History of New England - Vol. 1

By John Gorham Palfrey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III.

A RELIGIOUS impulse accomplished what commercial enterprise, commanding money and court favor, had attempted without success. Civilized New England is the child of English Puritanism.

The spirit of Puritanism was no creation of the sixteenth century. It is as old as the truth and manliness of England. Among the thoughtful and earnest islanders the dramatic religion of the Popes had never struck so deep root as in Continental soil. 1 They had been coerced into unquestioning conformity as often as the state of public affairs had made it necessary for the Crown to court the Church; but the government of princes strong in the goodness of their title and in the popular regard had often been illustrated by manifestations of discontent with the spiritual despotism which had overspread Western Europe.

A succession of Saxon versions of the Bible, from almost the beginning of the Heptarchy to the Norman Conquest, attests the demand of the times for Scriptural knowledge; and, in the Anglo-Saxon ritual of the Mass, the Gospel and the Epistle were read in the vernacular tongue. 2 Under the early princes of the

Free spirit of the early English Church.

____________________
1
Hume describes England as "the kingdom which of all others had long been the most devoted to the Holy See." ( History, Chap.XXX., A. D. 1532.) But his "long" must be interpreted of the time which began with the Lancastrian dynasty. Elsewhere he says, that "the ancient and almost uninterrupted opposition of interest between the laity and clergy in England, and between the English clergy and the court of Rome, had sufficiently prepared the nation for a breach with the Sovereign Pontiff," (Chap.XXXI., A.D. 1534.)
2
Lingard, Antiquities of the AngloSaxon Church, Chap. VI. § 2. -- Sharon Turner , History of the Anglo-Saxon, Book X. Chap. III.

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History of New England - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface. vii
  • List of Illustrations xviii
  • Contents - Of the First Volume. xix
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 51
  • Chapter III 101
  • Chapter IV 133
  • Chapter V 164
  • Chapter VI 198
  • Chapter VII 239
  • Chapter VIII 283
  • Chapter IX 331
  • Chapter X 383
  • Chapter XI 426
  • Chapter XII 471
  • Chapter XIII 522
  • Chapter XIV 560
  • Chapter XV 610
  • Appendix. 635
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