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In the year 1620, after the departure of the adventurers of Mr. Robinson's congregation, King James incorporated several noblemen and others, by the name of "The council of Plymouth in the County of Devon, for the planting, ruling, ordering and governing New-England in America." The several patents of the New-England colonies issued from the authority of this council. Between the years 1620 and 1628, several small patents were issued from the Council for NewEngland, granting certain tracts within the limits of the Massachusetts, and some public attempts were made for settlements. None of these were permanent. The immense difficulties attending these undertakings, discouraged any attempts which were not supported by a primary regard to the honor of God, and a fervent zeal for the advancement of the cause of the Redeemer.
Mr. White, the minister of Dorchester in England, a divine eminent for talents and piety, who could not accede to all the prescriptions of the ecclesiastical establishment, as early as the year 1624, projected the plan of a plantation in New-England, for the purposes of religion, similar, in most respects, to the one already begun at Plymouth. He wished for the establishment of a settlement, whither the pious nonconformists in England might repair, and enjoy those privileges which were denied them in their native country. He hoped also to see churches established and built up in greater purity of gospel order, than existed in any which had risen from the ruins of Popery. This object he pursued with a pious zeal, and with unwearied assiduity. He sent over the most encouraging promises to a few individuals who had sat down near the entrance of Boston harbour. But these were too few to maintain their station. Early in the year 1628, several knights and gentlemen purchased of the council for New-England, that tract of territory which, afterwards constituted the colony of Massachusetts. One of these purchasers was Mr. John Endicot, who will be further noticed. Mr. White, by his influence and exertions, engaged a number of religious gentlemen, in and about London, to unite in the enterprize. These purchased shares in the company, and bought out several of the original patentees. Some of the first purchasers, as soon as they found that a settlement for religious purposes was designed, chose to relinquish the object. The same reason, however, disposed many worthy characters to espouse the cause with great ardor. The grant of the council conveyed a title to the soil, and a royal charter, investing the proprietors with the powers of civil government, was obtained in the following year. Soon after which,
the company was organized with their proper officers. In the year 1628, previous to the grant of the royal charter, the patentees sent out Mr. Endicot, with a company of about an hundred adventurers, to lay the foundation of their intended colony. The management of the affairs of the colony, in America, was committed to Mr. Endicot, who was constituted governor of the plantation. A man of unfeigned piety, of ardent zeal for the cause of pure religion, of independent mind, of intrepid spirit, of incorruptible integrity, of unchanging patriotism: Mr. Endicot was eminently qualified for the important duties which had been assigned him by the company, in laying the foundation of a Christian commonwealth. No internal commotions changed his purposes, no dangers diverted his designs, no changes diminished his attachment to his people, no adversities shook his confidence and hope in God. He perfectly understood the original design of the company, to establish a Christian settlement on the pure principles of gospel order, so far as they understood them, and this object he pursued with inflexible purpose to the end of his life. Mr. Endicot may justly be stiled the founder of that noble commonwealth.* Mr. Endicot, and his company sailed from England to America, in the summer of 1628.. They landed on the shore of Massachusetts Bay and commenced the settlement of the pleasant town of Salem. It does not appear that any unusual difficulties were encountered by the plantation for the first year. In the year 1629, soon after the organization of the company under the sanetion of the royal charter, they resolved on a second embarkation for their new colony. Five ships were provided for the purpose, and, being laden with cattle and other necessaries for the supply of the colony, with nearly three hundred planters, men, women and children, they sailed from England in May, and arrived at Salem in June. They found the settlement in tolerably comfortable circumstances, and brought to Mr. Endicot a re-appointment to the office of governor. The company in England were careful to adhere to their original design, and encouraged none to remove to their rising colony but such as were friends to evangelical religion, and approved of the essential views of divine truth which were entertained by themselves. As the plantation now contained more than three hundred inhabitants, one hundred of their number removed, this summer and commenced the settlement of the town of Charlestown.
* It is much to be lamented, and it can be assigned to no other cause than a want of information, that Judge Marshall, in his excellent history, has given Governor Endicot no other character than that of "a deep enthusiast."
The company in England, having learned that Mr. Endicot had effected a lodgement in the American wilderness, made all practical exertions for the establishment of their plantation in the order of the gospel. For this purpose they engaged two eminent divines, Mr. Higginson and Mr. Skelton, distinguished for learning and piety, both of them suffering for non-conformity, to lend their important services in laying the foundations of the American church. These faithful servants of Christ cordially engaged in the great design, and, embarking with the second company, arrived at Salem in 1629. They and their company, the most of whom were persons of eminent piety, experienced the most welcome reception from Mr. Endicot, and a cordial union of views gave great strength to their exertions. Soon after their arrival, they set apart a day for solemn fasting and prayer, and for the purpose of uniting in church state. On the sixth of August, the persons proposing to unite in church relation, gave their public assent to a Confession of Faith, and then solemnly covenanted with God, and with each other, to walk in the ordinances of Christ. Mr. Higginson and Mr. Skelton were then set apart as the ministers of the church, the former as teacher, the latter as pastor. Mr. Endicot having corresponded with the church at Plymouth, previous to the arrival of the second company, and finding an agreement in their views on the subject of church order, that church sent delegates to Salem to unite in this interesting transaction, who gave to their new brethren the right hand of fellowship. Their Confession of Faith and Covenant were drawn by Mr. Higginson. The Covenant begins in the following manner: "We covenant with our Lord, and one with another; and we do bind ourselves in the presence of God, to walk together in all his ways, according as he is pleased to reveal himself unto us in his blessed word of truth."* This was the first church that was fully organized in NewEngland. The Church at Plymouth, the only one of an earlier date, had not a regular pastor till after this time. (To be Continued.).
GOD DESIGNS MEN SHALL KNOW THAT HE GOVERNS THE WORLD.
THERE is no instance of God's conduct more celebrated in Scripture, than his delivering his people from the hand of Pharoah and from the house of bondage. He wrought mira. cles of mercy and miracles of justice, in order to bring about that great event. And he wrought both, for the important
* Mather's Magnalia.
purpose of displaying his supremacy and dominion over the world. This God declared to Pharoah, when he said—“ I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know 'that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth.". Lord is a word, which expresses authority, and signifies Ruler or Governor. To know that God is the Lord in the midst of the earth, is to know that he not only fills the earth with his presence, but also governs it with his almighty and invisible hand. And to make men know this, to which they are so loth and backward, is the constant design of God in the course of his providence. This will appear, if we consider-That he declares this to be his great object in his conduct. There is no other reason, which he so often assigns for his conduct, as this. He gave this reason for the miracles of his goodness to his own people: "To the end thou mightest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth." He gave this as the reason of the awful displays of his vengeance upon Pharaoh : "For now I will stretch out my hand that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth." He gave this as the reason of his conduct towards Nebuchadnezzar: "While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken, the kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." But it is unnecessary to recite all the places in the Old Testament, in which God gives this as the reason of his conduct, "That ye may know that I am the Lord." We find this phrase used in this sense, more than seventy times. Such repetitions of the phrase give it a peculiar emphasis, and naturally lead us to conclude, that it is indeed God's great design, in the course of his whole conduct to make mankind know that he governs the world.
It appears also from the manner of God's governing the world, that his great design is, to make men know, that he governs it. He governs it like himself, and not like any other being, which is naturally calculated to make men know that he is indeed the supreme Governor. In every age he has brought about events, which have surprised and aston
ished the world. And his providence every day displays, more or less, his unsearchable wisdom and goodness. So that Whoever are wise and will observe these things, even they may know that God governs the world." His manner of governing the world is truly divine, and displays his divinity to all who will observe it. Here I may observe, in the first place, that God governs in a manner which is contrary to the dictates of human reason. When God had called Abraham from his kindred, and given him not only a title to, but possession of, the land of Canaan, we should have been ready to say, it would have been best, to have preserved him and his posterity in the place designed for their national residence. But God saw fit to carry his people into Egypt, to continue them there four hundred years, and finally carry them back, through hosts of enemies, and streams of blood, to the place, where they were once happily seated. A thousand instances of this nature might be mentioned, in which God orders things contrary to the dictates of reason in short sighted creatures, and all such instances of the divine conduct serve to make men know, that the world is governed by a Being who has wisdom superior to their own.
Again, God governs the world in a manner contrary to the expectations of creatures. Men are constantly looking forward and expecting that certain particular events will take place. And very often they imagine they see good grounds for their expectations. They observe previous natural causes, which they conclude will produce the expected effects. They lay their account, that the race will be to the swift; the battle to the strong; wealth to the industrious; and honor to men of wisdom and merit. But God in his conduct, often disappoints such expectations. Every day is a day of disappointment to thousands. Things are constantly taking a new and unexpected train; and no event is certain until it takes place. Time and chance are perpetually disappointing the most strong and well founded expectations. No man knows what even a day may bring forth. God governs the world so absolutely, and so contrary to human expectations, that the most careless observer might see his hand in the common course of his providence. Besides,
He governs the world contrary to the desires of men. They wish he would bestow more good, and send less evil. They wish he would prevent some events, and bring others to pass. They wish he would spare some lives, and destroy others. They wish, in a word, that he would consult their desires, in all the dealings of his providence. But he governs all things after the counsel of his own will, and pays