It's a dramatic title. Not literally true, but it opens the way to look at the decline of Congregationalism in the mid-1700s in New England.
After Massachusetts (which then included parts of Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire) lost its charter in 1691 and became a royal colony under the direct control of the English king and Parliament, the Congregational New England Way, as it was known, began to suffer new difficulties.
Congregationalism in New England had always encountered problems, and had been flexible in dealing with them while preserving its basic tenets. But once most of New England fell under royal control, and thousands of non-Puritans came in to the colonies there, the old New England Way began to struggle to meet the needs of everyone in the pews.
The unexpected part of this is that the clergy in general were ready and willing to compromise, and make changes to church polity to incorporate newcomers with new ideas. But the old-line laity rejected those changes. They had inherited a religious philosophy that was very dear to them, and they did not want to change it. Therefore, in hundreds of churches, a sort of quiet stand-off developed between clergy and laity, and new laity and old laity.
This led to a stagnation unknown beforehand to Congregational New England. Before this time, problems had been faced with vigor and alacrity. Challenges to the system were thoroughly and publicly debated, and solutions propounded and voted on with great energy and involvement. It helped that most government officials were concerned with church matters: for though they did not legislate church matters at all, they appeared at those debates as members of their congregations, and to all participants the debates seemed crucial to well-being and the very purpose and identity of the colonies themselves.
By the 1740s, however, the stand-off meant that problems were not solved, and when "old lights" who wanted to preserve the traditional Way died off, there were few people ready to replace them. Church attendance began to drop substantially for the first time in New England history.
Then the Great Awakening came along, and a kind of religious fervor previously associated only with Quakers and Ranters and other undesirable fringe groups shook Congregational churches. The Great Awakening relied on emotional preaching to produce emotional results: people speaking in tongues, having fits, screaming out to God, tearing their clothes, and having visions, all right there in church or in the fields where large crowds gathered to hear sermons.
This disgusted both traditional Congregationalists and rational Enlightenment thinkers. Those Enlightened citizens of New England, particularly Massachusetts and particularly in Boston, turned away from the New Lights and the Old Lights. But they carried with them a legacy of New England's long history of independence and proto-democracy, which they knew came from the old Congregational Way. Those old Puritans had done something valuable. Now the old Puritans were gone--who would carry on their political traditions, dropping the religious aspect to bring them into the new, rational age?
Thus we have John Adams sometimes using the pen name "Winthrop" in his attacks on British rule in America, for Puritan John Winthrop, first governor and leader of Massachusetts Bay Colony. And any Revolutionary leader could count on rallying Massachusetts men by recalling their history of liberty. So the decline of the Puritan Congregational Way in New England was in part a passing of the torch from one form of liberty to another.