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.


Good government though it doe reforme ma∣ny, yet it cannot reforme all the evills of this kind; because it will bee a great difficulty to finde out profitable employments for all that will want; which way we should helpe our selves by tillage I know not: wee can hardly depasture sewer Ro∣ther Page  21 beasts then we doe, seeing we spend already their flesh and hides: and as for sheepe, the ground depastured with them, doth or might set on worke as many hands as tillage can doe. If we adventure the making of linnen cloth, other soiles are so much fitter to produce the materialls for that worke, their labour is so much cheaper, the hindering of Commerce in trade likely to bee so great, that the undertakers of this worke would in all probability bee soone discouraged. Nay the multiplying of new Draperies, which perhaps might effect more then all the rest, yet were in no proportion sufficient to employ the supernume∣raries which this Land would yeeld if wee could bee confined within the bounds of sobriety and modesty, seeing it may bee demonstrated, that neere a third part of these that inhabite our Townes and Cities (besides such spare men as the Country yeelds) would by good order establish∣ed, be left to take up new employments.

We have as much opportunity as any Nation * to transport our men and provisions by Sea into those Countries, without which advantage they cannot possibly be peopled from any part of the world; not from this Christian part at least, as all men know: And how usefull a neighbour the sea is to the furthering of such a worke; the exam∣ples of the Graecians and the Phaenicians, who filled all the bordering coasts with their Colonies doe sufficiently prove unto all the world: Nei∣ther Page  22 can it be doubted, but the first Planters want∣ing this helpe (as Abraham in his removing to Charran first, and to Canaan afterwards) must needs spend much time and indure much labour in passing their famlies and provisions by Land, over rivers and through Woods and Thickets by unbeaten pathes.

But what need Arguments to us that have al∣ready determined this truth? How many seve∣rall * Colonies have wee drawne out and passed o∣ver into severall parts of the West Indies? And this we have done with the allowance, encourage∣ment, & high cōmendation of State, perhaps not alway with the best success, who knowes whether by erring from the right scope? Questionlesse for want of fit men for that imployment, and ex∣perience to direct a worke, which being caried in an untrodden path, must needs be subject to misca∣riage into many errours.

Now whereas it hath beene manifested that * the most eminent and desirable end of planting Colonies, is the propagation of Religion; It may be conceived this Nation is in a sort singled out unto that worke; being of all the States that en∣joy the libertie of the Religion Reformed; and are able to spare people for such an employment, the most Orthodoxe in our profession, and behind none in sincerity in embracing it; as will appeare to any indifferent man, that shall duly weigh and Page  23 recount the number and condition of those few States of Europe, that continue in the profession of that truth which we imbrace.