THE PLANTERS PLEA.
OR THE GROVNDS OF PLANTATIONS EXAMINED,
And vsuall Objections answered.
Together with a manifestation of the causes mooving such as have lately undertaken a Plantation in
For the satisfaction of those that question the lawfulnesse of the Action.
2 Thes. 5. 21.
Prove all things, and holde fast that which is good.
Printed by WILLIAM IONES.
TO THE READER.
IT will appeare to any man of common sense at first sight, that this rude draught, that sets forth certaine considerable grounds in planting Colonies, being wrested out of the Authours hand, hardly overlooked, much lesse filed and smoothed for the Presse, was never intended to be presented to publicke view, especially in this attire: wherefore the Reader is intreated to observe, that the particulars of this small Pamphlet, being all ranged under these two heads, matters of Fact or of Opinion: In the former the Authour sets downe his knowledge, and consequently what he resolves to justifie; In the latter what he conceives to be most probable, not what he dares warrant as certaine and infallible. Wherefore if in the declaring of his owne opinion, either concerning Colonies in general, or this in particular, he propose any thing that to men of better and more solid judgement upon mature advise shall seeme either not sound, or not evident, or not well fortified by strength of reason; he desires rather advertisement thereof by some private intimation, than by publicke opposition, as not conceiving an argument of this nature, wherein neither Gods glorie nor mans salvation have any necessary interest, (though the worke be directed to, and doth in a good measure further both,) worth the contending for in a time when so many weighty controversies in the fundamentalls of religion are in agitation: and withall professing himselfe willing to receive backe any light golde that hath passed from him unweighed, and to exchange it for that which will be weight, as being conscious to himselfe, that he desires not willingly to beguile any man. Besides, the Reader may be pleased further to observe, that seeing the arguments produced in this Treatise are rather proposed than handled, they cannot carry with them that appearant and cleare evidence of truth at the first view, as they might and would doe, if they were more largely deduced, and more fully fortified. Wherefore he is intreated not to reject them too easily, as carrying more weight than they seeme to doe at the first appearance. Howsoever the Authors intention
and opinion be construed and approved; if it may be beleeved that the Gentlemen that are lately issued out from us, to lay the foundation of a Colony in New-England, haue not beene thrust forward by unadvised precipitation, but led on by such probable grounds of reason and religion, as might be likely to prevaile with men that desire to keepe a good conscience in all things: I trust these will holde themselves reasonably satisfied; howsoever both they, and such as wish the futherance of your designe, have (I assure my selfe) a testimonie from God and your owne consciences, that they have endeavoured to take there footing upon warrantable grounds, and to direct themselves to a right scope, as will be further manifested in this ensuing Treatise.
A BRIEFE SVRVIEW OF COLONIES: And first, Of their Ground and Warrant.
CHAP. I. By a Colony we meane a societie of men drawne out of one state or people, and transplanted into another Countrey.
COLONIES (as other conditions and states in humane society) have their warrant from Gods direction and command; who as soone as men were, set them their taske, to replenish the earth, and to subdue it, Gen. 1. 28. Those words, I grant, expresse a promise, as the title of a benediction prefixed unto them here, & in the repetition of them to Noah, implies. Gen. 9. 1. But that withal they include a direction or command was never, as I conceive, doubted by any. Iunius upon them: Prout vim intus indiderat, sic palam mandatum dedit curandœ propagationis & dominationis exercendœ. And Parœus, Iubet igitur replere terram, non solum generatione & habitatione, sed cum primis potestate cultu & usu: Etsi vero nonnullœ orbis partes manent inhabitabiles; habemus nihilominus totius dominium iure Divino, licet non habemus totius orbis usum culpâ & defectu nostro. And before them, Calvin; Iubet eos crescere & simul benedictionem suam destinat, &c. , and divers others.
It will be granted then that the words include and have the force of a Precept, which perhaps some may conceive was to continue during the worlds Infancy, and no longer; but such a limitation wants ground. It is true that some commandements founded upon, and having respect unto some present state and condition of men, received end or alteration when the condition was ended, or changed. But Precepts given to the body of mankind, as these to Adam and Noah, receive neither alteration in the substantials, nor determination while men, and any void places of the earth continue, so that allowing this Commandement to bind Adam, it must binde his posterity, and consequently ourselves in this age, and our issue after us, as long as the earth yeelds empty places to be replenished.
Besides the gift of the earth to the sonnes of men, Psal. 115. 16. necessarily inforceth their duty to people it: It were a great wrong to God to conceive that hee doth ought in vaine, or tenders a gift that he never meant should be enjoyed: now how men should make benefit of the earth, but by habitation and culture cannot bee imagined.
Neither is this sufficient to conceive that Gods intention is satisfied if some part of the earth be replenished, and used, though the rest be wast; because the same difficulty urgeth us still, that the rest of which we receive no fruit, was never intended to us, because it was never Gods minde wee should possesse it. If it were then the minde of God, that man should possesse all parts of the earth, it must be enforced that we neglect our duty, and crosse his will, if we doe it not, when wee have occasion and opportunitie: and withall doe little lesse then despise his blessing.
Withall, that order that God annexed to marriage in his first institution, viz. that married persons should leave father and mother, and cleave each to other, is a good warrant of this practice. For sometime there will be a necessitie, that yong married persons should remove out of their fathers house, and live apart by themselves, and so erect new families. Now what are new families, but pettie Colonies: and so at last removing further and further they overflow the whole earth. Therefore, so long as there shall be use of marriage, the warrant of deducing Colonies will continue.
It is true, that all Gods directions have a double scope, mans good, and Gods honour. Now that this commandement of God is directed unto mans good temporall and spirituall, is as cleere as the light. It cannot be denyed but the life of man is every way made more comfortable, and afforded a more plentiful supply in a larger scope of ground, which moves men to bee so insatiable in their desires to joyne house to house, and land to land, till there be no more place; exceeding, I grant, there in the measure and bounds and Iustice; and yet building upon a principle that nature suggests, that a large place best assures sufficiency: as we see; by nature, trees flourish faire, and prosper well, and waxe fruitfull in a large Orchard, which would otherwise wither and decay, if they were penned up in a little nursery: either all, or at best, a few that are stronger plants and better rooted, would encrease and over-top, and at last, starve the weaker: which falls out in our civill State; where a few men flourish that are best grounded in their estates, or best furnished with abilities, or best fitted with opportunities, and the rest waxe weake and languish, as wanting roome and meanes to nourish them.
Now, that the spirits and hearts of men are kept in better temper by spreading wide, and by pouring, as it were, from vessell to vessell (the want whereof is alleaged by the Prophet Ieremy as the cause that Moab setled vpon his lees, and got so harsh a relish Ier. 48. 11.) will euident to any man, that shall consider, that the husbanding of unmanured grounds, and shifting into empty Lands, enforceth men to frugalitie, and quickneth invention: and the setling of new States requireth justice and affection to the common good: and the taking in of large Countreys presents a naturall remedy against couetousnesse, fraud, and violence; when euery man may enjoy enough without wrong or injury to his neighbour. Whence it was, that the first ages, by these helpes, were renowned for golden times, wherein men, being newly entred into their possessions, and entertained into a naked soile, and enforced thereby to labour, frugality, simplicity, and justice, had neither leisure, nor occasion, to decline to idlenesse, riot, wantonnesse, fraud, and violence, the fruits of well-peopled Countryes, and of the abundance and superfluities of long setled States.
But that which should most sway our hearts, is the respect unto Gods honor, which is much advanced by this worke of replenishing the earth. First, when the largeness of his bounty is tasted by setling of men in al parts of the world, whereby the extent of his munificence to the sonnes of men is discovered; The Psalmist tells us that God is much magnified by this, that the whole earth is full of his riches, yea and the wide sea too, Psal. 104. 24. 25. And God, when hee would have Abraham know what he had bestowed on him when he gave him Canaan, wills him to walke through it in the length of it, and in the breadth of it, Gen. 13. 17.
Secondly, Gods honour must needs bee much advanced, when, together with mens persons, religion is conveyed into the severall parts of the world, and all quarters of the earth sound with his praise; and Christ Iesus takes in the Nations for his inheritance, and the ends of the earth for his possession, according to Gods decree and promise, Psal. 2. 8.
Besides all that hath beene said, seeing Gods command, and abilities to performe it, usually goe together, we may guesse at his intention and will, to have the earth replenished, by the extraordinarie fruitfulnesse that hee gave to mankinde in those first times, when men manifested their greatest forwardnesse for the undertaking of this taske; which seemes to bee denyed to the latter ages, and peradventure for this reason among others, because the love of case and pleasure fixing men to the places and Countreyes which they finde ready furnished to their hand, by their predecessors labours and industry, takes from them a desire and will of undertaking such a laborious and unpleasant taske as is the subduing of unmanured Countreyes.
But, it may be objected, if God intended now the issuing out of Colonies, as in former ages, hee would withall quicken men with the same heroicall spirits which were found in those times: which wee finde to be farre otherwise. Although the strong impression upon mens spirits that have beene and are stirred up in this age to this and other Plantations might be a sufficient answer to this objection, yet we answer further.
Its one thing to guesse what God will bring to passe, and another thing to conclude what hee requires us to undertake. Shall we say that because God gives not men the zeale of Moses and Phineas, therefore hee hath discharged men of the duty of executing judgement? It is true indeed, that God hath hitherto suffered the neglect of many parts of the world, and hidden them from the eyes of former ages; for ends best knowne to himselfe: but that disproves not that the duty of peopling voyd places lyes upon us still, especially since they are discoverd and made knowne to us. And, although I dare not enter so farre into Gods secrets, as to affirme, that hee avengeth the neglect of this duty by Warres, Pestilences and Famines, which unlesse they had wasted the people of these parts of the world, wee should ere this, have devoured one another; Yet it cannot be denyed, but the neare thronging of people together in these full Countreyes, have often occasioned amongst us ciuill Warres, Famines, and Plagues. And it is as true that God hath made advantage of some of these Warres, especially which have laid many fruitfull Countreyes wast, to exercise men in these very labours which employ new Planters; by which he hath reduced them to some degrees of that frugality, industry, and justice, which had beene disused and forgotten through long continued peace and plenty.
Although no man can desine what particular summons the first undertakers of planting Colonies had; whether from the mouth of God immediately (as Abraham first, and the Children of Israel afterwards,) or from the advice and Counsell of men; yet, that the wisedome of God directed them in this course, is evident by Moses Testimony, affirming that hee separated the Sonnes of Adam,and set the bounds of their habitation, Deut. 32. 8. so that whoever set on the worke, God acknowledgeth it as his owne.
CHAP. II. What ends may bee proposed in planting Colonies?
THe Ends that men have proposed to themselves, in issuing out Colonies have beene divers: Some, and the worst, and least warrantable are such as are onely swayed by private respects; as when men shift themselves, and draw others with them out of their Countries, out of undutifull affections to Governours, to exempt themselves from subjection to lawfull power; or aime at a great name to themselves, and to raise their owne glory. As for the enlargement of Trade; which drew on the Spanish and DutchColonies in the East Indies, or securing of conquered Countries, which occasioned many Colonies of the Romanes in Italy and other lands, they may bee so farre warranted, as the grounds of the Conquests, or Trades were warrantable; (if they were caried without injury or wrong to the natives) seeing naturall commerce betweene nations, and Conquests upon just warres, have beene alwayes approved by the Lawes of God and man.
As for those Colonies that have beene undertaken upon the desire either of disburthening of full states of unnecessary multitudes, or of replenishing wast and voyd Countries; they have a cleare and sufficient warrant from the mouth of God, as immediately concurring with one speciall end that God aimed at in the first institution thereof.
But, seeing Gods honour, and glory; and next mens Salvation, is his owne principall scope in this and all his wayes; it must withall bee necessarily acknowledged that the desire and respect unto the publishing of his name where it is not knowne, and reducing men, that live without God in this present world, unto a forme of Piety and godlinesse, by how much the more immediately it suites with the mind of God, and is furthest carried from private respects, by so much the more it advanceth this worke of planting Colonies above all civill and humane ends, and deserves honour, and approbation, above the most glorious Conquests, or successfull enterprizes that ever were undertaken by the most renowned men that the Sunne hath seene, and that by how much the subduing of Satan is a more glorious act, then a victory over men: and the enlargement of Christs Kingdome, then the adding unto mens dominions: and the saving of mens soules, then the provision for their lives and bodies.
It seemes, this end, in plantation, hath beene specially reserved for this later end of the world: seeing; before Christ, the Decree of God that suffered all Nations to walke in their own waies, Acts 14. 16. shut up the Church within the narrow bounds of the Promised Land, and so excluded men from the propagation of Religion to other Countries. And in the Apostles time, God afforded an easier and more speedy course of converting men to the truth by the gift of tongues, seconded by the power of Miracles, to winne the greater credit to their doctrine, which most especially, and first prevailed upon Countries civilized, as the History of the Apostles Acts makes manifest. As for the rest. I make no question, but God used the same way to other barbarous Nations, which hee held with us, whom hee first Civilized by the Romane Conquests, and mixture of their Colonies with us, that hee might bring in Religion afterwards: seeing no man can imagine how Religion should prevaile upon those who are not subdued to the rule of Nature and Reason.
Nay, I conceive, God especially directs this worke of erecting Colonies unto the planting and propagating of Religion in the West Indies, (although I will not confine it to those alone) and that for divers Reasons, which ought to be taken into serious consideration, as affording the strongest Motives that can be proposed to draw on the hearts and affections of men to this worke now in hand, for this purpose; which gives occasion unto the publishing of this Treatise.
There are, and those men of note both for place and learning in the Church, that conceive the course held by God from the beginning in the propagation of Religion, falls in this last age, upon the Westerne parts of the world. It is true, that from the first planting of Religion among men, it hath alwayes held a constant way from East to West, and hath, in that Line, proceeded so farre, that it hath extended to the uttermost Westerne bounds of the formerly knowne world; so that if it make any further passage upon that point of the Compasse, it must necessarily light upon the West Indies. And they conceive withall, that our Saviours Prophecie, Matth. 24. 27. points out such a progresse of the Gospell. It is true, that the comparison there used taken from the Lightning, aymes at the sudden dispersing of the knowledge of Christ by the Apostles ministery: but whereas wee know, the Lightning shines from divers parts of the heaven, shewing it selfe indifferently, sometimes in the West, sometimes in the North, or South; why doth our Saviour in that similitude choose to name the Lightning that shines out of the East into the West, unlesse it be to expresse not only the sudden shining out of the Gospell; but withall the way, and passage, by which it proceedes frown one end of the world to the other, that is, from East to West?
But passing by that onely as a probable argument; this which followes seemes to carry greater weight. The knowledge of Christ must certainly be manifested unto all the quarters of the World, according to divers predictions of Prophets, ratified and renewed by Christ and his Apostles. But that the knowledge of Christ hath never been discovered unto these Westerne nations may be almost demonstrated, seeing no Historie for five hundred yeares before Christ, ever mentioned any such Inhabitats of the earth, much lesse left any record of any passage unto them, or commerce with them. So that, unlesse wee should conceive a miraculous worke of conceiving knowledge, without meanes; wee cannot imagine how these Nations should once heare of the name of Christ. Which seemes the more evident by this, that we finde among them not so much as any Reliques of any of those principles which belong to that Mysterie, although in some place may be discoved some foot-steps of the knowledge of GOD, of the Creation, and of some Legall Observations.
As in New England the Nations beleeve the Creation of the world by God, the Creation of one man and woman, their happy condition at the first, and seduction by the envy (as they say) of the Cony which moves them to abhorre that creature unto this day more then any Serpent. It is also reported that they seperate their women in the times appointed by the Law of Moses, counting them and all they touch uncleane during that time appointed by the Law: whether upon any other ground, or by a tradition received from the Iewes, it is uncertaine. Some conceive, their Predecessors might have had some commerce with the Iewes in times past, by what meanes I know not: Howsoever it bee, it fals out that the name of the place, which our late Colony hath chosen for their seat, prooves to bee perfect Hebrew, being called Nahum Keike, by interpretation, The bosome of consolation: which it were pitty that those which observed it not, should change into the name of Salem, though upon a faire ground, in remembrance of a peace setled upon a conference at a generall meeting betweene them and their neighbours, after expectance of some dangerous jarre. Now then, if all nations must have Christ tendred unto them, and the Indies have never yet heard of his name, it must follow, that worke of conveighing that knowledge to them, remaines to bee undertaken and performed by this last age.
Againe, what shall we conceive of that almost miraculous opening the passage unto, and discovery of these formerly unknowne nations, which must needs have proved impossible unto former ages for want of the knowledge of the use of the Loadstone, as wounderfully found out as these unknowne Countries by it. It were little lesse then impietie to conceive that GOD, (whose Will concurres with the lighting of a Sparrow upon the ground) had no hand in directing one of the most difficult and observeable workes of this age; and as great folly to imagine, that hee who made all things, and consequently orders and directs them to his owne glory, had no other scope but the satisfying of mens greedy appetites, that thirsted after the riches of that new found world, and to tender unto them the objects of such barbarous cruelties as the world never heard of. Wee cannot then probably conceive that GOD, in that strange discovery, aymed at any other thing but this, that, after hee had punished the Atheisme, and Idolatry of those heathen and bruitish Nation by the Conquerors cruelty, and acquainted them by mixture of some other people, with civility, to cause at length the glorious Gospell of Iesus Christ to shine out unto them, as it did to our forefathers, after those sharpe times of the bitter desolations of our Nation, betweene the Romanes and the Picts.
A fourth reason, to prove that God hath left this great, and glorious worke to this age of the world, is the nearnesse of the Iewesconversion; before which, it is conceived by the most, that the fulnesse of the Gentiles must come in, according to the Apostles prophesie, Rom. 11. 25. That this day cannot be farre off appears by the fulfilling of the prophesies, precedent to that great and glorious worke, and the generall expectation thereof by all men, such as was found among the Iewes both in Iudea and in some other parts of the world before the comming of Christ in the flesh, now then let it bee granted that the Iewes conversion is neare, and that the Gentiles, and consequently the Indians must needs be gathered in before that day; and any man may make the conclusion, that this is the houre for the worke, and consequently of our duty to endeavour the effecting that which God hath determined; the opening of the eyes of those poore ignorant soules, and discovering unto them the glorious mystery of Iesus Christ.
CHAP. III. The English Nation is fit to undertake this taske.
THat this Nation is able and fit to send out Colonies into Forraigne parts will evidently appeare by the consideration of our overflowing multitudes: this being admitted for a received principle, that Countreyes super abound in people when they have more then they can well nourish, or well employ, seeing we know, men are not ordained to live onely, but, withall and especially, to serve one another through love, in some profitable and usefull calling. Granting therefore that this Land by Gods ordinary blessing, yeelds sufficiency of corne and cattell for more then the present Inhabitants, yet, that wee have more people, then wee doe, or can profitably employ, will, I conceive, appeare to any man of understanding, willing to acknowledge the truth, and to consider these foure particulars.
- 1. Many among us live without employment, either wholly, or in the greatest part (especially if there happen any interruption of trade, as of late was manifested not onely in Essex, but in most parts of the Land) and that doe not onely such as delight in idlenesse: but even folke willing to labour, who either live without exercise in their callings, or are faine to thrust into other mens, to the evident prejudice of both.
- 2. The labours of many others might well bee spared, and to the States advantage, as serving to little else then luxury and wantonnesse, to the impoverishing and corrupting of the most; of which there needes no better evidence then this, that when we taxe pride and excesse in apparell, buildings, &c., the evills are justified, and our mouthes stopped with this answer; without this how should many men live and bee maintained? No man is so uncivill, as to deny supernecessaries for distinction of degrees; or supercilious, as to thinke it necessary to reduce a wealthy and abounding State to the plainnesse and homelinesse of the Primitive ages. But let our excess be limited to those bounds of decency, modesty, and sobriety that may answer the proportion of mens callings, and degrees, and it will bee demonstrated, the tenth person of such as are busied about superfluities, will hardlie finde sufficient imployment to yeeld themselves and their families necessarie maintenance.
- 3. That warrantable and usefull callings are overcharged, all mens complaints sufficiently witnesse: not onely Inholders and Shop-keepers, of both which wee need not the third person, but even handy-craftsmen, as Shoomakers, Taylors, nay Masons, Carpenters, and the like, many of whom with their families live in such a low condition as is little better then beggery, by reason of the multitudes that are bred up and exercised in those employments. And yet through the excessive numbers of persons in those and other callings, necessity enforceth them to require so large a price and recompence of their labours, that a man of good estate is not able to afford himselfe conveniencies for his condition (everie calling he hath use of exhausting so much for the commodities it puts off unto him;) whereas if the number of those persons in their severall callings were abated, the rest having full imployment, might be able to abate of their excessive prices; whereby both they and their chapmen, might live more comfortably and plentifully; and the Common-wealth by this helpe would be eased of many burthens it groanes under, in making supply to the scantie meanes of many thousands in these callings so much overlaid with multitudes.
- 4. Yea, of such as are imployed, a great part of their labour were needlesse, if their workes were faithfull and loyall; the deceitfulnesse of our workes (of which all men complaine, but few discerne the cause) occasioneth the often renewing of those things which are made, which otherwise would endure for far longer continuance.
Now what a disease this must needes bee in a State, where mens necessities inforce them to inventions of all wayes and meanes of expence upon the instruments of pride, and wantonnesse; and of as many subtilties and frauds in deceitfull handling all works that passe through their fingers, that by the speedy wasting of what is made, they may bee the sooner called upon for new; I leave it to any wise man to judge. It is a fearfull condition, whereby men are in a sort enforced to perish, or to become meanes and instruments of evill. So that the conclusion must stand firme, we have more men then wee can imploy to any profitable or usefull labour.
But the idlenesse or unprofitable labours of our people arise not from our numbers, but from our ill Government, inferiour Magistrates being too remisse in their offices; and therefore may more easily be reformed by establishing better order, or executing those good lawes already made at home, then by transporting some of them into forraigne Countreyes.
Good government though it doe reforme many, yet it cannot reforme all the evills of this kind; because it will bee a great difficulty to finde out profitable employments for all that will want; which way we should helpe our selves by tillage I know not: wee can hardly depasture fewer Rother beasts then we doe, seeing we spend already their flesh and hides: and as for sheepe, the ground depastured with them, doth or might set on worke as many hands as tillage can doe. If we adventure the making of linen cloth, other soiles are so much fitter to produce the materialls for that worke, their labour is so much cheaper, the hindering of Commerce in trade likely to bee so great, that the undertakers of this worke would in all probability bee soone discouraged. Nay the multiplying of new Draperies, which perhaps might effect more then all the rest, yet were in no proportion sufficient to employ the supernumeraries which this Land would yeeld if wee could bee confined within the bounds of sobriety and modesty, seeing it may bee demonstrated, that neere a third part of these that inhabite our Townes and Cities (besides such spare men as the Country yeelds) would by good order established, be left to take up new employments.
We have as much opportunity as any Nation to transport our men and provisions by Sea into those Countries, without which advantage they cannot possibly be peopled from any part of the world; not from this Christian part at least, as all men know: And how usefull a neighbour the sea is to the furthering of such a worke; the examples of the Græcians and the Phænicians, who filled all the bordering coasts with their Colonies doe sufficiently prove unto all the world: Neither can it be doubted, but the first Planters wanting this helpe (as Abraham in his removing to Charran first, and to Canaan afterwards) must needs spend much time and indure much labour in passing their famlies and provisions by Land, over rivers and through Woodes and Thickets by unbeaten pathes.
But what need Arguments to us that have already determined this truth? How many severall Colonies have wee drawne out and passed over into severall parts of the West Indies? And this we have done with the allowance, encouragement, & high c?mendation of State, perhaps not alway with the best success, who knowes whether by erring from the right scope? Questionlesse for the want of fit men for that imployment, and experience to direct a worke, which being carried in an untrodden path, must needs be subject to miscariage into many errours.
Now whereas it hath beene manifested that the most eminent and desirable end of planting Colonies, is the propagation of Religion; It may be conceived this Nation is in a sort singled out unto that worke; being of all the States that enjoy the libertie of the Religion Reformed; and are able to spare people for such an employment, the most Orthodoxe in our profession, and behind none in sincerity in embracing it; as will appeare to any indifferent man, that shall duly weigh and recount the number and condition of those few States of Europe, that continue in the profession of that truth which we embrace.
CHAP. IIII. That New-England is a fit Country for the seating of an English Colonie, for the propagation of Religion.
NOT onely our acquaintance with the soyle and Natives there, but more especially our opportunity of trading thither for Furres and fish, perswade this truth, if other things be answerable. It is well knowne, before our breach with Spaine, we usually sent out to New-England, yearely forty or fifty saile of ships of reasonable good burthen for fishing onely. And howsoever it fals out that our New-found-land voyages prove more beneficiall to the Merchants; yet it is as true, these to New-England are found farre more profitable to poore Fishermen; so that by that time all reckonings are cast up, these voyages come not farre behind the other in advantage to the State.
No Countrey yeelds a more propitious ayre for our temper, then New-England, as experience hath made manifest, by all relations: manie of our people that have found themselves alway weake and sickly at home, have become strong, and healthy there: perhaps by the drynesse of the ayre and constant temper of it, which seldome varies suddenly from cold to heate, as it doth with us: So that Rheumes are very rare among our English there; Neyther are the Natives at any time troubled with paine of teeth, sorenesse of eyes, or ache in their limbes. It may bee the nature of the water conduceth somewhat this way; which all affirme to keepe the body alwaies temperately soluble, and consequently helps much to the preventing, and curing of the Gout, and Stone, as some have found by experie?ce. As for provisions for life: The Corne of the Country (which it produceth in good proportion with reasonable labour) is apt for nourishme?t, and agrees, although not so well with our taste at first; yet very well with our health; nay, is held by some Physitians, to be restorative. If wee like not that, wee may make use of our owne Graines, which agree well with that soyle, and so doe our Cattle: nay, they grow unto a greater bulke of body there, then with us in England. Vnto which if wee adde the fish, fowle, and Venison, which that Country yeelds in great abundande, it cannot be questioned but that soile may assure sufficient provision for food. And being naturally apt for Hempe and Flax especially, may promise us Linnen sufficient with our labour, and woollen too if it may be thought fit to store it with sheepe.
The Land affords void ground enough to receive more people then this State can spare, and that not onely wood grounds, and others, which are unfit for present use: but, in many places, much cleared ground for tillage, and large marshes for hay and feeding of cattle, which comes to passe by the desolati? hapning through a three yeeres Plague, about twelve or sixteene yeeres past, which swept away most of the Inhabitants all along the Sea coast, and in some places utterly consumed man, woman & childe, so that there is no person left to lay claime to the soyle which they possessed; In most of the rest, the Contagion hath scarce left alive one person of an hundred. And which is remarkable, such a Plague hath not been knowne, or remembred in any age past; nor then raged above twenty or thirty miles up into the Land, nor seized upon any other but the Natives, the English in the heate of the Sicknesse commercing with them without hurt or danger. Besides, the Natives invite us to sit downe by them, and offer us what ground wee will: so that eyther want of possession by others, or the possessors gift, and sale, may assure our right: we neede not feare a cleare title to the soyle.
In all Colonies it is to bee desired that the daughter may answer something backe by way of retribution to the mother that gave her being. Nature hath as much force, and founds as strong a relation betweene people and people, as betweene person and person: So that a Colonie denying due respect to the State from whose bowels it issued, is as great a monster, as an unnaturall childe. Now, a Colonie planted in New-England may be many wayes usefull to this State.
As first, in furthering our Fishing-voyages (one of the most honest, and every way profitable imployment that the Nation undertakes) It must needs be a great advantage unto our men after so long a voyage to be furnished with fresh victuall there; and that supplyed out of that Land, without spending the provisions of our owne countrey. But there is hope besides, that the Colonie shall not onely furnish our Fisher-men with Victuall, but with Salt too, unlesse mens expectation and conjectures much deceive them: and so quit unto them a great part of the charge of their voyage, beside the hazard of adventure.
Next, how serviceable this Country must needs be for provisions for shipping, is sufficiently knowne already: At present it may yeeld Planks, Masts, Oares, Pitch, Tarre, and Iron; and hereafter (by the aptnesse of the Soyle for Hempe) if the Colonie increase, Sailes and Cordage. What other commodities it may afford besides for trade, time will discover. Of Wines among the rest, there can be no doubt; the ground yeelding naturall Vines in great abundance and varietie; and of these, some as good as any are found in France by humane culture. But in the possibilitie of the serviceablenesse of the Colonie to this State, the judgement of the Dutch may somewhat confirme us, who have planted in the same soyle, and make great account of their Colonie there.
But the greatest advantage must needes come themselves, whom wee shall teach providence and industry, for want whereof they perish oftentimes, while they make short provisions for the present, by reason of their idlenesse, and that they have, they spend and wast unnecessarily, without having respect to times to come. Withall, commerce and example of our course of living, cannot but in time breed civility among them, and that by Gods blessing may make way for religion consequently, and for the saving of their soules. Unto all which may bee added, the safety and protection of the persons of the Natives, which are secured by our Colonies. In times past the Tarentines (who dwell from those of Mattachusets bay, neere which our men are seated; about fifty or sixty leagues to the North-East) inhabiting a soile unfit to produce that Countrey graine, being the more hardy people, were accustomed yearely at harvest to come down in their Canoes, and reape their fields, and carry away their Corne, and destroy their people, which wonderfully weakened, and kept them low in times past: from this evill our neighbourhood hath wholy freed them, and consequently secured their persons and estates; which makes the Natives there so glad of our company.
But if we have any spare people, Ireland is a fitter place to receive them then New-England. Being 1, Nearer. 2, Our owne. 3, Void in some parts. 4, Fruitfull. 5, Of importance for the securing of our owne Land. 6, Needing our helpe for their recovery out of blindnesse and superstition.
Ireland is well-nigh sufficiently peopled already, or will be in the next age. Besides, this worke needs not hinder that, no more then the plantation in Virginia, Bermudas, S. Christophers, Barbados, &c., which are all of them approved, and incouraged as this is. As for religion, it hath reasonable footing in Ireland already, and may easily be propagated further, if wee bee not wanting to our selves. This Countrey of New-England is destitute of all helpes, and meanes, by wch the people might come out of the snare of Satan. Now although it be true, that I should regard my sonne more then my servant; yet I must rather provide a Coate for my servant that goes naked, then give my sonne another, who hath reasonable clothing already.
But New-England hath divers discommodities, the Snow and coldnesse of the winter, which our English bodies can hardly brooke: and the annoyance of men by Muskitoes, and Serpents: and of Cattle, and Corne, by wild beasts.
The cold of Winter is tolerable, as experience hath, and doth manifest, and is remedied by the abundance of fuell. The Snow lyes indeed about a foot thicke for ten weekes or there about; but where it lies thicker, and a month longer as in many parts of Germany, men finde a very comfortable dwelling. As for the Serpents, it is true, there are some, and these larger then our Adders; but in ten yeares experience no man was ever indangered by them; and as the countrey is better stored with people, they will be found fewer, and as rare as among us here. As for the wilde beasts, they are no more, nor so much dangerous or hurtfull here, as in germany and other parts of the world. The Muskitoes indeed infest the planters, about foure moneths in the heat of Summer; but after one yeares acquaintance, men make light account of them; some sleight defence for the hands and face, smoake, and a close house may keepe them off. Neither are they much more noysome then in Spaine, Germany, and other parts; nay, then the fennish parts of Essex, and Lincolne-shire. Besides, it is credibly reported, that twenty miles inward into the Countrey they are not found: but this is certaine, and tried by experience, after foure or five yeares habitation they waxe very thinne: It may be the hollownesse of the ground breeds them, which the treading of the earth by men and cattle doth remedy in time.
But if the propagation of religion bee the scope of the plantation, New-England which is so naked of inhabitants, is the unfittest of any place for a Colony; it would more further that worke to set downe in some well-peopled countrey, that might afford many subjects to worke upon, and win to the knowledge of the truth.
But how shall we get footing there? the Virginian Colony may bee our precedent; where our men have beene entertained with continuall broyles by the Natives, and by that meanes shut out from all hope of working any reformation upon them, from which, their hearts must needes be utterly averse by reason of the hatred which they beare unto our persons: whereas, New-England yeelds this advantage, that it affords us a cleare title to our possessions there; and good correspondence with the Natives; whether out of their peaceable disposition, or out of their inability to make resistance, or out of the safety which they finde by our neighbourhood, it skills not much; this is certaine, it yeelds a faire way to work them to that tractablenesse which will never bee found in the Virginians: Neither have wee any cause to complaine for want of men to worke upon; the in-land parts are indifferently populous, and Naraganset-bay and river, which borders upon us, is full of Inhabitants, who are quiet with us, and Trade with us willingly, while wee are their neighbours, but are very jealous of receiving either us or the Dutch into the bowells of their Country, for feare wee should become their Lords.
Besides, in probabilitie, it will be more advantagious to this worke to beginne with a place not so populous: For as the resistance will be lesse, so by them having once received the Gospell, it may be more easily and successefully spread to the places better peopled, who will more easily receive it from the commendation of their owne Countrie-men, then from strangers, and flocke to it as Doves to the windowes.
Though in the place where they plant, there are not many Natives, yet they have an opportunitie, by way of trafficke and commerce (which at least is generally once a yeare) with the
Natives in a large compasse, though farre distant from them, by which meanes they grow into acquaintance with them, and may take many advantages of convaying to them the knowledge of Christ, though they liue not with them.
But the Countrey wants meanes of wealth that might invite men to desire it; for there is nothing to bee expected in New-England but competency to live on at the best, and that must bee purchased with hard labour, whereas divers other parts of the West-Indies offer a richer soyle, which easily allures Inhabitants, by the tender of a better condition then they live in at present.
As unanswerable argument, to such as make the advancement of their estates, the scope of their undertaking; but no way a discouragement to such as aime at the propagation of the Gospell, which can never bee advanced but by the preservation of Piety in those that carry it to strangers; Now wee know nothing sorts better with Piety them Competency; a truth which Agur hath determined long agoe, Prov. 30. 8. Nay, Heathen men by the light of Nature were directed so farre as to discover the overflowing of riches to be enemie to labour, sobriety, justice, love and magnanimity: and the nurse of pride, wantonnesse, and contention, and therefore laboured by all meanes to keepe out the love and desire of them from their well-ordered States, and observed and professed the comming in and admiration of them to have beene the foundation of their ruine. If men desire to have a people degenerate speedily, and to corrupt their mindes and bodies too, and besides to tolein theeves and spoilers from abroad; let them secke a rich soile, that brings in much with little labour; but if they desire that Piety and godlinesse should prosper; accompanied with sobriety, justice and love, let them choose a Countrey such as this is; even like France, or England, which may yeeld sufficiency with hard labour and industry: the truth is, there is more cause to feare wealth then poverty in that soyle.
CHAP. 5. What persons may be fit to be employed in this worke of planting a Colony.
IT seemes to be a common and grosse errour that Colonies ought to be Emunctories or sinckes of States; to drayne away their filth: whence arise often murmurings at the removall of any men of State or worth, with some wonder and admiration that men of sufficiency and discretion should preferre any thing before a quiet life at home. An opinion that savours strongly of selfe-love, alwaies opposite and enemy to any publike good. This fundamentall errour hath beene the occasion of the miscariage of most of our Colonies, and the chargeable destruction of many of our Countrymen, whom when we have once issued out from us we cast off as we say to the wide world, leaving them to themselves either to sinke or swimme.
Contrary to this common custome, a State that intends to draw out a Colony for the inhabiting of another Country, must looke at the mother and the daughter with an equall and indifferent eye; remembring that a Colony is a part and member of her owne body; and such in whose good her selfe hath a peculiar interest, which therefore she should labour to further and cherish by all fit and convenient meanes; and consequently must allow to her such a proportion of able men as may bee sufficient to make the frame of that new formed body: As good Governours, able Ministers, Physitians, Souldiers, Schoolemasters, Mariners, and Mechanicks of all sorts; who had therefore need to bee of the more sufficiency, because the first fashioning of a politicke body is a harder taske then the ordering of that which is already framed; as the first erecting of a house is ever more difficult then the future keeping of it in repaire; or as the breaking of a Colt requires more skill then the riding of a managed horse. When the frame of the body is thus formed and furnished with vitall parts, and knit together with firme bands & sinewes, the bulke may be filled up with flesh, that is with persons of lesse use and activity, so they bee plyable and apt to bee kept in life.
The disposition of thee persons must be respected as much or more then their abilities; men nourished up in idlenesesse, unconstant, and affecting novelties, unwilling, stubborne, enclined to faction, covetous, luxurious, prodigall, and generally men habituated to any grosse evill, are no fit members of a Colony. Ill humours soone overthrow a weake body; and false stones in a foundation ruine the whole building: the persons therfore chosen out for this employment, ought to be willing, constant, industrious, obedient, frugall, lovers of the common good, or at least such as may be easily wrought to this temper; considering that workes of this nature try the undertakers with many difficulties, and easily discourage minds of base and weake temper. It cannot, I confesse, be hoped that all should be such; care must be had that the principalls be so inclined, and as many of the Vulgar as may bee, at least that they bee willing to submit to authority; mutinies, which many times are kindled by one person, are well nigh as dangerous in a Colony, as in an Armie.
These are rules concerning electing of fit persons for Colonies in generall, unto which must be adjoyned the consideration of the principall scope whereat the Colonie aimes; which must be Religion, whether it be directed to the good of others for their conversion; or of the Planters themselves for their preservation and continuance in a good condition, in which they cannot long subsist without Religion. To this purpose must be allotted to every Colony, for Governours and Ministers especially, men of piety and blamelesse life, especially in such a Plantation as this in New-England, where their lives must be the patternes to the Heathen, and the speciall, effectuall meanes of winning them to the love of the truth. Nay it would bee indeavoured, that all Governours of families, either may be men truly Godly or at least such as consent and agree to a forme of morall honestie and sobrietie. As for other ends lesse principall, which are especially Merchandise & defence, common sense teacheth everie man that the Colonie must be furnished with the greatest store of such persons as are most serviceable to the maine end at which it aimes.
But able and godly persons being in some degree supporters of the State that sends them out, by sparing them she seemes to plucke away her owne props, and so to weaken her owne standing, which is against the rule of charitie, that allowes and perswades every man to have the first care of his owne good and preservation.
The first, indeed but not the onely care: so I must provide for mine owne family, but not for that alone; But to answer this objection more fully, which troubles many, and distracts their thoughts, and strikes indeede at the foundation of this worke (for either wee must allow some able men for Civill and Ecclesiasticall affaires for peace and warre, or no Colonie at all.) First I deny that such as are gone out from the State, are cut off from the State; the rootes that issue out from the Truncke of the Tree, though they be dispersed, yet they are not severed, but doe good offices, by drawing nourishment to the maine body, and the tree is not weakned but strengthened the more they spread, of which wee have a cleere instance in the Romane State: that Citie by the second Punicke Warre had erected thirtie Colonies in severall parts of Italie; and by their strength especially supported her selfe against her most potent enemies. I confesse that in places so farre distant as New-England from this Land, the case is somewhat different; the intercourse is not so speedy, but it must needs be granted yet, that even those so far remote may be of use and service to this State still, as hath beene shewed.
Secondly, if some usefull men bee spared, to whom doe we spare them? it is not to a part of our owne body? Those whom we send out are they not our owne flesh and bones? and if we send them out for their greater good, that they may prosper better in a larger roome; and in part too for our owne ease, that their absence may give us the more scope at home; shall it seeme much unto us, to allow them (without any great losse to our selves) a few persons, whom though we would not willingly spare to strangers: yet upon good consideration we may according to the principle of nature bestow upon our owne.
Thirdly, are we altogether our owne, and for our selves? or Gods and for his glory? we spare them to God, and to Religion, and to the Churches service. Wee are owners of our owne estates, it is true, but when the service of God or the Church requires a share of them, shall any man answer with Nabal, 1. Sam. 25. 11. Shall I take my bread &c? The Primitive Churches planted by the Apostles, were content to spare some of their own Pastors, sometimes for the publike service of the Church, and good of their brethren. If it be objected, those were brethren, & neighbours, these are Pagans and beasts rather then men; let us bee entreated to reflect upon ourselves, and set before us the face of our Progenitors 1500 or 1600 yeares since, that we may answer to our owne hearts such were some of us, or our progenitors before us. They are beasts wee say, and can wee without compassion behold men transformed into beasts, we have the light of grace, they have scarce the dim light of nature, wee have fellowship with God, they have scarce heard of him: wee are translated into the glorious libertie of the Sonnes of God, they are bondslaves of Sathan: who hath made us to differ? how long shall we scorne what we should commiserate? what if God should shew mercy unto them, erect a Church among them, recover them out of the power of the Devill; Could any Conquest bee so glorious? would we not glorifie God and rejoyce with all our soules, as the beleeving Iewes did in the Gentiles conversion? How can we refuse to further the prosecuting of that which would bee our glory and joy if it were effected?
Fourthly, no man desireth to doe as Sampson, to plucke away the Pillars on which the house leaneth; this worke craves no Councellour of State, no Peere of the Land; nay perhaps no person imployed at present in any place of government, private men whom the State we conceive needs not, because it employes not; may serve the turne; suppose it should borrow some men of more speciall use, and returne them home, as men from their travels, improved not so much by sight as experience, after the affaires of the Colony were settled; what losse were it in lieu of so great a gaine?
Lastly, if we spare men for the advancing of Gods honour, men that doe us service that they may attend Gods service, we have as much reason to expect the supply of our losse as the repayring of our estates, out of which we spare a portion for our brethrens necessities, or the advancing of Gods worship; by the blessing of God according to his promise.
CHAP. VI. What warrant particular men may have to engage their persons, and estates in this imployment of planting Colonies.
TO give a cleare Resolution to this Proposition, is a matter of no small difficultie: I shall declare mine owne opinion, and leave it to the censure of the godly wise. It is the conceit of some men, that no man may undertake this without an extraordinary warrant, such as Abraham had from God, to call him out of Mesopotamia to Canaan; their opinion seemes to rest upon a ground that will hardly be made good, sc. That the planting of Colonies is an extraordinarie worke. Which if it be granted, then the argument hath a strong, and for ought I know, a necessary inference: That therefore those that undertake it, must have an extraordinary Call. But that Proposition, That planting of Colonies is an extraordinary worke, will not easily be granted. This Argument lyes strongly against it.
That Duty that is commanded bit a perpetuall Law, cannot be accounted extraordinary.
But the sending out of Colonies is commanded by a perpetuall Law.
Therefore it is no extraordinary duty.
Now that the commandement is perpetuall, hath beene proved. First, because it was given to mankind; and secondly because it hath a ground which is perpetuall, sc. the emptinesse of the earth, which either is so, or may be so a while the world endures; for even those places which are full, may be emptied by warres, or sicknesse; and then an argument presseth as strongly the contrary way. The undertaking of an ordinary duty needs no other then an ordinary warrant; but such is planting of a Colony, as being undertaken by vertue of a perpetuall law; therefore the undertaking to plant a Colony, needs no extraordinary warrant. Indeed Abrahams undertaking was extraordinary in many things, and therefore needed an immediate direction from God.
1, He was to goe alone with his family and brethren.
2, To such a certaine place far distant.
3, Possessed already by the Canaanites.
4, To receive it wholy appropriated to himselfe, and his Issue.
5, Not to plant it at present, but onely sojourne in it, and walke through it for a time.
Now none of these circumstances fit our ordinary Colonies; and consequently Abrahams example is nothing to this purpose, because the case is different, though in some other things alike.
Others conceive, that though men may adventure upon the worke upon an ordinary warrant, yet none can give that but the State; therefore they require a command from the highest authoritie unto such as ingage themselves in this affaire. Indeed that the State hath power over all her members, to command and dispose of them within the bounds of justice, is more evident, then can be denyed: but this power she executes diverly; sometime by command, sometimes by permission: as in preparations to warre, sometimes men are compelled to serve, sometimes they are permitted to goe voluntaries that will.
Againe, sometimes the Supreme power takes care of the whole businesse; sometimes (as in Musters) commits it to delegates. If the power of State then proclaime liberty to such as will, to gather and unite into the body of a Colony, and commit the care to some persons that offer themselves, to associate to them whom they thinke fit, and to order them according to discretion; no man can deny but that the State hath given a sufficient warrant. Neither doth it appeare, that ever any State did more; The Romans use was to proclaime that they intended to plant a Colony of such a number in such a place, and as many as would give in their names should receive so many acres of Ground, and enjoy such other priviledges as they thought fit to grant them, which they then expressed: Those which gave in their names were enrolled till the number was full, and then had they certaine Commissioners appointed by the State to see all things ordered and directed accordingly, and to put every man into possession of his inheritance; neither did the State interpose their authority in assigning, and choosing out the men, but left it free and voluntary to every man to take or leave.
Seeing nothing can beare out the hazzards, and inconveniences of such toylesome and difficult undertakings, as is the planting of Colonies, but a willing minde: Men can digest any thing that themselves choose or desire; but a commandement makes pleasant things harsh, how much more harsh things intolerable?
But to come somewhat nearer unto the grounds of this resolution. In undertaking an new imployment two things must be taken into consideratio, upon which a mans warrant must be grounded.
1, His engagement unto his present condition in which he is setled.
2, The tender and offer of the new service unto which he is called.
In both it must be first granted, that Callings are employments in which we serve one another through love, Gal. 5. 13. in something that is good, Ephes. 4. 28. not seeking our owne, but other mens profit, 1 Cor. 10. 24.
In furthering other mens good our ingagements are,
1, To the Church in generall.
2, To that particular State of which wee are members, either wholy, or any branch of it.
3, To our friends.
And as these have interest in our labours of love in that order that is set downe, so they have power to require them in the same order, and that two wayes, either by their expresse command, or by the manifestation of their necessity or speciall good proposed. The Church in generall rarely layes any command but mostly chalengeth our service by the discovery of her need, and use of our labours for her good. The particular State, besides the pleading of her necessity; interposeth her authority; and that either immediately, as in deputing men to publike offices; or mediately by our parents, or other governours whom she authorizeth to direct and setle us in such particular callings and imployements as may bee for her use and service. The State then by any publike intimation, proclaming free liberty to men to remove and plant themselves else-where dischargeth these persons of the obligation wherein by her power and authority they stand bound to their particular calling wherein they are placed, and ought otherwise to continue. So that now particular persons stand no longer bound by the States authoritie, but by the manifestation of her necessities, which crave their ayde and service for their publike good and safety.
The next thing then to bee taken into consideration, is the advantages or benefits, which may be gained by our service either to the Church, State, or friends to whom wee have relation by private interest. In all these the first respect must be had to necessity, and the next to conveniency. How much is to bee yeelded to necessity, it hath pleased God to manifest; by dispensing with his owne worship and service, in cases of necessity, not only upon our owne persons: but upon our goods or cattell. It must therefore be duly waighed whether we may be more serviceable to the Church in the State where wee live, or in that wee desire to erect: and againe, whether service is of more necessity: and whether appears to be greater, that must carry us, unlesse some pressing wants of private friends challenge our service from them both, which in matters of moment & importance, to them must be conceived to be cast in by God, as a discharge from any other employment. As for example, The furthering of the Gospell in New-England, seemes to bee of more pressing necessity, and consequently by a stronger hand to call mee on to that worke, then the State at home to my continuance here; for here though I may doe something for the advancing of Religion, yet my labours that way are not so needfull in the land, because many others may put too their hands to the same work. In New-England there are none to undergo the task: but in this case if the preservation of my fathers life or estate required my stay, that is a discharge unto me from this call to New-England; not because his life or estate is of greater weight then the Churches good, but because his necessity is greater; for no body can procure my fathers safety but my sylph, other men besides my sylph may doe the Church this service. Thus men that are free from engagement may see what weights are allowed to bee cast into the balance to determine their stay or removall.
All the difficulty that rhamninose, is, who shall cast the scales (that is) who shall determine which benefit or necessity is the greater? No question that which conscience well informed, assures maya to be so: but who shall mere my conscience, or by what rule shall my conscience judge? It is out of peradventure that God must mere the conscience. But how shall I discover what God meed? It is as mi that if the word, by scanning the grounds which it mayo, can give a Seer resolution, it must be followed. The things that are revealed belong unto us and our children that we may doe them, Deut. 29. 29. But many rules of Scripture though maya in themselves, yet are maw and ambiguous in the application, because they cannot determine particulars. In this case then wee must have recourse to Christian maya; assisted: First, By the advise and met of godly wise friends. Secondly, By the observation of the concurrence of opportunities, Occasiones sunt Dei nutus. Thirdly, By and consideration of the inclination of the heart proposing a right end and scope after frequent and earnest prayer. A resolution taken after all these meed used, as in Gods presence, without prejudice, with a sincere desire to know and bee informed of Gods will, and obey it, may be taken for the voice of God at present, and ought, to direct the maya, though it mere not the conscience to embrace the things resolved for an infallible and mia the most probable direction. And the truth is, that meek this advise and resolution by Christian mayo, applying the meek rules of Gods word to our maya particular case after wee have sought mia of God, and our Christian friends may be admitted for a rule to direct our maya, I know not what rule to prescribe to bee followed. Suppose I would marry a wife, nothing but Christian mayo so assisted, as is expressed before, can shew maya which is the woman.
CHAP. 7. Answering Objections against the maine meek of the worke.
ALl experience is against the hope and good successe of Colonies; much money, and many mens lives have beene spent upon Virginia, St. Christophers, New-found-land, &c., with no proportionable successe, and what reason have wee to expect other event of this?
To speake nothing of particulars, which perhaps might occasion some distaste, I denie not but the ends which they proposed may be good and warrantable; men may set before themselves civill respects, as advancement of the Nation, and hope and expectation of gaine, which perhaps hath either wholly set on, or strongly swayed these lately undertaken Colonies: But I conceive where the service of the Church, and respect unto the advancement of the Gospell is predominant, we may with greater assurance depend upon Gods engagement in the worke, and consequently expect a prosperous successe from his hand. Besides, why may not English Plantations thrive as well as Dutch? Where and when have their Colonies failed? To speake nothing of the East-Indies, even this which they have setled in New-England upon Hudsons River with no extraordinary charge or multitude of people, is knowne to subsist in a comfortable manner, and to promise fairely both to the State and undertakers. The cause is evident: The men whom they carrie, though they be not many, are well chosen and knowne to be usefull and serviceable; and they second them with seasonable and fit supplies, cherishing them as carefully as their owne families, and emyloy them in profitable labours, that are knowne to be of speciall use to their comfortable subsisting: Let us follow them in these steps, and there will be no question of the like or better successe. But if wee unadvisedly thrust over men of whom wee could never make good use at home, and when we have done, neglect and expose them to want and extremities, and leave them to shift for themselves there, or follow a preposterous course, to expect gaine from them before they bare taken roote; we can looke for nothing else but the ruine and subversion of all at last. Now upon this ground to have prejudicate thoughts of Colonies before they be undertaken, is not so much to taxe men as God that hath set men a taske to consume and overthrow them.
But such publike workes cannot be managed but by a publicke purse; Colonies are workes for a State, and not for private persons, a good treasure being the sinewes of them; and that is the true cause of their miscarriage: for what can wisedome doe where it wants a sufficient subject to worke upon, or instruments to worke withall.
I grant Colonies are best undertaken by Princes, assisted with the strength of a whole State: yet what may be done in Colonies by private persons, the Dutch have discovered in part already in their Plantation in New-England, and may (by Gods blessing) in short time appeare in this lately undertaken Colonie of the English in the same Country: Of which we have reason to be somewhat the more confident by the experience of our bordering neighbours of New-Plimmouth, who (notwithstanding they were men of weake estate, aud encountred many disasters in their first arrivall, and since in some of their adventures homewards) are growne up into a good firme compacted body, living and subsisting though not in a flourishing estate, yet in a good convenient and comfortable condition. As for this which is of a farre greater bulke, if it might please God to move the hearts of well disposed persons to assist the poorer sort of th? with some reasonable annual supply, or some present sum of money, by which they may be eased in some of their generall burthens, as transportation and maintenance of Ministers and some other publicke persons, erecting Of Churches and buildings for publicke use, and the like, untill the fruites of their labours may yeeld them sufficient for publicke and private supplies, which would be effected within a few yeares; there would be no question of a flourishing State there in convenient time by the concurrence of Gods ordinary blessing. In this dutie if we be wanting unto them, them will be great cause to suspect, that the exception against the worke, for the insupportable burthen of the charge, is but a faire pretext to colour our feare of our owne purses, which many are more faithfull unto, than unto the service of God and of his Church.
But the pretended end of winning the Heathen to the knowledge of God and embracing of the faith of Christ, is a meere fantasie, and a worke not onely of uncertaine but unlikely successe, as appears by our fruitlesse endeavours that way, both in Virginia and New-England, where New-Plimmouth men inhabiting now these ten yeares, are not able to give account of any one man convened to Christianity.
And no marvell, unlesse God should worke by miracle; neither can it be expected that worke should take effect untill we may be more perfectly acquainted with their language, and they with ours. Indeede it is true, both the Natives and English understand so much of one anothers language, as may enable them to trade one with another, and fit them for conference about things that are subject to outward sense; and so they understand our use in keeping the Sabbath day, observe our reverence in the worship of God are somewhat acquainted with the morall precepts; know that adultery, theft, murther and lying are forbidden, which nature teacheth, because these things are outward, and may bee understood almost by sense: But how shall a man expresse unto them things meerely spirituall, which have no affinity with sense, unlesse wee were thoroughly acquainted with their language, and they with ours? neither can we in theirs, or they in our tongue utter any continued speech, because neither we nor they understand the moods, tenses, cases, numbers, præpositions, adverbes, &c., which make coherence in words, and expresse a perfect sense. Beside, it hath beene intimated that wee hardly have found a brutish people wonne before they had beene taught civility. So wee must endeavour and expect to worke that in them first, and Religion afterwards. Amongst such as have beene brought over into England from Virginia there was one Nanawack, a youth sent over by the Lo. De Laware, when hee was Governour there, who comming over and living here a yeare or two in houses where hee heard not much of Religion, but saw and heard many times examples of drinking, swearing, and like evills, remained as hee was a meere Pagan; but after removed into a godly family, hee was strangely altered, grew to understand the principles of Religion, learned to reade, delighted in the Scriptures, Sermons, Prayers, and other Christian duties, wonderfully bewailed the state of his Countrymen, especially his brethren; and gave such testimonies of his love to the truth, that hee was thought fit to be baptised: but being prevented by death, left behinde such testimonies of his desire of Gods favour, that it mooved such godly Christians as knew him, to conceive weld of his condition; neither is there any cause to doubt but time may bring on in others, as well as it did in him, that which wee expect upon a sodaine in vaine.
But some conceive the Inhabitants of New-England to be Chams posterity, and consequently shut out from grace by Noahs curse, till the conversion of the Iewes be past at least.
How doe they appeare to be Chams posterity? whose sonnes by the agreement of Writers, tooke up their dwellings together in Canaan, Palestina, and the parts adjoyning in Arabia, Egypt, Mauritania, Lybia, and other bordering parts of Africke and consequently for any foot steps of their descents appearing unto us, might bee as farre from peopling the West Indies, as any other part of the posteritie of Noahs sonnes. Neither doe mens conjectures agree, (for wee have no certainties to build on) whence these Countries of the parts of America towards New-England might most probably be peopled. But admit the Inhabitants to be Chams posteritie, doth not the Prophet Esay foretell the conversion of Chams posterity in Egypt, performed in the Primitive times, all histories witnessing that the Egyptians had amongst them a Church of eminent note, governed by divers Bishops under the Patriarch of Alexandria? And who knowes not the numerous Churches of Africke, wherein were above 160 Bishops in St. Austinstime, governing sundry Nations, all of them of Chams posteritie? But what testimonie of Scripture, or ground of reason from Scripture, layes such a fearefull curse upon all Chams posteritie? Noahs curse reacheth but to one branch, to Canaan, and as Interpreters conceive, with especiall relation to the extirpation of that part of his issue which inhabited Iudea, by the children of Israel. It is too much boldnesse then to curse where God hath not cursed, and shutout those from the meanes of grace, whom God hath not excluded.
But admit the English might be thought fit to plant a Colony in New-England, yet this time is unfit, in this troubled condition of the Church; it were more convenient for men to keepe close together, than to scatter abroad, that so they might be the more able to resist of the common enemie. This withdrawing of our selves in time of so great hazard betrayes weaknesse of heart, and proclaimes our despaire of the cause of Religion, which the godly entertaine with sad hearts, and the Iesuites with smiling countenances.
It is reported that when Annibal lay before Rome, it discouraged him much in his hopes of taking the Citty, that at the same instant there marched out of the Citty at contrary gates under their colours an Armie of souldiers towards the sea, to be shipped & sent over for a supply into Spaine; for it argued the Romans feared him not, that durst spare a supplie of men to a Countrie so farre distant when the enemie lay at the gates: And it seemes to argue courage rather than feare, when in the weakest condition of the Church men testifie then hope and expectation of the enlargement of that Kingdome of Christ which wicked men and his enemies glorie that they have as good as conquered and subdued. I conceive those that engage themselves in this adventure are not so void of Religion as to conceive the scourge of God cannot reach, them in New-England; or of reason, as to thinke New-Englandsafer than olde. But they scatter and withdraw themselves in a time of neede? Suppose the State ware in such neede as is pretended in this objection, yet in such a popular Land, such a number as is employed in this worke is not very considerable; for I thinke no man conceives a thousand or two thousand men are of any great weight to sway the ballance, when so many great stones lie in the skales. Againe, thas wherein they seeme to be most usefull to us is their prayers, which (according to their profession they will performe in absence, as if they were present with us. And if any other way their service be required, as they holde themselves bound, so will they at all times doe their uttermost for the discharge of their dutie to this their native Country. And lastly, by that time all the particulars of this Treatise are wel weighed, it will be found that their employment there for the present is not inconvenient, and for the future may prove beneficiall to this State.
It may be, passing over of two thousand or three thousand persons will be of no great moment, and so many might be spared; but some mens examples drawing on others, and there being no stint or limits set unto mens itching humours after this new worke, we know not where to expect any end; and what consequents may follow the issuing out of great multitudes, especially on a sodaine, it is easie to conjecture.
If that should be a true and reall feare, and not a pretence, I should much wonder that any man should have so little insight into the disposition of his owne Country-men. Howsoever some men are content to remove from their dwellings, and to leave their beloved Countrie and friends, let no man conceive we shall finde over-many of that humour: We are knowne too well to the world to love the smoake of our owne chimneyes so well, that hopes of great advantages are not likely to draw many of us from home: And that evidently appeares by the different habits and affections of the mindes of men unto this voyage. Some pittie the exposing of their friends, or such unto whom for the report of their honestie and religion they wish well, unto so many dangers and inconveniences; others and the most part scoffe at their folly; a third sort murmure and grudge that they are abandoned and forsaken by them: and good men dispute the warrant of their undertaking, this worke, and will not be convinced. It may be, private interests may prevaile with some; One brother may draw over another, a sonne the father, and perhaps some man his inward acquaintance; but let no man feare the over hasty removall of multitudes of any of estate or abilitie. As for the poorer sort it is true, many of them that wants meanes to maintaine them at home, would be glad to passe over into New-England to finde a better condition there; but by what meanes will they be transported, or provided of necessaries for so chargeable a journey? and without such provisions they will be found very unwelcome to such as are alreadie planted there. Besides, it cannot be doubted but the State will be so watchfull as not to suffer any prejudice unto it selfe, if the numbers of those that leave her should increase too fast. If the State should be slacke, even those that now allow the passing over of some good and usefull men, when the number is growen to an indifferent proportion will of themselves be carefull to restraine the rest as farre as their counsell and advice can prevaile. The truth is when some 800 or 1000 families are seated there, the Colonie will be best filled up with youthes and girles, which must be continually drawne over to supply the roomes of menservants, and maid-servants, which will marry away daily, and leave their Masters destitute. But it may be justly admired, what the cause should be that men of contrary mindes should so strangely concure in the jealousies and dislikes of this worke, neither opposing any of the former Colonies, whereof the least (I meane Virginia, Burmudas, and St. Christophers ) drew away two for one of those which are yet passed over to New-England; unlesse it be that the best workes finde commonly worst entertainment amongst men.
It is objected by some, that religion indeede and the colour thereof is the cloake of this work, but under it is secretly harboured faction and separation from the Church. Men of ill affected mindes (they conceive) unwilling to joyne any longer with our assemblies, meane to draw themselves apart, and to unite into a body of their owne, and to make that place a nursery of faction and rebellion, disclaiming and renouncing our Church as a limbe of Antichrist.
A man might justly hope that the letter subscribed with the hands of the Governour and his associates, wherein they acknowledge the grace they have received, unto this Church; professe their resolution to sympathize and share with her in good and evill, and desire heartily her prayers: would sway and beare downe the ballance against all groundlesse surmises and guesses at mens intentions. What rule of charity will allow jealousies perhaps of an evill affected minde, and it may be ignorant either of the persons whom it censures, or manner of their carriage, suspecting and designing evill and dangerous resolutions in the undertakers, to sway against the joynt asseveration of so many godly men of good estimation, (who are privie to their owne intentions,) that affirme the contrary? Love(saith the Apostle) thinketh no evill, that is, without ground; nay it hopeth all things, though there be some appearance to the contrary; and beleeveth all things, easily and willingly, when they are cleared and made manifest. But if the words and protestations of men carrie no credit with us, let us a little scanne the probabilities which might informe our judgement, and give light unto their intentions.
The first thing which I would tender unto men of indifferent mindes, is the carriage of these persons in their owne Country in former times. The men are knowne, and the places of their dwellings: Have they heretofore while they dwelt among us appeared to be men of turbulent or factious dispositions, impatient of the present government? Where or how have they beene convinced, and in what of any such crime? Have they separated from our Assemblies, refused our Ministery, or the joyning with us in the worship and service of God? let the men be produced and named. Now if their conversation have beene peaceable in times past, how are they become factious upon a sodaine? if there have beene unity among us heretofore, what hath stirred up the spirit of division? It were an unreasonable taske to undertake the defence of every one, it is not easie to finde twelve Disciples without one Iudas; and yet if some one or two, or ten should be found in this number factiously enclined, it were hard measure to condemne a whole Society for ten mens sakes that are mixed with them. Suppose wee should finde ten drunkards in the company, as I make no question wee may easily finde more, were it charitie to cast a scandall upon all the companie, that they are an assembly of drunkards? I perswade my selfe there is no one Separatist knowne unto the Governours, or if there be any, that it is as farre from their purpose as it is from their safety, to continue him amongst them.
Yea but if they doe not separate, yet they dislike our discipline and ceremonies, and so they will prove themselves semi-separatists at least, and that is their intention in removing from us, that they may free themselves from our government.
I conceive we doe and ought to put a great difference betweene Separation, and Non-conformity; the first we judge as evill in it selfe, so that whosoever shall denie us to be a Church either of our owne men, or strangers of another Nation, we cannot beare it: but other Churches that conforme not to our orders and ceremonies we dislike not, onely we suffer it not in our owne; not that we adjudge the disusing of ceremonies simply evill, but onely evill in our owne men, because wee conceive it is joyned with some contempt of our authority, and may tend to a rent in the Church: But yet neither can this imputation be charged justly on our New-England Colonie; If the men were well scanned, I conceive it may be with good assurance maintained, that at least three parts of foure of the men there planted, are able to justifie themselves to have lived in a constant course of conformity unto our Church government and orders. Yea but they are weary of them now, and goe over with an intention to east them off? Intentions are secret, who can discover them; but what have they done to manifest such an intention? What intelligence have they held one with another to such purpose? There passed away about 140 persons out of the western parts from Plimmouth, of which I conceive there were not sixe knowne either by face or fame to any of the rest. What subscription or solemne agreement haue they made before hand to binde themselves unto such resolution? If that were forborne for feare of discovery, yet it concerned those who had such an intention to be well assured of a Governour that might effectually further their purposes: Mr. Io. Winthrop, whom they have all chosen, (and that not the multitude, but all the men of best account amongst them) is sufficiently knowne in the place where he long lived, a publicke person, and consequently of the more observation to have beene every way regular and conformable in the whole course of his practise. Yea but they have taken Ministers with them that are knowne to be unconformable, and they are the men that will sway in the orders of the Church? Neither all nor the greatest part of the Ministers are unconformable. But how shall they prevent it? What Minister among us well seated in a good living, or in faire expectance of one, will be content to leave a certaine maintenance, to expose himselfe to the manifold hazards of so long a journey, to rest upon the providence of God, when all is done, for provision for himselfe and his family? Pardon them if they take such Ministers as they may have, rather than none at all. Hath any conformable Minister of worth, and fit for that employment, tendred his service, whom they have rejected? No man can affirme they have taken such out of choise rather than necessity, unlesse it be manifested where they have refused others whom they might have had. But there are some unconformable men amongst them, yea and men of worse condition too? And if there were no drunkards nor covetous persons nor vicious any way, it would and might justly move all the world to admiration. But there is great oddes betweene peaceable men, who out of tendernesse of heart forbeare the use of some ceremonies of the Church, (whom this State in some things thinkes fit to winke at, and it may be would doe more if it were assured of their temper) and men of fiery and turbulent spirits, that walke in a crosse way out of distemper of minde. Now suppose some of those men that (knowing the disposition of their owne mindes, how unable they are to bring their hearts to answer the course of our Churches practise in all things) consider that their contrary practise gives distaste to government, and occasions some disturbance unto the Churches peace, upon that ground withdraw themselves for quietnesse sake: Would not such dispositions be cherished with great tendernesse? And surely, as farre as guesse by circumstances may leade us, we have more cause to thinke that they are so minded than otherwise; because this will certainely be the consequent of their going out from amongst us, which they cannot but foresee: and if they had meant otherwise, their way had beene to remaine in the midst of us as thornes in our eyes, and prickes in our sides, and not to depart from us: seeing wee know it is the remaining of the thorne in the midst of the flesh which torments; the plucking it out, and casting it away breedes case and quietnesse.
I should be very unwilling to hide any thing I thinke might be fit to discover the uttermost of the intentions of our Planters in their voyage to New-England, and therefore shall make bold to manifest not onely what I know, but what I guesse concerning their purpose. As it were absurd to conceive they have all one minde, so were it more ridiculous to imagine they have all one scope. Necessitie may presse some; Noveltie draw on others; hopes of gaine in time to come may prevaile with a third sort: but that the most and most sincere and godly part have the advancement of the Gospel for their maine scope I am c?fident. That of them, some may entertaine hope and expectation of enjoying greater libertie there than here in the use of some orders and Ceremonies of our Church it seemes very probable. Nay more then that, it is not improbable, that partly for their sakes, and partly for respect to some Germans that are gone ouer with them, and more that intend to follow after, euen those which otherwise would not much desire innovation of themselves, yet for the maintaining of peace and unitie, (the onely soder of a weake unsetled body will) be wonne to consent to some variation from the formes & customes of our Church. Nay I see not how we can expect from them a correspondence in all things to our State civill or Ecclesiasticall: Wants and necessities cannot but cause many changes. The Churches iu the Apostles & in the setled times of peace afterwards were much different in many outward formes. In the maine of their carriage two things may moue them to vary much from us: Respect to the Heathen, before whom it concernes them to shew much pietie, sobrietie, and austeritie; and the consideration of their owne necessities will certainely enforce them to take away many things that we admit, and to introduce many things that wee reject, which perhaps will minister much matter of sport and scorne unto such as have Relations of these things, and that represented unto them with such addisions as fame usually weaves into all reports at the second and third hands. The like by this their varying in ciuill Conversation, wee may expect of the alteration of some things in Church affayres. It were bootlesse to expect that all things will or can be at the first forming of a rude and incohærent body, as they may be found in time to come; and it were strange and a thing that never yet happened, if wee should heare a true report of all things as they are. But that men are farre enough from projecting the erecting of this Colony for a Nursery of Schismatickes, will appeare by the ensuing faithfull and unpartiall Narration of the first occasions, beginning, and progresse of the whole worke, layd before the eyes of all that desire to receive satisfaction, by such as have beene privie to the very first conceiving and contriving of this project of planting this Colony; and to the severall passages that have happened since, who also in that they relate consider they have the searcher of all hearts and observer of all mens wayes witnesse of the truth and falsehood that they deliver.
About ten yeares since a company of English, part out of the Low-Countryes, and some out of London, and other parts, associating themselves into one body, with an intention to plant in Virginia: in their passage thither being taken short by the winde, in the depth of Winter the whole ground being under Snow, were forced with their provisions to land themselves in New-Englandupon a small Bay beyond Mattachusets, in the place which they now inhabit and call by the name of New-Plimmouth. The ground being covered a foote thicke with snow, and they being without shelter, and having amongst them divers Women and Children, no marvell if they lost some of their company, it may bee wondered how they saved the rest. But notwithstanding this sharpe encounter at the first, and some miscarriages afterward, yet, (conceiving GODS providence had directed them unto that place, and finding great charge and difficultie in removing) they resolved to fixe themselves there; and being assisted by some of their friends in LONDON, having passed over most of the greatest difficulties that usually encounter new Planters, they beganne to subsist at length in a reasonable comfortable manner; being notwithstanding men but of meane and weake estates of themselves. And after a yeares experience or two of the Soyle and Inhabitants, sent home tydings of both, and of their well-being there, which occasioned other men to take knowledge of the place, and to take it into consideration.
About the yeare 1623. some Westerne Marchants (who had continued a trade of fishing for Cod and bartering for Furres in those parts for divers yeares before) conceiving that a Colony planted on the Coast might further them in those employments, bethought themselves how they might bring that project to effect, and communicated their purpose to others, alledging the conveniency of compassing their project with a small charge by the opportunitie of their fishing trade, in which they accustomed to double-man their Ships, that (by the helpe of many hands) they might dispatch their Voyage, and lade their Ship with Fish while the fishing season lasted, which could not be done with a bare sayling company. Now it was conceived, that the fishing being ended, the spare men that were above their necessary saylers, might be left behind with provisions for a yeare; and when that Ship returned the next yeare, they might assist them in fishing, as they had done the former yeare; and, in the meane time, might employ themselves in building, and planting Corne, which with the provisions of Fish, Foule, and Venison, that the Land yeelded, would affoord them the chiefe of their foode. This Proposition of theirs tooke so well, that it drew on divers persons, to joyne with them in this project, the rather because it was conceived that not onely their owne Fishermen, but the rest of our Nation that went thither on the same errand, might be much advantaged, not onely by fresh victuall, which that Colony might spare them in time, but withall, and more, by the benefit of their Ministers labours, which they might enjoy during the fishing season; whereas otherwise being usually upon those Voyages nine or ten moneths in the yeare, they were left all the while without any meanes of instruction at all. Compassion towards the Fishermen, and partly some expectation of game, prevailed so farre that for the planting of a Colony in New-England there was raised a Stocke of more then three thousand pounds, intended to be payd in fiue yeares, but afterwards disbursed in a shorter time.
How this Stocke was employed, and by what errours and over-sights it was wasted, is I confesse not much pertinent to this subject in hand: Notwithstanding, because the knowledge thereof may be of use for other mens direction, let me crave leave in a short Digression to present unto the Readers view, the whole order of the managing of such monies as were collected, with the successe and issue of the business vndertaken.
CHAP. 8 A digression manifesting the successe of the Plantation intended by the Westerne men.
THE first imployment then of this new raised Stocke, was in buying a small Ship of fiftie tunnes, which was with as much speed as might be dispatched towards New-England vpon a Fishing Voyage: the charge of which Ship with a new sute of sayles and other provisions to furnish her, amounted to more then three hundred pound. Now by reason the Voyage was undertaken too late; shee came at least a moneth or six weekes later then the rest of the Fishing-Shippes, that went for that Coast; and by that meanes wanting Fish to make up her lading, the Master thought good to passe into Mattachusets bay, to try whether that would yeeld him any, which he performed, and speeding there, better then he had reason to expect: having left his spare men behind him in the Country at Cape Ann, he returned to a late and consequently a bad market in Spaine, and so home. The charge of this Voyage, with provision for foureteene spare men left in the Countrey, amounted to above eight hundred pound, with the three hundred pound expended vpon the Shippe, mentioned before. And the whole provenue (besides the Ship which remained to us still) amounted not to above two hundred pound; So the expence above the returne of that voyage came to 600 li and vpwards.
The next yeare was brought to the former Ship a Flemish Fly-boat of about 140. tunnes, which being unfit for a Fishing Voyage, as being built meerly for burthen, and wanting lodging for the men which shee needed for such an employment, they added unto her another deck (which seldome proves well with Flemish buildings) by which meanes shee was carved so high, that shee proved walt, and unable to beare any sayle: so that before shee could passe on upon her Voyage, they were faine to shift her first, and put her upon a better trimme, and afterwardes that proving to little purpose to vnlade her, and take her vp and furre her. Which notwithstanding it were performed with as much speede as might be, yet the yeare was aboue a moneth too far spent before she could dispatch to set to Sea againe. And when she arived in the Country, being directed by the Master of the smaller Ship (vpon the successe of his former yeares Voyage) to fish at Cape Anne not far from Mattachusets Bay, sped very ill, as did also the smaller Ship that led her thither, and found little Fish, so that the greater Ship returned with little more then a third part of her lading: and came backe (contrary to her order by which she was consigned to Bordeaux ) directly for England: so that the Company of Adventurers was put to a new charge to hire a small Shippe to carrie that little quantitie of Fish shee brought Home to Market.
The charge of this Voyage with both the ships, amounted to about two thousand two hundred pounds: whereof eight hundred pounds and upward must be accounted for the building, and other charges about the greater Ship. By these two Ships were left behinde in the Country about thirtie-two men, the charges of whose wages and provision, amounted to at the least five hundred pounds of the summe formerly mentioned. The provenue of both the Voyages that yeare exceeded not the summe of fiue hundred pounds at the most.
The third yeare 1625. both Ships with a small Vessell of fortie tuns which carried Kine with other prouisions, were againe set to Sea upon the same Voyage with the charge of two thousand pounds, of which summe the Company borrowed, & became indebted for one thousand pounds and upwards. The great Ship being commanded by a uery able Master, hauing passed on about two hundred leagues in her Voyage, found her selfe so leake by the Carpenters fault, (that looked not well to her Calking) that she bare up the Helme and returned for Waymouth, & having unladen her provisions and mended her leake, set her selfe to Sea againe; resolving to take aduice of the Windes whether to passe on her former Voyage or to turne into New-found-land, which she did, by reason that the time was so far spent, that the Master and Company dispaired of doing any good in New-England: where the Fish falls in two or three mounths sooner then at New-found-land. There she tooke Fish good store and much more then she could lade home: the overplus should have beene sold and deliuered to some sacke or other sent to take it in there, if the Voyage had beene well managed.
But that could not be done by reason that the Ship before she went was not certaine where to make her Fish; by this accident it fell out that a good quantitie of the Fish she tooke was cast away, and some other part was brought home in another Ship. At the returne of the Ships that yeare, Fish by reason of our warres with Spaine falling to a very low rate; the Company endevoured to send the greater Ship for France: but she being taken short with a contrary Winde in the West-Country, and intelligence given in the meane time that those Markets were over-laid, they were enforced to bring her backe againe, and to sell her Fish at home as they might. Which they did, and with it the Fish of the smaller Ship, the New-England Fish about ten shillings the hundred by tale or there about; the New-found-land Fish at six shillings foure pence the hundred, of which was well nigh eight pence the hundred charge raised vpon it after the Ships returne: by this reason the Fish which at a Market in all likely-hood might have yeelded well nigh two thousand pounds, amounted not with all the Provenue of the Voyage to above eleaven hundred pounds.
Vnto these losses by Fishing were added two other no small disaduantages, the one in the Country by our Land-Men, who being ill chosen and ill commanded, fell into many disorders and did the Company little seruice: The other by the fall of the price of Shipping, which was now abated to more then the one halfe, by which meanes it came to passe, that our Ships which stood vs in little lesse then twelue hundred pounds, were sold for foure hundred and eighty pounds.
The occasions and meanes then of wasting this stocke are apparently these. First, the ill choice of the place for fishing; the next, the ill carriage of our men at Land, who having stood vs in two yeares and a halfe in well nigh one thousand pound charge, never yeelded one hundred pound profit. The last the ill sales of Fish and Shipping. By all which the Aduenturers were so far discouraged, that they abandoned the further prosecution of this Designe, and tooke order for the dissoluing of the Company on Land, and sold away their Shipping and other Provisions.
Two things withall may be intimated by the way, the first, that the very proiect it selfe of planting by the helpe of a fishing Voyage, can never answer the successe that it seemes to promise (which experienced Fisher-men easily have foreseene before hand, and by that meanes haue preuented divers ensuing errors) whereof amongst divers other reasons these may serue for two. First that no sure fishing place in the Land is fit for planting, nor any good place for planting found fit for fishing, at least neere the Shoare. And secondly, rarely any Fisher-men will worke at Land, neither are Husband-men fit for Fisher-men but with long vse & experience. The second thing to be obserued is, that nothing new fell out in the managing of this stocke seeing experience hath taught vs that as in building houses the first stones of the foundation are buried vnder ground and are not seene, so in planting Colonies, the first stockes employed that way are consumed, although they serue for a foundation to the worke.
CHAP. IX. The undertaking and prosecution of the Colony by the Londoners.
BVT to returne to our former subject from which we digressed. Vpon the manifestation of the Westerne Aduenturers resolution to give off their worke, most part of the Land-men being sent for returned; but a few of the most honest and industrious resolved to stay behinde and to take charge of the Cattell sent over the yeare before; which they performed accordingly: and not likeing their seate at Cape Anne chosen especially for the supposed commoditie of fishing, they transported them selues to Nahum-keike,about foure or fiue leagues distant to the South-West from Cape Anne.
Some then of the Aduenturers that still continued their desire to set forwards the Plantation of a Colony there; conceiving that if some more Cattell were sent over to those few Men left behinde; they might not onely be a meanes of the comfortable subsisting of such as were already in the Country; but of inviting some other of their Friends and Acquaintance to come over to them: aduentured to send over twelue Kine and Buls more. And conferring casually with some Gentlemen of London, moved them to adde vnto them as many more. By which occasion the businesse came to agitation a-fresh in London,and being at first approved by some and disliked by others, by argument and disputation it grew to be more vulgar. In so much, that some men shewing some good affection to the worke, and offering the helpe of their purses, if fit men might be procured to goe over; Enquiry was made whither any would be willing to engage their persons in the Voyage: by this enquiry it fell out that among others they lighted at last on Master Endecott, a man well knowne to divers persons of good note: who manifested much willingnesse to accept of the offer as soone as it was tendered: which gaue great encouragement to such as were upon the point of resolution to set on this worke, of erecting a new Colony upon the old foundation. Hereupon divers persons having subscribed for the raising of a reasonable Summe of Mony: A Patent was granted with large encouragements every way by his most Excellent Maiestie. Master Endecott was sent over Governour assisted with a few men, and arriving in safety there, in September 1628. and uniting his owne men with those which were formerly planted in the Country, into one body, they made up in all not much above fiftie or sixtie persons. His prosperous Iourney and safe arrivall of himselfe and all his Company, and good report which he sent backe of the Country, gave such encouragement to the worke, that more Aduenturers joyning with the first Vndertakers, and all engaging themselues more deepely for the prosecution of the Designe; they sent over the next yeare about three hundred persons more, most seruants with a conuenient proportion of rother Beasts, to the number of sixty or seventy or there about and some Mares and Horses, of which the Kine came safe for the most part; but the greater part of the Horses dyed, so that there remained not above twelue or fourteen alive. By this time the often agitation of this affayre in sundry parts of the Kingdome, the good report of Captaine Endecotts Government and the encrease of the Colony began to awaken the Spirits of some Persons of competent estates, not formerly engaged, c?sidering that they lived either without any vsefull employment at home, and might be more seruiceable in assisting the planting of a Colony in New-England, tooke at last a resolution to unite themselues for the prosecution of that worke: And as it usually falls out: some other of their acquaintance, seeing such men of good estates engaged in the Voyage, some for love to their persons, and others upon other respects united unto them, which together made up a competent number (perhaps far lesse then is reported) and embarked themselues for a Voyage to New-England, where I hope they are long since safely arrived.
This is an unpartiall, though briefe Relation of the occasion of planting of this Colony. The particulars whereof, if they could be entertained, were cleare enough to any indifferent judgement, that the suspicious and scandalous reports raysed upon these Gentlemen and their friends (as if under the colour of planting a Colony they intended to rayse and erect a seminary of faction and separation) are nothing else but the fruits of jealousie of some distempered minde, or which is worse, perhaps savour of a desperate malicious plot of men ill affected to Religion, endevouring by casting the vndertakers into the jealousie of State, to shut them out of those advantages which otherwise they doe and might expect from the Countenance of Authoritie. Such men would be entreated to forbeare that base and unchristian course of traducing innocent persons, under these odious names of Separatists and enemies to the Church and State, for feare least their owne tongues fall upon themselves by the justice of his hand who will not fayle to cleare the innocency of the just, and to cast backe into the bosome of every slaunderer the filth that he rakes up to throw in other mens faces. As for men of more indifferent and better tempered mindes, they would be seriously advised to beware of entertaining and admitting, much more countenancing and crediting such uncharitable persons as discover themselves by their carriage, and that in this particular, to be men ill affected towards the worke it selfe, if not to Religion (at which it aymes) and consequently unlikely to report any truth of such as undertake it.
The Conclusion of the whole Treatise.
NOw for the better preventing of such suspitions and jealousies, and the ill affections to this Worke, that may arise thereupon; two things are earnestly requested of such as passe their Censures upon it, or the persons that undertake it. The first is, that although in this barren and corrupt age wherein we live, all our actions are generally swayed and carryed on by private interests; in so much as sincere intentions of furthering the common good; (grounded upon that love through which we are commanded to serve one another) be the wonders of men; notwithstanding men would not thinke it impossible, that the love which waxeth cold and dyeth in the most part, yet may revive and kindle in some mens hearts: and that there may be found some that may neglect their ease and profit to doe the Church good and God service, out of a sincere love and affection to Gods honour and the Churches good. Why may not wee conceive that God may prevaile upon the hearts of his servants, to set them on as effectually to seeke the inlargement of his kingdome; as a blind zeale fomented by the art and subtilitie of Satan may thrust on Priests and Iesuites, and their partisans, to engage their persons and estates for advancing of the Devils Kingdome? Or if in the Worlds infancy, men out of an ambitious humour, or at present for private advantages and expectation of gaine, thrust themselves out from their owne dwellings into parts farre remote from their native soyle; why should not we conceive, that if they doe this for a corruptible crowne; that the desire and expectation of an incorruptible (the reward of such as deny themselves for the service of God and his Church) may as strongly allure such as by patient c?tinuance in well-doing, seeke immortalitie & life? And yet the favourable conceits that men entertaine of such as follow in all their actions the wayes of their private gaine, and the jealousies that they are apt to entertaine of such as pretend onely the advancement of the Gospell, manifestly argue that the generall opinion of the world is that some may be true to themselves and the advancement of their owne private estates, but hardly any to God and his Church. I should be very unwilling to thinke, they cherish this suspition upon that ground that moved that sensuall Emperour to beleeve that no man was cleane or chaste in any part of his body, because himselfe was defiled and uncleane in all. This is then the first favour that is desired, of such as consider this action, to beleeve that it is neither impossible nor unlikely that these mens intentions are truely and really such as they pretend, and not collours and cloakes for secret dangerous purposes, which they closely harbour in their breasts, especially when all apparent circumstances, concurre to justifie the contrary.
The next request that is presented to all indifferent minded men is; that they would be pleased to set before their eyes that which hath beene alreadie mentioned, that as there followed the children of Israel a mixt multitude out of Egypt, so it is probable there may doe these men out of England, and that of divers tempers: some perhaps men of hot and fiery spirits, making change and innovation their scope, may conceive that (when they see that for the desire and care of preserving unitie and love, and taking away occasions of offence to tender consciences, some changes and alterations are yeelded unto) they have gained what they expect, and may as fondly triumph in their supposed Victory, as if they had overthrowne all order and discipline; as they doe absurdly mistake the grounds and ends which the course of Government proposeth and aymeth at: and thereupon in their Relations to their friends, represent things not as they are really done and intended, but as they apprehend them in their fantasies. Others there will be that prooving refractary to Government, expecting all libertie in an unsetled body; and finding the restraint of Authority, contrary to expectation, in their discontented humours, meeting with no other way of revenge, may be ready to blemish the Government with such scandalous reports as their malicious spirits can devise and utter.
Now although some say, that malice is a good informer notwithstanding no wise or good man admits it for a fit Iudge; if therefore men will be pleased to forbeare the over-hastie beliefe of such reports, as shall be sent over or given out, either by men of foolish and weake mindes or distempered humors, untill they receive more assured satisfaction from such as understand and are acquainted with the grounds and secret passages of the affayres of Government, they shall keepe their owne hearts upon the even-ballance of a right judgement, and provide for the innocency of those upon whom they passe their censure.
If by these meanes jealousies and suspitions may be prevented, I make no question but the relations which this Worke hath both to the State and Church, will upon mature advise so farm prevaile with all well-minded men, as to move them not onely to affoord their prayers for the prosperous successe of this new planted Colony, that from small and contemptible beginnings, it may grow to a setled and well formed Church; but with all their best furtherance, Consilio, auxilio, re, by advise, friends, and purses. Which howsoever the principalls of this worke, out of their modestie, crave not, yet the necessary burdens which so weightie an undertaking chargeth them withall, will certainely inforce them to need, whatsoever men judge to the contrary. Neither is or will the burden be intolerable to this State; A common stocke of ten thousand pound may be sufficient to support the weight of generall charges of transporting and maintaining Ministers, Schoole-Masters, Commanders for Warres; and erecting of such buildings as will be needfull for publique use for the present; and for time to come it cannot be questioned but the Colony it selfe having once taken roote, when mens labours beginne to yeeld them any fruit, will be found sufficient to beare her own burden. Alas, what were it for a Marchant or a Gentleman of reasonable estate, to disburse twentie-fiue pound or fiftie pound, for the propagating of the Gospell, who casts away in one yeare much more upon superfluities in apparell, dyer, buildings, &c: and let men seriously weigh and consider with themeselves, whether a worke of so great importance, so neerely concerning Gods honour, and the service of the Church calling upon them (as Lazarus upon Dives ) for some of the wast of their superfluous expences; if they lend a deafe eare to the motion, will not assuredly plead strongly against them at the barre of Christs judgement-seate at the last day? Nay, what a scorne would it be to the Religion we professe, that we should refuse to purchase the propagation of it at so easie a rate, when the Popish partie charge themselves with such excessiue expences; for the advancement of idolatry and superstition? Its true, it will be valued at a low rate, that the Colony is able to returne you againe by way of recompence; perhaps the enjoying of such immunities and priviledges, as his Majestie hath beene pleased to grant unto them, and an hundred or two hundred acres of Land to every man that shall disburse twentie-fiue pound, and so for more proportionablie, for the raising of the common Stocke; yet their posteritie (if not themselves) may have cause in time to come, to acknowledge it a good purchase that was made at so low a rate: but if they lend, looking for nothing againe, wee know the promise Luk. 6. 35. he is no looser, that hath made God his debter.
SOURCE: White, John, 1575-1648. The planters plea· Or The grounds of plantations examined, and vsuall objections answered Together with a manifestation of the causes mooving such as have lately vndertaken a plantation in Nevv-England: for the satisfaction of those that question the lawfulnesse of the action. London: Printed by William Iones [, M. Flesher, and J. Dawson], 1630.