"A Place of Safetie"
ALTHOUGH the Puritans believed that the Lord, in anger, would destroy the protective Hedge which surrounded England, they were confident that He would not forget His exiled children in the wilderness. With the transplantation of the true church to New England, they felt, the Lord would provide for the resurrection of a Hedge of grace in America and would construct new walls of safety around the Wilderness Zion. "Gods worke shall not be hindered," suggested John Cotton, because the Lord will protect His people though their enemies "are most strongly combined" to destroy them.1 Throughout the seventeenth century, New Englanders continued to view their colony as a refuge from the havoc and chaos of Europe. The seeming decline of morality at home and the outbreak of the civil wars in England strengthened the Puritans' belief in the sanctuary blessings of the New World. Moreover, as the Lord delivered the colonists from Indian plots and wilderness difficulties, the idea of the refuge bulwarked the Puritans' sense of divine mission and reinforced the notion of uniqueness in New England.
The Puritans viewed the protective shield, upon which they placed so much hope, as an expression of political godliness. Wise and judicious laws, stated Thomas Shep-____________________