« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
scientious, and alike prepared to endure some men and women, who received their or to inflict punishment, even to death, if principles from the Pilgrim martyrs, and thereby their opponents might be silenced. were “ seasoned with the seeds of grace The high Church party had the advantage and virtue.” There a solid groundwork of numbers and of entrenchment in royal received them, and the greatest commonfavor; but the Puritans had an indomit- wealth which the world has ever known able firmness, and a scathing zeal, which was established, but not without the enenabled them to dare their prelatist foes, counter of new difficulties. and set themselves as one against a thou Formidable enough was the aspect of sand.
things to those weary men and women Fines, prisons, and death, were the por come to seek shelter and repose. “The tions of the Puritans during the reign of ground (I quote from White's Brief RelaElizabeth. James had been educated a tion) was covered with snow a foot deep, Presbyterian, and had written in defense and they being without habitations, and of the doctrine, and the Puritans expected having among them divers women and toleration, at least, from his ascendency children, no marvel if they lost some of of the throne ; but they were destined to their company; it may be wondered how disappointment. He had suffered at the they saved the rest.”
“ After having passhands of both Puritans and Presbyterians, ed over the difficulties that usually enand hated both alike—he saw the princi- counter new planters, (says the same ples of Knox and Calvin tended to repub- author,) they began to subsist in a reasonlicanism, and that the bishops were allied ably comfortable manner, and after a year's to monarchy. The Puritans became Sep- experience or two of the soil and inhabaratists, assuming, day by day, a gloomier itants, sent home tidings of their well-being and more austere demeanor, and receding there, which occasioned other men to take in politics as well as religion further and knowledge of the place, and to take it into further from the Established Church. At consideration." length the Separatists began to contend It is hard for us to estimate the “deep for larger liberties—the power of appoint- and bitter concern" it must have cost our ing their own officers, and performing all conscientious ancestors to leave their ironthe functions of self-government with ab- bound wains and yokes of oxen, friends solute independence of all foreign control. and kindred ; everything but rectitude, and
Worn with toil and suffering, a society faith in God—that was best and dearest to composed of artisans, whose names are them—and especially with no prospect of still preserved in authentic documents, met bettering their condition in anything but toward the close of the sixteenth century, religious liberty. So far from amendment, in the house of one Roger Ripon, in South- they had prospectively the severest povwark, to spend their Sabbaths in exposi-erty, the hardest toil to encounter, the tions of the Bible and in prayer. The cruelty of a savage foe, and the famine names of the martyrs, Henry Barrow, John and sickness incident to a strange and unGreenwood, and John Penry, are connect- cultivated land. These things awaited ed with this society. At one time, a ma them so surely as the perils of the ocean jority of the members of the Church being were overpast. Our steam-vessels, with in bonds, meetings were held in prison, all their splendid appointments and inthrough the connivance of the jailor. genious contrivances to master time and
Other associations of similar character, subdue danger, give us very inaccurate were at the same time in other parts of notions of the old ships known to the colthe kingdom, reading and exhorting by onists. “At James's accession, there stealth. At the dying request of the mar were not above four hundred vessels in tyr, Penry, a conference was held among England of four hundred tons burden. In the brethren to take measures for some their build, though very picturesque, they plan whereby they should depart in a body were tub-like and clumsy—the shape of to some distant country; but with no im- the hull being very broad-bottomed and mediate success. Subsequent sufferings, capacious, while the lofty cabins, built up however, resulted in the May-Flower, fore and aft on deck, must have caused which landed at what is now the pleasant them to roll heavily in bad weather. This little town of Plymouth, on a bay of the style has now become obsolete in Europe, same name, about forty miles from Boston, but may still be seen in the Arab vessels
tempered to their shorn lambs, and the stony hills of New-England, under their culture, speedily blossomed as the rose.
Theirs was no half-way trust, and theirs were no shivering souls that sought to wrap themselves in the pious mantles of Papal pretensions—warmed by the fire of zeal, they encased themselves in what seemed to them the armor of righteousness, and did battle mightily against the arch-enemy in whatever shape he appeared to them to assume. If they met his pride in the starch of a ruff, it was straightway broken—if they recognized his lures in the pranking of a Maypole, they stripped off the garlands, mindless of the sharp prieking of their own fingers; for they were no less brave in endurance than severe in infliction. They would have dashed themselves on the stones which they cast at dissenters, if they could have thought
themselves other than instruments in the in the Red Sea and the Levant." The
hands of God. cut which we give is supposed very nearly
Having put their hands to the plow to resemble the May-Flower.
'there was no looking back—only a steady As long as our language exists, the name of this little vessel will live too, and so
and firm going forward ; and whatever obwill the names of some of those who ad- jects opposed, must be torn up root and ventured in it life, and all that was dearer in the fire. No matter what cares op
branch, or wrenched away, or burned up than life, and sought in the great strange pressed them, or what enemies bėset them, wilderness freedom to worship God, and ground wherein their bones might be bu- the main object of their lives, the propa
gation of the gospel, was never lost sight ried. The annexed description of his own
of. “Only let us not be wanting on our feelings on leaving home, and of the won
parts, now that we are called to this work der of his neighbors , is quoted from Brad- of the “Company for the Plantation of
of the Lord's," writes Cradock, Governor ford himself, the early governor of Ply- Massachusetts Bay,” to his worshipful mouth colony :
friend, Endicott. I cannot but wish this “Being thus constrained to leave their na good governor's estimate of tobacco were tive country, their lands and livings, and all their friends and familiar acquaintance—it was
a little more popular in our day. If it much-and thought marvelous by many. But could have been foreseen that in after to go into a country they knew not but by hear- times even the meeting-houses would be say, where they must learn a new language, defiled by reason of it, doubtless the growand get their livings they knew not how, it being a dear place and subject to the miseries ing of it would have been prohibited altoof war, it was by many thought an undertaking gether, even with the “necessity consialmost desperate—a case intolerable, and a deration " involved. In the letter already misery worse than death—especially seeing they quoted from, Governor Cradock says :were not acquainted with trades nor traffic, (by which the country doth subsist,) but had only "The course you have taken in giving our been used to a plain country life, and the inno-countrymen their content in the point of raiscent trade of husbandry."
ing tobacco there for the present (their necesAnd he concludes by saying :
sity considered) is not disallowed; but we trust
in God other means will be found to employ “ These things did not dismay them, for their their time more comfortable and profitable also desires were set on the ways of God, and to en in the end; and we cannot but generally apjoy his ordinances ; they rested in his provi- prove and commend their good resolution to dence, and knew whom they had believed.” desist from the planting thereof, whenas they
And what a beautiful example this rest- shall discover how to employ their labors other ing of theirs in divine protection has be- duced unto by such precepts and examples as
wise; which we hope they will be speedily inqueathed to us! Softly the winds were we shall give them.”
But though averse to the raising of Mather informs us that John Cotton tobacco, and provident in the wisdom of began the Sabbath the evening before, for the serpent as regarded trust in the fidelity which keeping of the Sabbath from evenof the salvages," mere worldly interests ing to evening, he wrote arguments before were a secondary thing; and while wary his coming to New-England-so the pracin their trust of the “salvages,” they were tice appears to have been introduced from careful to make plentiful provision of good abroad. It doubtless originated in the ministers ; by whose faithful preaching, injunction in Leviticus—“ From even unto godly conversation, and exemplary life, even shall you celebrate your Sabbaths." they trusted to reduce them to obedience. The Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) began at
To reduce, and not to persuade, was six o'clock of our Friday, and the prepthe method of procedure at the planting aration for it at three in the afternoon. of the colonies, and we find the council There appear to have been different opinstyled the “ Council of the Mattachusetts ions as to the length of time to be kept Bay,” authorized to exclude from certain sacred, and in reference to it Hooker privileges which had been obtained, from says :the “especial grace of His Majesty, with
" The question touching the beginning of the great cost, favor of personages of note, Sabbath is now on foot among us, hath once and much labor”_"all persons, but such been spoken to, and we are to give in our arguas were peacemakers, and of honest life ments, each to the other, so that we may ripen and conversation, and desirous to conform
our thoughts concerning that truth, and if the
Lord will, it may more fully appear.” themselves to good order and government.” The annexed quotation from the We find no record of summer vacations aforementioned company's letter of gene among the ministers of those times. ral instruction to Endicott and his coun No time was out of season, and somecil, shows how strictly the growth of times no choice as to the field of their labor religious difference was guarded against. seems to have been given them; and that Thus:
there might be no difference about the “Mr. Ralph Smith, a minister, hath desired
appointing one to be minister to those sent passage in our ships; which was granted him to inhabit at Massachussetts Bay, we will before we understood of his difference in some have you (say the instructions) “make things from our ministers. But his provisions choice of one of three by lot; and on for the voyage being shipped before notice was
whom the lot shall fall, he shall go with taken thereof, through many occasions wherewith those intrusted with this business have his family to perform the work." been employed; and forasmuch as from hence The professions appear to have been it is feared there may grow some distraction less accessible in the olden time than among you if there should be any siding, and that the worst may grow from different judg
now-a-days, inasmuch as the wholesome ments; we have, therefore, thought fit to give
requisite of some sort of capability was you this order, that unless he will be conform- desired on the part of the applicant. The able to our government, you suffer him not to following, throwing some light on this remain within the limits of our grant."
matter, is extracted from the “ Letter of It further appears from the colony rec
General Instruction to Endicott and his ords of the court proceedings of the time,
Council,” previously quoted from:that “ Ralph Smith was required to give,
“We have entertained Lambert Wilson, chiunder his hand, that he would not exercise
rurgeon, to remain with you in the service of his ministry within the limits of the patent the plantation ; with whom we are agreed that without express leave of the governor up
he shall serve this company, and the other
planters that live in the plantation, three years, on the spot." With regard to Sabbath
and in that time apply himself to cure not only keeping, we quote from the same letter of such as came from hence for general and of instruction :
particular accounts, but also for the Indians,
as froin time to time he shall be directed by " And to the end the Sabbath may be cele- yourself or your successor, and the rest of the brated in a religious manner, we appoint that council. And, morcover, he is to educate and all that inhabit the plantation, both for the instruct one or more youths in his art, such as general and for particular employments, may you and said council shall appoint, that may surcease their labor every Saturday throughout be helpful to him, and if occasion serve, suo the year at three of the clock in the afternoon; ceed him in the plantation ; which youth or and that they spend the rest of that day in youths, fit to learn that profession, let be placed catechising and preparation for the Sabbath, as with him; of which Mr. Hugeson's son, if his the ministers shall direct."
father approve thereof, may be one, the rather
because he hath been trained up in literature ; done by each member of the family might but if not he, then such other as you shall show for itself, and be a help to them, or judge most fittest.”
a remembrance of good works to posJohn Hugeson became a minister, and terity. not a “chirurgeon," and died in Salem, It is to be regretted that none of these in 1780, aged ninety-two years, and hav- registers have been preserved—it would ing preached more than seventy years. be curious to the fashionable ladies now-a
That “ill weeds might be nipt before days to note the daily employments of the they took too deep a head,” Endicott was women of the olden times. For all deredirected to take special care in the settling lict in duty, severe punishments were of families, that the head of each should proposed, and those to be inflicted at once be grounded in religion, and to have a , and in public. watchful eye to the performance of morn- Among other sins, say the advisers, ing and evening family duties. It was “ we pray you make some good laws for esteemed a business worthy of his best the punishment of swearers.” This was endeavors to look into this, and, if need enjoined, if comfort or blessing from God were, make some an example to all the was expected on the plantation. Many rest; else, say the advisers, our govern- who sought of the company to come over ment will be esteemed a scarecrow." were refused, even when they had been at “Our desire,” they continue, “is to use “great charges” with them, on account of lenity all that may be, but, in case of their pernicious practices. But over and necessity, not to neglect the other, know- beyond their temporal comfort, they looking that correction is ordained for the ed steadily to the glory of God. fool's back."
Some temperance measures appear to The necessity of labor, which should have been taken chiefly with regard to the be the privilege, as well as duty of us all, salvages, as to the strong waters sent for but which has sadly fallen into disrepute sale. Public and exemplary punishment in modern times, is enjoined thus ur- was recommended for him who exceeded gently :
in that inordinate kind of drinking, so " And we heartily pray you that all be kept much as to become drunk. As to the to labor, as the only means to reduce them to raising of tobacco, we find repeated incivil, yea, a godly life, and to keep youth from structions for its discouragement. Care falling into many enormities, which by nature
was advised to be taken that none was we are all too much inclined unto."
" And God, who alone is able and powerful, planted by new planters, unless in small enable you to this great work, and grant that quantities for mere necessity and for physour chiefest aim be his glory.”
ic, and for preservation of health; and So endeth the first Letter of Instruction that the same were only taken privately from the loving friends of Endicott, “the by ancient men. Governor and Deputy of the New-England Notwithstanding all the hardships and Company for a Plantation at Mattachu- trials which accompanied the new heritsetts Bay."
age, and all the sacrifice of accustomed In a subsequent letter of instructions comforts, the planters seem to have been from the London company to the planters, more than satisfied. From Francis Higthey are put in mind to be very circum- ginson's account of “the earth of Newspect in the beginning to settle some good England, and all the appurtenances thereorders, whereby all persons resident in the of," I transcribe the following :colony should apply themselves to some calling or other, and no idler be permitted about Massachusetts Bay, and at Charles River
“ It is a land of divers and sundry sorts all to live among them; for if care was taken
is as fat black earth as can be seen anywhere; at the first, it was thought a world of dis- and in other places you have clay-soil and sandy orders would be prevented, and many soil. The form of the earth here in the supergrievous sins and sinners kept out of the ficies of it is neither too flat in the plainuess,
nor too high in the hills, but partakes of both world.
in a mediocrity, and is fit for pasture or for Ay me, even with their severe regula- plow, or meadow ground, as men please to emtions, they found it a hard task to keep ploy it. Though all the country be, as it were, drones and idlers out of their midst.
a thick wood for the general, yet in divers
places there is much ground cleared by the InThe keeping of a daily register in every dians; and I am told that about three miles family as pre bed, so that what was from us, a man may stand on a little hilly place
and see divers thousands of acres of as good ground as need to be, and not a tree in the same. It is thought here is good clay to make brick, and tiles, and earthen pots, as need be,"
The author goes on to say there was plenty of slate in the Isle of Slate, and lime-stone, free-stone, and smooth stone, and iron stone, and marble stone, in such store that they had great rocks of it. He expresses great hope too of minerals, though no trial had been made in the soil, the fertility of which, he says, " is to be admired at in the abundance of grass that groweth everywhere, both very thick, very long, and very high, in divers places.” “It is scarce to be believed," he continues, "how our kine and goats, horses and hogs, do thrive and prosper here, and like this country.” It is strange that we find no despondency for the hard portion they found—no regret for all they had left-all they saw was good, and they believed that greater blessings which they did not “ This country aboundeth naturally with see awaited them. “Our plantation,"
store of roots of great variety, and good to eat. writes the same author, " already yields larger and sweeter than are ordinarily to be found
Our turnips, parsnips, and carrots, are both us a quart of milk for a penny, and the in England. There are also store of pumpkins, abundant increase of corn proves the cucumbers, and other things of that nature
Also divers excellent potcountry to be a wonderment. Yea, Jo- which I know not.
herbs seph's increase in Egypt is outstripped berries in their time, and penny-royal, winter
grow abundantly among the grass. Strawhere with us.
savory, sorrel, brooklime, liverwort, carvel, and The cheerful, the almost exultant spirit water-cresses ; also leeks and onions, and divers in the records of these devoted worthies physical herbs. There are also abundance of affords a pleasing and faith-inspiring con
sweet herbs, delightful to the smell, which I
know not; plenty of single damask roses, very templation. We cannot read their history sweet, and two kinds of herbs that bear two without having our belief in the efficacy kinds of flowers, very sweet, which they say are of prayer increased, our religious trust as good to inake cordage and cloth as hemp and
flax. Excellent vines are here up and down strengthened and elevated. God seems
in the woods." everywhere to have met the measure of their faith—in the perils of the sea and The accompanying cut is designed to the famines of the land; pledging us anew, illustrate the beautiful may-flower, the as it were, in their faith, that he walks pioneer of the sisterhood of blossoms. It with us still, and answers those that call answers to the primrose in Old England, on him. But of these things presently. starting first to life, and being regarded I quote further from Francis Higgin- with a similar affection—the securing of son's New-England, and the appurte- its earliest blossoms bringing, or being supnances thereof. In one place he says : posed to bring, good fortune. We can
"Our governor hath store of green peas grow- imagine the children about Plymouth, with ing in his garden, as good as ever I eat in Eng. a sort of pious superstition, gathering in land."
subdued merriment armfuls of these And in another :
pretty and fortunate flowers—doubtless