CHAPTER VI.

FOUNDATIONS LAID IN CHURCH AND STATE.

Spring of 1639 found the plantation at Quin-nipiac no farther advanced in its ecclesiastical or its civil organization than on the morrow after its "first day of extraordinary humiliation." Its public property was still managed by the members, or in ordinary cases, by the officers, of the joint-stock association. Civil government was administered, if at all, by a democracy acknowledging no authority but that of God, and no constitution but God's word as contained in the Scriptures. Public worship was regularly offered, but no church had been instituted and no sacraments had been celebrated. Several reasons may be suggested for the slowness with which the planters came to the work of organization. They had much to occupy their minds and hands during the first summer, in providing for the approaching winter. During the winter the Yorkshire people were exercised in mind with the question, whether they should remain, or go back to Massachusetts, and, till this question was decided, were not ready to unite with any church. The leading men in the plantation would naturally prefer to wait for their decision, rather than to proceed immediately with an

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organization which did not include so desirable an addition. The Hereford men began in the autumn, and perhaps late in the summer, to think of removing, and by midwinter had purchased land at Milford, and thus were fully committed. So long as they were hesitating, their brethren would wait for their decision as they had done for that of the Yorkshire people, though with a different feeling toward their proposal to remove. There is no reason to believe that the people of Quinnipiac were unwilling that a new plantation should be established a few miles west of their own; for, if their population should be thereby somewhat diminished, those who removed would still be near them, and would draw to the neighborhood a considerable accession of planters. So far as appears, Prudden and Davenport were as much at one in their plans after the former had decided to establish a new plantation, as before. We may find another reason for the slowness with which the planters came to the work of laying foundations of Church and State, in the difference of opinion which prevailed among them in regard to such foundations. Some had been non-conforming members of the Church of England; others had separated themselves from the national church while still residing in the mother-country. In other words, there were in the colony both Puritans and Separatists. But, so far as concerns church organization, these two classes were practically agreed. As the Puritans of Massachusetts felt themselves obliged to follow the example of the Separatists at Plymouth in organizing their churches, so at Quinnipiac those who had never yet belonged to

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a Congregational church saw that such a church was the only ecclesiastical organization possible to them in their circumstances. There was a difference of opinion, however, in the colony, on the question whether civil authority should be confined to men who were in communion with the church; and this difference was to a great extent coincident with the division into the two classes of Puritans and Separatists. The Puritan planters of Massachusetts relinquished episcopacy because they did not see their way clear to retain it; but they would not relinquish the old English idea that the State should be governed by Christians only, and that the Christian character thus required should be certified by the Church. Following the Separatists at Plymouth in organizing their churches, they would not follow them in admitting to the elective franchise planters who were not church-members. The English idea long prevailed in Massachusetts ; but the Plymouth or Separatist belief that church-membership is not an essential qualification of free burgesses gradually gained adherents. When the river-towns in Connecticut were planted by emigrants from Massachusetts, so much progress had been made from the Puritan toward the Separatist theory, that church-membership was never required in the colony of Connecticut as a qualification for the elective franchise. There being in the colony at Quinnipiac some who belonged to Congregational churches, and some who had never separated from the Church of England, there was a tendency in these two classes to divide on the question whether civil authority should be confined to members of the church. The Separatists desired to lay

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the foundations of both Church and State in accordance with the Plymouth model. Their leader, Samuel Eaton, stood up for the principle that all free planters, that is, proprietors in the plantation, however they might delegate authority, should have power to resume it into their own hands. But Davenport, who had never been a Separatist, and would have been content to remain in the Establishment if only his party had been in the ascendant, stoutly defended with Scriptural arguments the position that the power of choosing magistrates, of making and repealing laws, of dividing inheritances, and of deciding differences, should be vested in church-members. In the course of the debate between them Davenport wrote a treatise, afterward printed and still extant, entitled, "A Discourse about Civil Government in a New Plantation whose Design is Religion." Ultimately the views of Davenport prevailed over all opposition, but not till a long time had been consumed in the discussion. On the fourth day of June, 1639, a meeting of all the proprietors, or free planters as they were called, was held in the barn of Mr. Robert Newman, "to consult about settling civil government according to God, and about the nomination of persons that might be found by consent of all, fittest in all respects for the foundation work of a church." In reporting this meeting we shall chiefly use the language of the contemporary record: - "For the better enabling them to discern the mind of God and to agree accordingly concerning the establishment of civil order, Mr. John Davenport propounded divers queries to them, publicly praying them to consider seriously in the presence and fear of God

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the weight of the business they met about, and not to be rash or slight in giving their votes to things they understood not, but to digest fully and thoroughly what should be propounded to them, and without respect to men, as they should be satisfied and persuaded in their own. minds, to give their answers in such sort as they would be willing they should stand upon record for posterity." At the earnest request of Mr. Davenport, - \ "Mr. Robert Newman was entreated to write in characters and to read distinctly and audibly in the hearing of all the people what was propounded and accorded on, that it might appear that all consented to matters propounded, according to words written by him." Mr. Davenport then proposed his queries as follows : - "QUERY i.-Whether the Scriptures do hold forth a perfect rule for the direction and government of all men in all duties which they are to perform to God and men as well in the government of families and commonwealths as in matters of the church. "This was assented unto by all, no man dissenting, as was expressed by holding up of hands. Afterward it was read over to them that they might see in what words their vote was expressed. They again expressed their consent thereto by holding up their hands, no man dissenting. " QUERY 2. - Whereas there was a covenant solemnly made by the whole assembly of free planters of this plantation the first day of extraordinary humiliation which we had after we came together, that as in matters that concern the gathering and ordering of a church, so likewise in all public offices which concern civil order, as choice of magistrates and officers, making and repealing of laws, dividing allotments of inheritance, and all things of like nature, we would all of us be ordered by those rules which the Scripture holds forth to us (this covenant was called a plantation covenant to distinguish it from a church covenant which could not at that time be made, a church not being then gathered, but was deferred till a church might be gathered according to God); it was demanded

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whether all the free planters do hold themselves bound by that covenant in all business of that nature which are expressed in the covenant to submit themselves to be ordered by the rules held forth in the Scripture. "This also was assented to by all, and no man gainsaid it, and they did testify the same by holding up their hands, both when it was first propounded, and confirmed the same by holding up their hands when it was read unto them in public. John Clarke, being absent when the covenant was made, doth now manifest his consent to it: also Richard Beach, Andrew Low, Goodman Banister, Arthur Halbidge, John Potter, Robert Hill, John Brockett, and John Johnson, being not admitted planters when the covenant was made, do now express their consent to it. "QUERY 3. - Those who have been received as free planters and are settled in the plantation with a purpose, resolution and desire that they may be admitted into church fellowship according to Christ as soon as God shall fit them thereunto, were desired to express it by holding up of hands: accordingly all did express this to be their desire and purpose by holding up their hands twice, viz., both at the proposal of it, and after when these written words were read unto them." The response to this question is instructive, as it shows that all the proprietors were earnestly religious men, were desirous of being admitted to the communion of the church, and, if they had not already become conscious of spiritual enlightenment wrought in them by the Spirit of God, were hoping for such an experience to qualify them for such admission. The "purpose, resolution, and desire" to be admitted into church-fellowship thus unanimously declared, prepare us to learn with less astonishment that in response to the fifth query, to which those that preceded logically conducted, they voted to confine the elective franchise to church-members.

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"QUERY 4.-All the free planters were called upon to express whether they held themselves bound to establish such civil order as might best conduce to the securing of the purity and peace of the ordinances to themselves and their posterity according to God. In answer hereunto they expressed by holding up their hands twice as before, that they held themselves bound to establish such as might best conduce to the ends aforesaid." After some remarks by Mr. Davenport, the fifth query was propounded as follows : - "QUERY 5. - Whether free burgesses shall be chosen out of church members, they that are in the foundation work of the church being actually free burgesses and to choose to themselves out of the like estate of church fellowship: and the power of choosing magistrates and officers from among themselves, and the power of making and repealing laws according to the word, and the dividing of inheritances, and deciding of differences that may arise, and all the businesses of like nature are to be transacted by those free burgesses. "This was put to vote and agreed unto by the lifting up of hands twice as in the former it was done. Then one man stood up after the vote was past, expressing his dissent from the rest in part, yet granting ist, That magistrates should be men fearing God; 2d, That the church is the company whence ordinarily such men may be expected; 3d, That they that choose them ought to be men fearing God: only at this he stuck that free planters ought not to give this power out of their hands. Another stood up and answered that in this case nothing was done but with their consent. The former answered that all the free planters ought to resume this power into their own hands again if things were not orderly carried. Mr. Theophilus Eaton answered that in all places they choose committees; in like manner the companies of London choose the liveries by whom the public magistrates are chosen. In this the rest are not wronged, because*, they expect in time to be of the livery themselves and to have the same power. Some others entreated the former to give his arguments and reasons whereupon he dissented. He refused to do it, and said they might

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not rationally demand it, seeing he let the vote pass on freely and did not speak till after it was past, because he would not hinder what they agreed upon. Then Mr. Davenport, after a short relation of some former passages between them two' about this question, prayed the company that nothing might be concluded by them in this mighty question but what themselves were persuaded to be agreeing with the mind pf God, and [as] they had heard what had been said since the voting, entreated them again to consider of it and put it again to vote as before." The assembly having again unanimously assented, and some who had previously leaned to the opposite side, or halted between the two opinions, having given vocal expression to their confidence that the action taken was "according to the mind of God revealed in the Scriptures:-" "Mr. Robert Newman was desired to write it as an order, where-unto every one that hereafter should be admitted here as planters should submit and testify the same by subscribing their names to the order, namely, that church-members only shall -be free burgesses, and that they only shall choose magistrates and officers among themselves." The elective franchise being thus limited to church-members, the assembly proceeded to consider and determine what method they should pursue in organizing their church: - "Mr. Davenport advised that the names of such as were to be admitted might be publicly propounded, to the end that they who 1 Although the name of the "one man" who dissented is not given in the record, there can be no doubt that it was Samuel Eaton. Mather records the tradition that it was he; and the treatise of Davenport bears internal evidence that it was addressed to one of his clerical friends in the plantation, that is to Eaton or Piudden. But Prudden could not have been the dissentient speaker to the assembly in Mr. Newman's barn; for he and his company, having resolved to remove, took no part in laying the foundations of civil order in Quinnipiac. 100 were most approved might be chosen; for the town being cast into several private meetings, wherein they that dwelt' nearest together gave their accounts one to another of God's gracious work upon them, and prayed together and conferred to their mutual edification, sundry of them had knowledge one of another, and in every meeting some one was more approved of all than any other. For this reason and to avoid scandals, the whole company was entreated to consider whom they found fittest to nominate for this work." The sixth query was then read in these words, viz.: - " Whether are, you all willing and do agree in this, that twelve men be chosen that their fitness for the foundation work may be tried; however there may be more named, yet it may be in their power who are chosen to reduce them to twelve, and it be in the power of those twelve to choose out of themselves seven that shall be most approved of the major part to begin the church. " This was agreed upon by consent of all, as was expressed by holding up of hands, and that so many as should be thought fit for the foundation work of the church shall be propounded by the plantation and. written down and pass without exception unless they had given public scandal or offence; yet so as in case of public scandal or offence, every one should have liberty to propound their exceptions at that time publicly against any man that should be nominated when all their names should be written down; but if the offence were private, that men's names might be tendered, so many as were offended were entreated to deal with the offender privately, and if he gave not satisfaction, to bring the matter to the twelve that they might consider of it impartially and in the fear of God. The names of the persons nominated and agreed upon were Mr. Theophilus Eaton, Mr. John Davenport, Mr. Robert Newman, Mr. Matthew Gilbert, Mr. Richard Malbon, Mr. Nathanael Turner, Ezekiel Gheever, Thomas Fugill, John Punderson, William Andrews and Jeremiah Dixon.1 No exception was brought against any of those in public, except one about taking an excessive rate for meal

1 The registrar omitted one of the twelve names. Was the name of the penitent extortioner designedly dropped, or was the omission accidental?

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which he sold to one of Pequonock in his need, which he confessed with grief, and declared that having been smitten in heart and troubled in his conscience, he restored such a part of the price back again with confession of his sin to the:party as he thought himself bound to do. And it being feared that the report of the sin was heard farther than the report of his satisfaction, a course was concluded on to make the satisfaction known to as many as heard of the sin. It was also agreed upon at the said meeting that if the persons above named did find themselves straitened in the number of fit men for the seven, that it should be free for them to take into trial of fitness tsuch other as they should think meet, provided that it should be signified to the town, upon the Lord's day, whom they so take in, that every man may be satisfied of them according to the course formerly taken." In due time the twelve thus appointed chose out of their own number the following seven, as "most approved of the major part, to begin the church," namely, Theophilus Eaton, John Davenport, Robert Newman, Matthew Gilbert, Thomas Fugill, John Punderson, and Jeremiah Dixon. "By these seven persons, covenanting together, and then receiving others into their fellowship, the first church of Christ in New Haven was gathered and constituted on the 22d of August, 1639." r On the 25th of October these seven proceeded to , organize themselves as a civil court, proceeding as follows, " after solemn prayer unto God :" - "First: All former power or trust for managing any public affairs in this plantation, into whose hands soever formerly committed, was now abrogated and from henceforward utterly to cease.

1 Bacon's Hist. Dis., p. 24. Dr. Bacon ascertains the date from the records of the First Church in Milford, which was gathered in New Haven, where its members still resided, and, as the local tradition says, on the same day with the New Haven church. Mather (Mag., Book III., ch. 6) records the tradition somewhat differently, giving to each church one of two consecutive days employed in the formalities of institution.

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"Secondly: All those that have been received into the fellowship of this church since the gathering of it, or who, being members of other approved churches, offered themselves, were admitted as members of this court: namely, Mr. Nathanael Turner, William Andrews and Mr. Cheever, members of this church; Mr. Samuel Eaton, John Clark, Lieutenant Seeley, John Chapman, Thomas Jeffrey, and Richard Hull, members of other approved churches." The court then proceeded to choose Theophilus Eaton "magistrate for the term of one whole year;" and Robert Newman, Matthew Gilbert, Nathanael Turner, and Thomas Fugill, "deputies to assist the magistrate in all courts called by him for the occasions of the plantation for the same term of one whole year." Thomas Fugill was chosen clerk, and Robert Seeley marshal. "It was further agreed that there should be a renewing of the choice of all officers every year at a general court to be held for this plantation the last week in October yearly; and that the word of God shall be the only rule to be attended unto in ordering the affairs of government in this plantation." The formal institution of civil authority may have been hastened by foresight of an event which immediately followed; for, the next day after the magistrate had been clothed with power, an Indian named Nepau-puck was brought before him upon his warrant, charged with the murder of an Englishman at Wethersfield. A few days afterward a general court was assembled, and the prisoner was brought before it for trial. Being found guilty upon evidence so clear that he confessed his guilt, he was condemned to death. " Accordingly his head was cut off the next day, and pitched upon a pole in the market-place."