a seditious blow at


Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect

“An extreme Separatist, he hounded his fellow clergymen to make a clean break with the corrupt Church of England. He also challenged the legality of the Bay Colony’s charter, which he condemned for expropriating the land from the Indians without fair compensation. As if all this were not enough, he went on to deny the authority of civil government to regulate religious behavior—a seditious blow at the Puritan idea of government’s very purpose. “

From “The American Pageant” by Thomas A. Bailey

se•di•tious /sɪˈdɪʃəs/ adj.
  1. of or relating to sedition:seditious writings.
seditious - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

How can I understand “seditious blow” here? Does it mean damage or harm which causes people to rebel against the idea?
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    It is the fact that he said that the civilian government should not rule over religious behaviour that is seditious. It is against what the Puritans believed, so it is against the 'state' and therefore rebellious.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    As explained in Wikipedia:
    Puritans believed it was the government's responsibility to enforce moral standards and ensure true religious worship was established and maintained.

    But whichever Separatist is being described here (I’m not sure why you’ve failed to tell us?) disagreed with that, inciting people to challenge it. That would be considered seditious.
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