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writing out for publication his notes of Barré's speech, knew of the existence of such a club, if he had not himself been enrolled as a Son of Liberty."

The evidence, as respects the ruime, is found in an obscure pamphlet, printed anonymously in New Haven, in 1755. Before quoting this pamphlet, something must be said of the controversy which called it forth.

Thomas Clap became president of Yale College in 1740, and, the next year, Jonathan Law succeeded Joseph Talcott as governor of Connecticut. In the ensuing decade, opposition to the ecclesiastical constitution of the colony became strong enough to threaten the disruption of church-establishment. This was the era of revivals, but it was also the era of declension, separations, and the incoming of heresies, of wild fanaticism, and of intolerance and persecution in the name of "the liberties of the churches,"—soon to evoke bold assertion of liberty of conscience and the right of private judgment. “Old Light' and · New Light,' Arminianism and Antinomianism, Arianism, and Taylorism were by-words of party. “A day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity in the valley of vision,"* it seemed to those who, content with the Old Light, strove to maintain the unity of the church and its alliance with the state. “God has given us to see our churches in a ruffle," --said the Rev. Mr. Worthington in his serinon before the General Assembly in 1744: “strangers taking them by the hands, and they wandering into enthusiasm, anabaptism, and antinomianism." Students at the college not only dared to read books dangerous to the peace of the church, but, at the hazard of losing their degrees, actually ventured to set on foot a subscription for reprinting Locke's Letters on Toleration." Some of them did worse; they caught the license of the times, sat in judgment on their instructors, and pronounced some of them “unconverted and unskillful guides in matters of religion.” To the Revivalists and New Lights, the aspect of affairs was even darker than it seemed to their persecuters. “Numbers of the clergy,” says one were Arminians, preachers of a dead, cold morality, without any distinction of it from heathen morality, by the principles of evangelical love and faith .... Some of the leading ministers of the colony were most bitter enemies to the revival and to their brethren who were instrumental in promoting it. This was the case in general with the magistrutes and principal gentlemen of the colony."* Nor was this the worst.

* Is. xxii, 5. The Rev. Isaac Stiles, an ante-signanus of the Old Lights, makes the quotation in his Election Sermon, May, 1742.

+ Trumbull's History of Connecticut, ii. 183, note. Locke's Letters were roprinted in Boston, in 1743.

. Corruptions in doctrine in the Protestant church of England bad crossed the Atlantic, "and too many in our churches, and even among our ministers, had fallen in with them." “The writings of Chubb, Tay. lor, Foster, Hutcheson, Campbell, and Ramsey, began to be highly extolled and assiduously spread about the country.”+

At this period, there was much talk of Liberty, though none yet dreamed of political independence. It was as loyal subjects of England that the colonists demanded the rights and privileges of freemen. They were proud of their English birthright. Their public speakers loved to boast, with Paul, that theirs was not a purchased freedom, but that they were “free born"—true sons of liberty.

Connecticut, especially, was without temptation to disloyalty. Not subjected-like her neighbors of Massachusetts and New York—to governors appointed by the crown, she bad seldom been called to defend constitutional rights against the exercise of royal prerogative.

“A little model of that excellent and great form at home, we enjoy”—said the Rev. Jared Eliot, in 1738,—“the same Liberties, and additional hereto. We have liberty to choose from among ourselves, of our Fathers and Brethren, to rule over us; and these to be continued but just so long as we think fit. We have neither Strangers nor childdren to rule over us. We have our judges as at the first, and our rulers as at the beginning.' .... Are not these advantages great as human prudence could contrive, and even extensive to the utmost bounds of a rational wish ?" }

The liberty about which parties in Connecticut were contending between 1740 and 1750 was that of separation from church establishment, of “strict congregationalism," against consociation, of the exercise of private judgment in matters of religion. Governor Talcott had been friendly to the New Light movement and discountenanced all persecution of either dissenters or separates.' Governor Law was (says Dr. Trumbull) “a gentleman of a different character." His accession prepared the way for the adoption of more vigorous measures for the repression of disorders and to prevent further divisions in the churches. The Arminian or Old Light party was in a large majority in the general assembly. In May, 1742, they enacted “an Act for regulating Abuses and correcting Disorders in Ecclesiastical Affairs,”—which for bigotry, intolerance, and disregard of the rights of conscience is without parallel in the legislation of Connecticut. It is unnecessary to give even an abstract of it, here.* There are but two facts we can wish to remember about it, first, that its severities were directed, not against dissenters from a creed, but against seceders from an establishment, and those who promoted separations of established churches ; it did not abridge the liberties of episcopalians, baptists, or other denominations“ having any distinguishing character by which they may be known from the presbyterians or congregationalists;" and secondly, that, less than ten years after its enactment, it was wiped from the statute book without the ceremony even of a formal repeal.

* Trumbull's History of Connecticut, ii. 162, 176.

Ibid. (from N. Hobart,) 518; President Clap's Defence of the Doctrines of the N. E. Churches, p. 19.

| Election Sermon, 1738, p. 37,

In May, 1743, the legislature, by repealing the act of 1708, “for the ease of such as soberly dissent,” made separation from any established church unlawful, except by special license of the general assembly, and such license, it was plainly intimated, presbyterians or congregationalists must not expect.

These extraordinary measures for the repression of irregularities and enthusiasm were cordially seconded by President Clap and the trustees of the college. The expulsion of David Brainerd in the winter of 1741-42, and of the two Clevelands in 1745, and the public testimony borne by the rector and tutors against Whitefield, were pledges of the sympathy of the college authorities with the Arminian majority in the legislature; and the legislature manifested its confidence by increasing the annual appropriation to the college, and by granting it, in 1745, a new and larger charter, which laid a broad foundation for its future advancement.

* It is printed in the Col. Records, viii. 454, ff., and in Trumbull's History of Connecticut, ii. 165, ff.

But before the death of Governor Law, in 1750, the persecution of New Lights and Separates had produced the result that might have been anticipated. Instead of crushing opposition, it had strengthened it and cemented its discordant elements. “The majority, by overstraining their power," says Backus,* " had weakened it, and it now began to decline.” The party of "political New Lights—as they were nicknamed by their oppo. nents—comprised numbers in all parts of the colony who had opposed separations and the excesses of the revivalists, but who denounced the laws of 1742 and 1743, and the prosecutions instituted under them, as violations of the liberties assured to British subjects by the Act of Toleration.

In the spring of 1744, a pamphlet was printed in Boston, entitled

“The essential Rights and Liberties of Protestants. A seasonable Plea for The Liberty of Conscience, and The Right of Private Judgment, in matters of Religion, without any Controul from human Authority. Being a Letter, from a gentleman in the Massachusetts-Bay to his Friend in Connecticut. Wherein Some Thoughts on the Origin, End, and Extent of the Civil Power with brief considerations on several late Laws in Connecticut, are humbly offered. By a Lover of Truth and Liberty."

The writer subscribes himself Philalethes, and dates from Eleutheropolis, March 30, 1744. The internal evidence is sufficient to prove its Connecticut origin. "Colonel Elisha Williams, the best president they ever had at Yale College, was the author of it," says Backus, the baptist historian, t-who was not likely to be misinformed on this point. After resigning the presidency of the college, Mr. Williams was appointed in May, 1740) a judge of the Superior Court, and held that office till the spring of 1753, when the general assembly left him off-probably because of his known opposition to the course of the dominant party. Released from all official responsibility, he was at liberty to express bis sentiments concerning the act of 1742, and to urge the rights of conscience. It is strange that a work in which the great principles of both civil and religious freedom are so clearly defined and so ably discussed, has been lost sight of, or barely mentioned, by writers on this period of colonial history.

* Church History of New England, ii. 177.

+ Church History of New England, ii. 157. Sprague, Congr. Annals, i. 284, names it among Rector Williams's publications. It is assigned to him in the library catalogue of the American Antiquarian Society-whose copy of the pamphlets (acquired by its former owner in 1792) has written on the title page the name of "the Hon. Elisha Williams, late Rector of Yale College,” as the author. The Rev. J. S. Clark, in a Historical Sketch of Congr. Churches in Massachusetts, (Boston, 1858; p. 177,) stated that this work had "been attributed" to the Hon. Thomas Cushing of Boston. With whom the attribution originated, does not appear. It is, intrinsically, highly improbable, and does not appear to be sustained by any evidenceexcept the fact that Mr. Cushing was Rector Williams's class-mate at Harvard.

The author avows himself a follower of Locke, in his views of the origin and end of civil government. He adopts the positions, that “all men are naturally equal in respect of jurisdiction or dominion one over another," that “ we are born free, as we are born rational," and that “the fountain and original of all civil power is from the people, and is certainly instituted for their sakes.” He proceeds to show that " the members of a civil state do retain their natural liberty or right of judging for themselves in matters of religion," and that the rights of conscience, “sacred and equal in all, are strictly speaking unalienable." He denies the power of the civil authority “to make or ordain articles of faith, creeds, forms of worship or church-government, to establish any religion, of a human form and composition, as a rule binding to Christians, much less to do this on any penalties whatsoever;" and asserts the right of every Christian " to determine for himself what church to join himself to," and of every church "to judge in what manner God is to be worshipped by them and what form of discipline ought to be observed by them,” etc. He examines, section by section, the Connecticut laws of 1742 and 1743, and shows their injustice and that they abridge that Christian liberty to which all British subjects are entitled by the Act of Toleration. In conclusion, he makes this pregnant sug. gestion :

“ It has commonly been the case, that Christian Liberty, as well as Civil, has been lost by little and little; and experience has taught, that it is not easy to recover it, when once lost. So precious a Jewel is always to be watched with a careful eye; for no people are likely to enjoy Liberty long, that are not zealous to preserve it."

So seasonable a plea cannot have been without influence on popular sentiment in Connecticut. Its bold denial of the power of the civil government "to make any penal laws in matters of religion" or for the maintenance of church-establishment, its vindication of 'strict congregationalism,' and of the right of in

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