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ORIGIN OF THE PILGRIMS.
CHAP. affliction was not small. Which, notwithstanding, I.
they bare sundry years with much patience, until they were occasioned, by the continuance and increase of these troubles, and other means which the Lord raised
in those days, to see further into these things by the light of the word of God; how that not only those base beggarly ceremonies were unlawful, but also that the lordly, tyrannous power of the prelates ought not to be submitted to, which those contrary to the freedom of the Gospel would load and burthen men's consciences with, and by their compulsive power make a profane mixture of persons and things in the worship of God; and that their offices and callings, courts and canons, &c. were unlawful and antichristian, being such as have no warrant in the word of God, but the same that were used in Popery, and still retained; of which a famous author thus writeth in his Dutch commentaries :
“ At the coming of King James out of Scotland into April.
England, the new king,” saith he, “ found there estab
suspected persons on their oaths, Neal's Puritans, i. 84, 274, 285 ;
THEY FORM A SEPARATE CHURCH.
lished the reformed religion, according to the reformed CHAP. religion of King Edward the Sixth, retaining or keeping still the spiritual state of the bishops, &c. after the old manner, much varying and differing from the Reformed Churches of Scotland, France, and the Netherlands, Emden, Geneva, &c., whose Reformation is cut or shapen much nearer the first churches, as it was used in the Apostles' times.” 1
So many therefore of these professors as saw the evil of these things, in these parts, and whose hearts the Lord had touched with heavenly zeal for his truth, they shook off this yoke of antichristian bondage, and, as the Lord's free people, joined themselves, (by a 1602. covenant of the Lord,) into a church estate, in the fellowship of the Gospel, to walk in all his ways, made known, or to be made known unto them, according to their best endeavours, whatsoever it should cost them.” tans or Novelists was not to be suf- all respects, as in the reign of Queen fered in any well governed common- Elizabeth, without hope of tolerawcalth.” In a private letter writ- tion of any other; and on the oth of ton about the same time, he said, July he issued another proclamation “I had rather live like a hermit in in which he ordered the Puritan the forest, than be king over such a ministers either to conform before people as the pack of Puritans that the last of November, or dispose of overrules the lower house." He themselves and families some other had previously written to his son in way; as being men unfit, for their the Basilicon Doron, “ Take heed, obstinacy and contempt, to occupy my son, to such Puritans, very pests such places. The consequence of in the church and commonwealth. this was, that before November of I protest before the great God, that the next year more than three ye shall never find with any High- hundred ministers were ejected, land or Border thieves greater in- silenced, or suspended, some of gratitude and more lies and vile whom were imprisoned, and others perjuries than with these fanatic driven into exile. Prince, pp. 107, spirits." Barlow's Sum and Sub- 108, 110 ; Neal's Puritans, i. 432. stance, pp. 71, 83, 92 ; Calderwood, 1 The Reformed Churches shapen Hist. Ch. Scotland, p. 478; Hallam, much nearer the primitive pattern i. 419.
than England ; for they cashiered In conformity with these views, the bishops, with their courts, canon the 5th of March, 1604, he issued ons and ceremonies at the first, and a proclamation, that the same reli- left them amongst the Popish trash, gion, with coinmon prayer, and to which they appertain.-Morlon's episcopal jurisdiction, shall fully Note. and only be publicly exercised, in
" Governor Brad
JOHN ROBINSON'S CHURCH.
CHAP. And that it cost them much pains, trouble, sorrow,
affliction, and persecution, and expense of their estates, &c. this ensuing history will declare.
These people became two distinct bodies or churches, in regard of distance of place, and did congregate severally, for they were of several towns and villages, some in Nottinghamshire, some in Lincolnshire, and some of Yorkshire, where they bordered nearest together. In the one of these churches, besides others of note, was Mr. John Smith, a man of able gifts, and a good preacher, who afterwards was chosen their pastor. But these afterwards falling into some errors in the Low Countries, there for the most part buried themselves and their names.
But in this other church, which must be the subject of our discourse, besides other worthy men, was Mr. Richard Clifton, a grave and reverend preacher, who by his pains and diligence had done much good, and
ford's History takes no notice of the correct reading, as Lincolnshire the year of this federal incorpora- borders both on Nottinghamshire tion ; but Mr. Secretary Morton, in and Yorkshire, whilst Lancashire his Memorial, places it in 1602. does not. Besides, Prince was reAnd I suppose he had the account markable for his accuracy, and is either from some other writings of less likely to have made a mistake Gov. Bradford, the Journals of Gov. in deciphering and copying a word Winslow, or from oral conference than Morton. He tells us, " In the with them, or other of the first passages relating to the Plymouth planters ; with some of whom planters, I chiefly use Gov. Bradhe was contemporary, and from ford's manuscripi History of that whence, he tells us, he received Church and Colony, in folio ; who his intelligence. Annals, p. 100. was with them from their beginning
I “ These seem to be some of the to the end of his Narrative, which first in England that were brave is now before me, and was never enough to improve the liberty published.” Annals, p. 99. wherewith the divine author of our 9 Some account of Smith, Clifton, religion has made us free, and and Robinson, is contained in Gov. observe his institutions as their only Bradford's Dialogue, in a subserule in church order, discipline, and quent part of this volume; where worship.” Prince, p. 100.
will also be found a more extended . I have substituted Lincolnshire memoir of Elder Brewster, also for Lancashire, on the authority of written by Gov. Bradford. Prince. This is most likely to be
THE PILGRIMS PERSECUTED.
under God had been a means of the conversion of CHAP.
I. many; and also that samous and worthy man, Mr. John Robinson, who afterwards was their pastor for 1606. many years, until the Lord took him away by death; and also Mr. William Brewster, a reverend man, who afterwards was chosen an elder of the church, and lived with them until old age and death. .
But, after these things, they could not long continue in any peaceable manner, but were hunted and persecuted on every side, so as their former afflictions were but as molehills to mountains in comparison to these which now came upon them. For some were taken and clapped up in prisons, others had their houses beset and watched night and day, and hardly escaped their hands; and the most were sain to fly and leave their houses and habitations, and the means of their livelihood. Yet these, and many other sharper things which afterward befell them, were no other than they looked for, and therefore were the better prepared to bear them by the assistance of God's grace and spirit. Yet sccing themselves thus molested, and that there was no hope of their continuance there, by a joint consent they resolved to go into the Low Countries, where they heard was freedom of religion for all men,' as also how
1 After the introduction of the Amsterdam as a common harbour Reformed religion into the Low of all opinions, of all heresies." Countries in 1573, the utmost reli- Baylie, in his Dissuasive, p. 8, calls gious freedom was allowed, all sects Holland "a cage sur unclean birds." were tolerated, and an asylum was Owen Felltham, in his ainusing opened for fugitives from persecu- description of the Low Countries, tion from every land. See Grotius, says that “all strange religions Annals, p. 41; Brandt, i. 308; Sira- flock thither.” Johnson, in his da, i. 457. This honorable pecu. Wonderworking Providence, ch. 1, liarity has often been made an exclaims, “Ye Duich, come out occasion of reproach against the of your hodge-podge : the great country. Thus Bishop Ball. in his mingle mangle of religion among letter to Smith and Robinson, you hath caused the churches of Decade iii. Epist. 1, speaks of Christ to increase so litile with you.
THEY RESOLVE TO FLY INTO HOLLAND.
CHAP. sundry from London and other parts of the land, that
had been exiled and persecuted for the same cause, were gone thither, and lived at Amsterdam,' and in other places of the land.
So after they had continued together about a year, and kept their mcetings every Sabbath in one place or another, exercising the worship of God amongst themselves, notwithstanding all the diligence and malice of their adversaries, they seeing they could no longer continue in that condition, they resolved to get over into Holland, as they could, which was in the year 1607 and 1608 ; of which more in that which followeth.
standing at a stay like corn among flourished under a succession of weeds. Beaumont and Fletcher, pastors for more than a century. in their play, The Fair Maid of the In 1596 they published a “ConfesInn, introduce one of their charac- sion of Faith of certain English ters as saying,
people living in exile in the Low
Countries,” which was reprinted in “ I am a schoolmaster, Bir, and would rain
1604, in “ An Apology or Defence Conser with you about erecting four
of such true Christians as are comNew sects of religion at Anisterdam.”
monly, but unjustly, called BrownAnd Andrew Marvell, in his“ Char- ists.” This work has sometimes acter of Holland," writes.
been confounded with John Robin
son's“ Just and Necessary Apology " Sure when religion did itself embark, of certain Christians not less conAnd from the east would westward sleer tumeliously than commonly called
its ark, It struck ; and splitting on this unknown Brownsits or Barrowists," which ground,
was first published in 1619. Some Each one thence pillaged the first piece ho
account of Johnson and Ainsworth
in a subsequent part of this volume. That bank of conscience, where not one so
See Brandi's History of the Reforstrange
mation in the Low Countries, i. 479; Opinion, but finds credit and exchange. In vain for catholics ourselves we bear;
Neal's Puritans, i. 363, 386; Prince, The universul church is only there." p. 303. Baylie's Dissuasive, p. 15.
In Gov. Bradford's Memoir of · The English church at Am- Elder Brewster, it is stated that sterdam was that of which Francis “they ordinarily met at his (BrewJohnson was pastor and Henry ster's) house on the Lord's Day, Ajnsworth teacher, and which had which was within a manor of the been originally set up at London, bishop's; and with great love he in 1592, and soon afterwards re entertained them when they came, moved to Holland. It came very making provision for them to his near being torn in pieces at first by great charge, and continued to do so intestine divisions, but afterwards while they could stay in England.”