"Separates" of mid-18th-century Connecticut

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Dec 19 15:09:33 UTC 2010

During the Great Awakening of the 1740s, in Connecticut (as
elsewhere) some Congregationalists became dissatisfied with the
preachings and practices of their churches, and separated from
them.  "Men were divided into 'Old Lights,' those who opposed the
movement, and 'New Lights,' the most extreme of whom were known as
'Separates' or 'Strict Congregationalists'."[Alice M. Baldwin, _The
New England Clergy and the American Revolution_ (Duke Univ. Press,
1928), P. 59.

The OED 2nd ed. has "1. One who withdraws from the Church; a
separatist.", with quotations only to 1659.  It should add
quotation(s) from the 1740s, perhaps with an additional definition to
identify the Connecticut movement.  (And just which "Church" with a
capital C is meant by the existing definition?)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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