The Colonial Image: Origins of American Culture

By John C. Miller | Go to book overview

Religious Tolerance

Roger Williams

From the privileged sanctuary of Rhode Island, where alone in New England religious freedom prevailed, Roger Williams carried on a war of the books with the Reverend John Cotton, the foremost divine in Massachusetts Bay. A redoubtable Biblical scholar, Cotton drew most of his arguments against toleration from that source. Cotton opened the campaign in 1643 with A Letter . . . to Mr. Williamsto which Williams responded in 1644 in Mr. Cotton's Letter Lately Printed, Examined and Answeredand The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience Discussed. Cotton answered Williams in The Bloudy Tenent, Washed, and Made White in the Bloud of the Lambe.Not to be outdone by such tactics, Williams published in 1652 The Bloudy Tenent Yet More Bloudy by Mr. Cotton's Efforts to Wash It White.

For his much honored, kind friend, Mrs. Anne Sadleir, at Sondon, in Hartforshire, near Puckridge. [No Date]

My much honored, kind friend, Mrs. Sadleir,

My humble respects premised to your much honored self, and Mr. Sadleir, humbly wishing you the saving knowledge and assurance of that life which is eternal, when this poor minute's dream is over. In my poor span of time, I have been oft in the jaws of death, sickening at sea, shipwrecked on shore, in danger of arrows, swords, and bullets. And yet, methinks, the most high and most holy God hath reserved me for some service to his most glorious and eternal majesty.

I think, sometimes, in this common shipwreck of mankind, wherein we all are either floating or sinking, despairing or struggling for life, why should I ever faint in striving, as Paul saith, in hopes to save myself, to save others--to call, and cry, and ask, what hope of saving, what hope of life, and of the eternal shore of mercy? Your last letter, my honored friend, I received as a bitter sweetening--as all that is under the sun, is-- sweet in that I hear from you, and that you continue striving for life

____________________
The Writings of Roger Williams.

-169-

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The Colonial Image: Origins of American Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 5
  • Contents 9
  • Introduction 15
  • Part I - Arrivals 41
  • The Plymouth Plantation 43
  • A Description of New England 66
  • The New English Canaan 76
  • Letters 77
  • The Crossing to Pennsylvania! 83
  • Part II - Daily Life 99
  • Pirates in Plymouth 101
  • Thomas Morton of Merrymount 103
  • The Merrymount Colony 108
  • Edifying Incidents 113
  • An Exemplary Christian 115
  • Inoculation for Smallpox 118
  • Courtship 132
  • Marriage 141
  • On Taking a Mistress 154
  • The Speech of Polly Baker 156
  • Riding through Virginia 159
  • Part III - God and the Devil 167
  • Religious Tolerance 169
  • In Defence of Intolerance 175
  • Witchcraft in Salem 179
  • Witchcraft in Salem 185
  • Witchcraft in Salem 190
  • The Devil in the Shape of a Woman 193
  • Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God 207
  • Personal Narrative 212
  • Part IV - The Indians 221
  • The Indians in Virginia 223
  • Pocahontas 231
  • The Pequot War 239
  • The Pequot War 244
  • Indian Customs and Manners 248
  • Captured by Indians 257
  • Part V - The South 291
  • Virginia 293
  • History of the Dividing Line 310
  • Part VI - Literature 351
  • Anne Bradstreet 353
  • Michael Wigglesworth 357
  • Edward Taylor 367
  • Bacon's Epitaph 370
  • Ebenezer Cook 372
  • Benjamin Franklin 377
  • Part VII - Four Colonial Views 387
  • Itinerarium Dr. Alexander Hamilton 389
  • Autobiography 419
  • Journal 437
  • Letters from an American Farmer 479
  • Bibliography 499
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