A History of American Christianity

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER IV. ANTECEDENTS OF PERMANENT CHRISTIAN COLONIZATION—THE DISINTEGRATION OF CHRISTENDOM CONTROVERSIES—PERSECUTIONS. We have briefly reviewed the history of two magnificent schemes of secular and spiritual empire, which, conceived in the minds of great statesmen and churchmen, sustained by the resources of the mightiest kingdoms of that age, inaugurated by soldiers of admirable prowess, explorers of unsurpassed boldness and persistence, and missionaries whose heroic faith has canonized them in the veneration of Christendom, have nevertheless come to naught. We turn now to observe the beginnings, coinciding in time with those of the French enterprise, of a series of disconnected plantations along the Atlantic seaboard, established as if at haphazard, without plan or mutual preconcert, of different languages and widely diverse Christian creeds, depending on scanty private resources, unsustained by governmental arms or treasuries, but destined, in a course of events which no human foresight could have calculated, to come under the plastic influence of a single European power, to be molded according to the general type of English polity, and to become heir to English traditions, literature, and language. These mutually alien and even antagonistic communities were to beDISINTEGRATION OF CHRISTENDOM. 31 constrained, by forces superior to human control, first into confederation and then into union, and to occupy the breadth of the new continent as a solid and independent nation. The history reads like a fulfillment of the apocalyptic imagery of a rock hewn from the mountain without hands, moving on to fill the earth. Looking back after the event, we find it easy to trace the providential preparations for this great result. There were few important events in the cou...
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