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. XXX.

Of the Ninth Church of Christ, gathered at Ipswich.

This year came over a farther supply of Eminent instruments for furthering this admirable Worke of his, amongst whom the Reverend and judicious servant of Christ, Mr. Nathaniel Ward, who tooke up his station at the Towne of Ipswich, where the faithfull servants of Christ gathered the Ninth Church of his. This Towne is scituated on a faire and delightfull River, whose first rise of spring begins about five and twenty Miles farther up in the Countrey, issuing forth a very pleasant pond. But soone after it betakes its course through a most hideous swamp of large extent, even for many Miles, being a great Harbour for Beares: after its comming forth this place, it groweth larger by the income of many small Rivers, and issues forth in the Sea, due East over against the Island of Sholes, a great place of Fishing for our English Nation. The peopling of this Towne is by men of good ranke and quality, many of them having the yearly Revenue of large lands in England before they came to this Wildernesse, but their Estates being imployed for Christ, and left in banke, as you have formerly heard, they are well content till Christ shall be pleased to restore it againe to them or theirs, which in all reason should be out of the Prelates Lands in England. Let all those, whom it concernes (to judge) consider it well, and do Justice herein.

This Towne lies in the Saggamooreship, or Earldome of Aggawam, now by our English Nation called Essex. It is a very good Haven Towne, yet a little barr’d up at the Mouth of the River, some Marchants here are, (but Boston, being the chiefest place of resort of Shipping, carries away all the Trade). They have very good Land for Husbandry, where Rocks hinder not the course of the Plow: the Lord hath been pleased to increase them in Corne and Cattell of late; Insomuch that they have many hundred quarters to spare yearly, and feed, at the latter end of Summer, the Towne of Boston with good Beefe: their Houses are many of them very faire built with pleasant Gardens and Orchards, consisting of about one hundred and forty Families. Their meeting-house is a very good prospect to a great part of the Towne, and beautifully built; the Church of Christ here consists of about one hundred and sixty soules, being exact in their conversation, and free from the Epidemicall Disease of all Reforming Churches, which under Christ is procured by their pious Learned and Orthodox Ministery, as in due place (God willing) shall be declared, in the meane time, look on the following Meeters concerning that Souldier of Christ Master Nathaniel Ward.

Thou ancient Sage, come Ward among

Christs folke, take part in this great worke of his,

Why do’st thou stand and gaze about so long?

Do’st war in jest? Why, Christ in earnest is,

And hath thee arm’d with weapons for that end,

To wound and heale his enemies submitting,

Not carnally; then to this worke attend.

Thou hast prevail’d the hearts of many hitting.

Although the Presbytery unpleasant jar,

And errors daily in their braines new coyne,

Despayer not; Christs truth they shall not mar,

But with his helpe such drosse from Gold refine.

What, Man, dost meane to lay thy Trumpet downe,

Because thy son like Warrier is become?

Hold out or sure lesse bright will be thy crowne;

Till death Christs servants labour is not done.

At this time came over the much honoured Mr. Richard Bellingham, whose Estate and person did much further the civill Government of this wandering people, hee being learned in the Lawes of England, and experimentally fitted for the worke, of whom I am bold to say as followeth:

Richardus now arise must thou, Christ seed [feed?] hath thee to plead

His peoples cause, with equall Laws, in wildernesse them lead;

Though slow of speech, thy counsell reach, shall each occation well,

Sure thy sterne looke it cannot brook those wickedly rebell.

With labours might, thy pen indite doth Lawes for peoples learning,

That judge with skill, and not with will, unarbitrate discerning;

Bellingham thou, on valiant now, stop not in discontent,

For Christ with crown, will thee renown, then spend for him, be spent;

As thou hast done thy race still run till death, no death shall stay

Christs work of might, till Scripture light bring Resurrection day.

As also about this time for further incouragement in this work of Christ, hee sent over the Reverend servant of his Mr. Lothrop to helpe on with the planting of Plimoth, which increased but little all this time, although shee be the elder sister of all the united Colonies; Some reasons in due place may be rendered. This Reverend Minister was soone called to Office by the Church of Christ at Scicuate [Scituate].

CHAP. XXXI.

Of the Church of Christ gathered at Newberry.

In the latter end of this yeare, two sincere servants of Christ, inabled by him with gifts to declare his minde unto his people, came over this broad Ocean, and began to build the Tenth Church of Christ at a Towne called Newberry, their names being Mr. James Noise, and Mr. Thomas Parker, somewhat differing from all the former, and after mentioned Churches in the preheminence of their Presbytery, and it were to be wished that all persons, who have had any hand in those hot contentions, which have fallen out since about Presbyterian and Independent Government in Churches, would have looked on this Example, comparing it with the Word of God, and assuredly it would have stayed (all the godly at lest) of either part from such unworthy expressions as have passed, to the grief of many of Gods people; And I doubt not but this History will take of[f] that unjust accusation, and slanderous imputation of the rise of that floud of errors and false Doctrines sprung up of late, as flowing from the Independent or rather congregationall Churches. But to follow on, this Town is scituate about twelve miles from Ipswitch, neere upon the wide venting streames of Merrimeck River, whose strong current is such, that it hath forced its passage through the mighty Rocks, which causeth some sudden falls, and hinders Shipping from having any accesse far into the Land. Her bankes are in many places stored with Oken Timber of all sorts, of which, that which they commonly call’d white Oke, is not inferiour to our English Timber; in this River lie some few Islands of fertill Land. This Towne is stored with Meddow and upland, which hath caused some Gentlemen, (who brought over good Estates, and finding then no better way to improve them) to set upon husbandry, amongst whom that Religious and sincere hearted servant of Christ Mr. Richard Dummer, sometime a Magistrate in this little Common-wealth, hath holpen on this Town. Their houses are built very scattering, which hath caused some contending about removall of their place for Sabbath-Assemblies. Their Cattell are about foure hundred head, with store of Corne-land in tillage. It consists of about seventy Families, the soules in Church fellowship are about an hundred; the teaching Elders of the Congregation have carried it very lovingly toward their people, permitting of them to assist in admitting of persons into Church-society, and in Church-censures, so long as they Act regularly, but in case of their male-administration, they assume the power wholly to themselves. Their godly life and conversation hath hitherto been very amiable, and their paines and care over their flock not inferiour to many others, and being bound together in a more stricter band of love then ordinary with promise to spend their dayes together (if the Lord please) and therefore shall not be disunited in the following Verse:

Loe here Loves twinnes by Christ are sent to Preach

In Wildernesse his little flock among;

Though Christs Church-way you fully cannot reach,

So far hold fast as you in’s word are strong.

Parker thy paines with Pen, and Preaching hath

Roomes buildings left in Prelacy cast downe,

Though ‘gainst her thou defer Gods finall wrath,

Keepe warring still, and sure thou shalt have crowne.

Thy Brother thou, oh Noise, hast holpe to guide

Christ tender Lambs within his fold to gather,

From East to West, thou dost Christs Warrier bide;

Faint not at last, increase thy fighting rather.

CHAP. XXXII.

Of good supply, and seasonable helpes

the Lord Christ was pleased to send to further his Wildernesse worke,

and particular for his Churches of Charles Towne, and Ipswich, and Dorchester.

Yet farther for the incouragement of the people of Christ in these their weak beginnings, he daily brings them in fresh supplies, adding this yeare also the reverend and painfull Minister of his Gospell Mr. Zachary Simmes, who was invited soone after his comming over to assist in planting of another Church of Christ, but the place being remote from the pretious servants of Christ already setled, he chose rather to joyne with some Church among them, and in a short space after hee was called to the Office of a Teaching Elder in the Church of Christ at Charles Towne, together with Mr. James, who was then their Pastor, as you have formerly heard. Among all the godly Women that came through the perilous Seas to was their warfare, the wife of this zealous Teacher, Mrs. Sarah Simmes shall not be omitted, nor any other, but to avoid tediousnesse, the vertuous Woman, indued by Christ with graces fit for a Wildernesse condition, her courage exceeding her stature, with much cheerfulnesse did undergoe all the difficulties of these times of straites, her God through Faith in Christ supplying all her wants with great industry, nurturing up her young Children in the feare of the Lord, their number being ten both Sons and Daughters, a certaine signe of the Lords intent to people this vast Wildernesse: God grant they may be valiant in Faith against Sin, Satan and all the enemies of Christs Kingdome, following the example of their Father, and Grandfather, who have both suffered for the same, in remembrance of whom these following lines are placed.

Come Zachary, thou must reedifie

Christ Churches in this Desart Land of his,

With Moses zeale stampt unto dust defie

All crooked wayes that Christ true worship misse.

With spirits sword and armor girt about,

Thou lay’st on load proud Prelates crowne to crack,

And wilt not suffer Wolfes thy flock to rout,

Though close they creepe, with sheepe skins on their back.

Thy Fathers spirit doubled is upon

Thee Simmes, then war, thy Father fighting died,

In prayer than prove thou like Champion;

Hold out till death, and Christ will crown provide.

After these poore people had welcomed with great joy their newcome Guests, all of a sudden they spy two tall Ships, whose colours shewed them to be some forrein Nation, at which time this little handfull of people began to be much troubled, deeming them to be Rovers, they gathered together such forces as their present condition would afford, very ill-fitted as then to rescue an enemy, but their Lord and Master Christ Jesus would not suffer any such to come, and instead of enemies brought in friends, even Dutchmen to furnish them with father necessary Provision.

For the yeare 1635. the honoured Mr. John Haines was chosen Governour, and the honoured Mr. Richard Bellingham Deputy Governour, the number of Free-men added to this little Common-wealth, were about one hundred forty and five. The time now approaching, wherein the Lord Christ would have his people come from the Flaile to the Fan, threshing out much this yeare, increasing the number of his Troopes, and valiant Leaders, the Ships came thicker and faster filled with many worthy personages; Insomuch that the former people began to forget their Poverty, and verily could Purity, Peace and Plenty run all in one channell, Gods people here should sure have met with none other, but the still waters of Peace and Plenty for back and belly soone contract much mudde, as you shall heare (God willing) in the following History: this yeare came in the honoured Sir Henry Vaine, who aboad not long in this worthy worke, yet mind him I will in the following Lines.

Sir Henry Vaine once Governour of the English People in New England.

Thy Parents, Vaine, of worthy fame, in Christ and thou for him

Through Ocean wide in new world tri[e]d a while his warrior bin.

With small defeat thou didst retreat to Brittaine ground againe,

There stand thou stout, for Christ hold out, Christs Champion ay remaine.

Also at this time Christ sent over the much honoured and upright hearted servant of his Richard Saltingstall Esquire, Son to the before-named Sir Richard Saltingstall, who being weary of this Wildernesse worke, returned home againe not long before, and now his Son being chose to the Office of a Magistrate, continued for some good space of time, helping on the affaires of this little Common-wealth, to the honour of Christ, who hath called him: both Father and Son are here remembered.

Thou worthy Knight, Saltingstall hight, her’s gaine doth go_d exceed,

Then trifle not, its to be got, if thou can’st see thy neede.

Why wilt thou back, and leave as wreck, this worthy worke begun,

Art thou back-bore, Christ will send more, and raise instead thy son.

His Fathers gon, young Richard on here valiantly doth War,

For Christ his truth, to their great Ruth, Heathens opposers are:

To study thou thy mind dost bow, and daily good promote,

Saltingstall why then dost thou fly, let all Gods people note

That thou wilt stand in thy own Land, Christ there then strengthen thee,

With grace thee heate, that thy retreate may for his glory be:

At ending day, he thee array with Glory will not faile,

Breaking graves bands, with his strong hands, and free dust from death’s

goale [goal].

Among these Troopes of Christs Souldiers, came at this time, the godly servant of Christ Mr. Roger Harlackenden, a young Gentleman valiant in Faith, and appointed by Christ to assist his people in this Desart, he was chose to the Office of a Magistrate, as also to be a choise Leader of their Military Forces, which as yet were but in a strange posture; And therefore till the yeare 1644. (at which time the Countrey was really placed in a posture of War, to be in a readinesse at all times) there shall not be any thing spoken concerning their Military Discipline the continuance of this Souldier of Christ was but short, the Lord taking him to rest with himselfe.

Harlackenden, among these men of note Christ hath thee seated:

In warlike way Christ thee aray with zeal, and love well heated.

As generall belov’d of all, Christ Souldiers honour thee:

In thy young yeares, courage appears, and kinde benignity.

Short are thy days spent to his praise, whose Church work thou must aid,

His work shall bide, silver tride, but thine by death is staid.

The number of Ministers that came over this yeare was about eleven, and many other like faithfull servants of Christ, among whom arrived those two Reverend and laborious servants of his Mr. Norton, and Mr. Shepheard, of whose narrow escape you have heard the last yeare: Mr. Norton was called to the Office of a Teaching Elder, at the Towne of Ipswich to the Church of Christ there, where Mr. Warde as yet remained in Office. Also the learned labours of this Souldier of Christ are obvious to our Countreymen; hee Preaching there, the blessing of God hath not onely built up many in the Knowledge of Christ, but also been the meanes of converting diverse soules, turning them from the power of Satan to Faith in Christ, whom the Lord long continue; you shall further hear of Christs gratious assisting of him in the first and last Synod holden here at Cambridge, and in the meane time let no man be offended that the Author quickens up his own dull affections, in telling how largely the Lord hath bestowed his Graces upon these Instruments of his, although sinfull dust and ashes.

Thou Noble Norton, who art honoured by

Thy Christ, with learned Arguments doth fill

Thy mouth with mighty new errors to destroy,

And force deceivers silently to yield.

Weake dust, waite on thy Christ for further strength,

Who doth his Davids make as Angels bright,

To trample down his enemies at length,

All breake or bow unto his Kingdomes might

Illettered Men and Women that doe love

Preheminence, condemne thy learned skill,

But Christ hath given his blessing from above

Unto thy workes the World with light to fill.

Christs faithfull servants met in Synod, take

Thee for their Pen-men [Pen-man] Scriptures light to cleere,

With Scripture shew what Government Christ gave

To’s Churches till himselfe againe appeare.

Here my indeared Reader, I must mind thee of the industrious servant of Christ Mr. John Wilson, who this yeare landed the third time upon this American shore from his Native Country, where now againe by the Divine Providence of Christ, hee narrowly escaped the Hunters hands, being cloathed in a Country-mans habit, passing from place to place, declared to the people of God, what great Workes Christ had already done for his people in New England, which made many Christian soules long to see these admirable Acts of Christ, although it were not to be injoyed, but by passing through an Ocean of troubles, Voyaging night and day upon the great deep, which this zealous servant of Christ had now five times passed over: at this time came over the Sage, grave, reverend and faithfull servant of Christ M. Richard Mather, indued by the Lord with many Heavenly gifts, of a plaine and upright spirit, apt to teach, full of gratious expressions, and Resolvedly bent to follow the truth, as it is in Jesus, hee was anon after his comming called to Office in the Church of Christ at the Towne of Dorchester, to assist in the worke of the Lord, with Mr. Mavareck, whose worke not long after was ended by death, leaving Mr. Mather alone to continue the same.

With cheerfull face Mather doth toile indure,

In wildernesse spending the prime of’s age,

To build Christs Churches, and soules health procure;

In battell thou dost deepe thyselfe ingage.

Marvell not Man that Mather through an host

Of enemies doth breake, and fighting stands,

Its Christ him keepes, of him is all his boast,

Who power gives to do, and then commands.

With gratious speech thy Masters Message thou

Declarest to all, and wouldst have submit,

That to his Kingdome every knee might bow;

But those resist his sword shall surely hit.

Till age doth crown thy head with hory hairs,

Well hast thou warr’d, till Mathers young againe,

Thy son in fight his Fathers strength repayers;

Father and Son beate down Christs foes amaine.

 

 

CHAP. XXXIII.

Of the beginning of the Churches of Christ, to be planted at Canectico, and first of the Church of Christ removall to Hartford, 1635.

This yeare the servants of Christ, who peopled the Towne of Cambridge, were put upon thoughts of removing, hearing of a very fertill place upon the River of Canectico, low Land, and well stored with Meddow, which is greatly in esteeme with the people of New England, by reason the Winters are very long. This people seeing that Tillage went but little on, Resolved to remove, and breed up store of Cattell, which were then at eight and twenty pound a Cow, or neare upon, but assuredly the Lord intended far greater matters than man purposes, but God disposes. These men, having their hearts gone from the Lord [Land], on which they were seated, soone tooke dislike at every little matter; the Plowable plaines were too dry and sandy for them, and the Rocky places, although more fruitfull, yet to eate their bread with toile of hand and how [hoe] they deemed it unsupportable; And therefore they onely waited now for a people of stronger Faith then themselves were to purchase their Houses and Land, which in conceipt they could no longer live upon, and accordingly they met with Chapman, a people new come, who having bought their possessions, they highed them away to their new Plantation. With whom went the Grave and Reverend servant of Christ Mr. Hooker, and Mr. Stone, for indeed the whole Church removed, as also the much honoured Mr. Haynes and divers other men of note. For the place, being out of the Mattacusets Patten, they erected another Government, called by the Indian name, Canectico, being farther incouraged by two honourable personages, the Lord Say, and Lord Brookes, who build a Forrest [Fort] at the mouth of the River, and called it Say-brook Forrest [Fort]: passing up the River, they began to build a Towne, which they called Hartford, where this Church of Christ sat down their station. There went to these parts also the Reverend Mr. Wareham, and divers from the Towne of Dorchester. The place of setling themselves, and erecting a Towne was far up on the River, the part next being very Rocky, but on the banke of this River they planted the good Towne of Hartford, and established civill Government: of their gathering into a Church, you have formerly heard. Onely here minde the gratious servant of Christ, Mr. Wareham, whose long labours in this worke are exprest.

With length of days Christ crowned hath thy head.

In Wildernesse to manage his great War,

‘Gainst Antichrist by strength of him art lead

With steady hand to sling thy stone from far,

That groveling in his gore may lie smit downe

This mighty Monster, that the Earth hath taken,

With’s poysons sweet in cup of Gold drunk down;

Dead drunke those lie whom Christ doth not awaken.

But Wareham thou by him art sent to save

With’s word of truth Christ to their soules apply,

That deadly sin hath laid in rotting Grave

Dead, live in Christ here, and Eternally.

CHAP. XXXIV.

Of Cambridge second Church, being the 11. of Christ gathered in the Mattacusets,

and of further supply for Salem Church.

These people and Church of Christ being thus departed from New-Towne, the godly people, who came in their roomes, gathered the eleaventh Church of Christ, and called to the Office of a Pastor, that gratious sweete Heavenly minded, and soule-ravishing Minister, Mr. Thomas Shepheard, in whose soule the Lord shed abroad his love so abundantly, that thousands of souls have cause to blesse God for him, even at this very day, who are the Seale of his Ministrey, and hee a man of a thousand, indued with abundance of true saving knowledge for himselfe and others, yet his naturall Parts were weake, but spent to the full as followeth:

No hungrey Hawkes poore Patridge to devoure

More eager is, then Prelates Nimrod power

Thomas to hunt, my Shephard sweet pursue

To seas brinke, but Christ saves his soule for you;

Sending thee, Shepheard, safe through Seas awaie,

To feede his flock unto thy ending day,

Where (sheepe seek wolves) thy bosome lambs would catch;

But night and day thou ceasest not to watch

And warne with teares thy flock of cheaters vile,

Who in sheepes cloathing would the weak beguile;

With dropping dewes from they lips Christ hath made

Thy hearers eyes oft water springing blade.

With pierced hearts they cry aloud and say,

Shew us, sweet Shepheard, our salvations way,

Thy lovely speech such ravishment doth bring;

Christ gives thee power to heale as well as sting.

Thou gates sets ope for Christ thy King to enter,

In hearts of many spirits joy to center,

But mourne my Muse, hang downe they head with woe,

With teares, sighs, sobs lament thy Shepheard so.

(Why?) hee’s in Heaven, but I one [on] Earth am left,

More Earthly, ‘cause of him I am bereft.

Oh Christ why dost thou Shepheard take away,

In erring times when sheepe most apt to stray. {?}

The many Souldiers and Officers of Christ that came over this yeare, moved some wonder in the mindes of those, whom he had beene pleased to give a great measure of discerning, yet here they fell abundantly short, deeming almost an impossibility of improving their Talents in this Wildernesse, the Indian-people being incapable of understanding their Language, the Englishe congregations that were already set downe being fully furnished with Teaching Elders, and that which was most strange they were perswaded they should meet with no enemies to oppose them, as if Christ would lead them forth into the Field in vaine. But Christ Jesus, having the hearts of all Men opened before him, soon shewed them their worke, and withall made roome for them to set downe, I [ay] and many more beside, yea, and beyond expectation made this poore barren Wildernesse become a fruitfull Land unto them that waited on him for the accomplishing thereof, feeding them with the flower of Wheat, as in its time and place (God willing) shall be shewed, although it pleased him this yeare to visit them, and try them againe with a great scarcity of Bread, by reason of the multitude that came brought somewhat shorter Provisions then ordinary, which caused them to be in some straites. But their Lord Christ gives out a Word of command to those, who occupy their businesse in the great deepe, to furnish from Ireland some Ships laden with food for his people.

Also hee commands the Winds and the Seas to beare up these Ships, and blow them forth on their way, till they arrive among his people in New England, whose appetities were now sharpeset for Bread. One poore man among others deeming hee had found out some forsaken Barnes of the Indians (whose manner is to lay up their Corne in the Earth) lighted one [on] a grave where finding bones of the dead instead of Corne, hee was taken with feare of this, as a sad omen that hee should then die for want of food, but in this hee proved no true Prophet, for the Lord was pleased to bring in seasonable supply, and the man is living at this very day. This yeere came over the Famous servant of Christ M. Hugh Peters, whose courage was not inferior to any of these transported servants of Christ, but because his native Soile hath had the greatest share of his labours, the lesse will be said of him here; hee was called to Office by the Church of Christ, at Salem, their former Pastor the Reverend M. Higgingson. having ended his labours resting with the Lord.

With courage bold Peters a Souldier stout

In Wildernesse for Christ begins to war,

Much worke he finds ‘mongst people, yet hold out;

With fluent tongue he stops phantastick jar.

Swift Torrent stayes of liberties large vent,

Through crooked wayes of error daily flowing,

Shiloes soft streames to bath in would all bent;

Should he while they in Christian freedome growing.

But back thou must, thy Tallents Christ will have

Improved for him, his glory is thy crowne,

And thou base dust till he thee honour gave;

It matters not though the world on thee do frown.

CHAP. XXXV.

Of the Twelfth Church of Christ gathered at Concord.

Yet further at this time entered the Field two more valiant Leaders of Christs Souldiers, holy men of God, Mr. Buckly an M. Jones, penetrating further into this Wildernesse then any formerly had done, with divers other servants of Christ: they build an Inland Towne which they called Concord, named from the occasion of the present time, as you shall after heare: this Towne is seated upon a faire fresh River, whose Rivulets are filled with fresh Marsh, and her streames with Fish, it being a branch of that large River of Merrimeck. Allwifes and Shad in their season come up to this Towne, but Salmon and Daice cannot come up by reason of the Rocky falles, which causeth their Meddowes to lie much covered with water, the which these people together with their Neighbour Towne, have severall times assayed to cut through but cannot, yet it may be turned another way with an hundred pound charge, as it appeared. This Towne was more populated once then it now is. Some faint-hearted Souldiers among them fearing the Land would prove barren, sold their possessions for little, and removed to a new Plantation, (which have most commonly a great prize set on them). The number of Families at present are about 50. their buildings are conveniently placed chiefly in one straite streame [streete] under a sunny banke in a low levell, their heard of great Cattell are about 300. The Church of Christ here consists of about seventy soules, their teaching Elders were Mr. Buckly, and Mr. Jones, who removed from them with that part of the people, who went away, so that onely the reverend grave and godly Mr. Buckly remaines.

Riches and honours Buckly layes aside

To please his Christ, for whom he now doth war,

Why Buckly thou hast Riches that will bide,

And honours that exceeds Earths honour far.

Thy bodies [body’s] worne, and dayes in Desert spent

To feede a few of Christs poore scattered sheepe;

Like Christ’s bright body, thy poore body, rent,

With Saints and Angells company shall keepe.

Thy Tongue, and Pen doth to the World declare

Christs covenant with his flock shall firmly stand,

When Heavens and Earth by him dissolved are;

Then who can hold from this his worke at hand?

Two Bucklies more Christ by his grace hath taken,

And sent abroad to manage his great wars.

It’s Buklies joy that Christ his sons new making,

Hath placest [placed] in’s churches for to shine as Stars.

This holy and sincere servant of Christ was put upon the greater tryall, by reason he and his were tenderly brought up, and now by the provident hand of Christ were carried far into this desert land, where thy met with some hardships for a long time; till the place was well peopled, they lived barely.

CHAP. XXXVI.

Of the laborious worke Christ’s people have in planting this wildernesse,

set forth in the building the Towne of Concord, being the first in-land Towne.

Now because it is one of the admirable acts of Christ[‘s] Providence in leading his people forth into these Westerne Fields, in his providing of Huts for them, to defend them from the bitter stormes this place is subject unto, therefore here is a short Epitome of the manner how they placed downe their dwellings in this Desart Wildernesse, the Lord being pleased to hide from the Eyes of his people the difficulties they are to encounter withall in a new Plantation, that they might not thereby be hindered from taking the worke in hand; upon some inquiry of the Indians, who lived to the North-west of the Bay, one Captaine Simon Willard being acquainted with them, by reason of his Trade, became a chiefe instrument in erecting this Town, the land they purchase of the Indians, and with much difficulties traveling through unknowne woods, and through watery scrampes [swampes], they discover the fitnesse of the place, sometimes passing through the Thickets, where their hands are forced to make way for their bodies passage, and their feete clambering over the crossed Trees, which when they missed they sunke into an uncertaine bottome in water, and wade up to the knees, tumbling sometimes higher and sometimes lower, wearied with this toile, they at end of this meete with a scorching plaine, yet not so plaine, but that the ragged Bushes scratch their legs fouly, even to wearing their stockings to their bare skin in two or three houres; if they be not otherwise well defended with Bootes, or Buskings, their flesh will be torne: (that some being forced to passe on without further provision) have had the bloud trickle downe at every step, and in the time of Summer the Sun casts such a reflecting heate from the sweet Ferne, whose scent is very strong so that some herewith have beene very nere fainting, although very able bodies to undergoe much travell, and this not to be indured for one day, but for many, and verily did not the Lord incourage their natural parts (with hopes of a new and strange discovery, expecting every houre to see some rare sight never seene before) they were never able to hold out, and breake through: but above all, the thirsting desires these servants of Christ have had to Plant his Churches, among whom the forenamed Mr. Jones shall not be forgotten.

In Desart’s depth where Wolves and Beares abide,

There Jones sits down a wary watch to keepe,

O’re Christs deare flock, who now are wandered wide;

But not from him, whose eyes ne’re close with sleepe.

Surely it sutes thy melancholly minde,

Thus solitary for to spend thy dayes,

Much more thy soule in Christ content doth finde,

To worke for him, who thee to joy will raise.

Leading thy son to Land, yet more remote,

To feede his flock upon this Westerne wast:

Exhort him then Christs Kingdome to promote;

That he with thee of lasting joyes may tast.

Yet farther to tell of the hard labours this people found in Planting this Wildernesse, after some dayes spent in search, toyling in the day time as formerly is said; like true Jacob, its they rest them one [on] the Rocks where the night takes them, their short repast is some small pittance of Bread, if it hold out, but as for Drinke they have plenty, the Countrey being well watered in all places that yet are found out. Their farther hardship is to travell, sometimes they know not whether, bewildred indeed without sight of Sun, their compasse miscarrying in crouding through the Bushes, they sadly search up and down for a known way, the Indians paths being not above one foot broad, so that a man may travell many dayes and never find one. But to be sure the directing Providence of Christ hath beene better unto them than many paths, as waighty matters; yet by the way a touch thus, it befell with a servant maide, who was travelling about three or foure miles from one Towne to another, loosing her selfe in the Woods, had very diligent search made after her for the space of three dayes, and could not possible be found, then being given over as quite lost, after three dayes and nights, the Lord was pleased to bring her feeble body to her own home in safety, to the great admiration of all that heard of it. This intricate worke no whit daunted these resolved servants of Christ to goe on with the worke in hand, but lying in the open aire, while the watery Clouds poure down all the night season, and sometimes the driving Snow dissolving on their backs, they keep their wet cloathes warme with a continued fire, till the renewed morning give fresh opportunity of further travell; after they have thus found out a place of aboad, they burrow themselves in the Earth for their first shelter under some Hill-side, casting the Earth aloft upon Timber; they make a smoaky fire against the Earth at the highest side, and thus these poore servants of Christ provide shelter for themselves, their Wives and little ones, keeping off the short showers from their Lodgings, but the long raines penetrate through, to their great disturbance in the night season: yet in these poore Wigwames they sing Psalmes, pray and praise their God, till they can provide them houses, which ordinarily was not wont to be with many till the Earth, by the Lords blessing, brought forth Bread to feed them, their Wives and little ones, which with sore labours they attaine every one that can lift a hawe [hoe] to strike it into the Earth, standing stoutly to their labours, and teare up the Rootes and Bushes, which the first yeare beares them a very thin crop, till the soard [sward] of the Earth be rotten, and therefore they have been forced to cut their bread very thin for a long season. But the Lord is pleased to provide for them great store of Fish in the spring time, and especially Alewives about the bignesse of a Herring; many thousands of these, they used to put under their Indian Corne, which they plant in Hills five foote asunder, and assuredly when the Lord created this Corne, hee had a speciall eye to supply these his peoples wants with it, for ordinarily five or six graines doth produce six hundred.

As for flesh they looked not for any in those times (although now they have plenty) unlesse they could barter with the Indians for Venison or Rockoons, whose flesh is not much inferiour unto Lambe, the toile of a new Plantation being like the labours of Hercules never at an end, yet are none so barbarously bent (under the Mattacusets especially) but with a new Plantation they ordinarily gather into Church-fellowship, so that Pastors and people suffer the inconveniences together, which is a great meanes to season the sore labours they undergoe, and verily the edge of their appetite was greater to spirituall duties at their first comming in time of wants, than afterward: many in new Plantations have been forced to go barefoot, and bareleg, till these latter dayes, and some in time of Frost and Snow: Yet were they then very healthy more then now they are: in this Wildernesse-worke men of Estates speed no better than others, and some much worse for want of being inured to such hard labour, having laid out their estate upon cattell at five and twenty pound a Cow, when they came to winter them with in-land Hay, and feed upon such wild Fother as was never cut before, they could not hold out the Winter, but ordinarily the first or second yeare after their comming up to a new Plantation, many of their Cattell died, especially if they wanted Salt-marshes: and also those, who supposed they should feed upon Swines flesh were cut short, the Wolves commonly feasting themselves before them, who never leave neither flesh nor bones, if they be not scared away before they have made an end of their meale. As for those who laid out their Estate upon Sheepe, they speed worst of any at the beginning (although some have sped the best of any now) for untill the Land be often fed with other Cattell Sheepe cannot live; And therefore they never thrived till these latter dayes: Horse had then no better successe, which made many an honest Gentleman travell a foot for a long time, and some have even perished with extreame heate in their travells: as also the want of English graine, Wheate, Barly and Rie proved a sore affliction to some stomacks, who could not live upon Indian Bread and water, yet were they compelled to it till Cattell increased, and the Plowes could but goe: instead of Apples and Peares, they had Pomkins and Squashes of divers kinds. Their lonesome condition was very grievous to some, which was much aggravated by continuall feare of the Indians approach, whose cruelties were much spoken of, and more especially during the time of the Peqot wars.

Thus this poore people populate this howling Desart, marching manfully on (the Lord assisting) through the greatest difficulties, and forest labours that ever any with such weak means have done.

CHAP. XXXVII.

Of the Thirteenth Church of Christ gathered at Hingham, 1636.

At this time also came to shore the servant of Christ Master Peter Hubbord, whom the Lord was pleased to make use of for feeding his people in this Wildernesse, being called to Office by the Church of Christ at the Town of Hingham, which is scituate upon the Sea coasts South-east of Charles River, being a place nothing inferiour to their Neighbours for scituation, and the people have much profited themselves by transporting Timber, Planke and Mast for Shipping to the Town of Boston, as also Ceder and Pine-board to supply the wants of other Townes, and also to remote parts, even as far as Barbadoes. They want not for Fish for themselves and others also.

This Towne consisted of about sixty Families, the forme is somewhat intricate to describe, by reason of the Seas wasting crookes, where it beates upon a mouldering shore, yet have they compleat streetes in some places. The people joyned in Church covenant in this place, were much about an hundred soules, but have been lessened by a sad unbrotherly contention, which fell out among them, wasting them every way, continued already for seven yeares space, to the great griefe of all other Churches, who held out the right hand of fellowship unto them in Brotherly communion, which may (the Lord helping) demonstrate to all the true Church of Christ the World throughout, although they be distanced by place or Nation, yet ought they never to take up such an Independent way, as to reject the advise and counsell of each other, for although the Lord Christ have compleated his commission in giving full power to every particular Church to exercise all his Ordinances in and toward their owne body, yet hath the Lord so dispensed his gifts, that when the one want, the other shall abound both in spirituall and temporall, that by giving and receiving mutuall love may be maintained, the intire truthes of Christ continued, the Churches of Christ supported, superiority of any may be avoided, and all such as raise discord among Brethren may be retarded, the downfall of Antichrist, and restauration of that ancient people of the Lord furthered, through the Unity of Christs Churches the World throughout: this Church I hope will give signall to others (the Lord assisting) that they split not upon the Rock. Of their Pastors I shall say no more, but this at present.

Oh Hubbard! why do’st leave thy native soile?

Is’t not to war ‘mongst Christ’s true worthies here?

What, wilt give out? Thou’lt loose thy former toile

And starve Christs flock, which he hath purchast deare.

What would’s thou have, speake plaine, truth bides the light:

To Gods word goes, it’s that must triall be,

Hath cruell sword, not het one [hit on] thy side right,

Increase in love, and thou wilt Justice see.

With humble, holy, learned men converse,

Thee and thy flock they would in one unite,

And all the fogs of selfe conceit disperse;

Thee and thy sons the Lord Christ guide aright.

Some other of the Ministers of Christ arrived this yeare 1635. As Mr. Flint, Mr. Carter, and Mr. Walton and some others, of whom we shall speake (by the Lord assistance) in due time and place, in the meane time here is to be remembred Mr. Thomas Flint a sincere servant of Christ, who had a faire yearly Revenue in England, but having improved it for Christ, by casting it in the common Treasury, as it appears in the former part of this History, he waites on the Lord for doubling his Talent, if it shall seeme good unto him so to doe, and the meane time spending his person for the good of his people in the Office of a Magistrate.

At Christs commands, thou leav’st thy lands, and native habitation:

His folke to aid, in Desart straid, for Gospells Exaltation,

Flint Hardy thou, wilt not allow, the underminding Fox,

With subtill skill, Christs vines to spill, thy sword shall give them knocks.

Yet thou base dust, and all thou hast, is Christ’s, and by him thou

Art made to be, such as we see, hold fast for ever now.

CHAP. XXXVIII

Of the placing down of many Souldiers of Christ,

and gathering the Church of Christ at Sandwitch in Plimouth patten,

and further supply for the Churches of Ipswich and Linne.

This yeare 1636. Sir Henry Vaine, was chosen Governour, and John Winthrope Esquire Deputy Governour, the number of Freemen added were about eighty three. This yeare came over the much honoured Mr. Fenwick a godly and able instrument to assist in helping to uphold the civill Government of the second and third Colonies here planted, by the Divine Providence of the most high God, hee having purchased the Plantation of Saybrooke-Fort, became a good incourager to the Church of Christ at Hartford, where the reverend Mr. Hooker, and Mr. Stone were Officers. In remembrance of whom a few lines take here.

Fenwick among this Christian throng, to wildernesse doth flee:

There learn’d hast thou, yet further how, Christ should advanced be.

Who for that end, doth back thee send, their Senator to sit;

In native soile for him still toile, while thou hast season fit.

His Churches peace, do not thou cease, with their increase to bring,

That they and thee, in lasting Glee, may Hallelujah sing.

The beginning of this yeare was spent in accomodating these new come Guests in the former yeare, whose numbers was neer about three thousand, and now they began to be perswaded they should be a setled people, not minding the present dangers they were in, as you shall hear anon, onely in the meane time take notice of further supply the Lord Christ was pleased to send before the cattell increased to its strength, among whom the aged, and long continued Souldiers of Christ Jesus Mr. Partrich {Partridge}, as also Mr. Nathaniel Rogers as able disputant, whose mouth the Lord was pleased to fill with many arguments for the defence of his truth, Mr. Samuel Whiting, who hath also, with keeping to the patterne of sound and wholesome Doctrine, much stopped the spreading Leaven of the Pharises. Mr. Partrich was called to Office at a Towne then named Dukes Berry in Plimoth Government, scituated upon the Sea-coast, where the people of Christ being gathered into a Church, Ordained him to be their Pastor.

In thine owne soile well rooted in the truth,

Thou didst stand fast by Prelates power unbow’d,

But Laude layes load on Gods folke to his Ruth,

By whom thou mayst no longer be alow’d.

Then Partrich thou thy wings beings to spread

Of Faith and Love to flie these long Seas o’re,

To Wildernesse where thou Christs Lambs hast fed

With’s sincere Milke this fourteene yeare and more.

But now with age thy Almon Tree doth flourish,

Yet spreading like the Palme Tree dost thou stand,

I’th’house of God, Christ Roote thy Boughs do nourish;

And for they head he hath a Crowne in’s hand.

Mr. Nathaniel Rogers being landed, after a long and tedious Voyage at Sea, was welcomed by the Church of Christ at Ipswitch, where the Reverened and Judicious Mr. Nathaniel Ward, although a very able Preacher, and much desired, yet for some naturall infirmity (himselfe being best privy unto) desired to be unbound of his ingagement with his people in point of Office: that being left to his liberty, hee might Preach more seldom, in whose stead the Church called Rogers, whose labours in this Westerne World, have been very much: a very sweet heavenly minded man, of whom the Author is bold to say as followeth:

Through boystrous Seas thy brittle frame of Man

It safely is in Christ’s sweet armes infold,

No wonder than thou weake dust stotly [stoutly] can

Preach Christs in’s truths, why he doth thee uphold?

Why Rogers he thee over-Sea hath sett

Against the day of Battell, now at hand,

No sooner are thy feet one [on] those shores set,

But Leaders do Christ truth withstand.

Undaunted thou these Westerne Fields dost enter,

Filld with the spirit’s ready sword at hand,

Ingage thou wilt thy selfe, ‘mongst hardships venter;

Valiant thou foughtst under thy Christ’s command

And yet with all men wouldst have peace thy aime,

If deepe to wound, and sweetly then to say,

Come to my Christ, hee’l heale your wounds againe;

Canst but submit hee’l never say thee nay.

With learned Method thou Gods Word divides:

Long labouring that each soule may take his part,

Thy gratious speech with grave impression bides;

Thus Christ by thee is pleas’d to win the heart.

My Muse lament, Nathaniel is decaying:

Why dost thou grutch him Heaven, such toile hath had,

In Christ his Vineyard rather be thou praying;

That in Christs armes he resting may be glad.

Mr. Samuel Whiting was well welcomed by the Church of Christ at Cawgust [Saugus], which Towne, being now of age to receive an English name, was called Linne, where this Reverend man now hath his aboade.

Thy ardent Love, the countlesse Ocean’s measure

Quench cannot, for thy love on him is set,

Who of true love hath aie the depthlesse Treasure,

Doth thine increase, least thou should’st his forget.

Love Christ in’s truths, my Whiting, thou hast done:

Thou wilt not suffer with their leaven sower,

False Doctrines ‘mongst thy tender flock to run;

Timely cut off wilt thou all those devour.

Samuel mourne not thy strength in Desart’s spent:

Rather rejoyce thy Christ makes use of thee

Soules to convert, his Kingdomes large extent

From East to West shall shortly setled be.

Thine Eyes and Eares have seen and heard great things

Done by they Christ, shewes he thy toile accepts;

Though thy weake flesh weaker to dust hee’l bring,

Thy quickned spirit increast in his joy leaps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAP. XXXIX.

Of the first appearing in the Field,

of the enemies of Christs people in point of Reformation.

And now to follow our first simile of a Souldier, the Lord Christ having safely landed many a valiant Souldier of his on these Westerne shores, drawes hither also the common enemies to Reformation, both in Doctrine and Discipline; But it was for like end, as the Lord sometime drew Sisera the Captaine of Jabins army to the River Kishon for their destruction, onely herein was a wide difference; there Sisera was delivered into the hands of a Woman, and here Sisera was a woman; their weapons and warre was carnall, these spirituall; there Jabin was but a man, here Jabin was the common enemy of mans salvation.

In the yeare 1636. the Angels of the severall Churches of Christ in N. England sounding forth their silver Trumpets heard ever and anon the jarring sound of ratling Drums in their ears, striking up an alarum to the battell, it being a frequent thing publikely to oppose the pure and perfect truths of Christ (delivered by the mouth of his Ministers) and that by way of question as the Pharises, Sadduces and Herodians did Christ. But to bring this disorderly worke of theirs into some order, for assuredly could the Author come up to relate the full of the matter in hand, it would through the mercy of Christ make much for the good of Gods people the World throughout, and helpe to discover the last (I hope) but most subtile practices of Satan to hinder the Restauration of the purity of Christs Ordinances in his Churches in all places; As also used by him and his instruments to divert the hands of those, to whom it belongs, from pulling downe Antichrist, to which end he stirreth up some of his instruments (well educated in the Masking schoole of Hippocrisy) to take upon them this long Voyage, giving them in charge by all meanes to carry it more close, then his Jesuites had done, and for their paines they should have the honours to be counted such as were of a sharper sight, and deeper discerning then any others. Satan, knowing right well that at the fall of Anitchrist hee must be chained up for a thousand years, strives with all the wicked craft his long experienced maliciousnesse could possibly invent, to uphold the same, having already perswaded many that his Kingdome was wholly ruinated with our English Nation, and so diswaded them a long time from further prosecuting against him. But Antichrists Kingdome, as it plainly appears by Scripture, consists chiefly in two parts, his deceaveible Doctrines, and his Kingly power. The first of these being in measure abolished, the latter was still retained by the Prelacy, and some Lording Presbytery in greater or lesser measure, as they could attaine unto it.

Now Satan, who is daily walking to and fro compassing the Earth, seeing how these resolved Souldiers of Christ in New England with indefatigable paines laboured, not onely

the finall ruine of Antichrist, in both, but also the advance of Christs Kingdome, in seting up daily Churches according to his first institution. Wherefore he sets upon a new way to stop (if it were possible) this worke of Reformation, and seeing no other way will serve, he stirs up instruments to cry down Antichrist as much as the most, I [ay] and more too, but by this project they should leade people as much out of the way on the other hand, and in the Doctrinall part of Antichrists Kingdome, fall to more horrid Blasphemies then the Papist, as (God willing) you shall heare some of them did, namely the Gortenist, who most blasphemously professe themselves to be personally the Christ: and as for the other part of his Kingdome, namely the power or Dominion of the beast, this they should with all violence batter downe also, but it must be none other then to make way for their owne exaltation, and pay them their wages in the former page promised them, as also withall to overthrow the authority Christ hath ordained to be continued in his Churches, in and under him, and furthermore to lock up the Sword of Civill Government for ever, especially in matters that concerne the foure first Commands of God, a cunning way to save the beasts head whole.

You have now heard of the intention, you shall now see their actions. The Lord Christ in his boundlesse mercy give all his people eyes to see, and hearts to believe, that after they have in measure escaped the filthy pollutions of the beast they may not againe be intangled with these damnabled Doctrines, stealing away their hearts by degrees, under a seeming shew of pulling down Antichrist. The Embassadors of Christ Jesus, having full liberty to deliver their masters minde, Preach unto all the Doctrine of Free grace, beseeching them to be reconciled unto God in Christ, and that the revealed will of God is, that all should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth, and that God hath given his onely begotten Son, That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting Life. Yet withall minding them that Faith is the gift of God, and none can come unto Christ, but such as the Father drawes, and withall that the whole will not see any need of the Phisicians, but the sick, adding also that none can come to the sight of his sicknesse or dead condition but by the Law of God, unlesse they be quicker sighted then the Apostle; They indevour also to build up others in their holy Faith, that they might come to see the Love of God in Christ which passeth knowledge, and to this end they shew them the fruits of Faith which worketh by love, and that love will be obedient to all the commands of Christ, who saith, if you love me keepe my Commandements; And further that Faith purifies the heart, and that a constant supply must be had from Christ. With these and the like sound and wholsome truths the Ministers of Christ feeds their severall flocks in New England, drawing their Doctrines plainly from their Text, and substantially backing them with store of Scripture, and undeniable reason, and then delivering to every man his portion.

But this good old way would not serve the turne with certaine Sectaries that were hither come, who like cunning Sophisters, seeing the bent of the peoples hearts (after so many mercies received) was to magnifie the rich Grace of God in Christ; they began to tell the people (yet very privately) that the most, if not all the Ministers among them Preached a Covenant of workes, either course or fine, and with a what doe you say to this, They begin to spread their Errors and Heresies, laying the foundation of them as nere the truth as possible they can, the easier to deceive, but in the prosecution, to be sure they ran far enough from it, but to begin; First, they quarrell with the Doctrine of Faith in Christ, and say, a Soule is justified without it.