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MEMOIR OF WILLIAM BRADFORD, Esq. GOVERNOR OF THE COLONY OF PLYMOUTH, NORTH AMERICA,
BIOGRAPHY is deeply in arrear relatives appear to have been exto the eminent private Christians, ceptions to the general character who have lived in the communion, of the vicinity ; but notwithand who have suffered for the standing these unfavourable cirprinciples, of the nonconformist cumstances, divine wisdom and churches; a circumstance which mercy brought him to an early acis much to be regretted, both as quaintance with true religion. time is obliterating the memory of Sickness withheld him from the many whose names were once vanities of youth ; and at the age fragrant on earth, and as the lives of twelve years, the reading of of eminent private Christians are the Bible, a book at that time very adapted to excite the attention, little known in his neighbourhood, and to advance the piety of them, deeply impressed his mind; this who are pursuing the active con- impression was strengthened and cerns of the world. Protestant improved by the ministry of Mr. dissent is sometimes represented Richard Clifton, who at that time as at best the cause of a too scru- preached in the vicinity of Ansterpulous ministry; memoirs of the field. The obligations of the headescription in view, would show thenish population of England, to that, by many religious and think- the puritans, who sought a refuge ing men, nonconformity has been from tyranny in the obscurest felt as the cause of the people. corners of the land, will never be Of the number of the eminent pri- fully known in the present state. vate members of our churches, of Mr. Bradford had not been long whom some memorials remain, is the subject of impressions of piety, the subject of the following lines. when he was introduced to the so
William Bradford was born at ciety and friendship of some reliAnsterfield, in the county of gious people; it is worthy of reYork, in the year 1588; from his mark, that the young man who parents, who died in his childhood, introduced him to their notice, and he inherited a competent estate. who was thus the instrument of The care of his youth devolved confirming his religious character, first on his grand parents, and then became a notorious apostate; but on his uncles.
his friend had entered on a path The circumstances of Mr. Brad- which he never deserted; he had ford's early life, were very un- "joined himself to the Lord in a favourable to the formation of real perpetual covenant.” piety. The neighbourhood in. The greater part of the puritans, which he lived was grossly ig- a class of persons to which this norant and profane; nor do his pious youth must now be consiNew SERIES, No. 19.
dered as belonging, though they Mr. Bradford alludes, in the objected to many of the forms, yet reply, which has been quoted, to a remained in a connexion with the resolution, which liad been taken by establishment; but Mr. Bradford some religious persons belonging to soon united with them who sepa- the congregational churches, which rated altogether from her commu- had then been recently formed in nion. His procedure with regard the North of England, to remove to this point would have honoured with their families to Holland, for a maturer age; “ he set himself, the purpose of the unmolested enby reading, by discourse, by joyment of the ordinances of reliprayer, to learn whether it was not gion in their primitive purity. his duty to withdraw from the com- With a number of his brethren munion of the parish assemblies, who had entered on this design, and engage with some society of Mr. Bradford associated himself; the faithful, that shall keep close but the master of the vessel which unto the written word of God, as was to have conveyed the party the rule of their worship ?” The from their native land, betrayed results were a determination in the them to their enemies, and these affirmative, and a practice agree- suffering Christians were lodged in able to his decisions.
Boston gaol. The youth of Mr. It may be readily supposed, Bradford procured him a speedy that such a step procured him the dismissal, and he was soon on scoffs of some, and the indignation board another vessel, with a view of others; but he bore persecution to transport himself to Holland. with the united firmness and humi- The case of the pious people lity of a Christian confessor. To who were associated in this second his friends, who remonstrated with enterprise was exceedingly dishim, he replied, “ were I likely to tressing. They had engaged with endanger my life, or consume my the master of a Dutch vessel to estate by any ungodly courses, take them on board at a retired your counsels to me were very spot, in the vicinity of Hull; but, seasonable ; but you know I have going to the place before the time been diligent and provident in my appointed, they were discovered calling, and not only desirous to by the officers of a neighbouring augment what I have, but also to parish, who, accompanied by a enjoy it in your company; to part body of soldiers, came to apprewith which will be as great a cross hend them. At the period of the as can befal me; nevertheless, to arrival of this hostile force, several keep a good conscience, and walk of the men, among whom was Mr. in such a way as God has pre- Bradford, were on board; while scribed in his word, is a thing the women were in a bark, which which I must prefer before you lay a-ground in a creek, at low all, and above life itself; where. water. The captain, in order to fore, since it is for a good cause secure himself from annoyance, that I am like to suffer the disasters adopted the expedient of immediwhich you lay before me, you have ately setting sail; and thus bruno cause to be angry with me or tally deprived many of the women sorry for me; yea, I am not only of their husbands, and many of willing to part with every thing the children of their fathers. In that is dear to me in this world for the mean time, the vessel proceedthis cause, but I am also thankful ed on its course; but it had not that God has given me a heart so to gone far before a violent storm do, and will accept me, so to suffer arose, which continued, with but for him :" a noble testimony for a little intermission, for fourteen youth of eighteen.
days, and at length drove them on
the coast of Norway. The sailors “ They felt,” says the historian of were in despair ; but the pious New England, “ that they were passengers maintained a cheerful neither for health, nor purse, nor reliance on the good providence of language, well accommodated ; God-a reliance which was ho- but the concern they most of all noured by their attaining ultimately had, was for their posterity. They " their desired haven." While the saw that whatever banks the Dutch good men were thus encountering had against the inroads of the sea, the perils of the sea, the defence- they had not sufficient ones against less women, whom they had left the flood of manifold profaneness. on their native shore, were carried They could not, with ten years' en. from one magistrate to another; deavour, bring their neighbours to but their sex, their innocence, their any suitable observation of the Lord's exemplary behaviour, pleaded ef- day; without which they knew fectually for their release, and, that all practical religion must after a short period, they found wither miserably."* _" Moreover, the means of joining their connec- they were very loth to lose their intions in Holland.
terest in the English nation ; but As soon as Mr. Bradford had ar- were desirous rather to enlarge rived on the continent, he was ac- their king's dominions. They found cused by an Englishman of having themselves also under a very strong fled from Britain ; but when the disposition of zeal to attempt the magistrates became acquainted establishment of Congregational with the nature of his crime, they churches in the remote parts of the immediately dismissed him, and world.” It was, at length, deterhe soon united himself to his ex mined that the younger and iled countrymen.
stronger part of the church should Industry being requisite to his first encounter the hardships of support, he learned the art of silk- colonization, and that the remainweaving; but this unaccustomed ing part, attended by their pastor, labour was amply rewarded by should remain at Leyden, till the the delight which he found in the eligibleness of a removal to the social ordinances of the Gospel, new world could be ascertained. conducted in all their purity, and In pursuance of this resolution, undisturbed by the secular power, the brethren who had determined
Having attained his majority on a departure, of which number about two years after his settle- was the subject of this paper, emment in Holland, he sold his barked at Delft Harbour, on July estate, and entered into business ; 2, 1620. Previously to the embut he was disappointed in his pro- barkation, the excellent pastor, jects, and lost a considerable part Mr. Robinson, knelt down on the of his property. These distressing sea shore, and commended them events he attributed to a decay in his personal piety, a decay too . The moral and religious pre-eminence often found in voung men when of Britain over most of the Protestant
countries is, in a considerable degree, to entering on the cares of life; and
be attributed to the greater deference she he piously concluded that God yields to the Lord's day; and for this had permitted the consumption of greater deference she is indebted to the his substance to prevent the con
labours and sufferings of our Puritan
ancestors. The duty of religiously obserysuinption of his religion.
ing the whole of the Lord's day was once When Mr. Bradford had re- regarded as a tenet of Puritanism. Hapsided for a few years in Holland, pily this sentiment is not now regarded various circumstances led the Eng- as a peculiarity of dissent. The Church lish church at Leyden to think of
of of England may be considered as having,
in this instance, embraced a distinguishing a removal to North America. sentiment of the Nonconformists.
to the divine .keeping. So affect- joined by a number of their ing was the scene, that even the friends, and from thence, in two Dutch spectators were drowned vessels, proceeded to the point of in tears. The colonizers first sailed their destination. to Southampton, where they were (To be concluded in our next.)
ORIGINAL ESSAYS, COMMUNICATIONS, &c.
nnnnom ON THE BAPTISM OF ROMAN proceed from the character of the CATHOLICS.
community by which he is desigWe have received the following important nated ?
communication from an esteemed Mis- Were an ordinance administered sionary in India, which we readily insert, as it will answer the queries of oy an unauthorized person, wouia our friend Investigator, which we pub- its administration · be considered lisbed among our minor correspondence valid ? And if not, would it not in April last.
be thought necessary that it should What is the original and avowed be re-administered ? character of the Church of Rome, If a principal object of Christian and is that proved to be a fixed baptism be to introduce the subject character ? .
of it into the visible Church of How far does the character of Christ, does Roman Catholic the Romish Church correspond baptism accomplish this, or does with the Scriptural delineations of it not rather introduce him into the Antichrist ?
communion of Antichrist, and into In what light do the principles of the worship of others besides the Protestant Reformers present God ? the Church of Rome? Do these Would not the recognition of principles recognize her as sepa- the validity of ordinances, as admirated -as excommunicated from nistered by the Romish church, the Christian Church ?
be an act of communion with AnWould ordinances administered tichrist, and is this consistent with by an excommunicated person the principles of the Protestant possess Christian validity ? Reformation ?
Do the clergy and other officers Admitting that the first re- : of the Church of Rome in that formers were baptized in the capacity sustain any relation to Romish Church, and were not rethe spiritual Church of Christ? baptized when they separated, is
Is an ordinance administered by this necessarily an argument from one, proved to be a servant of the leading principles of ProtesAntichrist, in the correct sense of tantism against the propriety of the word, a Christian ordinance ? re-baptizing Roman Catholics
Would any one be authorized now ? May it not rather be adto administer Christian ordinances mitted that ordinances administered without an immediate and accre- in the Church of Rome, previous dited appointment? What con- to the Reformation, should be constitutes such an appointment in the sidered valid till that time, in the present day, and can it be obtained same manner as we would judge in the Romish Church ? . ! the administration of ordinances
Does the validity of an ordi- by an excommunicated pastor of nance administered by any one, any orthodox church valid till the arise from individual character period of his excommunicationmerely, or does it also, and mainly but no longer ? If in their prac