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twenty thousand of those who frequented conventicles." After forty years of persecution the number of non-conformists was found to be greatly increased, and their opposition to the established church had become irreconcilable. They had become a strong political party, and ventured openly to demand a reform in the church. On the accession of King James hopes were indulged of a more lenient administration, but only to be disappointed. Petitions for the redress of abuses were denied, and religious assemblies and free discussion prohibited. But such pressure only increased their numbers, until the Houses of Commons became their ally in the defence of liberty against despotism. On the other hand, the enmity and violence of the King and the church were increased, and in 1604, it is said three hundred Puritan ministers were silenced, imprisoned, or exiled; yet the party was not destroyed, but continued to be the sole guardians of civil and religious liberty.

The separation was becoming more marked. A congregation of Independents had been formed in the north of England, and as early as 1592, a petition was presented to the Crown for permission to go to America, there to enjoy the civil and ecclesiastical privileges for which they were contending We

e are indebted to Rev. John Waddington, pastor of the Pilgrim Church, Southwark, London, for an exact copy of the original petition (above alluded to) of the Separatists. This was recently discovered by Mr. Waddington. And being an interesting document, which should be preserved, we insert it here.

"To the Right Llonorable, the Lords of her Majesty's most Honorable Privy Council:

“ Whereas, we her Majesty's natural born subjects, true and loyal - now lying many of us in other countries as men

exiled her Highness' Dominions, and the rest which remain within Her Grace's land greatly distressed through imprisonment and other great troubles sustained only for some matters of conscience, in which our most lamentable estate, we cannot in that measure perform the duty of subjects as we desire: and also whereas means is now offered for our being in a foreign and far country which lieth to the west from hence, in the province of Canada, where by the providence of the Almighty, and her Majesty's most gracious favor, we may not only worship God as we are in conscience persuaded by His Word — but also do unto her Majesty and our country great good service, and in time also greatly annoy that bloody and persecuting Spaniard about the Bay of Mexico. Our most humble suit is, that it may please your honors to be a means unto her excellent Majesty, that with her most gracious favor and protection we may peaceably depart thither, and there remaining to be accounted her Majesty's faithful and loving subjects — to whom we owe all duty and obedience in the Lord, promising hereby and taking God to record, who searcheth the hearts of all people -- that wheresoever we become we will by the grace of God live and die faithful to her Highness and this land of our nativity. “ Endorsed :“THE HUMBLE PETITION OF HER HIGHNESS' FAITHFUL SUBJECTS,


We shall expect other documents throwing light upon the history of our Puritan ancestors from the same individual, who is finding many original manuscripts in relation to them, and who expresses his confident "belief that with adequate care and attention the course of the hidden church from which the Pilgrims sprang may be traced from the days of Wickliffe, and that papers are in existence that will show the

them in their sufferings, and disposed them to persevere until

gradual development of the principles which lie not only at the foundation of American greatness — but which will tend to secure for humanity in its widest range, the freedom, peace, security, and happiness — that by possibility, can have no existence without them."

In principle, they were Calvinists and Protestants, renouncing human authority in matters of faith, and claiming the liberty to form their views and regulate their practice according to their own judgment of the Word of God. Their unshaken confidence in the doctrines they embraced, sustained

their departure from England; and their arrival in Holland marked the beginning of the adventures and pilgrimage recorded in the following pages, in which the reader will have an interesting portion of the history of these world-renowned


A reliable English writer has said: “ The Puritans saved England in the 17th century from a relapse into Popery. On this account, they deserved to be honored and loved by the Protestants of the present day. In all probability the salvation of England from such a relapse in the 19th century will depend, under God, upon the men who imbibe their sentiments and emulate their piety and heroism. From the beginning, Puritanism has been the soul of English Protestantism, and therefore its history deserves to be diligently studied, and its spirit gratefully revered by all who really value the cause of the Reformation."

If so much can be said of the influence of the Puritans in Old England, how much more of their influence in New England. To them we are indebted for both our ecclesiastical and civil institutions. And if these institutions are to be preserved and perpetuated in their simplicity and purity for another century, it will be from the remains of Puritan integrity and influence.

Stoughton, in his Spiritual Heroes, says:

“Men who have no sympathy with their bold and ardent spirit, and their fearless love of what they felt to be right, have charged them with pride, but the truth is, that deep humility was a distinguished element of their character. In matters of conscience they asserted their independence of the creature, because they cherished an unwavering reliance on their Creator."

“ To say," observes Dr. Arnold, that the Puritans were wanting in humility, because they did not acquiesce in the state of things which they found around them, is a mere ex. travagance arising out of a total misapprehension of the nature of humility, and of the merits of the feeling of veneration.

“ All earnestness and depth of character is incompatible with such notion of humility. A man deeply penetrated with some great truth, and compelled, as it were, to obey it, cannot listen to every one who may be indifferent to it or opposed to it.

“ There is a voice to which he already owes obedience, which he serves with the humblest devotion, which he worships with the most intense veneration. It is not that such feelings are dead in him, but that he has bestowed them on one object, and they are claimed for another. This charge of want of humility is one frequently brought by weaker and baser minds against the stronger and nobler, not seldom by those who are at once arrogant and indifferent against those who are, in truth, as humble as they are zealous." Such is the noble vindication of the Puritans, by the distinguished Arnold, Professor of History, in that University where the men in question have been so often maligned. And Stoughton, in his Sketches of the Puritans, says, “ Their stern moral


grandeur illuminates the sixteenth century with a solemn light which excites awe, while it inspires adıniration."

Aii ample roll of serious thought is opened when, from the eminence of prosperity where we stand, we go back to the lonely graves, whither was followed one after another good mail, “ that had done and suffered jouch for the Lord Jesus' and the gospels sake, and borne his part in weal and woe with this poor, persecuted church in England, Holland, and this wilderness, and done thic Lord and them faithful service in his place and calling." And even those specimen* of elegiac poetry which this rich volume fursuishes, thousch doubtless 1101 Ihe w10-t harnioitious oftpring of the wu-e, have to our view the better merit of the solemn, hopefi:), offectionate spirii of noble natures.

The Memorial and Bradford's history exllit tlıc characteristics of strong-hearted and venerable men and women.

There are strong reasons why all the people of our land should read these memorials, and make theinselves familiar with the characic of their pious ancestors, whose principles made them what they were, and became the basis o all our good institutions.

We cannot better express our views of the importance of the subject-matter before us, than by inserting here a few brief extracts from distinguished men relating to Plymouth and the Pilgrims. This will also give the reader, the judgment and testimony of others, in regard to the importance of that portion of our history comprised in this volume.

President Dwight says, “ Plymouth was the first town built in New England by civilized men; and those by whom it was built were inferior in worth to no body of men whose names are recorded in history during the last 1700 years. A kind of venerableness, arising from these facts, attaches to

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