Charles Chauncy knew he was striking a responsive chord when in a commencement address at Harvard in 1655 he drew on the Third Epistle of John to declare, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” The seventeenth-century Puritans who shook off the dust of the English Babylon and ventured into the “howling wilderness” of the New World clearly expected that this act of faith would insure the salvation of their children. The Scriptures told them this was so: as God promised Abraham, so he assured the inhabitants of the New Israel that he would “make thee exceeding fruitful,” and “establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant. …” Hardly a complacent group, the Puritans understood very well that the “old deluder Satan” was abroad in New England and would do his utmost to thwart the salvation of as many souls as possible, even those of the children of the covenant. Thus, they promptly established regular public worship, encouraged family and community attention to the nurture of literacy, exercised controls over apprenticeship, and built schools and colleges—all actions designed, in part, to create the conditions most favorable for the reception of God's grace. In the end, the Puritans knew their difficult struggle would culminate in victory. They could afford to be optimistic; they had God's promise that grace was hereditary: God would honor his Covenant and their children would be saved.