John Cotton was born in Derby, England in 1595. After being educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he became vicar of St. Botolph's Church in Boston, Lincolnshire in 1612. Over the next 21 years Cotton became increasingly critical of the Anglican Church and began to express Puritan views.
In 1630 Cotton gave a sermon to John Winthrop, Thomas Dudley, William Pynchon, Simon Bradstreet, Anne Bradstreet and others about to sail from Southampton to North America. In his sermon Cotton emphasized the parallel between the Puritans and the God's chosen people, claiming it was God's will that they should inhabit all the world. This sermon was later published as The Divine Right to Occupy the Land.
When legal action was taken against Cotton in 1632 he decided to emigrate to North America. He settled in the Massachusetts Colony and he became the pastor of the First Church of Boston.
Works of John Cotton:
Divine Justification to Occupy the Lands of the New World
Democracy as Detrimental to Church and State, 1636
The Way of the Churches of Christ in New England 1645
Spiritual Milk for Babes 1646
The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared 1648
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