite unnecessary because it was implied in the general acceptance of the Calvinistic doctrines, and the use of the Cambridge platform or other similar document. The covenant of a church could not be a statement of beliefs, because it was a vow between Christ and his church, and a pledge of the individual members of the church with relation to each other. The creed was implied, but it was not expressed; and, although all the churches were Calvinist at first, the nature of the covenant was such that, when men grew liberal, there was no written creedal test by which they could be held to the old beliefs. When Calvinism was outgrown, it could be slowly and silently discarded, both by individual members of a church and by the church itself, because it was not explicitly contained in the covenant. The creed was rejected, but the covenant was retained.

As soon as authority was withdrawn from the Puritan leaders by the English crown, the spirit of liberty began to show itself in many directions. In a sermon preached in 1691, Samuel Willard, the minister of the Old South Church in Boston, and afterwards president of Harvard College, gave utterance to what was stirring in many minds at that time. He said that God “hath nowhere by any general indulgence given away this liberty of his to any other authority in the world to have dominion over the consciences of men or to give rules of worship, but hath, on the other hand, strongly prohibited it and severely threatened any that shall presume to do it.” He earnestly asserted that no authority is to be accepted but that of the Bible, and that is to be free for each person’s individual interpretation. “Hath there not,” Willard questions, “been too much of a pinning our faith on the credit or practice of others, attended on with a woful neglect to know what is the mind of Christ?” Here was a spirit that not many years later was showing itself in the liberal movement that grew into Unitarianism. The effort to free the consciences of men, and to bring all appeals to the Bible and to Christ, was what gave significance to the liberal movement of the next century.
Growth of Liberty in Church Methods.

There also began a movement to bring church and state into harmonious relations with each other, and to overcome the inconsistency of being individualist and socialist at the same moment. The theory of conversion being retained, it was proposed to make the ordinances of religion free to all, in order that they might bring about the supernatural change that was desired. This is the real significance of the position taken by Solomon Stoddard, of Northampton, who taught that the Lord’s Supper is a converting ordinance, and who in practice did not ask for a supernatural regeneration as preparatory to a limited church membership, though he regarded this as essential to full admission. The half-way covenant had been adopted before Mr. Stoddard became the pastor of the church; but soon after his settlement this limited form of admission was more clearly defined, and he admitted persons into what he described as a “state of education.”[12] This “large congregationalism,” as it was called, was in time accepted as meaning that those who have faith enough to justify the baptism of their children have enough to admit them to full communion in the church. Mr. Stoddard appealed to the English practice in his defence of the broader principle which he adopted. He also vindicated his position by reference to the practices of the leading Protestant countries in Europe. His methods, as outlined and interpreted in his Appeal to the Learned,[13] were based more or less explicitly on the corporate idea of the church.

Although Stoddard was a strict Calvinist, there can be no doubt that his method of open communion slowly led to theological modifications. Not only did it have a tendency to bring the state and church into closer relations with each other, by making the membership in the two more nearly the same, but it led the way to the acceptance of the doctrine of moral ability, and therefore to a modification of Calvinism. If it was a practical rather than a theological reason that caused Stoddard to adopt open communion, it almost inevitably led to Arminianism, because it implied, as he presented its conditions, that man is able of his own free will to accept the terms of salvation which Calvinism had confined to the operation of the sovereignty of God alone.

Another way in which the spirit of the time was showing itself may be seen in the fact that the parish, towards the end of the seventeenth century, on more than one occasion refused to the church the selection of the minister; and church and parish met together for that purpose. This was the case in the first church of Salem in 1672, and at Dedham in 1685. So long as church members only were given the right of suffrage, the selection of the minister was wholly in their hands. As soon as the suffrage was extended, there was a movement to include all tax-payers amongst those who could exercise this choice. In 1666 such a proposition was discussed in Connecticut, and not long after it became the law. In 1692 the Massachusetts laws gave the church the right to select the minister, but permitted the parish to concur in or to reject such choice. During the next century there was a growing tendency to enlarge the privileges of the parish, and to make that the controlling factor in calling the minister and in all that pertained to the outward life of the church and congregation. The result will be seen more and more in the influence of the parish in the selection of liberal men for the pulpit.

A notable instance of the more liberal tendencies is seen in the formation of the Brattle Street Church of Boston in 1699. Although this church accepted the Westminster Confession of Faith and adopted the practices common to the New England churches at this period, it insisted upon the reading of the Bible without comment as a part of the church service. The relation of religious experiences as preparatory to admission to the church was discarded, all were admitted to communion who were approved by the pastor, and women were permitted to take part in voting on all church questions. These and other innovations occasioned much discussion; and a controversy ensued between the pastor Benjamin Colman and Increase Mather.[14] The Salem pastors, Rev. John Higginson and Rev. Nicholas Noyes, addressed a letter to the Brattle Street congregation, in which they criticised the church because it did not consult with other churches in its formation, because it did not make a public profession of repentance on behalf of its members, because baptism was administered on less stringent terms than was customary and too lax admission was given to the sacraments, and because the admission of females to full church activity had a direct tendency “to subvert the order and liberty of the churches.” Though the Brattle Street Church was for a time severely criticised, it soon came into intimate relations with the other churches of Boston, and it ceased to appear as in any way peculiar. That it was organized on a broader basis of membership indicates very clearly that the old methods were not satisfactory to all the people.[15]
A Puritan Rationalist.

The influence of similar ideas is seen in the books of John Wise, of Ipswich, whose Churches’ Quarrel Espoused was published in 1710, and his Vindication of the Government of the New England Churches in 1717. His first book was in answer to the proposition of a number of the ministers of Boston to bring the churches under the control of associations. By this remonstrance the plan was defeated, and the independence of the local church fully established. In republishing his book, he added the Vindication, in order to give his ideas a more systematic expression. The Vindication is the most thoroughly modern book published in America during the eighteenth century. It has a literary directness and power remarkable for the time. Wise gives no quotations indicating that he had read the great liberal writers of England, but he was familiar with Plato and Cicero.

In his first book he speaks of “the natural freedom of human beings,”[16] and says that “right reason is a ray of divine wisdom enstamped upon human nature.”[17] Again, he says that “right reason, that great oracle in human affairs, is the soul of man so formed and endowed by creation with a certain sagacity or acumen whereby man’s intellect is enabled to take up the true idea or perception of things agreeable with and according to their natures.”[18] In such utterances as these Wise was putting himself into the company of the most liberal minds of England in his day, though he may not have read one of them. The considerations that were influencing Milton, Chillingworth, and Jeremy Taylor, in favor of toleration and a broad inclusiveness of spirit, evidently were having their effect upon this New England pastor.

It is not to be assumed that John Wise was a rationalist in the modern sense; but he gave to the use of reason a significance that is surprising and refreshing, coming from the time and circumstances of his writing. In his Vindication we find him accepting reason and revelation as of equal validity. He appeals to the “dictates of right reason”[19] and the “common reason of mankind”[20] with quite as much confidence as to the Bible. He says that all questions of government, religious as well as political, are to be brought to “the assizes of man’s own intellectual powers, reason, and conscience.”[21] He assumes that God has created man capable of obeying his will and living in conformity with his law; for he says that, “if God did not highly estimate man as a creature exalted by his reason, liberty, and nobleness of nature, he would not caress him as he does in order to his submission.”[22]

Wise says that the characteristic of man which is of greatest importance is that he is “most properly the subject of the law of nature.”[23] He uses this expression frequently and in a thoroughly modern sense.

The second great characteristic of man, according to Wise, “is an original liberty enstamped upon his rational nature.”[24] He indicates that he is not inclined to discuss the merely theological problem of man’s relations to God, but, considered physically, man is at the head of creation, “and as such is a creature of a very noble character.”[24] All the lower world is subject to his command, “and his liberty under the conduct of right reason is equal with his trust.”[24] “He that intrudes upon this liberty violates the law of nature.”[24] The effect of such liberty is not to lead man into license, but to make him the rational master of his own conduct. Every man is therefore at liberty “to judge for himself what shall be most for his behoof, happiness, and well-being.”[25]

The third great characteristic of man is found in “an equality amongst men,”[25]} which is to be respected and vindicated by governments that are just and humane. “By a natural right,” he says, “all men are born free; and, nature having set all men upon a level and made them equals, no servitude or subjection can be conceived without inequality.”[26] Again he says that it is “a fundamental principle relating to government that, under God, all power is originally in the people.”[27] This is true of the church as well as of the state, and Wise says the Reformation was a cheat and a schism and a notorious rebellion if the people are not the source of power in the church.

Two other ideas presented by this leader show his modernness and his originality. He says that “the happiness of the people is the object of all government,”[28] and that the state should seek to promote “the peculiar good and benefit of the whole, and every particular member, fairly and sincerely.”[29] “The end of all good government,” he assures his readers, “is to cultivate humanity, and promote the happiness of all, and the good of every man in all his rights, his life, liberty, estate, and honor, without injury or abuse done to any.”[29] That government will seek the good of all is likely to be the case, because man has it as a fundamental law of his nature that he “maintain a sociableness with others.”[30] “From the principles of sociableness it follows as a fundamental law of nature that man is not so wedded to his own interest but that he can make the common good the mark of his aim, and hence he becomes capacitated to enter into a civil state by the law of nature.”[31] This attraction of man to his kind enables him to yield so much of his freedom as is necessary to make the state an efficient social power, “in which covenant is included that submission and union of wills by which a state may be conceived to be but one person.”[32] This thoroughly modern idea of the social body, as being analogous in its nature to the individual man, is nobly expressed by Wise, who says that “a civil state is a compound moral person, whose will is the will of all, to the end it may use and apply the strength and riches of private persons toward maintaining the common peace, security, and well-being of all, which may be conceived as though the whole state was now become but one man.”[33]

It is not surprising that the writings of John Wise had no immediate effect upon the theological thinking of the time, but they must have had their influence. Just before the opening of the Revolution they were republished because of their vindication of the spirit of human liberty and democracy. What Wise wrote to promote was congregational independence, and this may have been the reason why his theological attitude was never called in question. It is true enough that he questioned none of the Calvinistic doctrines in his books; but his political views were certain to disturb the old beliefs, and to give incentives to free discussion in religion.
Harvard College.

The centre of the liberalizing tendencies of the last years of the seventeenth century was Harvard College. That institution was organized on a basis as broad as that of the early church covenants, with no creed or doctrinal requirements. The original seal bore the motto Veritas; but, as the state-church idea grew, this motto was succeeded by In Christi gloriam, and then by Christo et Ecclesiae, though neither of these later mottoes was authoritatively adopted. The early charters were thoroughly liberal in spirit and intent, so much so as to be fully in harmony with the present attitude of the university.[34] Under the Puritanic development, however, this liberality was discarded, only to be restored in 1691, when William and Mary gave to Massachusetts a new and broader charter. From that time a new life entered into the college, that put it uncompromisingly on the liberal side a century later. Even under the rule of Increase Mather, seconded by the influence of his son Cotton, a broader spirit declared itself in the culture imparted and in the method of free inquiry.[35]

Samuel Willard, the successor to Increase Mather in the presidency, was of the liberal party in his breadth of mind and in his sound judgment. He was followed in 1708 by John Leverett, one of the founders of the Brattle Street Church, a man in whom the liberal spirit became a controlling motive in his management of the college.[36] It is not strange that the men who had been shut out from the suffrage and from active participation in the management of the churches, should now come forward to claim their rights, and to make their influence felt in college, church, and state. It was the distinct beginning of the liberal movement in New England, the time from which Unitarianism really took its origin.

[1] Kuno Francke, Social Forces in German Literature, 105. “No mediaeval man ever thought of himself as a perfectly independent being founded only on himself, or without a most direct and definite relation to some larger organism, be it empire, church, city, or guild. No mediaeval man ever doubted that the institutions within which he lived were divinely established ordinances, far superior and quite inaccessible to his own individual reason and judgment. No mediaeval man would ever have admitted that he conceived nature to be other than the creation of an extramundane God, destined to glorify its creator and to please the eye of man. It was reserved for the eighteenth century to draw the last consequences of individualism; to see in man, in each individual man, an independent and complete entity; to derive the origin of state, church, and society from the spontaneous action of these independent individuals; and to consider nature as a system of forces sufficient unto themselves. When we speak of individualism in the declining centuries of the Middle Ages, we mean by it that these centuries initiated the movement which the eighteenth century brought to a climax.”

[2] Williston Walker, the Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism, 246. “From the first the fathers of New England insisted that the children of church members were themselves members, and as such were justly entitled to those church privileges which were adapted to their state of Christian development, of which the chief were baptism and the watchful discipline of the church. They did not enter the church by baptism; they were entitled to baptism because they were already members of the church. Here then was an inconsistency in the application of the Congregational theory of the constitution of a church. While affirming that a proper church consisted only of those possessed of personal Christian character, the fathers admitted to membership, in some degree at least, those who had no claim but Christian parentage.” That is, in theory they were Protestants, but in practice they were Catholics.

[3] The ecclesiastical historians say that the half-way covenant had no effect on suffrage. Dexter, Congregationalism as Seen in its Literature, 468, says: “I am aware of no proof that half-way covenant members of the church by that relation did acquire any further privileges in the state.” Williston Walker, New Englander, cclxiii., 93, February, 1892, takes ground that “added political privilege was no consequence of the dispute.” On the other hand, the secular historians as strongly assert that the suffrage was widened. John Fiske, Beginnings of New England, 250, says the half-way covenant “entitled to the exercise of political rights those who were unqualified for participation in the Lord’s Supper.” Alexander Johnston, Connecticut, 227, says “it really gave every baptized person voice in church government.” J.A. Doyle, The Puritan Colonies, II., 98, asserts that “it broke down the hard barrier which fenced in political privileges.” The true explanation is given by George H. Haynes, Representation and Suffrage in Massachusetts, 1620-1691, 54, published in Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, Vol. XII., Nos. VIII. and IX. Haynes says that the half-way covenant, as first formulated in 1657, “virtually recognized a partial church-membership in persons who had made no formal profession and subscribed to no creed. In 1662 the same opinion was reaffirmed by the clergy, and the General Court ordered the result of the Synod to be printed and ‘commended the same unto the consideration of all the churches and people of this jurisdiction.’ Here ended legislative action on the matter. This was no statutory change of the basis of the franchise; but, as individual churches gradually adopted more liberal conditions of admission and were therein sanctioned by the General Court, it resulted that the operation of the religious test became less odious and the suffrage was not a little broadened.”

[4] Henry Bond, Early Settlers of Watertown, II. 916; Convers Francis, Historical Sketch of Watertown, 135.

[5] Mason A. Green, History of Springfield, 113; E.H. Byington, The Puritan in England and New England, 185.

[6] A Healing Question.

[7] Alexander Johnston, Connecticut: A Study of a Commonwealth-Democracy, 72, Hooker’s sermon preparatory to forming a government.

[8] The Works of John Robinson, American edition of 1851, I., 53.

[9] Ibid., 47.

[10] Ibid., 54.

[11] Ibid., 56.

[12] J.R. Trumbull, History of Northampton, I. 213.

[13] An Appeal to the Learned, being a vindication of the right of visible saints to the Lord’s Supper, though they be destitute of a saving work of God’s Spirit in their hearts, Boston, 1709. See also his Doctrine of Instituted Churches, Boston, 1700.

[14] Dwight, Life of Edwards, 300.

[15] S.K. Lothrop, History of Brattle Street Church, 7-40; E. Turrell, Life of Benjamin Colman, D.D., 96, 125, 178, 180.

[16] The Churches’ Quarrel Espoused, edition of 1860, 140.

[17] Ibid., 143.

[18] Ibid., 145

[19] The Churches’ Quarrel Espoused, edition of 1860, 32.

[20] Ibid., 58.

[21] Ibid., 72.

[22] Ibid., 65.

[23] Ibid., 30.

[24] Ibid., 33.

[25] The Churches’ Quarrel Espoused, edition of 1860, 34.

[26] Ibid., 37.

[27] Ibid., 64.

[28] Ibid., 54.

[29] Ibid., 55.

[30] Ibid., 32.

[31] The Churches’ Quarrel Espoused, edition of 1860, 32.

[32] Ibid., 39.

[33] Ibid., 40.

[34] Josiah Quincy, History of Harvard University, i. 44-54.

[35] Ibid., 65, 200.

[36] Josiah Quincy, in the seventh chapter of his History, gives a detailed account of this movement. It is also dealt with by Brooks Adams in his chapter on the founding of the Brattle Street Church, in his Emancipation of Massachusetts, though he gives it a somewhat exaggerated and biassed importance. Most of the facts appear in Lothrop’s History of the Brattle Street Church.

1,981 thoughts on “Unitarianism – THE LIBERAL SIDE OF PURITANISM.”

    Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 54525952 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 1310766 bytes) in /mounted-storage/home138/sub005/sc20812-ANIG/www/wp-includes/class-walker-comment.php on line 192