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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 #.o. - - - rom the furtherin better temper by spreading wide, and by pour- io ing, 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 of
- - rom the ad
the respect unto Gods honor, which is much ad- or vanced 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 7. Argument --- - o; command, and abilities to performe it, usually goe footh on 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 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 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 inan, can desine what particular of summons the first undertakers of planting Colonies ow. had ; whether from the mouth of God immediately of (as Abraham first, and the Children of Israel after- ...” wards,) or from the advice and Counsell of men; yet, that the wise.dome 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.
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
To Fnds that men have proposed to themselves, in 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
ing 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 hon, so among men, it hath alwayes held a constant way of from East to West, and hath, in that Line, pro- beginning. ceeded 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 stom one end of the world to the other, that is, from East to West ? But passing by that onely as a probable argu- "...".
the promise of
ment; this which followes seemes to carry greater off. weight. whole world. 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 Inhabitäts 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