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Separatists—and probably neither the gov- , yours, and dedicate myself to God and the ernment, nor the first patentees, foresaw company with the whole endeavours both how wide a departure from the economy of body and mind. The 'Conclusions' which of that Church would result from the emi- you sent down are unanswerable ; and it gration that was about to take place under cannot but be a prosperous action which is its provisions.
so well allowed by the judgments of God's It is surprising that a charter which con- prophets, undertaken by so religious and ferred unlimited powers on the corpora- wise worthies in Israel, and indented to tion, and secured no rights to the colonists, God's glory in so special a service. "* should have become the means of estab- Governor Winthrop had a fine estate lishing the freest of all the colonies. This which he sacrificed. Many others sacriwas partly owing to its empowering the ficed what were considered good estates corporation to fix what terms it pleased in England in those days. One of the for the admission of new members. The richest of the colonists was Isaac Johnson, corporation could increase or change its the father of Boston.” As a proof of his members with its own consent, and not being a man of wealth, it may be menbeing obliged to hold its meetings in Eng- tioned that, by his will, his funeral expenland, it was possible for it to emigrate, ses were limited to £250. His wife, the and thus to identify itself with the colo- Lady Arabella, was a daughter of the Earl ny which it was its main object to found. of Lincoln. In her devotedness to the This was actually done. As the corpora- cause of Christ, “she came from a paration was entirely composed of Puritans, it dise of plenty into a wilderness of wants.”+ was not difficult, by means of resignations They were almost without exception godand new elections, to choose the govern- ly people, and when they embarked for or, deputy-governor, and assistants, from America were members of the Church of among such as were willing to leave Eng. England, being that in which they had been land as colonists.
born and brought up. Though of the parThe first object of the new company, on ty that were opposed to what they considobtaining a royal charter, was to re-enforce ered Romish superstitions and errors, still the party which had gone out with Endi- cleaving in their conscientious convictions cot and settled at Salem. The re-enforce to the National Church ; and though they ment consisted of 200 emigrants, under could not in all points conform to it, yet the pastoral care of the Rev. Francis Hig- they had not separated from it, but sought ginson, an eminent Nonconformist minis- the welfare of their souls in its ministrater, who was delighted to accept of the in- tions, whenever they possibly could hope vitation to undertake that charge. By to find it there. They lamented what they their arrival, which happened in June, the regarded as its defects, but not in a spirit colony at Salem was increased to 300 per- of bitter hostility. This very plainly apsons; but diseases and the hardships inci- pears from the following letter addressed dent to new settlements cut off, during the to the members of the Church of England, following winter, eighty of that number, by Governor Winthrop and others, immewho died only lamenting that they were diately after their embarcation, and when not allowed to see the future glories of the they were about to bid a long farewell to colony. Among these was their beloved their native shores. It is conceived in a pastor, Mr Higginson, whose death was a noble spirit : great loss to the little community.
“ The humble request of his majesty's The year following, namely, 1630, was loyal subjects, the Governor and the Coma glorious one for the colonization of New- pany, late gone for New England, to the England. Having first taken every pre- rest of their brethren in the Church of paratory measure required for self-trans- England. portation, the corporation itself embark- " Reverend Fathers and Brethren-The ed, accompanied by a body of from 800 to general rumour of this solemn enterprise, 900 emigrants, among whom were sev- wherein ourselves, with others, through the eral persons of large property and high providence of the Almighty, are engaged, standing in society. John Winthrop, one as it may spare us the labour of imparting of the purest characters in England, had our occasion unto you, so it gives us the been chosen governor. Taken as a whole, more encouragement to strengthen ourit is thought that no single colony could selves by the procurement of the prayers ever be compared with them. One may and blessings of the Lord's faithful serform some idea of the elevated piety that vants; for which end we are bold to have pervaded the higher classes among the Pu- recourse unto you, as those whom God ritans of that day from the language of the hath placed nearest his throne of mercy, younger Winthrop : “I shall call that my which, as it affords you the more opporcountry,” said he to his father, “where I tunity, so it imposeth the greater bond upon may most glorify God, and enjoy the pres. you to intercede for his people in all their ence of my dearest friends. Therefore
* Winthrop's Journal, i., p. 359, 360. herein I submit myself to God's will and † Judge Story's Centennial Discourse.
straits; we beseech you, therefore, by the the hands of all the rest of our brethren, mercies of the Lord Jesus, to consider us that they would at no time forget us in as your brethren, standing in very great their private solicitations at the throne of need of your help, and earnestly imploring grace. it. And howsoever your charity may have “If any there be who, through want of met with some occasion of discourage- clear intelligence of our course, or tenderment, through the misreport of our inten- ness of affection towards us, cannot contions, or through the disaffection or indis- ceive so well of our way as we could desire, cretion of some of us, or, rather, among we would entreat such not to despise us; us—for we are not of those that dream of nor to desert us in their prayers and affecperfection in this world—yet we desire you tions, but to consider rather that they are would be pleased to take notice of the so much the more bound to express the principles and body of our company, as bowels of their compassion towards us, rethose who esteem it our honour to call the membering always that both nature and Church of England, from whence we rise, grace doth ever bind us to relieve and resour dear mother, and cannot part from our cue with our utmost and speediest power native country, where she specially resi- such as are dear to us, when we conceive deth, without much sadness of heart, and them to be running uncomfortable hazards. many tears in our eyes; ever acknowl- “What goodness you shall extend to us edging that such hope and part as we have on this or any other Christian kindness, we,, obtained in the common salvation, we have your brethren in Christ Jesus, shall labour received in her bosom, and sucked it from to repay in what duty we are or shall be her breasts; we leave it not, therefore, as able to perform, promising, so far as God loathing that milk wherewith we were shall enable us, to give Him no rest on your nourished there, but, blessing God for the behalf, wishing our heads and hearts may parentage and education, as members of be as fountains of tears for your everlasting the same body, shall always rejoice in her welfare, when we shall be in our poor cotgood, and unfeignedly grieve for any sor- tages in the wilderness, overshadowed with row that shall ever betide her; and while the spirit of supplication, through the maniwe have breath, sincerely desire and en-fold necessities and tribulations which may deavour the continuance and abundance of not altogether unexpectedly, nor, we hope, her welfare, with the enlargement of her unprofitably befall us. And so commendbounds in the kingdom of Christ Jesus. ing you to the grace of God in Christ, we
“ Be pleased, therefore, fathers and shall ever rest.” brethren, to help forward this work now in The ships that bore Winthrop and his hand, which, if it prosper, you shall be the companions across the Atlantic reached more glorious ; howsoever, your judgment Massachusetts Bay in the following June is with the Lord, and your reward with and July. After having consoled the disyour God. It is a usual and laudable ex- tresses and relieved the wants of the Salem ercise of your charity to commend to the colonists, the newly-arrived emigrants set prayers of your congregations the neces- about choosing a suitable place for a settlesities and straits of your private neigh- ment; a task which occupied the less time, bours : do the like for a church springing as the bay had been well explored by preout of your own bowels. We conceive ceding visiters. The first landing was made much hope that this remembrance of us, if at the spot where Charlestown now stands. it be frequent and fervent, will be a most A party having gone from that place up prosperous gale in our sails, and provide the Charles River to Watertown, there such a passage and welcome for us from some of them resolved to settle ; others the God of the whole earth, as both we preferred Dorchester; but the greater numwhich shall find it, and yourselves, with ber resolved to occupy the peninsula upon the rest of our friends who shall hear of it, which Boston now stands, the settlement shall be much enlarged to bring in such receiving that name from part of the colodaily returns of thanksgivings as the speci- nists having come from Boston in England, alities of His providence and goodness may For a while they were lodged in cloth tents justly challenge at all our hands. You and wretched huts, and had to endure all are not ignorant that the Spirit of God kinds of hardship. To complete their tri. stirred up the Apostle Paul to make con- als, disease made its attacks, and carried tinual mention of the Church of Philippi off 200 of them at least before December. (which was a colony from Rome); let ihe About a hundred lost heart, and went back same Spirit, we beseech you, put you in to England. Many who had been accusmind, that are the Lord's remembrancers, to tomed in their native land to ease and pray for us without ceasing (who are a plenty, and to all the refinements and luxweak colony from yourselves), making uries of cultivated life, were now compelled continual request for us to God in all your to struggle with unforeseen wants and difprayers.
ficulties. Among those who sank under What we entreat of you that are the such hardships, and died, was the Lady ministers of God, that we also crave at | Arabella Johnson. Her husband, too, “the
greatest furtherer of the plantation,” was two spiritual teachers, who were aftercarried off by disease; but he died will- ward to exercise a most extensive and ingly and in sweet peace," making “a most beneficial influence in the colonies. One
These trials and afflictions of these was the eminently pious and zealwere borne with a calm reliance on the ous Cotton, a man profoundly learned in goodness of God, nor was there a doubt the Holy Scriptures, as well as in the wrifelt but that in the end all would go well. tings of the fathers and the schoolmen; in
They were sustained by a profound belief the pulpit rather persuasive than eloquent, that God was with them, and by bearing in and having a wonderful command over the mind the object of their coming to that judgments and hearts of his hearers. The wilderness.
other was Hooker, a man of vast endowAmid all this gloom, light began to break ments, untiring energy, and singular bein at last. Health returned, and the blanks nevolence; the equal of the Reformers, caused by death were filled up by partial though of less harsh a spirit than that arrivals of new emigrants from England which marked most of those great men. in the course of the iwo following years. These and other devoted servants of God The colony becoming a little settled, meas- were highly appreciated, not only for their ures were taken to introduce a more popu- works' sake, but also for their great perlar government, by extending the privile- sonal excellences. ges of the charter, which had established a Before long the colony began to extend, sort of close corporation. By it all funda- in all directions, from Boston as a tentre mental laws were to be enacted by general and capital ; and as new settlements were meetings of the freemen, or members of made, additional churches were also plantthe company. One of the first steps, ac- ed; for the New England fathers felt that cordingly, was to convene a General Court nothing could be really and permanently at Boston, and admit above a hundred of prosperous without religion.* Within five the older colonists to the privileges of the years a considerable population was to be corporation; and from that they gradually found scattered over Dorchester, Roxbuwent on, until, instead of an aristocratic ry, Watertown, Cambridge, Charlestown, government conducted by a governor, dep-Lynn, and other settlements. Trade was uty-governor, and assistants, holding office spreading wide its sails; emigrants were for an indefinite period, these functionaries arriving from Europe ; brotherly interwere elected annually, and the powers of course was opened up with the Plymouth legislation were transferred from general colony, by the visits of Governor Wincourts of all the freemen joined with the throp and the Rev. Mr. Wilson. Friendly assistants, to a new legislature, or“ general treaties were made not only with the court,” consisting of two branches, the as- neighbouring Indian tribes, the Nipmucks sistants constituting the upper, and deputies and Narragansetts, but also with the more from all the “towns” forming the lower distant Mohigans and the Pequods in Conbranch. Within five years from the found necticut. God was emphatically honoured ation of the colony, a Constitution was by the great bulk of the people, and everydrawn up, which was to serve as a sort of thing bore the aspect of prosperity and Magna Charta, embracing all the funda- happiness. Such was the origin of the mental principles of just government; and colony of Massachusetts Bay--a colony in fourteen years the colonial government destined to exercise a controlling influence was organized upon the same footing as over all the other New-England Plantathat on which it rests at the present day. tions, But with these colonists the claims of
* Several of these new and feeble churches actureligion took precedence of all other con-ally supported two ministers, one called the “ Pascerns of public interest. The New-Eng-tor," and the other the “ Teacher.” The distinction land Fathers began with God, sought his between these offices is not very easily expressed, blessing, and desired, first of all, to pro- and must have been more difficult to maintain in mote his worship. Immediately after practice. Thomas Hooker, in his “Survey of the
Summe of Church Discipline,” &c., declares the landing they appointed a day for solemn scope of the pastor's office to be to work upon the fasting and prayer. The worship of God will and the affections;" that of the doctor or teachwas commenced by them not in temples er,“ to informe the judgment, and to help forward built with hands, but beneath the wide- the work of illumination in the minde and underspreading forest. The Rev. Mr. Wilson, standing, and thereby to make way for the truth,
that it may be settled and fastened on the heart." the Rev. Mr. Philips, and other faithful The former was to “wooe and win the soul to the ministers, had come out with them; and love and practice of the doctrine which is according for these, as soon as the affairs of the col- to godlinesse;" the latter, to dispense "a word of ony became a little settled; a suitable pro- of the ministerial office, though much liked by the
knowledge." I need hardly say that this duplicate vision was made.
early colonists, did not long survive their day. In the third year of the settlement there came out, among other fresh emigrants,
* Governor Winthrop's Journal.
colony, they subscribed a solemn compact,
and then drew up a Constitution on the RELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF THE EARLY COLO- most liberal principles. The magistrates NISTS.-FOUNDERS OF NEW-ENGLAND.-COL- and Legislature were to be chosen every CONNECTICUT,
year by ballot, the “towns" were to return NEW-HAMPSHIRE, AND
representatives in proportion to their pop
ulation, and all members of the “ towns," PLYMOUTĂ* colony had been planted only on taking the oath of allegiance to the three years when it began to have off- commonwealth, were to be allowed to vote shoots, one of which, in 1623, settled at at elections. Two centuries have since Windsor, on the rich alluvial lands of the passed away, but Connecticut still rejoices Connecticut, led thither, however, more by in the same principles of civil polity. the advantages of the spot as a station for But before this colony had time to comtrading in fur, than by the nature of the plete its organization, the colonists had to soil. The report of its fertility having, at defend themselves and all that was dear to length, reached England, the Earl of War-them against their neighbours, the Pewick bought from the Couneil for New- quods. This was the first war that broke England, as we have seen that the Plym- out between the New England settlers and outh Company was sometimes called, the the native tribes, and it must be allowed whole Valley of the Connecticut, which to have been a just one on the part of the purchase was, the year following, trans- former, if war can ever be so. The Peferred to Lord Say and Seal, Lord Brooke, quods brought it upon themselves by the and John Hampden. Two years later, commission of repeated murders. In less the Dutch, who, in right of discovery, than six weeks, hostilities were brought to claimed the whole of the Connecticut ter- a close by the annihilation of the tribe. ritory, sent an expedition from their set. Two hundred only were left alive, and tlement at Manhattan up the River Con- these were either reduced to servitude by necticut, and attempted to make good their the colonists, or incorporated among the claim by erecting a blockhouse, called Mohigans and Narragansetts. Good Hope, at Hartford. In 1635, the The colony of New Haven was founded younger Winthrop, the future benefactor in 1638 by a body of Puritans, who, like of Connecticut, came from England with all the rest, were of the school of Calvin, a commission from the proprietors to build and whose religious teacher was the Rev. a fort at the mouth of the river, and this John Davenport. The excellent Theophhe did soon after. Yet, even before his ilus Eaton was their first governor, and arrival, settlers from the neighbourhood continued to be annually elected to that of Boston had established themselves at office for twenty years. Their first SabHartford, Windsor, and Weathersfield. bath, in the yet cool month of April, was Late in the fall of that year, a party of spent under a branching oak, and there sixty persons, men, women, and children, their pastor discoursed to them on the Saset out for the Connecticut, and suffered viour's “temptation in the wilderness.” much from the inclement weather of the After spending a day in fasting and praywinter that followed. In the following er, they laid the foundation of their civil June, another party, amounting to about a government by simply covenanting that hundred in number, including some of the “all of them would be ordered by the rules best of the Massachusetts Bay settlers, left which the Scriptures held forth to them.”. Boston for the Valley of the Connecticut. A title to their lands was purchased from They were under the superintendence of the Indians. The following year, these Hayes, who had been one year governor disciples of “Him who was cradled in a of Boston, and of Hooker, who, as a manger” held their first Constituent Aspreacher, was rivalled in the New World sembly in a barn. Having solemnly come by none but Cotton, and even Cotton he to the conclusion that the Scriptures conexcelled in force of character, kindliness tain a perfect pattern of a commonwealth, of disposition, and magnanimity. Settling according to that they aimed at constructat the spot where Hartford now stands, ing theirs. Purity of religious doctrine and they founded the colony of Connecticut discipline, freedom of religious worship, They, too, carried the ark of the Lord with and the service and glory of God, were them, and made religion the basis of their proclaimed as the great ends of the enterinstitutions. Three years sufficed for the prise. God smiled upon it, so that in a framing of their political government. few years the colony could show flourishFirst, as had been done by the Plymouth ing settlements rising along the Sound,
and on the opposite shores of Long Isl* Plymouth in America is often called New and. Plymouth by early writers, in speaking of New-Eng- While the colonization of Connecticut land. I prefer the name by which exclusively the town is now known. The context will always en
was in progress, that of Rhode Island comable the reader to distinguish it from Plymouth in menced. Roger Williams, a Puritan minEngland.
ister, had arrived in Boston the year im-. mediately following its settlement by Win- Within twenty years from the planting of throp and his companions; but he soon the colony at Plymouth, all the other chief advanced doctrines on the rights of con- colonies of New-England were founded, science, and the nature and limits of hu- their governments organized, and the coast man government, which were unaccepta- of the Atlantic, from the Kennebec River in ble to the civil and religious authorities of Maine almost to the Hudson in New York, the colony. For two years he avoided marked by their various settlements. Offcoming into collision with his opponents shoots from these original stocks gradually by residing at Plymouth ; but having been appeared, both at intervening points near invited to become pastor of a church in the ocean, and at such spots in the interior Salem, where he had preached for some as attracted settlers by superior fertility of time after his first coming to America, soil or other physical advantages. From he was ordered, at last, to return to Eng- time to time, little bands of adventurers land; whereupon, instead of complying, left the older homesteads, and wandered he sought refuge among the Narragansett forth in search of new abodes. Carrying Indians, then occupying a large part of the their substance with them in wagons, and present State of Rhode Island. Having driving before them their cattle, sheep, ever been the steady friend of the Indians, and hogs, these simple groups wended and defender of their rights, he was kind- through the tangled forest, crossed swamps ly received by the aged chief, Canonicus, and rivers, and traversed hill and dale, unand there, in 1636, he founded the city and til some suitable resting-place appeared; plantation of Providence. Two years af- the silence of the wilderness, meanwhile, terward, the beautiful island called Rhode was broken by the lowing of their cattle Island, in Narragansett Bay, was bought and the bleating of their sheep, as well as from the Indians, by John Clarke, William by the songs of Zion, with which the pilCoddington, and their friends, when obli- grims beguiled the fatigues of the way. ged to leave the Massachusetts colony, in Everywhere nature had erected bethels consequence of the part which they had for them, and from beneath the overshadtaken in the “ Antinomian controversy,” owing oak, morning and night, their orias it was called, and of which we shall have sons ascended to the God of their salvaoccasion to speak. These two colonies of tion. Hope of future comfort sustained Providence and Rhode Island, both founded them amid present toils. They were on the principle of absolute religious free- cheered by the thought that the extension dom, naturally presented an asylum to all of their settlements was promoting also who disliked the rigid laws and practices the extension of the kingdom of Christ. of the Massachusetts colony in religious This rapid advance of the New-England matters ; but many, it must be added, fled settlements, during the first twenty years thither only out of hatred to the stern mo- of their existence, must be ascribed, in a rality of the other colonies. Hence Rhode great measure, to the troubled condition Island, to this day, has a more mixed pop- and lowering prospects of the motherulation, as respects religious opinions and country during the same period. The depractices, than any other part of New-Eng- spotic principles of Charles I. as a monland. There is, however, no inconsidera- arch, still more, perhaps, the religious inble amount of sincere piety in the state, tolerance of Archbishop Laud and his parbut the forms in which it manifests itself tisans, so fatally abetted by the king, drove are numerous.
thousands from England to the colonies, As early as 1623, small settlements were and hurried on the Revolution that soon folmade, under the grant to Mason, on the lowed at home. The same oppressive and banks of the Piscataqua, in New-Hamp- bigoted policy, indeed, that was convulsing shire; and, in point of date, both Ports- Great Britain, threatened the colonies also; mouth and Dover take precedence of Bos- but in 1639, just as they were on the eve ton. Most of the New-Hampshire settlers of an open collision, the government of came direct from England; some from the that country found itself so beset with difPlymouth colony. Exeter owed its found-ficulties at home, that New-England, hapation to the abandonment of Massachusetts pily for its own sake, was forgotten. by the Rev. Mr. Wheelwright and his im- Nor does the prosperity of the colonial. mediate friends, on the occasion of the settlements, during those twenty years, “Antinomian controversy."
seem less remarkable than their multipliThe first permanent settlements made cation and extension over the country. on the Maine,” as the continental part of The huts in which the emigrants first found the country was called, to distinguish it shelter gave place to well-built houses. from the islands—and hence the name of Commerce made rapid advances. Large the state-date as early, it would appear, quantities of the country's natural producas 1626. The settlers were from Plym- tions, such as furs and lumber, were exouth, and no doubt carried with them the ported; grain was shipped to the West religious institutions cherished in that ear- Indies, and fishing employed many hands. liest of all the New England colonies. Ship-building was carried to such an ex