This year Mr. William Bradford was elected governor of the jurisdiction of New Plimouth. Mr. Thomas Prince, Mr. William Collier, Capt. Miles Standish, Mr. Timothy Hatherly, Mr. John Brown, Mr. John Alden, and Capt. Thomas Willet, were chosen his assistants in government.
This year Mr. William Thomas expired his natural life in much peace and comfort. He served in the place of magistracy, in the jurisdiction of Plymouth, divers years; he was a well-approved and a well- grounded Christian, well read in the Holy Scriptures, and other approved authors, and a good lover and approver of godly ministers and good Christians, and one that had a sincere desire to promote the common good, both of church and state. He died of a consumption, and was honourably buried at Marshfield, in the jurisdiction of New Plimouth.
This year Mr. William Bradford was elected governor of the jurisdiction of New Plimouth; and Mr. Thomas Prince, Capt. Miles Standish, Mr. Timothy Hatherly, Mr. John Brown, Mr. John Alden, Capt. Thomas Willet, and Lieut. Thomas Southworth, were chosen to be his assistants in government.
This year that blessed servant of God, Mr. John Cotton, died. He was sometimes preacher of Gods word at Boston, in Lincolnshire, and from thence came over into New England, in the year 1633, and was chosen teacher of the first church of Christ at Boston. (Of Mr. Cottons life, Mr. Norton hath penned a book, whereunto I refer the reader for more full relation of the same.) For which function and office he was greatly enriched with gifts and abilities, being an able expounder and faithful applier of the word of God; furnished also with wisdom and prudence to go before the church, in the ordering of the affairs thereof; endowed also with meekness of spirit, whereby he was fitted to compose such differences as did at any time arise amongst them. He was very patient also in respect unto personal wrongs and injuries done unto himself, yea, towards his sharpest antagonists. An influence of good, not only flowed from him unto the church over whom he was set, but also into all the churches in New England, as necessity required. About the time of his sickness, there appeared in the heavens, over New England, a comet, giving a dim light; and so waxed dimmer and dimmer, until it became quite extinct and went out; which time of its being extinct, was soon after the time of the period of his life: it being a very signal testimony, that God had then removed a bright star, a burning and a shining light out of the heaven of his church here, unto celestial glory above. He was buried at Boston, in New England, with great honour and lamentation, in the year above written.
Upon whose never enough deplored death, were made these verses following:
A Funeral Elegy upon the death of the truly Reverend Mr. John Cotton, late teacher of the church of Christ at Boston, in New England.
Doth Cottons death call for a mourning verse?
Thy will be done. Yet, Lord, who dealest thus,
Make this great death expedient for us.
Luther pulled down the Pope, Calvin the prelate slew
Of Calvins lapse, chief cure to Cottons due.
Cotton, whose learning, temper, godliness,
The German Phnix, lively did express.
Melanchthons all, may Luthers word but pass;
Melanchthons all, in our great Cotton was.
Than him in flesh, scarce dwelt a better one;
So greats our loss, when such a spirits gone.
Whilst he was here, life was more life to me;
Now he is not, death hence less death shall be.
That comets, great mens deaths do oft forego,
This present comet doth too sadly show.
This prophet dead, yet must ins doctrine speak,
This comet saith, else must New England break.
Whateer it be, the heavens avert it far,
That meteors should succeed our greatest star.
In Bostons orb, Winthrop and Cotton were;
These lights extinct, dark is our hemisphere.
In Boston once how much shind of our glory,
We now lament, posterity will story.
Let Boston live, who had and saw their worth;
And did them honour, both in life and death.
To him New England trust in this distress,
Who will not leave his exiles comfortless.
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