« PreviousContinue »
an inward calling, when the Lord moved the harte of a man to take that calling upon him, and fitted him with guiftes for the same; the second was an outward calling, which was from the people, when a company of beleevers are joyned togither in covenante, to walke togither in all the ways of God, and every member (being men) are to have a free voyce in the choyce of their officers, etc. Now, we being perswaded that these 2 men were so quallified, as the apostle speaks to Timothy, wher he saith, A bishop must be blamles, sober, apte to teach, etc.,1 I think I may say, as the eunuch said unto Philip, What should let from being baptised, seeing ther was water, and he beleeved? So these 2. servants of God, clearing all things by their answers, (and being thus fitted,) we saw noe reason but we might freely give our voyces for their election, after this triall. So Mr. Skelton was chosen pastor, and Mr. Higgi[n]son to be teacher; and they accepting the choyce, Mr. Higgi[n]son, with 3 or 4∙ of the gravest members of the church, laid their hands on Mr. Skellton, using prayer therwith. This being done, ther was imposission of hands on Mr. Higgi[n]son also. And since that time, Thursday (being, as I take it,
1 1 Tim. III. 2.
2 Acts VIII. 36.
"Their choice was after this manner, every fit member wrote, in a note, his name whom the Lord moved him to think was fit for a pastor, and so likewise, whom they would have for teacher." Bradford's Letter Book. A confession of faith and a covenant "in scripture-language" were prepared by Higginson, and thirty copies made for signing, that doubtless being the number of those "fit" to vote.
"By this laying on of hands Higginson and Skelton broke with the whole system of episcopal succession which Laud maintained, and illustrated the wholly congregational conception that it was within the province of every Christian congregation not only to choose but to ordain its own officers a conception which had been held in its fullness only by Separatists and Anabaptists." Walker, History of the Congregational Churches in the United States, 106. Morton states that the ordination of pastor and teacher occurred on August 6, and that Bradford and others set out from Plymouth to attend, but "coming by sea, [they] were hindred by cross winds, that they could not be there at the beginning of the day, but they came into the assembly afterward, and gave them the right hand of fellowship." New Englands Memoriall, *75. Walker doubts if those of New Plymouth were formally invited to participate in this ordination.
It is very clear from subsequent events that the course thus taken did not please all the members of the new church. John and Samuel Browne were sent back to
the .6. of August) is appoynted for another day of humilliation, for the choyce of elders and deacons, and ordaining of them.1
And now, good Sir, I hope that you and the rest of Gods people (who are aquainted with the ways of God) with you, will say that
are to testifie that according
Laters order in the thousand six hundred fifty fouce I did refigne up all the eftate of the faid Hugh Peters which hee had in New-England into the hands of me Yoke Winterop wittness my hand Charlos I TEL: Antipas Newman John flndrews:
hear was a right foundation layed, and that these 2. blessed servants of the Lord came in at the dore, and not at the window. Thus I have
England by Endecott, because they were dissatisfied with the form of worship adopted, as savoring too much of Separation. Rev. Ralph Smith, on the other hand, left Salem for Nantascoe, because the Salem church was not sufficiently Separatist to meet his desires. Another minister of this migration, Francis Bright, returned to England in the following year, for a cause, as is believed, not unlike that which governed the sending of the Brownes. In any event the middle course thus enforced did not commend itself to those in England any more than it did to those in Salem. The Company wrote to Endecott deprecatingly: "Wee may haue leaue to think that it is possible some vndigested councells haue too sodainely bin put in execucon, which may have ill construcon with the state heere, and make vs obnoxious to any adversary." And when it was learned that the sacraments had been denied to good church members like Winthrop, Dudley and Johnson, and baptism refused to Coddington's child, on the ground that they were not members of any local church, John Cotton wrote to Skelton: "You went hence of another judgment, and I am afraid your change hath sprung from New Plymouth men." The history and influence of this important step on the part of the Salem church are fully told in Walker, op. cited.
This imposition of hands is the exact ceremony described by Staresmore, vol. 1. p. 82, to which Sir John Wolstenholme made objection.
1 Some action was taken on this day, July 20, on the choice of elders and deacons, for Gott wrote: "Then there was proceeding in election of elders and deacons, but they were only named, and laying on of hands deferred, to see if it pleased God to send us more able men over." The full letter of Gott, dated July 30, is in Bradford Letter Book, 67.
made bould to trouble you with these few lines, desiring you to remember us, etc.1 And so rest,
At your service in what I may,
Salem, July 30. 1629. 
1 The missing words may be supplied from the Letter Book: "to Mr. Brewster, Mr. Smith, Mr. Fuller and the rest of the church." Morton says that "letters did pass between Mr. Higginson, and Mr. Brewster the reverend Elder of the Church of Plimouth, and they did agree in their judgements, viz., concerning the Church-Membership of the Children with their parents, and that Baptism was a seal of their Membership, only when they were adult," &c. New Englands Memoriall, *77.
• Charles Gott came in the Abigail with Endecott, requested admission as freeman October, 1630, and was a representative in the General Court, 1635. He removed to Wenham, and was instrumental in procuring a minister for that place after the physician-minister, John Fisk, had left the town in 1656, with a majority of the church. Gott died in 1667 or 1668.
Anno Dom: 1630.
SHLEY, being well supplyed, had quickly gathered a good parcell of beaver, and like a crafty pate he sent it all home,' and would not pay for the goods he had had of the plantation hear, but lett them stand still on the score, and tooke up still more. Now though they well enough knew his aime, yet they let him goe one, and write of it into England. But partly the beaver they received, and sould, (of which they weer sencible,) and partly by Mr. Allertons extolling of him, they cast more how to supplie him then the plantation, and something to upbraid them, with it. They were forct to buy him a barke allso, and to furnish her with a m[aste]r and men, to transporte his corne and provissions (of which he put of much); for the Indeans of those parts have no corne growing, and at harvest, after corne is ready, the weather grows foule, and the seas dangerous, so as he could doe litle good with his shallope for that purposs.
They looked ernestly for a timely supply this spring,' by the fishing ship which they expected, and had been at charg to keepe a stage for her; but none came, nor any supply heard of for them. At length they heard sume supply was sent to Ashley by a fishing ship, at which they something marvelled, and the more that they had no letters either from Mr. Allerton or Mr. Sherley; so they went on in their bussines as well as the[y] could. At last they heard of Mr. Peirce his arivall in the Bay of the Massachusetts, who brought passengers and goods thither. They presently sent a shallop, conceiv
1 I suppose this was in the fall of 1630. - PRINCE in Bradford Ms. They, that is, the New Plymouth Adventurers. PRINCE in Bradford Ms. 'This must be the spring of 1631, i.e. the spring after Ashley went to Penobscut. -PRINCE in Bradford Ms.
♦ Deane shows that Peirce was at Salem June 12, 1630; sails for Ireland or England
ing they should have some thing by him. But he tould them he had none; and a ship was sett out on fishing, but after 11 weekes beating at sea, she mett with shuch foull weather as she was forcte back againe for England, and, the season being over, gave off the vioage. Neither did
A tent and Coopers at worke
he hear of much goods in her for the plantation, or that she did belong to them, for he had heard some thing from Mr. Allerton tending that way. But Mr. Al
lerton had bought another ship, and was to come in her, and was to fish for bass to the eastward, and to bring goods, etc. These things did much trouble them, and half astonish them. Mr. Winslow haveing been to the eastward, brought nuese of the like things, with about August, 1630; set sail from Bristol, England, December 1, 1630; arrives from England at Natasket, February 5, 1630-31; sails from Salem, April 1, arrives at London, April 29, 1631; arrives again from England at Natasket, November 2, 1631. Winthrop does not name the captain or vessel by which the letters out of the White Angel were brought to Boston. Bradford was either mistaken or misinformed of the name of the master of the ship. Allerton went with Peirce in August, 1630. Life and Letters of John Winthrop, 11. 40.
1 June 27, 1631, letters from the White Angel, lately arrived at Saco, were brought to Governor Winthrop. "She brought [ ] cows, goats, and hogs, and many provisions, for the bay and for Plimouth. Mr. Allerton returned in this ship, and by him we heard, that the Friendship, which put out from Barnstable [eleven?] weeks before the Angel [about Christmas, 1630], was forced home again by extremity of foul weather, and so had given over her voyage. This ship, the Angel, set sail from [Bristol]." Winthrop, History, 1. *57.
Christopher Burkett may
have been master of the White Angel (p. 33 n, supra).