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as a useful instrument of mischief on the other. Though many others were equally audacious, and far more eloquent and learned, their names have not survived their own generation. To his station alone is he indebted for the remembrance of his guilty secession. He aspired and attained to the honour of founding a sect. It was a period when every absurdity found an admirer, but he was determined to go as far as possible, and reached a point beyond which was the precipice that overhangs infidelity. He condemned the government of bishops, the ordination of ministers, and the offices, rites, and ceremonies of the public Liturgy. He maintained that the Church of England was neither lawful nor true, and that all Christians were bound to come out of Babylon and join him and his disciples, among whom there was nothing to be found that savoured not directly of the Spirit of God.* Having seduced those infatuated people from their Church, and caused them to fly from their native land, his success satisfied his ambition, and his enthusiasm expired for want of novelty. What was the astonishment of his deluded followers, when they heard that he had recanted his errors, submitted to his bishops, and rejoined the establishment. They then began to observe, what they had either not noticed before or had
disregarded as unimportant, that he had a wife with whom he never lived, a church in which he never preached though paid for the duties, and a congregation whom he neglected though he did not omit to collect and receive his tythes. Revenge quickens the senses, and magnifies every object it beholds. They were astonished at such enormities, and regarded their idol rather as a demon than a saint. They immediately disowned his name, spurned the appellation of Brownists, and called themselves Congregationalists. Their situation at Leyden had become uncomfortable for them, and they were apprehensive they should be absorbed in a foreign population. Their means also were greatly reduced, and they saw no mode by which they could be recruited. They sensibly felt the effects on their zeal of the neglect or indifference of the Dutch.
So long as they were opposed or punished in England, it was easy for their leaders to face the flame of their sectarian ardour by appealing to their passions as men, and they derived a secret satisfaction in plotting the ruin of their rulers, both in State and Church, and in retaliating upon them the injuries, whether real or imaginary, they suffered at their hands. The moment the union for common defence was dissolved by repose, one great incentive to fanaticism was destroyed. Their vanity was no longer flattered by the sympathy of a crowd who had regarded them as martyrs; and their learning was not such as to attract the applause or even the notice of continental scholars. In this state of depression they turned their eyes towards America, and sending agents to England, they applied to the Virginia Company for a patent of part of their territory, saying “they were well weaned from the delicate 'milk of their mother country, and inured to the difficulties of a strange land.” They assured them they were knit together by a strict and sacred band, by virtue of which they held themselves bound to take care of the good of each other, and of the whole; and that it was not with them as with other men whom small things could discourage, or small discontents cause to wish themselves at home again. Though their agents found the company very desirous of promoting the projected settlement in their territory, and willing to grant them a patent with as ample privileges as it was in their power to convey, they could not prevail upon the King to give them a public toleration for their dissent, and they returned greatly disconcerted to their sorrowing friends.
The following year they determined to take their chance for toleration, judging very wisely that distance was a sufficient guarantee for their safety, and accepted the patent without pressing their petition to the King for his protection. It was therefore agreed that a portion of them should proceed to America, and make preparations for the reception of the rest. The parting scene is described as an affecting one. Their clergyman, Mr. Robinson, was a® pious and exemplary man, and his correspondence with this little body of pioneers shows how much the causes to which I have alluded had softened the feelings and lowered the extravagant language to which they had been accustomed. These letters, which are still extant, do equal honour to his head and heart. His last words of advice to his departing flock prove how deeply he was mortified by the desertion of their leader, and how much opprobrium and ridicule must have attached to them arising from his return to the Established Church, and his conforming to its doctrines and discipline. “I must advise you," he said, “to abandon, avoid, and shake off the name of Brownists: it is a mere nickname and a brand for making religion and the professors of it odious to the Christian world.” Several of their number now sold their estates and made a common bank, which, together with money received from other adventurers who entered into the joint stock speculation, enabled them to emigrate and commence a plantation in due form. On the 10th day of November 1620, the Leyden adventurers anchored in America, and, late in December, having found a convenient harbour and a suitable spot for settlement, landed and commenced building a village which, in token of their gratitude for the hospitality extended to them by their friends at the last port of embarkation, they called Plymouth.
Finding this place to be beyond the limits of the Virginia Company, they perceived at once that their patent was useless; symptoms of faction, at the same time appearing among the servants on board, who imagined that when on shore they should be under no government, it was judged expedient that before landing they should form themselves into a body politic, to be governed by the majority. After solemn prayer and thanksgiving, a written instrument was drawn up for that purpose, and subscribed on board the ship on the 11th of November 1620. This contract was signed by forty-one of the emigrants who, with their families, amounted to 101 persons. This singular document is as follows:-“In the name of God. Amen. We, whose names are undersigned, the loyal subjects of our Sovereign Lord King James, &c., &c., having undertaken, for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith and honour of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern part of Virginia, do, by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic for our better ordering and preservation, and fur