ORIGINAL NARRATIVES OF EARLY AMERICAN HISTORYINTRO
Of the increase of the people of Christ. Printing brought over, and the sixteenth Church of Christ planted at Rowly.
For the yeare 1638 John Winthrope Esq. was chosen Governour, and Tho: Dudly Esq. Deputy Governour; the number of Freemen added were about 130. The peace of this little Common-wealth being now in great measure settled, by the Lords mercy, in overthrowing the Indians, and banishing of certaine turbulent spirits, the Churches of Christ were much edified in their holy faith by their [the] indefatigable pains of the Ministers, in their weekly Lectures extraordinary, as well as by their Sabboth-Assemblies, and continuall visiting of their people from house to house, endeavouring to heale the hurts these false deceivers had made, with double diligence showring downe the sweet dews of the blessed Gospel of Jesus Christ, to the converting of many a poor soul. And indeed, now were the glorious days of New England; the Churches of Christ increased dayly, and his eminent Embassadours resort unto them from our native Country, which as then lay under the tyranny of the Monarchall Arch-prelates, which caused the servants of Christ to wander from their home. This yeare the reverend and judicious M. Jos. Glover undertook this long voyage; being able both in person and estate for the work, he provided, for further compleating the Colonies in Church and Common-wealth-work, a Printer, which hath been very usefull in many respects; the Lord seeing it meet that this reverend and holy servant of his should fall short of the shores of New England: but yet at this time he brought over the zealous affected and judicious servant of his, Master Ezekiel Rogers, who with a holy and humble people, made his progress to the North-Eastward, and erected a Towne about 6. miles from Ipswich, called Rowly, where wanting room, they purchased some addition of the Town of Newbery; yet had they a large length of land, onely for the neere conveniency to the Towne of Ipswich, by the which meanes they partake of the continued Lectures of either Towne: these people being very industrious every way, soone built many houses, to the number of about three-score families, and were the first people that set upon making of Cloth in this Western World; for which end they built a fulling-mill, and caused their little-ones to be very diligent in spinning cotton wooll, many of them having been clothiers in England, till their zeale to promote the Gospel of Christ caused them to wander; and therefore they were no less industrious, in gathering into Church society, there being scarce a man among them, but such as were meet to be living stones in this building, according to the judgement of man; they called to the office of a Pastor this holy man of God, Mr. Ezekiel Rogers, of whom this may be said:
Christ for this work Rogers doth riches give,
Rich graces fit his people for to feed,
Wealth to supply his wants whilst here he live,
Free thou receiv’st to serve his peoples need.
England may mourne they thee no longer keep,
English rejoice, Christ doth such worthyes raise,
His Gospel preach, unfold his mysteries deep;
Weak dust made strong sets forth his makers praise:
With fervent zeale, and courage thou hast fought
‘Gainst that transformed Dragon and his bands,
Snatcht forth the burning thou poore soules hast caught,
And freed thy flock from wolves devouring hands.
Ezekiel mourn not, thou art severed farre,
From thy deare Country, to a desart land;
Christ call’d hath thee unto this worthy warre;
By him o’rcome, he holds thy Crowne in’s hand.
For the further assisting of this tender flock of Christ, the reverend Mr. John Miller did abide among them for some space of time, preaching the word of God unto them also, till it pleased the Lord to call him to be Pastor of the Church of Christ at Yarmouth, in Plimoth patten, where he remaineth at this very day.
With courage bold Miller through Seas doth venter,
To toyl it out in this great Western wast,
Thy stature low one [on] object high doth center;
Higher than Heaven thy faith on Christ is plac’t:
Allarum thou with silver trumpet sound,
And tell the world Christs Armyes are at hand,
With Scripture-truths thou Errors dost confound,
And overthrow all Antichristian bands:
It matters not for th’ worlds high reputation;
The World must fall and Christ alone must stand;
Thy Crown’s prepar’d in him, then keep thy station,
Joy that Christs Kingdome is so neare at hand.
Of the great Earthquake in New England, and of the wofull end of some erronious persons, with the first foundation of Harverd Colledge.
This yeare, the first day of the Fourth Month, about two of the clock in the after-noone, the Lord caus’d a great and terrible Earth-quake, which was generall throughout all the English Plantations; the motion of the Earth was such, that it caused divers men (that had never knowne an Earthquake before) being at worke in the Fields, to cast downe their working-tooles, and run with gastly terrified lookes, to the next company they could meet withall; it came from the Westerne and uninhabited parts of this Wildernesse, and went the direct course this brood of Travellers came. The Ministers of Christ many of them could say at that very time (not from any other Revelation, but what the word holds forth) that if the Churches of New England were Gods house, then suddenly there would follow great alterations in the Kingdomes of Europe.
This yeare the civill government proceeded to censure the residue of those sinfull erroneous persons, who raised much commotion in this little Common-wealth; who being banished, resorted to a place more Southward, some of them sitting down at a place called Providence, others betooke them to an Island about 16. miles distant from the former, called Rode Island, where having Elbow roome enough, none of the Ministers of Christ, nor any other to interrupt their false and deceivable Doctrines, they hamper’d themselves fouly with their owne line, and soone shewed the depthlesse ditches that blinde guides lead into; many among them being much to be pittyed, who were drawne from the truth by the bewitching tongues of some of them, being very ignorant and easily perverted: and although the people were not many in all, yet were they very diverse in their opinion, and glad where they could gaine most Disciples to heare them; some were for every day to be a Sabbath, and therefore kept not any Sabbath-day at all; others were some for one thing, some for another; and therefore had their severall meetings, making many a goodly piece of Preachment; among whom there were some of the female sexe, who (deeming the Apostle Paul to be too strict in not permitting a roome [woman] to preach in the publique Congregation) taught notwithstanding, they having their call to this office from an ardent desire of being famous, especially the grand Mistresse of them all, who ordinarily prated every Sabbath day, till others, who thirsted after honour in the same way with her selfe, drew away her Auditors, and then she withdrew her self, her husband, and her family also, to a more remote place; and assuredly, although the Lord be secret in all the dispensation of his providences, whether in judgement or mercy, yet much may be learn’d from all, as sometimes pointing with the finger to the lesson; as here these persons withdrawing from the Churches of Christ (wherein he walketh, and is to be found in his blessed Ordinances) to a first and second place, where they came to a very sad end; for thus it came to passe in the latter place, The Indians in those parts forwarned them of making their abode there; yet this could be no warning to them, but still they continued, being amongst a multitude of Indians, boasted they were become all one Indian: and indeed, this woman, who had the chiefe rule of all the roast, being very bold in her strange Revelations and misapplications, tells them, though all nations and people were cut off round about them, yet should not they; till on a day certaine Indians coming to her house, discoursing with them, they wished to tye up her doggs, for they much bit the man, not mistrusting the Indians guile, did so; the which no sooner done, but they cruelly murthered her, taking one of their daughters away with them, and another of them seeking to escape is caught, as she was getting over a hedge, and they drew her back againe by the haire of the head to the stump of a tree, and there cut off her head with a hatchet; to tell the sad newes; the rest of their companions, who were rather hardened in their sinfull way, and blasphemous opinions, than brought to any sight of their damnable Errours, as you shall after hear; yet was not this the first loud speaking hand of God against them; but before this the Lord had poynted directly to their sinne by a very fearfull Monster, that another of these women brought forth, they striving to bury it in oblivion, but the Lord brought it to light, setting forth the view of their monstrous Errors in this prodigious birth. This yeare, although the estates of these pilgrim people were much wasted, yet seeing the benefit that would accrew to the Churches of Christ and Civil Government, by the Lords blessing, upon learning, they began to erect a Colledge, the Lord by his provident hand giving his approbation to the work, in sending over a faithfull and godly servant of his, the reverend Mr. John Harverd, who joyning with the people of Christ at Charles Towne, suddainly after departed this life, and gave near a thousand pound toward this work; wherefore the Government thought it meet to call it Harverd Colledge in remembrance of him.
If Harverd had with riches here been taken,
He need not then through troublous Seas have past,
But Christs bright glory hath thine eyes so waken,
Nought can content, they soule of him must tast
Oh tast and tell how sweet his Saints among,
Christ ravisht hath thy heart with heavenly joyes
To preach and pray with teares affection strong,
From hearts delight in him who thee imployes.
Scarce hast thou had Christs Churches here in eye,
But thou art call’d to eye him face to face;
Earths scant contents death drawes thee from, for why?
Full joy thou wouldst that’s onely in heavens place.
Of the coming over of the honoured Mr. Pelham, and the planting of the seaventeenth Church of Christ at the Towne of Hampton.
This yeare 1639. John Winthrope Esq. was chosen Governour, and Thomas Dudly Esq. Deputy Governour, the number of freemen added were about 83. This yeare came over the much honoured Mr. Herbert Pelham, a man of a courteous behaviour, humble, and heavenly minded.
Harbertus, hye on valiant, why lingerst thou so long?
Christs work hath need of hasty speed, his enemies are strong:
In wildernesse Christ doth thee blesse with vertues, wife, and seed,
To govern thou at length didst bow to serve Christs peoples need;
To thine own soyle thou back dost toyle, then cease not lab’ring there,
But still advance Christs Ordinance, and shrink no where for fear.
Much about this time began the Town of Hampton, in the County of Northfolk, to have her foundation stone laid, scituate neare the Sea-coast, not farre from the famous River of Merimeck. The great store of salt marsh did intice this people to set downe their habitation there. For as yet Cowes and Cattell of that kinde were not come to the great downfall in their price, of which they have about 450. head; and for the form of this Towne, it is like a Flower-de-luce, two streets of houses wheeling off from the maine body thereof, the land is fertile, but filled with swamps, and some store of rocks, The people are about 60. Families; being gathered together into Church covenant, they called to office the reverend, grave, and gracious Mr. Doulton, having also for some little space of time the more ancient Mr. Batchelor (of whom you have heard in the former Book) to preach unto them also; here take a short remembrance of the other.
Doulton, doth teach perspicuously and sound,
With wholsome truths of Christ thy flock dost feed;
Thy honour with thy labour doth abound;
Age crownes thy head in righteousnesse, proceed
To batter downe, root up, and quite destroy
All Heresies, and Errors, that draw back
Unto perdition, and Christs folk annoy;
To warre for him thou weapons dost not lack;
Long dayes to see, that long’d for day to come
Of Babels fall, and Israels quiet peace –
Thou yet maist live of dayes so great a sum
To see this work, let not thy warfare cease.
Of the planting the eighteenth Church of Christ at the Towne of Salsbury
For further perfecting this Wildernesse-work, not far from the Towne of Hampton was erected another Towne, called Salsbury, being brought forth as Twins, sometime contending for eldership: This being seated upon the broade swift torrent of Merrimeck, a very goodly River to behold, were it not blockt up with some suddaine falls through the rocks; over against this Towne lyeth the Towne of Newberry, on the Southern side of the River, a constant Ferry being kept between; for although the River be about half a mile broad, yet, by reason of an Island that lies in the midst thereof, it is the better passed in troublesom weather: the pole of this Towne have of late placed their dwellings so much distanced the one from the other, that they are like to divide into two Churches; the scituation of this Towne is very pleasant, were the Rivers Navigable farre up, the branches thereof abound in faire and goodly medowes with good store of stately Timber upon the uplands in many places. This Towne is full as fruitfull in her Land, Chattell, and Inhabitants, as her Sister Hampton; the people joyned in Church-relation or brotherhood, nere about the time the other did, and have desired and obtained the reverend and graciously godly M. Thomas Woster to be their Pastor.
With mickle labour and distressed wants,
Woster, thou hast in desart’s depth remain’d
Thy chiefest dayes, Christs Gospel there to plant,
And water well; such toyle shall yeild great gaine.
Oh happy day! may Woster say, that I
Was singled out for this great work in hand;
Christ by distresse doth Gold for’s Temple try;
Thrice blest are they may in his Presence stand.
But more, thou art by him reserved yet,
To see on earth Christ’s Kingdom’s exaltation:
More yet, thou art by him prepared fit
To help it on, among our English Nation.
Of further supply for the Church of Christ at Waterton.
And a sad accident fell out in Boston Towne.
The Lord intending to strengthen his poore Churches here, and after the overthrow of these damnable Errors, to trample Satan under their feet, he manifesteth his mindefulness of them, in sending over fresh supplyes againe and againe: although weak and sory men in themselves, yet strong in the Lord, and the power of his might. The last that this yeare is to be named, is the reverend, judicious, and godly-affected Mr. John Knowles, who was desired of the Church of Christ at Waterton, to be a two-fold cord unto them, in the office of a teaching Elder, with the reverend Mr. Phillips, of whom you have heard in the former Book.
With courage bold and arguments of strength,
Knowles doth apply Gods word his flock unto,
Christ furnisht hath (to shew his bountyes length)
Thee with rich gifts, that thou his work mayst do:
New England is too scant, for thy desire
Inkindled is, Christs truths abroad to spread,
Virginia may his grace to them admire,
That thee through Seas for their instruction led;
Thy labours Knowles are great, far greater hee,
Not onely thee, but all his valiant made,
Forth sinfull dust, his Saints and Warriers be;
He thee upheld, thy strength shall never fade.
John come thou forth, behold what Christ hath wrought
In these thy dayes; great works are yet behinde;
Then toyle it out till all to passe be brought,
Christ crowne will thee, thou then his glory minde.
To end this yeare 1639 the Lord was pleased to send a very sharp winter, and more especially in strong storms of weekly snows, with very bitter blasts: And here the Reader may take notice of the sad hand of the Lord against two persons, who were taken in a storme of snow, as they were passing from Boston to Roxbury, it being much about a mile distant, and a very plaine way. One of Roxbury sending to Boston his servant maid for a Barber-Chirurgion, to draw his tooth, they lost their way in their passage between, and were not found till many dayes after, and then the maid was found in one place, and the man in another, both of them frozen to death; in which sad accident, this was taken into consideration by divers people, that this Barber was more then ordinary laborious to draw men to those sinfull Errors, that were formerly so frequent, and now newly overthrowne by the blessing of the Lord, upon the endeavour of his faithfull servants (with the word of truth). He having a fit opportunity, by reason of his trade, so soone as any were set downe in his chaire, he would commonly be cutting of their haire and the truth together; notwithstanding some report better of the man, the example is for the living, the dead is judged of the Lord alone.
The great supply of godly Ministers for the good of his People in New England.
For to govern and rule this little Common wealth, was this year chosen the valiant Champion, for the advance of Christs truth, Thomas Dudly Esq. and Richard Bellingham Esq. Deputy-Governour; the freemen added to the former were about 192. This yeare the reverend Mr. Burr (a holy, heavenly-minded man, and able gifted to preach the Word of God) was exercised therein for some space of time, in the Church of Christ at Dorchester, where they were about calling him to the office of a teaching Elder; but in a very little time after his coming over he departed this life, yet minde you may in the following Meetre.
Well didst thou minde thy worke, which caus’d thee venter
(Through Ocean large) they Christ in’s Word to preach,
Exhorting all their faith on him to center;
Soules revisht are by him in they sweet speech.
Thy speech bewrayes thy heart for heaven doth look;
Christ to enjoy Burr from the earth is taken;
Thy words remaine, though thou hast us forsook,
In dust sleep sound till Christ thy body waken.
There are divers others of the faithfull Ministers of Christ that came over for to further this his work, somewhat before this time, as the godly and reverend Mr. Rayner, who was called to office in the Church of Christ at Plimoth, and there remaines preaching the Word instantly, with great paines and care over that flock, as also the reverend and faithfull servant of Christ Jesus, Mr. William Hook, who was for some space of time at the Church in Taunton, but now remaines called to office in the Church of Christ at Newhaven, a man, who hath received of Christ man gracious gifts, fit for so high a calling, with a very amiable and gracious speech labouring in the Lord; and here also the Reader may minde how the Lord was pleased to reach out his large hand of bounty toward his N. England people, in supplying them abundantly with Teachers, able and powerfull to break the bread of life unto them, so long as their desires continued hot and zealous; but after here grew a fulnesse in some, even to slight, if not loath the honey comb; many returned for England, and the Lord was pleased to take away others by death, although very few, considering the number; but let N. England beware of an after-clap, and provoke the Lord no longer. But seeing this yeare proved the last of the yeares of transportation of God’s people, only for enjoyment of exercising the Ordinances of Christ, and enlargement of his Kingdome (there being hopes of great good opportunity that way at home) it will be expedient onely to name some others in the Southwest parts, among the lesser Colonyes, and so passe on to the story: And first, not to forget the reverend Mr. Eaton, a man of love and peace, and yet godly zealous, he came over with those who planted the Colony of Newhaven, spending his labours in the Lord with them in Plimoth Plantation: also here is to be minded the reverend Mr. Chancie, a very able Preacher, both learned and judicious; as also the reverend, able, and pious M. Huet, who came over this year, or rather, as I suppose, the yeare before, who did spend his time and labour with a people that came over with him; at length the greatest part of them they settled downe in the Government of Canecticoe, where they planted the Towne of Windsor, and Church of Christ there, where this gracious servant of Christ continued in his labours, till the Lord laid him in his bed of rest: somewhat before this time came over the reverend Mr. Smith, being another of that name, beside the former, he laboured in the Word and Doctrine with a people at Withersfield in those parts also; Mr. Henry Whitefield, another Minister of the Gospel of Christ, of reverend respect, who being returned for England, the latter of his labours, the Lord assisting, will sufficiently testifie his sincerity, for the truth and labours of love in the Lord: here may also be named the reverend Mr. Peck, Mr. Saxton, and Mr. Lenten [Denton], the residue will be spoken of in the ensuing story to those that yet remaine. Of these persons named the Author doth tender this following Meetre.
When reasons Scepter first ‘gan sway your hearts,
Through troublous Seas, this Western world to enter
Among Christs Souldiers, here to act your parts,
Did not Christs love on [of ?] you cause him to center
All those strait lines of your inflam’d desire
Unto his truths, ‘cause him in them you finde ?
From wildernesse, not from his truths retire;
But unto death this wonderous work you’l minde;
No place can claime peculiar interest in
Christs worship, for all nations are his own;
The day’s at hand down falls that man of sin,
And Christs pure Gospel through the world is blown;
Harvest is come, bid ease and sleep adieu,
What, trifle time when Christ takes in his Crop ?
A Harvest large of Gentil and of Jew
(You fil’d of Christ), let his sweet Doctrine drop.
Of the planting of Long-Island. And of the planting
the nineteenth Church in the Mattachusets government, called Sudbury.
This yeare came over divers godly and sincere servants of Christ, as I suppose, among whom came over the reverend godly M. Peirson: This people finding no place in any of the former erected Colonies to settle in, to their present content, repaired to an Island, severed from the Continent of New-haven, with about 16. miles off the salt Sea, and called Long-Island, being about 120. miles in length, and yet but narrow: here this people erected a Town, and called it South Hampton. There are many Indians on the greatest part of this Island, who at first settling of the English there, did much annoy their Cattel with the multitude of Doggs they kept, which ordinarily are young wolves brought up tame, continuing of a very ravening nature. This people gathered into a Church, and called to office Mr. Peirson, who continued with them about 7, or 8. yeares, and then he, with the greatest number of the people, removed farther into the Island; the other part that remained invited Mr. Foordum, and a people that were with him, to come and joyne with them, who accordingly did, being wandered as fare as the Dutch plantation, and there unsettled, although he came into the Country before them.
This yeare the Town and Church of Christ at Sudbury began to have the first foundation stones laid, taking up her station in the Inland Country, as her elder Sister Concord had formerly done, lying farther up the same River, being furnished with great plenty of fresh marsh, but it lying very low is much indammaged with land-flouds, insomuch that when the summer proves wet, they lose part of their hay; yet are they so sufficiently provided, that they take in Cattell of other Townes to winter. These people not neglecting the chief work, for the which they entred this wildernesse, namely to worship the Lord in the purity of his Ordinances, and according to the rule of his Word, entred into covenant with him, and one with another, professedly to walk together in Church-fellowship; and according to the same rule they called to the office of a Pastor the Reverend, godly, and able Ministers of the Word, Mr. Edmond Brown, whose labours in the Doctrine of Christ Jesus hath hitherto abounded, wading through this wildernesse-work with much cheerfulnesse of spirit, of whom as followeth:
Both night and day Brown ceaseth not to watch
Christs little flock, in pastures fresh them feed;
The worrying wolves shall not thy weak lambs catch;
Well dost thou minde in wildernesse their breed;
Edmond, thy age is not so great but thou
Maist yet behold the Beast brought to her fall;
Earth’s tottering Kingdome shew her legs gin bow;
Thou ‘mongst Christs Saints with prayers maist her mawle;
What signes wouldst have faith’s courage for to rouse?
See, Christ triumphant hath his armies led,
In wildernesse prepar’d his lovely Spouse,
Caus’d Kings and Kingdomes his high hand to dread;
Thou seest his Churches daily are encreasing,
And thou thy selfe amongst his worthyes warring,
Hold up they hands, the battel’s now increasing,
Christ’s Kingdom’s ay, it’s past all mortall’s marring.
This Towne is very well watered, and hath store of plowland, but by reason of the oaken roots, they have little broke up, considering the many Acres the place affords; but his kinde of land requires great strength to break up, yet brings very good crops, and lasts long without mending. The people are industrious, and have encreased in their estates, some of them, yet the great distance it lyes from the Mart Towns maketh it burdensome to the Inhabitants, to bring their corne so far by land. Some Gentlemen have here laid out part of their estates in procuring farmes, by reason of the store of medow. This Church hath hitherto been blessed with blessings of the right hand, even godly peace and unity: they are not above 50. or 60. families, and about 80. souls in Church-fellowship, there Neat-heard about 300.
Of the planting of the twentieth Church of Christ at a Towne called Braintree.
About this time there was a Town and Church planted at Mount Wollestone, and named Braintree, it was occasioned by some old planters and certain Farmers belonging to the great Town of Boston; they had formerly one Mr. Whelewright to preach unto them, (till this Government could no longer contain them) they many of them in the mean time belonging to the Church of Christ at Boston, but after his departure they gathered into a Church themselves; having some inlargement of Land, they began to be well peopled, calling to office among them, the reverend and godly Mr. William Tompson, and Mr. Henry Flint, the one to the office of a Pastor, the other of a Teacher; the people are purged by their industry from the sowre leven of those sinful opinions that began to spread, and if any remain among them it is very covert, yet the manner of these Erronists that remain in any place, is to countenance all sorts of sinful opinion, as occasions serves, both in Church and Commonwealth, under pretence of Liberty of Conscience, (as well their own opinion as others). By this Symbol they may be known in Court and Country. This Town hath great store of Land in tillage, and is at present in a very thriving condition for outward things, although some of Boston retain their Farms from being of their Town, yet do they lye within their bounds; and, how it comes to pass I know not, their officers have somewhat short allowance. They are well stored with cattel and corn, and as a people receives, so should they give: And Reader, I cannot but mind thee of the admirable providence of Christ for his people in this, where they have been in a low condition, by their liberality they have been raised to much in a very little time: And again, in withdrawing their hands have had their plenty blasted. The reverend Mr. Tompson is a man abounding in zeal for the propagation of the Gospel, and of an ardent affection, insomuch that he is apt to forget himself in things that concern his own good; both him, and the like gracious M. Flint is here remembred.
With twofold cord doth Flint and Tompson draw
In Christ’s yoke, his fallow ground to break,
Wounding mens hearts with his most righteous Law,
Cordials apply to weary souls and weak.
Tompson thou hast Christ’s folk incouraged
To war their warfare, putting them in mind
That Christ their King will make his sons the dread;
The day’s at hand when they shall mastery find.
Flint be a second to this Champion stout,
In Christ’s your strength, while you for him do war,
When fist doth faint, a second helps him out,
Till Christ renew with greater strength by far.
From East to West your labours lasted have,
The more you toil, the more your strength encreaseth,
Your works will bide, when you are laid in grave,
His truth advance, whose Kingdom never ceaseth.
Of the first promotion of learning in New England, and the extraordinary Providence s that the Lord was pleased to send for furthering of the same.
Toward the latter end of this Summer came over the learned reverend, and judicious Mr. Henry Dunster, before whose coming the Lord was pleased to provide a Patron for erecting a Colledg, as you have formerly heard, his provident hand, being now no less powerful in pointing out with his unerring finger a president, abundantly fitted this his servant, and sent him over for to manage the work; and as in all the other passages of this history, the Wonder-working Providence of Sions Saviour hath appeared, so more especially in this work, the Fountain of learning being in a great measure stopped in our Native Country at this time, so that the sweet waters of Shilo’s streams must ordinarily pass into the Churches through the stinking channel of prelatical pride, beside all the filth that the fountains themselves were daily incumbred withall, insomuch that the Lord turned aside often from them, and refused the breathings of his blessed Spirit among them, which caused Satan (in these latter daies of his transformation into an Angel of light) to make it a means to perswade people from the use of learning altogether, that so in the next generation they might be destitute of such helps, as the Lord hath been pleased hitherto to make use of, as chief means for the conversion of his people, and building them up in the holy faith, as also for breaking downe the Kingdom of Antichrist; and verily had not the Lord been pleased to furnish N.E. with means for the attainment of learning, the work would have been carried on very heavily, and the hearts of godly parents would have vanish’d away with heaviness for their poor children, whom they must have left in a desolate wildernesse, destitute of the meanes of grave.
It being a work (in the apprehension of all, whose capacity could reach to the great sums of money, the edifice of a mean Colledg would cost) past the reach of a poor Pilgrim people, who had expended the greatest part of their estates on a long voyage, travelling into Forraign Countryes being unprofitable to any that have undertaken it, although it were but with their necessary attendance, whereas this people were forced to travel with wifes, children, and servants; besides they considered the treble charge of building in this new populated desart, in regard of all kind of workmanship, knowing likewise, that young Students could make but a poor progress in learning, by looking on the bare walls of their chambers, and that Diogenes would have the better of them by far, in making use of a Tun to lodg in, not being ignorant also, that many people in this age are out of conceit with learning, and that although they were not among a people who counted ignorance the mother of devotion, yet were the greater part of the people wholly devoted to the Plow, (but to speak uprightly, hunger is sharp, and the head will retain little learning, if the heart be not refreshed in some competent measure with food, although the gross vapors of a glutted stomack are the bane of a bright understanding, and brings barrenness to the brain) but how to have both go on together, as yet they know not; amidst all these difficulties, it was thought meet learning should plead for it self, and (as many other men of good rank and quality in this barren desart ) plod out a way to live: Hereupon all those who had tasted the sweet wine of Wisdoms drawing, and fed on the dainties of knowledg, began to set their wits a work, and verily as the whole progress of this work had a farther dependency then on the present eyed means, so at this time chiefly the end being firmly fixed on a sure foundation, namely, the glory of God, and good of all his elect people, the world throughout, in vindicating the truths of Christ, and promoting his glorious Kingdom, who is now taking the heathen for his inheritance, and the utmost ends of the earth for his possession, means they know there are, many thousands uneyed of mortal man, which every daies Providence brings forth; upon these resolutions, to work they go, and with thankful acknowledgment, readily take up all lawful means as they come to hand; for place they fix their eye upon New-Town, which to tell their Posterity whence they came, is now named Cambridg, and withal to make the whole world understand, that spiritual learning was the thing they chiefly desired, to sanctifie the other, and make the whole lump holy, and that learning being set upon its right object, might not contend for error instead of truth; they chose this place, being then under the Orthodox, and soul-flourishing Ministery of Mr. Thomas Shepheard, of whom it may be said, without any wrong to others, the Lord by his Ministery hath saved many a hundred soul. The scituation of this Colledg is very pleasant, at the end of a spacious plain, more like a bowling green then a Wildernesse, neer a fair navigable river, environed with many Neighbouring Towns of note, being so neer , that their houses joyn with her Suburbs; the building thought by some to be too gorgeous for a Wildernesse, and yet too mean in others apprehensions for a Colledg, it is at present inlarging by purchase of the neighbour houses; it hath the conveniencies of a fair Hall, comfortable Studies, and a good Library, given by the liberal hand of some Magistrates and Ministers, with others: The chief gift towards the founding of this Colledg, was by Mr. John Harnes, a reverend Minister; the Country being very weak in their publike Treasury, expended about 500. l. towards it, and for the maintenance thereof, gave the yearly revenue of a Ferry passage between Boston and Charles Town, the which amounts to about 40. or 50. l. per annum. The Commissioners of the four united Colonies also taking into consideration, of what common concernment this work would be, (not only to the whole plantations in general, but also to all our English Nation) they endeavoured to stir up all the people in the several Colonies to make a yearly contribution toward it, which by some is observed, but by the most very much neglected; the Government hath endeavoured to grant them all the priviledges fit for a Colledg, and accordingly the Governour and Magistrates, together with the President of the Colledg, for the time being, have a continual care of ordering all matters for the good of the whole. This Colledg hath brought forth, and nurst up very hopeful plants, to the supplying some Churches here, as the gracious and godly Mr. Wilson, son to the grave and zealous servant of Christ Mr. John Wilson, this young man is Pastor to the Church of Christ at Dorchester; as also Mr. Buckly, son to the reverend M. Buckly of Concord; as also a second son of his, whom our Native Country hath now at present help in the Ministery, and the other is over a people of Christ in one of these Colonies, and if I mistake not, England hath I hope not only this young man of N.E. nurturing up in learning, but many more, as M. Sam. and Nathanael Mathers, Mr. Wells, Mr. Downing, Mr. Barnard, Mr. Allin, Mr. Bruster, Mr. William Ames. Mr. Jones, Another of the first fruits of this Colledg, is imployed in these Western parts in Mavis, one of the summer islands; beside these named, some help hath been had from hence in the study of Physick, as also the godly Mr. Sam Danforth, who hath not only studied Divinity, but also Astronomy; he put forth many Almanacks, and is now called to the office of a teaching Elder in the Church of Christ at Roxbury, who was one of the fellows of this Colledg. The number of Students is much encreased of late, so that the present year 1651 on the twelfth of the sixth moneth, ten of them took the degree of Batchelors of Art, among whom the Sea-born son of Mr. John Cotton was one; some Gentlemen have sent their sons hither from England, who are to be commended for their care of them, as the judicious and godly Doctor Ames, and divers others. This hath been a place certainly more free from temptations to lewdness then ordinarily England hath been, yet if men shall presume upon this to send their most exorbitant children intending them more especially for Gods service, the Justice of God doth sometimes meet with them, and the means doth more harden them in their way, for of late the godly Governors of this Colledg have been forced to expell some, for fear of corrupting the Fountain, wherefore the Author would ye should mind this following verse.
You that have seen these wondrous works by Sions Savior don,
Expect not miracle, lest means thereby you over-run;
The noble Acts Jehovah wrought, his Israel to redeem,
Surely this second work of his shall far more glorious seem;
Not only Egypt, but all Lands, where Antichrist doth raign,
Shall from Jehovahs heavy hand ten times ten plagues sustain:
Bright shining shall this Gospel come, Oh glorious King of Saints,
Thy blessed breath confounds thy foes, all mortal power faints,
The ratling bones together run with self-same breath that blows,
Of Israels sons long dead and dry, each joynt their sinew grows,
Fair flesh doth cover them, and veins (lifes fountain) takes there place.
Smooth seamless coats doth cloath their flesh, and all their structure grace.
The breath of Life is added, they no Antinomians are,
But loving him who gives them life, more zealous are by far,
To keep his Law, then formerly when righteousnesse they sought
In keeping that they could not keep, which then their downfal brought.
Their ceremonies vanisht are on Christ’s all their desires,
Their zeal all Nations doth provoke, inkindled are loves fires:
With hast on horseback, bringing home their sons and daughters, they
Rejoyce to see this glorious sight, like Resurrections day;
Up and be doing, you young plants, Christ calls his work unto.
Polluted lips, touch’d with heav’ns fire, about this work shall go.
Prostrate in prayer, parents and you young ones, on Christ call,
Suppose of you he will make use, whereby that beast shall fall:
So be it, Lord, thy servants say, who are at thy disposing,
With outward word work inward grace, by heavenly truths disclosing.
Awake, stand up from death to life, in Christ your studies enter,
The Scriptures search, bright light bring forth, upon this hardship venter.
Sound doctrine shall your lips preach out, all errors to confound
And rid Christ’s Temple from this smoke, his glory shall abound;
Precipitant doth Dagon fall, his triple head off cut,
The Beast that all the world admires, by you to death is put:
Put hand to mouth, with vehement blast your silver Trumpets sound,
Christ calls to mind his peoples wrongs, their foes hee’l now confound:
Be strong in God and his great might, his wondrous works do tell,
You raised are unwonted ways, observe his workings well.
As Jordans streams congeal’d in heaps, and Jerico’s high walls
With Rams horns blast, and Midians Host, with pitcher breaking falls;
Like works, your faith for to confirm in these great works to come,
That nothing now too hard may seem, Jehovah would have don.
The rage of Seas, and hunger sharp, wants of a desart Land,
Your noble hearts have overcom, what shall this work withstand ?
Not persecutors pride and rage, strong multitudes do fall
But little handfuls of least dust, your Christ confounds them all;
Not Satan and his subtil train with seeming shew reforming,
Another Gospel to bring forth, brings damned errors swarming;
Your selves have seen his paint washt off, his hidden poysons found,
Christ you provides with Antidotes, to keep his people sound:
There’s nought remains but conquest now, through Christ’s continued power,
His hardest works have honors most attend them every hour.
What greater honor then on earth, Christ’s Legat for to be,
Attended with his glorious Saints in Church fraternity.
Christ to behold adorning now his Bride in bright array,
And you his friends him to attend upon his Nuptial day,
With crowned heads, as Conquerors triumphant by his side;
In’s presence is your lasting joy, and pleasures ever bide.
Mr. Henry Dunstar is now President of this Colledg, fitted from the Lord for the work, and by those that have skill that way, reported to be an able Proficient, in both Hebrew, Greek, and Latine languages, an Orthodox Preacher of the truths of Christ, very powerful through his blessing to move the affection; and besides he having a good inspection into the well-ordering of things for the Students maintenance (whose commons hath been very short hitherto) by his frugal providence hath continued them longer at their Studies then otherwise they could have done; and verily it’s great pity such ripe heads as many of them be, should want means to further them in learning: But seeing the Lord hath been pleased to raise up so worthy an instrument for their good, he shall not want for incouragement to go on with the work, so far as a rustical rime will reach.
Could man presage prodigious works at hand,
Provide he would for’s good and ill prevent,
But God both time and means hath at’s command,
Dunster in time to his N.E. hath sent.
When England ‘gan to keep at home their guides,
N.E. began to pay their borrowed back,
Industrious Dunster, providence provides,
Our friends supply, and yet our selves no lack:
With restless labour thou dost delve and dung,
Surculus set in garden duly tended,
That in Christs Orchard they, with fruit full hung,
May bless the Lord, thy toil gone, them expended,
Thy constant course proves retrograde in this,
From West to East thy toil returns again,
Thy husbandry by Christ so honored is,
That all the world partaketh of thy pains.
Of the planting of the one and twentieth Church of Christ at a Town called Glocester,
and of the Church and Town of Dover, and of the hardships that befel a certain people,
who thirsted after a large liberty in a warm Country.
For the Government of this little Commonwealth, this year was chosen for Governour Richard Belingham, Esquire, and John Endicut Esquire for Governors [Deputy Governor]; the number of Freemen added this year, were about 503.
There was another Town and Church of Christ erected in the Mattachuset Government, upon the Northern-Cape of the Bay, called Cape Ann, a place of fishing, being peopled with Fishermen, till the reverend Mr. Richard Blindman came from a place in Plimouth Patten, called Green-Harbor, with some few people of his acquaintance, and setled down with them, named the Town Glocester, and gathered into a Church, being but a small number, about fifty persons, they called to office this godly reverend man, whose gifts and abilities to handle the word is not inferiour to many others, labouring much against the errors of the times, of a sweet, humble, heavenly carriage. This Town lying out toward the point of the Cape, the access thereunto by Land becomes uneasie, which was the chief cause it was no more populated. Their fishing trade would be very beneficial, had they men of estates to mannage it; yet are they not without other means of maintenance, having good timber for shipping, and a very sufficient builder, but that these times of combustion the Seas throughout hath hindered much that work, yet have there been Vessels built here at this Town of late. Their reverend Elder is here remembred.
Thou hast thy prime and middle age here spent,
The best is not too good for him that gave it,
When thou did’st first this Wilderness frequent,
For Sions sake it was, that Christ might save it.
Blinman be blith in him, who thee hath taken
To feed his Flock, a few poor scattered sheep,
Why should they be of thee at all forsaken ?
Thy honor’s high, that any thou may’st keep.
Wait patiently thy Masters coming, thou
Hast hitherto his peoples portions dealt,
It matters not for high preferment; now
Thy crown’s to come, with joyes immortal felt.
About this time the people inhabiting the Town of Dover, although they lay out of any of these Colonies mentioned (yet hearing and seeing with what sweet harmony, both in Churches and civil Government, the Mattachusets peopled patten was carried on prosperously) desired greatly to submit unto the same, by putting themselves under their protection; and for that end they petitioned their General Cort to admit of them, and administer Justice as occasion served, by the hands of their godly Magistrates, which accordingly was granted, and they have been partakers of the benefit hitherto, having also the benefit of some one Minister to preach unto them, till it pleased God to fit stones by the continual hewing of his word for his Temple-work, and they gather a Church according to the rule of the word, and called to office of a Pastor one M. Maude, both godly and diligent in the work. This Town is scituate upon Puscataque river, lying to the Northeast of Boston, which river, although it be not nigh so broad as Merrinaeck river, yet is it navigable, being very deep, and her banks in many places fil’d with stately timber, which hath caused one or two Saw-Mills to be continued; there they have a good quantity of Meddow Land, and good ground for India corn. To end this year 1641. the Lord was pleased to send a very sharp Winter, insomuch that the Harbor where Ships ordinarily Anchor, was frozen over of such a thickness, that it became passeable, both for horse, carts, and oxen, for the space of five weeks. And here the Reader must be minded of the wonder-working providence of Christ for his poor Churches, in altering the very season for their comfort, to the wonder of English and Indians, the Winter and Summer proving more moderate, both for heat and cold, unmasking many by this means, it being a frequent thing with some, that after the novelties of a new land began to be stale with them, and the sweet nourishment of the souls by the presence of Christ in the preaching of his Word, began to dry up through the hot heady conceit of some new conceived opinion, Then they wanted a warmer country, and every Northwest wind that blew, they crept into some odd chimney-corner or other, to discourse of the diversity of Climates in the Southerne parts, but chiefly of a thing very sweet to the pallate of the flesh, called liberty, which they supposed might be very easily attain’d, could they but once come into a place where all men were chosen to the office of a Magistrate, and all were preachers of the word, and no hearers, then it would be all Summer and no Winter. This consultation was to be put in practice speedily, as all headstrong motions are, but the issue proved very sad, both to these and others also; for thus it befell, when the time of the year was come that a sea-voyage might be undertaken, they having made sale of a better accommodation then any they could afterward attain unto, prepare for the voyage with their wifes and children, intending to land them in one of the Summer Islands, called the Isle of Providence, and having wind and seas favouring them, as they supposed, or to speak more proper, the provident hand of the most high God directing it, they were brought so neer the shore for convenient landing, that they might have heaved a Bisket cake on land; their Pilate wondring he could not see the English colours on the Fort, he began to mistrust the Island was taken, and more especially, because they saw not the people appear upon the shores as they usually did when any Vessel was a coming in, but now and then they saw some people a far off wafting to them to come in, till they were even come to an Anchor, and then by the hoising up and down the heads of those on shore, they were fully confirmed in it, that the Island was taken, as indeed it was by the Spaniards, who as soone as they tackt about to be gone, made shot at them, and being in great fear they made all the sail they could, but before they could get out of shot, the Master of the Vessel was slain, the main sail shot through, and the Barque also: the people some of them returned back again for New-England, being sore abashed at this providence that befel them, that they would never seek to be governed by liberty again to this very day; yet others there are were so strongly bent for the heat of liberty, that they indured much pinching penury upon an uninhabited Island, til at length meeting some others like-minded with themselves, they made a voyage to another Island. The chiefest part of their Charter of Freedom was this, That no man upon pain of death should speak against anothers Religion; where they continued, till some of them were famished, and others even forced to feed on Rats, and any other thing they could find to sustain nature, till the provident hand of god brought a Ship to the place, which took them off the Island, and saved their lives: But upon this the Winters discourse ceased, and projects for a warmer Country were husht and done.
Of the suddain and unexpected fall of Cattel, and the great blessing of God in giving plenty of provision.
For this year 1642. John Winthrope Esquire was chosen Governour, and John Endicut Esquire Deputy Governor: The number of Freemen added were about 1232.
This Spring Cowes and Cattle of that kind (having continued at an excessive price so long as any came over with estates to purchase them) fell of a suddain in one week from 22 l. the Cow, to 6.7. or 8. l. the Cow at most, insomuch that it made all men admire how it came to pass, it being the common practice of those that had any store of Cattel, to sell every year a Cow or two, which cloath’d their backs, fil’d their bellies with more varieties then the Country of it self afforded, and put gold and silver in their purses beside. Here the Reader is desired to take notice of the wonderful providence of the most high God toward these his new-planted Churches, such as was never heard of, since that Jacobs sons ceased to be a people, that in ten or twelve years planting, there should be such wonderful alteration, a Nation to be born in a day, a Commonwealth orderly brought forth from a few Fugitives. All the Forraign plantations that are of forty, fifty, or a hundred years standing, cannot really report the like, although they have had the greatest incouragements earth could afford, Kings to countenance them, staple commodities to provoke all manner of Merchants to resort unto them, silver, gold, precious stones, or whatever might intice the eye or ear to incline the motion of man toward them. [T]his remote, rocky, barren, bushy, wild-woody wilderness, a receptacle for Lions, Wolves, Bears, Foxes, Rockoones, Bags, Bevers, Otters, and all kind of wild creatures, a place that never afforded the Natives better than the flesh of a few wild creatures and parch’t Indian corn incht out with Chesnuts and bitter Acorns, now through the mercy of Christ becom a second England for fertilness in so short a space, that it is indeed the wonder of the world; but being already forgotten of the very persons that tast of it at present, although some there be that keep in memory his mercies multitude, and declare it to their childrens children.
First to begin with the encrease of food, you have heard in what extream penury these people were in at first planting. For want of food, gold, silver, rayment, or whatsoever was precious in their eyes they parted with (when ships came in). For this, their beast that died, some would stick before they were cold, and sell their poor pined flesh for food, at 6. d. per pound, Indian Beans at 16. s. per bushel. When Ships came in, it grieved some Master[s] to see the urging of them by people of good rank and quality to sell bread unto them. But now take notice how the right hand of the most high hath altered all, and men of the meaner rank are urging them to buy bread of them, and now good white and wheaten bread is no dainty, but even ordinary man that his choice, if gay cloathing , and a liquerish tooth after sack, sugar, and plums lick not away his bread too fast, all which are but ordinary among those that were not able to bring their owne persons over at their first coming; there are not many Towns in the country, but the poorest person in them hath a house and land of his own, and bread of his own growing, if not some cattel: beside, flesh is now no rare food, beef, pork, and mutton being frequent in many houses, so that this poor Wilderness hath not onely equalized England in food, but goes beyond it in some places for the great plenty of wine and sugar, which is ordinarily spent, apples, pears, and quince tarts instead of their former Pumpkin Pies. Poultry they have plenty, and great rarity, and in their feasts have not forgotten the English fashion of stirring up their appetites with variety of cooking their food; and notwithstanding all this great and almost miraculous work of the Lord, in providing for his people in this barren desart, yet are there here (as in other places) some that use these good creatures of God to excess, and others, to hoard up in a wretched and miserable manner, pinch themselves and their children with food, and will not tast of the good creatures God hath given for that end, but cut Church and Commonwealth as short also: Let not such think to escape the Lords hand with as little a stroke, as the like do in other places.
Secondly, For rayment, our cloth hath not been cut short, as but of late years the traders that way have encreased to such a number, that their shops have continued full all the year long, all one England; besides the Lord hath been pleased to encrease sheep extraordinarily of late, hemp and flax here is great plenty, hides here are more for the number of persons then in England; and for cloth, here is and would be materials enough to make it; but the Farmers deem it better for their profit to put away their cattel and corn for cloathing, then to set upon the making of cloth; if the Merchants trade be not kept on foot, they fear greatly their corne and cattel will lye in their hands: assuredly the plenty of cloathing hath caused much excess of late in those persons, who have clambered with excess in wages for their work, but seeing it will be the theam of our next discourse, after the birds are setled, it may be here omitted.
Further, the Lord hath been pleased to turn all the wigwams, huts, and hovels the English dwelt in at their fist coming, into orderly, fair, and well-built houses, well furnished many of them, together with Orchards filled with goodly fruit trees, and gardens with variety of flowers: There are supposed to be in the Mattachusets Government at this day, neer a thousand acres of land planted for Orchards and Gardens, besides their fields are filled with garden fruit, there being, as is supposed in this Colony, about fifteen thousand acres in tillage, and of cattel about twelve thousand neat, and about three thousand sheep. Thus hath the Lord incouraged his people with the encrease of the general, although many particulars are outed, hundreds of pounds, and some thousands, yet are there many hundreds of labouring men, who had not enough to bring them over, yet now worth scores, and some hundreds of pounds; to be sure the Lord takes notice of all his talents, and will call to accompt in time: This brief survey of things will be of good use when time serves, in mean time you shall understand,
Of the manner of planting Towns and Churches in N.E.
And in particular of the Church and Town at Wooburn, being the three and twentieth Church of Christ in the Mattachusets Government.
There was a Town and Church erected called Wooburn, this present year, but because all the action of this wandering people meet with great variety of censures, the Author will in this Town and Church set down the manner how this people have populated their Towns, and gathered their Churches, that the reverend Mr. Rathbone may be better informed, then when he wrote his book concerning the Churches of N.E. and all the others that are experienced in the holy Scriptures, may lay the actions of N.E. to the Rule,
[this is in Edward Johnson’s own handwriting – and very difficult to read.]
Records For the Tow of Woburn
from the year 1640: the 18 day of the 10 month
and try them by the balance of the Sanctuary, for assuredly they greatly desire they may be brought to the light, for great is the truth, and will prevail, yet have they their errings as well as others, but yet their imperfections may not blemish the truths of Christ; let them be glorified, and these his people will willingly take shame to themselves, wherein they have miscarried: But to begin, this Town, as all others, had its bounds fixed by the General Court, to the contenese [contents] of four miles square, (beginning at the end of Charles Town bounds). The grant is to seven men of good and honest report, upon condition, that within two year they erect houses for habitation thereon, and so go one to make a Town thereof, upon the Act of Court; these seven men have power to give and grant out lands unto any persons who are willing to take up their dwellings within the said precinct, and to be admitted to al common priviledges of the said Town, giving them such an ample portion, both of Medow and Upland, as their present and future stock of cattel and hands were like to improve, with eye had to others that might after come to populate the said Town; this they did without any respect of persons, yet such as were exorbitant, and of a turbulent spirit, unfit for a civil society, they would reject, till they come to mend their manners; such came not to enjoy any freehold. These seven men ordered and disposed of the streets of the Town, as might be best for improvement of the Land, and yet civil and religious society maintained; to which end those that had land neerest the place for Sabbath Assembly, had a lesser quantity at home, and more farther off to improve for corn, of all kinds; they refused not men for their poverty, but according to their ability were helpful to the poorest sort, in building their houses, and distributed to them land accordingly; the poorest had six or seven acres of Medow, and twenty five of Upland, or thereabouts. Thus was this Town populated, to the number of sixty families, or thereabout, and after this manner are the Towns of New England peopled. The scituation of this Town is the highest part of the yet peopled land, neere upon the head-springs of many considerable rivers, or their branches, as the first rise of Ipswitch river, and the rise of Shashin river, one of the most considerable branches of Merrimeck, as also the first rise of Mistick river and ponds, it is very full of pleasant springs, and great variety of very good water, which the Summers heat causeth to be more cooler, and the Winters cold maketh more warmer; their Medows are not large, but lye in divers places to particular dwellings, the like doth their Springs; their Land is very fruitful in many places, although they have no great quantity of plain land in any one place, yet doth their Rocks and Swamps yeeld very good food for cattel; as also they have Mast and Tar for shipping, but the distance of place by land causeth them as yet to be unprofitable; they have great store of iron ore; their meeting-house stands in a small Plain, where four streets meet; the people are very laborious, if not exceeding some of them.
Now to declare how this people proceeded in religious matters, and so consequently all the Churches of Christ planted in New-England, when they came once to hopes of being such a competent number of people, as might be able to maintain a Minister, they then surely seated themselves, and not before, it being as unnatural for a right N.E. man to live without an able Ministery, as for a Smith to work his iron without a fire; therefore this people that went about placing down a Town, began the foundation-stone, with earnest seeking of the Lords assistance, by humbling of their souls before him in daies of prayer, and imploring his aid in so weighty a work, then they address themselves to attend counsel of the most Orthodox and ablest Christians, and more especially of such as the Lord had already placed in the Ministery, not rashly running together themselves into a Church, before they had hopes of attaining an Officer to preach the Word, and administer the Seals unto them, chosing rather to continue in fellowship with some other Church for their Christian watch over them, till the Lord would be pleased to provide: They after some search meet with a young man named Mr. Thomas Carter, then belonging to the Church of Christ at Water-Town, a reverend godly man, apt to teach the sound and wholesome truths of Christ; having attained their desires, in hopes of his coming unto them, were they once joyned in Church-estate, he exercising his gifts of preaching and prayer among them in the mean time, and more especially in a day of fasting and prayer. Thus these godly people interest their affections one with the other, both Minister and people: After this they make ready for the work, ad the 24. of the 6. moneth 1642. they assemble together in the morning about eight of the clock; After the reverend Mr. Syms had continued in preaching and prayer about the space of four or five houres, the persons that were to joyn in Covenant, openly and professedly before the Congregation, and messengers of divers Neighbour Churches – among whom the reverend Elder of Boston, Mr. Cotton, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Allen of Charles-Town, Mr. Shepheard of Cambridg, Mr. Dunster of Water-Town, Mr. Knowles of Deadham, Mr. Allen of Roxbury, Mr. Eliot of Dorchester, Mr. Mather: As also it is the duty of the Magistrates (in regard of the good and peace of the civil Government) to be present, at least some one of them (not only to prevent the disturbance might follow in the Commonwealth by any, who under pretence of Church-Covenant, might bring in again those cursed opinions that caused such commotion in this and the other Colony, to the great dammage of the people) but also to countenance the people of God in so pious a work, that under them they may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty; for this cause was present the honored Mr. Increase Nowel – the persons stood forth and first confessed what the Lord had done for their poor souls, by the work of his Spirit in the preaching of his Word, and Providences, one by one; and that all might know their faith in Christ was bottomed upon him, as he is revealed in his Word, and that from their own knowledg, they also declare the same, according to that measure of understanding the Lord had given them; the Elders, or any other messengers there present question with them, for the better understanding of them in any points they doubt of, which being done, and all satisfied, they in the name of the Churches to which they do belong, hold out the right hand of fellowship unto them, they declaring their Covenant, in words expressed in writing to this purpose.
We that do assemble our selves this day before God and his people, in an unfeigned desire to be accepted of him as a Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Rule of the New-Testament, do acknowledg our selves to be the most unworthy of all others, that we should attain such a high grace, and the most unable of our selves to the performance of any thing that is good, abhorring our selves for all our former defilements in the worship of God, and other wayes, and resting only upon the Lord Jesus Christ for attonement, and upon the power of his grace for the guidance of our whole after course, do here in the name of Christ Jesus, as in the presence of the Lord, from the bottom of our hearts agree together through his grace to give up our selves, first unto the Lord Jesus as our only King, Priest and Prophet, wholly to be subject unto him in all thing, and therewith one unto another, as in a Church-Body to walk together in all the Ordinances of the Gospel, and in all such mutual love and offices thereof, as toward one another in the Lord; and all this, both according to the present light that the Lord hath given us, as also according to all further light, which he shall be pleased at any time to reach out unto us out of the word by the goodness of his grace, renouncing also in the same Covenant all errors and Schismes, and whatsoever by-wayes that are contrary to the blessed rules revealed in the Gospel, and in particular the inordinate love and seeking after the things of the world.
Every Church hath not the same words, for they are not for a form of words.
The 22. of the 9. moneth following Mr. Thomas Carter was ordained Pastor, in the presence of the like Assembly. After he had exercised in preaching and prayer the greater part of the day, two persons in the name of the Church laid their hands upon his head, and said, We ordain thee Thomas Carter to be Pastor unto this Church of Christ; then one of the Elders Priest [Present], being desired of the Church, continued in prayer unto the Lord for his more especial assistance of this servant in his work, being a charge of such weighty importance, as is the glory of God and salvation of souls, that the very thought would make a man to tremble in the sense of his own inability to the work. The people having provided a dwelling house, built at the charge of the Town in general, welcomed him unto them with joy, that the lord was pleased to give them such a blessing, that their eyes may see their Teachers. After this there were divers added to the Church daily after this manner: the person desirous to joyn with the Church, cometh to the Pastor, and makes him acquainted therewith, declaring how the Lord hath been pleased to work his conversion, who discerning hopes of the persons faith in Christ, although weak, yet if any appear, he is propounded to the Church in general for their approbation, touching his godly life and conversation, and then by the Pastor and some brethren heard again, who make report to the Church of their charitable approving of the person; but before they come to joyn with the Church, all persons within the Towne have publike notice of it, then publikely he declares the manner of his conversion, and how the Lord hath been pleased by the hearing of his Word preached, and the work of his Spirit in the inward parts of his soul, to bring him out of that natural darkness, which all men are by nature in and under, as also the measure of knowledg the Lord hath been pleased to indue him withal. And because some men cannot speak publikely to edification through bashfulness, the less is required of such, and women speak not publikely at all, for all that is desired, is to prevent the polluting the blessed Ordinances of Christ by such as walk scandalously, and that men and women do not eat and drink their own condemnation, in not discerning the Lords body. After this manner were many added to this Church of Christ, and those 7. that joyned in Church-fellowship at first, are now encreased to 74. persons, or thereabout; of which, according to their own confession, as is supposed, the greater part having been converted by the preaching of the Word in N.E. by which may appear the powerful efficacy of the word of Christ in the mouth of his Ministers, and that this way of Christ in joyning together in Church-Covenant, is not only for building up of souls in Christ, but also for converting of sinners, and bringing them out of the natural condition to be ingrafted into Christ, for if this one Church have so many, then assuredly there must be a great number comparatively throughout all the Churches in the Country. After this manner have the Churches of Christ had their beginning and progress hitherto; the Lord continue and encrease them the world throughout. The Pastor of this Church hath much encreased with the encreasings of Christ Jesus, of whose labours in the Lord as followeth.
Carter, Christ hath his wayes thee taught, and them [thou]
Hast not with-held his Word, but unto all
With’s word of power dost cause stout souls to bow,
And meek as Lambs before thy Christ to fall:
The antient truths, plain paths, they fit thee best,
Thy humble heart all haughty acts puts by,
The lowly heart, Christ learns his lovely hest,
Thy meekness shews thy Christ to thee is nigh;
Yet must thou shew Christ makes his bold to be
As Lions, that none may his truths tread down,
Pastoral power he hath invested thee
With, it maintain, least he on thee do frown;
Thy youth thou hast in this New-England spent,
Full sixteen years to water, plant, and prune
Trees taken up, and for that end here sent;
Thy end’s with Christ, with’s Saints his praises tune.
This year the General Court made an order about preparing houses for Salt-peter, that there might be powder made in the Country, but as yet it hath not gone on.
Of the uniting of the four English Colonies in N.E. and the battel fought between the Narragansets, and Mawhiggins.
The yeare 1643, the honored John Winthrop Esquire was chosen Governor again, and John Endicut Esquire Deputy Governour; the freemen added were about 87. this year. The four Colonies, the Mattachusets, Plimoth, Canectico, and New-haven, taking into consideration the many Nations of Dutch, Zewes, and French, that were on either side of them; as also how apt they were to lay claim to lands they never had any right unto, but only a paper possession of their own framing; and further, that the inhumane and barbarous Indians would be continually quarrelling and contending, could they see any hopes of prevailing, together with the contestion begun in our Native country, and withal, that although Providence had cast them into four several Colonies, yet Religion had already united them, coming over all for one and the same end. Hereupon by Commissioners sent from the several colonies, they concluded a firm confederation to assist each other in all just and lawful war, bearing an equal proportion in the charge, according to the number of persons inhabiting each colony; but herein the Mattachuset had the worst end of the staff, in bearing as much, or more charge, then all the other three, and yet no greater number of Commissioners to negotiate and judg in transacting of affairs concerning peace and war, then the least of the other, and any one of the other as likely to involve them in a chargeable war with the naked Natives, that have neither plunder nor cash to bear the charge of it, nay hitherto the most hath risen from the lesser colonies, yet are the Mattachusets far from deserting them, esteeming them highly, so long as their Government s maintain the same purity in Religion with themselves, for indeed this is that they have spent their whole travel for, and therefore if Plimoth, or any of the other shall draw back herein, the chiefest end of their confederacy would be lost; for should it come to pass that (in venturing their persons and estates so far for purity in the Ordinances and Discipline of Christ) they should lose the purity in doctrine, all their cost and labour were lost. This confederacy being finished, there came in certain Indian Sachims, and submitted to the English Government, as Pomham, and Soccananocoh to the Mattachusets; also Miantonemo and Uncas; but between these two latter Princes arose a very hot quarrel, the English seeking by all means to quench it, but could not, it being, as is supposed, fomented by a small company of vacabond English, who were then for their crimes banished from their own complices at Rhode Island, the Ringleader of them being one Samuel Gorton, by whose mean they were drawn into damnable errors. These Gortonists, as is said, lent Miantonenemo a Corslet for safeguard of his own person in the following fight, and he promised each of them a Mawchiggin papoose, which was the people Uncas was Prince of. For although Miantonemo were the more potent Prince by far, and a very austere man, yet did he chuse rather to take Uncasses life away by treachery if he could; and to that end hired a young man of the Pegod Nation to murther him, as is supposed, for in an evening, when it was very neer dark, this Sachim passing without any of his Retinue from one wigwam to another, was suddainly shot through the arm with an arrow, seeing not whence it came; but yet recovering the Palace he was passing unto, without receiving any more shot, he had the arrow drawn forth, and the wound cured in a short time after; the young man, who was suspected to have done the fact, having great store of Wampumpeage about this time, being questioned how he came by it, could give no good accompt, which encreased the suspition the more, that he had received it as hire from Miantonemo for this fact; and hereupon the young mean fled unto him, which caused Uncas to complain to the English, who having the hearing of the case at a General Court holden at Boston, at the same time Miantonemo coming thither with his attendance, and sending one of his Councellors to follow the matter in hand, the young man was examined in presence of Miantonemo; being, as is supposed, tutored by him, he told this tale, that while he was in Uncasses Court, on a day travelling alone by a thick swamp, Uncas call’d him out of the swamp, charging him to be true to him, in declaring to the English what he required to him, which was, that he should say he had been hired of Miantonemo to kill him, and to make his matter good, quoth the young man, he then cut his arm on the top and underneath with the flint of his Gun, to make men think he had beene shot through with an arrow. This tale made the English more to suspect Miantonemo then before; and therefore desired to examine the young man alone, which he was very unwilling they should do; but upon further examination alone, they did verily believe this young man had done the fact, yet for present they let him depart with Miantonemo, advising him to send him home to Uncas, but by the way he, instead of returning him home, cut off his head, and forthwith gathered an army of about a thousand men to fight with Uncas, who feared not to meet him in the field with half the number; the battel being come within shot one of another, with a great hubbub they let their long shafts fly one at another, and after came to a close with other weapons, till the Narrowgansets multitude being sorely distressed by the Mawhiggins valour, they began to cry out Wammeck, which is to say, enough. Uncas like a stout commander, with others of his bloud-royal that were about him, sought to perfect his victory, by possessing himself with the person of their Prince, which he effected, by putting his Life-guard to flight, and taking hold on the Sachim himself, carried him victoriously away to the Town of Hartford, neer the which he kept his residence at this time, and then made the English acquainted there with his noble design, and desired to have the advise of the united colonies what to do with his prisoner, the Narrowgansets sought to ransom him home, being much abashed, that so mean a Prince as Uncas was should scape scotfree with such a victory; but the honored Commissioners have had proof of Miantonemo’s treachery, both toward this Prince that had him in possession, and toward the English in falsifying his promise with them; they advised Uncas to put him to death, but withall, that he should forbear to exercise any barbarous cruelty toward him, as their manner is, and by this means the English prevented another war, both with English and Indians, which was very neer joyning in battel. Not many years after, the Indian Sachim upon this advise, caused Miantonemo to be led forth, as if he would remove him to a more safer place of custody, and by the way caused him to be executed; the Indians, his kindred and subjects, were much grieved at his death, yet took it quietly at present, but the lesser Princes, his Neighbours, rather rejoyced, he having tyrannized over them, and enforced them to subject his will, right or wrong.
Of the proceeding of certain persons called Gortonists,
against the united Colonies, and more especially against the Mattachusets,
and of the blasphemous doctrines broached by Gorton,
deluding a company of poor ignorant people therewith.
For not long before, those persons that we spake of, who incouraged Miantonemo to this war, and with the help of him enforced Pomham and Socananocho to set their hands to a writing which these Gortonists had framed, to take their land from them, but the poor Sachems, when they saw they were thus gull’d of their land, would take no pay for it, but complained to the Mattachusets Government, to whom they had subjected themselves and their lands: As also at this time certain English inhabiting those parts, with the Indians good leave and liking, desired to have the benefit of the Mattachusets Government, as Dover formerly had done, to whom this Government condescended, in hope they might encrease to such a competent number of godly Christians, as that there might be a Church of Christ planted, the place being capable to entertain them in a comfortable measure for outward accommodation, but hitherto it hath been hindered by these Gortonists, who had thus incroached, and began to build on the Indians land; upon these complaints, the Governor the honored Mr. Dudly issue forth Warrant, to summon them to appear, they being then about five or six persons, without any means for instructing them in the wayes of God, and without any civil Government to keep them in civility or humanity, which made which made them to cast off most proudly and disdainfully any giving accompt to man of their actions, no not to the chiefest in authority, but returned back most insolent, scornful, scurrilous speeches. After this, the Government of the Mattachusets sent two messengers on purpose to perswade them to come and have their cause heard, assuring them like justice in their cause with any other; but Samuel Gorton being the ring-leader of the rout, was so full gorged with dreadful and damnable errors, (the which he had newly insnared these poor souls with) that soon after the departure of the messenger, he layes aside all civil justice, and instead of returning answer to the matter in hand, he vomits up a whole paper full of beastly stuff, one while scoffing and deriding the ignorance of all beside himself, that think Abraham, Isaac, etc., could be saved by Christ Jesus, who was after born of the Virgin Mary, another mocking at the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lords Supper, in an opprobrious manner, deriding at the Elements Christ was pleased to institute them in, and calling them Negromancers that administer them at all; and in a word, all the Ordinances of the Gospel abominable Idolatry he called, and likened them to Molock, and the Star of the Idol Rempham; his paper was thrust full of such filthiness, that no Christian ear could hear them without indignation against them, and all was done by him in a very scornful and deriding manner, upbraiding all that use them; in the mean time magnifying his own glorious light, that could see himself to be personally Christ, God-Man, and so all others that would believe as he did. This paper he got to be subscribed, with about twelve or thirteen hands, his number of Disciples being encreased, for assuredly the man had a very glosing tongue, but yet very deceitful, for when he had but a few with him, then he cried out against all such as would rule over their own species, affirming, that the Scripture termeth such to be Gods of the world, or divels; but after his return from England, having received some incouragement from such as could not look into the depth of his deceits, being done at so large a distance, he getting into favour again with those, who had formerly whipt him out of their company, turns divel himself. The godly Governors of the Mattachusets seeing this blasphemous Bull of his, resolved to send forty persons well-appointed with weapons of war for apprehending of him, who accordingly, with some waiting, did apprehend him and the rest of his company, except two or three which ran away, without any hurt to any person, although he gave out very big words, threatning them with bloud and death so soon as they set foot on the ground, and yet this brazenfac’d deceiver published in print the great fear their women were put unto by the souldiers, whereas they came among them day by day, and had it not been that they intended peaceably to take them, they would never have waited so long upon their worships as they did, but being apprehended, and standing to that they had written ( yet would they willingly have covered it with some shifts if they could) the greatest punishment they had, was to be confin’d to certain Towns for a few moneths, and afterward banished; but to be sure there be them in N.E. that have Christ Jesus and his blessed Ordinances in such esteem, that the Lord assisting, they had rather lose their lives, then suffer them to be thus blasphemed of they can help it; and whereas some have favoured them, and endeavoured to bring under blame such as have been zealous against their abominable doctrines, the good God be favourable unto them, and prevent them from coming under the like blame with Ahab, yet they remain in their old way, and there’s somewhat to be considered in it to be sure, that in these daies, when all look for the fall of Antichrist, such detestable doctrines should be upheld, and persons suffered, that exceed the Beast himself for blasphemy, and this to be done by those that would be counted Reformers, and such as seek the utter subversion of Antichrist.
To end this year, or rather at the beginning of it, the lord caused another Earthquake, much less then the former, it was on the fifth of the first moneth called March in the morning.
Of the planting the twenty fourth Church of Christ at the Town of Readding, and the twenty fifth Church of Christ in the Mattachusets Government, called Wenham.
This year was chosen to the place of Governor John Endicut Esquire, and John Winthrop Esquire Deputy Governour; the number of freemen added about 145. this year.
The Town of Readding had her foundation stone laid about this time. This and the Town of Wooburn were like the twins in the womb of Tamar, Readding thrusting forth the hand first, but Wooburn came first to the birth. This Town is well watered, and scituate about a great pond, besides it hath two mills, the one a Saw-mill, the other a Corn-mill, which stand on two several streams; it hath not been so fruitful for children as her Sister hath, her habitation is fallen in the very center of the country; they are well stocked with cattel, for the number of people they have. They gathered into a church, and ordained a Pastor from among themselves at the same time, a young man of good abilities to preach the Word, and of a very humble behaviour, named Mr. Green. He having finished his course, departed this life not long after, whose labours are with the Lord; after him succeeded in the place one Mr. Hoph, a young man, one of the first fruits of N.E. a man studious to promote the truths of Christ; they are both remembred in this following verse.
On earths bed thou at noon hast laid thy head;
You for that [that for] Christ (as Green) here toyl have taken,
When nature fails, then rest it in earths dead,
Till Christ by’s word with glory thee awaken.
Young Hoph thou must be second to this man,
In field incounter, with Christ’s foes shalt thou
Stand up, and take his bright sword in thy hand,
Error cut down, and make stout stomacks bow;
Green’s gone before, thy warfare’s now begun,
And last it may to see Romes Babel fall;
By weakest means Christ mighty works hath done,
Keep footing fast, till Christ thee hence do call.
The next Town and church of Christ planted in this colony, was between Salem and Ipswitch. Salem the eldest of all the Sisters was very helpful to this her little Sister, nourishing her up in her own bosom, till she came of age, being beneficial to her besides, in giving her a good portion of Land; this Town is called Wenham, and is very well watered, as most in-land Towns are. The people live altogether upon husbandry, New England having train’d up great store to this occupation; they are encreased in cattel, and most of them live very well, yet are they no great company; they were some good space of time there before they gathered into a Church-body. The godly and reverend Mr. John Fisk went thither with them, at first setting down as a planter among them, yet withal he became helpful in preaching the Word unto them, when they were but a few in number; they afterward call’d him to the office of a Pastor, with whom he now remains, labouring in the word and doctrine, with great industry, of whom it may be thus said:
To wade through toyl of Wildernesse, thou hast
Doubled thy work, thy wages treble are;
Christ hath thee call’d and in his vineyard plac’t,
He’l bear thee up above all fainting far.
Sions strong Mount must now again be built,
Thy faith, oh Fisk, the Lord hath holpen much;
With dreadful sighs the Prelats power hath split,
All pride he’l stain by his almighty touch.
His truths unstain’d by liberty keep thou,
To please the most, authority must fall,
What Christ hath given, it safely keep with you,
Till he to thee for thine accompt do call.
Of the military affairs, the forts of Boston, and Charles[town],
the Castle erected anew by the six neerest Towns,
with the manner of putting the Country in a posture of was,
to be ready upon all occasions.
These souldiers of Christ Jesus, having made a fair retreat from their Native country hither, and now being come to a convenient station, resolved to stand it out (the Lord assisting) against all such as should come to rob them of their priviledges, which the Lord Christ had purchased for them at a very high rate, and now out of the riches of his grace was minded to give them, yet would he have them follow him into this Wildernesse for it: although the chiefest work of these select bands of Christ, was to mind their spiritual warfare, yet they knew right well the Temple was surrounded with walls and bulworks, and the people of God in re-edifying the same, did prepare to resist their enemies with weapons of war, even while they continued building. This people no less diligent to make use of such means as the Lord afforded them, ordered and decreed, That all the souldiers belonging to the 26. bands in the Mattachusets Government, should be exercised and drill’d eight daies in a yeare, and whosoever should absent himself, except it were upon unavoidable occasion should pay 5 s. for every daies neglect; there are none exempt, unless it be a few timerous persons that are apt to plead infirmity, if the Church chuse them not for Deacons, or they cannot get to serve some Magistrate or Minister; but assuredly the generality of this people are very forward for feats of war, and many have spent their time and estates to further this work; the Town of Boston hath afforded many active, Charles-Town hath not been inferiour, unless it be in number. This year the Court appointed certain persons to spend their skill in putting the people possessing this desolate desart in a ready posture of drawing their forces together, upon any suddain accident that might befall them, to mannage, guide, order, and direct all things, as may be best for the good of the whole, they being a poor and mean people, laboured to avoid high titles, yet order they knew was necessary, therefore ordained they only one General Officer in time of war, under the name of Major General; the Governor and Magistrates for the time being are the standing Councel for peace or war, and either they or the General Court may appoint any to the office of a General; the first Major-General was the much honored Tho. Dudly Esquire, whose faithfulness and great zeal and love to the truths of Christ, caused the people to chuse him to this office, although he were far stricken in years; the Government is divided into four Counties, which to shew, they would their posterity should mind whence they came, they have named, Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex, and Northfolk, each containing a Regiment, over whom the chief Commander is only a Serjeant-Major; the first chosen to this office over the Regiment of Suffolk, was Major Edw. Gibbons, who hath now the office of Major-General also, he is a man of resolute spirit, bold as a Lion, being wholly tutor’d up in N.E. Discipline, very generous, and forward to promote all military matters; his Forts are well contrived, and batteries strong, and in good repair, his great Artillery well mounted, and cleanly kept, half Canon, Culverins and Sakers, as also field-pieces of brass very ready for service, his own company led by Capt. Lieutenant Sarag, are very compleat in their arms, and many of them disciplin’d in the military garden beside their ordinary trainings; the Captains under him, are Capt. Humphry Atherton, of the Band of Dorchester; a very lively couragious man, with his stout and valiant Lieutenant Clapes, strong for the truth; of the Band of Roxbury, Capt. Prichard, and Ensign Johnson; of the Band of Waymoth, Capt. Perkins, and his proper and active Lieutenant Torry; of the Band of Hingham, Capt. Bozoan Allen; of the Band of Deadham, Capt. Eliazer Lusher, one of a nimble and active spirit, strongly affected to the ways of truth; of the Band of Braintree, Capt. William Tinge, these belong to the Regiment of Suffolk, the first Serjeant-Major chosen to order the Regiment of Essex, was Major Robert Sedgwick, stout and active in all feats of war, nurst up in Londons Artillery garden, and furthered with fifteen years experience in N.E. exact theory, besides the help of a very good head-piece, being a frequent instructor of the most martial troops of our Artillery men; and although Charles Town, (which is the place of his own companies residence) do not advantage such o’re-topping batteries as Boston doth, yet hath he erected his to very good purpose, insomuch that all shipping that comes in, either to Boston or Charles-Town, must needs face it all the time of their coming in; the cost he hath been at, in helping on the Discipline of his Regiment hath profited much; his own company are led by the faithful Capt. Lieutenant Francis Norton, (a man of a bold and cheerful spirit) being well disciplin’d and an able man; the companies under his service have not all Captains at present, Water-Town Band was led by Capt. Jenings, who is supposed to be now in England, his Lieutenant remains Hugh Mason; the band of Cambridg led by Capt. George Cook, now Colonel Cook in the wars of Ireland, but now led by Capt. Daniel Gookin, a very forward man to advance Marshal discipline, and withal the truths of Christ; the Band of Concord led by Capt. Simon Willard, being a Kentish souldier, as is Capt. Goggin; the Band of Sudbury lately led by Capt. Pelham, who is in England at present, his Lieutenant remains, Edm. Goodinow; the band of Wooburn led by another Kentish Captain; the Band of Reading led by Lieutenant Walker, the Band of Malden, being as yet a young Town, who have not chosen their Officers, are led by Mr. Joseph Hill. These belong to the Regiment of Middlesex; the two Counties of Essex and Northfolk are for present joyned in one Regiment, their first Major, who now commandeth this Regiment, is the proper and valiant Major Daniel Denison, a good souldier, and of a quick capacity, not inferiour to any other of these chief Officers; his own company are well instructed in feats of warlike activity, his Capt. Lieutenant departed this life some few years since, a godly and faithful man, which is indeed the fountain of true validity, named Mr. Whiting[h]am; the Band of Salem led by the bold and worthy Capt. William Hauthorn, a man of an undaunted courage, with his Lieutenant Lothrope; the Band of Lyn led by the honored and much respected Capt. Robert Bridges, who is also a Magistrate, being endued with able parts, and forward to improve them for the glory of God and his peoples good; the Band of Nuberry led by Capt. Gerish, with this antient and experienced Lieutenant Greenlife; the Band of Rowly led by Capt. Brigham; the Bands of Glocester, Wenham, and Andover, have not yet made choice of Superiour Officers, being in their minority; these are the Bands of the Regiment of Essex, to the which are joyned the three Bands of the County of Northfolk, Salsbury, Hampton, and Haverhil. There are none chosen to office in any of these Bands, but such as are freemen supposed to be men indued with faith in Christ Jesus, wherefore let all that truly love the Lord Christ say with Deborah, My heart is toward the Governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Their Officers are chosen by the major Vote of the souldiers, being installed into their place by the Major of their Regiment. There are of late a very gallant horse-troop listed, it being a frequent thing with the Officers of the foot companies, to turn Troopers (when their own Regiment is not in exercise) for incouragement of others. The Regiments are exercised once a year by turnes; they are also very observant to keep their armes in good order; each souldier is to keep constantly by him powder, bullet, and match, besides every Town is injoyned to have a common stock in like manner, as also the country have their ammunition exactly looked unto, by Surveyor General Johnson. One very well qualified for the work, ready at all times to put the General Court in mind of keeping their store renued by fresh supply, and to say right, some particular persons may be penurious in laying out their estates upon ammunition, but the general of Officers and souldiers are very generous that way; the reverend Doctor Wilson gave bountifully for the furthering this Wilderness-work, the which was expended upon great Artillery, his gift being a thousand pound. Beside, many persons that came over, the Lord was pleased to indow with a large portion of the things of this life, who were not backward liberally to dispose of it, to procure means of defence, and to that end there was a castle built on an Island, upon the passage into the Mattachu[setts] Bay, wholly built at first by the country in general, but by reason the country affords no Lime, but what is burnt of Oyster-shels, it fell to decay in a few years after, which made many of the Towns that lay out of the defence thereof to desert it, although their safety (under God) was much involved in the constant repair and well-mannaging thereof; hereupon the next six Towns take upon them to rebuild it at their proper cost and charges, the rest of the country upon the finishing thereof gave them a small matter toward it; upon this there was a Captain ordained, and put in possession thereof by the country, having a yearly Stipend allowed him for himself and his souldiers, which he is to keep in a constant readiness upon the Island, being about eight acres of ground; the Castle is built on the North-East of the Island, upon the rising hill, very advantageous to make many shot at such ships as shall offer to enter the Harbor without their good leave and liking. The Commander of it is one Captain Davenport, a man approved for his faithfulness, courage and skill, the Master Canoneer is an active Ingineer also; this Castle hath cost about four thousand pounds, yet are not this poor pilgrim people weary of maintaining it in good repair; it is of very good use to awe any insolent persons, that putting confidence in their ship and sails, shall offer any injury to the people, or contemn the Government. They have certain signals of alarums, which suddainly spread through the whole country; were there but one Town more erected in this Government, which were one and thirty, it would joyn all the Towns in the same neighbourly together, excepting Springfield. Thus are these people with great diligence provided for these daies of war, hoping the day is at hand wherein the Lord will give Antichrist the double of all her doings, and therefore they have nursed up in their Artillery garden some who have since been used, as instruments to begin the work; but that which gives the greatest hope concerning this particular, is this, that these times afford more souldiers depending on the Lord Christ through faith for deliverance and true valour, then any age since Antichrist began to fall, without which, all these preparations were but as so many traps and snares to catch a people in, and to the which these Commanders and souldiers are daily exhorted, and therefore let all people know that desire the downfal of New-England, they are not to war against a people only exercised in feats of war, but men who are experienced in the deliverances of the Lord from the mouth of the Lion, and the paw of the Bear; and now woe be to you, when the same God that directed the stone to the forehead of the Philistine, guides every bullet that is shot at you, it matters not for the whole rabble of Antichrist on your side, the God of Armies is for us a refuge high. Shela.