5. The Sermon Heard Round the World 147
CHAPTER 5 The Sermon Heard Round the World “Unlimited Submission” “This celebrated sermon may be considered as the Morning Gun of the Revolution, the punctum temporis when that period of history began.”1 John Wingate Thornton The continued attempt in the 1760s by the Anglicans to establish a colonial bishopric drew such notable figures into the pamphlet controversy as Thomas Secker and Jonathan Mayhew. The conflicting positions of Secker and Mayhew and fears about the growth of Anglicanism highlight the theological assumptions behind diverging political cultures that produced incompatible views on the bishopric question. Mayhew’s rhetoric resurrected old seventeenth century political and religious debates, which Churchmen in England like Secker believed were over. Secker, for his part, sought to promote the Church of England wherever he could because he believed it was the most distinguished Protestant ecclesiastical body of all and the bulwark against the advancement of European Roman Catholicism. Mayhew, on the other hand, viewed the Anglican Church, especially its hierarchy, as the revival of a new form of Roman Catholicism. He believed Secker, whom he saw as William Laud’s heir, aimed to promote High Church Anglicanism and theology to undermine the religious liberties of the colonies. The differing views of Anglicans and Dissenters on the concepts of religious liberty and toleration sharpened conflict over the issue of an American episcopate. No two men represented these differing views and the strong attitudes on both sides so clearly as Secker and Mayhew. The ideological views and attitudes of Mayhew in...
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