a history of the congregational churches in the united states

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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: CHAPTKR II. EAKLY ENGLISH CONGKEGATIONALISM. £romekt Hkowne, whose writings contain the first definite statement of Congregational principles from an Knglish penjj was neither in fixity of character nor in sagacity of method a man to win admiration or to command personal respect. Hisjultimate conformity to the Church of Knglandjcaused early Congregationalists to resent the application of his name to their churches, and still leads occasional writers on Congregational history to disparage his services or discredit his leadership. Nor have historians of the Kstahlishment forgotten, in spite of his reconciliation to the Knglish Church, the fierceness of the attack which he made for a time upon that body. 0Iis personal qualifications were not those of a leader in an enterprise demanding patience.) He had little capacity to give peace or permanency to the congregations which he founded, and small faculty for holding continuous fellowship with his associates. He was a man of rash impulsiveness of temperament always. Vet when all detractions have been made from his personal worth, there can be no question that he was, at least during the portion of his career with which we have to do, a man of sincerity and of warm Christian faith; and the probability seems strong, as Dr. Dexter has pointed out, that the abandonment of his Congregational professions, which has cost him the respect due to a confessor, was the result of mental break-down consequent upon disappointments and imprisonments rather than any real denial of the beliefs for which he had proved himself ready to suffer. Whatever his defects may have been, he enjoys the distinction not only of being the (first to formulate Congregational polity, but the earliest Englishman also to proclaim the doctrine that church and state ...
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