Of course anyone who's read Williams would never mistake him for a philosopher, especially not a political philosopher. What your comment assumes is that Leland gets Williams right. Williams makes allusion to the garden image several times in his complete writings. But he is not making a case for separation of church and state (which Leland is). He was not worried about the integrity of the state (certainly not democracy), but rather with the purity of the church.
First, the Puritans saw themselves as a "new Israel." The Mayflower Compact -- a church covenant pressed into service as a civil document -- was viewed as the equivalent of the covenant between God and Israel at Sinai. The nation of Israel enforced all the commandments given to Moses. Any nation that was a "new Israel" should enforce all of the commandments -- including the commands on the "first table" of the Ten Commandments about worship.
Williams did not believe that civil government should enforce all of the Ten Commandments. He believed that Christians should observe all of the commandments, but he held that civil government should only enforce the "second table" of the law -- the last six commandments. The commands of the "first table" of the law -- the commands regarding religion and worship -- he believed should be left to private, individual conscience.
In the eyes of the Puritans, it was both heretical and treasonous for Williams to suggest that civil government should not enforce the commands of the "first table" of the Ten Commandments. He was jeopardizing their covenant with God as the "new Israel."
Williams denied that colonies on the American continent could properly be viewed as a "new Israel." He argued that the relationship between the church and "The state of the land of Israel, the kings and people thereof, in peace and war, is . . . figurative and ceremonial, and no pattern nor precedent for any kingdom or civil state in the world to follow." (Bloudy Tenent, p. 3.)
Second, Freeman insinuates that Professor Wolfe and anyone who asserts that Williams had a contribution to make to political philosophy must not have read Williams. I've read both Williams and several of his biographers. I am unapologetic in asserting that Williams' understanding of political philosophy was well ahead of all his contemporaries in America.
Third, before coming to America, Roger Williams was English Jurist Edward Coke's stenographer and transcriptionist at the Crown Court in Westminster Hall. Sir Edward Coke was one of the most powerful figures in English political and legal life. He wrote legal texts on English Common Law that were definitive for 300 years. Williams was educated at Cambridge under the patronage of Edward Coke. Here's how James Ernst, one of William's ablest biographers, describes Williams' education:
Williams was hardly the kind of youth to keep out of the religious and political discussions that agitated Cambridge in the early seventeenth century. The university was then a hotbed of radicalism and protest. His studies in history, philosophy, and theology brought him in contact with the popular sovereignty and natural rights notions of the Pagan and Christian thinkers. The teachings of Christ are themselves populist and individualistic in tendency. At Cambridge he again took up the religious and social protests of the Puritans and reformers, and under the able leadership of Sir Edward Coke and Sir John Eliot, joined the party opposing Bishop Laud's church policy and the followers of the King. (p. 31-32).
Fourth, Williams left Cambridge the year that Coke drafted the Petition of Right which was a forerunner of the English Bill of Rights and the U.S. Bill of Rights. In this context, Williams' emphasis on "liberty of conscience" could be seen as one aspect of the early struggle for basic human rights.
Fifth, contrary to what Dr. Freeman would lead my readers to believe, Williams had plenty to say about political philosophy. He was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony because political ideas like this were considered dangerous to the unity of civil society:
"True civility and Christianity may both flourish in a state or kingdom, notwithstanding the permission of divers and contrary consciences, either Jew or Gentile."
Roger Williams, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution, For Cause of Conscience ed. Richard Groves (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2001), pp. 3-4.]
Sixth, Williams actually had political experience setting up a pure democracy in Rhode Island. Here's a quote from he articles that created the Government of Rhode Island March 16-19, 1641:
It is ordered and unanimously agreed upon, that the Government which this Bodie Politick doth attend unto in this Island, and the Jurisdiction thereof, in favour of our Prince is a DEMOCRACIE, or Popular Government; that is to say, It is in the Powre of the Body of Freemen orderly assembled, or the major part of them, to make or constitute Just Lawes, by which they will be regulated, and to depute from among themselves such Ministers as shall see them faithfully executed between Man and Man.
He also began the "livlie experiment" with religious liberty for all by securing the first charter in the history of the world to secure "a free, full, and absolute liberty of conscience."