ORIGINAL NARRATIVES OF EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY

ORIGINAL NARRATIVES OF EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY

INTRO
BOOK I:   Chapters 1 - 10 | Chapters 11 - 20 | Chapters 21 - 30 | Chapters 31 - 40 | Chapters 41 - 45
BOOK II:  Chapters 1 - 10 | Chapters 11 - 26
BOOK III

CHAP. XI.

Of the Glorious beginnings of a thorough Reformation in the Churches of Christ.

Further know these are but the beginnings of Christs glorious Reformation, and Restauration of his Churches to a more glorious splendor than ever. Hee hath therefore caused their [the] dazeling brightnesse of his presence to be contracted in the burning-Glasse of these his peoples zeale, from whence it begins to be left upon many parts of the World with such hot reflection of that burning light. Which hath fired many places already, the which shall never be quenched till it hath burnt upon Babilon Root and Branch. And now let the Reader looke one {on} the 102. Psalme, the Prophet Isaia 66. Chapter; take this Sharpe Sword of Christs Word, and all other Scriptures of like nature, and follow on yee valiant of the Lord; And behold the worthies of Christ, as they are boldly leading forth his Troopes into these Westerne Fields, marke them well Man by Man as they march, terrible as an Army with Banners, croud in all yee that long to see this glorious sight; see, ther’s their glorious King Christ one [on] that white Horse, whose hoofes like flint cast not only sparkes, but flames of fire in his pathes. Behold his Crown beset with Carbunkles, wherein the names of his whole Army are written. Can there be ever night in his Presence, whose eyes are ten thousand times higher [brighter] than the Sun? Behold his swiftnes, all you that have said, where is the promise of his comming? Listen a while, hear what his herauld proclaimes, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, both her Doctrine and Lordly rabble of Popes, Cardinalls, Lordly-Bishops, Friers, Monks, Nuns, Seminary-Priests, Jesuits, Ermites, Pilgrims, Deans, Prebends, Arch-Deacons, Commissaries, Officialls, Proctors, Somners, Singing-men, Choristers, Organist, Bellows-blowers, Vergers, porters, Sextons, beads-men, and Bel-ringers and all others who never had name in the Word of God; together with all her false Doctrines, although they may seeme otherwise never so contradictory, as Arians, who may deny the God-head of Christ, and Gortenists who deny the Humanity of Christ: Papists, who thinke to merit Heaven by the Workes of the Law, Antinomians, who deny the Law of God altogether as a rule to walke by in the obedience of Faith, and deny good works to be the Fruit of Faith, Arminians, who attribute Gods Election or Reprobation to the will of Man, and Familists, who forsake the revealed Will of God, and make men depend upon strong Revelations, for the knowledge of Gods Electing Love towards them, Conformitants or Formalists, who bring in a forme of worship of their owne, and joyne it with the worship God hath appointed in his Word, Seekers, that deny all manner of worship or Ordinances of Christ Jesus, affirming them to be quite lost, and not to be attained till new Apostles come.

CHAP. XII.

OF the voluntary banishment, chosen by this People of Christ,

and their last farewell taken of their Country and Friends.

And now behold the severall Regiments of these Souldiers of Christ, as they are shipped for his service in the Westerne World, Part thereof being come to the Towne and Port of Southamptan in England, where they were to be shipped that they might prosecute this designe to the full, one Ship called the Eagle, they wholy purchase, and many more they hire, filling them with the seede of man and beast to sow this yet untilled Wildernesse withall, making sale of such Land as they possesse, to the great admiration of their Friends and Acquaintance, who thus expostulate with them, "What, will not the large income of your yearly revenue content you, which in all reason cannot chuse but be more advantagious both to you and yours, then all that Rocky Wildernesse, whither you are going, to run the hazard of your life? Have you not here your Tables filled with great variety of Foode, your Coffers filled with Coyne, your Houses beautifully built and filled with all rich Furniture? (or otherwise) have you not such a gainfull Trade as none the like in the Towne where you live? Are you not inriched daily? Are not your Children very well provided for as they come to years? (nay) may you not here as pithily practise the two chiefe Duties of a Christian (if Christ give strength), namely Mortification and Sanctification, as in any place of the World? What helps can you have there that you must not carry from hence?" With bold resolvednesse these stout Souldiers of Christ reply; as Death, the King of terror, with all his dreadfull attendance, inhumane and barbarous tortures, doubled and trebled by all the infernal furies, have appeared but light and momentany to the Souldiers of Christ Jesus so also the Pleasure, Profits and Honours of this World set forth in their most glorious splendor and magnitude by the alluring Lady of Delight, proffering pleasant embraces, cannot intice with her Syren Songs, such Souldiers of Christ, whose aymes are elevated by him, many Millions above that brave Warrier Ulysses.

Now seeing all can be said will but barely set forth the immoveable Resolutions that Christ continued in these men; Passe on and attend with teares, if thou hast any, the following discourse, while these Men, Women and Children are taking their last farwell of their Native Country, Kindred, Friends and Acquaintance, while the Ships attend them; Many make choise of some solitary place to eccho out their bowell-breaking affections in bidding their Friends farwell. "Deare friends" (sayes one) "as neare as my owne soule doth thy love lodge in my brest, with thought of the heart-burning Ravishments, that they Heavenly speeches have wrought: my melting soule is poured out at present with these words." Both of them had their farther speach strangled from the depth of their inward dolor, with breast-breaking sobs, till leaning their heads each on others shoulders, they let fall the salt-dropping dews of vehement affection, striving to exceede one another, much like the departure of David and Jonathan: having a little eased their hearts with the still streames of Teares, they recovered speech againe. Wert thou called to so great a taske as to passe the pretious Ocean, and hazard they person in Battell against thousands of Malignant Enemies there, there were hopes of thy return with triumph; but now after two, three, or foure moneths spent with daily expectation of swallowing Waves and cruell Pirates, you are to be landed among barbarous Indians, famous for nothing but cruelty, where you are like to spend your days in a famishing condition for a long space." Scarce had he uttered this, but presently hee lockes his friend fast in his armes; holding each other thus for some space of time, they weepe againe. But as Paul to his beloved flock, the other replies, "What does you weeping and breaking my hear? I am now prest for the service of our Lord Christ, to re-build the most glorious Edifice of Mount Sion in a Wildernesse, and as John Baptist, I must cry, Prepare the way of the lord, make his paths strait, for behold hee is comming againe, hee is comming to destroy Antichrist, and give the whore double to drinke the very dregs of his wrath. Then my deare friend unfold thy hands, for thou and I have much worke to does, I [ay] and all Christian Souldiers the World throughout."

Then hand in hand they leade each other to the Sandy-banks of the brinish Ocean, when clenching their hands fast, they unloose not til inforced to wipe their watery-eyes, whose constant streames forced a watery-path upon their Cheekes, which to hide from the eyes of others they shun society for a time, but being called by occasion, whose bauld back-part none can lay hold one [on]; They thrust in among the throng now ready to take Ship, where they beheld the like affections with their own among divers Relations. Husbands and Wives with mutuall consent are now purposed to part for a time 900 Leagues asunder, since some providence at present will not suffer them to goe together; they resolve their tender affections shall not hinder this worke of Christ. The new Married and betrothed man, exempt by the Law of God from war, now will not claime their priviledge, but being constrained by the Love of Christ, lock up their naturall affections for a time, till the Lord shall be pleased to give them a meeting in this Westerne World, sweetly mixing it with spirituall love in the meane time. Many Fathers now take their yong Samuells, and give them to this service of Christ all their Lives. Brethren, Sisters, Unkles, Nephewes, Neeces, together with all Kindred of bloud that binds the bowells of affection in a true Lovers knot, can now take their last farewell, each of other, although naturall affection will still claime her right, and manifest her selfe to bee in the body by looking out at the Windowes in a mournefull manner. Among this company, thus disposed, doth many Reverend and godly Pastors of Christ present themselves, some in a Seamans Habit, and their scattered sheepe comming as a poor Convoy loftily take their leave of them as followeth, "What dolefull dayes are these, when the best choice our Orthodox Ministers can make is to take up a perpetual banishment from their native soile, together with their Wives and Children; wee their poore sheepe they may not feede, but by stoledred should they abide here. Lord Christ, here they are at thy command, they go; this is the doore thou hast opened upon our earnest request, and we hope it shall never be shut: for Englands sake they are going from England to pray without ceasing for England. O England! thou shalt Finde New England prayers prevailing with their God for thee, but now woe alas, what great hardship must these our indeared Pastors indure for a long season." With these words they lift up their voyces and wept, adding many drops of salt liquor to the to the ebbing Ocean; Then shaking hands they bid adue with much cordiall affection to all their Brethren, and Sisters in Christ, yet now the Scorne and Derision of those times, and for this their great enterprise counted as so many crackt-braines; but Christ will make all the earth know the wisdome he hath indued them with, shall overtop all the humane policy in the World, as the sequell wee hope will shew; Thus much shall suffice in generall to speak of their peoples farewell they tooke from time to time of their Country and Friends.

CHAP. XIII.

Of the charges expended by this poore People,

to injoy Christ in his purity of his Ordinances.

And now they enter the Ships, should they have cast up what it would have cost to people New England before hand, the most strongest of Faith among them would certainly have staggered much, and very hardly have set saile. But behold and wonder at the admirable Acts of Christ, here it is cast up to thy hand, the passage of the persons that peopled New England cost ninety five thousand pounds; the Swine, Goates, Sheepe, Neate and Horse, cost to transport twelve thousand pound besides the price they cost; getting food for all persons for the time till they could bring the Woods to tillage amounted unto forty five thousand pounds; Nayles, Glasse and other Iron-worke for their meeting-houses, and other dwelling houses, before they could raise any meanes in the Country to purchase them, Eighteene thousand pounds; Armes, Powder, Bullet and Match, together with their great Artillery, twenty two thousand pounds: the whole sum amounts unto one hundred ninety two thousand pound, beside that which the Adventurers laid out in England, which was a small pittance compared with this, and indeed most of those that cast into this Banke were the chiefe Adventurers. Neither let any man thinke the sum above expressed did defray the whole charge of this Army, which amounts to above as much more, onely this sum lies still in banke, and the other they have had the income againe; This therefore is chiefly presented to satisfie such as thinke New England men have beene bad husbands in mannaging their Estates. Assuredly here it lies in banke, put out to the greatest advantage that ever any hath beene for many hundred of yeares before, and verily although in casting it up some hundreds may be miscounted (for the Author would not willingly exceede in any respect) but to be sure Christ stands by and beholds every mite that (in the obedience of Faith) is cast into this Treasury: but what doe wee answering men? the money is all Christs, and certainly hee will take it well that his have so disposed of it to his advantage; by this meanes hee hath had a great income in England of late, Prayers, Teares and Praise, and some Reformation; Scotland and Ireland have met with much of the profit of this Banke, Virginia, Bermodas and Barbados have had a taste, and France may suddenly meete with the like. Therefore repent you not, you that have cast in your Coyne, but tremble all you that with a penurious hand have not onely cast in such as are taking out, to hord it up in your Napkins, remember Ananias and Saphirah, how darest thou doe it in these dayes, when the Lord hath need of it? Gentle Reader make use of this memorable Providence of Christ for his New England Churches, where had this poore people this great sum of money? the mighty Princes of the Earth never opened their Coffers for them, and the generality of these men were meane and poore in the things of this life, but sure it is the work is done, let God have the glory, who hath now given them food to the full, and some to spare for other Churches.

CHAP. XIV.

Of the wonderfull preservation of Christ, in carrying his people Men, Women and Children, through the largest Ocean in the World.

And now your have had a short survay of the charges of their New England Vayages, see their progresse. Being safe aboard, weighing Anker and hoysting saile they betooke them to the protection of the Lord on the wide Ocean. No sooner were they dispersed by reason of the widenesse of the Sea, but the Arrabella (for so they called the Eagle, which the company purchased, in honour of the Lady Arrabella, Wife to that godly Esquire, Izack Johnson) espied foure Ships, as they supposed, in pursuit of them, their suspition being the more augmented by reason of a report (when they lay in harbor) of foure Dunkerk-men of war, who were said to lie waiting for their comming forth. At this fight they make preparation, according to their present condition, comforting one another in the sweete mercies of Christ: the weaker sex betooke them to the Ships hold, but the men one [on] Decks waite in a readinesse for the enemies approach. At whose courage many of the Seamen wonder, not knowing under whose command these their passengers were, even he who makes all his Souldiers bold as Lions. Yet was he not minded to make triall of all his peoples valiantcy in fight at this time, for the ships comming up with them proved to be their own Countrymen and friends, at which they greatly rejoyced, seeing the good hand of their God was upon them, and are further strengthened in Faith to rely one [on] Christ, for the future time, against all Leakes, Stormes, Rockes, Sands, and all other wants a long Sea-voyage procures, sustaining them with all meeknesse and patience, yet sensible of the Lords frownes, humbling their soules before him, and also rejoycing in his deliverances in taking the cup of Salvation, and paying the tribute of thankfulnesse to the most high, whose provident hand was diversly directed toward them, purposely to point out the great hardships they must undergoe in this their Christian warfare, and withall to tell them, although their difficulties were many and mournfull, yet their victories should be much more glorious and joyfull, eminently eyed of the whole World. But now keeping their course so neere as the winds will suffer them, the billowes begin to grow lofty and rageing, and suddenly bringing them into the vale of death, covering them with the formidable flouds, and dashing their bodies from side to side, hurling their unfixed goods from place to place. At these unwonted workes many of these people, amazed, finde such opposition in nature, that her principles grow feeble, and cannot digest her food, loathing all manner of meat, so that the vitall parts are hindered from co-operating with the Soule in spirituall duties, insomuch that both Men, Women and Children are in a helplesse condition for present, and now is the time if ever of recounting this service they have, and are about to undertake for Christ; but he, who is very sensible of his peoples infirmities, rebukes the winds and Seas for their sakes, and then the reverend and godly among them begin to exhort them in the name of the Lord, and from the Lord, being fitted with such words as much incourrages the worke they are going about. Many of their horses and other Cattell are cast over-board by the way, to the great disheartning of some, but Christ knew well how far his peoples hearts would be taken off the maine worke with these things. And therefore although he be very tender in providing outward necessaries for his, yet rather than this great worke (he intends) should be hindered, their Tables shall be spred but thinly in this Wildernesse for a time. After the Lord had exercised them thus severall ways, he sent Diseases to visit their Ships, that the desart Land they were now drawing near unto might not be deserted by them at first enterance, which sure it would have been by many, had not the Lord prevented by a troublesom passage. At forty dayes end, or thereabout, they cast to sound the Seas depth and find them sixty fadom {fathom}, by which they deem the bankes of New found Land are near, where they being provided with Cod-line and Hooke hale up some store of fish to their no small refreshing, and within some space of time after they approach the Cost of New England, where they are againe provided with Mackarell, and that which was their greater rejoycing, they discover Land; at sight thereof they blessed the Lord.

But before the Author proceed any further in this Discourse, take here a short survay of all the Voyages by Sea, in the transportation of these Armies of the great Jehova, for fifteene years space to the year 1643, about which time England began to indeavour after Reformation, and the Souldiers of Christ were set at liberty to bide his battells at home, for whose assistance some of the chiefe worthies of Christ returned back. The number of Ships that transported passengers in this space of time, as is supposed, is 298. Men, Women and Children passing over this wide Ocean, as near as at present can be gathered, is also supposed to be 21200 or thereabout.

CHAP. XV.

An Exhortation to all People, Nations and Languages,

to indeavour the advancing of the Kingdome of Christ in the purity of his Ordinances,

seeing he hath done such admirable Acts for these poore shrubs.

And now all you whose affections are taken with wonderfull matters (Attend) and you that thinke Christ hath forgotten his poore despised people (Behold) and all you that hopefully long for Christs appearing to confound Antichrist (Consider) and rejoyce all yee his Churches in the World through-out, for the Lambe is preparing his Bride, and oh! yee the antient Beloved of Christ, whom he of old led by the hand from Egypt to Canaan, through that great and terrible Wildernesse, looke here, behold him whom you have peirced, preparing to peirce your hearts with his Wonder-working Providence, and to provoke you by this little handfull of his people to looke on him and mourne. Yet let no man think these few weake Wormes would restraine the wonderfull Workes of Christ, as onely to themselves, but the quite contrary, these [are] but the Porch of his glorious building in hand, and if hee have shewed such admirable acts of his providence toward these, what will he doe when the whole Nation of English shall set upon like Reformation according to the direct Rule of his Word? Assured confidence there is also for all Nations, from the undoubted promise of Christ himselfe.

The Winter is past, the Raine is changed and gone, come out of the holes of the secret places, feare not because your number is small, gather into Churches, and let Christ be your King; yee Presbytery, Lord it not over them or any Churches, but feed every one, that one flock over which Christ hath made you overseers, and yee people of Christ give your Presbytery double honours, that they with you may keepe the watch of the Lord over his Churches. Yee Dutch dome out of your hods-podge, the great mingle-mangle of Religion among you hath caused the Churches of Christ to increase so little with you, standing at a stay like Corne among Weeds, Oh, yee French! feare not the great swarmes of Locusts, nor the croking Frogs in your Land, Christ is reaching out the hand to you, look what hee hath done for these English, and sure hee is no Respecter of Persons, etc.: yee Germanes that have had such a bloudy bickering, Christ careless kinde of Reformation; gather into Churches, and keepe them pure, that Christ may delight to dwell among you: oh Italy! The Seat and Center of the Beast, Christ will now pick out a People from among you for himselfe, see here what wonders hee workes in little time. Oh! yee Spaniards and Portugalls, Christ will shew you the abominations of that beastly Whore, who hath made your Nations drunke with the Wine of her Fornication. Dread not that cruell murtherous Inquisition, for Christ is now making Inquisition for them, and behold, here how hee hath rewarded them, who dealt cruelly with these his people.

Finally, oh all yee Nations of the World, behold great is the worke the glorious King of Heaven and Earth hath in hand; beware of neglecting the call of Christ: and you the Seed of Israel both lesse and more, the ratling of your dead bones together is at hand, Sinewes, Flesh and Life: at the Word of Christ it comes. Counsellers and Judges you shall have as at the beginning to fight for you, as Gideon, Bareck, Jeptha, Samson etc. then sure your deliverance shall be sudden and wonderfull. If Christ have done such great things for these low Shrubs, what will his most Admirable, Excellent and wonderfull Worke for you be, but as the Resurrection from the dead, when all the miraculous acts of his wonderfull power shewed upon Pharoah for your fore-Fathers deliverance shall be swallowed up with those far greater workes that Christ shall shew for your deliverance upon the whole World, by Fiers and Bloud destroying both People and Turke, when you shall see great smoake and flames ascending up on high, of that great Whore, Revel. 14 and 11. verse, and the 17. and 16. verse, and the 18. the 8. and 18. vers. Then oh! you People of Israel gather together as one Man, and grow together as one Tree. Ezek. 37. and 23. For Christ the great King of all the Earth is now going forth in his great wrath and terrible Indignation to avenge the bloud of his Saints, Ezek. 38 and 19. vers. And now for the great and bloudy Battell of Gog and Magog, Rivers of bloud, and up to the Horse-bridles, even the bloud of those [who] have drunke bloud so long. Oh! dreadful day, when the patience and long-suffering of Christ, that hath lasted so many hundreds of yeares, shall end. What wonderous workes are now suddenly to be wrought for the accomplishment of these things! Then judge all you (whom the Lord Christ hath given a discerning spirit) whether these poore New England People, be not the forerunners of Christs Army, and the marvelous providences which you shall now heare, be not the very Finger of God, and whether the Lord hath not sent this people to Preach in this Wildernesse and to proclaime to all Nations, the neere approach of the most wonderfull workes that ever the Sonnes of men saw. Will not you believe that a Nation can be borne in a day? here is a worke come very neare it; but if you will believe you shall see far greater things than these, and that in very little time, and in the meane time looke on the following Discourse.

CHAP. XVI.

Of the admirable Acts of Christs Providence,

in delivering this his people in their Voyages by Sea, from many foule dangers.

You have hear of about 198. Ships passing the perillous Ocean, of all which I heare of but one that ever miscarried; yet shall you here see some of the great dangers they were in. The Ship this Author came in, a foggy morning, anon by breake of day was ready to be steamed by a Pirate, but being unready for fight they passed by; others by a fog, have been delivered from farther chase of them, so that of this great number never did any Pirate make one shot at them, according to best intelligence. Their deliverance from leakes also hath been no lesse wonderfull, some so neare sinking, that the loving affection betweene Husband and Wife, hat caused them to fould each other in their Armes, with Resolution to die together, and make the Sea their Grave, yet not ceasing to call on the Lord, their present helpe in time of need, who is minded to manifest his great care for this his people to all that shall come to hear thereof, And therefore directs to meanes for freeing their ships, being now ready to flounder in the depthlesse Ocean. And further, as if these deliverances were too little to expresse the tender care Christ hath of his, to free them from all dangers, those that occupy their businesse in the deepe, and see the wonders of god upon the waters, are taken with great astonishment to behold the extraordinary hand of the most High, in transportation of this people, in that their ships all of a sudden are brought so neer the ground, and yet strike not, their Pilots missing oft-times of their skill on those unwandered Coasts, but their Jehovah hee misses not to be an exact Pilot in the most thickest fogge and darkest nights, for thus it befell.

The night newly breaking off her darknesse, and the daylight being clouded with a grosse vapor, as if nights Curtaines remained halfe shut, the Sea-men and Passengers standing on the Deckes, suddenly fixed their eyes one [on] a great Boat (as they deemed) and anon after they spied another, and after that another; but musing on the matter, they perceived themselves to be in great danger of many great Rocks. With much terror and affrightment, they turned the Ship about, expecting every moment to be dasht in pieces against the Rocks. But he whose providence brought them in, Piloted them out againe, without any danger, to their great Rejoycing. And assuredly (so extraordinarily eminent and admirable to the eyes of many beholders, was the wonderfull workes in magnifying the Rich grace toward this his people in prefering them) that many Masters of Ships left their Sea-imployment for a time, and chose rather to suffer the wants of a Wildernesse with the people of God, than to increase their estates in a full-fed Land, and verily so taken they were, that they fell down at Christs Feet, and were placed by him as living stones, Elect and Pretious in his Churches; also many other Seamen were brought to seeke after Christ in his Ordinances, by which it appears some great worke, by some far surpassing all this, hath Christ ere long to doe, that hee thus fitteth Instruments. Then all you that occupy shipping prepare for his service, who will assuredly prove the best owner that ever you went to Sea for.

Furthermore, the condition of those persons [that] passed the Seas, in this long and restlesse Voyage (if rightly considered) will more magnifie the grace of Christ in this great Worke. First, such were many of them that never before had made any path through the Waters, no not by boat, neither so much as seene a Ship, others so tenderly brought up that they had little hope of their Lives continuance under such hardships, as so long a Voyage must needs inforce them to indure, others there were, whose age did rather call for a quiet Couch to rest them on, than a pinching Cabbin in a Reeling Ship, others whose weake natures were so borne downe with Disease that they could hardly craule up the Ships-side, yet ventured their weake Vessells to this Westurne World. Here also might you see weakly Women, whose hearts have trembled to set foote in Boate, but now imboldened to venter through these tempestuous Seas with their young Babes, whom they nurture up with their Breasts, while their bodies are tossed on the tumbling Waves; also others whose Wombes could not containe their fruit, being ready for the Worlds-light, travailed and brought forth upon this depthlesse Ocean in this long Voyage, lively and strong Children yet living, and like to prove succeeding Instruments in the Hands of Christ, for furthering this worke; among other Sea-borne Cotton, now a young student in a Colledge in Cambridge, being Son to that Famous and Renowned Teacher of Christ, M. John Cotten; by all this and much more that might be said, for almost every one you discourse withall will tell you of some Remarkable Providence of God shewed toward them in this their Voyage, by which you may see the Worke of Christ, is not to bee laid aside because of difficulties.

 

 

 

CHAP. XVII.

Of the first leading of these People of Christ, when the Civill Government was Established.

But to goe on with the Story, the 12 of July or thereabout, 1630, these Souldiers of Christ first set foote one {on} this Westerne end of the World; where arriveing in safety, both Men, Women and Children, on the North side of Charles River, they landed neare a small Island, called Noddells Island, where one Mr. Samuel Mavereck then living, a man of very loving and curteous behaviour, very ready to entertaine strangers, yet an enemy to the Reformation in hand, being strong for the Lordly Prelaticall power, one [on] this island he had built a small Fort with the helpe of one Mr. David Tompson, placing therein foure Murtherers to protect him from the Indians. About one mile distant upon the River ran a small creeke, taking its Name from Major Gen. Edward Gibbons, who dwelt there for some yeares after; One [on] the South side of the River one [on] a point of Land called Blaxtons point, planted Mr. William Blaxton, of whom we have former spoken: to the South-East of him, neare an Island called Thomsons Island lived some few Planters more. These persons were the first Planters of those parts, whom these first Troopes of Christs Army, found as fit helpes to further their worke. At their arrivall those small number of Christians gathered at Salem, greatly rejoycing, and the more, because they saw so many that came chiefly for promoting the great Work of Christ in hand. The Lady Arrabella and some other godly Women aboad at Salem, but their Husbands continued at Charles Town, both for the settling the civill Government, and gathering another Church of Christ. The first Court was holden aboard the Arrabella the 23. of August. When the much honoured John Winthrop Esq. was chosen Governour for the remainder of that yeare, 1630. Also the worthy Thomus Dudly Esq. was chosen Deputy Governour, and Mr. Simon Brodestreet Secretary, the people after their long Voyage were many of them troubled with the Scurvy, and some of them died. The first station they tooke up was at Charles Towne, where they pitched some Tents of Cloath, other built them small Huts, in which they lodged their Wives and Children. The first beginning of this worke seemed very dolorous; First for the death of that worthy personage Izaac Johnson Esq. whom the Lord had indued with many pretious gifts, insomuch that he was had in high esteeme among all the people of God, and as a chiefe Pillar to support this new erected building. He very much rejoyced at his death, that the Lord had been pleased to keepe his eyes open so long, as to see one Church of Christ gathered before his death, at whose departure there was not onely many weeping eyes, but some fainting hearts, fearing the fall of the present worke. For future Remembrance of him mind this Meeter.

Izaac Johnson Esquire, beloved of Christ and his people,

and one of the Magistrates of New England.

What mov’d thee on the Seas upon such toyle with Lady-taking;

Christs drawing love all strength’s above, when way for his hee’s making.

Christ will have thee example be, honoured with’s graces, yeilding

His Churches aid, foundation laid, now new one Christ a building.

Thy Faith, Hope, Love, Joy, Meeknesse prove improved for thy Lord,

As he to thee, to people be, in Government accord.

Oh! people why doth Christ deny this worthies life to lengthen?

Christ onely trust, Johnsons turnd dust, and yet hee’s crownd and strenthend.

The griefe of this people was further increased by the sore sicknesse which befell among them, so that almost in every Family Lamentation, Mourning, and woe was heard, and no fresh food to be had to cherish them. It would assuredly have moved the most lockt up affections to Teares no doubt, had they past from one Hut to another, and beheld the piteous case these people were in, and that which added to their present distresse was the want of fresh water, for although the place did afford plenty, yet for present they could finde but one Spring, and that not to be come at but when the tide was downe, which caused many to passe over to the South-side of the River, where they afterward erected some other Townes, yet most admirable it was to see with what Christian courage many of these Souldiers of Christ carried it amidst all these calamities, and in October, the Governor Deputy and Assistants held their second Court on the South-side of the River;

Where they then began to build, holding correspondency with Charles Towne, as one and the same.

At this Court many of the first Planters came, and were made free, yet afterward none were admitted to this fellowship, or freedome, but such as were first joyned in fellowship with some one of the Churches of Christ, their chiefest aime being bent to promote his worke altogether. The number of Freemen this yeare was 110. or thereabout.

CHAP. XVIII.

Of the second Church of Christ,

gathered at Charles Towne in the Mattachusets Bay, 1631

And now the new-come Souldiers of Christ strengthen themselves in him, and gather a Church at Charles Towne, whose extent at present did reach to both sides of the River, and in very little time after was divided into two Churches. The Reverend and judicious Mr. John Wilson was called to be pastor thereof, a Man full of Faith, Courage and Zeale for the truth of Christ, persecuted and hunted after by the usurping Prelates (and forced for present to part from his indeared Wife) yet honoured by Christ, and made a powerfull instrument in his hands for the cutting downe of Error, and Schisme, as in the sequell of this History will appeare, in whose weaknesse Christs power hath appeared.

The Grave and Reverend Mr. John Wilson,

now Pastor of the Church of Christ at Boston, in New England.

John Wilson will to Christs will submit,

In Wildernesse, where thou hast Trialls found,

Christ in new making did compose thee fit,

And made thy Love, zeale, for his truth abound.

Then it’s not Wilson, but Christ by him hath

Error cut down when it o’retopping stood,

Thou then ‘Gainst it didst shew an holy wrath,

Saving mens soules from this o’re-flowing floud.

They thee deprave, thy Ministry dispise,

By thy thick utterance seeke to call Men back

From hearing thee, but Christ for thee did rise

And turnd the wheel-right over them to crack.

Yea, caused thee with length of dayes to stand

Steadfast in’s house, in old Age fruit to bring;

I [ay] and thy seed raise up by his command,

His Flock to feed; rejoyce my Muse and sing

That Christ doth dust regard so plentiously,

Rich gifts to give, and heart to give him his;

Estate and person thou spends liberally;

Christ thee and thine will Crown with lasting Blisse.

This, as the other Churches of Christ, began with a small number in a desolate and barren Wildernesse, which the Lord in his wonderfull mercy hath turned to fruitfull Fields. Wherefore behold the present condition of these Churches compared with their beginnings; as they sowed in teares, so also have they Reaped in joy, and shall still so go on if plenty and liberty marre not their prosperity. This Towne of Charles is situated one {on} the North-side of Charles River, from whence it tooke its Name, the River being about five or six fathom deepe; Over against the Town many small Islands lieing to the Seaward of it, and Hills one either side. By which meanes it proves a very good harbor for Ships, which hath caused many Sea-men and Merchants to sit downe there. The forme of this Towne in the frontice piece thereof, is like the Head, Neck and Shoulders of a Man, onely the pleasant and Navigable River of Mistick runs through the right shoulder thereof, and by its neare approach to Charles River in one place makes a very narrow neck, by which meanes the chiefe part of the Towne, whereon the most building stands becomes a Peninsula: it hath a large Market-place neer the water side built round with Houses, comly and faire, forth of which there issues two streetes orderly built with some very fare Houses, beautified with pleasant Gardens and Orchards, the whole Towne consists in its extent of about 150. dwelling houses. Their meeting house for Sabbath assembly stands in the Market-place, very comly built and large, the Officers of this Church are at this day one Pastor, and one Teacher, one Ruling Elder, and three Deacons, the number of Soules are about 160. Wonderfull it is to see that in so short a time such great alterations Christ should worke for these poore people of his: their Corne Land in Tillage in this Towne is about 1200. Acres, their great Cattell are about 400. head, Sheepe near upon 400. as for their horse you shall hear of them, Godwilling, when we come to speak of their Military Discipline.

CHAP. XIX.

Of the Third Church of Christ gathered at Dorchester, 1631.

The third Church of Christ gathered under this Government was at Dorchester, a frontire Town scituated very pleasantly both for facing the Sea, and also its large extent into the main Land, well watered with two small Rivers; neere about this Towne inhabited some few ancient Traders who were not of this select band, but came for other ends, as Morton of Merrymount, who would faine have resisted this worke, but the provident hand of Christ prevented. The forme of this Towne is almost like a Serpent turning her head to the North-ward, over against Tompsons Island, and the Castle, her body and wings being chiefly built on, are filled somewhat thick of Houses, onely that one of her Wings is clipt, her Tayle being of such a large extent that shee can hardly draw it after her; Her Houses for dwelling are about one hundred and forty, Orchards and Gardens full of Fruit-trees, plenty of Corne-Lande, although much of it hath been long in tillage, yet hath it ordinarily good crops, the number of Trees are neare upon 1500. Cowes, and other Cattell of that kinde about 450. Thus hath the Lord been pleased to increase his poore dispersed people, whose number in this Flock are neare about 150. Their first Pastor called to feede them was the Reverend, and godly Mr. Maveruck.

Maveruck thou must put period to thy dayes,

In Wildernesse they kindred thee provoke

To come, but Christ doth thee for high ends Raise,

Amongst his worthies to strike many a stroke.

Thy godly Life, and Doctrine speake, though thou

In dust art laid, yet Christ by thee did feede

His scattered Lambes, they gathered are by you;

Christ calls thee home, but flock he leaves to feede.

CHAP. XX.

Of the Fourth Church of Christ gathered at Boston, 1631.

After some little space of time the Church of Christ at Charles Town, having their Sabbath assemblies oftenest on the South side of the River, agreed to leave the people on that side to themselves, and to provide another Pastor for Charles Towne, which accordingly they did. So that the fourth Church of Christ issued out of Charles Towne, and was seated at Boston, being the Center Towne and Metropolis of this Wildernesse worke (but you must not imagine it to be a Metropolitan Church). Invironed it is with the Brinish flouds, saving one small Istmos, which gives free accesse to the Neighbour Townes by Land on the South side; on the North west, and North East, two constant Faires [Ferries] are kept for daily traffique thereunto. The forme of this Towne is like a heart, naturally scituated for Fortifications, having two Hills on the frontice part thereof next the Sea, the one well fortified on the superfices thereof, with store of great Artillery well mounted, the other hath a very strong battery built of whole Timber, and filled with Earth. At the descent of the Hill in the extreme poynt thereof, betwixt these two strong armes lies a large Cave [Cove] or Bay, on which the chiefest part of this Town is built, over-topped with a third Hill; all three like over-topping Towers keepe a constant watch to fore-see the approach of forrein dangers, being furnished with a Beacon and lowd babling Guns, to give notice by their redoubled eccho to all their Sister-townes. The chiefe Edifice of this City-like Towne is crowded on the Sea-bankes, and wharfed out with great industry and cost, the buildings beautifull and large, some fairely set forth with Brick, Tile, Stone and Slate, and orderly placed with comly streets, whose continuall inlargement presages some sumptuous City. The wonder of this moderne Age, that a few yeares should bring forth such great matters by so meane a handfull, and they so far from being inriched by the spoiles of other Nations, that the states of many of them have beene spoiled by the Lordly Prelacy, whose Lands must assuredly make Restitutions. But now behold the admirable Acts of Christ; at this his peoples landing, the hideous Thickets in this place were such that Wolfes and Beares nurst up their young from the eyes of all beholders, in those very places where the streets are full of Girles and Boys sporting up and downe, with a continued concourse of people. Good store of Shipping is here yearly built, and some very faire ones: both Tar and Mastes the Countrey affords from its own soile; also store of Victuall both for their owne and Forreiners-ships, who resort hither for that end: this Town is the very Mart of the Land, French, Portugalls and Dutch come hither for Traffique.