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ROBINSON'S FAREWELL ADVICE.
to endeavour to close with the godly party of the CHAP.
XXV. kingdom of England, and rather to study union than division, viz. how near we might possibly without sin 1620. close with them, than in the least measure to affect division or separation from them. And be not loath to take another pastor or teacher, saith he ; for that flock that hath two shepherds is not endangered but secured by it.” 1
Many other things there were of great and weighty consequence which he commended to us. But these things I thought good to relate, at the request of some well-willers to the peace and good agreement of the godly, (so distracted at present about the settling of church government in the kingdom of England,) that
These professions were undoubt- ther's Magnalia, i. 328; Hutchinedly heartfelt and sincere. And son's Mass. i. 487; Morton's Meyet no sooner were these Noncon- morial, p. 146 ; Mass. Hist. Coll. formists in a place where they could iii. 74, xv. 186. act for themselves, than they pur
i We have here this celebrated sued precisely the course taken by farewell discourse of Robinson in the Separatists, adopted their form its original form. Winslow was of ccclesiastical discipline and gov- present and heard it, and either ernment, and set up Independent took it down from memory or from churches. Higginson, though a the notes of his pastor. presbyter of the Church of Eng. peared in print for the first time in Jand, was ordained over again by 1646, in this work, and all succeedthe members of his own congrega- ing writers, such as Mather, Prince tion at Salem. Phillips, after- and Neal, have copied it from Winswards the minister of Watertown, low. who signed the above address with “ Words," says Prince, speakWinthrop, declared soon after his ing of this exhortation, “ almost arrival, that if his companions astonishing in that age of low and would " have him stand minister universal bigotry which then preby that calling which he received vailed in the English nation; wherein from the prelates in England, he this truly great and learned man would leave them." And when seems to be the only divine who was Mr. Cotton came over in 1633, “ by capable of rising into a noble freehis preaching and practice he did dom of thinking and practicing in by degrees mould all their church religious matters, and even of urging administrations into the very same such an equal liberty on his own form which Mr. Phillips labored to people. lle labors to take them off introduce into the churches before ; from their attachment to him, that so that after a while there was no they might be more entirely free to perceptiblo difference between the scarch and follow the Scriptures." Puritans of Massachusetts and the Annals, p. 176. Separatists of Plymouth. See Ma
ROBINSON NOT A RIGID SEPARATIST.
CHAP. so both sides may truly see what this poor despised
church of Christ, now at New Plymouth in New England, but forinerly at Leyden in Holland, was and is how far they were and still are from separation from the churches of Christ, especially those that are Reformed.
'Tis true we profess and desire to practise a separation from the world, and the works of the world, which are works of the flesh, such as the Apostle
speaketh of. And as the churches of Christ are all Ephes. saints by calling, so we desire to see the grace of God 1972: shining forth (at least seemingly, leaving secret things 1. to God) in all we admit into church fellowship with ii. 11, 12. us, and to keep off such as openly wallow in the mire
of their sins, that neither the holy things of God nor the communion of the saints may be leavened or polluted thereby. And if any joining to us formerly, either when we lived at Leyden in Ilolland, or since we came to New England, have with the manifestation of their faith and profession of holiness held forth therewith separation from the Church of England, I have divers times, both in the one place and the other, heard either Mr. Robinson, our pastor, or Mr. Brewster, our elder, stop them forthwith, showing them that we required no such things at their hands, but only to hold forth faith in Christ Jesus, holiness in the fear of God, and submission to every ordinance and appointment of God, leaving the Church of England to themselves and to the Lord, before whom they should stand or fall, and to whom we ought to pray to
i Cotton too says,
" When some
inson would bear witness against Englishmen that offered themselves such profession, avouching they reto become menbers of his church, quired no such professions of sepawould sometimes in their confes. ration from this or that or any sions profess their separation from church, but only from the world.” the church of England, Mr. Rob. Way, p. 3.
CONGREGATIONALISM AN APOSTOLIC INSTITUTION.
reform what was amiss amongst them. Now this re- CHAP formation we have lived to see performed and brought about by the mighty power of God this day in a good measure, and I hope the Lord Jesus will perfect his work of reformation, till all be according to the good pleasure of his will. By all which I desire the reader to take notice of our former and present practice, notwithstanding all the injurious and scandalous taunting reports [that] are passed on us. And if these things will not satisfy, but we must still suffer reproach, and others for our sakes, because they and we thus walk, our practice being, for aught we know, wholly grounded on the written word, without any addition or human invention known to us, taking our pattern from the primitive churches, as they were regulated by the blessed Apostles in their own days, who were taught
' In 1634, nine years after his have always, in spirit and affection, death, there was published " A all Christian fellowship and comTreatise of the lawfulness of hear- munion with them, and am most ing of the ministers in the Church ready in all outward actions and of England ; penned by that learned exercises of religion, lawful and and reverend divine, Mr. John Ro- lawfully done, to express binson, late pastor to the English and withal, that I am persuaded church of God in Leyden ; printed the hearing of the word of God according to the copy that was found there preached, in the manner and in his study after his decease.' upon the grounds formerly menFrom this rare work I extract the tioned, both lawful, and upon occaconcluding paragraph.
sion necessary for me and all true “ To conclude. For myself, thus Christians, withdrawing from that I believe with my heart before hierarchical order of church govGod, and profess with my tongue, ernment and ministry, and the apand have before the world, that I purlenances thereof, and uniting in have one and the same faith, hope, ihe order and ordinances instituted spirit, baptism, and Lord, which I by Christ, the only King and Lord had in the Church of England, and of his church, and by all his discinone other ; that I esteem so many ples to be observed ; and lastly, that in that Church, of what state or I cannot communicate with or suborder soever, as are truly partakers mit unto the said church order and of that saith, (as I account many ordinances there established, either thousands to be,) for my Christian in state or act, without being conbrethren, and myself a fellow mem- demned of mine own heart, and her with them of that one inystical therein provoking God, who is greatbody of Christ scattered far and er than my heart, to condemn me wide throughout the world ; that I much more."
PRESBYTERIANS TOLERATED IN NEW ENGLAND.
CHAP. and instructed by the Lord Jesus Christ, and had the
unerring and all-knowing spirit of God to bring to their remembrance the things they had heard, — I say if we must still suffer such reproach, notwithstanding our charity towards them who will not be in charity with us, God's will be done.
The next aspersion cast upon us is, that we will not suffer any that differ from us never so little to reside or cohabit with us; no, not the Presbyterian government, which differeth so little from us. To which I answer, our practice witnesseth the contrary. For t’is well known that Mr. Parker and Mr. Noyce,' who are ministers of Jesus Christ at Newberry, are in that way, and so known, so far as a single congregation can be exercised in it; yet never had the least molestation or disturbance, and have and find as good respect from magistrates and people as other elders in the Congregational or primitive way. 'Tis known also, that Mr. Hubbard, the minister at Hengam, hath declared him
Thomas Parker and James things according to the presbytery, Noyes came to New England in as of Newbury, &c. The assembly 1634, and were settled in 1635 as concluded against some parts of the pastor
and teacher of the church in presbyterial way, and the Newbury Newbury, which was the tenth minisiers took time to consider the church gathered in Massachusetts. arguments,” &c.
For further parThey were cousins, had been pu- ticulars concerning them, sce Mapils and teachers in the same school, ther's Magnalia, i. 433 — 441; Savcame over in the same ship, and age's Winthrop, ii. 137; Allen's lived together in the same house for Am. Biog. Dict.; and Eliot's New twenty years, when death separated England Biog. Dict. them. Parker had been a pupil of Pcter llobart, the first minister Archbishop Usher, and Noyes had of llingham, was from tho town of been a student in the university of the same namo in Norfolk, England. Oxford. The celebrated Baxter said Ilo was educated at Magdalen Col"she was a lover of the New Eng- lego, Cambridgo, whero lo received land churches according to the New the degree of A. B. in 1025, and England model, as Mr. Noyes had A. M. in 1629. He came to New explained it." We are told by England in June, 1635. Hubbard Winthrop that the principal occa- says " he was not so fully persuaded sion of the synod held at Cambridge of the congregational discipline as in 1643, was because “some of the some others were ; he was reported elders went about to set up some 10 be of a presbyterial spirit, and
HOBART, OF HINGHAM.
self for that way; nay, which is more than ever I CHAP. heard of the other two, he refuseth to baptize no children that are tendered to him, although this liberty stands not upon a Presbyterian bottom,) and yet the civil state never molested him for it. Only coming to a Synod held in the country the last year, which the magistrates called, requesting the churches to send their elders and such others as might be able to hold forth the light of God from his written word in case of some doubts which did arise in the country, I say he coming the last sitting of the Assembly, which was adjourned to the 8th of June next, was in all meekness and love requested to be present and hold forth his light he went by in baptizing all that were brought to him, hereby waiving the practice of the churches; which he promising to take into consideration, they rested in his answer.
So also 't is well known that before these unhappy troubles arose in England and Scotland, there were divers gentlemen of Scotland that groaned under the heavy pressures of those times, wrote to New England to know whether they might be freely suffered to exercise their Presbyterial government amongst us; and it was answered affirmatively they might. And they sending over a gentleman to take a view of some fit place, a river called Meromeck, near Ipswich and managed all affairs without advice for that his spirit had been disof the brethren." Some idea of his covered to be averse to our ecclecharacter may be gathered from the siastical and civil government, and following passage in Winthrop's he was a bold man and would speak History ; " There was a great inar his mind.” See more concerning riage io be solemnized at Boston. him in Mather's Magnalia, i. 448 The bridegroon being of llingham, 452 ; Lincoln's History of Iling. Mr. Blubbard's church, he was pro- ham, pp. 21, 59, 150 ; Savage's cured to preach, and came to Bos- Winthrop, ii. 222, 313 ; Hubbard, ton to that end. But the magis. in Mass. llist. Coll. xv. 192, xvi. trates, hearing of it, sent to him to 418, xxviii. 248. forbear. The reasons were, first,