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GOV. BRADFORD'S MEMOIR

OF

ELDER BREWSTER.

CHAPTER XXVII.

MEMOIR OF ELDER WILLIAM BREWSTER.I

XXVII.

Now followeth that which was matter of great sad- CHAP. ness and mourning unto this Church. About the 16th of April,” in this year, died their reverend Elder,3 16 44.

April. our dear and loving friend, Mr. William BREWSTER; 10. a man that had done and susfered much for the Lord Jesus and the Gospel's sake, and had borne his part in weal and wo with this poor persecuted Church about thirty-six years in England, Holland, and in this wilderness, and done the Lord and them faithful service in his place and calling; and notwithstanding the many troubles and sorrows he passed through, the Lord upheld him to a great age. He was near four

3

' From the MS. Records of Ply- Hist. Mass. ii. 460, inserts about a mouth Church, book i. folio 38, into page of it from Bradford's MS. Hiswhich it was copied by Secretary tory. There can be no doubt that Morton, from Governor Bradford's the whole Memoir proceeded from MS. History of Plymouth Colony. the pen of Bradford, and that Mor

: Morton, in his Memorial, p. ton, in this as in other cases, was a 219, places Brewster's death on the mere copyist. 18th of April, 1643.

“ Concerning

Burk, in his Hist. of Virginia, whom,” he adds, “I could say i. 214, makes Brewster the military much of mine own knowledge ; but as well as the spiritual leader of I shall content myself only to insert the Pilgrims, confounding him with the honorable testimony that Mr. Standish. William Bradford, deceased, hath * Neal, in his Hist. of New EngJest written with his own hand con- land, i. 85, crrs in calling him John ; cerning him." lle then proceeds an error which is repeated by the to copy a considerable part of the authors of the Mod. Univ. Hist. above account. Hutchinson, in his xxxix. 271.

462

MEMOIR OF ELDER BREWSTER.

CHAP: score years of age (if not all out) when he died. He

had this blessing added by the Lord to all the rest, to die in his bed, in peace, amongst the midst of his friends, who mourned and wept over him, and ministered what help and comfort they could unto him, and he again recomforted them whilst lic could. Ilis sickness was not long. Until the last day thereof he did not wholly keep his bed. His speech continued until somewhat more than half a day before his death, and then failed him; and about nine or ten of the clock that evening he died, without any pang at all. A few hours before he drew his breath short, and some few minutes before his last he drew his breath long, as a man fallen into a sound sleep, without any pangs or gaspings, and so sweetly departed this life unto a better.

I would now demand of any what he was the worse for any former sufferings. What do I say? The

worse? Nay, surely he was the better, and they now ? Thess. add to his honor. “It is a manifest token,” saith the

Apostle, "of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer ; seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you ; and to you who are troubled, rest with us

when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven je poter with his mighty angels ;” and “ If

ye

be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of God and of glory resteth upon you.” What though

he wanted the riches and pleasures of the world in his Proy life, and pompous monuments at his funeral, yet the

memorial of the just shall be blessed when the name of the wicked shall rot.

1.

BREWSTER UNDER SECRETARY DAVISON.

463

XXVII.

grace and

I should say something of his life, if to say a little CHAP. were not worse than to be silent. But I cannot wholly forbear, though haply more may be done hereafter.

After he had attained some learning, viz. the knowledge of the Latin tongue and some insight into the Greek, and spent some small time at Cambridge, and then being first scasoned with the seeds of virtue, he went to the Court, and served that religious and godly gentleman, Mr. Davison,' divers years, when he was Secretary of State ; who found him so discreet and faithful, as he trusted him above all other that were about him, and only employed him in matters of greatest trust and secrecy. He esteemed him rather as a son than a servant, and for his wisdom and godliness, in private, he would converse with him

more like a familiar than a master. He attended his master when he was sent in ambassage by the Queen into the Low Countries, (in the Earl of Leicester's time,) as 1585. for other weighty affairs of State, so to receive possession of the cautionary towns;' and in token and sign

1 The unfortunate William Davi- not a man in the land so furnished son, who fell a victim to Queen universally for the place he had, Elizabeth's duplicity and state. neither know I any that can come craft, was a person of great worth near him."

See Supplement to and ability. The Earl of Essex, in the Cabala, p. 23 ; Strype's Ana letter to King James, April 18, nals, iii. 373. 1587, interceding in his behalf, Brewster had for a colleague speaks of him as " beloved of in osice under Davison, George the best and most religious of this Cranmer, the pupil and friend of land. His sufficiency in council the judicious Hooker. See Waland matters of state is such, as the ton's Lives, p. 179, (Major's ed.) Queen herself confesseih in her Judge Davis justly remarks that kingdom she hath not such anoth " there seems to have been a simier; his virtue, religion, and worth Jarity of character between Mr. in all degrees are of the world taken Brewster and his patron.” Morto be so great, as nu man in his ton's Memorial, p. 221. good fortune hath had more gen 3 In 1584, when Elizabeth entereral love than this gentleman in ed into a league with the United his disgrace ; " and Lord Burleigh, Provinces, and advanced inoney to in a petition to Queen Elizabeth, enable them to maintain their inFebruary 13, 1586, writes, “I know dependence of Spain, her rival in

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