Chapter 10


Mr Thomas Prince was chosen governor of the jurisdiction of New Plimouth. Mr. John Alden, Major Josias Winslow, Capt. Thomas Southworth, Capt. William Bradford, Mr. Thomas Hinkley, Mr. John Freeman, and Mr. Nathaniel Bacon, were chosen assistants to him in government.

This year, on the last day of November, being the last day of the next week, there was heard several loud noises, or reports, as if it had been guns discharged in the air, first one, distinctly, and in a short time, as it had been a volley of shot discharged. It was especially heard and observed at Nantasket, and related by sundry of them of good credit.

In the spring following, in the beginning of March, there appeared a sign in the heavens, in the form of a spear, something thicker in the midst than at either end, of a whitish, bright colour; it was seen, several nights together, in the west, about an hour within the night; it stood stooping, and the one end pointing to the setting of the sun, and so settled downward, by little and little, until it quite vanished, and descended beneath our horizon. God awaken us that we be not heedless spectators of his wonderful works.1

This year, the 7th of August, it pleased the Lord to call home to himself, the reverend, ancient, and godly pastor of the church at Boston, Mr. John Wilson. He was a truly reverend and holy man of God. He came to New England in the year 1630. He was instrumental in the first beginnings of the church of Boston, having been the pastor of it three years before Mr. Cotton, twenty years with him; ten years with Mr. Norton, and four years after him; thirty-seven in all. And in all the changes of time that passed over him, he was full of faith and prayer, and eminent for sincerity and humility, being ever low in his own eyes, and for the grace of love, he had largeness of heart as the sand of the sea, to do good to all. He was very charitable where was any signs and hopes of good; and yet, withal, very zealous against known and manifest evils. He was orthodox in his judgment, and very holy in his conversation. Very few that ever went out of the world so generally beloved and reverenced as this good man. He was a good man indeed, and full of the Holy Ghost. He lived to a good old age, and was full of days, and full of honour, being in the seventy-ninth year of his age, when the Lord took him to himself. He was interred with much honour and lamentation.

In the time of his languishing sickness, he was visited by the elders round about, especially on the sixteenth of May, the day after the court of election, when there being a general meeting of all the elders of the churches, at his house, they requested Mr. Wilson (because they knew not whether ever they should have the like opportunity to hear him speak again, and having been, from the first, a pillar amongst them, and of much experience in his observation of the state of things) that he would solemnly declare unto them, what he conceived to be those sins amongst us, which provoked the displeasure of God against the country. He then told them, that he had, divers times, and long feared these sins following, as chief, among others, which God was greatly provoked with, namely, Separation, Anabaptism, and Korahism.

This latter he did explain thus, namely, when people rise up as Korah, against their ministers or elders, as if they took too much upon them, when, indeed, they do but rule for Christ, and according to Christ; yet, saith he, it is nothing for a brother to stand up, and oppose, without Scripture or reason, the doctrine and word of the elder, saying, I am not satisfied, etc., and hence, if he do not like the administration, be it baptism, or the like, he will then turn his back upon God and his ordinances, and go away, etc. And, saith he, for our neglect of baptizing the children of the church, those that some call grandchildren, I think God is provoked by it.

Another sin I take to be, the making light of, and not subjecting to the authority of Synods, without which the churches cannot long subsist. And so for the magistrates being Gallio like, either not caring for these things, or else not using their power and authority for the maintenance of the truth, and gospel and ordinances of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and for the bearing thorough witness against the contrary. Should the Lord leave them hereunto, how miserable a people should we be!

  By PanEris using Melati.

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