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remnants fled into the Pyrennian mountains, from whose dark and broken recesses marched again their descendants under their Henry of Navarre. This was the origin and the end for a time, of freedom of thought in Europe -modeled after that which had existed in the old empire of the Romans, when the dilligence of philosophers conspired to confound superstition by bringing the various gods of the world together in one temple. With a liberty like this, there can be no equality. As Lord Rosebery of the time of Beaconsfield said before the Conservative Club: “Liberty and equality are mutually exclusive.” There must be room for Genius, for those who are great, else there is no liberty for them who are the gems of the human race. The rest of the world profits by it, for by the few are made all the advancements which benefit the race, and to the few is due something beyond the mockery of thanks—that is, the reins of Power and the Honor of Dominion.
This recognized truth, brought to the cities of the Roman Empire the conference of rank for merit, which should not be confounded with the feudal tenure of the Middle Ages, when the holding of a lordship was reseryed for nobility of race alone. Nobility, with the Romans, went genealogically within the “gnome” (name), "gens” (race), “pater," "patricius” (father). In the degenerate application in some countries of Europe, nobility went often, but not always, with the possession of the fief, “No land, no noble.” The qualities originally of race then inherred in the tenure. In the organization of each city of the Roman Empire, the senate contained the patricians, or chiefs of the nobility; the second chamber, the representatives of the trades. The duties of the senate pertained to diplomacy and military affairs; of the second chamber, to decide disputes between trades-associations; of both, to regulate taxation and expenditure. Thus all classes were represented in each city, or state, of the Roman Empire. It was the coming of people with memories of these things into the American colonies that worked a ferment and reaction against the puritan bigotry of the primitive Yankees. Therefrom, in the North, the clergy, finding a growing difference of opinion, religious and political, proceeded to stir up the most
ignorant, the more numerous and intolerant of their congregations to the sending of deputies to the General Court to make stringent religious laws. Thus originated the celebrated “Blue Laws” of New England. “Forbidden to kiss wife and child on the Sabbath” was not the least of their ridiculous and contemptible ordinances. While in power, they pressed heavily on the necks of the people and imposed a tyranny of greater bigotry and oppression than even that of the Inquisition of Rome. This body, the clergy, in every state, in every clime and of every creed, has been the greatest hindrance to the friendly intercourse of peoples of different faiths. They formulated against the armorials and rank of the gentry, against the science and art of the professions, against the estates of the proprietors—unless goodly portions were devoted to their own maintenance. They are the direct cause for the sterility of artistic and chivalrous impulses in New England life, by their influence in the body politic; for the dearth of romantic elements in the communities over which they were the presiding ogres. At that time, just previous to 1639, one of them named Wheelwright received a reprimand from the magistrates and was adjudged guilty of sedition by the excessive violence of his preaching—especially at this time, when the magistrates were doing all in their power to heal the breaches among different classes caused by the clergy. Nov. 5th, 1639, “Divers gentlemen and others, out of their care for the public weal and safety, and for the advancement of the military art and exercise of arms, desired license of the court to join themselves in one company and to have liberty to exercise themselves at such times and places as their occasions would permit.” (Palfrey, I., p. 550.) It was only in such military formations that safety could be had against the wrath of the clergy. Thus was founded the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts. But at the time of its formation in 1638, the civil council, under influence of the clergy, prophesied its “ungodly” influence—that is the protection of individuals joining it against their wrath—“considering from the example of the Pratorian Band among the Romans, and the Templars in Europe, how dangerous it might be to erect a standing authority of military men, which might easily, in time, overthrow the civil power.” (Winthrop, I., p. 253.) Thus the military idea began to show itself as a means of liberating people of the better classes from the theological and levelling democracy. During this time, the spirit of an independent state was developing. In 1642, the four New England colonies assumed some of the prerogatives of sovereignty, with the king as the knot of their union, in a “firm and perpetual league of friendship and amity for offence and defence.” Massachusetts went further yet and established a mint in 1652 and proceeded to coin her own money. However, this was during the protectorate of Cromwell over England and her dependencies. Cromwell favored Massachussets and promoted the military spirit in the cofony. He had relied on the same weapon in England to relieve himself from the narrowness and bigotry of the theological democracy in England. With the hypocrisy usual to members of that body, they had installed themselves as the supreme power of the English Darliament and were proceeding to use the government for their own purposes and to shape its destinies to conform to their belief, when Cromwell appeared before them suddenly on the day of their most iniquitous proceedings. He accused them of corruption, hypocrisy and double-dealing and caused his soldiers to drive them from the seat of authority. “There is nothing in their minds but overturn, overturn,” said he. Now the people in power in New England were mostly of the stamp of Praise God Bairbones Parliament in England, and the religious persecution went on unrestricted. Later, after Cromwell's government had passed away and Charles II. in 1660 had ascended the throne, the budget of complaints against the theological democracy of Massachussets for persecution, bloodshed, torture, banishment and loss of property and life was very large. The king sent commissioners to the colony in 1666 to report on these abuses of power. Commissioner Randolph declared that the better portion of the people had been driven away and that the public offices had fallen in the hands of the most virulent. Among others reported to the king as an abuse was the exercise of the sovereign prerogative of coining money; for although the king had been proclaimed in the colony in 1661, the pine-tree shilling was coined the very next year without any other legend than that of the sovereignty of the colony. But the king was mollified considerably when Governor John Leverett, who had been summoned to England to answer for the colony, remarked that the figure on the coin was that of the Royal Oak, which had sheltered His Majesty after the Battle of Worcester—a witty reply which gained for the Massachussetts governor the honor of knighthood.
While making the greatest professions of loyalty and agreeing that all the requirements of their charter had been fulfilled, the investigation showed that Puritan loyalty was a lie and that they had not fulfilled one of the requirements which they had promised to fulfil. The king found it necessary therefore that a new charter be given so as to bring the officers in direct contact with His Majesty's government, and that the governors be sent from England, so that they should not belong to any cabal in the colony. The Puritans had not proved themselves to be a trustworthy people. Their word could not be relied on.
New England Colony and Government—Beginning of
the Royalists in New England—The King's Chapel - The Royal Charter Re-affirmed.
As an example of the prosecution of the leveling Puritan democracy of New England whose unethical and republican ideas were being put constantly in force against all comers who were different from them, the history of the early king's Chapel of Boston is an enlightenment to those who are capable of profiting by a lesson. Besides, King's Chapel, although having passed into the hands of the enemy, is the cradle of the U. E. Loyalists from Boston and vicinity.
William Vassell had come over in 1630. He was so disgusted with Winthrop and others in authority who were ignoring their pledges to the crown, that he returned to England, but came back again to the colony determined to make a stand for freedom of conscience and liberty of the individual. He commenced by sending in the following "Remonstrance and Humble Petition” to the General Court. This was signed by five others, among them being Samuel Maverick and Robert Child. “That they could not discern in this colony a settled form of government according to the laws of England, that many thousands in these plantations of the English nation were debarred all civil employments . . . and that numerous members of the Church of England ... were detained from the seats of the covenant of free grace.” They demanded relief from these disabilities and threatened if not relieved to appeal to the High Court of England. The General Court of Massachussetts, after a great delay, rejected their petition with coarse jocoseness. “And these are the champions,” said the court, "who must represent the body of non-freemen. If this be their head sure they have an unsavory head, not to be seasoned by much salt.” The petitioners were fined and their papers seized.