I am going to re-post these Thanksgiving History posts I did last year. These are not simple reading, but if you can work through it it is very enlightening to see the heart behind all these people who came to America. Their desire was truly worshiping in freedom and in truth. Enjoy!
You may think I've misspelled a word on my title- this is the original spelling of Plymouth. Here is my attempt at sharing with the world the real history of our country. I am going to change it a little, and here is an example of why:
"And first of ye occasion and indusments ther unto; the which that I may truly unfould, I must begine at ye very roote and rise of ye same. The which I shall endevor to manefest in a plaine stile, with singuler regard unto ye simple trueth in all things, at least as near as my slender judgemente can attaine the same..."
"Ye" is actually pronounced "the", and as you may have noticed, the same word can be spelled differently. (Ye and the)
Ok, so we start at the very beginning, when they are in England and just beginning to learn the real Truth in the Word of God. I am going to stick very closely with what is written here because it's the most important. Let me know if I need to break it down more.
" But that I may come more near my intention; when as by the travail and diligence of some godly and zealous preachers, and God's blessing on their labors, as in other places of the land, so in the North parts (of England), many became enlightened by the Word of God, and had their ignorance and sins discovered unto them, and began by His grace to reform their lives, and make conscience of their ways, the work of God was no sooner manifest in them, but presently they were both scoffed and scorned by the profane multitude, and the ministers urged with the yoke of subscription( as in comply with what the church is teaching), or else must be silenced; and the poor people were so vexed apparators (similar to social worker except within the church) and the courts, as truly their affliction was not small; which, notwithstanding, they bore many years with much patience, till they were occasioned (by the continuance and increase of these troubles, and other means which the Lord raised up in those days) to see further into things by the light of the Word of God... So many therefore of these professors (of the faith) as saw the evil of these things, in these parts, and whose hearts the Lord had touched with heavenly Zeal for His truth, they shook of this yoke of anti-Christian bondage, and as the Lord's free people, joined themselves (by a covenant of the Lord) into a church estate, in the fellowship of the Gospel, to walk in all His ways, make known of to be made known unto them, according to their best endeavors, whatsoever it should cost them, the Lord assisting them. And that it cost them something this ensuing history will declare...
'Of their departure into Holland and their troubles there about, with some of the many difficulties they found and met withal. '
Being thus constrained to leave their native soil and country, their lands and livings, and all their friends and familiar acquaintance, it was much, and thought marvelous by many. But to go into a country they knew not, where they must learn a new language, and get their livings theyknew not how, it being a dear(not sure what this means) place, and subject to the miseries of war, it was by many thought an adventure almost desperate, a case intolerable, and a misery worse than death...But these things did not dismay them (though they did sometimes trouble them) for their desires were set on the ways of God, and to enjoy His ordinances; but they rested on His providence, and knew whom they had believed. Yet this was not all, for though they could not stay, yet they couldn't go, because the ports and havens were shut against them, so as they were forced to seek secret means of conveyance, and to bribe and fee the mariners, and give extraordinary rates for their passages. And yet were they often times betrayed and both they and their goods intercepted and surprised, and thereby put to great trouble and charge..."
The next part describes some of what happened when they were trying to get out of England- they were betrayed, their goods taken from them, they were imprisoned for a month or more, and the ones that were released tried again the next spring. Long story short, they found a Dutchman that would take them to Holland, and they had the women and children go a day ahead to the meeting place, while the men traveled on foot. The men boarded another boat, but the way things fell out, the women and children got left behind because a company of horsemen with guns were coming after them. All the men were grieved and crying, but nothing could be done. They were then in an awful storm and" driven near the coast of Norway, the mariners themselves often despairing of life; and once with shrieks and cries gave over all, as if the ship had been foundered in the sea, and they sinking without recovery.But when man's hope and help had wholly failed, the Lord's power and mercy appeared in their recovery; for the ship rose again and the gave the mariners courage again to manage her. And if modesty would suffer me, I might declare with what fervent prayers they cried unto the Lord in this great distress..."
Well, I will stop for now- it's getting late for me :) To be continued...we'll find out what happened to the women and children left behind.
**picture from allposters.com