The planters plea· Or The grounds of plantations examined, and vsuall objections answered Together with a manifestation of the causes mooving such as have lately vndertaken a plantation in Nevv-England: for the satisfaction of those that question the lawfulnesse of the action.
White, John, 1575-1648.


Its one thing to guesse what God will bring to passe, and another thing to conclude what hee re∣quires us to undertake. Shall we say that because God gives not men the zeale of Moses and Phi∣neas, therefore hee hath discharged men of the duty of executing judgement. It is true indeed, that God hath hitherto suffered the neglect of many parts of the world, and hidden them from the eyes of former ages; for ends best knowne to himselfe: but that disproves not that the duty of peopling voyd places lyes upon us still, especially since they are discovered and made knowne to us. And, although I dare not enter so farre into Gods secrets, as to affirme, that hee avengeth the neglect of this duty by Warres, Pestilences and Fa∣mines, which unlesse they had wasted the people of these parts of the world, wee should ere this, have devoured one another; Yet it cannot be de∣nyed, but the neare thronging of people together in these full Countreyes, have often occasioned amongst us ciuill Warres, Famines, and Plagues. And it is as true that God hath made advantage of some of these Warres, especially which have laid many fruitfull Countreyes wast, to exercise men in these very labours which employ new Planters; by which he hath reduced them to some degrees of that frugality, industry, and justice,

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Page  10 full states of unnecessary multitudes, or of reple∣nishing wast and voyd Countries; they have a cleare and sufficient warrant from the mouth of God, as immediately concurring with one speci∣all end that God aimed at in the first institution thereof.

But, seeing Gods honour, and glory; and next mens Salvation, is his owne principall scope in this and all his wayes; it must withall bee necessarily acknowledged that the desire & respect unto the publishing of his name where it is not knowne, and reducing men, that live without God in this present world, unto a forme of Piety and godli∣nesse, by how much the more immediately it suites with the mind of God, and is furthest caried from private respects, by so much the more it ad∣vanceth this worke of planting Colonies above all civill and humane ends, and deserves honour, and approbation, above the most glorious Con∣quests, or successefull enterprizes that ever were undertaken by the most renowned men that the Sunne hath seene, and that by how much the sub∣duing of Satan is a more glorious act, then a victory over men: and the enlargement of Christs Kingdome, then the adding unto mens domini∣ons: and the saving of mens soules, then the pro∣vision for their lives and bodies.

It seemes, this end, in plantation, hath beene specially reserved for this later end of the world: Page  11 seeing; before Christ, the Decree of God, that suffered all Nations to walke in their own waies, Acts 14. 16. shut up the Church within the nar∣row bounds of the Promised Land, and so exclu∣ded men from the propagation of Religion to o∣ther Countries. And in the Apostles time, God afforded an easier and more speedy course of con∣verting men to the truth by the gift of tongues, se∣conded by the power of Miracles, to winne the greater credit to their doctrine, which most espe∣cially, and first prevailed upon Countries civili∣zed, as the History of the Apostles Acts makes manifest. As for the rest, I make no question, but God used the same way to other barbarous Na∣tions, which hee held with us, whom hee first Civilized by the Romane Conquests, and mix∣ture of their Colonies with us, that hee might bring in Religion afterwards: seeing no man can imagine how Religion should prevaile upon those, who are not subdued to the rule of Nature and Reason.

Nay, I conceive, God especially directs this worke of erecting Colonies unto the planting and propagating of Religion in the West Indies, (although I will not confine it to those alone) and that for divers Reasons, which ought to be taken into serious consideration, as affording the stron∣gest Motives that can be proposed to draw on the hearts and affections of men to this worke now in hand, for this purpose; which gives occasion unto the publishing of this Treatise.

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Page  14 men in the times appointed by the Law of Mo∣ses, counting them and all they touch uncleane during that time appointed by the Law: whether upon any other ground, or by a tradition recei∣ved from the Iewes, it is uncertaine. Some con∣ceive, their Predecessors might have had some commerce with the Iewes in times past, by what meanes I know not: Howsoever it bee, it fals out that the name of the place, which our late Colony hath chosen for their seat, prooves to bee perfect Hebrew, being called Nahum Keike, by interpre∣tation, The bosome of consolation: which it were pit∣ty that those which observed it not, should change into the name of Salem, though upon a faire ground, in remembrance of a peace setled upon a conference at a generall meeting betweene them and their neighbours, after expectance of some dangerous jarre. Now then, if all nations must have Christ tendred unto them, and the In∣dies have never yet heard of his name, it must fol∣low, that that worke of conveighing that know∣ledge to them, remaines to bee undertaken and performed by this last age.

Againe, what shall we conceive of that almost * miraculous opening the passage unto, and disco∣very of these formerly unknowne nations, which must needs have proved impossible unto former ages for want of the knowledge of the use of the Loadstone, as wounderfully found out as these unknowne Countries by it. It were little lesse Page  15 then impietie to conceive that GOD, (whose Will concurres with the lighting of a Sparrow upon the ground) had no hand in directing one of the most difficult and observeable workes of this age; and as great folly to imagine, that hee who made all things, and consequently orders and directs them to his owne glory, had no o∣ther scope but the satisfying of mens greedy ap∣petites, that thirsted after the riches of that new found world, and to tender unto them the ob∣jects of such barbarous cruelties as the world ne∣ver heard of. Wee cannot then probably con∣ceive that GOD, in that strange discovery, ay∣med at any other thing but this, that, after hee had punished the Atheisme, and Idolatry of those heathen and bruitish Nations, by the Conquerors cruelty, and acquainted them, by mixture of some other people, with civility, to cause at length the glorious Gospell of Iesus Christ to shine out unto them, as it did to our forefathers, after those sharpe times of the bitter desolations of our Nation, betweene the Romanes and the Picts.

A fourth reason, to prove that God hath left * this great, and glorious worke to this age of the world, is the nearnesse of the Iewes conversion; before which, it is conceived by the most, that the fulnesse of the Gentiles must come in, accor∣ding to the Apostles prophesie, Rom. 11. 25. That this day cannot be farre off appeares by the fulfil∣ling of the prophesies, precedent to that great and Page  16 glorious worke, and the generall expectation thereof by all men, such as was found among the Iewes both in Iudea and in some other parts of the world before the comming of Christ in the flesh, now then let it bee granted that the Iewes con∣version is neare, and that the Gentiles, and con∣sequently the Indians must needs bee gathered in before that day; and any man may make the con∣clusion, that this is the houre for the worke, and consequently of our duty to endeavour the effe∣cting that which God hath determined; the ope∣ning of the eyes of those poore ignorant soules, and discovering unto them the glorious mystery of Iesus Christ.