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their own bread by the sweat of their brow. But they did this, inspired by heavenly motives, for'a heavenly end. Their religious faith and zeal, and the exalted nature of their purposes, turned all the drudgery of life into something noble and divine. They realized the beautiful aspirations of one of the sweet poets, favorite at that day among the Puritans; one who prophesied of the glory of the Church in this Western World; one who, in a few simple stanzas, has conveyed the whole secret of conquest, as well as happiness, in the Colony of our Pilgrim Fathers, the Colony of principle and not of gain. FOR THY SAKE, reads the story both of their piety and prosperity, their perseverance and success.
Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see;
To do it as for 'Thee:
To run into an action ;
And give it Thy perfection.
On it may stay his eye;
And then the heaven espy.
Nothing can be so mean,
Will not grow bright and clean.
Makes drudgery divine ;
Makes that, and the action, fine.
That turneth all to gold :
THE VIRGINIA COMPANY AND THE MERCHANT ADVENTURERS.
The Virginia Company and the Merchant Adventurers being both connected with the early efforts of the Pilgrims in their colonizing enterprise, we will trace these phenomena briefly from the beginning.
In 1584 an expedition under patent from Elizabeth, was fitted out by Sir Walter Raleigh, and the first discovery was made, and rude possession taken, of the country then first named Virginia. Its extent took in the whole United States, being very indefinitely comprehensive. Some attempts were immediately made for colonizing, but they came to nothing.
In the year 1602, Captain Bart. Gosnold, setting out for Virginia, discovered Cape Cod. He made so successful a voyage, that on his ruturn, two companies were incorporated by King James in one Patent, bearing date of April 10th, 1606. The first Company consisting of members of the honorable city of London, and such adventurers as might join with them, were restricted to that part of the Coast of Virginia, between 34 and 41 degrees north latitude. The second company, from the cities of Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, and other western parts of England, had their range between 38 and 45 degrees. They were permitted to settle 100 miles along the coast, and 100 miles within land, but were to keep 100 miles from each other's limits. The whole country, including all New England, was then called Virginia, and was particularized by no other distinction than that of the names of Virginia North and South.
The proprietors of the patent for South Virginia began their settlement that same year, 1606, on James's River, and the next year laid the foundations of Jamestown.
The proprietors of the patent for North Virginia, Lord Chief Justice Popham, Sir Ferdinand Gorges, and others (sometimes called the Plymouth Company, as those of the South were called the London Company), likewise attempted a settlement at the North, which utterly failed, in the same years in which God was removing from England into Holland that Church Vine for which he was reserving the possessions of these Northern Patentees. These men, after a few unsuccessful efforts, gave up all thought of any plantation.
In the year 1614 came the voyage of Captain Smith, with his plan of North Virginia, which he called New England ; and after this date the name Virginia is confined to the possessions of the London Company, or the Southern Colony. And it was with this Virginia Company that the Pilgrims first endeavored to make their arrangements. And it was in the year 1617, when they first se on foot their plan of removal to America, that the great plague visited New England, and swept away thousands upon thousands of the natives.
Upon their talk of removing, sundry persons of note among the Dutch would have them go under them, and made them large offers. “But choosing to go under the English government, where they might enjoy their religious privileges without molestation, after humble prayers to God they first debated whether to go to Guiana or Virginia.' And though some, and none of the meanest, were earnest for the former, they at length determined for the latter, so as to settle in a distant body, but under the general government of Virginia. Upon which they sent Mr. Robert Cushman and Mr. John Carver to treat with the Virginia Company, and see if the King would give them Liberty of Conscience there."*.
Doubtless, if the King had given them Liberty of Conscience there, they would have gone out under the government of Virginia. And ill would it have fared with them, if that had been the case. For Virginia had been colonized by persons strongly attached to the Establishment, and under strict injunctions from the King that “the word and service of God should be preached and used according to the rites and doctrines of the Church of England.” They would certainly have had difficulty there, even with a separate Charter, for Liberty of Conscience, with a seal as broad as a barn-floor. It had been wisely objected that “if they lived among the English which were planted at Virginia, or so near them as to be under their government, they would be in as great danger to be troubled and persecuted for their cause of religion as if they lived in England, and it might be worse.” Nevertheless, they seem to have thought that an article from the King concerning liberty of conscience would secure all ; and their determination was, if they could get it, to go out under the Virginia Company. To this end they sent Cushman and Carver to England.
But though these agents of Mr. Robinson's people “find the Virginia Company” (says Governor Bradford) “very desirous of their going to the West India Territory, and willing to grant them a patent with as ample privileges as they could grant to any, and some of the chief of the company doubted not to obtain their suit of the King for Liberty in Religion, and to have it under the broad seal, as was desired, yet they found it a harder piece of work than they expected. For though many means were used, and diverse persons of worth, with Sir Robert Naunton, chief Secretary of State, labored with the King to obtain it, and others wrought with the Archbishop to give way thereto, yet all in vain. They indeed prevail so far, as that the King would connive at them and not molest them, provided they carry peaceably ; but to tolerate them by his public authority, under his seal, could not be granted. Upon which the agents return to Leyden, to the great discouragement of the people who sent them."*
* Prince's Chronology, Part I. p. 49.
This was a most auspicious discouragement and refusal. The mind pauses upon the idea of our Pilgrim Fathers making their first settlement in the West Indies, and one cannot but see in imagination the train of evils that would thence have ensued, in the undoubted flocking of a herd of worthless adventurers to swamp the Colony in that delicious climate, with indolence, divisions, insubordination, and dissolute habits. They would better have gone to Guiana, the romantic paradise of Raleigh's genius, whither his book of description, published in 1596, had directed their attention, as to a fair, rich, and mighty empire, where the trees were in delicious groves, where the deer came at call, where the evening birds were singing a thousand charming tunes to gentle airs in the forest, and where the very stones beneath their feet promised gold and silver. But these golden images had little power over the souls of the Pilgrims.
Casting themselves upon Divine Providence, they resolved to venture, getting as good a patent as they could, even without Liberty of Conscience. After long vexation and delay, through the disturbances and factions into which the Virginia Company had fallen, they did at length, in 1619, obtain a patent granted and confirmed under the Vir- , ginia Company's Seal. But here again, God was beforehand with them, arranging for them their disappointments as well as their accomplishments. The patent was taken out in the name of Mr. John Wincob, a religious gentle
* Prince, from Bradford, 50.