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CORRESPONDENCE OF THE PILGRIMS
CHAP. A Copy of a Letter from Sir Edwin Sandys,' directed to
Mr. John Robinson and Mr. William Brewster." 1617. Nov. After my hearty salutations, The agents of your
congregation, Robert Cushman and John Carver," have been in communication with divers select gentlemen of his Majesty's Council for Virginia ; and by the writing of seven articles, subscribed ` with your names, have given them that good degree of satisfaction which hath carried them on with a resolution to set forward your desire in the best sort that may be for your own and the public good; divers particulars whereof we leave to their faithful report, having carried themselves here with that good discretion as is both to their own and their credit from whom they came. And whereas, being to treat for a multitude of people, they have requested further time to confer with them that are to be interested in this action about the several particulars which in the prosecution thereof will fall out considerable, it hath been very willingly assented unto; and so they do now return unto you. If therefore it may
* This name is spelt Sands in the length, which agreo almost word MS., which Stith says is “ for word with Bradford's llistory. tainly wrong." See the Appendix Compare lIubbard, pp. 44 — 50. to his History, p. 10, Note.
3 These were the agents that *This letter is contained in Hub were first sent.
See page 55. bard's History of New England, in * The word subscribed is inserted, Mass. Hist. Coll. xv. 40, but very from Prince, p. 142, and IIubbard, incorrectly transcribed. Prince says, p. 16. in his Annals,pp. xxi. 232,that Iub "I substituto whom for whence, bard " had never seen Gov. Brad on the authority of Prince, p. 142. ford's llistory." But this I think a l'rom the expression, " they do mistake, since IIubbard relates the now return unto you,” it is evident whole history of this negotiation that the agents must have returned with the Virginia Company, which to Leyden soon after this letter was is not contained in Morion's Memo- written, of which they were rial, and which he could have got doubtedly the bearers, that is beonly from Bradford's original MS., tween Nov. 13, the date of the letor from Morton's copy of it in the ter, and Dec. 15, the date of Robrecords of the Plymouth Church. inson and Brewster's answer to it. He gives passages of considerable Of course Prince, p. 148, and Davis
WITH THE VIRGINIA COMPANY.
please God so to direct your desires as that on your CHAP. parts there fall out no just impediments, I trust by the same direction it shall likewise appear that on our 161.7. parts all forwardness to set you forward shall be found 12. in the best sort which with reason may be expected. And so I betake you with this design, (which I hope verily is the work of God,) to the gracious protection and blessing of the Highest.
Your very loving friend,
EDWIN SANDYS. London, November 12, 1617.
Their Answer was as followeth.
Our humble duties remembered, in our own, our Dec. messengers' and our church's name, with all thankful acknowledgment of your singular love, expressing itself, as otherwise, so more especially in your great caro and earnest endeavour of our good in this weighty business about Virginia, which the less able we are to
on Morton, p. 22, cannot be correct was in 1621 committed by James
· Sir Edwin Sandys was one of and other poctical parts of Holy the principal members of the Vir- Writ. lle died in 1629. See ginia Company. Ile was the son Wood's Athena Oxonienses, ii. of Archbishop Sandys, and a favo- 172, (cd. Bliss); Walton's Lives, rite pupil of ihe judicious Hooker. pp. 174, 178, 180, (Major's ed.); In Parliament, he was " a member Ilume's England, vi. 39, 97, (Pickof great authority,” according to ering's ed.) ; Hallam's Const. Hist. Hume, and taking the popular side of England, i. 495 — 499.
CORRESPONDENCE OF THE PILGRIMS
CHAP. requite, we shall think ourselves the more bound to
commend in our prayers unto God for recompense ; 1617. whom as for the present you rightly behold in our 15. endeavours, so shall we not be wanting on our parts,
(the same God assisting us,) to return all answerable fruit and respect unto the labor of your love bestowed upon us. We have, with the best speed and consideration withal that we could, set down our requests in writing, subscribed, as you willed, with the hands of the greatest part of our congregation, and have sent the same unto the Council" by our agent, a deacon of our church, John Carver, unto whom we have also requested a gentleman of our company to adjoin himself; to the care and discretion of which two we do refer the prosecuting of the business. Now we persuade ourselves, right worshipful, that we need not to provoke your godly and loving mind to any further or more tender care of us, since you have pleased so far to interest us in yourself, that, under God, above all persons and things in the world we rely upon you, expecting the care of your love, the counsel of your wisdom, and the help and countenance of your authority. Notwithstanding, for your cncouragement in the work so far as probabilities may lead, we will not forbear to mention these instances of inducement.
1. We verily believe and trust the Lord is with us, unto whom and whose service we have given ourselves in many trials, and that he will graciously prosper our endeavours according to the simplicity of our hearts therein.
2. We are well weaned from the delicate milk of
'The words the hands of I restore from Prince, p. 142.
• The Council of the Virginia Company.
WITH THE VIRGINIA COMPANY.
our mother country, and inured to the difficulties of CHAP. a strange and hard land, which yet, in great part, we have by patience overcome.
3. The people are, for the body of them, industrious 15. and frugal, we think we may safely say, as any company of people in the world.
4. We are knit together as a body in a more strict and sacred bond and covenant of the Lord, of the violation whereof we make great conscience; and by virtue whereof we do hold ourselves straitly tied to all care of each other's good, and of the whole by every, and so mutual.
5. And lastly, it is not with us as with other men, whom small things can discourage, or small discontentments cause to wish themselves at home again. We know our entertainment in England and Holland. We shall much prejudice both our arts and means by removal ; where, if we should be driven to return, we should not hope to recover our present helps and comforts, neither indeed look ever to attain the like in any other place during our lives, which are now drawing towards their periods.
These motives we have been bold to tender unto you, which you in
also impart to any other our worshipful friends of the Council with you, of all whose godly dispositions and loving towards our despised persons we are most glad, and shall not fail by all good means to continue and increase the same. We shall not be further troublesome, but do, with the renewed remembrance of our humble duties to your worship, and (so far as in modesty we may be bold) to any other of our well-willers of the Council with
'The word great is restored from Prince, p. 143.
CORRESPONDENCE OF THE PILGRIMS
CHAP. you, we take our leaves, committing your persons and
counsels to the guidance and protection of the Al1617. mighty. Dec. Yours, much bounden in all duty,
WILLIAM BREWSTER. Leyden, the 15th of December, 1617.
I found annexed unto the foregoing letters these following lines, written by Mr. Bradford with special reference unto the fourth particular on the other side written.
O sacred bond! Whilst inviolably preserved, how sweet and precious were the fruits that flowed from the same.
But when this fidelity decayed, then their ruin approached. Oh that these ancient members had not died or been dissipated, (if it had been the will of God, or else that this holy care and constant faithfulness had still lived and remained with those that survived, that were in times afterwards added unto them. But, alas! that subtile serpent hath slily wound in himself, under fair pretences of necessity and the like, to untwist these sacred bonds and ties, and as it were insensibly, by degrees, to dissolve or in a great measure to weaken the same. I have been happy, in my first times, to see and with much comfort to enjoy the blessed fruits of this sweet communion. But it is now a part of my misery in old age to find and feel the decay and want thereof, in a great measure, and with grief and sorrow of heart to lament and bewail the same; and for others' warning and admonition, and my own humiliation, do I here note the same.
On page 61.