Winslow’s Relation

To all well-willers and furtherers of Plantations in New England, especially to such as ever have or desire to assist the people of Plymouth in their just proceedings, grace and peace be multiplied.

Right Honourable and Worshipful Gentlemen, or whatsoever,

Since it hath pleased God to stir you up to be instruments of his glory in so honourable an enterprise as the enlarging of his Majesty’s dominions by planting his loyal subjects in so healthful and hopeful a country as New England is, where the church of God being seated in sincerity, there is no less hope of convincing the heathen of their evil ways, and converting them to the true knowledge and worship of the living God, and so consequently the salvation of their souls by the merits of Jesus Christ, than elsewhere, though it be much talked on and lightly or lamely prosecuted,—I therefore think it but my duty to offer the view of our proceedings to your worthy considerations, having to that end composed them together thus briefly, as you see; wherein, to your great encouragement, you may behold the good providence of God working with you in our preservation from so many dangerous plots and treacheries as have been intended against us, as also in giving his blessing so powerfully upon the weak means we had, enabling us with health and ability beyond expectation in our greatest scarcities, and possessing the hearts of the salvages with astonishment and fear of us; whereas if God had let them loose, they might easily have swallowed us up, scarce being a handful in comparison of those forces they might have gathered together against us; which now, by God’s blessing, will be more hard and difficult, in regard our number of men is increased, our town better fortified, and our store better victualled. Blessed therefore be his name, that hath done so great things for us and hath wrought so great a change amongst us.

Accept, I pray you, my weak endeavours, pardon my unskilfulness, and bear with my plainness in the things I have handled. Be not discouraged by our former necessities, but rather encouraged with us, hoping that as God hath wrought with us in our beginning of this worthy work, undertaken in his name and fear, so he will by us accomplish the same to his glory and our comfort, if we neglect not the means. I confess it hath not been much less chargeable to some of you1

than hard and difficult to us, that have endured the brunt of the battle, and yet small profits returned. Only, by God’s mercy, we are safely seated, housed, and fortified, by which means a great step is made unto gain, and a more direct course taken for the same, than if at first we had rashly and covetously fallen upon it.

Indeed three things are the overthrow and bane, as I may term it, of plantations.

1. The vain expectation of present profit, which too commonly taketh a principal seat in the heart and affection, though God’s glory, etc., is preferred before it in the mouth with protestation.

2. Ambition in their governors and commanders, seeking only to make themselves great, and slaves of all that are under them, to maintain a transitory base honour in themselves, which God oft punisheth with contempt.

3. 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 image of men endued with bestial, yea, diabolical affections, than the image of God, endued with reason, understanding, and holiness. I praise God I speak not these things experimentally, by way of complaint of our own condition, but having great cause on the contrary part to be thankful to God for his mercies towards us; but rather, if there be any too desirous of gain, to entreat them to moderate their affections, and consider that no man expecteth fruit before the tree be grown; advising all men, that as they tender their own welfare, so to make choice of such to manage and govern their affairs, as are approved not to be seekers of themselves, but the common good of all for whom they are employed; and beseeching such as have the care of transporting men for the supply and furnishing of plantations, to be truly careful in sending such as may further and not hinder so good an action. 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 manners2

ought first to be preached by giving good example to the poor savage heathens amongst whom they live. On the contrary part, what great offence hath been given by many profane men, who being but seeming Christians, have made Christ and Christianity stink in the

  By PanEris using Melati.

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