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and before sundry others; opposers there is not wanting, and satan is busy; but if the Lord be on our side, who can be against us; the Governour hath told me he hoped we will not be wanting in helping them, so that I think you will be sent for. Here is a gentleman, one Mr. Cottington, a Boston man, who told me, that Mr. Cotton's charge at Hampton was, that they should take advice of them at Plymouth, and should do nothing to offend them. Captain Endicott (my dear friend, and a friend to us all) is a second Burrow; the Lord establish him, and us all in every good way of truth. Other things I would have writ of, but time prevents me; again I may be with you before this letter; remember me unto God in your prayers, and so I take my leave, with my loving salutations to yourself and all the rest.
Yours in the Lord Christ,
Massachusetts, June 28, Anno 1630.
To our loving brethren and christian friends, Mr. WILLIAM BRADFORD, Mr. RALPH SMITH, and Mr. WILLIAM BREWSTER, these be.
OEING at Salem the 25th of July, being the Sabbath, after the even
our, Mr. Winthrop, manifesting the hand of God to be upon them, and against them, at Charlestown, in visiting them with sickness, and taking divers from amongst them, not sparing the righteous, but partaking with the wicked in those bodily judgments, it was therefore by his desire, taken into the godly consideration of the best here, what was to be done to pacify the Lord's wrath; and they would do nothing without our advice, I mean those members of our church, there known unto them, viz. Mr. Fuller, Mr. Allerton, and myself, requiring our voices, as their own, when it was concluded, that the Lord was to be sought in righteousness; and so to that end the sixth day (being Friday) of this present week is set apart, that they may humble themselves before God, and seek him in his ordinances; and that then also such godly persons that are amongst them and known each to other, publickly at the end of their exercise, make known their godly desire, and practise the same, viz. solemnly to enter into covenant with the Lord to walk in his ways; and since they are so disposed of in their outward estates, as to live in three distinct places, each having men of ability amongst them, there to observe the day, and become three distinct bodies; not then intending rashly to proceed to the choice of officers, or the admitting of any other into their society than a few, to wit, such as are well known unto them, promising after to receive in such, by confession, as shall appear to be fitly qualified for that estate; and, as they desired to advise with us, so do they earnestly entreat that the church at Plymouth would set
apart the same day, for the same ends, beseeching God as to withdraw his hand of correction, so to establish and direct them in his ways: and though the time be very short, yet since the causes are so urgent, we pray you be provoked to this godly work, wherein God will be honoured, and they and we undoubtedly have sweet comfort in so doing. Be you all kindly saluted in the Lord, together with the rest of our brethren : The Lord be with you and his spirit direct you, in this and all other actions that concern his glory and the good of his :
Your brethren in the faith of Christ,
And fellowship of the gospel,
Salem, July 26, Anno 1630.
To his loving friend, Mr. WILLIAM BRADFORD, Governour of Ply
HERE is come hither a ship (with cattle, and more passengers) on Saturday last; which brings this news out of England; that the plague is sore, both in the city and country, and that the University of Cambridge is shut up by reason thereof; also, that there is like to be a great dearth in the land by reason of a dry season. The Earl of Pembroke is dead, and Bishop Laud is Chancellor of Oxford; and that five sundry ministers are to appear before the High Commission, amongst whom, Mr. Cotton, of Boston, is one. The sad news here is, that many are sick, and many are dead; the Lord in mercy look upon them! Some are here entered into a church covenant, the first was four, namely, the Governour, Mr. John Winthrop, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Dudley, and Mr. Willson; since that, five more are joined unto them, and others it is like will add themselves to them daily. The Lord increase them, both in number and holiness, for his mercy's sake. I here but lose time and long to be at home; I can do them no good, for I want drugs, and things fitting to work with. I purpose to be at home this week (if God permit) and Mr. Johnson and captain Endicott will come with me; and upon their offer, I requested the Governour to bear them company, who is desirous to come, but saith he cannot be absent two hours. Mrs. Cottington is dead. Here are divers honest christians that are desirous to see us; some out of love, which they bear to us, and the good persuasion they have of us; others to see whether we be so evil, as they have heard of us. We have a name of love and holiness to God and his saints; the Lord make us answerable, and that it may be more than a name, or else it will do us no good. Be you lovingly saluted, and my sisters, with Mr. Brewster, and Mr. Smith, and all the rest of our friends. The Lord Jesus bless us and the whole Israel of God. Amen.
Your loving brother in law,
[But this worthy gentleman, Mr. Johnson, was prevented of his journey, for shortly after he fell sick and died, whose loss was great and 'much bewailed.]
[The following lines having some relation to the soil, the productions, and the history of the country, are now first printed on that account, and not for any poetical beauties to be discovered in them—they may afford some entertainment; and as they seem to be within the views of the society, they are submitted to the publick.]
A DESCRIPTIVE AND HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF NEW ENGLAND IN VERSE; FROM A MS. OF WILLIAM BRADFORD, GOVERNOUR OF PLYMOUTH COLONY.
FAMINE once we had
But other things God gave us in full store,
Almost ten years we lived here alone,
More than well knew themselves where to bestow;
Boston then began her roots to spread,
And quickly soon she grew to be the head,
Not only of the Massachusetts Bay,
But all trade and commerce fell in her way.
All sorts of grain which our own land doth yield,
Pears, apples, cherries, plumbs, quinces, and peach,
Cattle of every kind do fill the land;
By which men are supply'd with meat and shoes,
Of which great profit many now do make,
If they have a fit place and able pains do take.
They prosper well, and yet their price is high.
To think how some did themselves beguile,
A little, he's soon lift up with pride.
A cow then was at twenty pounds and five,
Those who had increase could not choose but thrive ;
A lamb or kid was forty shillings price,
Men were earnest for them, lest they should rise.
But that which did 'bove all the rest excel, God in his word, with us he here did dwell ;
Well ordered churches in each place there were,
All marvell'd and said, "Lord, this work is thine,
Thus to hear men pray, and God's praises sing,
And to have the gospel preach'd here with power,
To the north, or south, or which way you'll wind, Churches now are spread, and you'll pasture find. Many men of worth, for learning and great fame, Grave and godly, in to these parts here came : AS HOOKER, COTTON, DANFORTH, and the rest, Whose names are precious and elsewhere express'd; And many among these, you might soon find, Who in some things, left not their like behind.