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24 Sufferings of the Puritans.
by and Hull, a place remote from any town. The women, children, and goods, were sent to the place in a small barque; the men travelled by land, but the barque arriving a day before the ship, and the sea being rough, and the women very sick, the seamen put into a small creek. The next morning the ship came, but the barque was aground. That no time might be lost, the captain sent his boat tq receive some of the men, who were on shore. As. the boat was returning for more, the captain saw a great company of horse and foot, coming armed from the country; at which he weighedanchor,hoisted sail, and having a fairwdnd wasfoon out of sight. The men on board were thus separated from their wives and children, without a change of garments, or money in their pockets. Tears flowed, but tears were vain. Soon after, they were tossed in a storm and driven on the coast of Norway. They saw neithersun, moon, nor stars, for seven days. The mariners despaired of relief, and once they supposed the ship actually going down ; with shrieks and cries, they exclaimed, we sink, we sink, the water overflowing them to their mouths; yet the Puritan passengers, in this scene of horror and desperation, without any great distraction, cried, "Yet Lord, thou canst save, yet, Lord, thou canst save," with other similar expressions; when the ship soon recovered herself, and the fury of the storm abated. But to return to the people on shorp. The men escaped, excepting thofe who voluntarily stayed to assist the women and children.' Here was a moving scene of distress; husbands fled, husbands and fathers carried to aforeign country; children crying with? Settlement in Holland. 2<5T
fear and shivering with cold, what could sustain the mother's breaking heart. Charity and humanity would have cheered the weeping throng; but these heavenly spirits were not here. Persecution raised her voice terrible as death; she hurried them from one place to another, from one officer to another, till all were tired of their viSiory. To imprison so many innocent women and children would have excited public odium; homes they had none, for they had disposed of them, they were glad to be rid of them on any terms. From these sufferings they received advantage. Their meekness and christian deportment made a favourable and deep impression on the hearts of many spe&ators, which produced considerable accessions to their number. But by courage and perseverance they all finally crossed the sea, and united with their friends, according to the desire of their hearts, in grateful praises to God.
In Holland they saw the bustle of business, the splendour of cities, and the independence of amazing wealth; poverty, however, arrested them with the strength of an armed man. Mr. RobinSon and Brewster arriving, who were the last, haying like valiant generals remained to see the feeblest safe on board, they arranged their church affairs in regular order, and continued about a year at Amsterdam. Mr. Rojsinson and some others seeing the evils in which the other English church under Mr. -smith were involved, thought it pru* 26 Character of the Pilgrims.
dent to remove to Leyden. Though they expefted less employment and profit here, than in the capital, they were cheerful in this sacrifice of worldly good, in hopes of being more free from tempta. lions, and enjoying more uninterruptedly the blessings of the gospel.
Religion was always the first object in all their calculations andarrangements. Engaginginsuch trades and employments as they could execute, they soon rose to a comfortable living. They had great comfort in each other's society, great satisfa&ion in the ordinances of the gospel, under the able ministry and prudent government of Mr. Robinson and Brewster. They grew in gifts and graces ;* * they lived in peace, and love, and holiness;" numbers came to them from England, they had a great congregation, and at one time 300 communicants. If at any time sparks of contention were kindled, they were immediately quenched; or if any one proved obstinate, he was excommunicated, but this rarely happened. Perhaps this church approached as near the pattern of apostolic churches as any since the first ages of Christianity, and this has been its general charafiler to the present time.
Their integrity and piety procured them esteem and confidence in a land of strangers. Though they were poor, when they wished to borrow money, the Dutch would readily take their word, because they always found them punfihial to fulfil their engagements. They saw them incessantly Character of the Pilgrims. 27
laborious in their callings, and therefore preferred them as customers; they found them honest, and therefore gave the preference to their work. Just before these fathers of New England left the city, the magistrates, from the seat of justice, gave this honourable testimony of their worth. In addressing the Walloons, who were the French church, 4' these English," say they, " have lived among us now these twelve years, and yet we never had one suit or a£tion come against them; but your strifes and quarrels are continual."*
Having one great obje£l, the interest of religion, constantly impressed on their minds, pursuing it with unabating ardour, it was natural for them to think of changing their residence, as new and favourable prospers opened before them. Great minds pursue great obje&s; as their means increase, their views expand. Having enjoyed the comforts of evangelical instru&ion from the courtesy of strangers, they were unwilling to possess so precious a jewel by so precarious a tenure. Their removal, therefore, was not the effe£t ©fa fickle disposition, but the result of undaunted perseverance for the attainment of an end, which absorbed all other considerations.
Other reasons more imperious enforced the measure. They found that but few, comparatively, came to them from their native country, and that fewer still remained with them. They loved their cause, 28 Removal meditated.
approved their magnanimity, but after making the trial themselves, they could not endure the excessive labour, the hard fare, and other inconveniences to which all were obliged to submit. Many preferred prisons in England, to liberty in Hoiland, accompanied with such sufferings. It was supposed, that if a place of more comfortable living could be found, great numbers would flock to them. Mr. Robinson used to say that, u many in England, who then wrote and preached against them, would conduft as they did, if they had liberty and could live comfortably." Many found that they were growing old or decrepit without any property for their support. Not only themselves and servants, but their children also, wrere obliged tp labour beyond their strength, their vigour of life consuming before it was mature. Others they saw overcome by the temptations of the place, or going from them as soldiers or sailors. These were distressing events to affectionate, religious, parents.
They were also animated, with the hope of carrying the gospel of salvation to Pagan countries, and of saving many souls ready to perish. The business was the subject of much conversation. Some urged and encouraged their companions to the undertaking. Others proposed very serious and weighty obje6lions. Their want of property sufficient for such an enterprife, the dangers of the voyage, the cruelty of the savages, and improba*