Page images

2. Argument

the earth to men.

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 aster us, as long as the earth yeelds empty places to be replenished.

Besides, the gift of the earth to the sonnes of from Gods gift of men, Psal. 115. 16. necessarily inforceth their

men 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 sone 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 marfrom the L w of riage in his first institution, viz. that married per

dagen s ons 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 person's 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 from the benefit scope, mans good, and Gods honour. Now that mens outward es- this commandement of God is directed unto mans

good ternporall 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

3. Argument

4. Argument

that comes to



froin the further

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 lustice; 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 5. Argument is in better temper by spreading wide, and by pour- ing of godlinesse ing, as it were, from vessell to vessell (the want and he

and honesty. whereof is alleaged by the Prophet leremy 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 every 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. Gods 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

6. Argument from the aduancement of Gods glory.


7. Argument

wherewith God

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 from the abilities command, and abilities to performe it, usually goe furnisheth men together, we may guesse at his intention and will,

worke. 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 ease 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 laske as is the subduing of unınanured Countreyes.

for this worke.

Objection. 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.

Answer. 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 8. Argumenti summons the first undertakers of planting Colonies Gods acknowhad; whether from the mouth of God immediately

ledgement of

peopling the (as Abraham first, and the Children of Israel after- en wards,) or from the advice and Counsell of men ; 61 BITTE 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.


drawne from

earth to bee his owne worke.

[ocr errors]

What ends may bee proposed in planting Colonies ?,

He 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 Dutch Colonies 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 with

oped by the that have all states of

out 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 erect

« PreviousContinue »