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The Contrasting Views Of Roger Williams And John Winthrop

799 words - 4 pages

The Contrasting Views of Roger Williams and John Winthrop
People immigrated to America for many reasons, most people shared in the same ideas of going to the New World to start new lives away from England. Roger Williams and John Winthrop both joined in the Puritan dissent to New England, but while they were living in Boston, Massachusetts they did not agree on several matters. These two men had contrasting views when it came to Christianity, separating from the Church of England and religious liberty.
First, Roger Williams does not believe that Christianity was the only religion of God. He believes that God created human beings and endowed them with the inborn right to make choices in ...view middle of the document...

He was offered the ministry of the Boston Church but he rejected it since they were still connected to the Church of England. John Winthrop was not a Separatist though “he did wish to reform the national church from within” (Franklin). He and his fellow Puritans did not break from the Church because they sought to reform it in the New World. When Winthrop heard all the commotion Williams was making with his protesting he referred to it as “infection” that would easily spread to the people and churches.
Lastly, Roger Williams is a strong supporter of religious liberty. Religious liberty is another example on how Williams believed the people should be able to practice their own religion, not have it decided by the government. He protests that “civil authority should be limited to civil matters and that magistrates had no jurisdiction over the soul” (174). Meaning that the government does not have the right to enforce religious duties on people, to let them believe on their own. Williams put it as wanting to “build a wall of separation between state and church in order to keep the holy and pure religion of Jesus Christ from contamination by the slightest taint of earthly support” (Miller 174). This was the main argument of Williams that caused him to become unwelcome in both Plymouth and Boston. John Winthrop did not oppose to dissent...

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