Posts Tagged ‘Roger Williams’


Roger Williams was born 12/21/1603 in London.  He graduated from Cambridge & became Chaplain to a wealthy family.  On 12/15/1629 he married Mary Barnard.  He tutored John Milton in Dutch in exchange for (refresher) lessons in Hebrew.  His ideas on freedom (mainly correct, BTW) were expressed before he left England.  He & Mary arrived at Boston 5/2/1631.  Their 4 daughters & 2 sons were all born in America.

After conflicts with the pilgrims Williams fled south, purchased land from 2 Narragansett Chiefs, and named it Providence in thanks to God.  Williams made two trips back to England during one of those he wrote his best-known literary work Key into the Languages of America, which when published in London in 1643, made him “the authority on American Indians.” He also wrote Bloody Tenent of Persecution.

Williams quotes:

No man ever did, nor ever shall, truly go forth to convert the nations, nor to prophesy in the present state of witnesses against Antichrist, but by the gracious inspiration & instigation of the Holy Spirit of God…I know no other True Sender but the most Holy Spirit.

…the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience, is most evidently & lamentably contrary to the doctrine of Christ Jesus the Prince of Peace.

Enforced uniformity confounds civil and religious liberty and denies the principles of Christianity and civility.  No man shall be required to worship or maintain a worship against his will.

God needeth not the help of a material sword of steel to assist the sword of the Spirit in the affairs of conscience.

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Today is the DATE, 9/13/1635, that the  Massachusetts General Court ordered Roger Williams (ca. 1603–1683) into exile.  Williams a Separatist preacher helped to found Rhode Island.

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