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to remove any more ; and so when they removed, he

courts. It is an ungenerous insin-
uation of Bisliop Hall, at the end
of his Apology against Brovvnists,
*' Neither doubt we to say, that the
mastership of the hospital at Nor-
wich, or a lease from that city, (sued
for, with repulse,) might have pro-
cured that this separation from the
communion, government, and wor-
ship of the Church of England,
should not have been made by John

Baylie, that bitter inveigher
against the Brownists and Inde-
pendents, acknowledges that'' Rob-
inson was a man of excellent parts,
and the most learned, polished and
modest spirit that ever separated
from the Church of England ; that
the Apologies and Justifications he
wrote were very handsome ; that
by Dr. Ames and Mr. Parker he
was brought to a greater modera-
tion than he at first expressed ; that
he ruined the rigid separation,
was a principal overthrower of the
Brownists, and became the author
of Jndependenci/." As to this last
point, however, see Cotton's reply,
in note ' on page 442. The name,
however, as Mosheim suggests,

may have been derived from an
expression of Robinson's in his
Apology : " Coetum quemlibet par-
ticularera esse totam, integram et
perfectam ecclesiam ex suis parti-
bus constantem, immediate et mde-
pendenter quoad alias ecclesias, sub
ipso Christo."

As has already been seen, pp. 77
and 384, and will more fully appear
hereafter from his Letters, it was
Robinson's intention and most ear-
nest desire to come over and settle
with his flock at Plymouth ; but he
was prevented by the want of
means, the opposition of some of
.the merchant adventurers, and
finally by death, Avhich removed
him from the world March 1, 1625.
The honors paid to his memory at
his funeral are recorded in note '
on page 393. Hoornbeek says, in
the work quoted on page 42, " Post
obitum ejus, oborta in coetu con-
tentione et schismate super com-
munione cum Ecclesia Anglicana in
audilione verbi, D. Robinsoni vidua,
liberi, reliquique propinqui et amici
in communionem ecclesiae nostroe
recepti fuerunt." Prince says, in
his Annals, p. 238, " His son Isaac



CHAP, was dismissed to them there, and there remained until
— v^ he died.^ 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

came over to Plymouth Colony, liv-
ed to above ninety of years, a ven-
erable 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 drown-
ed at Barnstable in 1663. 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 ^ on page 40 there is a
list of the books published by Rob-
inson before the departure of the
Pilgrims for America. He after-
wards wrote the following works,
all of which, with the others, I
have had the privilege and pleasure
of consulting. 1 . " A Defence of
the Doctrme propounded by the
Synod at Dort, against John Mur-
ton and his Associates, with the
Refutation of their Answer to a
writing touching baptism. By
John Robinson. Printed in the
year 1624." 4to. pp. 203. 2. "A
Treatise of the lawfulness of hear-
ing of the ministers in the Church
of England; penned by that learn-
ed and reverend divine, John Ptob-
inson, late pastor to the English
church of God at Leyden. Printed
according to the copy that was

found in his study after his de-
cease ; and now published for the
common good. Together with a
letter written by the same author,
[Leyden, 5 April, 1624] and ap-
proved by his church, which fol-
loweth after this Treatise. Anno
1634." pp. 77, 16rao. 3. "Es-
says, or Observations, divine and
moral, collected out of Holy Scrip-
tures, ancient and modern writers,
both divine and human, as also out
of the great volume of men's man-
ners ; tending to the furtherance of
knowledge and virtue. By John
Robinson. The Second Edition.
London. Printed for /. Bellamie.
1638." pp. 556, 4to. In his Pre-
face he speaks of having " dili-
gently observed the great volume
of men's manners ; having had, in
the days of my pilgrimage, special
opportunityof conversing with per-
sons of divers nations, estates, and
dispositions, in great variety. This
kind of study and meditation hath
been unto me full sweet and de-
lightful, and that wherein I have
often refreshed my soul and spirit,
amidst many sad and sorrowful
thoughts, unto which God hath
called me."

' Of course Belknap is in an er-
ror, 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.

Y Y V' I

But before we end this matter, we desire you would '-

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 there-
with, we dare say. At Amsterdam, before their divi-
sion and breach, they were about three hundred com-
municants, and they had for their pastor and teacher
those two eminent men before named, and in our time
four grave men for ruling elders,^ 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-

' The difference between the pas-
tor, or teaching elder, and the ruling
elder, as it existed in the churches
of the Pilgrims, is thus described by
Prince, from their published writ-
ings. "1. Pastors, or teaching el-
ders— who have the power of over-
seeing, teaching, administering the
sacraments, and ruling too ; and
being chiefly to give themselves to
studying, teaching, and the spiritual
care of the flock, are therefore to be
maintained. 2. Mere ruling elders
— who are to help the pastors in
overseeing and ruling; that their
offices be not temporary, as among
the Dutch and French churches,
but continual ; and being also quali-
fied in some degree to teach, they
are to teach occasionally, through
necessity, or in their pastor's ab-
sence or illness ; but being not to
give themselves to study or teach-
ing, they have no need of mainte-
nance." It appears, from page 65,

that they " chose none for govern-
ing elders but such as were able to
teach." The office of ruling elder
also existed in the churches of Mas-
sachusetts Bay, at their first plant-
ing. Mr. Savage says, " It was
kept up hardly more than fifty years,
though in a few churches it contia-
ued to the middle of the last cen-
tury, much reduced, however, in
importance, and hardly distinguish-
able from that of deacon. The title
of elders was retained from the be-
ginning as a name for ministers."
The office of ruling elder is still
kept up in the First Church in Sa-
lem, the oldest church in Massa-
chusetts proper, the next after Ply-
mouth. For further particulars con-
cerning the functions and duties of
the ruling elder, see Robinson's
Apology, ch. iv. ; the Cambridge
Platform, ch, vii. ; Hutchinson's
Mass, i. 426 ; Prince's Annals, p,
177; Savage's Winthrop, i. 31,


CHAP, pfation. 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
w^eak, especially women, and, as there was need, call-
ed 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,* without any considerable dif-
ferences or any disturbance that grew thereby, but such
as was easily healed in love ; and so they continued un-
til with mutual consent they removed into New Eng-
land. 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

' See pages 34, 36, and 380.


one thing more. It is commonly said that those of the chap.


Separation hold none to be true churches but their own, -X-«l-
and condemn all the churches in the world besides ;
which lieth as a foul blot upon them, jea 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 Apologies^ and other writings ; and
we ourselves some of us know of much intercommu-
nion that divers have held with them reciprocally, not
only with the Dutch and French, but even with the
Scotch,^ 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 faith-
fully 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 wis-
dom 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.^

1 See Robinson's Apology, quot- => See pages 391—396.
ed in note " on page 38S. ^ Bradford continued this Dia-




CHAP, logue in two other parts; one of
XXVI. which I have had in my possession,
-■"^-'■—^ written with his own hand. Tlie
title is as follows : " A Dialogue,
or 3d Conference, hetweene some
yonge men borne in New-Eng-
land, and some ancient men which
came out of Holand and Old Eng-
land, concerning the Church and
the governmente therof." It is

longer than the first part which is
here printed, and relates chiefly to
the " controversyes amongst four
sorts of men ; The Papists, the
Episcopacy, the Presbyterians, and
the Independents, as they are call-
ed." Being a theological rather
than a historical work, I have not
deemed it suitable to be inserted in
this volume.







Now followeth that which was matter of jrreat sad- chap.

X X V I r
ness and mourning unto this Church. About the 16th -'

of April,^ in this year, died their reverend Elder,^ our 16 44.
dear and loving friend, Mr. William^ Brewster ; a i6.'
man that had done and suffered 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 wil-
derness, and done the Lord and them faithful service
in his place and calling ; and notwithstanding the many.

' From the records of Plymouth
Church, book i. folio 38, into which
it was copied by Secretary Morton,
from Governor Bradford's MS. His-
tory of Plymouth Colony.

* Morton, in his Memorial, p.
219, places Brewster's death on the
18th of April, 1643. "Concerning
whom," he adds, " I could say
much of mine own knowledge ; but
I shall content myself only to in-
sert the honorable testimony that
Mr. William Bradford, deceased,
hath left written with his own hand
cencerning him." He then pro-
ceeds to copy a considerable part of
the above account. Hutchinson,
in his Hist. Mass. ii. 460, inserts
about a page of it from Governor

Bradford's MS. History. There
can be no doubt that the whole
Memoir proceeded from the pen of
Bradford, and that Morton, in this
as in other cases, was a mere

^ Brewster was the ruling elder.
Eancroft, i. 306, errs in calling him
" the temidug elder." Burk, in his
Hist, of Virginia, i. 214, makes
Brewster the military as well as
the spiritual leader of the Pilgrims,
confounding him with Standish.

* Neal, in his Hist, of New Eng-
land, i. 85, errs in calling him
John; an error which is repeated
by the authors of the Mod. Univ.
Hist, xxxix. 271.


CHAP, troubles and sorrows he passed through, the Lord up-


— ^'^' held him to a great age. He was near fourscore 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 he could. His 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 M\en into a
sound sleep, without any pangs or gaspings, and so
sweetly departed this life unto a better.

I w^ould now demand of any w^hat he was the worse
for any former sufferings. What do 1 say ? The worse?
Nay, surely he was the better, and they now add to

2 Thess. 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 with his mighty an-

1 Peter gcls ;" aud " If ye be reproached for the name of Christ,
happy are ye ; for the spirit of God and of glory rest-
eth upon you." What though he wanted the riches
and pleasures of the world in his life, and pompous
proj. monuments at his funeral, yet the memorial of the just
shall be blessed when the name of the wicked shall rot.


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

After he had attained some learning, viz. the know-
ledge of the Latin tongue and some insight into the
Greek, and spent some small time at Cambridge, and
then being first seasoned with the seeds of grace and
virtue, he went to the Court, and served that reli-
gious 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 mat-
ters 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 158 5.
for other weighty affairs of State, so to receive posses-
sion of the cautionary towns f 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 An-

a 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 office 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 Wal-

and matters of state is such, as the ton's Lives, p. 179, (Major's ed.)

Queen herself confesseth in her Judge Davis justly remarks that

kingdom she hath not such anoth- " there seems to have been a simi-

er; his virtue, religion, and worth larity of character between Mr. ''

in all degrees are of the world taken Brewster and his patron." Memo-

to be so great, as no man in his rial, p. 221.

gopd fortune hath had more gen- ' In 1584, when Elizabeth cnter-

eral love than this gentleman in ed into a league with the United

his disgrace ;" and Lord Burleigh, Provinces, and advanced money to

in a petition to Queen Elizabeth, enable them to maintain their in-

February 13, 1586, writes, "I know dependence of Spain, her rival in



CHAP, thereof the keys of Flushing being delivered to him in
^^-^ her Majesty's name, he kept them some time, and com-
mitted them to his servant, who kept them under his
pillow on which he slept, the first night. And, at his
return, the States honored him with a gold chain, and
his master committed it to him, and commanded him
to wear it when they arrived in England, as they rode
through the country, until they came to the Court.
He afterwards remained with him until his troubles,
1587. when he was put from his place about the death of the
Queen of Scots, and some good time after, doing him
many offices of service in the time of his troubles.^
Afterwards he went and lived in the country, in good

power and ambition, she very pru-
dently got consigned into her hands
the three important fortresses of
Flushing, the Brille, and Ramme-
kins, as pledges for the reimburse-
ment of the money which she ad-
vanced in defence of their liberties.
They were accordingly called " the
cautionary towns." They were
surrendered by James in 1616.
See Sir Dudley Carleton's Letters,
pp. 27 — 35.

> " When Mary, Queen of Scots,
had been tried and condemned, and
the Parliament of England had pe-
titioned their sovereign for her ex-
ecution, Elizabeth privately or-
dered Davison to draw a death-
warrant, which she signed, and
sent him with it to the Chancellor
to have the great seal annexed.
Having performed his duty, she pre-
tended to blame him for his preci-
pitancy. Davison acquainted the
Council with the whole transac-
tion ; they knew the Queen's real
sentiments, and persuaded him to
send the warrant to the Earls of
Kent and Shrewsbury, promising
to justify his conduct, and take the
blame on themselves. These Earls
attended the execution of Mary ;

but when Elizabeth heard of it,
she affected great indignation,
threw all the blame on the inno-
cent Secretary, and committed him
to the Tower, where he became the
subject of raillery from those very
counsellors who had promised to
countenance and protect him. He
was tried in the Star Chamber,
and fined £10,000, which being
rigorously levied upon him, re-
duced him to poverty." Belknap's
Am. Biog. ii. 253. Camden says,
" Thus was Davison, a man of
good ingenuity, but not well skill-
ed in court arts, brought upon the
court stage of purpose (as most
men thought) to act for a time this
part in the tragedy ; and soon after,
the part being acted, and his stage
attire laid aside, as if he had failed
in the last act, he was thrust down
from the stage, and, not without
the pity of many, shut up in pri-
son." For a particular account of
Davison, and a full vindication of
his conduct, see Kippis's Biog.
Brit. v. 4 — 15. See also Camden's
Hist, of Queen Elizabeth, pp- 389 —
393; Supplement to the Cabala,
pp. 22 — 25; Strype's Annals, iii.
370—376, 447.


esteem amongst his friends and the good gentlemen of chap.
those parts, especially the godly and religious. ^^-v^'

He did much good in the country where he lived, in
promoting and furthering religion ; and not only by his
practice and example, and provoking and encouraging
of others, but by procuring of good preachers to all
places thereabouts, and drawing on of others to assist
and help to forward in such a work ; he himself most
commonly deepest in the charge, and sometimes above
his ability. And in this state he continued many
years, doing the best good he could, and walking ac- '^
cording to the light he saw, until the Lord revealed )
further unto him. And in the end, by the tyranny of
the bishops against godly preachers and people, in
silencing the one and persecuting the other, he and
many more of those times began to look further into
particulars, and to see into the unlawfulness of their
callings, and the burden of many anti-christian corrup-
tions, which both he and they endeavoured to cast off,
as they also did, as in the beginning of this treatise is
to be seen.*

• After they were joined together into communion, he IG02.
was a special stay and help to them. They ordinarily
met at his house on the Lord's day, which was a manor
of the bishop's, and with great love he entertained
them when they came, making provision for them to
his great charge ; and continued so to do whilst they
could stay in England. And when they were to re-
move out of the country, he was one of the first in all
adventures, and forwardest in any. He was the chief
of those that were taken at Boston, in Lincolnshire, 1607,
and suffered the greatest loss ; and [one] of the seven

' See page 20.


CHAP, that were kept longest in prison, and after bound over

xxvn. , . , __r

-^>'— to the assizes.

16 08. After he came into Holland, he suffered much hard-
ship after he had spent the most of his means, having
a great charge and many children ; and, in regard of
his former breeding and course of life,^ not so fit for
many employments as others were, especially such as
were toilsome and laborious. Yet he ever bore his
condition with much cheerfulness and contentation.
Towards the latter part of those twelve years spent in
Holland, his outward condition was mended, and he
lived well and plentifully ; for he fell into a way, by
reason he had the Latin tongue, to teach many stu-
dents who had a desire to learn the English tongue, to
teach them English, and by his method they quickly
attained it with great facility ; for he drew rules to
learn it by, after the Latin manner ; and many gentle-
men, both Danes and Germans, resorted to him, as
they had time from other studies, some of them being
great men's sons. He also had means to set up print-
ing,^ by the help of some friends, and so had employ-
ment enough ; and by reason of many books which
would not be allowed to be printed in England,^ they
might have had more than they could do.

' See pages 26 and 27. mum Brewsterum, in vico Chorali.

^ The words " of life " I restore 1617." 8vo. pp. 1513. A copy

from Bradford, in Hutchinson, ii. of this work is now in the posses-

460. sion of the Pastor of the First

^ Among the books printed by Church in Plymouth, having been

Online LibraryAlexander YoungChronicles of the Pilgrim fathers of the colony of Plymouth, from 1602-1625 → online text (page 39 of 44)