« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
X. From the ordination of Mr. Wadsworth, to that of Mr. Bridge,
1705. . . . . . . . . . . . 146
1710. . . . . . . . . . . . 153
XVII. Character of Mr. Emerson. .
. . . 223
From the formation of the Church, 1630, to the settlement of
Mr. Cotton, 1633.
The four men particularly eminent and active in SECT. I.
The first of these illustrious characters was the first governour of Massachusetts.
The second was a gentleman of family and fortune, who, with his honourable lady, was swept away by the ravages of a mortal disease in the infancy of the settlement.
Mr. Dudley was a long time deputy-governour, and afterwards governour of the colony.
Mr. Wilson was a minister of religion, abound. ing in zeal, prudence, and charity.
SECT. I. Such were the leaders in the honourable enter
prise of founding a religious colony. With others of similar religious and political opinions, they had for some time belonged to an association in London, called “ The governour and company of Massachusetts Bay.” On leaving England, they brought with them the patent, or charter, of the plantation. The members of this company were distinguished, among the settlers of the American wilderness, for piety, wealth, talents, and liberality. In principle indeed they were puritans ; but they never seceded from the episcopal church, until they left their country.
The Arabella, the vessel, in which they crossed
the Atlantick, anchored in Massachusetts Bay, on 17 June.
the 17 June, 1630. After exploring Mystick river, they came ashore at Charlestown, on the first of July, with a view to a permanent resi
dence. 8 July. 8 July, a thanksgiving was observed in the
several plantations, and on the 23 August, the 23 Aug.
first court of assistants was holden on board the Arabella.
The first question agitated was, How shall the ministers be maintained ? It was agreed, that Mr. Phillips, minister of the Watertown plantation, should have 301. a year, and Mr. Wilson 201., until his wife, whom he had left in England, should come over, when he was to have the same. Sir R. Saltonstall undertook to see, that the agreement should be fulfilled in regard to
Mr. Phillips, and governour Winthrop assumed SECT. I. the same care for the salary of Mr. Wilson.
1630. As soon, as a few civil arrangements had been made, it was determined, that a church should be regularly imbodied.
On the 27 August therefore a fast was ap- 27 Aug. pointed, a covenant formed and subscribed, Mr... Wilson was chosen teacher, Mr. Nowell an elder, and Mr. Gager and Mr. Aspinwall deacons. These gentlemen were severally confirmed in office by the imposition of hands and by prayer. It was however universally understood, that the ceremony, as it respected Mr. Wilson, did not imply a renunciation of the ministry, which he received in England.
The following is the form of covenant, which was subscribed by the members.
“ In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in obedience to his holy will and divine ordinance,
“We, whose names are here underwritten, being by his most wise and good providence brought together into this part of America, in the Bay of Massachusetts, and desirous to unite into one congregation or church, under the Lord Jesus Christ, our head, in such sort, as becometh all those, whom he hath redeemed, and sanctified to himself, do hereby solemnly and religiously, as in his most holy presence, promise and bind our. selves to walk in all our ways according to the rule of the gospel, and in all sincere conformity to his holy ordinances, and in mutual love and
SECT. 1. respect to each other so near, as God shall give 1630. us grace.”
Probably sixty-four men and half as many women immediately signed this religious obligation.
The first meeting place of the congregation was in the umbrage of a large tree. Whether they had better accommodations, during their continuance at Charlestown, and of how many weeks. or months exactly that continuance was, it is perhaps impossible to say. It is certain, that the settlers had scarcely rested, before they perceived, that the south side of the Charles was pref
erable to the north, both for commerce and situ1631. ation. Of course they began to remove to the
peninsula. At first those, who had thus removed, went back to worship at Charlestown on the Lord's days. In a little time, publick worship was celebrated alternately on each side of the river. At length the First Church took its station altogether in Trimontane, which was soon called Boston, after a place of the same name in Lincolnshire, England, where some of the emigrants were born, and whence they expected Mr. Cotton, a congregational minister of superlative worth..
Early in 1631, Mr. Wilson made a visit to England. On the morning of the 29 March, he had an affectionate meeting, at the governour's, with a number of the brethren, where he commended them in prayer to God, and exhorted them to steadfastness in faith, purity, and brotherly love. He recommended to them the strict observance