B F Morris – The Puritan Settlement in America

Chapter 3 of The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the U. S. 1864

The Puritan settlement on the American continent dates from the 22nd of December 1620, one hundred and twenty-eight years after a Christian navigator had greeted the New World with a song of praise, and consecrated it to Christ in prayer.

The Puritan was made of two different men: the one all self-abasement, penitence, gratitude, passion; the other, stern, calm, inflexible, sagacious. He prostrated himself in the dust before his Maker but set his foot on the neck of his king. In his devotional retirement, he prayed with groans and tears; but when he took his seat in the council, or girt on his sword for war, these workings of the soul had left no perceptible trace behind them. The intensity of their feelings on one subject made them tranquil on all others.”
This description, in substance, corresponds with what the New England Puritans say of themselves. “ We give ourselves,” say they, “ to the Lord Jesus Christ, and the word of his grace, for the teaching, ruling, and sanctifying of us, in matters of worship and conversation; resolving to cleave unto him alone for life and glory, and to reject all contrary ways,
canons, and constitutions of men in his worship.”


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