The Amazing Roger Williams


The Amazing Roger Williams

I am a great fan of Early American History, most particularly the History of Virginia. But there are people who profoundly move me with their wisdom and the depth of their humanity. One of these is Roger Williams.

Roger Williams from "The Bloody Tenet of Persecution" Whether thou standest charged with ten or but two talents, if thou huntest any for cause of conscience how canst thou say thou followest the Lamb of God who so abhorred that practice?

from "A Letter to the Town of Providence"
It hath fallen out sometimes, that both Papists, and Potestants, Jews and Turks, may be emnbarked in one ship; upon which supposal I affirm, that all the liberty of conscience, that ever I pleaded for, turns upon these two hinges--that none of the Papists, Protestants, Jews, or Turks be forced to come to the ship's prayers or worship, nor compelled from their own particular prayers or worship, if they practice any.

For these lines alone, the man should be held in awe. In an age when Catholics were still unsafe in England, when it was no uncommon practice to hunt priests from house to house to martyr entire households for the sake of harboring priests, here is a man who argues not only no compulsion to prayer, but also no prevention, and further, he doe not even compel those who worship in no way. I must study the life of this great man a good deal more.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 28, 2002 2:08 PM.

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