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Chap, was dismissed to them there, and there remained until
'- he died.1 Thus have we briefly satisfied your desire.
We are very thankful to you for your pains. We perceive God raiseth up excellent instruments in all ages to carry on his own work; and the best of men have their failings sometimes, as we see in these our THE CHURCH AT AMSTERDAM. 455
came over to Plymouth Colony, lived to above ninety of years, a venerable man, whom I have often seen, and has left male posterity in the county of Barnstable." He lived at Scituate in 1636, and in 1639 removed to Barnstable; he was a highly respectable man, and an Assistant in the government. He married a sister of Elder Faunce, and a son of his, Isaac, was drowned at Barnstable in 1668. See Belknap's Am. Biog. ii. 151—178; Neal's Puritans, i. 437; Baylie's Dissuasive, p. 17; Cotton's Way, p. 7; Hoornbeek, Sum. Cont. p. 741; Hornius, Hist. Eccles. p. 232; Mosheim, Eccles. Hist v. 405; Deane's Scituate, p. 332; Holmes's Annals, pp. 191, 575; Prince, 173. In note 3 on page 40 there is a list of the books published by Robinson before the departure of the Pilgrims for America. He afterwards wrote the following works, all of which, with the others, I have had the privilege and pleasure of consulting. 1. "A Defence of the Doctrine propounded by the Synod at Dort, against John Murton and his Associates, with the Refutation of their Answer to a writing touching baptism. By John Robinson. Printed in the year 1624." Mo. pp. 203. 2. "A Treatise of the lawfulness of hearing of the ministers in the Church of England; penned by that learned and reverend divine, John Robinson, late pastor to the English church of God at Ley den. Printed according to the copy that was
found in his study after his decease; and now published for the common good. Together with a letter written by the same author, [Leyden, 5 April, 1624] and approved by bis Church, which followeth after this Treatise. Anno 1634." pp. 77, 16mo. 3. "Essays, or Observations, divine and moral, collected out of Holy Scriptures, ancient and modern writers, both divine and human, as also out of the great volume of men's manners; tending to the furtherance of knowledge and virtue. By John Robinson. The Second Edition. London. Printed for I. BeUamU. 1638." pp. 556, 4to. In his Preface be speaks of having "diligently observed the great volume of men's manners; having had, in the days of my pilgrimage, special opportunity of conversing with persons of divers nations, estates, and dispositions, in great variety. This kind of study and meditation hath been unto me full sweet and delightful, and that wherein I have often refreshed my soul and spirit, amidst many sad and sorrowful thoughts, unto which God hath called me."
1 Of course Belknap is in an error, when he says, in his Life of Robinson, Am. Biog. ii. 157, "As nothing more is said of the aged Mr. Clifton, it is probable that he died before this embarkation," i. e. from England to Holland. Baylies, in his Memoir of New Plymouth, i. 11, repeats the error. Yet Prince would have set them right, p. 120.
times, and that there is no new thing under the sun. Chap.
But before we end this matter, we desire you would —ca, 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 have done, 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,1 and three able and godly men for deacons, one ancient widow for a dea- <, coness, 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 congre
1 The difference between the pas- that they " chose none for governor, or teaching elder, and the ruling ing elders 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 churchesof MasPrince, from their published writ- sachusetts Bay, at their first plantings. "1. Pastors, or teaching el- ing. Mr. Savage says, "It 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; and ued to 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 flock, 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; that 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, see Robinson's sence or illness; but being not to Apology, ch. iv.; the Cambridge give themselves to study or teach- Platform, ch. vii.; Hutchinson's ing, they have no need of mainte- Mass, i. 426; Prince's Annals, p. nance." It appears, from page 65, 177; Savage's Winthrop, i. 31.
456 THE CHURCH AT LEYDEN.
chap. gation. She usually sat in a convenient place in the
xxvi. ° .... .
~~*~ 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,1 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
1 See pages 34, 36, and 380.
THEIR COMMUNION WITH OTHER CHURCHES. 457
one thing more. It is commonly said that those of the Chap.
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 Apologies1 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,2 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 wisdom 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 you for any further information, and herewith do humbly take our leave.3
1 See Robinson's Apology, quot- * See pages 391—396. ed in note * on page 388. 'Bradford continued this Dialonger than the first part which is here printed, and relates chiefly to the "controversy amongst four sorts of men; The Papists, the Episcopacy, the Presbyterians, and the Independents, as they are called." Being a theological rather than a historical work, I have not deemed it suitable to be inserted in this volume.
CHAP. logue in two other parts; one of XXVI. which I have had in my possession, s-""v-'~' written with his own hand. The title is as follows: "A Dialogue, or 3d Conference, betweene some yonge men borne in New-England, and some ancient men which came out of Holland and Old England, concerning the Church and the government therof." It is