« AnteriorContinuar »
the destruction of bis people. The come to plead the cause of his people, wicked is driven away in his wicked-take heed that you be not crushed ness; but the righteous hath hope in beneath his stroke. Let none lift up his death. The Lord loveth his people. bimself against Christ and his people, He preserveth his saints. He will ex-for he has said of such a man, that it alt them to dwell at his right hand. were better for him, that a mill-stone But the ungodly are like the chaff were hanged about his neck, and that which the wind driveth away. he were drowned in the depth of the
In view of the two characters dis- sea. He that toucheth them toucheth played in this book, and the different the apple of his eye. • Be wise now ends to which they came, suffer me therefore, 0 ye kings: be instructed, to close these reflections by an addressye judges of the earth;" and all ye, to both characters. First, I would ad- who have set yourselves to oppose the dress them, whose hearts are not cause of truth and godliness. You with God's people. This is the case inust speedily give up your opposition, with all who have not known the change your side, and choose the grace of God in truth. All who do not Lord's people for your people, and love our Lord Jesus Christ in sinceri- their God for your God. This must ty, must be ranked in the opposition. not be done feignedly, but with all the The hearts of all such, even if their un
heart and with all the soul. Your derstanding and conscience are enlight opportunity to change your side, obened, take side with Haman, the Jews'tain the King's pardon, and be enrolenemy. You do not sincerely pray| led among his friends, is but short; for the peace of Jerusalem; you do and is fast drawing to a close. If y
you not desire that she should prosper. do not intend to run the venture of You do not make your happiness at meeting the king of Israel in the other all to consist in the advancement of the world, in an unreconciled state, defer kingdom of truth and holiness. But no longer to fall at his feet and inyou do in heart hate the truth contain-plore his mercy. Let the wicked for ed in the bible. You hate the true sake his way, and the unrighteous man God, and his well beloved son Jesus his thoughts; and let him return unto Christ. You have a rooted hatred of the Lord, and he will have mercy upon his sanctified ones, whether you know him, and io our God for he will aburit or not. Neither is it their want of dantly pardon. conformity to their Divine Master, Secondly, I would address a word which excites your hatred; but it is to them who are Jews inwardly, whose because he has chosen them out of the circumcision is of the heart, in the world, and made them resemble him-spirit; whose praise is not of men, self. You may, like Haman, pretend but of God. The foundation of God that you hate them because they obey standeth sure having this seal, The not the king's laws, or because of Lord knoweth them that are his. The some other bad thing about them; but view which we have taken of one of the truth is, you hate the children of the books of the sacred canon, is calcuGod, because your own works are evilllated to administer much consolation and theirs are righteous. But what to you. The cause, which above all will you do in this contest? Be en- others, you love, is built upon a Rock. treated to remember Haman--did he You have seen how the gates of hell prosper? If he had had none to con attempted, but could not prevail. tend with but the poor captive Jews, Like Esther and Mordecai, and other though it had been the whole nation, pious Jews of the captivity, cast all he would probably have gained his il your care on the Lord by veníursome point: But he had to contend with believing; so shall ye be established. their God, the Lord of hosts, a Man of Other Hamans may arise ; (for hus war. When this Mighty One shall again man nature is not essentially altered ;) but fear them not; they cannot hurt his sphere of action was less extensive you, or the cause of God. They may than that of most of the heroes of hisbe permitted to shed the blood of|tory, we discover, no less clearly, the some of the saints; if so, God will special operations of Divine Provimake their blood the seed of the dence, in providing those peculiar church, as he has done in days past. qualifications which were necessary to Ere long the wicked shall be destroy the discharge of the important duties ed from off the the face of the earth. which he was called to perform. And This will be effected, either by renew- as every mind enlightened with revealing grace or removing them out of the ed truth, will complete all human charway. The saints of the Most High are acters as acting in connection with the to spread over the face of the whole interests of the church of God, many earth. Let the present generation of of the fathers of New-England will be them that seek the face of theGod of Ja- considered as occupying more importcob be excited to be much engaged to ant places, than many of the long-laobtain deliverance and enlargement for bored subjects of historic eulogy. The the church. Are you not come to the conquerors of the world have aided the kingdom for such a time as this? The interests of the Redeemer's kingdom by night is far spent, the day is at hand.destroying its enemies, but its humble, Is it not, in an eminent sense, the work faithful friends have ever stood as pilof Zion, that now is, to travail to bringlars in the temple of God. forth the Millennium ? Let all the dark Mr. Bradford may be said to have things of our day, bring us near unto been the most eminent instrument in the mercy seat, in imitation of the pi- the providence of God, of establishing ous Jews in the days of Ahasuerus. Ye and preserving the first colony of Newthat make mention of the Lord, keep England, and the first church of the not silence, and give him no rest until United States. He was a native of he establish and make Jerusalent a Yorkshire in England, born in the praise in the earlh. SYLVANUS. year 1588. In that part of England,
the people were, at that time, exceed
ingly destitute of religious instruction, AN HISTORICAL VIEW OF THE FIRST Hand the scriptures were scarcely known PLANTERS OF NEW ENGLAND. among them. Just emerging from the No. X.
darkness of Romish imposture, the [Continued from page 79.] practical effects of the Reformation had The infant colony of Plymouth, af- scarcely begun to appear. Mr. Bradter the decease of their first Governor, ford descended from a respectable anthe worthy, Mr. Carver, in the spring of cestry, who had long been employed the year 1621, unanimously, elected in the business of husbandry. He enMr. William Bradford to be their chief ||joyed competent inheritance from Magistrate. The reflection often oc- his parents, which, in consequence of curs to every attentive reader of histo- their death, fell to him in his childhood. ry, that God, in his infinite wisdorn, al- The care of his education devolved upways provides illustrious characters, on his grand-parents; and, after their endued with aļl requisite qualifications, death upon his uncles. At an early for the performance of the extraordina- age, a long and severe sickness had the ry services, which, in his holy provi- effect of turning his mind to the truths dence, he designs to accomplish,- of religion. At the age of twelve years This thought is forcibly illustrated in by a divine blessing on a careful readthe characters of Julius Cæsar, Colum-ling of the scriptures, his mind became þus, Luther, Washington, as well as in deeply impressed with the reality of dimost of the eminent actors in human vine things, and, under the faithful minaffairs In the character of the man istry of the pious Mr. Clifton, became, whose life is now to be given, though || apparently, a subject of divine grace. At this time, he formed a connection | house, unto a land that I will shen thee. with a number of pious people who And I will bless thee—and thou shali be were called Professors. These were a blessing. Puritans, who found the ordinary forms At the age of eighteen years, Mr. of the religious establishment unsatis- Bradford left the place of his nativity, fying to an ardent piety, who held pri- and, connecting himself with the people vate meetings for religious worship and of Mr. Robinson's congregation, was improvement, but were the subjects of one of the first company who endured strong popular odium. Naturally of a so many sufferings and disasters in getstudious turn, Mr. Bradford, in his ting to Holland, in the year 1607. He youth, applied himself to a serious in-there served as an apprentice to a silk vestigation of the order and practices manufacturer, till he became of age.of the religious establishment, careful. He then converted his estate in Eng. ly comparing its various ordinances land into money, and continued in the with the word of God. From a delib- same employment. Being, however, erate and prayerful attention to this sub- more fond of study than business, and ject, he became convinced of his duty improving every opportunity to into separate from the established church crease his stock of science and generthat he might perform the duties of re-al information, his employment was ligion, unembarrassed with ordinances not attended with great success. The of human invention. Having taken a facilities for obtaining extensive learndeliberate resolution to this effect, heling, in the city of Leyden, were many, soon found that it met with the decid- and they were much improved by Mr. ed disapprobation of his friends, par- Bradford. He spoke the Dutch and ticularly of his uncles, from whom he French languages with ease, in the Latreceived severe and angry reproaches.in and Greek, he was well skilled, but To these he made the following tem-paid more particular attention to the perate reply : “ Were I like to endan- Hebrew. He often observed," I would ger my life, or consume my estate by see with my own eyes the ancient oraany ungodly courses, your counsels to cles of God, in their native beauty.” me were very seasonable. But you At the time of the projected removal know that I have been diligent and of Mr. Robinson's congregation to provident in my calling, and desirous | America, Mr. Bradford engaged with not only to augment what I have, but ardour in the important enterprize.to enjoy it in your company; to part He was one of the first company of from which, will be as great a cross as emigrants, who arrived on the American befall me. Nevertheless, to keep can coast in November, 1620. In the a good conscience, and walk in such a political compact which was formed on way as God has prescribed in his word their arrival, Mr. Carver is the first subis a thing which I must prefer before scriber, and Mr. Bradford is the second. you all, and above life itself. Where-At the time of the landing of the plantfore, since it is for a good cause that Iers at Plymouth, the wife of Mr. Bradam like to suffer the disasters which | ford, to whom he was tenderly attachyou lay before me, you have no capse ed, fell from the vessel and was drownto be either angry with me, or sorry for ed in the harbor. In the distressing me. Yea, I am willing, not only, to sickness with which the plantation was part with every thing dear to me in afflicted, the first winter, Mr. Bradford this world for this cause, but I am was a sufferer. This disease was long thankful that God has given me an and severe, and he was not recovered heart so to do, and will accept me so to at the death of Mr. Carver, in April. suffer for him.” He now saw that he He was then, howeyer, by the unanimwas clearly addressed in the providence ous suffrage of the people, elected their of God, Get thee out of thy country, and governor; and he retained their undifrom thy kindred, and from thy father's minished confidence till his death,
As he recovered his health, and be- ||fully submitted to an equal share of pris gan to contemplate the weight of cares vations and labor, living, several times, devolving upon him, the innumerable some weeks in succession, without any difficulties with which he must contend, bread; laboring, in the fields, at the the arduous labors that were before buildings, at the fortifications, taking him, the many dangers in which he part in the watchings which were ofmust be involved; had he not possess- ten maintained for a security against a ed a constancy of mind equal to the surprise from insidious enemies.greatest patriots, a wisdom and pru- When any came to him to complain dence seldom equalled, a resource in of their sufferings, the readiness which difficulties adequate to every emergen- be manifested to be an equal sharer in cy, a humble reliance on God, steady all necessary privations, his dignified as his promises, he must have sunk un-composure in the greatest dangers, his der the overwhelming prospect. He cheerful serenity in the darkest times, was a chief magistrate of a feeble peo- his uniform reliance on that God who ple surrounded with many enemies; he had planted them in a land not sown, was the leader of a colony in an unin- quieted, if they could not relieve every habited wilderness without any pros- mind. And in these times of distress, pect of support from the mother coun- all that could be effected by the most ty; he was the father of a family pos- active exertions, by persevering labor sessed of the most scanty supplies, by or daring enterprise, by the most innumerable losses almost wholly dis- watchful prudence or sagacious forepirited. But he had that hope which thought, was done by their worthy govcasts anchor within the veil, a hold ernor, to preserve the existence of the which never yet was broken.
colony and to relieve the distresses of In the early part of his administra- the people. Without his vigilance and tion, Gov. Bradford took effectual mea-exertions, it would seem that this infant sures to secure the friendship of the na-colony, like several plantations which tives, in the vicinity of the colony, and had been commenced at the southward succeeded, in a remarkable manner, would have been broken up, and for a in securing their confidence. Another|| long period, all attempts for the settlemeasure of great importance to the col- ment of New-England must have been ony, he undertook to accomplish, discouraged. But he was prepared for which required the exercise of all his the work appointed for him to perskill and authority. The plantation | form. was commenced on the principle of a The early character and circumcommunity of property. The Gover-stances of the Plymouth settlement nor soon perceived the evils of this were such, that it would seem no perstate of things, and notwithstanding the son could have been their enemy.strong attachments to such a course They were weak and few, struggling which was felt by many, and the insid- with every difficulty, their prospects ious insinuations which must necessari- very unpromising, on a bleak and barly fall upon any one that would advo-ren shore, surrounded with a multitude cate a division of a common property, of savages, and eminently distinguishhe firmly prosecuted the measure anded for the virtues of integrity, justice, effected a division to such an extent and charity. But for the same reason ás was thought expedient. In the year that the faithful witnesses of old had tri1627, a further distribution of the lands als of cruel mockings, and were sub; and the small property of the colony, lijected to innumerable sufferings, these was made among the planters. humble servants of God could not es
For several years after the com-cape the insidious designs of malignant mencement of the settlement; the peo- enemies. Many of their savage neighple suffered greatly for want of the ne-|| bors even viewed them with an eye of cessaries of life. Gov. Bradford cheer-|| hostility, waiting a favorable opportu
vity to exterminate the colony. Buty By this well timed decision, the enemy these were not the most dangerous were prevented from the execution of foes. The religious order of the church their hostile attempts. and colony of Plymouth were entirely In the year 1633, Mr. Edward Winsdifferent from the determined senti- low was chosen the governor of the ments of the civil and ecclesiastical go-||colony; being solicited by Gov. Bradvernment of England. They were ford to accept of the office. Mr. Wintherefore constantly watched with a slow was also called to the same trust jealous eye. Their small consequence in 1636, and 1644 In 1634, Mr. in the estimation of the English hierar-|Thomas Prince was elected to the chy, seems to have been the great same office. In all of those years, Mr. reason, under the favor of Heaven, that Bradford stands first among the Assistthey were, to such a degree, left un-ants. He held the office of governor, molested. Some vicious characters himself every other year, from 1621, to who came froin the mother country, 1657, the year of his death.
Such an boping to obtain a consequence in a jinstånce of the steadiness of a popular new plantation which they could nev-i annual election, in a new settlement, er reach in their native land, found founded in principles of the purest themselves rejected by the church of||equality, unsupported by any establishPlymouth, and could obtain no encour- ed usages, while it stands as a prodigy agement from the government of the in popular governments, declares more colony. Some of these returned to for the character of the individual, than England and propagated with malig- can be done by all the eloquence of nant zeal, the most malicious calum-history exhausted in eulogy. nies against the new plantation. To In the latter period of the life of counteract the effect of these slander | Gov. Bradford, we find an instance of ous accusations, required all the skill, disinterestedness, not exceeded in the all the address and fidelity of the gov-character of Aristides, Cincinnatus, or ernor. The English government de Publicola. The Patent of the Colony clared that Mr. Robinson professed in was made out in his name,
« To Wilhis Apology, that they accorded with liam Bradford, his Heirs, Associates, the reformed churches on the contin- and Assigns. With such an authorient. They were accused of substan- ty, he possessed every opportunity tial deviations from those principles.- which a selfish heart could desire.Gov. Bradford, in a very able memo. But when the freemen became numerrial, clearly showed that they agreed ous, and several new towns were eswith the Reformed churches in the es- tablished, the General Court desired sential particulars of faith and practice, Mr. Bradford to transfer the patent, that they were not Brownists, and that with all its privileges, to them and their they did not disown the Church of successors. With their request, he England as a church of Christ. These cheerfully complied, confirming the efforts of the governor, supported by act with a legal instrument, without the known purity of his character, provany consideration. Notwithstanding ed successful.
his disinterestedness, and his long emIn the first year of Gov. Bradford's ||ployment in the public service, and adăinistration, the Narraganset Indians though he spent the most of his pater-a very powerful tribe sent him a very nal estate for the support of the colony, angry message, threatening to make he was much prospered in his individwar upon the colony. The Governorual circumstances, and left a good es. sent them an answer, “ If they loved tate to his posterity. war rather than peace they might begin In the latter part of his life, Gov. when they would; the colony had done Bradford devoted much of his time to them no wrong, and did not fear them, study, in which he arrived to very propor should they find them upprovided." fitable attainments. He left sever