Henry Martyn Dexter.

The England and Holland of the Pilgrims online

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All industries must have felt some impulse from this growth
and the least skilful Englishmen must have been able to take
advantage of the increased demand for labor. Possibly some of
the company found homes in houses in the new quarter.

There were only two weddings among them. One was that of
William Pontus and Wybra Hanson, the fii'st marriage of each.
He was a fustian weaver and lived on the premises of one Douver,
who had a great brewery on the present Haarlemmer-straat.
The name of Hanson was well known around Austerfield. It
was that of Bradford's mother, and Wybra may have been his
relative, although he is not recorded as present on this occasion.
Possibly she had emigi-ated under his care. The beti'othal was
on Nov. 13 and the witnesses were William Brewster and Ed-
ward Southworth, Roger Wilson, Susanna Fuller (sister of
Samuel), Jane White (Mrs. Robinson's sister) and Mary But-
ler. They were married on Dec. 4. The other, on Dec. 31, was
that of John Jennings and Elizabeth Pettinger, and neither had
been married before. He too was a fustian weaver, from some-
where near Colchester. In after years he is described as mer-
chant, stocking weaver and tobacco dealer. She and her sister,
Dorothy, came from " Moortel " in England. The betrothal was
on Dec. 17, in the presence of Edward Southworth, Roger
Wilson, Jane (Mrs. Robert) Peck and Anna (apparently Mrs.
Bernard) Ross.

Only a single death is recorded and there is uncertainty as to
that. On Nov. 27 there was buried in St. Peter's " a chihl of
Jonathan William's son, living on the church street." If we


knew that Jonathan Brewster had been married, the natural in-
terpretation of this entry woukl refer it to a death in his family,
which lived on that street ; and if the name were Jonathan
William's son Brewster, as it is on his admission to citizenship
in 1617, it would be clear that he is referred to. Jonathan was
not a Dutch name, and appears only once or twice during many
years in connection with Englishmen in Leyden, and with no
one else likely to have been referred to at this time. In view of
the common Dutch custom of designating a man merely as his
father's son, omitting the last name in each case, there seems no
doubt that Jonathan Brewster is meant ; although no record of
his marriage ever has appeared, and at this time he cannot have
been much over seventeen years old,^ which renders his having
been married long enough to have a child improbable, although
not impossible. On the other hand, he certainly buried his wife
on May 10, 1019.^ Pie may have had an early attachment in
England, and expediency and convenience may have led to mar-
riage, even at his early age. Such marriages were not unknown.
Dorothy ]\Iay was oidy sixteen when she became Mrs. William
Bradford. On the whole, therefore, it seems quite certain that
Jonathan Brewster had been married and that this was his child.
Six known members of the company became citizens in 1610.
Bernard Ross was admitted on Apr. 2, guaranteed by Roger
Wilson and Maliieu van der Mersche, the latter evidently Dutch.
Of course at first the English applicants for citizenship had to
rely to some extent upon the endorsement of Dutch acquain-
tances. Later they were able to testify in behalf of one another.
William Lisle was admitted on June 21, guaranteed by Nicho-
las Hawley and Roger Wilson : Abraham Gray on June 25,
guaranteed by Lisle and Wilson ; and John Turner on Se})t.
27, vouched for by Lisle and by Peter Boey, who had guaran-
teed Wilson in the ])revious December. It is unknown whether
Boey were a Dutchman or some Englishman, and perhaps a
Pilgrim, whose name was misunderstood. William Robertson
was admitted on Dec. 3, endorsed by Ross and Wilson ; and
Henry Wood on Dec. 10, endorsed by Gray and Wilson. Ross,
who lived in Amsterdam when he sent the cloth to Brewster in

1 See p. 505. - Reg. Ov. i: 73 vers.


June, 1609, bad removed to Leyden. Presumably he is the man
of tbat name, described as a leather merchant, who made a dv-
position in April, 1616. Lisle was from Yarmouth, but his
emplo}Tnent is not stated. Gray was from London, and was a
cobbler. Turner was a merchant. Robertson was a leather
dresser, and was thirty-seven. Wood was a draper, and became
one of the four or five purchasers of Robinson's house.

A note of one business transaction also exists. On Mar. 12

Thomas Blossom, from Cambridge, gave to his wiie Ann who

had inherited several houses with land iu Cambridge from her
mother's father by will — power of attorney to transfer them to
any persons to whom by English law they might be sold, and,
specially, to sell two houses in the parish "of St. Giles.
^ This must have been a busy year for Robinson, for, in addi-
tion to whatever secular employment he perhaps may have fol-
lowed for his support, in whole or in part, and to his ministerial
labors, he completed and had printed i his " A Ivstifieation of
Separation," a quarto of 480 pages. It was against Bernard's
" The Separatists Schisme," and also against his " Christian Ad-
vertisements and Counsels of Peace," published in 1608, and
already mentioned, which, although a little book, had attracted
considerable notice. In the latter, especially, Bernard dissuades
from BrowTiism because of its novelty, its schism, its abuse of
Scripture, its non-approval by the Reformed churches, God's
judgments against it, its ill success, etc. ; and alleges that it
condemns all former Christian profession, refuses to join with
imperfect men, wrests the Scriptures, etc. He also advances
eight pro})ositions against Brownism : that the English Church
is a true church ; that a particular church should not be ex-
pected to be free from false professors ; that popular govern-
ment is unwarrantable ; that " tell the church " means tell the
church governors ; tliat a man is not polluted by the sin of an-
other ; that the Establislied ministers are true ministers, while
the Separatists are not '^ lawfully made ; " that the regular

1 The book names no i)lace of issue, but as yet tlie press was more within reach
of the exiles in Amsrertl.im than in Levden ; and Fowler (Shield of Defence. S)
says that '' Mr. Th[orpe] hath had a hand in the printinjr of Mr. Eobin.-^oris book
against Mr. Bernard." Giles Thorpe was a deacon of Ainsworth's church, and a
printer who avowed responsibility for several Separatist volumes.


worslilp in England is not idolatrous ; and that " stinted and set
prayer " is lawful. Finally, it stigmatizes twelve more aUeged
"opinions of the Separators" ^ as " far-fetched conclusions, from
unsound premises."

Both Ainsworth and Smyth had answered it in volumes 2
largely devoted to other things. But Robinson felt that it needed
further criticism, and the more, probably, because some of the
English at Leyden and Amsterdam had been Bernard's parish-
ioners formerly. This labor also led Eobinson directly to defend
the reasonableness of his views. While he was printing this re-
ply, Bernard sent out a second volume 3 elaborating his positions ;
so that Kobinsou introduced into his own treatise some com-
ment upon this second book also.

He certainly did thorough work in this reply, answering in
detail Bernard's assaults upon Separatism, especially for^the
benefit of the common mind. The volume is one of the most
important from Robinson's pen. DoctrinaUy, for substance, he
frankly associates his church with that of Jolmson at Amster-

His tolerance is as conspicuous as it was unusual. For ex-
ample : * —

I am verily perswaded there are in many congregations [of the Eno -
Hsh Church] many that truely fear God : (and tlie Lord encrease thetr
number, and graces) and if tliey were separated from the rest into
visible communion, I should not doubt to account them such cogrega-
tions, as vnto which God had given his sacraments.

I doubt not but the truthes taught in Rome have been effectual! to
the saving of many.

A similar Christian appreciation breaks out like sunlight in his

characterization of liis o\vn church :

If ever I saw tlie beauty of Sion, & the glory of the LordfiUing his
tabernacle, it hath been in the manifestation of the divers graces of
God in the Church, in that heauenly harmony, and comely order,

1 Disswaswn.from the Way of the Separatists . . . commonly called Brownisme ;
better known as The Separatists Schisme, 100, lol.
= Cou>iterj>,„/son and Faralleles.

^Flaine Euidenres: The Church of England is Apostolicall ; the Separation Schis-
matirall, etc. lt)10, 4to.
* Justif of Sep. .319, 460, 212, 78, S4, 274, 140, 79.


wherein by the grace of God we are set and walk : wherein, if vour
eyes had but seen the brethrens sober, and modest carriage one toward
an other, their humble, and willing submission vnto their guides, in
the Lord, their tender compassion towards the weak, their fervent zeal
against scandalous otfenders, and their long suffering towards all, you
would (I am perswaded) chaunge your mind.

His style throughout is notable for its terse and pithy expres-
sions and the quaint homeliness of its interpretations and appli-
cations. Sometimes he indulges effectively in sarcasm, as in his
reply to Bernard's criticism of the Bro\vnists for their excom-
munications : —

Indeed no man can challendge Mr. B, & his church of Worksop for
any such heady and rash excommunications, they are very moderate
this way, and can beare in communion with them any graceles person
whomsoever til his dying day, and then commit ful charitably the body
of their deceased brother to the graue, with a devout prayer for his
joyfuU resurrection : so charitable are they both to the living and the

He " carries the vrar into Africa " skilfully by printing in
full a paper which Bernard, when almost a Nonconformist, had
given him containing in Bernard's own writing eight reasons to
prove the bishops antichristian ; and by the following home
thrust : —

Once you know Mr. B. you did separate from the rest [of your
perish] an hundred voluntary professors into covenant v,-it\\ the Lord,
sealed vp with the Lords supper, to forsake all knowne sinn. to hear
no wicked or dumb Ministers, and the like, which covenant long since
you have dissolved, not shaming to affirme you did it onely in policy
to keepe your people from Mr. Smyth.

He also uses the reductio ad ahsurdum effectively, thus : —

A man may go out of these countryes wher I now live, as many
do, and hyre a house in any parrish of the land [England] ; he is by
the right of his house, or ferm, a member of the parish Church, where
he dwels, yea though he have been nousled [nursed] vp all liis life
log in Popery, or Atheism, & though he were formerly neyther of any
Church, or religion. Yea though he should professe that he did not
look to be saved by Christ onely, and alone, but by his good mean-
ings, and well doings : yet if he will come, &, hear divine service he is
matter, true as steel for your Church : . . .


And what if the Lord should now rayse vp a company of faythfull
men and women in Barbary, or America, by the reading of the scrip-
tures, or by the wi'ytings, conferences, or sutferings of some godly
men, must tiiey not se2)arate themselves from the filthines of the hea-
then to the Lord ? . . . nor have any communion together for their
mutuall aedification, and comfort, till some vagrant Preist from Rome
or England be sent vnto them to begin theyr Church matters with his
service book ? . . . Nay if this were a true ground, that Church matters
might not be begun without officers, it were impossible that such a peo-
ple should ever eyther enioy officers, or become a Church, yea I may
safely ad, that ever there should be in the world after the \-niversal
visible apostacy of Antichrist, any true eyther Church, or officers.

His argument antagonizes Bernard's positions one by one and
reinforces ably the general doctriRal claims of the Separatists.
At this time he agreed with the other Separatist churches in all
main particulars, even disfavoring the hearing of the gospel,
however purely preached, from the pulpits of the Establishment.
Thus he says : —

Now for the demaund [made by Bernard, whether they would listen
to his sermons if he preached nothing but the true word of God] . . .
As it was vnlawfuU to communicate with Corah or with Vzziah though
they burnt true incense, or with leroboam's Preists though they offered
true sacrifices, so it is vnlawfuU to communicate with a devised ^ min-
istery, what truth soever is taught in it.

Not only was his first edition exliausted, but the book was
reprinted fourteen years after his death.

Tliere is some evidence that it was this year to which Brad-
ford refers in saying : - " We some of us knew Mr. Parker,'^
Doctor Ames, and ^Ir. Jacob in Holland, when they sojourned
for a time at Leyden." Henry Jacob certainly was in Leyden
in this year, as he dates a preface,* printed by a Leyden

' From the French diriser (to divide). A ministry which, throug'h its relation
to a patron -who holds it.s pift as a part of his property, is a " hireling' " ministry.

^ Dial. Youngs, Citrons. 4.10.

" Robert Parker, educated at Benet College, Cambridg'e, held the benefice of
Wilton, Wilts. Offendinij by writing: ^1 Scfiolasticall Discourse Against Symbolizing
trith Antichrist in Cerf monies : especialii/ in the Signe of the Crosse {W)l, fol), he
took refu<je in HuUaiid, wliere he became chaplain to the garrison at Doesborgh.
See p. 3G7. Ames was the famous Amesius.

* To The Divine Beginning and Institution of Christ's true Visible or Ministeriall
Church, etc., 12mo.


printer, » From Leyden. Decemb. 20, An° 1610." And Mat-
thias Nethenus, in the preface ^ to Ames's Latin works in 1C58,
says that Ames was driven from England for his Calvinism and
that certain English merchants sent him and Parker to Leyden
to write against the English hierarchy. The three men inust
have been there together. But Ames had small patience with
Separatism, and Parker presumably was making those researches
which increased the force of that Latin plea 2 for Presbyterian-
ism which, cut short perhaps one half by his death in 1614, was
printed at Frankfort in 1612. Jacob, too, being charged with
leanings toward Brownism in the book 3 which he then was pub-
lishing, denied the charge two years afterwards. Doubtless,
therefore, Robinson had to cultivate the grace of meekness in
order to enjoy intercourse ^vith these visitors. In the university
circle the chief event was the election of Conrad Vorstius, pro-
fessor and pastor at Steinfurt, in Jidy, as the successor of
Arminius, but months passed before his acceptance.

This year also was eventful among the English at Amsterdam.
Having formally uiiL-hurehed his old church and renounced his
former ministry, and having rebaptized himself and his people,
and so reorganized them into another church, Smyth soon ad-
mitted tliat their >' new-washed companie "' was " no true church."
This vacillating course speedily led to the division of his or-
ganization. About ten ^ members stood fii-m, l)ut the majority
who sided with Sm}i:h, probably not many more than t]iirty,-5
among whom Hugo Bromhead and Thomas Pigott were chief,
departed, and were excommunicated by the minority, headed hy
Hel^vys and Murton, for heresy .6 Thus thrust out of aU church

1 Gul Amesii SS. UeoL Doct. etc., i: yi-ix. Ako Diet. Nat. Biog. Arts. Ames
and V. Gary.

,n]o^^ ^''^'"''' Eccledastkae Christi, et Hierarchica npposita, Lihri Tres, etc.. ed.
lb..8, IV. Parker-s lack of sympathy with Kobin.son is shown in a citation in
C. Lawne 3 Froph. Schisme, OS-TU.

8 A Declaration and Plainer Opening of certain points, icith a sound confirmation
of some other, contained in a treatise intituled The Diuine Beginning, etc., 1012, .3.
Clyfton, Plea, vi.

^ The names of sixteen men and sixteen women are attached to a document in
the archives of the Mennonite CoUe-e. Amsterdam, which seems to have had a
place in these negotiations and is printed in The True Story of John Smylh. the
Se-Baptist, 36.

« A Declaration of the Faith of English People remaining at Amsterdam in IIol-


life, Smytli and his little band applied for admission to a ISIen-
nonite, or Waterlander,i church in Amsterdam. Objection was
made that they had baptized themselves unwarrantably, wliere-
upon, by their document - already mentioned, they confessed their
error and pleaded to be taken back into the true Church of
Christ. But Ilclwys, ^Nlurton, "William Pigott and Thomas Sea-
mer, representing those who had excommunicated them, pro-
tested ^ against their reception. Counsel was sought from a sister
church in Leeuwarden. The letters still exist. The Leeuwarden
church delayed and evaded, the matter dropped for the tunc, and
poor Smyth appears to have passed the brief remainder of his
life in an unchurched state ; * although his people renewed their
application successfidly three years after his death.^

The long threatened outbreak in the Ancient Church occurred
about December,*^ 1G09, and IGIO was hirid with it. It was
dvie to the incompatibility of two hostile polities at work in one
body. Johnson, and Elder Studley, with those whom they led,
were crowding their system constantly over towards its Presby-
terian side, exalting the powers of the eldership and ignoring the
rights of the brotherhood, imtil they reached the position that a
local church has no power excepting to elect elders." It cannot

land, IGll, 10. Another book -was printed in 1G12 with the same title. The first
•was by Helwys and his company ; the second by " the remainder of Mr. Smyth's
Company," and puljlished after his death. The only known printed copies of
either are in the York Sliiister Library, but manuscript copies are in the Dexter
Collection at Yale.

1 These perhaps might be styled Liberal-Quaker-Baptist. They baptized by
sprinkling- or affusion and dlsreg-arded doctrinal controversy. As Mennonites they
got their name from Menno Simons ; as Waterlanders from their location in Nortli

- This confirms the fact of the se-baptism — '^ quod incorperint se ipsos bapti-
zare" etc. Ori(j. Ma.

8 This correspondence is in the Amst. archives, and is printed by Evans (i : 209),
but with an error of a year in the date.

* Evans represents the application as successful at this time. But Schefler siiys
that Evans has confounded this one with a later application, made in IGl.J.

* Scheffer, Ms. letter.

* The secession of Aiiisworth and his friends seems to have been at about Christ-
mas, 1010, and he says (Animad. VM) that they had " a twelv moneths' dispute,"
■which throws its beginning' back to December. 1009.

■^ Without assigning chapter and verse, excepting when verbal citation is made,
this account is drawn from close comparison and harmonization of Clyf ton's Ad-
vtrttsement (-i-CS), Johnson's Treatise of the Mimstery (113-114) and Treatise ccn.


even ordain them. It cannot cast out an offending member or
depose an erring elder. All churcli power is in the eldership.'
The practical issue of this, of course, would be worse than gov-
ernment by an aristocracy, giving control perhaps to a triocracy.
As Ainsworth said : ^ —

Toucliing their hierarchie the Eldersliip they wilnot I think deny
but the greater number of voices among them must prevayl. Now that
being so, a Church having a Pastor, and a Teacher that are learned,
and 3. or 4. ruhng Elders, which are as unlearned as the other of the
people, taken of trades men and the like : these 3. or 4. Rulers (whose
power they have proportioned with the Princes of Israel) shal by
their number of voices cary matters [i. e., in the body of the elders],
though it be against Pastor, Teacher, and 500 brethren. Yea, these
[three or four ignorant men] may excommunicate or depose the Pas-
tor and Teacher, and cast out of the brethren : but none can excom-
municate them, or depose them joyntly from their offices. The utmost
that we can find these men to allow the Church in these exigents,
[exigencies], is, when they have doon al they can, to separate ^ from
them : and this power any man hath in the church of Rome.

Still further, Johnson and his adherents refused to heed the
thirty-eighth article of their Confession, which required churches
in difficulty to have the counsel and help one of another in all
needful affairs. Not venturing to deny the principle absolutely,
they objected whenever its employment was sought. Ainsworth,
Jean de la Cluse and others remained faithful to the mild Bar-
rowism of their original Articles of 1596. As to the crucial ques-
tion, Ainsworth succeeded better in reemphasizing than in ex-
plaining the popular side of their mixed polity. The most which
he could say was this : * —

We give not to the people goverment, as before I have shewed,
but a right and power to observ and doo al the commandements of
Christ, touching his prophetical preistly and kingly office, by the Elders
teaching, guiding and governing of them in the Lord.

We . . . distinguish the governvient, and thej^ower: acknowledging
government to be by the officers ; hxxt power in the whole body of the

cerning the ISth Matthew (2.3-30, 123-13S), and, especially, Ainsworth 's Animadver-
sion (passim) and Robinson and Brewster's letter therein (133-1C6).

1 Adv. 34. 2 Animad. 39. a Treat. 18 Matt. 25.

♦ Animad. 24, 10, 34, 39, 109, 132.


But his effective opposition to all endeavors to neutralize tlie
rights of tlie people in the practical administration of the church
showed that, had he lived when democracy was a conceded pos-
sibility, he probably would have been a democrat.

After contention had begun to blaze, Ainsworth's party made
three propositions. They offered to remain quietly in the An-
cient Church if by common consent no change should be made
in its working processes. But this was declined as leaving " the
ordinance of God touching the eldership to be trodeu under-
foot." They next proposed " a peaceable parting ; and to be
two distinct congregations," in brotherly fellowship. But this
was refused unless they would leave Amsterdam. The third pro-
posal was to seek counsel from the Leyden church. But this,
too, was rejected, partly as the Leyden church " was in the same
error," and partly because counsel could be had from the Re-
formed French or Dutch churches of Amsterdam — to which it
was a sufficient answer that they could not discuss the contro-
versy in English. Johnson's party at last said, however, that,
while they could not authorize the plan, or even approve it, if
the Leyden church were to come, they would " permitt " that.

" Some 30. of the brethren," Ainsworth apparently not being
among them, then wrote to the Leyden church, asking its help.
Kobinson and Brewster first replied to the whole church, de-
clining to interpose unless they were properly called and with
" best hope of good issue." Several letters passed, all ending in
the' stubborn "they woiddnot approve, but onely permit." Kob-
inson and Brewster then went, as individuals. Finally, on Ains-
worth's solicitation, they went representing their church and
" with some vehemency " reproved what was judged evil. The
Ancient Church had deposed Ainsworth and other Elders and
brethren, an action which the Leyden men induced them to

The Leyden church proposed a middle course, that offences
be dealt with first by the elders as church governors, and, this
failing, that then they be judged by the whole church. But this
was unacceptable. Johnson finaUy almost solved the difficulty
by proposing the free dismission of dissatisfied members to Ley-
den. His church agreed. Ainsworth and his friends " did never


desire, but for peace sake, consented." The Leyden chnrcli
agreed, and sent its officers to Amsterdam once more to ratify
the plan, and it was approved again by Johnson and his ad-
herents. But suddenly the latter, giving no reason, revoked
their repeated assent unless Ainsworth and his friends would
remove to Leyden. This they could not promise because, as they
plaintively said : " "We could not tel before we came thither
& tried, whether there woidd be meanes found for our living
there, or no."

It now was evident to the minority that all ordinary expedi-
ents were exhausted. Yet, they still exercised a noble patience,

Online LibraryHenry Martyn DexterThe England and Holland of the Pilgrims → online text (page 51 of 65)