This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous ; in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures."

For a season they were shut up to the faith of Habakkuk, that simple faith, that beautiful and unmingled faith, that faith in God, and not in God's comforts; that faith in God, guided, fed, and strengthened by his word, and by no wild imagination. Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls ;-yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

There were such times, when they had to go to Isaiah 1. 10, and wait there till God's appearance, seeing no light, but in his own provision for just such a case. “ Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” Times there were, when they had to say, Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us ; but if not, if he please not, be it known to the whole world of darkness and distrust around and beneath us, we still trust in him, and have no misgivings, though he slay us.

And then, when they were ready to say,—My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord, heard they the voice of the Lord, and found its fulfilment,—“For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with everlasting mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer." the Lord will not cast off for ever ; but though he cause

“ For

grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies."

The history of their first Fast is a glorious testimony to the truth of these declarations in God's book. God planted the seed of that victorious day, that triumph of prayer, that day of God's own witness to his own faithfulness, at the time when they, in dependence on him, were putting their seed into the ground, and leaving there, under God's care, all their external reliance for the future. God set the root of conquest and praise in their disappointments and difficulties. Though he led them sometimes “three days in the wilderness without water," yet he kept them from murmuring; though he brought them sometimes to a fountain, and let them see that it was Marah, bitterness, yet his preventing grace suffered them not to distrust him or repine. He built up by all this discipline, a hardy and a cheerful piety, and a strong enduring faith; fixtures of character requisite for those who were "to raise up the foundations of many generations;" a faith, then most vigorous, when deepest in adversity; and a submissive cheerfulness, not running as an occasional mere thread or picture through a woof of blessings, but constituting both warp and woof, by God's grace, in the loom of his providence and word.

The history of this fast we will take mainly from Prince's .compendium of Winslow and Bradford. But to render it more striking, by bringing into one view the successive hardships, discouragements, and fears of the colony from the beginning, through this particular cause of the want of food and sore famine, even unto apprehended destruction, we will set out where the Journal leaves us, just before the lamented death of Governor Carver, in the spring of 1621. That affliction came upon them in seed-time; but that darkest day was at the beginning of the renewal of God's mercy in the health and prosperity of the little company. “ All the summer no want; while some were trad. ing, others were fishing cod, bass, &c. We now gather in our harvest, and as cold weather advances, there come in store of water-fowl, wherewith this place abounds, though afterwards they by degrees decrease; as also abundance of wild turkeys, with venison, &c. Fit our houses against winter, are in health, and have all things in plenty."

But now, even in a new cloud of mercy, lowers the threatening of change. Nov. 9th arrived the ship Fortune from England, the first reinforcement of the Pilgrims since the day, precisely a year before, when the May Flower came in sight of Cape Cod, and anchored in the harbor. This was the first news to gladden their hearts from their mother country, the first sail they had seen. In this ship “comes Mr. Cushman with thirty-five persons to live in the plantation, which not a little rejoices us. But both ship and passengers poorly furnished with provisions, so that we are forced to spare her some to carry her home, which threatens a famine among us, unless we have a timely supply."

It was excessive improvidence, and even cruelty, in those who sent out this ship, thus miserably to furnish her with provisions, not merely sending no food to the colony, when they sent thirty-five new mouths to be filled, but leaving the ship's company itself to be victualled from the colony for a return voyage! It was God's mercy, not man's wisdom, that the plantation was not ruined by this ship. Measures had now to be adopted in reference to want.

“ Upon her departure, the Governor and his assistant dispose the late comers into several families, find their provisions will now scarce hold out six months at half allowance, and therefore put them to it, which they bare patiently."

“ Trust not,” wrote Mr. Winslow by return of this ship, for such as might be thinking to join the plantation,“ trust not too much on us for corn at this time, for by reason of this last company that came depending wholly upon us, we shall have little enough till harvest.”

And now came the beginning of those straits, whereof Mr. Winslow said, "such was our state, as in the morning we had often our food to seek for the day, yet performed the duties of our other daily labors, to provide for aftertime; when at some times in some seasons, at noon I have seen men stagger by reason of faintness for want of food ; yet ere night, by the good providence and blessing of God, we have enjoyed such plenty as though the windows of heaven had been opened unto us.”

The stinted allowance continued till, under date of May in that year, the Pilgrims find themselves under pressure of severe want. “Our provision being spent, a famine begins to pinch us, and we look hard for supply, but none. arrives.”

At this time they spied a boat at sea, which proved to be a shallop from a ship called the Sparrow, bringing

seven passengers from Mr. Weston, but no victuals, nor hope of any : nor have we ever any afterwards; and by his letters find he has quite deserted us, and is going to settle a plantation of his own.”

This is the first notice we have of that miserable, base colony under this Weston, “merchant and citizen of London,” which caused such great trial and injury to the Pilgrims, and in the end died out utterly in want, unthrift, dishonesty, and wretchedness. In the end of June two ships from this Weston came into the harbor, “having in them some fifty or sixty men, sent over at his own charge to plant for him." These were courteously and kindly received by the Pilgrims, notwithstanding their own great straits. But evil was returned for good." The body of them refreshed themselves at Plymouth, while some most fit sought out a place for them. That little store of corn we had was exceedingly wasted by the unjust and dishonest walking of these strangers ; who, though they would sometimes seem to help us in our labor about our corn, yet spared not day and night to steal the same, it being then eatable and pleasant to taste, though green and unprofitable; and though they received much kindness, set light both by it and us, not sparing to requite the love we showed them with secret backbitings, revilings, &c. Nevertheless, we continued to do them whatsoever good or furtherance we could, attributing these things to the want of conscience and discretion, expecting each day when God in his providence would disburden us of them, sorrowing that their overseers were not of more ability and fitness for their places, and much fearing what would be the issue of such raw and unconscionable proceedings."

These miserable adventurers settled at Wessagusset, afterwards called Weymouth, in Massachusetts Bay.

There were three things, Mr. Winslow said, which were " the overthrow and bane of plantations;" the third thing, “ the carelessness of those that send over supplies of men unto them, not caring how they be qualified ; so that ofttimes they are rather the images of men endowed with bestial, yea, diabolical affections, than the image of God, endued with reason, understanding, and holiness. There is no godly, honest man, but will be helpful in his kind, and adorn his profession with an upright life and conversation; which doctrine of manners ought first to be preached by giving good example to the poor savage heathens amongst whom they live. Great offence hath been given by many profane men, who, being but seeming Christians, have made Christianity stink in the nostrils of the poor infidels."

The boat that brought the seven new mouths to be filled, but no victuals, brought also a kindly letter from the captain of a fishing ship at the eastward, Mr. John Huddleston, to whom the governor of the Pilgrim Colony sent forth with a boat under Mr. Winslow for provisions. By the good providence of God he obtained so much bread as amounted to a quarter of a pound daily for each person till

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