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Abdelmalek Essadi University American

Literature
Department of English Studies Semester
6
Tétouan Dr. A.
Akbib

Excerpts from William Bradford’s account of the Pilgrims and their


perilous situation upon their arrival in the New World:

"Being thus arrived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell
upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them
over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and
miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their
proper element.... But here I cannot but stay and make a pause, and stand
half amazed at this poor people's present condition; and so I think will the
reader too when he well consider the same. Being thus passed the vast
ocean and a sea of troubles before, in their preparation,... they had now
no friends to welcome them, nor inns to entertain or refresh their weather-
beaten bodies, no houses or much less towns to repair to, to seek for
succor. It is recorded in scripture as mercy to the apostle and his
shipwrecked company, that the barbarians showed them no small
kindness in refreshing them; but these savage barbarians when they met
with them... were readier to fill their sides full of arrows than otherwise.
And for the season, it was winter; and they that know the winters of that
country know them to be sharp and violent, and subject to cruel and fierce
storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search an
unknown coast. Besides what could they see but a hideous and desolate
wilderness, full of wild beasts and wild men? And what multitudes there
might be of them, they knew not. Neither could they, as it were, go up to
the top of Pisgah, to view from this wilderness a more goodly country to
feed their hopes; for which way soever they turned their eyes (save
upward to the heavens) they could have little solace or content in respect
of any outward objects. For summer being done, all things stared upon
them with a weather-beaten face; and the whole country, full of woods
and thickets, represented a wild and savage hue. If they looked behind
them, there was the mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as
a main bar and gulf to separate them from all the civil parts of the world....
May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say : `Our
fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean and were
ready to perish in this wilderness; but they cried unto the Lord and he
heard their voice and looked on their adversity. Let them therefore praise
the Lord because he is good and his mercies endure for over.'"

History of the Plimoth Plantation, William Bradford, 1590-1657.

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Abdelmalek Essadi University American
Literature
Department of English Studies Semester
6
Tétouan Dr. A.
Akbib

Excerpts from “A Model of Christian Charity’


By Governor John Winthrop
(1630 on board the Arbella)

….

It rests now to make some application of this discourse.…

1. For the persons. We are a company professing ourselves fellow


members of Christ, in which respect only though we were absent from
each other many miles, and had our employments as far distant, yet we
ought to account ourselves knit together by this bond of love, and live in
the exercise of it, if we would have comfort of our being in Christ.…

2nly for the work we have in hand. It [our task] is by a mutual consent,
through a special overvaluing providence and a more than an ordinary
approbation of the Churches of Christ, to seek out a place of
cohabitation… under a due form of Government both civil and
ecclesiastical. In such cases as this, the care of the public must oversway
all private respects, by which, not only conscience, but mere civil policy,
does bind us. For it is a true rule that particular Estates cannot subsist in
the ruin of the public.

3ly The end is to improve our lives to do more service to the Lord; the
comfort and increase of the body of Christ, whereof we are members; that
ourselves and posterity may be the better preserved from the common
corruptions of this evil world, to serve the Lord and work out our Salvation
under the power and purity of his holy ordinances.

4thly for the means whereby this must be effected. They are twofold, a
conformity with the work and end we aim at. These we see are
extraordinary, therefore we must not content ourselves with usual
ordinary means. Whatsoever we did, or ought to have done, when we lived
in England, the same must we do, and more also, where we go. That which
the most in their churches maintain as truth in profession only, we must
bring into familiar and constant practice; as in this duty of love, we must
love brotherly without dissimulation, we must love one another with a pure
heart fervently. We must bear one another’s burdens. We must not look
only on our own things, but also on the things of our brethren. Neither

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must we think that the Lord will bear with such failings at our hands as he
does from those among whom we have lived.…When God gives a special
commission he looks to have it strictly observed in every article…

Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into covenant
with Him for this work. We have taken out a commission. The Lord hath
given us leave to draw our own articles. We have professed to enterprise
these and those accounts, upon these and those ends. We have hereupon
besought Him of favor and blessing. Now if the Lord shall please to hear
us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He ratified this
covenant and sealed our commission, and will expect a strict performance
of the articles contained in it; but if we shall neglect the observation of
these articles which are the ends we have propounded, and, dissembling
with our God, shall fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our
carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves and our posterity, the
Lord will surely break out in wrath against us, and be revenged of such a
people, and make us know the price of the breach of such a covenant.

Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity,
is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk
humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work,
as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must
be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others’
necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all
meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each
other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together,
labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission
and community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we
keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God,
and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and will command a
blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His
wisdom, power, goodness and truth, than formerly we have been
acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten
of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when He shall
make us a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations,
"may the Lord make it like that of New England." For we must consider
that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are
upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work
we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present
help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the
world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of
God, and all professors for God's sake. We shall shame the faces of many
of God's worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses
upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going.

And to shut this discourse with that exhortation of Moses, that faithful
servant of the Lord, in his last farewell to Israel, Deut. 30. "Beloved, there
is now set before us life and death, good and evil," in that we are
commanded this day to love the Lord our God, and to love one another, to
walk in his ways and to keep his Commandments and his ordinance and

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his laws, and the articles of our Covenant with Him, that we may live and
be multiplied, and that the Lord our God may bless us in the land whither
we go to possess it. But if our hearts shall turn away, so that we will
not obey, but shall be seduced, and worship other Gods, our
pleasure and profits, and serve them; it is propounded unto us
this day, we shall surely perish out of the good land whither we
pass over this vast sea to possess it.

Therefore let us choose life,


that we and our seed may live,
by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him,
for He is our life and our prosperity.

Abdelmalek Essadi University American


Literature
Department of English Studies Semester
6
Tétouan Dr. A.
Akbib

A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY


by Roger Wiliams (1644)
(Excerpts)

First, that the blood of so many hundred thousand souls of Protestants and
Papists, spilt in the wars of present and former ages, for their respective
consciences, is not required nor accepted by Jesus Christ the Prince of
Peace.

Secondly, pregnant scriptures and arguments are throughout the work


proposed against the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience.

Thirdly, satisfactory answers are given to scriptures, and objections


produced by Mr. Calvin, Beza, Mr. Cotton, and the ministers of the New
English churches and others former and later, tending to prove the
doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience.

Fourthly, the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience is proved


guilty of all the blood of the souls crying for vengeance under the altar.

Fifthly, all civil states with their officers of justice in their respective
constitutions and administrations are proved essentially civil, and
therefore not judges, governors, or defenders of the spiritual or Christian
state and worship.

Sixthly, it is the will and command of God that (since the coming of his Son
the Lord Jesus) a permission of the most paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or
antichristian consciences and worships, be granted to all men in all nations

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and countries; and they are only to be fought against with that sword
which is only (in soul matters) able to conquer, to wit, the sword of God's
Spirit, the Word of God.

Seventhly, the state of the Land of Israel, the kings and people thereof in
peace and war, is proved figurative and ceremonial, and no pattern nor
president for any kingdom or civil state in the world to follow.

Eighthly, God requireth not a uniformity of religion to be enacted and


enforced in any civil state; which enforced uniformity (sooner or later) is
the greatest occasion of civil war, ravishing of conscience, persecution of
Christ Jesus in his servants, and of the hypocrisy and destruction of
millions of souls.

Ninthly, in holding an enforced uniformity of religion in a civil state, we


must necessarily disclaim our desires and hopes of the Jew's conversion to
Christ.

Tenthly, an enforced uniformity of religion throughout a nation or civil


state, confounds the civil and religious, denies the principles of Christianity
and civility, and that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.

Eleventhly, the permission of other consciences and worships than a state


professeth only can (according to God) procure a firm and lasting peace
(good assurance being taken according to the wisdom of the civil state for
uniformity of civil obedience from all forts).

Twelfthly, lastly, true civility and Christianity may both flourish in a state
or kingdom, notwithstanding the permission of divers and contrary
consciences, either of Jew or Gentile....

TRUTH. I acknowledge that to molest any person, Jew or Gentile, for either
professing doctrine, or practicing worship merely religious or spiritual, it is
to persecute him, and such a person (whatever his doctrine or practice be,
true or false) suffereth persecution for conscience.

But withal I desire it may be well observed that this distinction is not full
and complete: for beside this that a man may be persecuted because he
holds or practices what he believes in conscience to be a truth (as Daniel
did, for which he was cast into the lions' den, Dan. 6), and many
thousands of Christians, because they durst not cease to preach and
practice what they believed was by God commanded, as the Apostles
answered (Acts 4 & 5), I say besides this a man may also be persecuted,
because he dares not be constrained to yield obedience to such doctrines
and worships as are by men invented and appointed....