A BRIEFE SVRVIEW OF COLONIES: And first, Of their Ground and Warrant.
CHAP. I. By a Colony we meane a societie of men drawne out of one state or people, and transplanted into another Countrey.
COLONIES (as other conditions * and states in humane society) have their warrant from Gods direction and command; who * as soone as men were, set them their taske, to replenish the earth, and to subdue it, Gen. 1. 28. Those words, I grant, expresse a promise, as the title of a benedi∣ction prefixed unto them here, & in the repetition of them to Noah, implies. Gen. 9. 1. But that withal they include a direction or command was never, as I conceive, doubted by any. Iunius upon them: Page 2Prout vim intus indiderat, sic palam mandatum dedit eurandae propagationis & dominationis exercendae. And Paraeus, Iubet igitur replere terram, non solum generatione & habitatione, sed cum primis potestate eultu & usu: Etsi vero nonnullae orbis partes manent inhabitabiles; habemus nihilominus totius dominium iure Divino, lic et non habeamus totius orbis usum cul∣pâ & defectu nostro. And before them, Calvin; Iubet eos crescere & simul benedictionem suam destinat, &c. and divers other's.
It will be granted then that the words include and have the force of a Precept, which perhaps some may conceive was to continue during the worlds Infancy, and no longer; but such a limitati∣on wants ground. It is true that some comman∣dements founded upon, and having respect unto some present state and condition of men, received end or alteration when the condition was ended, or changed. But Precepts given to the body of mankind, as these to Adam & Noah, receive neither alteration in the substantials, nor determinati∣on while men, and any void places of the earth continue, so that allowing this Commandement to bind Adam, it must binde his posterity, and con∣sequently our selves in this age, and our issue af∣ter us, as long as the earth yeelds empty places to be replenished.
Besides, the gift of the earth to the sonnes of * men, Psal. 115. 16. necessarily inforceth their du∣ty to people it: It were a great wrong to God to conceive that hee doth ought in vaine, or ten∣ders Page 3 a gift that he never meant should be enjoyed: now how men should make benefit of the earth, but by habitation and culture cannot bee ima∣gined.
Neither is this sufficient to conceive that Gods intention is satisfied if some part of the earth be replenished, and used, though the rest be wast; be∣cause the same difficulty urgeth us still, that the rest of which we receive no fruit, was never inten∣ded to us, because it was never Gods minde wee should possesse it. If it were then the minde of God, that man should possesse all parts of the earth, it must be enforced that we neglect our du∣ty, and crosse his will, if we doe it not, when wee have occasion and opportunitie: and withall doe little lesse then despise his blessing.
Withall, that order that God annexed to mar∣riage * in his first institution, viz. that married per∣sons should leave father and mother, and cleave each to other, is a good warrant of this practice. For sometime there will be a necessitie, that yong married persons should remove out of their fa∣thers house, and live apart by themselves, and so erect new families. Now what are new families, but pettie Colonies: and so at last removing fur∣ther and further they overflow the whole earth. Therefore, so long as there shall be use of marri∣age, the warrant of deducing Colonies will con∣tinue. *
It is true, that all Gods directions have a dou∣ble scope, mans good, and Gods honour. Now Page 4 that this commandement of God is directed vnto mans good temporall and spirituall, is as cleere as the light. It cannot be denyed but the life of man is every way made more comfortable, and afforded a more plentiful supply in a large scope of ground, which moves men to bee so insatiable in their desires to joyne house to house, and land to land, till there be no more place; exceeding, I grant, therein the measure and bounds of Iustice; and yet building upon a principle that nature sug∣gests, that a large place best assures sufficiency: as we see; by nature, trees flourish faire, and pros∣per well, and waxe fruitfull in a large Orchard, which would otherwise wither and decay, if they were penned up in a little nursery: either all, or at best, a few that are stronger plants and better rooted, would encrease and over-top, and at last, starve the weaker: which falls out in our civill State; where a few men flourish that are best grounded in their estates, or best furnished with abilities, or best fitted with opportunities, and the rest waxe weake and languish, as wanting roome and meanes to nourish them.
Now, that the spirits and hearts of men are kept in better temper by spreading wide, and by * pouring, as it were, from vessell to vessell (the want whereof is alleaged by the Prophet Ieremy as the cause that Moab setled vpon his lees, and got so harsh a relish Ier. 48. 11.) will bee euident to any man, that shall consider, that the husban∣ding of unmanured grounds, and shifting into Page 5 empty Lands, enforceth men to frugalitie, and quickneth invention: and the setling of new States requireth justice and affection to the com∣mon good: and the taking in of large Countreys presents a naturall remedy against couetousnesse, fraud, and violence; when euery man may enjoy enough without wrong or injury to his neigh∣bour. Whence it was, that the first ages, by these helpes, were renowned for golden times, wherein men, being newly entred into their possessions, and entertained into a naked soile, and enforced thereby to labour, frugality, simplicity, and justice, had neither leisure, nor occasion, to decline to idlenesse, riot, wantonnesse, fraud, and violence, the fruits of well-peopled Countryes, and of the abundance and superfluities of long setled States.
But that which should most sway our hearts, * is the respect unto Gods honor, which is much ad∣vanced by this worke of replenishing the earth. First, when the largeness of his bounty is tasted by setling of men in al parts of the world, wherby the extent of his munificence to the sonnes of men is discovered; The Psalmist tells us that God is much magnified by this, that the whole earth is full of his riches, yea and the wide sea too, Psal. 104. 24. 25. And God, when hee would have Abraham know what he had bestowed on him when he gave him Canaan, wills him to walke through it in the length of it, and in the breadth of it, Gen. 13. 17.
Secondly, Gods honour must needs bee much Page 6 advanced, when, together with mens persons, re∣ligion is conveyed into the severall parts of the world, and all quarters of the earth sound with his praise; and Christ Iesus takes in the Nations for his inhenitance, and the ends of the earth for his possession, according to Gods decree and promise. Psal. 2. 8.
Besides all that hath beene said, seeing Gods command, and abilities to performe it, usually * goe together, we may guesse at his intention and will, to have the earth replenished, by the extra∣ordinarie fruitfulnesse that hee gave to mankinde in those first times, when men manifested their greatest forwardnesse for the undertaking of this taske; which seemes to bee denyed to the latter ages, and peradventure for this reason among o∣thers, because the love of ease and pleasure fixing men to the places and Countreyes which they finde ready furnished to their hand, by their pre∣decessors labours and industry, takes from them a desire and will of undertaking such a laborious and unpleasant taske as is the subduing of unma∣nured Countreyes.
But, it may be objected, if God intended now the issuing out of Colonies, as in former ages, hee would withall quicken men with the same heroicall spirits which were found in those times: Which wee finde to be farre otherwise. Although the strong impression up∣on mens spirits that have beene and are stirred up inPage 7this age to this and other Plantations, might be a suffi∣cient answer to this objection, yet we answer further.
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,〈2 pages missing〉
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.〈2 pages missing〉
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.
CHAP. III. The English Nation is fit to undertake this taske.
THat this Nation is able and fit to send out Colonies into For∣raigne parts will evidently ap∣peare by the consideration of of our overflowing multitudes: this being admitted for a recei∣ved principle, that Countreyes superabound in people when they have more then they can well nourish, or well employ, seeing we know, men are not ordained to live onely, but, withall and especially, to serve one another through love, in some profitable and usefull cal∣ling. Granting therefore that this Land by Gods ordinary blessing, yeelds sufficiency of corne and eattell for more then the present Inhabitants, yet, that wee have more people, then wee doe, or can profitably employ, will, I conceive, appeare to any man of understanding, willing to acknow∣ledge the truth, and to consider these foure par∣ticulars.
1. Many among us live without employment, either wholly, or in the greatest part (especially if there happen any interruption of trade, as of late was manifested not onely in Essex, but in most〈2 pages missing〉
Page 20 Now what a disease this must needes bee in a State, where mens necessities inforce them to inventions of all wayes and meanes of expence upon the instruments of pride, and wantonnesse; and of as many subtilties and frauds in deceitfull handling all works that passe through their fingers, that by the speedy wasting of what is made, they may bee the sooner called upon for new; I leave it to any wise man to judge. It is a fearfull condition, whereby men are in a sort en∣forced to perish, or to become meanes and instru∣ments of evill. So that the conclusion must stand firme, we have more men then wee can imploy to any profitable or usefull labour.
But the idlenesse or unprofitable labours of our peo∣ple arise not from our numbers, but from our ill govern∣ment, inferiour Magistrates being too remisse in their offices; and therefore may more easily be reformed by establishing better order, or executing those good lawes already made at home, then by transporting some of them into forraigne Countreyes.
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.
CHAP. IIII. That New-England is a fit Country for the sea∣ting of an English Colonie, for the propagation of Religion.
NOT onely our acquaintance with * the soyle and Natives there, but more especially our opportunity of trading thither for Furres and fish, perswade this truth, if other things be answerable. It is well knowne, before our breach with Spaine, we usual∣ly sent out to New-England, yearely forty or fifty saile of ships of reasonable good burthen for fish∣ing onely. And howsoever it fals out that our New-found-land voyages prove more beneficiall to the Merchants; yet it is as true, these to New-England are found farre more profitable to poore Fishermen; so that by that time all reckonings are cast up, these voyages come not farre behind the other in aduantage to the State. *
No Countrey yeelds a more propitious ayre for our tempor, then New-England, as experience Page 24 hath made manifest, by all relations: manie of our people that have sound themselves alway weake and sickly at home, have become strong, and healthy there: perhaps by the drynesse of the ayre and constant temper of it, which seldome varies suddenly from cold to heate, as it doth with us: So that Rheumes are very rare among our En∣glish there; Neyther are the Natives at any time troubled with paine of teeth, sorenesse of eyes, or ache in their limbes. It may bee the nature of the water conduceth somewhat this way; which all affirme to keepe the body alwaies temperately so∣luble, and consequently helps much to the pre∣venting, and curing of the Gout, and Stone, as some have found by experiēce. As for provisions for life: The Come of the Countrey (which it produceth in good proportion with reasonable labour) is apt for nourishmēt, & agrees, although not so well with our taste at first; yet very well with our health; nay, is held by some Physitians, to be restorative. If wee like not that, wee may make use of our owne Graines, which agree well with that soyle, and so doe our Cattle: nay, they grow unto a greater bulke of body there, then with us in England. Vnto which if wee adde the fish, fowle, and Venison, which that Country yeelds in great abundance, it cannot be questioned but that soile may assure sufficient provision for food. And being naturally apt for Hempe and Flax especially, may promise us Linnen sufficient with our labour, and woollen too if it may be Page 25 thought fit to store it with sheepe.
The Land affords void ground enough to re∣ceive more people then this State can spare, and * that not onely wood-grounds, and others, which are unfit for present use: but, in many places, much cleared ground for tillage, and large mar∣shes for hay and feeding of cattle, which comes to passe by the desolatiō hapning through a three yeeres Plague, about twleve or sixteene yeeres past, which swept away most of the Inhabitants all along the Sea-coast, and in some places utter∣ly consumed man, woman & childe, so that there is no person left to lay claime to the soyle which they possessed; In most of the rest, the Contagion hath scarce left alive one person of an hundred. And which is remarkable, such a Plague hath not been knowne, or remembred in any age past; nor then raged above twenty or thirty miles up into the Land, nor seized upon any other but the Natives, the English in the heate of the Sicknesse commercing with them without hurt or danger. Besides, the Natives invite us to sit downe by them, and offer us what ground wee will: so that eyther want of possession by others, or the posses∣sors gift, and sale, may assure our right: we neede not feare a cleare title to the soyle.
In all Colonies it is to bee desired that the daughter may answer something backe by way of * retribution to the mother that gave her being. Nature hath as much force, and founds as strong a relation betweene people and people, as be∣tweene Page 26 person and person: So that a Colonie de∣nying due respect to the State from whose bow∣els it issued, is as great a monster, as an unnaturall childe. Now, a Colonie planted in New-England may be many wayes usefull to this State.
As first, in furthering our Fishing-voyages (one * of the most honest, and every way profitable im∣ployment that the Nation undertakes) It must needes be a great advantage unto our men after so long a voyage to be furnished with fresh victu∣all there; and that supplyed out of that Land, without spending the provisions of our owne countrey. But there is hope besides, that the Co∣lonie shall not onely furnish our Fisher-men with Victuall, but with Salt too, unlesse mens expecta∣tion and conjectures much deceive them: and so quit unto them a great part of the charge of their voyage, beside the hazard of adventure.
Next, how serviceable this Country must needs bee for provisions for shipping, is sufficiently knowne already: At present it may yeeld Planks, Masts, Oares, Pitch, Tarre, and Iron; and here∣after (by the aptnesse of the Soyle for Hempe) if the Colonie increase, Sailes and Cordage. What other commodities it may afford besides for trade, time will discover. Of Wines among the rest, there can be no doubt; the ground yeel ding naturall Vines in great abundance and vari∣etie; and of these, some as good as any are found∣in France by humane culture. But in the possibili∣tie of the serviceablenesse of the Colonie to this Page 27 State, the judgement of the Dutch may somewhat confirme us, who have planted in the same soyle, and make great account of their Colonie there.
But the greatest advantage must needes come * unto the Natives themselves, whom wee shall teach providence and industry, for want whereof they perish oftentimes, while they make short provisions for the present, by reason of their idle∣nesse, & that they have, they spend and wast unne∣cessarily, without having respect to times to come. Withall, commerce and example of our course of living, cannot but in time breed civility among them, and that by Gods blessing may make way for religion consequently, and for the saving of their soules. Vnto all which may bee added, the safety and protection of the persons of the Na∣tives, which are secured by our Colonies. In times past the Tarentines (who dwell from those of Mat∣tachusets bay, neere which our men are seated; about fifty or sixty leagues to the North-East) in∣habiting a soile unfit to produce that Countrey graine, being the more hardy people, were accu∣stomed yearely at harvest to come down in their Canoes, and reape their fields, and carry away their Corne, and destroy their people, which wonderfully weakened, and kept them low in times past: from this evill our neighbourhood hath wholy freed them, and consequently secured their persons and estates; which makes the Na∣tives there so glad of our company.
But if we have any spare people, Ireland is a fitter place to receive them then New-England. Being 1, Nearer. 2, Our owne. 3, Void in some parts. 4, Fruitfull. 5, Of importance for the securing of our owne Land. 6, Nee∣ding our helpe for their recovery out of blindnesse and superstition.
Ireland is well-nigh sufficiently peopled al∣ready, or will be in the next age. Besides, this worke needs not hinder that, no more then the plantation in Virginia, Bermudas, S. Christo∣phers, Barbados, &c. which are all of them appro∣ved, and incouraged as this is. As for religion, it hath reasonable footing in Ireland already, and may easily be propagated further, if wee bee not wanting to our selves. This Countrey of New-England is destitute of all helpes, and meanes, by wch the people might come out of the snare of Sa∣tan. Now although it be true, that I should regard my sonne more then my servant; yet I must rather provide a Coate for my servant that goes naked, then give my sonne another, who hath reasonable clothing already.
But New-England hath divers discommodities, the Snow, and coldnesse of the winter, which our English bodies can hardly brooke: and the annoyance of men byPage 29Muskitoes, and Serpents: and of Cattle, and Corne, by wilde beasts.
The cold of Winter is tolerable, as experience hath, and doth manifest, and is remedied by the abundance of fuell. The Snow lyes indeed about a foot thicke for ten weekes or there about; but where it lies thicker, and a month longer, as in ma∣ny parts of Germany, men finde a very comfortable dwelling. As for the Serpents, it is true, there are some, and these larger then our Adders; but in ten yeares experience no man was ever indangered by them; and as the countrey is better stored with people, they will be found fewer, and as rare as among us here. As for the wilde beasts, they are no more, nor so much dangerous or hurtfull here, as in germany and other parts of the world. The Muskitoes indeed infest the planters, about foure moneths in the heat of Summer; but after one yeares acquaintance, men make light account of them; some fleight defence for the hands and face, smoake, and a close house may keepe them off. Neither are they much more noysome then in Spaine, Germany, and other parts; nay, then the fennish parts of Essex, and Lincolne-shire. Besides it is credibly reported, that twenty miles inward into the Countrey they are not found: but this is certaine, and tried by experience, after foure or five yeares habitation they waxe very thinne: It may be the hollownesse of the ground〈2 pages missing〉
Page 32pected in New-England but competency to live on at the best, and that must bee purchased with hard la∣bour, whereas divers other parts of the West-Indies offer a richer soyle, which easily allures Inhabitants, by the tender of a better condition then they live in at present.
An unanswerable argument, to such as make the advancement of their estates, the scope of their undertaking; but no way a discouragement to such as aime at the propagation of the Gospell, which can never bee advanced but by the preserva∣tion of Piety in those that carry it to strangers; Now wee know nothing sorts better with Piety them Competēcy; a truth which Agur hath deter∣mined long agoe, Prov. 30. 8. Nay, Heathen men by the light of Nature were directed so farre as to discover the overflowing of riches to be enemie to labour, sobriety, justice, love and magnanimi∣ty: and the nurse of pride, wantonnesse, and con∣tention; and therefore laboured by all meanes to keepe out the love and desire of them from their well-ordered States, and observed and professed the comming in and admiration of them to have beene the foundation of their ruine. If men de∣sire to have a people degenerate speedily, and to corrupt their mindes and bodies too, and be∣sides to tole-in theeves and spoilers from abroad; let them seeke a rich soile, that brings in much with little labour; but if they desire that Piety Page 33 and godlinesse should prosper; accompanied with sobriety, justice and love, let them choose a Countrey such as this is; even like France, or England, which may yeeld sufficiency with hard labour and industry: the truth is, there is more cause to feare wealth then poverty in that soyle.
CHAP. 5. What persons may be fit to be employed in this worke of planting a Colony.
IT seemes to bee a common and grosse errour that Co∣lonies ought to be Emunc∣tories or sinckes of States; to drayne away their filth: whence arise often murmu∣rings at the removall of any men of State or worth, with some wonder and admira∣tion, that men of sufficiency and discretion should preferre any thing before a quiet life at home. An opinion that favours strongly of selfe-love, alwaies opposite and enemy to any publike good. This fundamentall errour hath beene the occasion of the miscariage of most of our Colonies, and the chargeable destruction of many of our Country∣men, whom when we have once issued out from Page 34 us we cast off as we say to the wide world, leaving them to themselves either to sinke or swimme.
Contrary to this common custome, a State that intends to draw out a Colony for the inha∣biting of another Country, must looke at the mo∣ther and the daughter with an equall and indiffe∣rent eye; remembring that a Colony is a part and member of her owne body; and such in whose good her selfe hath a peculiar interest, which therfore she should labour to further and cherish by all fit and convenient meanes; and consequently must allow to her such a proportion of able men as may bee sufficient to make the frame of that new formed body: As good Governours, able Ministers, Physitians, Souldiers, Schoolemasters, Mariners, and Mechanicks of all sorts; who had therefore need to bee of the more sufficiency, be∣cause the first fashioning of a politicke body is a harder taske then the ordering of that which is al∣ready framed; as the first erecting of a house is ever more difficult then the future keeping of it in repaire; or as the breaking of a Colt requires more skill then the riding of a managed horse. When the frame of the body is thus formed and furnished with vitall parts, and knit together with firme bands & sinewes, the bulke may be filled up with flesh, that is with persons of lesse use and activity, so they bee plyable and apt to bee kept in life.
Page 35 The disposition of these persons must bee re∣spected as much or more then their abilities; men nourished up in idlenesse, unconstant, and affect∣ing novelties, unwilling, stubborne, enclined to faction, covetous, luxurious, prodigall, and gene∣rally men habituated to any grosse evill, are no fit members of a Colony. Ill humours soone over∣throw a weake body; and false stones in a founda∣tion ruine the whole building: the persons ther∣fore chosen out for this employment, ought to be willing, constant, industrious, obedient, frugall, lovers of the common good, or at least such as may be easily wroght to this temper; considering that workes of this nature try the undertakers with many difficulties, and easily discourage minds of base and weake temper. It cannot, I con∣fesse, be hoped that all should be such; care must be had that the principalls be so inclined, and as many of the Vulgar as may bee, at least that they bee willing to submit to authority; mutinies, which many times are kindled by one person, are well nigh as dangerous in a Colony, as in an Armie.
These are rules concerning electing of fit per∣sons for Colonies in generall, unto which must be adjoyned the consideration of the principall scope whereat the Colonie aimes; which must be Religion, whether it bee directed to the good of others for their conversion; or of the Planters themselves for their preservation and continuance Page 36 in a good condition, in which they cannot long subsist without Religion. To this purpose must be allotted to every Colony, for Governours and Ministers especially, men of piety and blamelesse life, especially in such a Plantation as this in New-England, where their lives must be the patternes to the Heathen, and the especiall, effectuall meanes of winning them to the love of the truth. Nay it would beè indeavoured, that all Gover∣nours offamilies, either may be men truly Godly or at least such as consent and agree to a forme of morall honestie and sobrietie. As for other ends lesse principall, which are especially Mer∣chandise & defence, common sense teacheth eve∣rie man that the Colonie must be furnished with the greatest store of such persons as are most ser∣viceable to the maine end at which it aimes.
But able and godly persons being in some degree supporters of the State that sends them out, by sparing them she seemes to plucke away her owne props, and so to weaken her owne standing, which is against the rule of charitie, that allowes and perswades every man to have the first care of his owne good and pre∣servation.
The first, indeed but not the onely care: so I must provide for mine owne family, but not for that alone; But to answer this ob∣jection more fully, which troubles many, and distracts their thoughts, and strikes indeede at the foundation of this worke (for either wee must allow some able men for Civill and Ecclesiasticall affaires for peace and warre, or no Colonie at all: ) First I deny that such as are gone out from the State, are cut off from the State; the rootes that issue out from the Truncke of the Tree, though they be disper∣sed, yet they are not severed, but doe good offices, by drawing nourishment to the maine body, and the tree is not weakned but streng∣thened the more they spread, of which wee have a cleere instance in the Romane State: that Citie by the second Punicke warre had erected thirtie Colonies in severall parts of Italie; and by their strength especially suppor∣ted her selfe against her most potent enemies. I confesse that in places so farre distances New-England from this Land, the case is somewhat different; the intercourse is not so speedy, but it must needs be granted yet, that even those so far remote may be of use and seruice to this State still, as hath beene shewed.〈2 pages missing〉
Page 40 vels, improved not so much by sight as experi∣ence, after the affaires of the Colony were set∣led; what losse were it in lieu of so great a gaine?
Lastly, if we spare men for the advancing of Gods honour, men that doe us service that they may attend Gods service, we have as much reason to expect the supply of our losse, as the repayring of our estates, out of which we spare a portion for our brethrens necessities, or the advancing of Gods worship; by the blessing of God according to his promise.
CHAP. VI. What warrant particular men-may have to en∣gage their persons, and estates in this imploy∣ment of planting Colonies.
TO give a cleare Resolution to this Proposition, is a matter of no small difficultie: I shall declare mine owne opinion, and leave it to the censure of the godly wise. It is the con∣ceit of some men, that no man may undertake this taske without an extraordina∣ry warrant, such as Abraham had from God, to call him out of Mesopotamia to Canaan; their o∣pinion seemes to rest upon a ground that will hardly be made good, sc. That the planting of Colonies is an extraordinarie worke. Which if it be granted, then the argument hath a strong, and for ought I know, a necessary inference: That therefore those that undertake it, must have an ex∣traordinary Call. But that Proposition, That planting of Colonies is an extraordinary worke, will not easily be granted. This Argument lyes strongly against it.
That Duty that is commanded by a perpetuall Law, cannot be accounted extraordinary.Page 42But the sending out of Colonies is commanded by a perpetuall Law.
Therefore it is no extraordinary duty.
Now that the commandement is perpetuall, hath beene proved. First, because it was given to mankind; and secondly, because it hath a ground which is perpetuall, sc. the emptinesse of the earth, which either is so, or may be so while the world endures; for even those places which are full, may be emptied by warres, or sicknesse; and then an ar∣gument presseth as strongly the contrary way. The undertaking of an ordinary duty needs no o∣ther then an ordinary warrant; but such is plan∣ting of a Colony, as being undertaken by vertue of a perpetuall law; therefore the undertaking to plant a Colony, needs no extraordinary warrant. Indeed Abrahams undertaking was extraordinary in many things, and therefore needed an immedi∣ate direction from God.
1, He was to goe alone with his family and brethren.
2, To such a certaine place far distant.
3, Possessed already by the Canaanites.
4, To receive it wholy appropriated to himselfe, and his Issue.
5, Not to plant it at present, but onely sojourne in it, and walke through it for a time.
Now none of these circumstances fit our ordi∣nary Colonies; and consequently Abrahams exam∣ple is nothing to this purpose, because the case is different, though in some other things alike.
Page 43 Others conceive, that though men may adven∣ture upon the worke upon an ordinary warrant, yet none can give that but the State; therefore they require a command from the highest autho∣ritie unto such as ingage themselves in this af∣faire. Indeed that the State hath power over all her members, to command and dispose of them within the bounds of justice, is more evident, then can be denyed: but this power she executes diver∣sly; sometime by command, sometimes by per∣mission: as in preparations to warre, sometimes men are compelled to serve, sometimes they are permitted to goe voluntaries that will.
Againe, somtimes the Supreme power takes care of the whole businesse; sometimes (as in Mu∣sters) commits it to delegates. If the power of State then proclaime liberty to such as will, to ga∣ther and unite into the body of a Colony, and commit the care to some persons that offer them∣selves, to associate to them whom they thinke fit, and to order them according to discretion; no man can deny but that the State hath given a suf∣ficient warrant. Neither doth it appeare, that ever any State did more; The Romans use was to proclaime that they intended to plant a Colony of such a number in such a place, and as many as would give in their names should receive so ma∣ny acres of Ground, and enjoy such other privi∣ledges as they thought fit to grant them, which they then expressed: Those which gave in their names were inrolled till the number was full, Page 44 and then had they certaine Commissioners ap∣pointed by the State of see all things ordered and directed accordingly, and to put every man into possession of his inheritance; neither did the State interpose their authority in assigning, and choosing out the men, but left it free and vo∣luntary to every man to take or leave.
Seeing nothing can beare out the hazzards, and inconveniences of such toylesome and dif∣ficult undertakings, as is the planting of Colonies, but a willing minde: Men can digest any thing that themselves choose or desire; but a comman∣dement makes pleasant things harsh, how much more harsh things intolerable?
But to come somewhat nearer unto the grounds of this resolution. In undertaking an new inploy∣ment two things must be taken into consideratiō, upon which a mans warrant must be grounded.
1, His ingagement unto his present condition in which he is setled.
2, The tender and offer of the new service unto which he is called.
In both it must be first granted, that Callings are employments in which we serve one another through love, Gal. 5. 13. in something that is good, Ephes. 4. 28. not seeking our owne, but other mens profit, 1 Cor. 10. 24.
In furthering other mens good our ingage∣ments are,
1, To the Church in generall.
2, To that particular State of which wee are Page 45 members, either wholy, or any branch of it.
3, To our friends.
And these as they have interest in our labours of love in that order that is set downe, so they have power to require them in the same order, and that two wayes, either by their expresse; com∣mand, or by the manifestation of their necessity, or speciall good proposed. The Church in gene∣rall rarely layes any command but mostly chalen∣geth our service by the discovery of her need, and use of our labours for her good. The particular State, besides the pleading of her necessity; inter∣poseth her authority; and that either immediate∣ly, as in deputing men to publike offices; or medi∣ately by our parents, or other governours whom she authorizeth to direct and setle us in such par∣ticular callings and imployments as may bee for her use and service. The State then by any publike intimation, proclaming free liberty to men to remove and plant themselves else-where, dis∣chargeth these persons of the obligation wherein by her power and authority they stand bound to their particular calling wherein they are placed, and ought otherwise to continue. So that now particular persons stand no longer bound by the States authoritie, but by the manifestation of her necessities, which crave their ayde and service for their publike good and safety.
The next thing then to bee taken into conside∣ration, is the advantages or benefits, which may be Page 46 gained by our service either to the Church, State, or friends to whom wee have relation by private interest. In all these the first respect must be had to necessity, and the next to conveniency. How much is to bee yeelded to necessity, it hath pleased God to manifest; by dispensing with his owne worship and service, in cases of necessity, not only upon our owne persons: but upon our goods or cattell. It must therefore be duly waighed whe∣ther we may be more serviceable to the Church in the State where wee live, or in that wee desire to erect: and againe, whether service is of more necessity: and whether appeares to be greater, that must carry us, unlesse some pressing wants of private friends challenge our service from them both, which in matters of moment & importance, to them must be conceived to be cast in by God, as a discharge from any other employment. As for example, The furthering of the Gospell in New-England, seemes to bee of more pressing ne∣cessity, and consequently by a stronger band to call mee on to that worke, then the State at home to my continuance here; for here though I may doe something for the advancing of Religion, yet my labours that way are not so needfull in the land, because many others may put too their hands to the same work. In New-England there are none to undergo the task: but in this case if the preserva∣tion of my fathers life or estate required my stay, that is a discharge unto me from this call to New-England;Page 47 not because his life or estate is of greater weight then the Churches good, but because his necessity is greater; for no body can procure my fathers safety but my selfe, other men besides my selfe may doe the Church this service. Thus men that are free from engagement may see what weights are allowed to bee cast into the ballance to determine their stay or removall.
All the difficulty that remaines, is, who shall cast the scales (that is) who shall determine which benefit or necessity is the greater? No question that which conscience well informed, assures mee to be so: but who shall informe my conscience, or by what rule shall my conscience judge? It is out of peradventure that God must informe the conscience. But how shall I discover what God adviseth? It is as certaine that if the word, by scanning the grounds which it proposeth, can give a Seer resolution, it must be followed. The things that are revealed belong unto us and our children that we may doe them, Deut. 29. 29. But many rules of Scripture though cleere in themselves, yet are doubtfull and ambiguous in the application, be∣cause they cannot determine particulars. In this case then wee must have recourse to Christian wisdome; assisted: First, By the advise and counsell of godly wise friends. Secondly, By the observati∣on of the concurrence of opportunities, Occasiones sunt Dei nutus. Thirdly, By and consideration of the inclination of the heart proposing a right end Page 48 scope after frequent and earnest prayer. A resolu∣tion taken after all these meanes used, as in Gods presence, without prejudice, with a sincere de∣sire to know and bee informed of Gods will, and obey it, may be taken for the voice of God at pre∣sent, and ought to direct the practise, though it binde not the conscience to embrace the things resolved for an infallible and onely the most pro∣bable direction. And the truth is, that unlesse this advise and resolution by Christian wisedome, ap∣plying the generall rules of Gods word to our owne particular case after wee have sought coun∣sell of God, and our Christian friends may be ad∣mitted for a rule to direct our practise, I know not what rule to prescribe to bee followed. Sup∣pose I would marry a wife, nothing but Christian wisedome so assisted, as is expressed before, can shew mee which is the woman.
CAP. 7. Answering Obiections against the maine bodie of the worke.
ALl experience is against the hope and good * successe of Colonies; much money, and many mens lives have beene spent upon Virginia, St. Christophers, New-found-land, &c. with no pro∣portionable successe, and what reason have wee to expect other event of this?
To speake nothing of particulars, which per∣haps might occasion some distaste, I denie not but the ends which they proposed may be good and warrantable; men may set before themselves civill respects, as advancement of the Nation, and hope and expectation of gaine, which per∣haps hath either wholly set on, or strongly sway∣ed these lately undertaken Colonies: But I con∣ceive where the service of the Church, and re∣spect unto the advancement of the Gospell is predominant, we may with greater assurance de∣pend upon Gods engagement in the worke, and consequently expect a prosperous successe from his hand. Besides, why may not English Planta∣tions thrive as well as Dutch? Where and when have their Colonies failed? To speake nothing of the East-Indies, even this which they have set∣led in New-England upon Hudsons River with no〈2 pages missing〉
Page 52 would be no question of a flourishing State there in convenient time by the concurrence of Gods ordinary blessing. In this dutie if we be wanting unto them, there will be great cause to suspect, that the exception against the worke, for the in∣supportable butthen of the charge, is but a faire pretext to colour our feare of our owne purses, which many are more faithfull unto, than unto the service of God and of his Church.
But the pretended end of winning the Hea∣then to the knowledge of God and embracing of the faith of Christ, is a meere fantasie, and a worke not onely of uncertaine but unlikely suc∣cesse, as appeares by our fruitlesse endeavours that way, both in Virginia and New-England, where New-Plimmouth men inhabiting now these ten yeares, are not able to give account of any one man converted to Christianity.
And no marvell, unlesse God should worke by miracle; neither can it be expected that worke should take effect untill we may be more perfect∣ly acquainted with their language, and they with ours. Indeede it is true, both the Natives and English understand so much of one anothers lan∣guage, as may enable them to trade one with an∣other, and fit them for conference about things that are subject to outward sense; and so they understand our use in keeping the Sabbath day, Page 53 observe our reverence in the worship of God, are somewhat acquainted with the morall precepts; know that adultery, theft, murther and lying are forbidden, which nature teacheth, because these things are outward, and may bee under∣stood almost by sense: But how shall a man ex∣presse unto them things meerely spirituall, which have no affinity with sense, unlesse wee were throughly acquainted with their language, and they with ours? neither can we in theirs, or they in our tongue utter any continued speech, be∣cause neither we nor they understand the moods, tenses, cases, numbers, praepositions, adverbes, &c. which make coherence in words, and ex∣presse a perfect sense. Besides, it hath beene inti∣mated that wee hardly have found a brutish peo∣ple wonne before they had beene taught civi∣lity. So wee must endeavour and expect to worke that in them first, and Religion after∣wards. Amongst such as have beene brought over into England from Virginia there was one Nanawack, a youth sent over by the Lo. De La∣ware, when hee was Governour there, who comming over and living here a yeare or two in houses where hee heard not much of Religion, but saw and heard many times examples of drin∣king, swearing, and like evills, remained as hee was a meere Pagan; but after removed into a godly family, hee was strangely altered, grew to understand the principles of Religion, lear∣ned to reade, delighted in the Scriptures, Ser∣mons, Prayers, and other Christian duties, Page 54 wonderfully bewailed the state of his Country∣men, especially his brethren, and gave such te∣stimonies of his love to the truth, that hee was thought fit to be baptised: but being prevented by death, left behinde such testimonies of his desire of Gods favour, that it mooved such god∣ly Christians as knew him, to conceive well of his condition; neither is there any cause to doubt but time may bring on in others, as well as it did in him, that which wee expect upon a so∣daine in vaine.
But some conceive the Inhabitants of New-England to be Chams posterity, and consequent∣ly shut out from grace by Noahs curse, till the conversion of the Iewes be past at least.
How doe they appeare to be Chams posterity? whose sonnes by the agreement of Writers, tooke up their dwellings together in Canaan, Palesti∣na, and the parts adjoyning in Arabia, Egypt, Mauritania, Lybia, and other bordering parts of Africke, and consequently for any footsteps of their descents appearing unto us, might bee as farre from peopling the West Indies, as any other part of the posteritie of Noahs sonnes. Neither doe mens conjectures agree, (for wee have no certainties to build on) whence these Countries of the parts of America towards New-England might most probably be peopled. But admit the Inhabitants to be Chams posteritie doth not the Prophet Esay foretell the conversion of Page 55Chams posterity in Egypt, performed in the Pri∣mitive times, all histories witnessing that the E∣gyptians had amongst them a Church of eminent note, governed by divers Bishops under the Pa∣tharen of Alexandria? And who knowes not the numerous Churches of Africke, wherein were above 160 Bishops in St. Austins time, go∣verning sundry Nations, all of them of Chams posteritie? But what testimonie of Scripture, or ground of reason from Scripture, layes such a fearefull curse upon all Chams posteritie? Noahs curse reacheth but to one branch, to Canaan, and as Interpreters conceive, with especiall relation to the extirpation of that part of his issue which inhabited Iudea, by the children of Israel. It is too much boldnesse then to curse where God hath not cursed, and shut out those from the meanes of grace, whom God hath not exclu∣ded.
But admit the English might be thought fit to plant a Colony in New-England, yet this time is unfit, in this troubled condition of the Church; it were more convenient for men to keepe close together, than to scatter abroad, that so they might be the more able to resist the common e∣nemie. This withdrawing of our selves in time of so great hazard betrayes weaknesse of heart, and proclaimes our despaire of the cause of Re∣ligion, which the godly entertaine with sad hearts, and the Iesuites with smiling countenan∣ces.
It is reported that when Annshal lay before Rome, it discouraged him much in his hopes of taking the Citty, that at the same instant there marched out of the Citty at contrary gates un∣der their colours an Armie of souldiers towards the sea, to be shipped & sent over for a supply into Spaine; for it argued the Romans feared him not, that durst spare a supplie of men to a Countrie so farre distant when the enemie lay at the gates: And it seemes to argue courage rather than feare, when in the weakest condition of the Church men testifie their hope and expectation of the enlargement of that Kingdome of Christ which wicked men and his enemies glorie that they have as good as conquered and subdued. I con∣ceive those that engage themselves in this adven∣ture are not so void of Religion as to conceive the scourge of God cannot reach them in New-England; or of reason, as to thinke New-England safer than olde. But they scatter and withdraw themselves in a time of neede? Suppose the [ 1] State were in such needed as is pretended in this objection, yet in such a popular Land, such a number as is employed in this worke is not very considerable; for I thinke no man conceives a thousand or two thousand men are of any great weight to sway the ballance, when so many great stones lie in the skales. Againe, that wherein [ 2] they seeme to be most usefull to us is their pray∣ers, which (according to their profession and promise) they will performe in absence, as if they, Page 57 were present with us. And if any other way their service be required, as they holde them∣selves bound, so will they at all times doe their uttermost for the discharge of their dutie to this their native Country. And lastly, by that time all the particulars of this Treatise are wel weigh∣ed, [ 3] it will be found that their employment there for the present is not inconvenient, and for the future may prove beneficiall to this State.
It may be, passing over of two thousand or three thousand persons will be of no great mo∣ment, and so many might be spared; but some mens examples drawing on others, and there be∣ing no stint or limits set unto mens itching hu∣mours after this new worke, we know not where to expect any end; and what consequents may follow the issuing out of great multitudes, espe∣cially on a sodaine, it is easie to conjecture.
If that should be a true and reall feare, and not a pretence, I should much wonder that any man should have so little insight into the disposition of his owne Country-men. Howsoever some men are content to remove from their dwellings, and to leave their beloved Countrie and friends, let no man conceive we shall finde over-many of that humour: We are knowne too well to the world to love the smoake of our owne chimneyes so well, that hopes of great advantages are not like∣ly Page 58 to draw many of us from home: And that e∣vidently appeares by the different habits and af∣fections of the mindes of men unto this voyage. Some pittie the exposing of their friends, or such unto whom for the report of their honestie and religion they wish well, unto so many dangers and inconveniences; others and the most part scoffe at their folly; a third sort murmure and grudge that they are abandoned and forsaken by them: and good men dispute the warrant of their undertaking this worke, and will not be convin∣ced. It may be, private interests may prevaile with some; One brother may draw over ano∣ther, a sonne the father, and perhaps some man his inward acquaintance; but let no man feare the over-hasty removall of multitudes of any of estate or abilitie. As for the poorer sort it is true, many of them that want meanes to maintaine them at home, would be glad to passe over into New-England to finde a better condition there; but by what meanes will they be transported, or provided of necessaries for so chargeable a jour∣ney? and without such provisions they will be found very unwelcome to such as are alreadie planted there. Besides, it cannot be doubted but the State will be so watchfull as not to suffer any prejudice unto it selfe, if the numbers of those that leave her should increase too fast. If the State should be slacke, even those that now al∣low the passing over of some good and usefull men, when the number is growen to an indiffe∣rent proportion will of themselves be carefull to Page 59 restraine the rest as farre as their counsell and ad∣vice can prevaile. The truth is when some 800 or 1000 families are seated there, the Colonie will be best filled up with youthes and girles, which must be continually drawne over to sup∣ply the roomes of men-servants and maid-ser∣vants, which will marry away daily, and leave their Masters destitute. But it may be justly ad∣mired, what the cause should be that men of con∣trary mindes should so strangely concurre in the jealousies and dislikes of this worke, neither op∣posing any of the former Colonies, whereof the least (I meane Virginia, Barmudas, and St. Chri∣stophers) drew away two for one of those which are yet passed over to New-England; unlesse it be that the best workes finde commonly worst en∣tertainment amongst men.
It is objected by some, that religion indeede and the colour thereof is the cloake of this work, but under it is secretly harboured faction and se∣paration from the Church. Men of ill affected mindes (they conceive) unwilling to joyne any longer with our assemblies, meane to draw them∣selves apart, and to unite into a body of their owne, and to make that place a nursery of facti∣on and rebellion, disclaiming and renouncing our Church as a limbe of Antichrist.
A man might justly hope that the letter sub-〈2 pages missing〉
Page 62 I conceive we doe and ought to put a great dif∣ference betweene Separation, and Non-confor∣mity; the first we judge as evill in it selfe, so that whosoever shall denie us to be a Church, either of our owne men, or strangers of another Nation, we cannot be are it: but other Churches that con∣forme not to our orders and ceremonies we dis∣like not, onely we suffer it not in our owne; not that we adjudge the disusing of ceremonies sim∣ply evill, but onely evill in our owne men, be∣cause wee conceive it is joyned with some con∣tempt of our authority, and may tend to a rent in the Church: But yet neither can this imputation be charged justly on our New-England Colonie; If the men were well scanned, I conceive it may be with good assurance maintained, that at least three parts of foure of the men there planted, are able to justifie themselves to have lived in a con∣stant course of conformity unto our Church go∣vernment and orders. Yea but they are weary of them now, and goe over with an intention to cast them off? Intentions are secret, who can disco∣ver them; but what have they done to manifest such an intention? What intelligence have they held one with another to such purpose? There passed away about 140 persons out of the western parts from Plimmouth, of which I conceive there were not sixe knowne either by face or fame to any of the rest. What subscription or solemne agreement haue they made before hand to binde themselves unto such a resolution? If that were forborne for feare of discovery, yet it concer∣ned Page 63 those who had such an intention to be well assured of a Governour that might effectually further their purposes: Mr. 10. Winthrop, whom they have all chosen, (and that not the multitude, but all the men of best account amongst them) is sufficiently knowne in the place where he long lived, a publicke person, and consequently of the more observation to have been every way regu∣lar and conformable in the whole course of his practise. Yea but they have taken Ministers with them that are knowne to be unconformable, and they are the men that will sway in the orders of the Church? Neither all nor the greatest part of the Ministers are unconformable. But how shall they prevent it? What Minister among us well seated in a good living, or in faire expectance of one, will be content to leave a certaine mainte∣nance, to expose himselfe to the manifold hazards of so long a journey, to rest upon the providence of God, when all is done, for provision for him∣selfe and his family? Pardon them if they take such Ministers as they may have, rather than none at all. Hath any conformable Minister of worth, and fit for that employment, tendred his service, whom they have rejected? No man can affirme they have taken such out of choise rather than necessity, unlesse it be manifested where they have refused others whom they might have had. But there are some unconformable men amongst them, yea and men of worse condition too? And if there were no drunkards nor covetous persons nor vicious any way, it would and might justly Page 64 move all the world to admiration. But there is great oddes betweene peaceable men, who out of tendernesse of heart forbeare the use of some ce∣remonies of the Church, (whom this State in some things thinkes fit to winke at, and it may be would doc more if it were assured of their temper) and men of fiery and turbulent spirits, that walke in a crosse way out of distemper of minde. Now suppose some of those men that (knowing the disposition of their owne mindes, how unable they are to bring their hearts to answer the course of our Churches practise in all things) consider that their contrary practise gives distaste to go∣vernment, and occasions some disturbance unto the Churches peace, upon that ground withdraw themselves for quietnesse sake: Would not such dispositions be cherished with great tendernesse? And surely, as farre as guesse by circumstances may leade us, we have more cause to thinke that they are so minded than otherwise; because this will certainely be the consequent of their going out from amongst us, which they cannot but foresee: and if they had meant otherwise, their way had beene to remaine in the midst of us as thornes in our eyes, and prickes in our sides, and not to depart from us: seeing wee know it is the remaining of the thorne in the midst of the flesh which torments; the plucking it out, and casting it away breedes ease and quietnesse.
I should be very unwilling to hide any thing I thinke might be fit to discover the uttermost of the intentions of our Planters in their voyage Page 65 to New-England, and therefore shall make bold to manifest not onely what I know, but what I guesse concerning their purpose. As it were absurd to conceive they have all one minde, so were it more ridiculous to imagine they have all one scope. Necessitie may presse some; Noveltie draw on o∣thers; hopes of gaine in time to come may prevaile with a third sort: but that the most and most sincere and godly part have the advancement of the Gospil for their maine scope I am cōfident. That of them, some may entertaine hope and expectation of en∣joying greater libertie there than here in the use of some orders and Ceremonies of our Church it seemes very probable. Nay more then that, it is not improbable, that partly for their sakes, and partly for respect to some Germans that are gone o∣uer with them, and more that intend to follow af∣ter, euen those which otherwise would not much desire innovation of themselves, yet for the main∣taining of peace and unitie, (the onely 〈◊〉 of a weake unsetled body will) be wonne to consent to some variation from the formes & customes of our Church. Nay I see not how we can expect from them a correspondence in all things to our State civill or Ecclesiasticall: Wants and necessities can∣not but cause many changes. The Churches in the Apostles & in the setled times of peace afterwards were much different in many outward formes. In the maine of their carriage two things may moue them to vary much from us: Respect to the Heathen, before whom it concernes them to shew much pietie, sobrietie, and austeritie; and the con∣sideration Page 66 of their owne necessities will certainely enforce them to take away many things that we admit, and to introduce many things that wee re∣ject, which perhaps will minister much matter of sport and scorne unto such as have Relations of these things, and that represented unto them with such additions as same usually weaves into all re∣ports at the second and third hands. The like by this their varying in ciuill Conversation, wee may expect of the alteration of some things in Church affayres. It were bootlesse to expect that all things will or can be at the first forming of a rude and in∣cohaerent body, as they may be found in time to come; and it were strange and a thing that never yet happened, if wee should heare a true report of all things as they are. But that men are farre enough from projecting the erecting of this Co∣lony for a Nursery of Schismatickes, will appeare by the ensuing faithfull and unpartiall Narration of the first occasions, beginning, and progresse of the whole worke, layd before the eyes of all that desire to receive satisfaction, by such as have beene privie to the very first conceiving and con∣triving of this project of planting this Colony, and to the severall passages that have happened since, who also in that they relate, consider they have the searcher of all hearts and observer of all mens wayes witnesse of the truth and falsehood that they deliver.
About ten yeares since a company of English, part out of the Low-Countryes, and some out of Page 67London, and other parts, associating themselves into one body, with an intention to plant in Vir∣ginia: in their passage thither being taken short by the winde, in the depth of Winter the whole ground being under Snow, were forced with their provisions to land themselves in New-Eng∣land upon a small Bay beyond Mattachusets, in the place which they now inhabit and call by the name of New-Plinmouth. The ground being co∣vered a foote thicke with snow, and they being without shelter, and having amongst them divers Women and Children, no marvell if, they lost some of their company, it may bee wondered how they saved the rest. But notwithstanding this sharpe encounter at the first, and some mis∣carriages afterward, yet, (conceiving GODS providence had directed them unto that place, and finding great charge and difficultie in remo∣ving) they resolved to fixe themselves there; and being assisted by some of their friends in LONDON, having passed over most of the grea∣test difficulties that usually encounter new Plan∣ters, they beganne to subsist at length in a rea∣sonable comfortable manner: being notwith∣standing men but of meane and weake estates of themselves. And after a yeares experience or two of the Soyle and Inhabitants, sent home tydings of both, and of their well-being there, which occasioned other men to take know∣ledge of the place, and to take it into conside∣ration.
Page 68 About the yeare 1623. some Westerne Mar∣chants (who had continued a trade of fishing for Cod and bartering for Furres in those parts for di∣vers yeares before) conceiving that a Colony plan∣ted on the Coast might further them in those em∣ployments, bethought themselves how they might bring that project to effect, and communicated their purpose to others, alledging the conveniency of compassing their proiect with a small charge, by the opportunitie of their fishing trade, in which they accustomed to double-man their Ships, that (by the helpe of many hands) they might dispatch their Voyage, and lade their Ship with Fish while the fishing season lasted, which could not be done with a bare sayling company. Now it was con∣ceived, that the fishing being ended the spare men that were above their necessary saylers, might be left behind with provisions for a yeare; and when that Ship returned the next yeare, they might as∣sist them in fishing, as they had done the former yeare; and, in the meane time, might employ them∣selves in building, and planting Corne, which with the provisions of Fish, Foule, and Venison, that the Land yeelded, would affoord them the chiefe of their foode. This Proposition of theirs tooke so well, that it drew on divers persons, to joyne with them in this project, the rather because it was conceived that not onely their owne Fisher∣men, but the rest of our Nation that went thither on the same errand, might be much advantaged, not onely by fresh victuall, which that Colony might spare them in time, but withall, and more, Page 69 by the benefit of their Ministers labours, which they might enjoy during the fishing season; where∣as otherwise being usually upon those Voyages nine or ten moneths in the yeare, they were left all the while without any meanes of instruction at all. Compassion towards the Fishermen, and partly some expectation of gaine, prevailed so farre that for the planting of a Colony in New-England there was raised a Stocke of more then three thousand pounds, intended to be payd in in fiue yeares, but afterwards disbursed in a shorter time.
How this Stocke was employed, and by what errours and over-sights it was wasted, is I confesse not much pertinent to this subject in hand: Not∣withstanding, because the knowledge thereof may be of use for other mens direction, let me crave leave in a short Digression to present vnto the Rea∣ders view, the whole order of the managing of such monies as were collected, with the successe and issue of the businesse vndertaken.
CHAP. VIII. A digression manifesting the successe of the Planta∣tion intended by the Westerne men.
THE first imployment then of this new raised Stocke, was in buying a small Ship of fiftie tunnes, which was with as much speed as might be dispatched towards New-England vpon a Fishing Voyag:〈2 pages missing〉
Page 72 The third yeare 1625. both Ships with a small Vessell of fortie tuns which carried Kine with o∣ther prouisions, were againe set to Sea upon the same Voyage with the charge of two thousand pounds, of which summe the Company borro∣wed, & became indebted for one thousand pounds and upwards. The great Ship being commanded by a uery able Master, hauing passed on about two hundred leagues in her Voyage, found her selfe so leake by the Carpenters fault, (that looked not well to her Calking) that she bare up the Helme and returned for Waymouth, & having unladen her provisions and mended her leake, set her selfe to Sea againe; resolving to take aduice of the Windes whether to passe on her former. Voyage or to turne into New-found-land, which she did, by rea∣son that the time was so far spent, that the Master and Company dispaired of doing any good in New-England: where the Fish falls in two or three mounths sooner then at New found land. There she tooke Fish good store and much more then she could lade home: the overplus should have beene sold and deliuered to some sacke or other sent to take it in there, if the Voyage had beene well man∣naged.
But that could-not be done by reason that the Ship before she went was not certaine where to make her Fish; by this accident it fell out that a good quantitie of the Fish she tooke was cast a∣way, and some other part was brought home in another Ship. At the returne of the Ships that yeare, Fish by reason of our warres with SpainePage 73 falling to a very low rate; the Company endevoured to send the greater Ship for France: but she being taken short with a contrary Winde in the West-Country, and intelligence given in the meane time that those Markets were over-laid, they were en-Forced to bring her backe againe, and to sell her Fish at home as they might. Which they did, and with it the Fish of the smaller Ship, the New-Eng∣land Fish about ten shillings the hundred by tale or there about; the New-found-Land Fish at six shil∣lings foure pence the hundred, of which was well nigh eight pence the hundred charge raised vpon it after the Ships returne: by this reason the Fish which at a Market in all likely-hood might have yeelded well nigh two thousand pounds, amoun∣ted not with all the Provenue of the Voyage to a∣boue eleaven hundred pounds.
Vnto these losses by Fishing were added two o∣ther no small disaduantages, the one in the Coun∣try by our Land-Men, who being ill chosen and ill commanded, fell into many disorders and did the Company little seruice: The other by the fall of the price of Shipping, which was now abated to more then the one halfe, by which meanes it came to passe, that our Ships which stood vs in little lesse then twelue hundred pounds, were sold for foure hundred and eighty pounds.
The occasions and meanes then of wasting this stocke are apparently these. First, the ill choice of the place for fishing; the next, the ill carriage of our men at Land, who having stood vs in two yeares and a halfe in well nigh one thousand Page 74 pound charge, never yeelded one hundred pound profit. The last the ill sales of Fish and Shipping. By all which the Aduenturers were so far discou∣raged, that they abandoned the further prosecuti∣on of this Designe, and tooke order for the dissol∣uing of the Company on Land, and sold away their Shipping and other Provisions.
Two things withall may be intimated by the way, the first, that the very proiect it selfe of planting by the helpe of a fishing Voyage, can ne∣ver answer the successe that it seemes to promise (which experienced Fisher-men easily have fore∣seene before hand, and by that meanes haue pre∣uented divers ensuing errors) whereof amongst divers other reasons these may serue for two. First that no sure fishing place in the Land is fit for planting, nor any good place for planting found fit for fishing, at least neere the Shoare. And secondly, rarely any Fisher-men will worke at Land, neither are Husband-men fit for Fisher-men but with long vse & experience. The second thing to be obserued is, that nothing new fell out in the managing of this stocke seeing experience hath taught vs that as in building houses the first stones of the foundation are buried vnder ground, and are not seene, so in planting Colonies, the first stockes employed that way are consumed, al∣though they serue for a foundation to the worke.
CHAP. IX. The vndertaking and prosecution of the Colony by the Londoners.
BVT to returne to our former subiect from which we digressed. Vpon the manifestation of the Westerne Aduentu∣rers resolution to give off their worke, most part of the Land-men being sent for, returned; but a few of the most honest and industrious resol∣ved to stay behinde and to take charge of the Cat∣tell sent over the yeare before; which they perfor∣med accordingly: and not likeing their seate at Cape Anne chosen especially for the supposed commoditie of fishing, they transported them∣selues to Nahum, keike, about foure or fiue leagues distant to the South-West from Cape Anne.
Some then of the Aduenturers that still conti∣nued their desire to set forwards the Plantation of a Colony there; conceiving that if some more Cat∣tell were sent over to those few Men left behinde; they might not onely be a meanes of the comfor∣table subsisting of such as were already in the Country; but of inviting some other of their Friends and Acquaintance to come over to them: aduentured to send over twelue Kine and Buls more. And conferring casually with some Gen∣tlemen of London, moved them to adde vnto them as many more. By which occasion the businesse came to agitation a-fresh in London, and being at〈2 pages missing〉
Page 78 ration) are nothing else but the fruits of jealousie of some distempered minde, or which is worse, perhaps, savour of a desperate malicious plot of men ill affected to Religion, endevouring by ca∣sting the vndertakers into the jealousie of State, to shut them out of those advantages which other∣wise they doe and might expect from the Coun∣tenance of Authoritie. Such men would be entrea∣ted to forbeare that base and unchristian course of traducing innocent persons, under these odious names of Separatists and enemies to the Church and State, for feare least their owne tongues fall upon themselves by the justice of his hand who will not fayle to cleare the innocency of the just, and to cast backe into the bosome of every slaun∣derer the filth that he rakes up to throw in other mens faces. As for men of more indifferent and better tempered mindes, they would be seriously advised to beware of entertaining and admitting, much more countenancing and crediting such un∣charitable persons as discover themselves by their carriage, and that in this particular, to be men ill affected towards the worke it selfe, if not to Religi∣on (at which it aymes) and consequently unlikely to report any truth of such as undertake it.
CHAP. X. The Conclusion of the whole Treatise.
NOw for the better preventing of such sus∣pitions and jealousies, and the ill af∣fections to this Worke, that may arise thereupon; two things are earnestly requested of such as passe their Censures upon it, or the persons that undertake it. The first is, that although in this barien and corrupt age wherein we live, all our actions are generally swayed and carryed on by private interests; in so much as sin∣cere intentions of furthering the common good; (grounded upon that love through which wee are commanded to serve one another) be the wonders of men; notwithstanding men would not thinke it impossible, that the love which waxeth cold and dyeth in the most part, yet may revive and kindle in some mens hearts: and that there may be found some that may neglect their case and profit to doe the Church good and God service, out of a sincere love and affection to Gods honour and the Chur∣ches good. Why may not wee conceive that God may prevaile upon the hearts of his servants, to set them on as effectually to seeke the inlargement of his kingdome; as a blind zeale fomented by the art and subtiltie of Satan may thrust on Priests and Iesuites, and their partisans, to engage their persons and estates for the advancing of the Devils Kingdome? Or if in the Worlds infancy, men out Page 80 of an ambitious humour, or at present for private advantages and expectation of gaine, thrust them∣selves out from their owne dwellings into parts farre remote from their native soyle; why should not we conceive, that if they doe this for a corrup∣tible crowne; that the desire and expectation of an incorruptible (the reward of such as deny them∣selves for the service of God and his Church) may as strongly allure such as by patient cōtinuance in well-doing, seeke immortalitie & life? And yet the favourable conceits that men entertaine of such as follow in all their actions the wayes of their pri∣vate gaine, and the jealousies that they are apt to entertaine of such as pretend onely the advance∣ment of the Gospell, manifestly argue that the gene∣rall opinion of the world is that some may be true to themselves and the advancement of their owne private estates, but hardly any to God and his Church. I should be very unwilling to thinke, they cherish this suspition upon that ground that moved that sensuall Emperour to beleeve that no man was cleane or chaste in any part of his body, because himselfe was defiled and uncleane in all. This is then the first favour that is desired, of such as consider this action, to beleeve that it is neither impossible nor unlikely that these mens intentions are truely and really such as they pretend, and not collours and cloakes for secret dangerous purpo∣ses, which they closely harbour in their breasts, especially when all apparant circumstances con∣curre to justifie the contrary.
Page 81 The next request that is presented to all indifre∣rent minded men is; that they would be pleased to set before their eyes that which hath beene al∣readie mentioned, that as there followed the chil∣dren of Israel a mixt multitude out of Egypt, so it is probable there may doe these men out of England, and that of divers tempers: some perhaps men of hot and fiery spirits, making change and innovati∣on their scope, may conceive that (when they see that for the desire and care of preserving unitie and love, and taking away occasions of offence to ten∣der consciences, some changes and alterations are yeelded unto) they have gained what they expect, and may as fondly triumph in their supposed Vic∣tory, as if they had overthrowne all order and dis∣cipline; as they doe absurdly mistake the grounds and ends which the course of Government propo∣seth and aymeth at: and thereupon in their Relati∣ons to their friends, represent things not as they are really done and intended, but as they appre∣hend them in their fantasies. Others there will be that prooving refractary to Government, expec∣ting all libertie in an unsetled body; and finding the restraint of Authority, contrary to expectation, in their discontented humours, meeting with no o∣ther way of revenge, may be ready to blemish the Government with such scandalous reports as their malicious spirits can devise and utter.
Now although some say, that malice is a good informer, notwithstanding no wise or good man admits it for a fit Iudge; if therefore men will be Page 82 pleased to forbeare the over-hastie beliefe of such reports, as shall be sent over or given out, either by men of foolish and weake mindes or distempered humors, untill they receive more assured satisfac∣tion from such as understand and are acquainted with the grounds and secret passages of the affayres of Government, they shall keepe their owne hearts upon the even-ballance of a right judgement, and provide for the innocency of those upon whom they passe their censure.
If by these meanes jealousies and suspitions may be prevented, I make no question but the relati∣ons which this Worke hath both to the State and Church, will upon mature advise so farre pre∣vaile with all well-minded men, as to move them not onely to affoord their prayers for the prospe∣rous successe of this new planted Colony, that from small and contemptible beginnings, it may grow to a setled and well formed Church; but with all their best furtherance, Consilio, auxilio, re, by advise, friends, and purses. Which howsoever the principalls of this worke, out of their mode∣stie, crave not, yet the necessary burdens which so weightie an undertaking chargeth them withall, will certainely inforce them to need, whatsoever men judge to the contrary. Neither is or will the burden be intolerable to this State; A common stocke of ten thousand pound may be sufficient to support the weight of generall charges of transpor∣ting and maintaining Ministers, Schoole-Masters, Commanders for Warres; and erecting of such Page 83 buildings as will be needfull for publique use for the present; and for time to come it cannot be que∣stioned but the Colony it selfe having once taken roote, when mens labours beginne to yeeld them any fruit, will be found sufficient to beare her own burden. Alas, what were it for a Marchant or a Gentleman of reasonable estate, to disburse twen∣tie-fiue pound or fiftie pound, for the propagating of the Gospell, who casts away in one yeare much more upon superfluities in apparell, dyet, buil∣dings, &c: and let men seriously weigh and consi∣der with themselves, whether a worke of so great importance, so neerely concerning Gods honour, and the service of the Church calling upon them (as Lazarus upon Dives) for some of the wast of their superfluous expences; if they lend a deafe eare to the motion, will not assuredly plead strong∣ly against them at the barre of Christs judgement∣feate at the last day? Nay, what a scorne would it be to the Religion we professe, that we should re∣fuse to purchase the propagation of it at so easie a rate, when the Popish partie charge themselves with such excessiue expences; for the advancement of idolatry and superstition? Its true, it will be valued at a low rate, that the Colony is able to re∣turne you againe by way of recompence; perhaps the enjoying of such immunities and priviledges, as his Majestie hath beene pleased to grant unto them, and an hundred or two hundred acres of Land to every man that shall disburse twentie-fiue pound, and so for more proportionablie, for the Page 84 raising of the common Stocke; yet their posteri∣tie (if not themselves) may have cause in time to come, to acknowledge it a good purchase that was made at so low a rate: but if they lend, looking for nothing againe, wee know the promise Luk. 6. 35. he is no looser, that hath made * God his debter.