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* Cotton Mather, in the Magna-
lia, i. 101, 102, records this and the
previous attempt to escape from
England; but he perversely trans-
poses their chronological order ; the
effect of which is to make it appear
that Bradford was imprisoned in
Boston after he had escaped to
Holland. He did not derive his in-
formation from Bradford's original
manuscript, but from this copy of
it in the records of Plymouth
church, which he cursorily exam-
ined when on his visits to his uncle,
John Cotton, the minister of that

Mather did not know how to use
his valuable materials, and took no
pains to ascertain his facts or verify
his statements. One instance of
hisutter disregard of accuracy, even
when it could be easily attained,
will suffice. In his Life of his
father. Increase Mather, he states,
p. 24, that he married the oiih/
daughter of John Cotton ; whilst in
the Magnalia, i. 260, he asserts that
Cotton had three daughters, two of
whom were married. One would
have thought that he might have
taken the trouble to find the exact
truth about such a simple fact as
this, relating to his own mother.
And yet Cotton Mather is univer-
sally cited by Europeans, as well
as by our own countrymen, who

undertake to write our history, not
only as an authority, but as the
highest authority. This has been
the case from Neal and Pvobertson
downwards. DeTocqueville, whose
selection of authorities is in all
other respects singularly judicious,
puts the Magnalia at the head,
calling it " the most valuable and
important document on the history
of New England ; " and Grahanie,
whose excellent History of the
United Slates evinces great dis-
crimination, calls it " the most con-
siderable of the early historical
works, and the most interesting
performance that the literature of
New England has ever produced.
The biographical portions, in par-
ticular," he adds, " possess the
highest excellence, and are supe-
rior in dignity and interest to the
compositions of Plutarch." It is
quite time that it was generally
understood that Cotton Mather is
not to be relied upon as an authority
for any fact, unsupported by other
evidence. Mr. Savage, the learned
editor of Winthrop's Journal, states
the simple truth when he says, that
" Cotton Mather has published more
errors of carelessness than any other
writer on the history of New Eng-
land." De Tocqueville, p. 424;
Grahame, i. 415 ; Savage's Win-
throp, ii. 24.


of these poor women in this distress ; what weeping chap.
and crying on every side ; some for their husbands that — v-^
were carried away in the ship, as it was before related ; 16 08.
others not knowing what should become of them and
their little ones ; others melted in tears, seeing their
poor little ones hanging about them, crying for fear and
quaking with cold. Being thus apprehended, they
were hurried from one place to another, and from one
justice to another, until, in the end, they knew not
what to do with them. For to imprison so many
women and innocent children for no other cause, many
of them, but that they would ^ go with their husbands,
seemed to be unreasonable, and all would cry out of
them ; and to send them home again was as difficult,
for they alleged (as the truth was) they had no homes
to go to, for they had sold or otherwise disposed of
their houses aud livings. To be short, after they had
been thus turmoiled a good while, and conveyed from
one constable to another, they were glad to be rid of
them in the end upon any terms, for all were wearied
and tired with them ; though, in the mean time, the
poor souls endured misery enough ; and thus in the
end necessity forced a way for them.

But that 1 be not tedious in these things, I wall omit
the rest, although I might relate other notable passages
and troubles which they endured and underwent in
these their wanderings and travels, both at land and
sea.^ But I haste to other things. Yet I may not

' I have here substituted ivould, the worthy Governor did not see

which Hutchinson gives as the fit to preserve the particulars of

reading of Bradford's MS for m!<si;, these perils and sufferings of his

which is in Morton's copy- There brethren. Could he have foreseen

'can be no doubt as to which is the the deep interest which, two hun-

true reading. dred years afterwards, would be

It is much to be regretted that felt in every thing relating to these


CHAP, omit the fruit that came hereby. For by these so
^^v^^ public troubles in so many eminent places ^ their cause
160 8. became famous, and occasioned many to look into the
same ; and their godly carriage and christian behaviour
was such as left a deep impression in the minds of
many. And though some few shrunk at those first
conflicts and sharp beginnings, (as it was no marvel,)
yet many more came on with fresh courage, and greatly
animated others ; and in the end, notwithstanding all
these storms of opposition, they all got over at length,
some at one time and some at another, and met to-
gether again, according to their desires, with no small

poorexiles, he would not have failed know ahout their trials and perse-

to record the minutest occurrences cutions. They were not aware that

in their history. But these humble they were to be the germs of a great

and modest men did not suppose empire,

that posterity would be solicitous to * Boston, Hull, and Grimsby.



Being now come into the Low Countries, thev saw chap.

many goodly and fortified cities, strongly walled, and — v-^.

guarded with troops of armed men. Also they heard 1^08.
a strange and uncouth language, and beheld the differ-
ent manners and customs of the people, with their
strange fashions and attires ; all so far differing from
that of their plain country villages, wherein they were
bred and born and had so long lived, as it seemed
they were come into a new world. But those were
not the things they much looked on, or long took up
their thoughts ; for they had other work in hand, and
another kind of war to wage and maintain. For though
they saw fair and beautiful cities, flowing with abun-
dance of all sorts of wealth and riches, yet it was not
long before they saw the grim and griseled ' face of
poverty coming on them like an armed man, with
whom they must buckle and encounter, and from
whom they could not fly. But they were armed with
faith and patience against him and all his encounters ;

* Griseled, for grisly — frightful, hideous.


CHAP, and though thej were sometimes foiled, jet by God's
— v-^ assistance they prevailed and got the victory.
1608. Now when Mr. Robinson, Mr. Brewster, and other
principal members were come over, (for they were of
the last, and stayed to help the weakest over before
them,) such things were thought on as were necessary
for their settling and best ordering of the church affairs.
And when they had lived at Amsterdam about a year,
Mr. Robinson, their pastor, and some others of best
discerning, seeing how Mr. John Smith and his com-
pany was already fallen into contention with the church
that was there before them, and no means they could
use would do any good to cure the same ; and also
that the flames of contention were like to break out in
that ancient church itself, (as afterwards lamentably
came to pass) ; which things they prudently foreseeing,
thought it was best to remove before they were any
way engaged with the same ; ^ though they well knew
it would be much to the prejudice of their outward

' Neal, Hist, of N. England, i. pears from page 22, only a short
76, falls into an error when he time before Robinson. The con-
speaks of " the flames of conten- tention was not among the mem-
tion having broken out in Mr. hers of Smith's congregation, but
Smith's church." Belknap, Amer. between his church and " the church
Biog. ii. 157, follows it when he that was there before them," " that
says, " these people (Smith and his ancient church," namely Johnson's,
congregation) fell into controversy, mentioned in the note on page 24.
and were soon scattered ; " and Baylie, in his Dissuasive, p. 16,
Francis Baylies, Memoir of Ply- Hornius, Hist. Eccles. p. 232, and
mouth, i. 11, repeats it when he Neal, Hist. Puritans, i. 437, err in
says, " some dissensions happening saying that Smith set up his church
amongst them, (Smith's people) the at Leyden; whereas it was to avoid
church was dissolved." This error him and his company that Robinson
arises from their not being aware removed to that city. Cotton, in
of, or not attending to, the fact of his Way of Cong. Churches, p. 7,
the existence of another congrega- says, " I understand by such as
tion of Separatists at Amsterdam, lived in those parts at that time,
which had been established many Smith lived at Amsterdam, and
years before Smith settled there ; there died, and at Leyden in Hol-
yvho went over to Holland, as ap- land he never came."


estate, both at present and, in likelihood, in the future ; chap.
as indeed it proved to be.

For these and some other reasons they removed to 16 09.
Leyden,^ a fair and beautiful city, and of a sweet situ-
ation, but made more famous by the university where-
with it is adorned, in which of late it had been by so
many learned men ; ^ but wanting that traffic by sea
which Amsterdam enjoyed, it was not so beneficial for
their outward means of living and estates. But being
now here pitched, they fell to such trades and employ-
ments^ as they best could, valuing peace and their
spiritual comfort above any other riches whatsoever ;
and at length they came to raise a competent and com-
fortable living, and with hard and continual labor.
Being thus settled, after many difficulties, they con-
tinued many years in a comfortable condition, enjoying
much sweet and delightful society and spiritual comfort
together, in the ways of God, under the able ministry

^ " By several passages in Gov. sius, and Booerhave. See Grotius,

Bradford's manuscript it seems as Annals, p. 266 ; Brandt, i. 312.
if they began to remove to Leyden ^ Cotton Mather, in his Life of

at the end of 1608." Prince, p. Gov. Bradford, in the Magnalia, i.

120. The distance from Amster- 102, speaks of " the difficulties to

dam to Leyden is about 38 miles. which Bradford, when in Holland,

* The university of Leyden was stooped in learning and serving of
established in 1575, the year after a Frenchman at the working of
the memorable siege of that place, silks;" and Belknap, in his Amer.
The Prince of Orange, wishing to Biog. ii. 218, says that Bradford,
reward the citizens for their con- " being under age, put himself as
stancy and valor, gave them the an apprentice to a French Protest-
choice of two privileges — either ant, who taught him the art of silk-
an exemption from taxes, or a uni- dying." Neither of them, how-
versity ; they chose the latter. It ever, refers to any authority for
has been at times one of the most their statements. Brewster be-
celebrated in Europe; and from its came a printer, as will be seen
reputation the city itself was called hereafter in Bradford's memoir of
the Athens of the West, and the him. Many of the first colonists
North Star of Holland. Among at Plymouth were weavers, from
its distinguished professors and Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire,
'scholars were Arminius, Episco- and brought over their looms with
plus, Grotius, Lipsius, Junius, Vos- them. See Mass. Hist. Coll. xiii.
sius, Descartes, Scaliger, Salma- 171.


CHAP, and prudent government of Mr. John Robinson and
— — Mr. William Brewster, who was an assistant unto him
1609 in the place of an elder, unto which he was now called
1617. and chosen by the church ; so as they grew in knowl-
edge and other gifts and graces of the spirit of God ;
and lived together in peace, and love, and holiness.
y And many came unto them from divers parts of Eng-
\ land, so as they grew a great congregation.^ And if
at any time any differences did arise or offences broke
out, (as it cannot be but that sometimes there will,
even amongst the best of men), they were ever so met
with and nipped in the head betimes, or otherwise so
well composed, as still love, peace, and communion
was continued, or else the church purged of those that
were incurable and incorrigible, when, after much pa-
tience used, no other means would serve ; which seldom
comes to pass.

Yea, such w^as the mutual love and reciprocal respect
that this worthy man had to his flock, and his flock to
him, that it might be said of them, as it was once said ^
of that famous emperor, Marcus Aurelius, and the people
of Rome, that it was hard to judge whether he delight-
ed more in having such a people, or they in having

' II is impossible to ascertain 120 set sail from England in the
the exact number of Robinson's Mayflowerand Speedwell. Oflhese
congregation ; yet we may approxi- 101 arrived at Plymouth in the May-
mate to it. Gov. Bradford tells us, flower in 1620 ; 36 came in the For-
in his Dialogue, that in Johnson's tune, in 1631 ; 60 in the Ann, in
church, " at Amsterdam, there were 1623 ; 35, with their families, in the
about three hundred communicants; Mayflower, in 1629; and 60 in
and for the church of Leyden, they 1630 ; — making in all more than
were sometimes not much fewer in 300, including the " families." We
number." Edward Winslowsays, in have the names of those who came
his Brief Narrative, that " the dif- in the first three ships ; and also a
ference of number was not great " list of the persons in the Colony in
between those who remained at May, 1627.

Leyden and those who embarked * Golden Book, &c. — Morton's

for America. Now we know that Note.


such a pastor. His love was ffreat towards them, and chap.

. Ill

his care was always bent for their best good, both for — v - -

soul and body. For, besides his singular abilities in 1^09
divine things, wherein he excelled, he was able also to 1 6 1 7,
give direction in civil affairs,' and to foresee dangers
and inconveniences ; by which means he was very
helpful to their outward estates ; and so was every
way as a common father unto them. And none did
more offend him than those that were close and cleav-
ing to themselves, and retired from the common good ;
as also such as would be stiff and rigid in matters of
outward order, and inveigh against the evils of others,
and yet be remiss in themselves, and not so careful to
express a virtuous conversation. They, in like manner,
had ever a reverent regard unto him, and had him in
precious estimation, as his worth and wisdom did de-
serve ; and although they esteemed him highly whilst
he lived and labored amongst them, yet much more
after his death,^ when they came to feel the want of
his help, and saw, by woful experience, what a treasure
they had lost, to the grief of their hearts and wounding
of their souls ; yea, such a loss as they saw could not

' It has been the practice of of Mayhew, Chauncy, and Cooper,
the Independent or Congregational before and during the Revolution,
clergy, both in Old and New Eng- will never be forgotten. The Con-
land, from the earliest time?, to gregational clergy were found, at
take an interest and part in public that time, almost to a man, on the
affair;. The prominent and efficient side of their country's independ-
agency which they exercised in the ence ; and they have ever been the
infancy of our colonial settlements earnest and consistent advocates of
is well known ; Cotton, Hooker, and " liberty with order." See Hutch-
Davenport shared at least an equal inson's Mass. i. 34, 419; Trum-
powerwith Wintnrop, Haynes, and bull's Connecticut, i. 91,99; Bacon's
Eaton in moulding the civil polity and Kingsley's Hist. Discourses at
of Massachusetts and Connecticut. New Haven ; Tudor's Life of Otis,
^ The services of Increase Mather in pp. 140-155.
obtaining the second charter of ^ Mr. Robinson died at Leyden,
Massachusetts are recorded in her March 1st, 1625. He was about
history ; and the patriotic exertions 50 years old. Prince, p. 237,


CHAP, be repaired ; for it was hard for them to find such
— -^' another leader and feeder in all respects, as the Tabo-
160 9 rites to find another Ziska.^ And although thej did
1617, not call themselves orphans, as the other did, after his
death, jet they had cause as much to lament, in another
regard, their present condition and after usage.

But to return. I know not but it may be spoken to
the honor of God, and without prejudice to any, that
such was the humble zeal and fervent love of this
people (whilst they thus lived together) towards God
. and his ways, and the single-heartedness and sincere
j affection one towards another, that they came as near
f the primitive pattern of the first churches as any other
5 church of these latter times have done, according to
their rank and quality. But seeing it is not my pur-
pose to treat of the several passages that befell this
people whilst they thus lived in the Low Countries,
(which might worthily require a large treatise of itself,)
but to manifest something of their beginning and after
progress in New England, which I principally scope
and aim at ; yet, because some of their adversaries did,
upon the rumor of their removal, cast out slanders
against them, as if that State had been weary of them,
and had rather driven them out, (as the heathen histo-

* The burning of John Huss and sion to the Mount of Transfigura-

Jerome of Prague by order of the tion, on which the Apostle Peter

Council of Constance, in 1415 and wished to build tabernacles. Here

1416, caused great indignation and they founded a city, to which also

excitement in Bohemia, their native they gave the name of Tabor, and

country, which led to an open in- from it were themselves called

surrection. The insurgents took Taborites. After the death of Ziska

up arms, and under the command in 1424, his followers were incon-

of John Ziska, retired to a moun- solable, and considering themselves

tain ten miles from Prague, to deprived of a parent and protector,

which they gave the name of called themselves Orphans. See

Mount Tabor, from the tent which Gieseler's Eccles. Hist. iii. 359, and

they erected there for the celebra- Encyc. Amer. articles Ziska and

tion of the communion, and in allu- Huss.


ries did feign of Moses and the Israelites when they chap.

. . . ni.

went out of Egypt,) ^ than it was their own free choice — '^'

and motion, I will therefore mention a particular or

two to show the contrary, and that good acceptation

they had in the place.

And first, although it was low with many of them,
yet their word would be taken amongst the Dutch
when they wanted money, because they had found by
experience how careful they were to keep their word,^
and saw them so painful and diligent in their callings,
that they strove to get their custom, and to employ
them above others in their work, for their honesty and

Again ; the magistrates of the city, about the time
of their coming away, or a little before, in the public 1619.
place of justice, gave this commendable testimony of
them, in reproof of the Walloons,^ who were of the
French church in the city. " These English," said *— '
they, " have lived amongst us now this twelve years, \
and yet we never had any suit or accusation come

' It was a vulgar slander against deep despair, Moses, one of their

the Jews, that they were expelled number," &:c. Josephus vindicates

from Egypt on account of their his countrymen from the same

having the leprosy. Tacitus says charge, as alleged by Manetho,

" A pestilential disease, disfiguring Chseremon, and Lysimachus. See

the race of men, and making the Tacitus, Hist. lib. v. 3, with the

body an object of loathsome de- comments of Brotier and Oberlin,

formity, spread all over Egypt, and Josephus against Apion, lib. i.

Bocchoris, at that time the reigning 26-35.

monarch, consulted the oracle of * A great honor to the Gospel. —

Jupiter Hammon, and received for Morion's Note.

answer, that the kingdom must be ^ The Walloons are the inhabi-

purified, by exterminating the in- tants of the southern part of Bel-

fected multitude, as a race of men gium, bordering on France. Their

detested by the gods. After dili- language is a dialect differing from

gent search, the wretched sufferers the French and German, as well

were collected together, and in a as the Flemish, and is said to re-

'wild and barren desert abandoned semble the old French of the thir-

to their misery. In that distress, teenth century. See Grattan's

while the vulgar herd was sunk in Hist, of the Netherlands, p. 1.



CHAP, against any of * them. But your strifes and quarrels

— v-i- are continual," &c.

1612. In these times, also, were the great troubles raised
by the Arminians ; ^ who, as they greatly molested the
whole State, so this city in particular, in which was the
chief university ; so as there were daily and hot disputes
in the schools thereabouts. And as the students and
other learned were divided in their opinions herein,
so were the two professors or divinity readers them-
selves, the one daily teaching for it, and the other
against it ; which grew to that pass, that few of the
disciples of the one would hear the other teach. But
Mr. Robinson, although he taught thrice a week him-
self, and wrote sundry books,^ besides, his manifold
pains otherwise, yet he went constantly to hear their

* The words any of are inserted
from Hutchinson, ii. 454. Morton
himself has it so in the Memorial,
p. 21.

^ The fullest and best account of
Arminianism, " that grand choke-
weed of true Christianity," as Cot-
ton Mather spitefully calls it,
(Magnalia, i. 46), is contained in
Brandt's History of the Reforma-
tion in the Low Countries. — James
Arminius, (Hermann), born at
Oudewater, in fcsouth Holland, in
1560, after having been fifteen years
a minister at Amsterdam, was
chosen professor of divinity at Ley-
den in 1603, and died Oct. 9, 1609,
in his 49th year. The best Life of
him is by Brandt. See also his
Life by Nichols; Brandt's Hist.
Ref ii. 25-63; and Bayle, Diet.
Hist, et Crit.

* The following are the titles of
the books which Robinson pub-
lished after his arrival in Holland,
and before the embarkation of the
Pilgrims for America. 1. A Justi-
fication of Separation from the
Church of England ; against Mr.

Richard Bernard his invective, inti-
tuled The Separatists' Scheme.
By John Robinson. 1610. 2. Of
Religious Communion, private and
public. Wifh the silencing of the
clamors raised by Mr. Thomas
Helwisse against our retaining the
baptism received in England, and
admislering of baptism unto in-
fants. As also a survey of the
confession of faiih published in
certain Conclusions by the remain-
ders of Mr. Smith's company. By
John Robinson. 1614. 3. Apolo-
gia Justa et Necessaria quorundara
Christianorum, seque contumelios6
ac communiter dictorum Brownis-
tarum, sive Barrowistarum. Per
Johannem Robinsonum, Anslo-
Leidensem, suo et ecclesise nomine,
cui prffifigitur. 1619. This work
was translated into English, and
printed in 1644. The place where
these books were printed is not
inentioncdon the title-pageof either
of them. It probably was Leyden,
and Elder Brewster may have been
the printer.


readings, and heard as well one as the other. By chap.

which means he was so well grounded in the contro- — v-^

versy, and saw the force of all their arguments, and
knew the shifts of the adversary ; and being himself
very able, none was fitter to buckle with them than
himself, as appeared by sundry disputes ; so as he
began to be terrible to the Arminians ; which made *
Episcopius,' the Arminian professor, to put forth his
best strength, and set out sundry theses, which by 1 613.
public dispute he would defend against all men. Now
Polyander,^ the other professor, and the chief preach-
ers of the city, desired Mr. Robinson to dispute against
him. But he was loth, being a stranger. Yet the
other did importune him, and told him that such was
the ability and nimbleness of wit of the adversary, that
the. truth would suffer if he did not help them ; so as he

Online LibraryAlexander YoungChronicles of the Pilgrim fathers of the colony of Plymouth, from 1602-1625 → online text (page 4 of 44)