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CHAP. was dismissed to them there, and there remained until
he died. Thus have we briefly satisfied your desire.
the days of my pilgrimage, special list of the books published by Rob opportunity of conversing with perinson before the departure of the sons of divers nations, estates, and Pilgrims for America. lle after. dispositions, in great variety. This wards wrote the following works, kind of study and ineditation hath all of which, with the others, I been unto me full sweet and dehave had the privilege and pleasure lightful, and that wherein I have of consulting. 1.“ A Defence of often refreshed my soul and spirit, the Doctrine propounded by the amidst many sad and sorrowlul Synod at Dort, against John Mur- thoughts, unio which God hath callton and his Associates, with the ed ine.” Refutation of their Answer to a ! Of course Belknap is in an erwriting touching baptism. By ror, when he silys, in his Life of John Robinson. Printed in the Robinson, Am. Biog. ii. 157, “ As year
410, pp. 203. 2. “A nothing more is said of the aged Treatise of the lawfulness of hear Mr. Clifton, it is probable that he ing of the ministers in the Church died before this embarkation," i. e. of England; penned by that learn- from England i Holland. Baylies, ed and reverend divine, John Rob in his Memoir of New Plymouth, inson, late pastor to the English i. 11, repeats the error. Yet Prince church of God at Leyden. Printed would liave set them right, p. 120. according to the copy that was
THE CHURCH AT AMSTERDAM.
times, and that there is no new thing under the sun. CHAP. But before we end this matter, we desire you would say something of those two churches that were so long in exile, of whose guides we have already heard.
Truly there were in them many worthy men; and if
you had seen them in their beauty and order, as we bave donc, you would have been much affected therewith, we dare say. At Amsterdam, before their division and breach, they were about three hundred communicants, and they had for their pastor and teacher those two eminent men before named, and in our time four grave men for ruling elders,' and three able and godly men for deacons, one ancient widow for a deaconess, who did them service many years, though she was sixty years of age when she was chosen. She honored her place and was an ornament to the congre1 The diNerence between the pas- that they
" chose none for governtor, or teaching elder, and the ruling ing clders but such as were able to elder, as it existed in the churches teach." The office of ruling elder of the Pilgrims, is thus described by also existed in the churches of MasPrince, from their published writ- sachusetts Bay, at their first plantings. "1. Pastors, or teaching el. ing. Mr. Savage, says, “li was ders — who have the power of over- kept up hardly more than fifty years, seeing, teaching, administering the though in a few churches it continsacraments, and ruling too; ond ued io the middle of the last cenbeing chiefly to give themselves to tury, much reduced, however, in studying, teaching, and the spiritual importance, and hardly distinguishcare of the lock, are therefore to be able from that of deacon. The title maintained. 2. Mere ruling elders of elders was retained from the be
who are to help the pastors in ginning as a name for ministers.' overseeing and ruling ; ihat their The office of ruling elder is still offices be not temporary, as among kept up in the First Church in Sathe Dutch and French churches, lem, the oldest church in Massabut continual ; and being also quali- chusetts proper, the next after Plyfied in some degree to teach, they mouth. For further particulars conare to teach occasionally, through cerning the functions and duties of necessity, or in their pastor's ab- the ruling elder, sce Robinson's sence or illness; but being not to Apology, ch. iv.; the Cambridge give themselves to study or teach- Platform, ch. vii.; Ilutchinson's ing, they have no need of mainte- Mass, i. 426; Prince's Annals, p.
It appears, from page 65, 177 ; Savage's Winthrop, i. 31.
THE CHURCH AT LEYDEN.
CHAP: gation. She usually sat in a convenient place in the
congregation, with a little birchen rod in her hand, and kept little children in great awe from disturbing the congregation. She did frequently visit the sick and weak, especially women, and, as there was need, called out maids and young women to watch and do them other helps as their necessity did require; and if they were poor, she would gather relief for them of those that were able, or acquaint the deacons; and she was obeyed as a mother in Israel and an officer of Christ.
And for the church of Leyden, they were sometimes not much fewer in number, nor at all inferior in able men, though they had not so many officers as the other; for they had but one ruling elder with their pastor, a man well approved and of great integrity; also they had three able men for deacons. And that which was a crown unto them, they lived together in love and peace
all their days,' without any considerable differences or any disturbance that grew thereby, but such as was easily healed in love ; and so they continued until with mutual consent they removed into New England. And what their condition hath been since, some of you that are of their children do see and can tell. Many worthy and able men there were in both places, who lived and died in obscurity in respect of the world, as private Christians, yet were they precious in the eyes of the Lord, and also in the eyes of such as knew them, whose virtues we with such of you as are their children do follow and imitate.
If we may not be tedious, we would request to know
" See pages 34, 36, and 380.
THEIR COMMUNION WITH OTHER CHURCHES.
one thing more. It is commonly said that those of CHAP. the Separation hold none to be true churches but their own, and condemn all the churches in the world besides; which lieth as a foul blot upon them, yea even on some here in New England, except they can remove it.
It is a manifest slander laid upon them ; for they hold all the Reformed Churches to be true churches, and even the most rigid of them have ever done so, as appears by their Apologies and other writings; and we ourselves some of us know of much intercommunion that divers have held with them reciprocally, not only with the Dutch and French, but even with the Scotch, who are not of the best mould, yea and with the Lutherans also; and we believe they have gone as far herein, both in judgment and practice, as any of the churches in New England do or can do, to deal faithfully and bear witness against their corruptions.
Having thus far satisfied all your demands, we shall here break off this conference for this time, desiring the Lord to make you to grow up in grace and wisdomn and the true fear of God, that in all faithfulness and humility you may serve him in your generations.
Gentlemen, we humbly thank you for your pains with us and respect unto us, and do further crave that upon any fit occasions we may have access unto
further information, and herewith do humbly take our leave.3
See Robinson's Apology, quoted in note
? See pages 391 — 396.
on page 388.
CHAP. logue in two other parts ; one of longer than the first part which is XXVI. which I have had in my possession, here printed, and relates chiefly to
written with his own hand. The the controversyes amongst four title is as follows: "A Dialogue, sorts of men ; The Papists, the or 3d Conference, betweene some Episcopacy, the Presbyterians, and yonge men borne in New-Eng- the Independents, as they are callland, and some ancient men which ed.” Being a theological rather came out of Holand and Old Eng. than a historical work, I have not land, concerning the Church and deemed it suitable to be inserted in the governmente therof.” It is this volume.