AMERICAN PRESBYTERIANISM WAS THE NATURAL CHILD OF ENGLISH PURITAN- ism and Scottish Presbyterianism, modified and reshaped in the colonial environment. In England, Puritanism had only gradually split into Presbyterian and Congregational wings; and even in America, where the Congregational form was dominant, there were always tendencies toward Presbyterianism. Nowhere was the tendency more marked than in Connecticut. During the latter half of the seventeenth century, Puritans largely from Connecticut planted churches on Long Island, in northern New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina. Many invited Scottish Presbyterian ministers to preach to them, while at the same time they maintained their Congregational form of government. There were instances in which Presbyterian congregations called Congregational ministers into their service. The denominational lines were not then sharply drawn.
In theology, both Presbyterian and Congregational wings had been attracted to the Federal or Covenant system as it was enunciated in the famous Westminster Confession, a document prepared by English Puri-