A Publication of Separation of Church and State Law Ministry.
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Copyright © February 23, 2018
Being the continuation of the religious upheaval in Europe, the early history of New England was one of religious turmoil:
- “It is acknowledged, on all hands, the first settlements of New-England were a consequence of the disputes which attended the Reformation in England; and therefore we must observe, that during this time, viz. 1517, learning having revived all over Europe, the Reformation was begun by Luther, and others in Germany, and carried on in several parts of Christendom, particularly in England, where, after a long struggle, it was finally established, by act of Parliament, under Queen Elizabeth, who began to reign November 17, 15
- “As the whole Christian religion had been corrupted and disfigured by the inventions and impositions of Popery … it could not but be expected that many, who were justly and equally offended, at the horrid corruptions of Popery, should yet be unable entirely to agree in their sentiments, of what things were to be reformed, or how far they should carry the Reformation at the first.”
The theological turmoil that resulted from the Reformation continued in the new world, and out of that storm emerged a separation of church and state that had never before existed in any nation in the history of the world.
 John Callender, The Civil and Religious Affairs of the Colony of Rhode-Island (Providence: Knowles, Vose & Company, 1838), pp. 60-61.