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. XXI.

Of the Fift Church of Christ, gathered at Roxbury, 1631.

The fift Church of Christ was gathered at Roxbury scituated between Boston and Dorchester, being well watered with coole and pleasant Springs issuing forth the Rocky-hills, and with small Freshlets, watering the Vallies of this fertill Towne, whose forme is somewhat like a wedge double pointed, entring betweene the two foure-named Townes, filled with a very laborious people, whose labours the Lord hath so blest, that in the roome of dismall Swampes and tearing Bushes, they have very goodly Fruit-trees, fruitfull Fields and Gardens, their Heard of Cowes, Oxen and other young Cattell of that kind about 350. and dwelling-houses neere upon 120. Their streetes are large, and some fayre Houses, yet have they built their House of Church-assembly, destitute and unbeautified with other buildings. The Church of Christ here is increased to about 120. persons, their first Teaching Elder called to Office is Mr. Eliot a yong man at his comming thither, of a cheerfull spirit, walking unblameable, of a godly conversation, apt to teach, as by his indefatigable paines both with his own flock, and the poore Indians doth appeare, whose Language he learned purposely to helpe them to the knowledge of God in Christ, frequently Preaching in their Wigwams, and Catechizing their Children.

Mr. Eliot Pastor of the Church of Christ at Roxbury, in New England,

much honoured for his labours in the Lord.

Great is thy worke in Wildernesse, Oh man,

Young Eliot neere twenty yeares thou hast

In Westerne world with miccle toile thy span

Spent well-neere out, and now thy gray hayrs gracest [graced]

Are by the Land-Lord Christ, who makes use of thee

To feede his flock, and heathen people teach

In their own Language, God and Christ to see;

A Saviour their blind hearts could not reach.

Poore naked Children come to learne Gods Mind

Before thy face with reverend regard;

Blesse God for thee may these poore heathen blind,

That from thy mouth Christs Gospell sweete have heard.

Eliot, thy name is through the wild woods spread,

In Indians mouths frequent’s thy fame, for why?

In sundry shapes the Devills made them dread;

And now the Lord makes them their Wigwams fly.

Rejoyce in this, nay rather joy that thou

Amongst Christs Souldiers hast they name sure set,

Although small gaine on Earth accrew to you,

Yet Christ to Crowne will thee to Heaven soone fet.

CHAP. XXII.

Of the Sixth Church of Christ, gathered at Linn. 1631.

The Sixth Church of Christ was gathered at Linn, between Salem and Charles Towne, her scituation is neere to a River, whose strong freshet at breaking up of Winter filleth all her Bankes, and with a furious Torrent ventes it selfe into the Sea; This Towne is furnished with Mineralls of divers kinds, especially Iron and Lead. The forme of it is almost square, onely it takes two large a run into the Land-ward (as most Townes do). It is filled with about one hundred Houses for dwelling; Here is also an Iron Mill in constant use, but as for Lead they have tried but little yet. Their meeting-house being on a levell Land undefended from the cold Northwest-wind; And therefore made with steps descending into the Earth. Their streetes are straite and comly, yet but this of Houses, the people mostly inclining to Husbandry, have built many Farmes Remote there, Cattell exceedingly multiplied, Goates which were in great esteeme at their first comming, are now almost quite banished, and now Horse, Kine and Sheep are most in request with them. The first feeder of this flock of Christ was Mr. Stephen Batchelor, gray and aged, of whom as followeth"

Through Ocean large Christ brought thee for to feede,

His wandering flock with’s word thou hast oft taught,

Then teach thy selfe with others thou hast need

Thy flowing fame unto low ebbe is brought.

Faith and Obedience Christ full near hath joyn’d,

Then trust on Christ, and thou againe mayst be

Brought on they race though now far cast behinde;

Run to the end, and crowned thou shalt be.

CHAP. XXIII.

Of the seventh Church of Christ gathered at Water-Towne, 1631.

The Seaventh Church of Christ gathered out of this wandering Race of Jacobites was at Water-Towne, scituate upon one of the Branches of Charles River, a fruitfull plat, and of large extent, watered with many pleasant Springs, and small Rivulets, running like veines throughout her Body, which hath caused her inhabitants to scatter in such manner, that their Sabbath-Assemblies prove very thin if the season favour not, and hath made this great Towne (consisting of 160. Families) to shew nothing delighfull to the eye in any place; this Towne began by occasion of Sir Richard Saltingstall, who at his arrivall, having some store of Cattell and servants, they wintered in those parts: this Town aboundes in severall sorts of Fish at their seasons, Basse, Shad, Alewifes, Frostfish, and Smelts: their herd of Kine, and Cattell of that kinde are about 450. with some store of Sheepe and Goates. Their Land in tillage is neere upon 1800. Acres. This Church is increased to neer about 250. soules in Church-fellowship. Their first Pastor was Mr. Phillips, a man mighty in the Scriptures, and very diligent to search out the minde of Christ therein contained, of whom as followeth:

The pennury of Wildernesse shall not

Daunt Phillips, and diswade his undertaking

This Voyage long: for Christ hath made him hot

With zeal for’s truth, thy native soile forsaken

To follow Christ his bannisht flock to feede,

With restlesse toile thus honour’d Christ hath thee,

Then it maintaine though thou thy people neede;

Christ would thou shouldst of them aye honoured be.

Till death thou hast been souldier in this War;

Darke types the shaddowes of good things now come

By thee have been unfoulded very far;

Cleer’d baptimes light from error broch’d by some,

As by thy worke in Print appears this day.

Though thou thy days hast ended on this Earth,

Yet still thou livest in Name and Fame always;

Christ thee poore dust doth crowne with lasting Mirth.

CHAP. XXIV.

Of the great cheefulnesse of their Souldiers of Christ,

in and under the penuries of Wildernesse.

These were the beginnings of these resolute Souldiers of Christ Jesus in the yeare, 1631, Even to lay the Foundation of their severall Churches of Christ, built onely on him as their chiefe Corner Stone. But as his chosen Israel met with many difficulties after their returne from Captivity, in building the Temple and City, which they valiantly waded through, So these weake wormes (Oh Christ to thy praise be it spoken) were most wonderfully holpen in such distresses, as to appearance of man seemed to be both hopelesse, and helplesse, threatening destruction to the whole building, and far from accomplishing such great things as you have in part seene already, and shall in the following discourse (God willing) see more abundantly, adding a strong testimony to the work, that as it was begun by Christ, so hath it beene carried on by him, and shall to the admiration of the whole World be perfected in his time, and unlesse men will be wilfully blinde, they must needs see and confesse the same, and that the influence thereof hath already run from one end of the Earth unto the other.

This yeare 1631. John Winthrop Esq. was chosen Governour, pickt out for the worke, by the provident hand of the most high, and inabled with gifts accordingly; then all the folke of Christ, who have seene his face and beene partaker of the same, remember him in this following Meeter.

John Winthrope Esq. Eleven time Governour of the English Nation,

inhabiting the Mattachusets Bay in New England.

Why leavest thou, John, thy station, in Suffolk, thy own soile,

Christ will have thee a pillar be, for’s people thou must toyle;

He chang’d thy heart, then take his part, ‘gainst prelates proud invading

His Kingly throne set up alone, in wildernesse their shading.

His little flocks from Prelates knocks, twice ten years rul’d thou hast,

With civill sword at Christs word, and eleven times been trast [traced?]

By Name and Note, with peoples vote, their Governour to be;

Thy means hast spent, ‘twas therefore lent, to raise this work by thee.

Well arm’d and strong with sword among Christ[‘s] armies marcheth he,

Doth valiant praise, and weak one raise, with kind benignity.

To lead the Van ‘gainst Babylon, doth worthy Winthrop call;

Thy progeny shall Battell try, when Prelacy shall fall.

With fluent Tongue thy Pen doth run, in learned Latine phrase,

To Sweads, French, Dutch, thy Neighbours, which thy lady rhetorick praise.

Thy bounty feeds Christs servants needs, in wilderness of wants

To Indians though Christs Gospell now ‘mongst heathen people plants.

Yet thou poore dust, now dead and must to rottennesse be brought,

Till Christ restore thee glorious, more then can of dust be thought.

The much honoured Thomas Dudly Esquire was chosen Deputy Governour, and the number of Free-men added was about 83. Those honoured persons who were now in place of Government, having the propagation of the Churches of Christ in their eye, laboured by all meanes to make roome for Inhabitants, knowing well that where the dead carkass is, thither will the Eagles resort. But herein they were much opposed by certaine persons, whose greedy desire for land much hindered the worke for a time, as indeed all such persons do at this very day, and let such take notice how these were cured of this distemper, some were taken away by death, poverty, and famishment, supposing the present scarcity would never be turned into plenty, removed themselves away, and so never beheld the great good the Lord that done for his people, but the valiant of the Lord waited with patience, and in the misse of beere supplied themselves with water, even the most honoured as well as others, contentedly rejoycing in a Cup of cold water, blessing the Lord that had given them the taste of that living water, and that they had not the water that slackes the thirst of their naturall bodies, given them by measure, but might drinke to the full; as also in the absence of Bread they feasted themselves with fish. The Women once a day, as the tide gave way, resorted to the Mussells, and Clambankes, which are a Fish as big as Horse-mussells, where they daily gathered their Families food with much heavenly discourse of the provisions Christ had formerly made for many thousands of his followers in the wildernesse. Quoth one, "My husband hath travailed as far as Plimoth" (which is neere 40 miles,) "and hath with great toile brought a little Corne home with him, and before that is spent the Lord will assuredly provide": quote the other, "Our last peck of Meale is now in the Oven at home a baking, and many of our godly Neighbours have quite spent all, and wee owe one Loafe of that little we have"; Then spake a third, "My husband hath ventured himselfe among the Indians for Corne, and can get none, as also our honoured Governour hath distributed his so far, that a day or two more will put an end to his store, and all the rest, and yet methinks our Children are as cheerefull, fat, and lusty with feeding upon those Mussells, Clambanks and other Fish as they were in England, with their fill of Bread, which makes mee cheerfull in the Lords providing for us, being further confirmed by the exhortation of our Pastor to trust the Lord with providing for us; whose is the Earth and the fulnesse thereof." And as they were incouraging one another in Christs carefull providing for them, they lift up their eyes and saw two Ships comming in, and presently this newes came to their Eares, that they were come from Jacland full of Victualls, now their poore hearts were not so much refreshed in regard of the food they saw they were like to have, as their soules rejoyced in that Christ would now manifest himselfe to be the Commissary Generall of this his Army, and that hee should honour them so far as to be poore Sutlers for his Camp. They soone up with their Mussells, and hie them home to stay their hungry stomacks. After this manner did Christ many times graciously provide for this his people, even at the last cast.

CHAP. XXV.

Of the Lords gracious protection of his people,

from the barbarous cruelties of the Heathen.

About this time the Indians that were most conversant among them, came quaking and complaining of a barbarous and cruell people called the Tarratines, who they said would eat such Men as they caught alive, tying them to a Tree, and gnawing their flesh by peece-meales off their Bones, as also that they were a strong and numerous people, and now comming, which made them flee to the English, who were but very few in number at this time, and could make but little resistance, being much dispersed, yet did they keepe a constant watch, neglecting no meanes Christ had put into their hands for their owne safety, in so much that they were exceedingly weakned with continued labour, watching and hard diet, but the Lord graciously upheld them in all, for thus it befell neere the Towne of Linn, then called Saugust, in the very dead of night (being upon their watch, because of the report that went of the Indians approach to those parts) one Lieutenant Walker, a man indued with faith, and of a couragious spirit, comming to relieve the Centinell, being come up with him, all of a sudden they heard the Sticks crack hard by them, and withall he felt something brush hard upon his shoulder, which was an Indian arrow shot through his Coat, and the wing of his buffe-Jacket. Upon this hee discharged his Culliver directly toward the place, where they heard the noise, which being deeply loden brake in pieces, then they returned to the Court of Guard, and raised such small forces as they had; comming to the light they perceived he had an other Arrow shot through his Coat betwixt his Legs. Seeing this great preservation they stood upon their Guard till Morning, expecting the Indians to come upon them every moment, but when daylight appeared, they soone sent word to other parts, who gathered together, and tooke counsell how to quit themselves of these Indians, whose approach they deemed would be sudden. They agreed to discharge their great Guns. The redoubling eccho rattling in the Rocks caused the Indians to betake themselves to flight (being a terrible unwonted sound unto them) or rather he who put such trembling feare in the Assyrians Army, struck the like in these cruell Canniballs. In the Autumne following, the Indians, who had all this time held good correspondency with the English, began to quarrell with them about their bounds of Land, notwithstanding they purchased all they had of them, but the Lord put an end to this quarrell also, by smiting the Indians with a sore Disease, even the small Pox; of the which great numbers of them died, yet these servants of Christ minding their Masters businesse, were much moved in affection toward them to see them depart this life without the knowledge of God in Christ. And therefore were very frequent among them for all the noysomenesse of their Disease, entring their Wigwams, and exhorting them in the Name of the Lord. Among others one of the chiefe Saggamores of the Mattachusets, whom the English named Saggamore John, gave some good hopes, being alwayes very courteous to them, whom the godly, and much honour’d among the English, visiting a little before his death, they instructing him in the knowledge of God, Quoth hee, "by and by mee Mattamoy, may be my two Sons live, you take them to teach much to know God."

Accordingly, the honoured Mr. John Winthrop, and the Reverend Mr. John Wilson tooke them home, notwithstanding the infectiousnesse of the Disease their Father died of. The mortality among them was very great, and increased among them daily more and more, insomuch that the poore Creatures being very timorous of death, would faine have fled from it, but could not tell how, unlesse they could have gone from themselves; Relations were little regarded among them at this time, so that many, who were smitten with the Disease, died helplesse, unlesse they were neare, and known to the English: their Powwowes, Wizards, and Charmers, Athamochas Factors, were possest with greatest feare of any. The Winters piercing cold stayed not the strength of this hot Disease, yet the English endeavoring to visit their sick Wigwams, helpe them all they could, but as they entred one of their matted Houses, they beheld a most sad spectacle, death having smitten them all save one poore Infant, which lay on the ground sucking the Breast of its dead Mother, seeking to draw nourishment from her dead breast. Their dead they left oft-times unburied, wherefore the English were forced to dig holes, and drag their stinking corps into them. Thus did the Lord allay their quarrelsome spirits, and made roome for the following part of his Army. This yeare came over more supplies to forward the worke of Christ.

CHAP. XXVI.

Of the gratious provisions the Lord made for his people.

The years 1632. John Winthrope Esquire, was chosen Governour againe, and the antient Thomas Dudly Esquire, was Deputy Governour, a man of a sound judgement in matters of Religion and well read, bestowing much labour that way, of whom as followeth"

The honoured, aged, stable and sincere servant of Christ, zealous for his truth

Thomas Dudly, Esq.

foure times Governour of the English Nation, in the Mattacusets,

and first Major Generall of the Military Forces.

What Thomas, now believe dost thou that riches men may gaine,

In this poore Plot Christ doth allot his people to sustaine?

Rich Truth thou’lt buy and sell not, why, no richer Jem can be,

Truths Champion in campion, Christ’s grace hath placed thee.

With civill Sword, at Christs Word, early cut off wilt thou

Those Wolvish sheep, amongst flocks do creep, and damned doctrine low [sow?].

To trembling age, thou valiant sage, one foot wilt not give ground,

Christs Enemies from thy face files, his truth thou savest sound.

Thy lengthened dayes, to Christs praise, continued are by him:

To set, by thee, his people free from foes that raging bin.

Wearied with yeares, it plaine appears, Dudly not long can last,

It matters not, Christ Crown thee got, its now at hand, hold fast.

This yeare was the first choice of Magistrates by free-men, whose number was now increased, fifty three or thereabout. To declare the manner of their Government is by the Author deferred till the year 1637, where the Reader may behold Government both in Churches and Common-wealth, to be an institution of the Lord, and much availeable through his blessing for the accomplishment of his promises to his people.

This year these fore-runners of the following Army of Christ, after the sight of many of the admirable Acts of his providence for them, begun to take up steddy resolution through the helpe of him to wade through the Ocean they were farther like to meete withall, and therefore began to plant the yet untilled Earth, having as yet no other meanes to teare up the bushy lands, but their hands and howes, their bodies being in very ill temper by reason of the Scurvy (a Disease in those dayes very frequent) to undergoe such extremity, but being prick’d on with hungers sharpe gode, they keepe doing according to their weake abilities, and yet produce but little food for a long season, but being perswaded that Christ will rather raine bread from Heaven, then his people should want, being fully perswaded, they were set on the worke at his command. Wherefore they followed on with all hands, and the Lord (who hath the Cattell of thousand Hills, and the Corne of ten thousand Vallies, the whole Earth, and fulnesse of it) did now raise up fresh supplies to be added to these both of men and provision of food, men no lesse valiant in Faith then them, the former amongst whom was the Reverend Mr. Welds and Mr. James, who was welcomed by the people of Christ at Charles Towne, and by them called to the Office of a Pastor, where hee continued for some yeares, and from thence removed to New haven, upon some seed of prejudice sowne by the enemies of this worke. But good Reader doe thou behold, and remember him farther in the following Lines;

Thy Native soile, Oh James, did thee approve,

Gods people there in Lincolneshire commend

Thy courteous speech and worke of Christian love,

Till Christ through Seas did thee on Message send.

With learned skill his mind for to unfold,

His people in New England thou must feed,

But one sad breach did cut that band should hold;

Then part wilt thou least [lest] farther jars should breed.

Yet part thou wilt not with Christs Truth, they crowne.

But my Muse waile that any souldier should

In fighting slip, why James thou fallest not downe,

Back thou retreats their valiant fighting, hold

Fast on they Christ, who thine may raise with thee,

His bands increase, when leaders he provides,

Thy Son young student may such blessing be,

Thy losse repayre, and Christ thee crown besides.

Although the great straites this Wildernesse people were in for want of food, was heard of among the godly people in England, yet would they not decline the worke, but men of Estates sold their possessions, and bought plenty of foode for the Voyage, which some of them sent before hand, by which meanes they were provided for, as also the Lord put it into the hearts of such as were Masters, and Undertakers of Ships, to store their Vessells so well that they had to spare for this peoples need, and further Christ caused abundance of very good Fish to come to their Nets and Hookes, and as for such as were unprovided with these meanes, they caught them with their hands, and so with Fish, wild Onions and other Herbs were sweetly satisfied till other provisions came in. Here must labouring men a little be minded, how ill they recompenced those persons, whose estates helpe them to food before they could reape any form the Earth, that forgetting those courtesies they soon by excessive prices took for their worke, made many File-leaders fall back to the next Ranke, advancing themselves meane time. About this time the Church of Christ at Roxbury, being a diligent people, early prevented their Brethren in other Churches by calling the Reverend Mr. Welds to be their Pastor, of whom you may see somewhat farther in the following lines:

To worke, oh Welds! in wildernesse betime

Christ thee commands, that thou his folke should’s follow:

And feede his flock in Covenant band combine,

With them through him his glorious name to hallow;

Seven yeares thou stoutly didst wade through with toile

These desart cares, back by advice againe

Thou didst returne unto thy native soile,

There to advance Christs Kingdome now remaine.

In Pulpit, and with Pen thou hast the truth

Maintained, and clear’d from scandalous reproach

Christs churches here, and shew’d their lasting Ruth,

That dare ‘gainst Christ their own inventions broach;

Then sage, in age, continue such to be,

Till Christ thee crowne, his gifts to thee are free.

This yeare of sad distresses was ended with a terrible cold Winter, with weekly Snowes, and fierce Frosts betweene while congealing Charles River, as well from the Towne to Sea-ward, as above, insomuch that men might frequently passe from one Island to another upon the Ice. Here Reader thou must be minded of an other admirable Act of Christ, for this yeare, in changing the very nature of the seasons, moderating the Winters cold of late very much, which some impute to the cutting downe the woods, and breading up the Land; but Christ have the praise of all his glorious Acts. About this time did the valiant in faith, and Reverend Pastor Mr. John Wilson returne to England, and surely the power of Christ hath notably appeared in this weake sorry man. You must needs see the Author will flatter no man, yet will he not be wanting to tell the noble Acts of Christ Jesus, in making men strong for himselfe; here is one borne up in the making of Armes of his mercy, often through the perillous Seas night and dayes, yea, weeks and months, upon the great deepe, and now having with his owne eyes beheld the manifold troubles these poore were in, yet at this very time hies him back to his Native soile, where his indeared Wife did yet remaine, purposely to perswade her to cast her cares upon the Lord, as he himself had already done, and then assuredly the wants of a Wildernesse would never hurt her. At the departure of this holy Man of god, many of his peoples hearts waxed very sad, and having looked long for his returne, Their eyes now began to faile in missing of their expectation. They according to their common course in time of great straites, set and appointed a day wholy to be spent in seeking the pleasing Face of God in Christ, purposing the Lord assisting to afflict their soules, and give him the honour of his All-seeingness, by a downe right acknowledgement of their sinnes. But the Lord, whose Grace is alwayes undeserved, heard them before they cried, and the afternoone before the day appointed brought him, whom they so much desired, in safety to shore, with divers other faithfull servants of Christ ready armed for the Battell. The day was turned to a day of rejoycing, and blessing the Lord, even the mighty God of Jacob, the God of Armies is for us a refuge high. Shela.

The yeare 1633. the honoured John Winthrope Esquire, was chosen Governour againe, and Thomas Dudly Esq. Deputy Governour, the number of Freemen added, or Souldiers listed was 46. The Winters Frost being extracted forth the Earth, they fall to tearing up the Roots, and Bushes with their Howes; even such men as scarce ever set hand to labour before, men of good birth and breeding, but comming through the strength of Christ to war their warfare, readily rush through all difficulties. Cutting down of the Woods, they inclose Corne fields, the Lord having mitigated their labours by the Indians frequent fiering of the woods, (that they may not be hindered in hunting Venson, and Beares in the Winter season) which makes them thin of Timber in many places, like our Parkes in England. The chiefest Corne they planted before they had Plowes was Indian Graine, whose increase is very much beyond all other, to the great refreshing of the poore servants of Christ, in their low beginnings. All kinde of Gardens Fruits grew very well, and let no man make a jest at Pumpkins, for with this fruit the Lord was pleased to feed his people to their good content, till Corne and Cattell were increased.

And here the Lords mercy appeared much in that those, who had beene formerly brought up tender, could now contentedly feed on bare and meane Diet, amongst whom the Honoured and upright hearted in this worke of Christ, Mr. Increase Nowell, shall not be forgotten, having a diligent hand therein from the first beginning.

Increase shalt thou, with honour now, in this thy undertaking,

Thou hast remain’d as yet unstaind, all errors foule forsaking;

To poore and rich, thy Justice much hath manifested bin:

Like Samuel, Nathanaell, Christ hath thee fram’d within;

Thy faithfulnesse, people expresse, and Secretary they

Chose thee each year, by which appeare, their love with thee doth stay.

Now Nowell see, Christ call’d hath thee, and work thou must for him,

In beating down the triple Crown, and all that his foes ben.

Thus doest thou stand by Christ fraile man, to tell his might can make

Dust do his will, with graces fill, till dust to him he take.

CHAP. XXVII.

Of the gratious goodnesse of God, in hearing his peoples prayers in times of need, and of the Ship-loades of goods the Lord sent them in.

Here againe the admirable Providence of the Lord is to be noted, That whereas the Country is naturally subject to drought, even to the withering of their summers Fruits, the Lord was pleased, during these yeares of scarcity, to blesse that small quantity of Land they planted with seasonable showers, and that many times to the great admiration of the Heathen, for thus it befell: the extreame parching heate of the Sun (by reason of a more constant clearnesse of the Aire then usually is in England) began to scorch the Herbs and Fruits, which was the chiefest meanes of their livelyhood. They beholding the Hand of the Lord stretched out against them, like tender hearted Children, they fell down on their knees. Begging mercy of the Lord, for their Saviours sake, urging this as a chiefe argument, that the malignant adversary would rejoyce in their destruction, and blaspheme the pure Ordinances of Christ, trampling down his Kingly Commands with their owne inventions, and in uttering these words, their eyes dropped down many teares, their affections prevailing so strong, that they could not refraine in the Church-Assembly. Here admire and be strong in the Grace of Christ, all you that hopefully belong unto him, for as they powred out water before the Lord, so at that very instant, the Lord showred down water on their Gardens and Fields, which with great industry they had planted, and now had not the Lord caused it to raine speedily, their hope of food had been lost: but at this these poore wormes were so exceedingly taken, that the Lord should show himselfe so neere unto their Prayers, that as the drops from Heaven fell thicker, and faster, so the teares for their eyes by reason of the sudden mixture of joy and sorrow, and verily they were exceedingly stirred in their affections, being unable to resolve themselves, which mercy was greatest, to have a humble begging heart given them of God, or to have their request so suddenly answered.

The Indians hearing hereof, and seeing the sweet raine that fell, were much taken with Englishmens God, but the Lord seeing his poore peoples hearts were to narrow to beg, his bounties exceeds toward them at this time, as indeed hee ever hitherto hath done for this Wildernesse-People, not onely as witnesse his great worke in England of late, in which the prayers of Gods people in New England have had a great stroke; These people now rising from their knees to receive the rich mercies of Christ, in the refreshed fruits of the Earth, Behold the Sea also bringing in whole Ship-loades of mercies, more being filled with fresh forces, for furthering this wonderfull worke of Christ, and indeed this yeare came in many pretious ones, whom Christ in his grace hath made much use of in these his Churches, and Common-wealth, insomuch that these people were even almost over-ballanced with the great income of their present possessed mercies, yet they addresse themselves to the Sea shore, where they courteously welcom the famous servant of Christ, grave godly and judicious Hooker, and the honoured servant of Christ, M. John Haynes, as also the Reverend and much desired Mr. John Cotton, and the Retoricall Mr. Stone, with divers others of the sincere servants of Christ, comming with their young, and with their old, and with their whole substance, to doe him service in this Desart wildernesse. Thus this poore people having now tasted liberally of the salvation of the Lord every way, they deeme it high time to take up the Cup of thankfulnesse, and pay their vowes to the most high God, by whom they were holpen to this purpose of heart, and accordingly set apart the 16. Day of October (which they call the eighth Moneth, not out of any pevish humor of singularity, as some are ready to censor them with, but of purpose to prevent the Heathenish and Popish observation of Dayes, Moneths and Yeares, that they may be forgotten among the people of the Lord). This day was solemnly kept by all the seven Churches, rejoycing in the Lord, and rendering thanks for all their benefits.

Here must not be omitted the indeared affections Mr. John Wilson had to the worke in hand, exceedingly setting forth (in his Sermon this day) the Grace of Christ is providing such meet helps for furthering thereof, really esteeming them beyond so many Ship-loading of Gold; manifesting the great humility Christ had wrought in him, not complementing, but in very deede prefering the Reverend Mr. John Cotton, many hundreds before himselfe, whom they within a very little time after called to the Office of Teaching Elder of the Church of Christ at Boston, where hee now remaines, of whom as followeth:

When Christ intends his glorious Kingdome shall

Exalted be on Earth, he Earth doth take,

Even sinful Man to make his worthies all;

Then praise I Man, no, Christ this Man doth make.

Sage, sober, grave, and learned Cotten, thou,

Mighty in Scripture, without Booke repeat it,

Annatomise the sence, and shew Man how

Great mysteries in sentence short are seated,

Gods Word with’s word comparing oft unfould

The secret truths. Johns Revelation hath

By thee been open’d, as nere was of old;

Shewes cleere and neere ‘gainst Romes whore is Gods wrath.

Then Churches of Christ, rejoyce and sing,

John Cotten hath Gods minde, I dare believe,

Since he from Gods Word doth his witnesse bring;

Saints cries are heard, they shall no longer grieve.

That song of songs, ‘twixt Christ and’s Church thou hast

Twice taught to all, and sweetly shewed the way,

And cast off mans inventions even for aye.

Thy labours great have met with catching cheats,

Mixing their Brasse with thy bright Gold, for why?

Some soile thou gett’st, by comming them so nie,

But its wipt off, and thou Christs Champion left.

The Faith to fight for, Christ hath arm’d thee well,

His worthies would not, thou shoulds be bereft

Of honours here thy Crown shall soon excell.

These people of God having received these farther helps, to instruct, and build them up in the holy things of Christ, being now greatly incouraged, seeing the Lord was pleased to set such a broad Seale to their Commission for the worke in hand, not onely by his Word and Spirit moving thereunto, but also by his Providence in adding such able instruments for furthering this great worke of Reformation, and advancing the Kingdome of Christ, for which they spent this day of rejoycing, and sure the Lord would have all that hear of it know, their joy lay not in the increase of Corne, or Wine, or Oyle, for of all these they had but very little at this time, yet did they not spare to lend such as they had unto the poore, who could not provide, and verily the joy ended not with the day, for these active instruments of Christ, Preaching with all instancy the glad Tidings of the Gospell of Jesus Christ, rejoyced the Heart of this People much.

 

 

CHAP. XXVIII.

Of the Eighth Church of Christ, gathered at Cambridge, 1633.

At this time those who were in place of civill Government, having some addition Pillars to under-prop the building, began to thinke of a place of more safety in the eyes of Man, then the two frontire Towns of Charles Towne and Boston were for the habitation of such as the Lord had prepared to Governe this Pilgrim People. Wherefore they rather made choice to enter farther among the Indians, then hazard the fury of malignant adversaries, who in a rage might pursue them, and therefore chose a place scituate on Charles River, betweene Charles Towne, and Water-Towne, where they erected a Towne called New Towne, now named Cambridge, being in forme like a list cut off from the Broad-cloath of the two fore-named Towns, where this wandering Race of Jacobits gathered the eighth Church of Christ. This Town is compact closely within it selfe, till of late yeares some few stragling houses have been built. The Liberties of this Town have been inlarged of late in length, reaching from the most Northerly part of Charles River, to the most Southerly part of Merrimeck River. It hath well ordered streets and comly pompleated [compleated] with the faire building of Harver Colledge. Their first Pastor was the faithfull and laborious Mr. Hooker, whose Bookes are of great request among the faithfull people of Christ; Yee shall not misse of a few lines in remembrance of him.

Come, Hooker, come forth of thy native soile:

Christ, I will run, sayes Hooker, thou hast set

My feet at large, here spend thy last dayes toile;

Thy Rhetorick shall peoples affections whet.

Thy Golden Tongue and Pen Christ caus’d to be

Thy blazing of his golden truths profound,

Thou sorry worme, its Christ wrought this in thee;

What Christ hath wrought must needs be very sound.

Then looke one [on] Hookers workes, they follow him

To Grave, this worthy resteth there a while:

Die shall he not that hath Christs warrier bin;

Much lesse Christs Truth, cleer’d by his peoples toile.

Thou Angell bright, by Christ for light now made,

Throughout the World as seasoning salt to be,

Although in dust thy body mouldering fade,

Thy Head’s in Heaven, and hath a crown for thee.

The people of this Church and Towne hath hitherto had the chiefest share in spirituall blessings, the Ministry of the Word, by more than ordinary instruments as in due time and place (God willing) you shall farther heare, yet are they at this day in a thriving condition in outward things also, both Corne and Cattell, Neate and Sheepe, of which they have a good flocke, which the Lord hath caused to thrive much in these latter dayes then formerly.

This Towne was appointed to be the seate of Government, but it continued not long. This yeare a small gleane of Rye was brought to the Court as the first fruits of English graine, at which this poore people greatly rejoyced to see the Land would beare it, but now the Lords blessing that way hath exceeded all peoples expectation, cloathing the Earth with plenty of all kinde of graine. Here minde I must the Reader of the admirable acts of Christs Providence toward this people, that although they were in such great straites for foode, that many of them eate their Bread by waight, and had little hopes of the Earths fruitfulnesse, yet the Lord Christ was pleased to refresh their spirits with such quickning grace, and lively affections to this Temple-worke, that they did not desert the place; and that which was more remarkable, when they had scarce houses to shelter themselves, and no doores to hinder the Indians accesse to all they had in them, yet did the Lord so awe their hearts, that although they frequented the Englishmens places of aboade, where their whole substance, weake Wives and little ones lay open to their plunder; during their absence, being whole days at Sabbath-Assemblies, yet had they none of their food or stuffe diminished, neither Children nor Wives hurt in the least measure, although the Indians came commonly to them at those times, much hungry belly (as they use to say) and were then in number and strength beyond the English by far.

Yet further see the great and noble Acts of Christ toward this his wandering people; feeling againe the scarcity of foode, and being constrained to come to a small pittance daily, the Lord to provide for them, causeth the deputy of Ireland to set forth a great Ship unknowne to his people, and indeed small reason in his own apprehensions why he should so do (but Christ will have it so.) This Ship ariving, being filled with food, the godly Governors did so order it that each Town sent two men aboard of her, who tooke up their Townes allowance, it being appointed before hand, what their portion should be, to this end that some might not by [buy] all, and others be left destitute of food. In the vernall of the yeare 1634, This people being increased, and having among them many pretious esteemed instruments for furthering this wonderous worke of Christ, they began to thinke of fortifying a small Island about two miles distant from Boston to Sea-ward, to which all the Vessells come in usually and passe. To this end the honoured Mr. John Winthrope, with some 8. or 10. persons of note, tooke boate and arrived on the said Island in a warme Sunshine day, just at the breaking up of Winter as they deemed, but being they were sudden surprised with a cold North-west storme (which is the sharpest winde in this Country) freezing very vehemently for a day and a night, that they could not get off the Island, but were forced to lodge there, and lie in a heape one upon another (on the ground) to keepe themselves from freezing.

This yeare 1634, the much honoured Thomas Dudly Esquire, was chosen Governor, and Mr. Roger Ludlow Deputy Governor, the Freemen added to this little Common-wealth this year were about two hundred and foure. About this time a sincere servant of Christ Mr. Stone was added to the Church of Christ at New-Towne, as a meet helpe to instruct the People of Christ there, with the above named Mr. Hooker, and as he hath hetherto bin (through the blessing of God) and able instrument in his hands to further the worke, So let him be incouraged with the Word of the Lord in the spirit of his might to go on.

Thou well smoth’d Stone Christs work-manship to be,

In’s Church new laid his weake ones to support,

With’s word of might his foes are foild by thee;

Thou daily dost to godlinesse exhort.

The Lordly Prelates people do deny

Christs Kingly power Hosanna to proclaime,

Mens mouths are stopt, but Stone poore dust doth try,

Throughout his Churches none but Christ must raigne.

Mourne not Oh Man, thy youth and learning’s spent

In desart Land, My Muse is bold to say,

For glorious workes Christ his hath hither sent;

Like that great worke of Resurrection day.

CHAP. XXIX.

Of the Lords remarkable Providence

toward his indeared servants M. Norton and Mr. Shepherd.

Now my loving Reader, let mee lead thee by the hand to our Native Land, although it was not intended to speake in particulars of any of these peoples departure from thence,

purposing a generall relation should serve the turne, yet come with mee and behold the wonderous worke of Christ in preserving two of his most valiant Souldiers, namely Mr. John Norton, and that soule ravishing Minister Mr. Thomas Shepheard, who came this yeare to Yarmouth to ship themselves for New England, where the people of God resorted privately unto them to hear them Preach. During the time of their aboade the Enemies of Christs Kingdome were not wanting to use all meanes possible to intrap them, in which perilous condition they remained about two months, waiting for the Ships readinesse, in which time some persons eagerly hunting for Mr. Thomas Shepheard, began to plot (for apprehending of him) with a Boy of sixteene or seventeene yeares of Age, who lived in the House where hee Lodged, to open the doore for them at a certaine houre in the night; But the Lord Christ, who is the Shepheard of Israel, kept a most sure watch over his indeared servants, for thus it befell, the sweet words of grace falling from the lips of this Reverend and godly Mr. Thomas Shepheard in the hearing of the Boy (the Lords working withall) hee was perswaded this was an holy man of God, and therefore with many troubled thoughts, began to relate [repent? {relate to Thomas Shepheard what he had done}] his former practice, although hee had a great some of money promised him, onely to let them in at the houre and time appointed; but the Boy, the more neere the time came, grew more pensive and sad, insomuch that his Master taking notice thereof began to question him about the cause of his heavinesse, who being unwilling to reveale the matter, held of[f] from confessing a long time, till by urgent and insinuating search of his godly Master, with teares hee tells that on such a night hee had agreed to let in Men to apprehend the godly Preacher. The good Man of the house forthwith gave notice thereof unto them, who with the helpe of some well-affected persons was convay’d away by boate through a back Lane. The men at the time appointed came to the house, where finding not the doore open (when they lifted up the Latch) as they expected, they thrust their staves under it to lift it from the hookes, but being followed by some persons, whom the good man of the house had appointed for that end: yet were they boulstred out in this their wicked act by those who set them one [on] worke. Notwithstanding they were greatly ashamed when they mist of their end.

But the Lord Christ intending to make his New England Souldiers the very wonder of this Age, brought them into greater straites, that this [his] Wonder working Providence might the more appeare in their deliverance, for comming a shipboard, and hoiseing saile to accomplish their Voyage, in little time after they were tossed and sore beaten with a contrary winde, to the losse of the Ships upper worke, with which losse and great perill they were driven back againe, the Lord Christ intending to confirme their Faith in shewing them, that although they were brought back, as it were into the mouth of their enemies, yet hee could hide them from the hand of the Hunter, for the space of six moneths longer or thereabout, even till the Spring of the yeare following, at the meane time the Master, and other Sea men made a strange construction of the sore storme they met withall, saying, their Ship was bewitched, and therefore made use of the common Charme ignorant people use, nailing two red hot horse-shoos to their maine mast. But assuredly it was the Lord Christ, who hath command both of Winds and Seas, and now would have his people know he hath delivered, and will deliver from so great a death.