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ness of the country till this year; and not only we but all planters in the land begin to do it. Let us be as little engaged about fishing, or any other projects, as you can, to draw us away from our own employments, for they will be the most beneficial unto us. I suppose to spend our own salt, and to employ as many of our own boats as we can, will be best for us. If we had but kept two a trading this year, it would have been twice as good as our fishing; though I hope the ships will return with good voyages.
Your son and all of us are in good health, (blessed be God); he received the things you sent him. I hope God will make him a good man. My wife remembers her love unto you, and thanks you for her spice. Billington still rails against you, and threatens to arrest you, I know not wherefore; he is a knave, and so will live and die. Mr. John Pearce wrote he would make a parliamentary matter about our grand patent, I pray you wish our friends to look to it, for I mistrust him. I perceive there passeth intelligence between Mr. Weston and him, by means of Mr. Hix. He is come again hither, and is not yet quiet about that 100. The Lord hath so graciously disposed, that when our opposites thought, that many would have followed their faction, they so distasted their palpable dishonest dealings, that they stuck more firmly unto us, and joined themselves to the Church. But time cuts me off for other things I refer you to my other more general, and larger letters; and so with my renewed salutations, and best love remembered unto you, I commend you and all our affairs to the guidance of the Most High, and so rest, your assured loving friend, WILLIAM BRADFORD.
New-Plymouth, June 9, 1625.
[Mr. Cushman died before this letter arrived.]
[Next follows a letter to the Council of New England, wherein their help was supplicated.]
To the right Honourable his Majesty's Council for New England, these
June 28, A. D. 1625.
E assurance we have of your noble dispositions to relieve the
Toppressions of the innocent, doth cause us to fly unto you, as to
a sanctuary, in this our just cause. It hath pleased the divine Providence to bring us into this place, where we inhabit under your government, wherein we now have resided almost these five years, having put some life into this then dreaded design, raade way for others, and to all that are here have been, and still are, their bulwark and defence.
Many necessities we have undergone, incident to the raw and immature beginnings of such great exertions, and yet are subject to many
more. We are many people, consisting of all sorts, as well women and children, as men; and are now left and forsaken of our adventurers, who will neither supply us with necessaries for our subsistence, nor suffer others that would be willing; neither can we be at liberty to deal with others, or provide for ourselves, but they keep us tied to them, and yet they will be loose from us; they have not only cast us off, but entered into particular course of trading, and have by violence and force, taken at their pleasure, our possession at Cape Ann. Traducing us with unjust and dishonest clamours abroad, disturbing our peace at home; and some of them threatening, that if ever we grow to any good estate, they will then nip us in the head. Which discouragements do cause us to slack our diligence and care to build and plant, and cheerfully perform our other employments, not knowing for whom we work, whether friends or enemies.
Our humble suit therefore to your good lordships and honours is, that seeing they have so unjustly forsaken us, that you would vouchsafe to convene them before you, and take such order, as we may be free from them; and they come to a division with us, that we and ours may be delivered from their evil intents against us. Se shall we comfortably go forward with the work we have in hand, as first to God's glory, and the honour of our king; so to the good satisfaction of your honours, and for our present, common, and after good of our posterity. The prosecution of this, we have committed to our agent Captain Myles Standish, who attends your honourable pleasures.
The great God of heaven and earth, who hath put into your hearts, to travail in this honourable action, strengthen your hearts and hands hereunto; and gave his blessing answerable to your worthy endeavours. In all humbleness we commit ourselves to your honourable direction and protection. And rest with the knowledge, consent, and humble request of the whole plantation ever at commandment.
WILLIAM BRADFORD, Gov.
[But by reason of the great plague which raged this year in London, of which so many thousands died weekly, Captain Standish could do nothing either with the Council of New England, or any other hereabout, for there was no Courts kept, or scarce any commerce held, the city being in a sort desolate, by the fervent pestilence, and flight of so many. So as he was forced to return; having by the help of some friends (with much ado, and great both trouble and peril to himself) procured a convenient supply; which he brought with him to save our greatest necessities.]
A Letter of Mr. Fletcher's, shewing his great loss of the little James ; she and the beaver in her, which was sent for the goods we bought the other year, being for the most part his; and was taken by the Turks to his utter undoing.
To his loving friends Mr. BRADFORD, Mr. ALLERTON, and Mr. WINSLOW, salutations, &c.
London, November 25, 1625.
Y last unto you was of the death of Mr. Robinson and what else then needful, since which I have received divers letters from you, and perceive at large what things you want, and do desire, and with what grievances you have been oppressed. And had the Lord so disposed, as to have sent us the pinace home, no doubt myself would have seen you well supplied; and some of your grievances should have been removed; but so it is, that all power therein to do you good, is wholly (by God's providence) taken from me. And so I much fear, that this year you will hardly be able to do yourselves or your friends much good, but patience, &c.
And for other affairs either touching myself, and my necessities I am put unto, besides disgrace and reproach from many; as also touching the rest of our adventurers, who fall from me like the water brooks, as Job complains; I say for all these things, and many more here passed, I refer you to your Agent, and my loving friend, Captain Standish, who can certify you all things at large; as also of the feigned and perfidious dealings of Mr. John Peirce towards me and others, who now hath manifest himself, at least, to some, not to mind that good for you, or us, as was fit, and oft pretended. But all these things, they come from God for diverse reasons; as first, to humble us,and subdue our corruption; 2d, to win us from the world; 3d, to add unto our joy to come; 4th, to shew forth the great power, goodness, and mercy of our God, in preserving us in, and delivering us out of, the same. Wherefore let us be patient, and thankful without murmuring, Amen, Amen. And so with my hearty well wishes for you all, and your general good; for which I shall often approach to the throne of grace, and expect the like from you; and so I leave you with this salutation, fare you well, my brethren all, fare you well; and the God of grace and peace bless you, and your posterities, to the coming of Jesus Christ. Amen. Your loving friend, in what I can,
[I will next insert some letters from our friends at Leyden, written this year; and first, a letter of Mr. White's to myself, in which the heavy tidings of our beloved and able pastor's death, and the manner of it, is declared.]
To his loving friend, Mr. WILLIAM BRADFORD, Governour of Plymouth, in New England, these be, &c.
OVING and kind friends, &c. I know not whether ever this will come to your hands, or miscarry, as other of my letters have done;
yet in regard of the Lord's dealing with us here, I have had a great desire to write unto you; knowing your desire to bear a part with us, both in our joys and sorrows, as we do with you.
These therefore are to give you to understand, that it hath pleased the Lord to take out of this veil of tears your and our loving and faithful pastor, and my dear brother, Mr. John Robinson, who was sick some eight days, beginning first to be sick on a Saturday morning, yet the next day, being the Lord's day, he taught us twice, and the week after grew every day weaker than other, yet felt no pain but weakness, all the time of his sickness; the physick he took wrought kindly, in man's judgment, yet he grew every day weaker than other, feeling little or no pain, yet sensible, till the very last. Who fell sick the twenty second of February, and departed this life the first of March. He had a continual inward ague, which brought the but I thank the Lord, was free of the plague, so that all his friends could come freely to him. And if either prayers, tears, or means would have saved his life, he had not gone hence. But he having faithfully finished his course, and performed his work, which the Lord had appointed him here to perform; he now rests with the Lord, in eternal happiness. We wanting him and all church Governours, not having one at present that is a governing officer amongst us. Now for ourselves here left (I mean the whole Church) we still, by the mercy of God, continue and hold close together in peace and quietness, and so I hope we shall do though we be very weak; wishing (if such were the will of God) that you and we were again together in one, either there or here; but seeing it is the will of the Lord, thus to dispose of things, we must labour with patience to rest contented, till it please the Lord otherwise to dispose of things.
For news at present here, is not much worth the writing, only as in England we have lost our old King who departed this life about a month ago, so here we have lost Grave Morrice, the old Prince here, who both departed this life, since my brother Robinson; and as in England we have anew King, Charles, of whom there is great hope of good; the King is making ready about one hundred sail of ships, the end is not yet certain, but they will be ready to go to sea very shortly; the King himself goes to see them once in fourteen days: So here likewise we have made Prince Hendrick General, in his brother's place, who is now with the Grave of Mansfield with a great army, close by the enemy, to free Breda, if it be possible, which the enemy hath besieged now some nine or ten months; but how it will fall out at last, is yet uncertain; the Lord give good success if it be his will. And thus fearing lest this will not come to your hands, hoping as soon as I hear of a convenient messenger, to write more at large, and to send you a letter which my brother Robinson sent to London; to have gone to some of you, but coming too late, was brought back again. And so for this time I cease further to trouble you, and rest,
Your assured loving friend,
Leyden, April 28, Anno 1625.
A letter of Thomas Blossom's to myself and Mr. Brewster, touching the same thing, as followeth.
WIND salutations, &c. I have thought good to write to you, concause as it you and
alas! what frustrations and disappointments it pleaseth the Lord to send in this our course, good in itself and according to godliness taken in hand and for good and lawful ends, who yet pleaseth not to prosper as we are, for reasons best known to himself: And which also nearly concerns us to consider of, whether we have sought the Lord in it as we see, or not; that the Lord hath singularly preserved life in the business to great admiration, giveth me good hope, that he will (if our sins hinder not) in his appointed time, give a happy end unto it. On the contrary, when I consider how it pleaseth the Lord to cross those means that should bring us together, being now as far off or farther than ever, in our apprehension; as also to take that means away, which would have been so comfortable unto us in that course, both for wisdom of counsel as also for our singular help in our course of godliness; whom the Lord (as it were) took away even as fruit falleth before it was ripe ; [he means Mr. Robinson] when neither length of days, nor infirmity of body, did seem to call for his end. The Lord even then took him away, as it were in his anger; whom if tears would have held, he had remained to this day. The loss of his ministry was very great unto me, for I ever counted myself happy in the enjoyment of it, notwithstanding all the crosses and losses, otherwise I sustained. Yet indeed the manner of his taking away hath more troubled me, as fearing the Lord's anger in it, that, as I said, in the ordinary course of things, might still have remained, as also, the singular service he might have yet done in the church of God. Alas! dear friends, our state and cause in religion by his death being wholly destitute of any that may defend our cause as it should against our adversaries.
That we may take up that doleful complaint in the Psalm, that there is no prophet left among us, nor any that knoweth how long. Alas! you would fain have had him with you, and he would as fain have come to you; many letters and much speech hath been about his coming to you, but never any solid course propounded for his going; if the course propounded the last year had appeared to have been certain, he would have gone, though with two or three families. I know no man amongst us knew his mind better than I did, about those things; he was loath to leave the church, yet I know also, that he would have accepted the worst conditions which in the largest extent of a good conscience could be taken, to have come to you. For myself and all such others as have formerly minded coming, it is much what the same, if the Lord afford means. We only know how things are with you by