Obrazy na stronie

Saybrook Platform. 289

liath predestinated unto life, he takes away their heart of stone, and gives them a heart of flesh, renewing their wills, and, by his Almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ, yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace."

In 1703-, the trustees of the college in Connecticut wrote a circular letter to the ministers of the t colony for a general synod. The proposal was acceptable, and the churches and ministers met in a consociated council, and adopted the Savoy and Westminster confessions of faith, and drew up certain rules of discipline, preparatory to a general ^synod.

In 1708, a synod was convened at Saybrook, •composed of ministers and delegates from the coL ony, with two or more messengers from a convention of the churches in each county. They drew up that system of church government and discipline, called the Saybrook Platform. It was passed into a law, and became the constitution of Conneaicut churches. A distinguishing feature of this platform is the negative it gives the ministers, to the vote of the church: but this is a claim which is now seldom made, and universally obnoxious in this republican age.

In 1724, the convention of ministers petitioned the general court to call a synod; but the attorney and solicitor general, gave it as their opinion/



290 Governor and Company impeached.

that it was not lawful for a s5^nod to meet without authority from the king, and the design was laid aside.*

Such is a general view of the synods in New England, and such were the occasions and effects of their meeting. These are sketches of the platforms and confessions of faith adopted by them. The dodlrines" above enumerated were considered orthodox by our excellent ancestors before and after they came to this country. No convention since, no consociation, no synod, nor general council, has adopted any other systems of doctrine or discipline, therefore, such may now be considered the discipline and orthodoxy of New England.


Loss of Charter, state of New England, Andros arrives, tenor of his administration^ William and Mary proclaimed^ Indian war, Expedition against Canada and Nova Scotia, New Charter.

IN June, 1683, articles of high misdemeanour were exhibited by Edward Randolph, the public accuser of those days, against the governor Loss of Charter. 291

* Chalmer.

and company of Massachusetts. Inconsequence, a writ of quo warranto \Yas ordered, and Randolph was appointed to carry it to New England; and to give importance to the messenger, and to his message, both of which were extremely obnoxious to the people of Massachusetts, a frigate was ordered to convey him to Boston. To prevent too great an alarm in the colony, a declaration accompanied the quo warranto, that it should affeft no private rights. When these arrived, the general court deliberated on the critical state of their affairs. The governor, and a majority of the assistants resolved to submit to the royal pleasure,, and transmitted an address to that effect. But the representatives, supported by the decisive influence of the clergy, refused their assent. AH was ineffe&ual to preserve the charter. In Trinity term, 1684, judgment was given for the king, by the high court of chancery, against the governor and company of Massachusetts,/4 that their letters, pateats,; and the enrolment thereof be cancelled."

Thus ended the ancient government of Massachusetts by legal process. The validity of these proceedings was afterwards questioned by highauthority. The house of commons at a subsequent period resolved, " that those quo nmrran^

^against the charter of New England,, were iL

legal and void."

292 Temporary Government established.

Amidst all her disputes with the mother countryv New England greatly flourished.- Agricultural pursuits were successful, manufactures and commerce were extended, and population and wealth were increased, because " the rough hand of oppression had not touched the labours of the inhabitants, orinterruptedthefreedom of their p^^^^^ If for a short time the splendour of New England independence was .obscured by the clouds of royal authority, it soon blazed forth never to be extinguished..

T6n months passed after the dissolution of the charter, when it was thought necessary to establish a temporary government for the preservation of order. During this period, James II. ascended the throne of England, and was proclaimed in Boston, April, 1685, with " sorrowful andaffe£led pomp." < In September following, a commission was issued, appointing a president and a council, composed of the most loyal of the inhabitants of the government of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Narraganset, till the chief governor should arrive. Col. Dudley, a native of Massachusetts, was appointed president.

The people relu&antly submitted to a power which they could not oppose; declaring that *' though they could not give their assent to it, they should demean themselves as loyal subje6ts, and fcfumbly make their addresses to God, and in due Anclros arrives. 293

time to their gracious sovereign, for relief." Counsellors were nominated by the king; no house of representatives was mentioned in the commission ;, still, to reconcile the minds of the people to the intended introdufiHon of a governor general, the courts of justice were allowed to remain on their original plan ; juries were continued, former, laws and customs were observed.*'

Before a year of Dudley's administration had expired, (Dec;. 1686). Sir Edmond Andros arrived in Boston from New York,, where he had been governor, being, now appointed Capt. General, and Vice Admiral of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Plymouth, Rhode Island, and Gonnefticut,.during pleasure. In 1683, New York, and New Jersey were added to his jurisdi&ion* He,.with four of his. council, was impowered to grant lands with such quit rents as the king shotfld appoint.. Like all ^tyrants, from Nero to the demagogues of the present day, Sir Edmond began his.administration with professions of high regard for the public welfare..

In the fall of 1689, he went to Hartford, where

the assembly were sittingvand demanded the char

ter, declaring their government dissolved. Re

monstrances were made, and the business delayed1

till evening; then, tradition says,, the charter was

brought into the assembly, and laid on the table;

candles were extinguished, but lighted again. A a 2


« PoprzedniaDalej »