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As for their military affairs, they were at this time as necessary to be provided for, in regard of enemies without, as were the civil concernments within amongst themselves; and although the order thereof be founded in the same authority with the former, yet is it, at least in our days, usual and needfnl it should be managed by other hands, for which purpose they were well furnished by a person of that company, though at that time not of their church, well skilled in the affair, and of as good courage as conduct, Capt. Miles Standish by name, a gentleman very expert in things of that nature, by whom they were all willing to be ordered in those concerns. He was likewise improved with good acceptance and success in affairs of greatest moment in that colony, to whose interest he continued firm and stedfast to the last; and always managed his trust with great integrity and faithfulness. What addition and alteration was made afterwards in and about the premises, there may be an occasion to observe afterward.
Of the Religion, Worship, and Discipline, professed or
practised, by those of Plymouth.
As of old notice was taken in the Sacred Records, how happy it was with Israel, when they were led like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron, so hath it been observed in all ages, as a certain token of God's presence with and amongst his people, when their ecclesiastical
, as well as civil affairs, are carried on by the same care and endeavour. The faith and order of the church of the Co. lossians, was a desirable sight in the eyes of the Apostle. The addition of civil order forementioned in the new colony, without doubt, did not a little increase the beauty of this small society, rendering this little citadel of Sion, that was now begun to be erected in America, hopeful to become beautiful as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible at the last as an army with banners, that the powers of darkness and the gates of hell have not yet been able to prevail against, how strangely soever of late times they have endeavoured it. As for the doctrine of religion held forth by this people, together with their worship, it was for the substance little discrepant from that of the rest of the reformed churches of Europe, abating the discipline, with the rites and ceremonies observed in the church of England, ever since the first reformation begun in those kingdoms, under the English sceptre ; on which account those people that were a part of Mr. Robinson's church at Leyden, whose pedigree some that favour that interest derive from the English church at Frankford, settled afterwards at London, made a professed separation from the rest of the reformed churches, whence in the former age they were styled separatist, and generally known by that name, not only with relation to the rites and ceremonies of worship, but in special also in regard of the discipline and government of the church; all which, because they were so well known to the world by several writings that passed between Mr. Robinson, with some of the like persuasion, and other learned persons of the contrary judgment, no further or no particular account need be given thereof in this place ; but when we come to speak of the settling of the other colonies, there will be a fitter occasion to treat more fully thereof, for as much as none of the rest of the planters came over in any settled order of government, only resolving when they came hither to carry on those affairs as near as they could exactly according to the rule and pattern laid before them in the word of God, wherein they cannot be blamed for endeavouring, according to their best understanding, to approve themselves faithful to the Supreme Lord of his church, as opportunity might be afforded. It is easy to observe a difference between him that is about repairing of a building, by age and time fallen into some decay, and one that is about to rear a new fabric; with whom it is no harder work, if he have materials at hand, to square every thing according to the best pattern and method made known, than it is for the other to endeavour the bringing of things to
their primitive structure and fashion, in a word there.
would not well bear such a liberty, as that reverend and judicious divine, the great light of those churches, expressed to a person of great quality, to whom he bore no small respect, a few hours before he departed this life.
The general affairs of the colony of New Plymouth, during
the first lustre of years, from March 25, 1621, to March 25, 1626.
ALTHOUGH the dispensations of God towards his people under the gospel be not like those under the law, in respect of the outward prosperity, so as any time it could be said as in Solomon's reign during the time of his building the house of God or his own palaces, that there was neither adversary nor evil occurrent; yet did the Almighty water this new planted colony with many blessings, causing it by degrees to flourish, taking root downward, that it might in after time bring forth fruitupward. For now the spring of the following year was come, they began to hasten the ships away, which had tarried the longer, that before it had left the country, it might carry the news back of the welfare of the plantation. The ships' company also during the winter, growing so weak that the master durst not put to sea till they were better recovered of their sickness and the winter well over,
Early in the spring they planted their first corn, being instructed therein by their friend Squanto, and had better success therein than in some English grain they sowed that year, which might be imputed to the lateness of the season, as well as their own unskilfulness in the soil. But the month of April added much heaviness to their spirits by the loss of Mr. John Carver, who fell sick in that month, and in a few days after died. His funeral rites were attended with great solemnity, as the condition of that infant plantation would bear; as indeed the respect due to him justly deserved, if not for
the good he had actually done in the foundation of their colony, yet for that he was like to have done, if God had spared him his life ; he being a gentleman of singular piety, rare humility, and great condescendency; one also of a publick spirit, as well as of a publick purse, have ing disbursed the greatest part of that considerable estate God had given him, for carrying on the interest of the company, as their urgent necessity required. Extreme grief for the loss of him, within a few weeks, hasted the removal of a gracious woman, his wife, which he left behind.
At his decease the eyes of the company were generally upon Mr. William Bradford, as in the next place fittest to succeed him in the government : wherefore, as soon as ever he recovered of his great weakness, under which he had languished to the point of death, they chose him to be their governour instead of Mr. Car. ver, adding Mr. Isaac Allerton only, to be his assistant. The second of July following, in imitation of David, who was as ready to acknowledge kindnesses received, as to ask or accept them in the time of his distress, they sent Mr Edward Winslow, with Mr. Stephen Hopkins, to congratulate their friend Massasoit, by the late league firmly allied to them, partly also to take notice what number of men he had about them, and the other Sachems, as likewise of what strength they were. They found his place 40 miles distant from their town, and his people, but few in comparison of what formerly they had been, before the great mortality forementioned, that had swept away so many of them. They returned in safety, giving a good account of the business they were sent about; adding moreover what they understood of the nation of the Indians, called Narragansetts, seated on the other side of the great bay,adjoining to the country of Massasoit: a people many in number and more potent than their neighbours at the present juncture, and grown very insolent also, as having escaped the late mortality, which made them aspire to be lords over their neighbours. On that occasion, the establishing of their peace with the natives near about them was much furthered by an Indian, called Hobbamacke, a proper lusty young man,