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Preface.

THIS 'HIS book has had a natural growth. It had its

origin in a paper, which I read before one of our historical societies, on WILLIAM PYNCHON, a Puritan, who came to New England in 1630, and who published a book, some twenty years later, which was much talked about. In preparing that paper I found it necessary to read the works of Mr. Pynchon, and the replies to them. The discussions relating to those volumes were found to be connected with the progress of opinion in England, and with the history of the Westminster Assembly. It was only by tracing the history to its sources, that I was able to gain an adequate knowledge of the opinions and the influence of that leading Puritan.

As other historical papers have been called for, from time to time, I have followed the same topical method, because I found it the most fruitful method in the study of New England history. One topic led naturally to another, so that I have prepared papers on The Origin and Development of Puritanism in England; The Two Earliest Colonies in New England; The Social and Family Life of the Pilgrims and Puritans; Their Min

isters and Modes of Worship; Their Religious Opinions; and The Working of the Union of Church and State, in their Second Century. The fathers of New England have left a large number of journals, and narratives, and histories, with many theological treatises, and discussions, and pamphlets. The literature which has come down from the English Puritans is also abundant. So that there is no lack of fresh materials for the historical student. No other pioneers, of whom I have any knowledge, have left materials so rich and abundant, for those who would study their history. One needs to get their point of view, if he would do justice to them, and he can get their point of view only through their writings.

Two of these papers were published, some time ago, in the “ Andover Review.” Others have been read before a number of historical societies, and before students, in colleges and seminaries. They have all been rewritten, and reconstructed, so as to bring them into connection with each other. New topics have been introduced, with the purpose of covering, so far as practicable, within our limits of space, the whole field of the history of our forefathers.

I am under great obligations to a number of recent authors, who have cast new light upon the history of the Puritans. John Richard Green, in his “ History of the English People,” has shown the origin and the meaning of Puritanism, better than any of the earlier English historians. Douglass Campbell, in his two volumes on “ The Puritan in Holland, England, and America," has

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proved that the influences which moulded the Puritan party came, not only from England, but from the Dutch Republic, and from the other Protestant nations on the continent. One needs to correct some of his extreme statements by referring to Macaulay, and especially to Motley; but, rightly used, his work is of great value. Dr. Henry M. Dexter, in his monumental work on “Congregationalism as seen in its Literature,” has uncovered the abundant materials for the history of our fathers, and has shown us how to use them. And not to mention other recent volumes of great value — Professor Williston Walker, in his book on “The Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism,” has made a rich and original contribution to our history.

This book, in its present form, is offered to the public, in the hope that it may contribute toward a fuller knowledge and appreciation of our forefathers, who, under the limitations of a pioneer life, in the seventeenth century, laid the foundations of this free and progressive nation.

EZRA HOYT BYINGTON.

FRANKLIN STREET, Newton, Mass.

March 31, 1896.

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