From Of Plimouth Plantation (1630-1650), From BOOK ONE, CHAPTER 7 (Of Their Departure From Leyden, And Other Things Thereabout, With the Arrival in Southampton, Where They All Met Together, And Took In Their Provision)



AT length, after much travell and these debats, all things were got ready and provided.  A smale ship was bought, & fitted in Holand, which was intended as to serve, to help to transport them, so to stay in ye cuntrie and atend upon fishing and shuch other affairs as might be for ye good & benefite of ye colonie when they came ther.  Another was hired at London, of burden about 9. score; and all other things gott in readines.  So being ready to departe, they had a day

of solleme humiliation, their pastor taking his texte from Ezra 8. 21. And ther at ye river, by Ahava, I proclaimed a fast, that we might humble ourselves before our God, and seeke of him a right way for us, and for our children, and for all our substance.  Upon which he spente a good parte of ye day very profitably, and suitable to their presente occasion.  The rest of the time was spente in powering out prairs to ye Lord with great fervencie, mixed with abundance of tears. And

ye time being come that they must departe, they were accompanied with most of their brethren out of ye citie, unto a towne sundrie miles of called Delfes-Haven, wher the ship lay ready to receive them.  So they lefte yt goodly & pleasante citie, which had been ther resting place near 12. years; but they knew they were pilgrimes,* & looked not much on those things, but lift up their eyes to ye heavens, their dearest cuntrie, and quieted their spirits.  When they [37] came to ye

place they found ye ship and all things ready; and shuch of their freinds as could not come with them followed after them, and sundrie also came from Amsterdame to see them shipte and to take their leave of them.  That night was spent with litle sleepe by ye most, but with freindly entertainmente & christian discourse and other reall expressions of true christian love.  The next day, the wind being faire, they wente aborde, and their freinds with them, where truly dolfull was ye sight of that sade and mournfull parting; to see what sighs and sobbs and praires did sound amongst them, what tears did gush from every eye, & pithy speeches peirst each harte; that sundry of ye Dutch strangers yt stood on ye key as spectators, could not refraine from tears.  Yet comfortable & sweete it was to see shuch lively and true expressions of dear & unfained love.  But ye tide (which stays for no man), caling them away yt were thus loath to departe, their Reved: pastor falling downe on his knees, (and they all with him,) with watrie cheeks comended them with most fervente praiers to the Lord and his blessing.  And then with mutuall imbrases and many tears, they tooke their leaves one of an other; which proved to be ye last leave to many of them.




At their parting Mr. Robinson write a leter to ye whole company, which though it hath already bene printed, yet I thought good here likwise to inserte it; as also a breefe Jeter writ at ye same time to Mr. Carver, in which ye tender love & godly care of a true pastor appears.


My dear Brother, I received inclosed in your last leter ye note of information, wch I shall carefuly keepe & make use of as ther shall be occasion.  I have a true feeling of your perplexitie of mind & toyle of body, but I hope that you who have allways been able so plentifully to administer comforte unto others in their trials, are so well furnished for your selfe as that farr greater difficulties then you have yet undergone (though I conceive them to have been great enough) cannot oppresse you, though they press you, as ye Aspostle speaks. The spirite of a man (sustained by ye spirite of God) will sustaine his infirmitie, I dout not so will yours.  And ye beter much when you shall injoye ye presence & help of so many godly & wise bretheren, for ye bearing of part of your burthen, who also will not admitte into their harts ye least thought of  suspition of any ye least negligence, at least presumption, to have been in you, what so ever they thinke in others.  Now what shall I say or write unto you & your goodwife my loving sister?  even only this, I desire (& allways shall) unto you from ye Lord, as unto my owne soule; and assure your selfe yt my harte is with you, and that I will not forslowe my bodily coming at ye first oppertunitie.  I have writen a large leter to ye whole, and am sorie I shall not rather speak then write to them; & the more, considering ye wante of a preacher, whichI shall also make sume spurr to my hastening after you.  I doe ever comend my best affection unto you, which if I thought you made any doubte of, I would express in more, & ye same more ample & full words.  And ye Lord in whom you trust & whom you serve ever in this bussines & journey, guid you with his hand, protecte you with his winge, and shew you & us his salvation in ye end, & bring us in ye mean while togeather in ye place desired, if shuch be his good will, for his Christs sake.  Amen.

Yours, &c.

July 27. 1620.                                                                         John Robinson


This was ye last letter yt Mr Carver lived to see from him.  The other follows.


Lovinge Christian friends, I doe hartily & in ye Lord salute you all, as being they with whom I am presente in my best affection, and most ernest longings after you, though I be constrained for a while to be bodily absente from you.  I say constrained, God knowing how willingly, & much rather then otherwise, I would have borne my part with you in this first brunt, were I not by strong necessitie held back for ye present.  Make accounte of me in ye mean while, as of a man devided in my selfe with great paine, and as (naturall bonds set aside) having my beter parte with you.  And though I doubt not but in your godly wisdoms, you both foresee & resolve upon yt which concerneth your presente state & condition, both severally & joyntly, yet have I thought it but my duty to add some furder spurr of provocation unto them, who rune allready, if not because you need it, yet because I owe it in love & dutie.  And first, as we are daly to renew our repentance with our God, espetially for our sines known, and generally for our unknowne trespasses, so doth ye Lord call us in a singuler maner upon occasions of shuch difficultie & danger as lieth upon you, to a both more narrow search & carefull reformation of your ways in his sight; least he, calling to remembrance our sines forgotten by us or unrepented of, take advantage against us, & in judgmente leave us for ye same to be swalowed up in one danger or other; wheras, on the contrary, sine being taken away by ernest repentance & ye pardon therof from ye Lord sealed up unto a mans conscience by his spirite, great shall be his securitie and peace in all dangers, sweete his comforts in all distresses, with hapie deliverance from all evill, whether in life or in death.


Now next after this heavenly peace with God & our owne consciences, we are carefully to provide for peace with all men what in us lieth, espetially with our associats, & for yt watchfullnes must be had, that we neither at all in our selves doe give, no nor easily take offence being given by others.  Woe be unto ye world for offences, for though it be necessarie (considermg ye malice of Satan & mans corruption) that offences come, yet woe unto ye man or woman either by whom ye offence cometh, saith Christ, Mat. 18. 7.  And if offences in ye unseasonable use of things in them selves indifferent, be more to be feared then death itselfe, as ye Apostle teacheth, 1. Cor.  9. 15. how much more in things simply evill, in which neither honour of God nor love of man is thought worthy to be regarded.  Neither yet is it sufficiente yt we keepe our selves by ye grace of God from giveing offence, exepte withall we be armed against ye taking of them when they be given by others.  For how unperfect & lame is ye work of grace in yt person, who wants charritie to cover a multitude of offences, as ye scriptures speake.  Neither are you to be exhorted to this grace only upon ye com one grounds of Christianitie, which are, that persons ready to take offence, either wante charitie, to cover offences, of wisdome duly to waigh humane frailtie; or lastly, are grosse, though close hipocrites, as Christ our Lord teacheth, Mat. 7. 1, 2, 3, as indeed in my owne experience, few or none have bene found which sooner give offence, then shuch as easily take it; neither have they ever proved sound & profitable members in societies, which have nurished this touchey humor.  But besids these, ther are diverse motives provoking you above others to great care & conscience this way:  As first, you are .many of you strangers, as to ye persons, so to ye infirmities one of another, & so stand in neede of more watchfullnes this way, least when shuch things fall out in men & women as you suspected not, you be inordinatly affected with them; which doth require at your hands much wisdome & charitie for ye covering & preventing of incident offences that way.  And lastly, your intended course of civill comunitie will minister continuall occasion of offence, & will be as fuell for that fire, excepte you dilligently quench it with brotherly forbearance.  And if taking of offence causlesly or easilie at mens doings be so carefuly to be avoyded, how much more heed is to be taken yt we take not offence at God himselfe, which yet we certainly doe so ofte as we doe murmure at his providence in our crosses, or beare impatiently shuch afflictions as wherwith he pleaseth to visite us.  Store up therfore patience against ye evill day, without which we take offence at ye Lord him selfe in his holy & just works.


A  4th thing ther is carfully to be provided for, to witte, that with your comone imployments you joyne comone affections truly bente upon ye generall good, avoyding as a deadly plague of your both comone & spetiall comfort all retirednes of minde for proper advantage, and all singularly affected any maner of way; let every man represe in him selfe & ye whol body in each person, as so many rebels against ye comone good, all private respects of mens selves, not sorting with ye generall conveniencie.  And as men are carfull not to have a new house shaken with any violence before it be well setled & ye parts firmly knite, so be you, I beseech you, brethren, much more carfull, yt the house of God which you are, and are to be, be not shaken with unnecessarie novelties or other oppositions at ye first setting therof.

Lastly, wheras you are become a body politik, using amongst your selves civill govermente, and are not furnished with any persons of spetiall eminencie above ye rest, to be chosen by you into office of goverment, let your wisdome & godlines appeare, not only in chusing shuch persons as doe entirely love and will promote ye comone good, but also in yeelding unto them all due honour & obedience in their lawfull administrations; not behoulding in them ye ordinarinesse of their persons, but Gods ordinance for your good, not being like ye foolish multitud who more honour ye gay coate, then either ye vertuous minde of ye man, or glorious ordinance of ye Lord.  But you know better things, & that ye image of ye Lords power & authontie which ye magistrate beareth, is honourable, in how meane persons soever.  And this dutie you both may ye more willingly and ought ye more conscionably to performe, because you are at least for ye present to have only them for your ordinarie governours, which your selves shall make choyse of for that worke.

Sundrie other things of importance I could put you in minde of, and of those before mentioned, in more words, but I will not so farr wrong your godly minds as to thinke you heedless of these things, ther being also diverce among you so well able to admonish both them selves & others of what concerneth them.  These few things therfore, & ye same in few words,I doe ernestly comend unto your care & conscience, joyning therwith my daily incessante prayers unto ye Lord, yt he who hath made ye heavens & ye earth, ye sea and all rivers of waters, and whose providence is over all his workes, espetially over all his dear children for good, would so guide & gard you in your wayes, as inwardly by his Spirite, so outwardly by ye hand of his power, as yt  both you & we also, for & with you, may have after matter of praising his name all ye days of your and our lives.  Fare you well in him in whom you trust, and in whom I rest.


An unfained wellwiller of your hapie success in this hopefull voyage,  J



This letter, though large, yet being so frutfull in it selfe, and suitable to their occation, I thought meete to inserte in this place.

All things being now ready, &. every bussines dispatched, the company was caled togeather, and this letter read amongst them, which had good acceptation with all, and after fruit with many.  Then they ordered & distributed their company for either shipe, as they conceived for ye best. And chose a Govr & 2. or 3. assistants for each shipe, to order ye people by ye way,  and see to ye dispossing of there provissions, and shuch like affairs.  All which was not only with ye liking of ye maisters of ye ships, but according to their desires.  Which being done, they sett sayle from thence aboute ye 5. of August….


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