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are no Church. At least, they are not so to be under- chap.
stood ; for thej often say the contrary. .^-v-^

3. When they say it is no true Church of Christ,
they do not at all mean as they are the elect of God,
or a part of the Catholic Church, or of the mystical
body of Christ, or visible Christians professing faith
and holiness, (as most men understand the church); for
which purpose hear what Mr. Robinson in his Apology,
page 53. " If by the Church," saith he, " be under-
stood the Catholic Church, dispersed upon the face of
the whole earth, we do willingly acknowledge that a
singular part thereof, and the same visible and conspicu-
ous, is to be found in the land, and with it do profess
and practise, what in us lies, communion in all things
in themselves lawful, and done in right order."

4. Therefore they mean it is not a true church as it
is a National Church, combined together of all in the
land promiscuously under the hierarchical government
of archbishops, their courts and canons, so far differing
from the primitive pattern in the Gospel.


Wherein do they differ then from the judgment or
practice of our churches here in New England ?


Truly, for matter of practice, nothing at all that is
in any thing material ; these being rather more strict
and rigid in some proceedings about admission of
members, and things of such nature, than the other ;
and for matter of judgment, it is more, as we conceive,
in words and terms, than matter of any great sub-
stance ; for the churches and chief of the ministers


CHAP, here hold that the National Church, so constituted and


-^v^ governed as before is said, is not allowable according
to the primitive order of the Gospel ; but that there
are some parish assemblies that are true churches by
virtue of an implicit covenant amongst themselves, in
which regard the Church of England may be held
and called a true church.

Answer. Whcrc auj such are evident, we suppose the other
will not disagree about an implicit covenant, if they
mean by an implicit covenant that which hath the
substance of a covenant in it some way discernible,
though it be not so formal or orderly as it should be.
But such an implicit [covenant] as is no way explicit,
is no better than a Popish implicit faith, (as some of
us conceive,) and a mere fiction, or as that which should
be a marriage covenant which is no way explicit.


Wherein standeth the difference between the rigid
Brownists and Separatists^ and others, as we observe
our ministers in their writings and sermons to distin-
guish them ?


The name of Brownists^ is but a nickname, as

• The learned and ever-memora- charitable sentiment; "Difference
ble John Hales, of Eton, said of of opinion may work a disaffection
this word Separatist, "Where it in me, hut not a detestation. I
may be rightly fixed and deservedly rather pity than hate Turk and
charged, it is certainly a great of- infidel, for they are of the same
fence; but in common use now metal and bear the same stamp as
among us, it is no other than a I do, though the inscriptions differ,
theological scarecrow." Works, i. If I hate any, it is those schisraat-
XV. Foulis, 1765. ics that puzzle the sweet peace of

* James Howell, in one of his our church ; so that I could be con-
letters, aping the style, whilst de- tent lo see an Anabaptist go to hell
void of the liberal spirit of Sir on a Brownist's back." Letters,
Thomas Browne, has the following p. 270, (ed. 1754.)


Puritan* and Huguenot,^ &c., and therefore they do not chap.
amiss to decline the odium of it in what they may. iili.
But by the rigidness of Separation they do not so
much mean the difference, for our churches here in
New England do the same thing under the name of
secession from the corruptions found amongst them, as
the other did under the name or term of separation
from them. Only this declines the odium the better.
See Reverend Mr. Cotton's Answer to Mr. Baylie,
page the 14th.^

That some which were termed Separatists, out of
some mistake and heat of zeal, forbore communion in
lawful things with other godly persons, as prayer and
hearing of the word, may be seen in what that
worthy man, Mr. Robinson, hath published in dislike


We are well satisfied in what you have said. But
they differ also about synods.

' See note ' on page 12. du nom des Eignots de Geneve, un

' The origin of this word is un- peu autrement prononce." The

tnown. Some have thought it term was first apph'ed to the Cal-

was derived from a French and vinists of the Cevennes in 1560.

faulty pronunciation of the German See Mosheim's Eccles. Hist. iv.

word eidgnossen, which signifies 368 ; Fleury, Hist. Eccles. xviii.

confederates, and which had been 603. An admirable Memoir of the

originally tlie name of that valiant French Protestants, both in their

part of the city of Geneva, which native country and in America,

entered into an alliance with the written by that accurate annalist,

Swiss cantons in order to maintain Dr. Holmes, is contained in the

their liberties against the tyranni- Mass. Hist. Coll. xxii. 1 — 84.

cal attempts of Charles HI. duke ^ "Neither was our departure

of Savoy. These confederates were from the parishional congregations

called eignots, nnd from thence very in England a separation from them

probably was derived the word hu- as no churches, but rather a seces-

guenots. The Abbe Fleury says, sion from the corruptions found

" fls y furent appel^s Huguenots, amongst them."





^^ It is true we do not know that ever they had any

solemn Synodical Asseaibly. And the reason may be,
that those in England living dispersed and' could not
meet in their ordinary meetings without danger, much
less in synods. Neither in Holland, where they might
have more liberty, were they of any considerable num-
ber, being but those two churches, that of Amsterdam
and that of Leyden. Yet some of us know that the
church [of Leyden] sent messengers to those of Am-
sterdam, at the request of some of the chief of them,
both elders and brethren, when in their dissensions
they had deposed Mr. Ainsworth and some other both
of their elders and brethren, Mr. Robinson being the
chief of the messengers sent ; which had that good
effect, as that they revoked the said deposition, and
confessed their rashness and error, and lived together
in peace some good time after. But when the churches
want neither peace nor light to exercise the power
which the Lord hath given them, Christ doth not direct
them to gather into synods or classical meetings, for
removing of known offences either in doctrine or man-
ners ; but only sendelh to the pastors or presbyters of
each church to reform within themselves what is
amongst them. " A plain pattern," saith Mr. Cotton
in his Answer to Mr. Baylie, page 95, " in case of
public offences tolerated in neighbour churches, not
forthwith to gather into a synod or classical meeting,
for redress thereof, but by letters and messengers to
admonish one another of what is behooveful ; unless

' Here something seems to have been omitted.



upon such admonition they refuse to hearken to the chap.


wholesome counsel of their brethren." And of this ^ - ^
matter Mr. Robinson thus writeth in his book, Just.
page 200/ " The officers of one or many churches may
meet together to discuss and consider of matters for
the good of the church or churches, and so be called
a Church Synod, or the like, so they infringe no order
of Christ or liberty of the brethren ;" not differing
herein from Mr. Davenport^ and the principal of our


But they seem to differ about the exercise of pro-
phecy,^ that is, that men out of office, having gifts.

' See the title of this book in
note ' on page 40.

^ John Davenport, born at Coven-
try in 1597, a 2r;idunte of Oxford,
and vicar of St. Stephens, in Lon-
don, came to New England in 1637,
with Theophilus Eaton and Ed-
ward Hopkins, and with them laid
the foundations of the colony of
New Haven, in 1638. In 1668, in
his 71st year, he removed to Bos-
ton, to become the pastor of the
First Church, and there died in
1670. See Wood's At hen. Oxon.
ii. 460; M^ither's Magnalia, i. 292
—302; Winthrop's N. E. i. 227,
404 ; Hutchinson's Mass. i. 82, 115,
215 ; Emerson's History of the First
Church in Boston, pp. 110—124.
Bui the most ample and satisfac-
tory account of Davenport will be
found in Prof Kiugsley's Cen-
tennial Discourse at New Haven,
and in Dr. Leonard Bacon's His-
torical Discourses. These works
contain also a noble vindication of
the principles and character of the
Puritan fathers of New England.

^ This religious exercise, in
which laymen publicly taught and
exhorted, was early practised in

hoth the colonies of Plymouth and
Massachusetts. As the church of
Plymouth was long without a regu-
lar pastor, " the ruling elder, when
he wanted assistance, used frequent-
ly to call upon some of the gifted
brethren to pray and give a word of
exhortation in their public assem-
blies ; the chief of whom were Gov.
Edward Winslow, Gov. Bradford,
his son-in-law, Mr. Thomas South-
worth, and secretary Nathaniel
Morton; men of superior talents and
parts, and of good school-learning."
We are told by Gov. Winthrop, in
his Journal, March 29, 1631, that
■•' Mr. Coddington and Mr. Wilson
and divers of the congregation met
at the Governor's, and there Mr.
Wilson, praying and exhorting the
congregation to love, &c. commend-
ed to them the exercise of prophecy
in his absence, and designed those
whom he thought most fit for it,
viz. the governor, Mr. Dudley, and
Mr. Nowell, the elder." On the
visit of Governor Winlhrop and
Mr. Wilson to Plymouth in Octo-
ber, 1632, it is related that " on the
Lord's day in the afternoon, Mr.
Roger Williams (according to their


CHVP. mav upon occasion edity the church publicly and open-
"-^^ Iv. and applying the Scriptures : which seems to be a
new practice.


It doth but seem so; as many things else do that
have by usurpation grown out of use. But that it hath
been an ancient practice of the people of God, besides
the 2;rounds of Scripture, we will give an instance or
two. We find in the ancient Ecclesiastical History of
Eusebius, lib. vi. cap. liK how Demetrius, bishop of
Alexandria, being pricked \\ itli envy against Origen,
complaineth in his letters that there was never such a
practice heard of, nor no precedent to be found, that lay-
men in presence of bishops have taught in the church;
but is thus answered by the bishop of Jerusalem and
the bishop of Cesarea : " We know not," say they,
" why he reporteth a manifest untruth, whenas there
mav be found such as in open assemblies have taught
the people ; vea, whenas there were present learned
men that could profit the people, and moreover holy
bishops, who at that time exhorted them to preach.

custom) propounded a question, to may learn, and all be comforted."

whieh the pastor. Mr. Smith, spake It was ibr encouraging a similar

briefly; then Mr. Williams prophe- exercise among his clergy, that

sied ; and after the governor of archbishop Grindal incurred the

Plymouth spake to the question; displeasureof Queen Elizabeth, and

after him the elder; then two or was for a time suspended from his

three more of the congregation, see. It should be remenibered that

Then the elder desired the governor this was the scriptural sense of the

of Massachusetts and IMr. Wilson to word prophesi/ins^ ; and that pre-

speak to it, which they did." The diction is not its only signification,

exercise was grounded on the appears from the title of one of

primitive practice of the Church of Jeremy Taylor's Works, " The

Corinth, as described and regulated Liberty of Prophesying." See

by the Apostle Paul, in 1 Cor. xii. Savage's Winthrop, i. 50, 91 ;

and xiv. and especially prescribed Mass. Hist. Coll. iv. 136; Prince's

in the 31st verse of the last named Annals, p. 407 ; Fuller's Ch. Hist,

chapter, where he says, " Ye may iii. 6 — IS; Peirce's Vindication,

all prophesy one by one, that all part i. pp. 92—96.


For example, at Laranda Euelpis was requested offHAP.
Neon, at Jronium Paulinus was requested by Celsus, — ^
at Sjnada Theodorus was requested by Atticus, who
were godly brethren, Sec."'

The second instance is out of Speed's Cloud of Wit-
nesses, page 71. Saith he, " Ram barn or Maymon
records, that in i\\('. synagogues, first, only a Levite
must offer sacrifice ; secondly, but any in Israel mi^ht
expound the law ; thirdly, the expounder must be an
eminent man, and must have leave from the master of
the synagogue ; and so contends that Christ, Luke iv.
16, taught as any of Israel mijjht have done as well
as the Levites : and the like did Paul and Barnabas,
Acts xiii. 15."

If any out of weakness have abused at any time
their liberty, it is their personal faulting, as sometimes
weak ministers may their office, and yet the ordinance
good and lawful.

And the chief of our ministers in New England
afjree therein. See ^Ir. Cotton's Answer to Bavlie,
page the 27th, 2d part. " Though neither all," saith
he, " nor most of the brethren of a church have ordi-
narilv received a sift of public prophesyinjr, or preach-
ing^, yet in defect of public ministry, it is not an unheard
of novelty that God should enlarge private men with
public sifts, and^ to dispense them to edification : for
we read that when the church at Jerusalem were all
scattered abroad, except the Apostles, yet they that ^f,^
were scattered went every where preaching the word." ji.2i'.

' See Doctor Fulke also on learned confutation of the Rheraish

Ptomans the xi. in answer to the version of the New Testament,

Pihemisis. — Bradford's Xote. See Fuller's Church History, iii.

Dr. Fulke, master of Pembroke 70.

Hall, Cambridge, wrote in 1685 a * Some word is here omitted.




CHAP. Mr. Robinson also, in his Apology, page 45, chap-
ter 8, to take off the aspersion charged on them, as if
all the members of a church were to prophesy publicly,
answers, " It comes within the compass but of a few
of the multitude, haply two or three in a church, so
to do ; and touching prophecy," saith he, " we think
the very same that the Synod held at Embden, 1571,
hath decreed in these words : ' First, in all churches,
whether but springing up, or grown to some ripeness, let
the order of prophecy be observed, according to Paul's
institution. Secondly, into the fellowship of this work
are to be admitted not only the ministers, but the
teachers too, as also of the elders and deacons, yea,
even of the multitude, which are willing to confer their
gift received of God to the common utility of the church ;
but so as they first be allowed by the judgment of the
ministers and others.' So we believe and practise with
the Belgic churches, &c." See more in the immediate
following page.


We cannot but marvel that in so few years there
should be so great a change, that they who were so
hotly persecuted by the prelates, and also opposed by
the better sort of ministers, not only Mr. Gifford, Mr.
Bernard, and other such like, but manv of the most
eminent both for learning and godliness, and yet now
not only these famous men and churches in New Eng-
land so fully to close with them in practice, but all the
godly party in the land to stand for the same way,
under the new name of Independents, put upon them.




It is the Lord's doing, and it ought to be marvellous
in our eyes ; and the rather, because Mr. Bernard, in
his book, made their small increase in a few years one
and the chief argument against the way itself. To
which Mr. Robinson answered, that " Religion is not
always sown and reaped in one age ; and that John
Huss and Jerome of Prague finished their testimony a
hundred years before Luther, and Wickliff well nigh as
long before them, and yet neither the one nor the other
with the like success as Luther. And yet," saith he,
" many are already gathered into the kingdom of
Christ ; and the nearness of many more throughout
the whole land, (for the regions are white unto the
harvest,) doth promise within less than a hundred years,
if our sins and theirs make not us and them unworthy
of this mercy, a very plenteous harvest;" (Justif. folio
62) ; as if he had prophesied of these times. Yea,
some of us have often heard him say that " even those
ministers and other godly persons that did then most
sharply oppose them, if they might come to be from
under the bishops, and live in a place of rest and peace,
where they might comfortably subsist, they would prac-
tise the same things which they now did." ' And
truly, many of us have seen this abundantly verified,
not only in these latter times, but formerly.

Doctor Ames^ was estranged from and opposed Mr.

' Seepage 45, and note ^ on page In 1609 he fled from the persecu-

398, and Prince's Annals, p. 305. tion of Archbishop Bancroft, and

" William Ames, one of the most became minister of the English
Sfcute controversial writers of his church at the Hague, whence he
age, was educated at Cambridge was invited by the states of Fries-
under the celebrated Perkins, and land to the chair of theological pro-
became fellow of Christ's College, fessor at Franeker, which he filled


CHAP. Robinson ; and yet afterwards there was loving com-
^^^ pliance and near agreement between tliem ; and, which
is more strange, Mr. Johnson himself, who was after-
wards pastor of the church of God at Amsterdam, was
a preacher to the company of English of the Staple at
Middlebiirg, in Zealand, and had great and certain
maintenance ^ allowed him by them, and was highly
respected of them, and so zealous against this way as
that [when] Mr. Barrow's and Mr. Greenwood's Re-
futation of GifTord^ was privately in printing in this
city, he not only was a means to discover it, but was
made the ambassador's instrument to intercept them
at the press, and see them burnt ; the which charge
he did so well perform, as he let them go on until they
were wholly finished, and then surprised the whole
impression, not suffering any to escape; and then, by
the magistrates' authority, caused them all to be openly
burnt, himself standing by until they were all con-
sumed to ashes. Only he took up two of them, one
to keep in his own study, that he might see their er-
rors, and the other to bestow on a special friend for
the like use. But mark the sequel. When he had

with reputation for twelve years. ' £200 per annum. — Bradford's

He was a member of the Synod of Note.

Dort, and wrote several treatises ^ This book was printed in 1591.

against the Arminians, besides his Its title was " A plain refutation of

famous Medulla Theologim. He M. Gilford's book, entitled ' A short

afterwards removed to Rotterdam, treatise against the Donatists of

to preach to a congregation of his England;' wherein is discovered

countrymen there: but the air of the forgery of the wiiole ministry,

Holland not agreeing with his con- the confusion, false worship, and

stituiion, he determined to remove antichristian disorder of these pa-

to New England. This was pre- risli assemblies, called the Church

vented by his death in 1633. The of England. Here also is prefixed

next spring his widow and children a sum of the causes of our Separa-

came over, bringing with them his tion, and of our purposes in prac-

valuable library. Fuller's Hist, of tice." A copy of this rare work,

Cambridge, p. 222; Neal's Puri- reprinted in 1606, is in Prince's

tans, i. 436, 578; Belknap's Am. New England Library, in the keep-

Biog. ii. 161. ing of the Mass. Hist. Society.


done this work, he went home, and being set down in chap.


his study, he began to turn over some pages of this — ^'—
book, and superficially to read some things here and
there, as his fancy led him. At length he met with
something that began to work upon his spirit, which
so wrought with him as drew him to this resolution,
seriously to read over the whole book ; the which he
did once and again. In the end he was so taken, and
his conscience was troubled so, as he could have no rest
in himself until he crossed the seas and came to Lon-
don to confer with the authors, who were then in pri-
son, and shortly after executed. After which confer-
ence he was so satisfied and confirmed in the truth, as
he never returned to his place any more at Middleburg,
but adjoined himself to their society at London, and
was afterwards committed to prison, and then banish-
ed ; and in conclusion coming to live at Amsterdam,
he caused the same books, which he had been an in-
strument to burn, to be new printed and set out at his
own charge. And some of us here present testify this
to be a true relation, which we heard from his own
mouth before many witnesses.


We have seen a book of Mr. Robert Baylie's,' a
Scotchman, wherein he seemeth to take notice of the
spreading of the truth under the notion of error, and
casts all the disgraces he can on it, and ranks it with
others the foulest errors of the time, and endeavours
to show how like a small spark it revived out of the
ashes, and was brought from Leyden over the seas into
New England, and there nourished with much silence

' The title of this book is given in note '^ on page 379.


CHAP, until it spread to other places in the country, and by


'- eminent hands from thence into Old England.


As we dare say Mr. Baylie intends no honor to the
persons by what he says, either to those here or from
whence they came, so are they far from seeking any
to themselves, but rather are ashamed that their weak
working hath brought no more glory to God ; and if in
any thing God hath made any of them instruments for
the good of his people in any measure, they desire he
only may have the glory. And whereas Mr. Baylie
affirmeth that, however it was, in a few years the most
who settled in the land did agree to model themselves
after Mr. Robinson's pattern, we agree with reverend
Mr. Cotton, that " there was no agreement by any
solemn or common consultation ; but that it is true
they did, as if they had agreed, by the same spirit of
truth and unity, set up, by the help of Christ, the same
model of churches, one like to another ; and if they of
Plymouth have helped any of the first comers in their
theory, by hearing and discerning their practices, therein
the Scripture is fulfilled that the kingdom of heaven is
^'"".?o like unto leaven which a woman took and hid in three
measures of meal until all was leavened." Answer to
Mr. Baylie, page 17.


We desire to know how many have been put to
death for this cause, and what manner of persons they
were, and what occasions were taken against them by
bringing them to their end.





We know certainly of six that were publicly exe- "^"^^^
cuted, besides such as died in prisons ; Mr. Henry
Barrow, Mr. Greenwood, (these suffered at Tyburn;) 15 94
Mr. Penry at St. Thomas Waterings, by London ; *
Mr. William Dennis, at Thetford, in Norfolk ; two
others at St. Edmund's, in Suffolk, whose names were 1583.
Copping and Elias [Thacker.] ^ These two last men-
tioned were condemned by cruel Judge Popham,^
whose countenance and carriage was very rough and
severe toward them, with many sharp menaces. But
God gave them courage to bear it, and to make this
answer :

" My Lord, your face we fear not,
And for your threats we care not,
And to come to your read service, we dare not."

These two last named were put to death for dispersing
of books.

For Mr. Dennis, he was a godly man, and faithful
in his place; but what occasion was taken against him,
we know not, more than the common cause.

' According to Stow's Chronicle,
page 765, Henry Barrow and John
Greenwood were hung on the 6th
of April, 1594. John Penry was
executed May 29, 1593. Barrow
was a gentleman of Gray's Inn ;
Greenwood and Penry were clergy-
men. In 1592, Greenwood was
teacher of a church in London, of

Online LibraryAlexander YoungChronicles of the Pilgrim fathers of the colony of Plymouth, from 1602-1625 → online text (page 36 of 44)