YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

September 29, 2009

Anne Hutchinson’s Red Regiment and the Cultural Historians, part three


Postwar readings.  Bernard Bailyn’s 1955 Ideologiekritik study of seventeenth-century New England merchants partly advanced preceding scholarship that had stressed only political rivalries; Bailyn’s book was a contribution to the study of political culture, a subset of the new cultural anthropology/ social history recommended by the American Historical Association in 1939.  Since it did postulate clashing economic interests between the Winthrop and Hutchinson factions, Bailyn’s was the first quasi-materialist analysis of the Antinomian controversy; subsequent writers (Battis, Williams), have followed his lead in attempting to synthesize cultural, economic, and political factors.[i]

     Bailyn pays less attention to inevitable structural conflict than to mistaken perceptions; his imagery suggested a preventible catastrophe: the “Antinomian schism…which rocked the Bay Colony to its foundations” hinged on the fact that immigrant tradesmen, including Anne Hutchinson’s husband, son, and brother-in-law, upwardly mobile and now prosperous merchants in the New World, were shut out from the highest ruling circles in Massachusetts Bay.  The organic and medieval ethos of the Winthrop faction, based on land as “security and stability” rather than “wealth,” suggested “authoritarianism” and “constriction and denial” to the new merchant class.  Winthrop and his allies saw the merchants as the embodiments of “brashness and insubordination.”  Bailyn noted that “the merchants, with striking uniformity, backed the dissenters,” those allegedly “dangerous mystics” and heretics who were threatening “civil and ecclesiastical polity” and refusing to abide by the demand that “conformity to the letter of the law, careful performance of religious duties, was essential discipline and that it should be evident in one before he was admitted to church membership.”  This merchant-farmer, city-country conflict was key to an inevitable confrontation for the merchants were thwarted on all fronts by farmers defending their rational and opposing interests.  The conflict became more “explicit,” less “voiced in hair-splitting theological disputes,” in fights regarding “overcharging, usury, taking advantage of a neighbor’s need.”  Bailyn’s remarks on the furor that erupted in the case of the guilt-tormented merchant Robert Keayne, condemned for overcharging, shows the degree to which self-serving, selective readings of the Bible were attached to an explosive but unanalyzed structural contradiction:

“The original charge against the distraught merchant fell like a spark into an incendiary situation.  The settlers, predisposed to believe middlemen parasites, found themselves utterly dependent on them for the most essential goods and equipment.  Incapable of understanding or controlling the workings of the economy, they sought to attribute the cause of the soaring prices and the shortage of goods to human malevolence.  Instances of merchants taking advantage of the situation confirmed them in their belief that only the most rigorous discipline of the businessmen could save them from misery.  In the same Calvinist social teachings that had justified his life to Keayne they had a grammar for the translation of economics into morality, and in the machinery of the Puritan church and state a means of effecting these ideas.  From the same texts the Puritan magistrates and the merchants read different lessons.  The former learned the overwhelming importance of the organic society which subordinated the individual to the general good.  Keayne learned the righteousness of those individual qualities whose secondary but attractive virtue it was to aid in the fight for success in business.” [ii]

   Bailyn is describing a fight over conflicting injunctions in Biblical texts: working hard to increase personal wealth versus controlling oneself on behalf of the commonweal.  Selective readings masked the underlying contradiction.  Merchants like Keayne would be forced to constant (and burdensome) self-regulation or “rationalization of one’s life” (p.44).

     The questions remain: was Bailyn’s clean boundary between merchant and farmer consciousness and interest accurate?  Has he not followed the (now disputed) model of bourgeois revolution, wherein a new progressive class bursts medieval fetters asunder to advance its economic interests?  Given that all but four of the Boston congregation were, for a time, sympathetic to Anne’s positions, could all the Hutchinsonians have been upwardly mobile entrepreneurs, while their antagonists engaged in a pre-capitalist mode of production?  And did not both upper-class factions believe in a paternalistic organic society, envisioning different strategies to keep the poor in place?  Was this not a multi-dimensional faction fight within a larger capitalist class consensus that carefully delimited free speech and the wandering imagination?  Shall we discover that Anne Hutchinson’s critics and her friends alike saw her as a witch because she represented the emerging market in goods and in ideas that, down the line perhaps, could undermine the class monopoly of legitimacy and political power, a development prefigured by her lower-class admirers?  And why would we have expected anything more advanced from the seventeenth century in a frontier setting?  Was Bailyn, no less than his predecessors, part of an intellectual trend powerful in the academy and at Harvard since the mid-1930s which advised entrenched elites  prudently to absorb challengers from below, so as to head off the suicidal intra-class conflict that, by distracting cooler upper-class heads, could allow lower-class hotheads to prevail?

     Other recent writers have similarly leaned toward cultural anthropological models to define the conflict and its dynamics; they focus on institutions and processes that either support or disrupt social cohesion; it is the integrity of the social fabric that compels their attention, not intellectual freedom.  The English historian Keith Thomas (1958) did not address the New England crisis directly, but absorbed Anne Hutchinson into a larger context of female mystics and radical sectaries threatening the family discipline which supposedly sustained social order.  Hutchinson was one of many women using religion as an outlet for public expression and arousing hysterical male fears of anarchy and revolt.[iii]   Emery Battis (1962), ostensibly following Bailyn, saw the faction fight between clerics, landed gentry and yeomen farmers vs. merchants and artisans, but drastically modified Bailyn’s analysis.  The conflict was needlessly exacerbated by the irrational power drives of the pathological, menopausal, and demagogic Woman and her atypically emotional, mostly upper-class followers. [iv] [Battis is dissected below.]

     Erik Erikson’s formulation of psychological development as the search for “identity” has yielded a festoon of explanations.  For his son, the sociologist Kai Erikson (1966), Anne Hutchinson’s gender was not decisive in causing the conflict, though he mentions that “men like Winthrop would have been annoyed by Mrs. Hutchinson’s belligerent intelligence whether they knew what she was talking about or not.”  Rather, Erikson emphasized a whole slew of ambiguities to which the group ritual of persecution, the purging of “deviants” gave reassuring definition.  The “lively enthusiasm” and “spirited individualism” of insurgent Puritanism, so appropriate to revolutionaries standing outside and jeering at the established order, was represented by Hutchinson.  But such a posture could not have served the “political maturity” (represented by Winthrop and his political descendant FDR) necessary to the responsible exercise of governmental authority; i.e., the predatory side of capitalism must be restrained.  Hutchinson’s trial drew the line between the older strain of Puritanism in England and that of the new clerical orthodoxy in Massachusetts.  Erikson did not draw Hutchinson as a political radical but believed her “metaphor” alarmingly echoed the Reformation’s “unresolved dilemmas.” [v]    Because there was no codified system of civil law until 1648, and the Scriptures did not address contemporary disputes, the Bay Colony was suffering, not from Hutchinson’s estrogen deficit, but a “boundary crisis.”  “By accepting the Bible as their spiritual parentage, England as their political parentage, a trading company as their spiritual parentage [they] owed their corporate identity to a wide assortment of elements.”  To make these “coherent” the Puritans had to be “doubly conscious of who they were and where they were going.”  By giving shape to the Devil (the “deviants” such as Anne Hutchinson, the Quaker martyrs, and Salem witches), Puritans could define themselves as the Devil’s negation.  Thus Hutchinson’s trials were a “tribal ceremony, a morality play, a ritual encounter” which revised the boundaries of the New England Way just as the investigations of the McCarthy era expressed the community’s interest in clarifying the murky, ambiguous boundary between democracy and communism after World War II, to give it the same sharp clarity that the distinction between democracy and fascism had enjoyed before the war (this distinction between democracy and fascism being “one of the baselines of the American way”).[vi] 

   Kai Erikson has relied upon reductive and irrationalist social psychology, arguing that the people of Massachusetts Bay did not understand what they were fighting about; moreover we, his contemporaries three hundred years later, still lack analytic clarity about the dynamics of the conflict (p.81). Not only does he attribute social processes, motives and feelings to an entire society without factual evidence, but fails to identify the structural contradictions and limitations (intra- and inter-class conflicts and economic scarcity) that would reveal the rational core at the center of the controversy.

   Like 1930s amateur historians nervous about puritanical state repression (Prohibition and Red scares), David Hall (1968) aligned himself with Charles Francis Adams’ allegedly favorable nineteenth-century assessment of Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson and Henry Vane as proto-liberals striking a blow for toleration and civil liberties, but Hall removed Hutchinson from center stage as “chief antagonist” in the Antinomian Controversy.[vii] It was John Cotton’s differences with other ministers that were decisive.  Like Battis and Erikson, Hall emphasized individual and group emotions, believing that antinomianism found fertile soil because of a mass “spiritual depression” following Cotton’s revival of 1633, popular anger at ministers who could not assuage the people’s personal anxieties over salvation, and the miseries of dislocation in “the bleak New England wilderness.” [viii]

     Ben Barker-Benfield (1972), a male feminist, concentrated on the shakiness of Puritan male identity made less stable by the Puritans’ inherent tendency toward “jacobinism”; extreme sex-role differentiation leading to male fears of passivity and dependency; Winthrop’s fears of Anne Hutchinson as midwife; and the male monopoly in selection of the elect, rendering females less confident of election.[ix] Lyle Koehler (1974, 1980), also a male feminist, believed that Puritanism worsened the status of women in New England because male helplessness in an authoritarian society compelled the subjection of women as compensation.  The Antinomian Controversy, like witchcraft, the Quaker invasion, and female criminality, represented women’s “search for power,” taking the form of gender revolt against oppressive male authority.  Hence Anne Hutchinson was a catalytic “role-model”; her mysticism leveled men and women by rendering both sexes equally helpless and dependent on God.  If men weren’t “better,” if earthly success was relatively insignificant, then this created the possibility of feminine “pride” and explained Hutchinson’s heroic defiance and resistance to the ministers as well as the loyalty of her female followers.[x] Some of these historians (Bailyn, Erikson, and Hall) have erased gender conflict to near invisibility.  Others, while bringing gender antagonisms to the foreground, have so abstracted Hutchinson from her own consciousness, lived experience, and the specific content of her interactions with Bostonians of different classes, that the historic figure seems to elude us, changing her shape from Good Witch to Bad, dissolving always into Hawthorne’s “the Woman,” a reiteration of Hester Prynne.

     By now it should be obvious that the authoritarian social relations revealed in the historiography on the Antinomian Controversy are not part of the quasi-medieval past: unidentified as such, they pervade our socializing institutions, including the family, the public schools, the humanities and social sciences, and the media.  Keith Thomas’ frequently cited article, “Women and the Civil War Sects,” does not set out to examine Hutchinson in the specific context of New England, 1636-38, though he often mentions her.  I review his arguments because he does not view women’s aspirations for autonomy and social influence as pathological and therefore requiring psychiatric explanation, and because his data give weight to my suspicion that Hutchinson’s “style” and “personality,” so derided by her critics, may have been highly distorted, and in any case, could not have been decisive in the defeat of her faction given the balance of power in New England at that time or since.

     Keith Thomas argued that the activity of some women in mid-seventeenth-century England posed both real and spectral threats to the social order and the security of the state.  By questioning women’s place within the patriarchal family, many female mystics and radical sectaries who were represented disproportionately in the radical sects of the Civil War period, seemed to be turning the world upside down (45). Mainstream Puritanism did not significantly raise the status of women.  The father was the master/king/priest of the household; marriage was women’s destiny; she was to be silent and obedient to husband, church and state; she owned no property in marriage. Such alleged Puritan improvements for women, brought about by their “exalted view of family life, protests against wife-beating and the double standard, and the denunciation of the churching of women,” were actually minor.  “As for the much-vaunted Puritan love, it should be remembered that it came after marriage not before; and that, as a popular manual remarked, ‘we would that the man when he loveth should remember his superiority’“ (43).

     For female mystics, preachers, and seers, “religious enthusiasm” with its claim to spiritual equality between the sexes, offered a degree of emancipation.  “Membership in the sects outside the Church [of England] or mysticism within allowed women self-expression, wider spheres of influence, and an asceticism which could emancipate them from the ties of family life” (56).[xi] Anne Hutchinson was one of many mystics and lay preachers who were arousing “a horrified chorus of opposition” in London, Dublin, the Universities, and New England.  Hugh Peter’s accusation against Anne was typical: “You have stepped out of your place; you have rather been a husband than a wife, and a preacher than a hearer; and a magistrate than a subject; and so have not been humbled for this” (49).  Theological disputation and political activity directed against the state were seen as inseparable.

     Thomas has limned the radical specter, a charismatic leader/agitator who would subject the state to the depredations of turned-on bachelors and masterless men refusing the ministrations of arbitrary power (42).  In the imagery he quotes, the specter is a witch-like phallic woman talking back to male authority and invading their space to unravel the body politic.  They were “agents of Satan,” “demagogues” rousing the “rabble” who were too “weak in understanding and reason to dispute them.  They were “ardent” desirers of fame, “puffed up with pride” and “insolent usurpers” (51).  Preaching women were destroying the family: “…the growth of the sects was…reducing the practice of household piety, alienating the affections of members of the family toward each other, and worst of all, rending the bonds of obedience which held them together” (52).   Thomas concluded that the challenge to “the organization and discipline of the family’“ was ended by the conservative turn taken by the radical sects after they became institutionalized (53).  Their long-term impact, however, was to redefine and limit paternal power and to create an altered discourse on the status of women.  “New standards of utility and reason were being sought to justify the subordination or men and women to each other” (56, 46).  The female sectaries were not forerunners of feminism because they based their claims on spiritual equality rather than natural rights and a lack of intellectual differences between the sexes (56).

      For purposes of analyzing Anne Hutchinson’s politics, the strength of Thomas’ interpretation is also its weakness.  By collapsing Anne into the category of (understandably) rebellious, even politically radical, women, he makes her less peculiar.  But by neglecting her class position and the specific dynamics of the Antinomian Controversy, he implies she is sympathy with the most democratic separatist and Civil War sects; thus Battis (288) and Barker-Benfield (67) could associate her with Lilburne or Winstanley or align her with the “Radical Reformation.”  Whereas Bailyn, by attaching her theology to the economic interests of the new merchant capitalists, does force the question: toward what social ends was Anne Hutchinson’s ambition directed?  Thomas’ description of the radical specter cannot answer that question, for he has separated women as a group from their concrete, historically specific connections to classes and social movements.  Koehler and Barker-Benfield write in the same idealist historiographic tradition, sympathetic though they are to the aspirations of women for equality.  Moreover, there is the imputation in all cultural history that a more egalitarian discourse creates massive macroeconomic change, as if lopsided social property relations could be set aright by sounder intellectual argument and poise.

       Unlike Thomas and the male feminists, Emery Battis, author of the “fullest account” of the Antinomian controversy, saw Anne’s personality as so bizarre, idiosyncratic, and attractive that it required book-length elucidation.  A distinction need not be drawn between Battis and Erikson; Battis, while presenting new data concerning the occupations of the Hutchinsonians, also emphasized Anne’s peculiar psychological configuration and its uncanny power to excite her normally well-behaved following, rather like some postwar social psychologists had analyzed Hitler and the Germans: anomie caused by science, the new philosophy, and economics made ordinarily sensible (urban) people uniquely susceptible to demagogues:

“Although some of the ‘disinherited’ were among Mrs. Hutchinson’s disciples, the backbone and sinew of the movement was drawn from an altogether dissimilar social element.  They were men (and women) of some affluence, eminence, and prestige in the community, people of education and gentle breeding who were not normally given to emotional excess.” [Battis, p.  ]

   Similarly Erikson had ignored class conflicts, pointing out that people such as Anne are always around, “driven to a deep excitement by the urgency of their own convictions.”  It was the townspeople who had placed her in a historical crossroads: the transition from individual religious experience to the doctrine of individual preparation.  Her banishment was the only available language to express this change (106-107).  Erikson aknowledged his debt to Perry Miller, Talcott Parsons, Erving Goffman and George Herbert Mead, men perhaps like him, beset with twentieth-century anxieties, bewildered by the divisive clash of subjectivities associated with the open-ended, free-wheeling modern condition, as Battis freely admitted in his Epilogue.

    The Battis biography sets out to balance the puffery by liberals, “to correlate the accessible data of her life experience in such a way as to provide a fresh understanding of her career.  Indeed…it seems fruitless to continue to write of her as if she were a thoroughly normal person, motivated by normal impulses” (viii).  Although Battis said he would “indicate the general outlines” of Hutchinson’s “psychological configuration” (ix), it is John Winthrop’s stern visage that greets the reader in the frontispiece of Battis’ book; after all, Winthrop, aided by Harvard medical school consultants, is the major source of data on Hutchinson.  Even though the moderate Battis takes pains to underline his dissatisfaction with the orthodox victory, he relies upon conservatives to diagnose Hutchinson, another Ahab or Hitler avant la lettre: “gentle” and “mild” John Cotton is the reasonable moderate to be defended; Anne Hutchinson is the overweening extremist to be discredited and disciplined.  Battis is both awed by and afraid of his subject’s power:

“Gifted with a magnetism which is imparted to few, she had, until the hour of her fall, warm adherents far outnumbering her enemies, and it was only by dint of skillful maneuvering that the authorities were able to loosen her hold on the community.  She was a woman, who, through some impulse now obscure, sought an emotional outlet which seemed to resolve itself most effectively in the acquisition of power and influence over the lives and spiritual destinies of her fellows.  Had she been born into a later age, Mrs. Hutchinson might have crusaded for women’s rights or even wielded a hatchet for temperance’s sake.  But for better or worse, her lot was cast in the seventeenth century, and her hand was to be felt in a theological tempest which shook the infant colony of Massachusetts to its very foundations (6).”

   The reader might infer that all women reformers are “not thoroughly normal,” but like Hutchinson, heavy-handed destroyers of “infant” colonies;  the hand that rocks the cradle should be hand-cuffed.  Battis, faced with a strong and maternal woman, cannot deal with her as a historic figure, so creates an ahistoric, irrational, reductive explanation to defend himself from an imago.  While appearing to admire Mrs. Hutchinson’s accomplishments he makes her crazy and hurtful; while appearing to add a more concrete economic dimension to Bailyn’s cruder typology, he undermines it by attributing irrational characteristics to all the Hutchinsonians: they fall–women, merchants, and the poor–under Anne’s spell.  I will show that Battis has duplicated Rugg’s corporatist liberal ambivalence and inherited her penchant for docudrama and melodrama. [xii]     

     For Battis, the decisive factors that explain Anne’s charismatic but aberrant personality, mysticism and destructiveness are to be discovered in her flawed interactions with three men.  First there was her domineering and disapproving father, Francis Marbury, with whom she identified.  Father too was defiant and persecuted; he had railed against unqualified clerics in the Church and was silenced.  The stamping father was the original source of her “notoriety and nemesis” (7-9).  Second was the over-fond and effeminate “man of a very mild temper and weak parts, wholly guided by his wife” (in Winthrop’s words), her husband William.  He “adored” Anne, but failed to provide her with “mental direction,” another cause of her disturbance.  The loss of her father’s “firm, directing hand” which the moonstruck William could not replace, left her “sailing full before the wind without a rudder” (11-13, 51-52).  In cases like Anne’s where the husband’s mental direction is absent, the blocked “libido” “settles back” upon “the ego,” resulting in “narcissism.”  Thus, as night follows day, she would need constant public affirmation: Anne became the prototypical political agitator (55, fn 18).  Like her seventeenth-century critics, Battis has sighted “an ardent desire to be famous.”  And he is concerned. “Although she could not have understood or explained it, nonetheless, [rudderless] Anne felt the lack and began obsessively to reach out in other directions for affective support and guidance” (13).  Third was John Cotton who filled her need for a “substitute mental director.”  Cotton provided a father substitute (his gentleness, like Henry Vane’s, did not “inhibit” her “expressiveness” and “spontaneity”), but his “mystical arcana” was a source of “delusions” and his naivet‚ and overly conciliatory “personality” allowed Anne to stray, plunging her and the colony into an avoidable disaster (38, 52, 20, 54, 226-228).  Battis dispenses some preventive politics to vigilant future leaders:

“It seems unlikely that Mrs. Hutchinson and her friends would deliberately use Cotton as a Trojan horse to dissemble their beliefs.  More probably they had accepted his doctrines in good faith, but unskilled in theological niceties and stirred to excess by the uncharitable example of their legalist opponents, had gradually tipped the delicate balance and deposited Cotton’s Covenant of Grace into the pit of heterodoxy.  Cotton had long foreseen such a possibility and should have guarded more carefully against it.  Had he done so, this crisis might never have arisen (228).”

        The reader now understands the deep causes of Anne’s neediness which have led to hysteria and mysticism, and her intransigence which stems from an insatiable craving for public approbation fatally mixed with the desire to replicate her father’s punishment (both his chastening at the hands of the Church of England and his stifling of her spontaneity).  While it is plausible and even likely that her father’s defiance affected her deeply, it is also possible to view Anne Hutchinson’s family and class as sources of strength, confidence, and endurance, but Battis, ignoring class and gender interests, has recreated her as a megalomaniac, citing Karen Horney, The Neurotic Of Our Time (1937) as his authority:

[Battis:] “The neurotic individual, seeking protection against weakness and helplessness, strives for power and constantly endeavors to offset the feeling of being insignificant, a tendency which generally results in an assertive and domineering attitude.  In due course Mrs. Hutchinson would find broad scope for such an inclination in her activities as religious teacher, malcontent, and dialectical opponent to the theologians of Massachusetts Bay.  The Antinomian philosophy provided another such release.  Theoretically, Antinomianism was a rejection of power by placing the human will in the hands of God, to be manipulated by Him as He saw fit.  Practically, however, it amounted to an assertion of unqualified personal power and autonomy.  The individual became a law unto himself and reserved the right to make all decisions affecting his actions without reference to the needs of the community.  Such a philosophy offered an incalculable advantage to a nature that was constantly striving to prove its own value.  Like the timid child who courts danger in order to draw attention and establish proof of his own courage, Mrs. Hutchinson wrenched herself free of narrowly defined social obligations and determined to steer her own course.  The very radicalism of the doctrine commended itself by contributing to that singularity with which she sought to win attention and approval (56).”

      If Hutchinson is the unmanageable Id, then John Cotton is the Ego, at peace with the Reality Principle: a salutary vagueness makes him all things to all men.  Cotton’s moderation is contrasted with Anne’s extremism in an account of Calvinist theology as practiced by the neurotic and the normal.  There were contradictions within Protestantism; orthodox Calvinism was modified to resolve its major dilemma, thus ensued Puritan rationalism.  The capacity of the theocracy to maintain social control through religion hinged upon reconciling the contradiction between God’s omnipotence and man’s moral responsibility for his actions.  Covenant theology explained that God still chooses the elect, but the ability to perform “works” demonstrates that a bond has been sealed with God.  As Thomas Hooker put it, “You must not think to go to heaven in a feather bed; if you will be Christ’s disciples, you must take up his crosse, and it will make you sweat” (62).  Battis cites fears of lower-class irrationalism and anti-intellectualism exemplified by “silly women laden with lusts” who threatened the “sobriety and control” of the rationalist order.  Puritans had to strike a balance between the extremes of “empiricism” and “mystical illuminism” (27, 28).  Grace, or regeneration, renovated reason, rescuing it from “unruly passions,” hence reason was able to “grasp” “the data of the world.”  John Cotton, while tending toward Calvinist orthodoxy, did not offer a “radical rejection” of the Puritan compromise.  “He emphasized the free promise of God’s grace without reference to man’s prior performance, but he stipulated clearly that after the original promise of God’s grace obedience to the law was a necessary stipulation of salvation.”  This strategy judiciously reduced factional conflict, but “humorless,” lawless, and paranoid Anne destroyed the compromise between the Covenants of Works and Grace, adhering stubbornly to the pure Covenant of Grace, minimizing “moral effort,” and wrongly asserting the indwelling of the spirit–the ultimate mental director. [xiii]

     Anne’s “fixed-idea” is explained through a multiplicity of factors: Two of her children had died in England, “undoubtedly under her care during their final illness.”  If she was unsure of her election, the tragedy would be construed as a sign of God’s wrath.  There was also the example of the “unnamed woman of Ely” who “captured Anne’s fancy” along with other female lay preachers.  Then there was the exalting effect of female hormones during pregnancy and [their loss?] in menopause, Hutchinson’s disease of the transition.  None of these could be counteracted by men, all of whom had let her down as described above.  Battis is silent on the possible effects of testerone, its ebb and flow, in the behavior of John Winthrop and Thomas Weld, with their wild-eyed, fantastic descriptions of “monstrous births” issuing forth from Hutchinson and her ally Mary Dyer, or in the vanity, opportunism and ambivalence of John Cotton (53, 43-44, 54-55, 248fn, 346).

      Although Battis insists that “the movement never generated into the extremes of “primitive revivalism” and that almost “all of Mrs. Hutchinson’s adherents,” “Puritans of a rational-dogmatic type” “while thoroughly sympathetic to her teachings, continued to excercise a critical judgment that restrained them from following the immoderate course their enemies feared they would take,” Battis’ rhetoric and accounts of her following strongly suggests that Anne primarily appealed to their emotions, rather than to the rational self-interest that his phrase “critical judgment” implies.  In fact, he concludes, “the Antinomian dissent was not a social movement at all…The goals of the Hutchinsonian group were vague and ill-defined, its leadership diffuse and uncertain; its relations disorderly and incoherent” (280).  The dissenters would have prevailed had their teacher held her tongue at the civil trial, and had her upper-class followers who held a measure of political power, exercised it with greater political maturity and sophistication.  As Battis accounts for the growth of Hutchinson’s following, he indicates the degree to which appeals to irrational “secular anxieties” generated emotional and destructive political responses, while at the same time, he clearly indicates that there was an irreconcilable conflict between sectors of the “haves.”

     Battis insists that this was no poor people’s pietistic movement (284-285).  Anne built her following largely from the more affluent Bostonians, all entrepreneurs (268), scapegoaters made anxious by ambiguity (282).  They were “enthusiastic housewives” and their husbands: “frustrated” merchants and artisans along with a few resentful members of the lower orders.  With Boston short of professional medical “practitioners,” Anne Hutchinson was able to convert her female followers through her activity as a busy, skilled and effective midwife and healer; i.e., she exploited the vulnerability and gratitude of sick and weakened women.  Battis imagines a scene where Anne successfully treats an ill housewife, helping her with housework, sitting by her bedside and inquiring “gravely into [her] soul’s estate.”  She then promotes the Covenant of Grace, pointing out that the legalistic doctrine of Works “held out no hope of salvation.”  Both in her home meetings and in such intimate encounters, Anne unconsciously confused her views with those of John Cotton, thus adding to her credibility and rapidly enlarging her flock of [queer black sheep].[xiv]

    Battis believes that the women proselytized their husbands.  Among males, Anne derived her “core” support from among the “power elite” of merchants and artisans, “either quite prosperous or at least moderately well-to-do,” “alienated” and on the defensive against a coalition of clergy, yeomen farmers and landed gentry who were attempting to regulate economic activity in anger over mercantile profiteering and rising costs of labor and commodities.  The Covenant of Grace made their “immoral” behavior irrelevant to their elect status.  Thus the Hutchinsonians had “economic interests…frustrated by the organic morality of the orthodox clergy and gentry.” [xv]

      A subtle but crucial distinction between Battis and Bailyn emerges here.  Bailyn has the “magistrates and merchants” reading “different lessons” “from the same [Calvinist] texts” in a structurally “incendiary situation”; their opposing economics and morality clearly fused in the consciousness of the contending factions, each side seeking to vindicate its behavior by citing contradictory Biblical injunctions: guided by market conditions, the nascent free traders work diligently while the incipient New Dealers/communitarians intervene in the economy with wage and price controls.  Battis, by contrast, has the merchants unconsciously and indirectly aware of the extent to which the Covenant of Grace supported their rational economic interests.  Yet, as we have seen, Battis has chastised them for not organizing rationally to prevail over the Winthrop faction; he does not see them as unalterably opposed to the “basic moral pattern of the community”: [xvi]

“The leading merchants of Boston had not calculatedly adopted Mrs. Hutchinson’s tenets with this mundane consideration in mind [that their economic practices and salvation were no longer linked]: the commitment was doubtless made without conscious awareness of related goals.  But being only human it was essential to their psychological well-being that the framework of events and relations in which they were implicated should have meaning for them–such meaning as would confirm each man’s sense of his own worth.  The orthodox theology had failed to satisfy this need, and Mrs. Hutchinson had unwittingly provided a felicitous conjunction.  Although neither she nor her companions were disposed to abandon the basic moral pattern of the community, this altered perspective allowed greater latitude to define what was morally sound and what was not.  Furthermore, it permitted them to rest confident in their regeneration despite all contrary claims founded on a paternalistic and organic philosophy.”

    Here we get to the heart of corporatist liberalism and its crazy-making logic.  Words and their meanings have no weight for Battis.  How can a pattern both be basic and yet stretch? Are basic moral codes like rubber bands?  Battis has never limned a consensus pre-existent to the pointless ruckus; does he mean that they are all putative Christians?  No, he has asserted, not demonstrated, a balance or compromise, the flexible middle way à la Hume, that could have led Protestants to peaceful and rational conflict resolution.  A moral economy with its customary and just prices, however, is either there or not there; pre-capitalist and capitalist social relations have yet to be harmonized, no matter how gracious the management style, but the necessary rupture is erased by the utopian corporatist liberal.

     Additional followers, a “slender minority” came from the lower class; they are anti-intellectual and irrational.  First Battis quotes Edward Johnson’s description of an “incendiary” proselytizer:  “Come along with me. I’le bring you to a woman that preaches better Gospel than any of your black-coates that have been at the Ninniversity, a Woman of another kinde of spirit, who hath many revelations of things to come, and for my part…I had rather heare such a one that speakes from the meere motion of the spirit, without any study at all, then any of your learned Scollers, although they may be fuller of Scripture.”

   Battis does not tell us that Edward Johnson, a militia captain, was no impartial onlooker.  Philip Gura quotes Johnson as complaining “that Hutchinson and her followers’ emphasis on ‘rare Revelations of things to come from the spirit’ not only ‘weaken[ed] the Word of the Lord in the mouth of his Ministers’ but was part of an attempt ‘to put both ignorant and unlettered Men and Women, in a position of Preaching to a multitude,’ a goal exemplary of their ‘proud desires to become Teachers of others.’ [xvii]   Later, Battis characterizes the entire “peripheral” group (ninety men of whom only seven were not poor):

“In summation, it appears that the members of the peripheral group were, for the most part, less specifically goal-oriented than those in the other groups.  Unsettled and rootless, frustrated in the attainment of various individual needs, they were suggestible to an interpretation of the situation that would sustain their own self-evaluation.  But most of them probably found adequate vindication of their own worth in an uncritical acceptance of the condemnatory stereotypes in which the opposition was portrayed, rather than through adherence to the positive doctrinal ideals of the movement.  Participation in a concerted attack on the official guardians of sanctity and on those “hypocrites” who labored under a Covenant of Works would release feelings of hostility, and help support the emotional conviction that even those who did not pursue the disciplinary rigors of Puritan orthodoxy might be of worth.” 

   Battis has found a scientistic way of saying that the peripherals (no less than the gentle core group, see above) were a protofascist rabble, easily aroused and full of unfocused resentment, prey to a demagogue who would feed their wilting narcissistic needs with negative images of the established clergy.  Left to their own devices the peripherals would never have thought of the Winthrop-controlled clergy as their enemies.  Judicious planners reading Battis’ book would make sure that the marginalized were “included” in the system and provided with positive sources of self-esteem not dependent on scapegoating.  As I have tried to show, all of the Hutchinsonians are tarred with this condescending characterization, whatever Battis may say about their “critical judgment.”

     As Battis describes the persecution of the Hutchinsonians, he continues to contradict himself, like Winnifred Rugg, ending by blaming the victims.  Why does he think Anne was persecuted?  Starting in the sixteenth century with the rise of the nation-state, heresy was punished as a civil crime.  Toleration was unthinkable for national security would be imperiled by ideological pollution.  Boston was facing rioting sailors, angry Pequot Indians and the need to recruit a militia to fight the Connecticut tribe (116-119).  But these “external threats” were not uppermost in Winthrop’s mind, for they could be managed through “diplomacy or force” even though the Hutchinsonians refused to fight the Pequots.  Rather, Anne was “the worm that gnawed within their vitals and threatened to turn the Saints against each other.”  The unity of “new Zion” was endangered by a “meddling woman” who should have stayed in the kitchen (120).  Winthrop was also galled that people might be independently consulting Scripture to check upon the accuracy of their ministers’ citations and interpretations, as Battis shows in his account of the civil trial.  The following passage illustrates, line by line, the underlying anxiety that explains the hysterical response of the Winthrop faction: clerics and magistrates were fearful of the new literacy, hence of potential insubordination in the laity.  The last paragraph illustrates Battis’ unflagging habit of attributing feelings and ideas to his characters that he could not have known:

“I teach not in a publick congregation,” she insisted.  Her meetings were private, held within her own home, and those who came were unsolicited.  “The men of Berea are commended for examining Pauls doctrine; wee do no more but read the notes of our teachers Sermons, and then reason of them by searching the Scriptures.”

     Unhappily she had stumbled onto the very path which Winthrop was most eager to explore.  “You do not as Beareans search the Scriptures for their confirming in the truths delivered, but you open your teachers points, and declare his meaning, and correct wherein you think he hath failed…as if hee could not deliver his matter so clearely to the hearers capacity as your self.”

     “Prove that!” she hotly challenged, “That anybody doth that.”  But she knew full well that this sally had touched her closely.  Anne sagged under the strain.  The stolid figures at the far side of the table blurred and swam dizzily in her view (193-194).

     Earlier, Battis had shown that the leaders needed to control definitions of morality and immorality to regulate political and economic behavior.  He also noted that Anne was married to a member of the merchant group that was opposed in interest to the Winthrop faction.  He has described Winthrop’s horror that Anne had left her kitchen for the parlor, a venue which was now a university to foment sedition or the conditions that could make sedition more likely: private meetings and critical independent thought.  Yet throughout his account, Battis admonishes Hutchinsonians for extremist tactics, as if less evangelism and more decorum, a more tactful style would have provoked less opposition.  Unlike the conciliatory Cotton, these “true believers” were filled with “fervor.”  “Emboldened” Hutchinsonians, mostly women, were confrontational and disruptive in church (105, 137).  Wheelwright was “perverse” and “inflammatory” in the Fast Day Sermon, and Anne’s gratuitous admission of “immediate revelation” after Cotton had already saved her was sheer crusading zealotry.  Battis speculates that she disobeyed Winthrop’s order to be quiet because she may have wanted to “rise triumphantly from the ashes of humiliation and annihilate her persecutors with the terrible brilliance of her heavenly champion” (202).  Her ill-timed outburst (like those of her supporters) brought down repression onto her entire faction.  “Had she modestly kept silence, gratefully accepting a providential deliverance from catastrophe, her story might well have had a different ending.”  In one conclusion, Battis states “The Antimonians had struck a heavy blow–if not for freedom of thought, certainly for that heterogeneity which leads to freedom of thought–but in so doing, they had aroused a fresh and inordinate dread of heterodoxy” (78).  He is saying that had the Hutchinsonians not been bamboozled by a psychopathic demagogue, but instead had promoted their interests (assumed now to be identical between women, merchants, artisans, and the poor) with a lighter touch and better political organization, they could have averted what David Hall has described as a century of formalism and increased authoritarianism caused by the Antinomian controversy (Hall, 20).

       I have described the historiographical tradition in which Battis writes as corporatist liberal, reductive, and irrationalist.  In the misappropriation of Freud disseminated by Talcott Parsons and other Hobbesians, potentially destructive natural impulses are fundamental to the explanation of human behavior.  This line is argued against a materialist analysis that describes social property relations and the total ensemble of human relationships that spring from these relations, many of which are contradictory.  For the Parsonian “structural functionalists” a politically effective, well-adjusted individual develops the inner controls to subordinate unruly emotions, hence rationally may maximize the political and economic opportunities made available in our society.  Such mature individuals are integrated with a minimum of disruption, for they have adjusted to pre-existent administrative remedies.  Women, at the mercy of female hormones, are less capable of rational behavior than (upper-class) men and are probably rightly excluded from the public sphere where their all-too-attractive emotionalism can “tip the delicate balance” (Battis, 288) which insures social stability.  How does Battis fit this old model?  First, he sees Anne as motivated solely by unconscious forces and female hormones, removing her from her social context.  Second, he relies upon irrationalist corporatist liberal social theory to account for the Hutchinsonian defeat.

     Battis views Anne’s mysticism, tenacity, and militancy as symptoms of “delusions” and worsened by the changes of menopause.  He does not pursue the question as to what degree, if any, Anne understood that her theology was self-serving to her social group, the new mercantile capitalists; instead he has characterized the “felicitous conjunction” between free Grace and merchant interests as “unwittingly provided” by Anne.  Such a question need not be pressed because the primary determinants of her behavior are unconscious, whipping her about because she lacked a “rudder.”  Furthermore, it is men, not women and men in classes who shape female behavior.  Thus Battis dismisses the possibility that Anne’s theology might have been influenced by her Puritan mother and/or have been fortified by lived experience, her social practice as a mother, midwife, healer, and female preacher, i.e., as a member of a female culture composed of women in different ranks but sharing many identical problems.  Second, Battis criticizes the irrationalist Hutchinsonians for style and disorganization, as if through politeness, discretion, and “dexterity” they could have made frontier institutions work for them.  They could have organized themselves into a proper interest group as if they had at their disposal democratic procedures which then could have forced a neutral state peacefully to adjust to new social configurations and new, rationally expressed demands from below.  Yet he has shown that the state was autocratic; that there were numerous irreconcilable conflicts, that is, disputes that could not have been negotiated and compromised without sacrificing or endangering fundamental economic interests and social identities (Chapter XVII and passim).

     What does Battis say, then, about the significance of Anne’s class position?  He seems to be worried about the upper-class Antinomians, who should have been able to check their narcissism to balance the incorrigible lower orders.  Even though he insists, perhaps wrongly, that her core following was almost entirely prosperous and entrepreneurial (268),[xviii] Battis saw Anne as analogous to nineteenth-century conservative feminists and as a “herald” of the “individualistic” “new man” “delineated by Rousseau,” along with the Levellers Hampden and Lilburne and the Digger Gerrard Winstanley.  Rugg (whom Battis barely cited), while admiring Anne’s feminism, also criticized her for radicalism and anarchism, but took care to dissociate her from contemporary middle-class democratic movements emanating from urban artisans and shopkeepers.  Rugg commented that Hutchinson found the deference accorded to her intoxicating, but also postulated that her social leadership gave legitimacy to the grievances of women and lent respectability to a gentle religion.

     What have other historians said about upper-class “radicals”; and what do Hutchinson’s trial records reveal about the significance of her class position to contemporaries?  Christopher Hill notes that the gentry in seventeenth-century England were not to question authority for this could set a bad example and encourage servile revolt.[xix] T. Wilson Hayes agrees, arguing that had the cleric John Everard, an upper-class Familist agitator, been a member of “the lunatic fringe” of “ill-bred laymen,” he might not have been so “tenaciously” persecuted.  But while Everard’s status and achievement conferred authority upon radical ideas, he was not co-opting these ideas by making them respectable or providing outlets for previously unfocused resentments:

“…after his conversion he adopted the task of providing working people with the means by which they could validate ideas already implicit in their own radical tradition, ideas which recognized no absolute separation between the world of nature and the world of grace.  Among the heresies Everard finally admitted in 1639 was ‘that the visible world was but God clothed with accidents,’ that there would be no resurrection of the dead….’that scripture, literally understood, was false,’ all ideas that Niclaes himself had espoused….the true inheritors of Everard’s legacy were literate working people such as Gerrard Winstanley, the Digger leader, who based his plan on making the earth into a common treasury on the Familistic interpretation of Scripture which Everard did so much to substantiate (66-67).

      Historians should compare these contemporary “heretics” before classifying Hutchinson as either consciously or accidentally connected to revolutionary Puritanism.  Was she criticizing the sanctity of upper-class property, or teaching toleration and pluralism, or encouraging her flock to think for themselves, so as to overthrow illegitimate clerical domination; or was she fighting for control of Massachusetts Bay in the interest of her own merchant family?  Certainly she was perceived as a “radical.”  The record is replete with images of social dissolution at her hands, and her social leadership was seen as enhancing her threat to the moral magistracy.  John Cotton was alarmed that an “eminent Christian” should even be questioning the notion that the body of Christ was not resurrected, ergo the bodies of “sinners” would not burn in Hell, thus removing a major weapon in the arsenal of elite psychological warriors in their struggle to perpetuate and reproduce class rule. [xx] John Winthrop worried that Familistically inclined “Teachers,” no matter how “truly godly” they might be throughout life, would likely spawn “Scholars” in the next generation who would become “hereticks and schismatics.”

     Emory Battis, echoing Winthrop, remarked, “The insurrectionary bent of the Hutchinsonians derived in no small measure from the inherent Jacobinism of Protestant theology” (254).  Philip Gura shares the view that Puritanism generates radicalism (monstrous births).  Wondering where Anne’s mortalist heresy could have originated since it did not surface until her church trial, he writes, “The mystery is where such radical propositions came from, there being no hint in the earlier account of testimonies of such doctrinal vagaries; and for explanation one perhaps should rely on Hutchinson’s own account, that she ‘did not hould any of thease Thinges before imprisonment’ in the winter of 1637-38–that is, that she progressively generated the ideas from her initial Puritan tenets.”  Gura believes that “a very similar pattern emerged” in such radicals as Richard Overton in England during the 1640s.  “In this light, the evolution of the New England antinomians’ doctrine directly anticipated the inevitable fragmentation of Puritan doctrine in England, where in the 1640s and 1650s radical ideas proliferated in a land in which no strong orthodoxy had emerged, as it had in Massachusetts, to check them” (261).  Gura’s balance-of-power chessboard politics are at odds with Brenner’s (see below) but not that of Gura’s acknowledged mentor Christopher Hill.  Hill argues that radical sects emerged from the underground and proliferated only because the ruling class was split and busy fighting each other; a mistake they would never repeat.

     This idealist formulation has been central to many writers on the Antinomian controversy including the feminists Koehler and Barker-Benfield.  The remainder of my essay will criticize the idea that “Protestant theology” as such, is inherently either radical or conservative. 

20. Bernard Bailyn, The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge: Harvard U.P., 1955).  Although apparently structuralist, Bailyn’s Weberian, Parsonian and interactive account considers status group conflict.  He explains that the merchant faction were “uprooted radical puritans”: former carpenters and masons, husbandmen and East Anglian cloth workers; while the Puritan gentleman who never lost control of the colony were economically embarrassed by inflation and annoyed by uppity servants (36).  As he tells us in his preface, Bailyn was studying how political roles and social position affected entrepreneurship.  A structural analysis would have looked more closely at Hutchinson’s following, which was by no means entirely composed of prosperous merchants (as Battis later revealed), then gone on to delineate which conflicts were irreconcilable.  Moreover, the Winthrop faction was not operating under pre-capitalist assumptions; they were all capitalist planners, experimenting with wage and price controls which had not effectively controlled inflation in a situation typical of new settlements: scarcity in food, provisions, and skilled labor (32-33); see below.

21. Bailyn, 39-43.

22. Keith Thomas, “Women and the Civil War Sects,” Past and Present 13 (April 1958).

23. Emery Battis, Saints and Sectaries: Anne Hutchinson and the Antinomian Controversy in the Massachusetts Bay Colony (Chapel Hill: U. North Carolina Press, 1962).  Although Bailyn does not include the artisans as Hutchinsonians (except as former “workers”), Battis does not adequately acknowledge his debt to Bailyn, as if he were the first scholar to notice the merchant-farmer split.  “Most studies of the Antinomian Controversy make no effort to discuss the nature of Mrs. Hutchinson’s following beyond the simple assumption that it comprised almost all the members of the Boston congregation plus a few people from the neighboring towns.  Their backgrounds and stations are not analyzed, the degrees of their enthusiasm or complicity are not examined, and their motivations are not explored.”  Bailyn is cited briefly and vaguely in two footnotes, p. 67 fn 9, and p. 100 fn 27, complimenting his “discerning discussion of the influence of the merchants in the 1630s” and “for an excellent discussion of the commercial situation.”  Battis has been favorably cited and relied upon by Erikson, Colacurcio, Demos, and Gura. Hall, Rutman, Koehler and Barker-Benfield have offered vague, weakly argued and non-systematic criticisms of parts of his judgments and methodology.

24. Kai T. Erikson, Wayward Puritans: A Study in the Sociology of Deviance (N.Y.: Wiley, 1966): 82, 93, 71-74, 87.

25. Erikson, Wayward Puritans,  67-70, 54-59, 64, 101, 102, 70.  Erikson adopts a centrist propaganda objective, sharply distinguishing between organic entities: democracy and communism, or democracy and fascism, as if such boundaries were real, not hypostasized. Such a ploy masks the fact that many governments intervened in the economy during the crises of the 1930s with bureaucratic collectivist policies, and no democratic capitalist society protected the rights of independent labor unions perceived as strengthening the socialist left.  New Dealers who had been accused of “social fascism” by Stalinists before the Popular Front period, were sensitive to the need to distance themselves from the various discredited fascisms after the war, while Stalinists cooperated by nailing Republicans, not the corporatist liberals, as “fascists” during the McCarthy years and even earlier.

26. Hall, op.cit. See above for Adams’ dour view of all New Englanders, persecuting Hebraists to a man.

27. Hall’s judgment was made after he examined previously unpublished material.  But see Rutman, Winthrop’s Boston, 1966, Chapter V for the conflict of Cotton with his colleagues.

28. Ben Barker-Benfield, “Anne Hutchinson and the Puritan Attitude Toward Women,” Feminist Studies I (1972): 55-78.

29. Lyle Koehler, “The Case of the Feminine Jezebels: Anne Hutchinson and Female Agitation During the Years of Antinomian Turmoil, 1636-1640,” William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, XXXI (1974): 55-78.

30. Cf. Phyllis Mack, “Women as Prophets,” The Origins of Anglo-American Radicalism, ed. Margaret C. Jacob and James Jacob (London, 1984): 214-230.  In the short run, the activity of women prophets failed to improve their status because they had drawn upon and reinforced typical negative female qualities: irrationality and hysteria, but worse, their “Utopian visions…were projected…outside historical time…Until the Apocalypse, women would–and should–remain weak and despised in the natural order (225-226).”

31. Rugg often indicates where she created an imaginary reconstruction of an episode in Anne’s life (although this does not excuse the lamentable lack of footnotes), while Battis presents fictional scenarios that could not have been derived from the sources cited, yet are presented as historical events.  Cf. Rutman’s abrupt change of tone when he describes the Antinomian Controversy: “Anne Hutchinson was disruption personified” (119).  Her followers “were but a mob scrambling after God, and like all mobs, quickly dispersed once their leaders were dealt with (121).”  They “heckle,” “badger” and “twist”; i.e., they are the embodiments of anti-intellectualism and irrationalism.

32. Battis, 27, 34-35, 57, 56, 54.  Cf. Ziff’s analysis of Cotton as standing outside the ascetic Protestant tradition in The Career of John Cotton, 150-153.

33. Battis, 82-86, 91, 92, 102, 103, 109, 249-285. Gary Nash suspects that the artisans would have been poor (letter to me, 1984).  Cotton clearly approved of Anne’s proselytizing activities as midwife during this early phase of recruitment (see Hall, 411-413).  Battis may have abused this source, conveying the impression that Anne misinformed her patients as to the identity of her views with Cotton’s, and even that Cotton criticized her for doing so.  Battis wrote,” point by point husband and wife probed and measured Mrs. Hutchinson’s monitions, held them up against the known light of Gospel, weighed them against the familiar teachings of Mr. Cotton.  At last, weary but exultant, they may have concluded that the three were as one, and thanked God that this good woman, their neighbor, had such light to bestow on them (86).”  Is Battis hinting that the triad, husband, wife and Anne, had usurped God (the Trinity)?

34. Battis, 257, 95-100, 263.  Although merchants and artisans were both affected by wage and price controls, Battis has lumped them together as if they had no antagonistic interests requiring discussion.  For instance, artisans were dependent upon merchants for raw materials.

35. Battis, 103-104. See also Ziff, Puritanism, 76.  “Anne Hutchinson spoke theoretically, with no conscious reference to material conditions, when the vocabulary of free trade was as yet unthought of.  But the group who supported her show in their makeup the early stirrings of resistance to impediments to such freedom.”

 36. Philip Gura, A Glimpse of Sion’s Glory: Puritan Radicalism in New England, 1620-1660 (Middletown, 1984): 244.

37. The occupations of 56 of the 187 Hutchinsonians were unknown.  Battis found 7 professionals (teachers and ministers), 14 merchants, 38 craftsmen, 23 husbandry, 12 services, 7 maritime, 2 military, 10 skilled servants, 16 unskilled servants.  In the core group, out of 38 there were only 2 professionals, 9 merchants, 8 craftsmen, with 4 farmers and 7 of unknown occupation (suggesting marginality) (297).  This seems to be a more heterogeneous group than Bailyn had described.

38. Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down (London: Temple Smith, 1973): 20.

39. See Gura, Sion’s Glory,  p.91 for a different interpretation of the mortalist heresy: it undermined the purpose of founding New England, that is to hasten the Second Coming.  There would be no Last Judgment because Christ was already present in the heart.  However the examination records of Anne Hutchinson suggest that it was the threat to social control that was at issue.


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