Roger Williams: Prophet and Pioneer

Roger Williams: Prophet and Pioneer

Roger Williams: Prophet and Pioneer

Roger Williams: Prophet and Pioneer

Excerpt

ROGER WILLIAMS, prophet and pioneer, was a city boy. The man who was to be banished from the small settlements of colonists on a foreign shore, into an unknown wilderness peopled only by wandering bands of savages, there to make a home and found a state, passed his boyhood in the roaring and colorful panorama of one of the largest cities in the world.

From London, England, to Providence, New England, in the early seventeenth century, was a wide step. Between the sophisticated civilization of London under James I and the wigwams of the aborigines beyond the outposts of the colonial settlements stretched the wide Atlantic and yawned the deep gulf of religious antagonism. For Roger did not come as an explorer, like Drake, or an adventurer, like Raleigh, seeking glory or plunder: but as a fugitive, supremely desirous only of liberty of life and thought, and of peace from persecution. The young minister left the civilized complexity of Stuart England, still elated with her victory over proud Spain, for the dark forests and uncharted waters of an unknown New World. He gave up the association with men of highest education and culture and refinement-- Cambridge dons and churchmen, Sir Edward Coke, John Milton . . .

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