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The inexpert typist had certain limitations that resulted in page numbers being different in order to keep J. Franklin Jameson’s wonderful footnotes on the same page with the text to which they refer and the page numbers therein have been changed to correspond to the newly formatted text, as have the page numbers in the introduction. Also certain superscript short-hand spellings of words do not work on her computer, at least as insofar as she is aware. Therefore, some words which in the original had letters omitted, are typed completely. She has tried to leave the flavor of the original with the same spellings of Johnson’s words, {though there will inevitably be some typos, especially with the unusual spellings of 1600s words, i.e. "our" for "or"; "nesse" for "ness"; "one" for "on"; "then" sometimes for "than", often "hee" for "he" - but other times not {and the inexpertness of the typist}. If brackets {} surround, it is the insertion of the 2002 typist. Following the attemptedly-faithful copy of Johnson’s work, there will be a version in conventional English 2002.

For some inexplicable reason, the spelling in Book II is more familiar to modern readers than that in Book I, as though perhaps a different person edited Book II in 1652.

Transcribed and submitted to the USGenWeb Archives Special Collections Project by Mary Beth Moore Macksey

 

ORIGINAL NARRATIVES OF EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY

Reproduced under the auspices of the American Historical Association

 

General Editor, J. Franklin Jameson, Ph. D., LL.D.

Director of the Department of Historical Research in the Carnegie Institution of Washington

 

JOHNSON’S WONDER-WORKING PROVIDENCE

1628-1651

 

Charles Scribner’s Sons

New York 1910

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Late in the year 1653, but under date of 1654, Nathaniel Brooke, a London publisher, "at the Angel in Cornhill," brought out a small octavo book of two hundred and thirty-six pages, entitled A History of New-England, from the English planting I the Yeere 1652, etc. The title, inexact in any case, for the book is rather a history of Massachusetts

Than of all New England, was evidently affixed by the publisher. His advertisements show that at one time he thought of giving the book the title Historicall Relation of the First Planting of the English in New England in the Year 1628 to the Year 1653 and all the Materiall Passages happening there. But many reiterations in the text of the book show that the author’s own title for his production was that which appears in the running headlines of the printed book, and by which it has generally been known, The Wonder-working Providence of Sions Saviour in New England. The author’s name nowhere appears in the book.

Five years later the publisher took advantage of this latter fact, since the sale of the work had been so disappointing as to leave many copies on his hands, to utilize the sheets in another of his ventures. He had in hand a book entitled America Painted to the Life. Of the four parts of which he composed it, the first and fourth were apparently written by Ferdinando Gorges, Esquire, grandson of the celebrated patentee Sir Ferdinando Gorges, while the second was by that knight himself. Brooke impudently sandwiched-in the unsold sheets of Wonder-working Providence as Part III, "Written by Sir Ferdinando Gorges Knight (the grandfather), and "Publisht since his decease by his Grandchild Ferdinando Gorges Esquire, who hath much enlarged it and added severall accurate Descriptions of his owne."

The reader who has any remembrance of the relations between Sir Fernando Gorges and the Massachusetts colony, and of the diametrical difference between his state of mind and that which breathes through every page of the Wonder-Working Providence, will say that imposture could hardly be more shameless. The younger Gorges protested publicly.

I, Ferdinando Gorges, the entituled Author of a late Book, called America Painted to the Life, am injured in that additional Part, called Sions Saviour in New England (as written by Sir Ferdinando Gorges;) that being none of his, and formerly printed in another name, the true owner.

The last statement is erroneous. So far as is known, no copies of the original book were issued with the author’s name. In New England it has been known for more than two hundred years that it was written by Captain Edward Johnson of Woburn, Massachusetts. The accurate Thomas Prince, in the preface to his Chronological History of New England (Boston, 1736), after speaking of the false attribution of the book to Gorges, says: "But the true Author was Mr. Johnson of Woburn in New England, as the late Judge Sewall assur’d me, as of a Thing familliarly known among the Fathers of the Massachusetts Colony." In Prince’s own copy of the Wonder-working Providence, now preserved in the library of the American Antiquarian Society at Worcester, is a manuscript note which is still more explicit.

Judg Sewall tells me, this Book was known to have been written by Captain

Johnson of Woburn, Father to Honorable William Johnson Esquire of Woburn, who was chosen assistant in 1684 at the same time with Judg Sewall Himself, and as it was commonly known that Capt. Johnson was the author of this Book; so the Judg was intimately acquainted with his son the assistant, and had conferred with Him about it. This the Judg tells me this [symbol for Friday] aug. 23, 1728.

There are also various internal evidences which point to this authorship. The foundation of the town and church of Woburn are related at much greater length than is the case with any of the other Massachusetts towns, some of them much more important. Other transactions in which Captain Johnson is known to have had an official part are likewise narrated with especial fulness. In chapter xxvi. Of the second book, in which the author names the other officers of the military companies of the colony, he say, "The band of Concord is led by Capt. Simon Willard, being a Kentish souldier, as is Capt. Goggin [Gookin], …the band of Woburn led by another Kentish Captain." Now we know that the unnamed trainband captain of Woburn was Captain Edward Johnson, and that he came from the county of Kent in England.

The editor of this volume, a descendant of Captain Johnson, takes pleasure in remembering that by a little simple investigation in Canterbury, some years ago, he established with practical certainty the captain’s genealogy and local position. The will of one of his sons, who died in Maryland, had recently disclosed the fact that the captain came from Canterbury. It now appeared that he was of the parish of St. George, that he was christened September 16 or 17, 1598 (born therefore in all probability a few days earlier), and that the future town clerk of Woburn was son of William Johnson, parish clerk of St. George’s parish. He was married about 1618, and had five sons and tow daughters, all born in England and christened in St. George’s Church, the last three in 1631, 1633, and 1635, after their father’s first voyage to New England. He was possessed of a considerable estate is Canterbury and elsewhere in Kent, and on his first appearance in New England is among the moderate number of those whom the official records of the colony call "Mr."

Edward Johnson came over to New England in 1630 with Winthrop, probably in the Arbella. He was licensed by Governor Winthrop to trade with the Indians along the Merrimac River, and in May, 1631, was admitted a freeman of the colony; but he returned to England, probably in that year, and remained there till the spring of 1636, when he came out agin, this time bringing his family. This absence accounts for some of the meagreness and vagueness of his information respecting the events of the years 1631-1635. In an official list of passengers sailing from Sandwich, England in 1636, for America, we find the entry, "Edward Johnson of Canterbury, joiner, and Susan, his wife, seven children, three servants." Data respecting the occupations of emigrants were often given in a form intended to mislead the royal officers, but the records of St. George’s parish also call him a joiner, and two of his sons were shipwrights and carpenters.

Arriving in Massachusetts at the height of the Antinomian excitement, of which he gives a vivid though prejudiced account, Johnson threw himself heart and soul into the life of the colony and of its orthodox party. Settling in Charlestown, where we find him in 1638 in the possession of considerable land-grants, he found abundant opportunity for his active and optimistic spirit in the "wilderness work" of founding a new town, that porcess so typical in American history. The General Court in May, 1640, on the petition of charlestown made a grant, enlarged a few months later to four miles square, for a new town to the northward, called at first Charlestown Village, but after incorporation Woburn. Of this new town Johnson was the leading man. For thirty years, from its incorporation in 1642 to his death in 1672, he was almost constantly one of its "selectman" or executive committeemen, the captain of its trainband, its town clerk, and its representative in the General Court, and a great part of his time was given to its business. To his deep interest in its affairs we owe it that in Wonder-working Providence, book II, chapter XXVI., he gives and exceptionally full account of the successive steps in the founding of this new town and church – the appointing of a committee of seven by Charlestown, the committee’s careful scrutiny of would-be settlers, its arrangements for village sites and the allotment of outlying farming lands, the engaging of a minister, the fathering of a covenanted church, the minister’s ordination by the democratic methods of the new Congregationalism – an account so full and so interesting that it has been one of the classical passages for the student of the origins of town and church government in New England. At the first meeting of the persons chosen by the Charlestown church to manage the new settlement, Edward Johnson was chosen as their recorder or town clerk. Accordningly the first pages of the town records, preserved in a copy in his son

S handwriting, furnish a parallel narrative, of all these transactions, to that which he gives in his book. Characteristically, he opens the town records with a rude "copy of verses,"

Which are worth quoting (with clarifed punctuation) for their exhibition of the writer’s spirit and for their relation to the verses which so thickly bestrew the pages of his printed book.

Records for the Towne of Woburne

ffrom the year 1640 the 8 day of th 10 month

Paulisper Fui

In peniles age I woburne Towne began;

Charls Towne first moved the Court my lins to span.

To vewe my land place, compild body Reare,

Nowell, Sims, Segwick, thes my paterons were.

Sum fearing Ile grow great upon these grownds,

Poor I wase putt to nurs among the Clownes,

Who being taken with such might things

As had bin work of Noble Qeeins and Kings,

Till Babe gan crye and great disturbance make;

Nurses Repent they did har undertake.

One leaves her quite; an other hee doth hie

To foren lands, free from the Babys Crye;

To [two] more of seaven, seing nursing provd soe thwarte,

Thought it more ease in following of the Carte.

A naighbour by, hopeing the Babe wold bee

A pritty Girle, to Rocking har went hee.

Too [two] nurses less undanted [danted?]{undaunted} then [than] the rest,

Ffirst howses ffinish; thus the Girle gane drest.

Its Rare to see how this poore Towne did rise

By weakest means, two [too] weake in great ons [ones’] eys.

And sure it is that mettells cleere exstraction

Had never share in this Poore Towns erextion;

Without which metall and sum fresh suplys

Patrons conclud she never upp wold rise.

If ever she mongst ladys have a station,

Say twas ffrom Parentes, not har education,

And now conclud the lords owne hand it wase

That with weak means did bring this work to pass,

Not only Towne but Sistor church to ade

Which out of dust and Ashes now is had.

Then all Inhabit woburne Towne, stay make

The lord, not means, of all you undertake.

Greatly as Captain Johnson was interested in the affairs of the town of Woburn, yet from the time of his entrance into the legislature of General Court as representative of that town we find his practical talents largely employed in the concerns of the colony at large. He was placed on nearly every military committee, and in 1659 became surveyor-general of the arms and munitions of the colony. He took part in the arrest of Gorton in 1643. In 1654-1647 he served on some of the important committees for the codification of the laws. He had apparently especial skill in surveying, and often had duties in that field assigned to him by the General Court. Thus it will be seen that when he undertook the writing of a history of the colony, he had had good opportunities of knowing its towns, by personal visits or through their representatives, and that he was familiar with many portions of its public business, by reason of several years of active participation, in a subordinate but still influential capacity. This participation he continued for many years after the composition of the book, and indeed until his death, which took place on April 23, 1672.

A systematic attempt to discover from internal evidence the date which Captain Johnson wrote Wonder-working Providence, shows that it was not all the product of one time. Various passages would seem to show that it was written, not only after the deaths of Winthrop and Shepard in March and August, 1649 (?,?9,?,), but also after the fourth election of Dudley as governor in May, 1650 (?9), yet before the third election of Endicott in May, 1651 (p. ?9). Also the reference on p. ?9 to Boston’s soon-defeated hopes of being made a city would seem to fix the date between June, 1650, and May, 1651, is recorded, and the account on p. ?9 of the Harvard Commencement of August 12, 1651, and the graduation of Seaborn Cotton, compels a later date, though on p. 63 the latter is referred to as still "a young student in a Colledge." The truth no doubt is, that the book was mostly written in 1650, or before May of the next year, but that additions and amendments were made later in 1651. The numerous descriptions given of the various towns seem to refer to their condition at about that date.

The motive for the composition of the book appears from several passages. The author was convinced in every fibre that there had been set up in New England an ecclesiastical and civil polity more closely according with the Word of God than any other which the world had seen, and that the Lord had manifested His approval by doing marvellous things in the wilderness for these His chosen people. Persons disaffected to this holy experiment, lewd fellows like Morton and Gardiner, presumptuous heretics like Gorton, had spread in England reports injurious to the Massachusetts plantation, and these ought to be combated by any one who cared for the material and political welfare of the colony, or who valued intelligent English opinion. What was perhaps still more grievous, there had been bitter criticism even from a portion of the godly in England, for in the recent debates, in and out of the Westminster Assembly, on the reforming of the ecclesiastical polity of England, the Presbyterian party, dominant in Parliament, had hotly assailed the "New England Way," the principles and practices of Congregationalism. One to whom those principles were as clear as the sun, those practices invested with the absolute warrant of Scripture, could not rest easy without exhibiting to all English readers the marvellous providences, the gracious and evident mercies, by which Jehovah had proclaimed to every attentive ear His approval of New England methods.

So came into existence the first published history of Massachusetts, a book which, whatever its shortcomings, represented the honest attempt of a Puritan man of affairs to set forth to his fellow-Englishmen the first twenty-three years’ history of the great Puritan colony. A book on that subject, we may be sure, met a real want in the Puritan England of 1653 and 1654, although in the changed atmosphere of 1659 Nathaniel Brooke might find it slow of sale. But, printed as it was with the author three thousand miles away, it appeared with many typographical defects, and with vagaries of punctuation which must have made many passages difficult of comprehension even at the time of its appearance, and are still greater hindrances now. Printer’s punctuation, executed under such circumstances, cannot be regarded as sacred. The editor {[Jameson]} of the present volume has by no means attempted to systematize the punctuation; even a pointing that may appear eccentric has in most cases not been altered if after all it leaves the sense clear. But where a stupid compositor has given to the punctuation of the original a form which perverts or obscures the sense, yet the meaning intended is to an experienced eye perfectly clear, the needful alteration has been made without compunction. A good example occurs in the beginning of chapter XX. Of the first book, where the author is made to say that Boston is "invironed with the Brinish flouds, saving one small Istmos, which gives free accesse to the Neighbour Townes; by Land on the South side, on the North west, and North East, two constant Faires are kept for daily traffique thereunto." Since "Faires" is obviously a misprint for "Ferries," to retain a punctuation which represent two ferries as operating in three different directions, and one of them by land, would be a Chinese fidelity {apologies for Jameson’ prejudiced provincialism} fidelity for which the editor sees no occasion. Printing "Faires" but adding "Ferries" in square brackets, he silently alters the reading above to "Istmos, which gives free accesse to the Neighbour Townes by Land on the South side; on the North west," etc. But such alterations of punctuation have not been made save where the sense is indubitable. Brooke’s printer’s italics have been deemed no more sacred that his punctuation.

With whatever helps an editor may supply, the Wonder-working Providence remains hard reading. Though the author can tell plain facts in a plain way when he chooses to do so, and gives us many valuable details respecting business matters, his enthusiasm for the great cause of militant Puritanism frequently leads him astray into rhetorical flights which, though often vigorous and imaginative, are turgid, bombastic, and tedious. Hardest of all to peruse are the labored verses which, with excellent motives and a pathetic patience, he has hammered out whenever he had felt that an eminent leader in the upbuilding of his Zion calls for especial commemoration. Yet the prose style has picturesque imagination and a certain manly vigor, and though the diction of the rhetorical passages is all borrowed from the one Book the author knew well, a diction borrowed from that source will never wholly lack beauty and elevation. Even among the verses, one may discriminate. There are worse verses than those in the ninth chapter of the third book, beginning,

"From silent night, true Register of moans."

Johnson’s habit of "dropping into poetry" has been so much commented on by those who have in any way written of him, that it is natural to ask the question what models he followed, in the three varieties of metre which we see in his work. On this point the editor has consulted his friend Professor R. E. Neil Dodge, of the University of Wisconsin, an accomplished student of Elizabethan verse. Of the metre of which Johnson’s first two "poems," those in honor of Cradock and Endicott, are specimens, he says: "The measure as a whole, the fourteen-syllable couplet (‘fourteeners’ or, more learnedly ‘septenars’), would in its general swing be familiar to every good Puritan in the metrical Psalms of Sternhold and Hopkins, e.g., Ps. xxii :

‘O God my God, wherefore doest thou

forsake me utterly:

And helpest not, when I do make

My great complaint and cry.’

Sometimes, by rhyming the half-lines, these versifiers make of the original couplet a fully rhymed quatrain, e.g., Ps. XCV.:

‘O come let us lift up our voyce,

and sing unto the Lord:

In him our rock of health rejoyce

Let us with one accord.’

The double ending is rare in these Psalms, as is also internal rhyme except in the quatrain arrangement given above. See, however, Ps. xxii, stanza 21"

‘And from the Lyons mouth, that would

me all in sunder shiver:

And from the hornes of unicornes,

Lord safely me deliver.’

The particular arrangement of internal, or sectional, rhymes which you say is characteristic of his verse may be found in Tottel’s Miscellany (v. Arber’s English Reprints), a book very popular with the Elizabethans under its title of Songs and Sonnets, which Master Slender wished he had with him when he set eyes on Mistress Anne Page (Merry Wives of Windsor); see p. 62 of Arber’s edition.

O Goodly hand

Wherein doth stand

My heart distract in pain:

Dear hand, alas!

In little space

My life thou dost restrain.’

Write this out as a septenar couplet and you have exactly the measure with the sectional rhymes used by Captain Johnson. It was common, but I cannot say just how common."

The variety next seen, in the verses on Higginson, is the elegiac quatrain, that of Gray’s Elegy. It had been used, says, Professor Dodge, by Wyatt, Surrey, Sir John Davies, and Spenser (Colin Clout’s Come Home Again). All the verses in the book are in one of these two measures, except the poem alluded to above, beginning,

"From silent night, true Register of moans."

and that with which the volume closes. Of this six-line stanza, Professor Dodge says that it is "used by Spenser in January and December of the Shepherd’s Calendar, in The Tears of the Muses, and elsewhere. It is to be found also in Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis, in Drayton’s Legend of Gaveston and in several of his Ecologues, in fact in poetry about 1600 very often." He adds"

All these measures were sufficiently common to make specific investigation of the good Captain’s models needless. He may have had his favorite poets and may have imitated them, but to decide who they were would require the reading of all his verse, and even by that process one would probably not arrive at any very exact conclusions, for it takes a man of artistic temperament to imitate style recognizably, whereas a man of ordinary facility with the pen may turn out verse according to familiar measures readily enough.

However crabbed the style of the Wonder-working Providence, he that reads it through will be profited. It is little to say that it is the first published history of New England, and the most important work on its history brought out before Cotton Mather’s Magnalia (1702). This is only to say that Winthrop’s Journal did not see the light of publication till 1790, nor Bradford’s History of Plymouth Plantation till 1856. The Wonder-working Providence is far from ranking in the same class with those incomparable narratives. It is the work of a much inferior mind; it is disfigured, as may be seen from the foot-notes of the present {[Jameson’s]} edition, by many errors and inaccuracies; and the thought and arrangement are often sadly confused. Yet it gives us, what neither Bradford nor Winthrop could supply, the history, or at any rate the essential spirit, of the Massachusetts colony depicted from the point of view of the rank and file.

Captain Edward Johnson, though superior to the average man in intelligence, education, abilities, and influence, may fairly be regarded as typical of the mass of Puritan settlers. He is by nature and "organizational man," a stalwart, a member of the majority, an upholder of constituted authority in political life. In religion, quite incapable of understanding the subtilties of theology, he adheres instinctively to the orthodox side. It is his nature to venerate his file-leaders, and to follow them enthusiastically and without a shadow of doubt that their beliefs and positions are alone correct.

To see, displayed before us, the mind of such a Puritan, is no small privilege. The founders of Massachusetts, we know, were distinguished above most founders of colonies in the fact that they definitely intended to found a great stare, on principles marked indeed by narrowness, but also by elevation. It is good to be permitted to see how far their notions prevailed in the minds of their less exalted followers, with what ardor of enthusiasm the austere programme of the leaders was maintained in the ranks. The foremost principle of the Puritan regime in Massachusetts was that the will and interests of the individual should be rigidly subordinated to those of the community. It bred intolerance and persecution in the seventeenth century, but it bred solidarity and public spirit in the eighteenth and ninetieth. Democracy being fated to prevail in a new country, it is good to be enabled to see the early workings of that spirit of union and solidarity in the mind of the common man, captain or private in the village trainband. Captain Johnson explains to us Hosea Biglow. He helps us understand the formation of the extraordinary body, the like of which the world has seldom seen, the Massachusetts population of 1840, so homogeneous, so resentful of

Contamination, yet so intelligent and capable and so infused with public spirit and the social sense that it could perform to a marvel the task which awaited it in the next half-century, the wholesale digesting of the alien.

If we turn to the more personal qualities of Johnson as an historian, we must admit that we have in him a striking example of the hot zealotry, the narrow partisanship, the confident dogmatism, which characterized so much of Puritanism. All his opinions are self-evident to him. If for want of apter phrases one may repeat what one has already said of him elsewhere: "He is full of that narrow Hebraism which, when it prayed, kept open its windows toward Jerusalem, but closed every other avenue to the soul. To hew Agag in pieces before the Lord is to his mind not the least attractive of religious duties. With him the Church militant is more than a metaphor. The life of the colony appears to him most frequently in the guise of an armed conflict; he hears in its story the noise of battle, the thunder of captains and the shouting, and in vehement canticles summons the Israel of New England to the help of the Lord against the mighty." To the Puritan zeal he adds the Puritan superstition, and his pages bristle with special providences.

Yet, however severe his creed, Johnson was a kindly man. This will be especially apparent to any one who, reading between the lines, sees how gently he deals with erring brethren. His spirit, though narrow, is far from ignoble. He has those virtues which spring from confidence in a high purpose and a mission felt to be momentous and sacred. It is impossible not to admire the exaltation, the fervent enthusiasm with which, in such passages for instance as the fifth chapter of the second book, he glories in the success of militant Puritanism in old England, and which invests his hortatory passages, partisan harangues though they are, with a certain rugged eloquence.

The original edition of the Wonder-working Providence is now a rare book, not to be obtained for less than a hundred dollars. There are copies, however, in the British Museum, the Boston Public Library, the Woburn Public Library, the Congregational Library in Boston, those of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Boston Athenaeum, the American Antiquarian Society, and Brown University, the John Carter Brown Library, the Pequot Library, that of the State of New York in Albany, the Lenox Branch of the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and the libraries of Mr. E.E. Ayer, the late Mr. E.D. Church, and the late Mr. L.Z. Leiter. The copy in the Woburn Public Library, which formerly belonged to Dr. Abiel Holmes (and was "bought in London in the year 1810 for 7 s. sterling"), has, pasted on the inside of the cover, an advertisement clipped from a newspaper, unknown but of date between 1736 and 1762, in which John Draper, the Boston printer, proposes the reprinting of the work by subscriptions; but it was not done. In 1814-1819 the Massachusetts Historical Society reprinted it in portions scattered through volumes Il., III., IV., VII., and VIII. Of its second series of Collections, volumes reprinted in 1846 and 1826. The text was seen through the press by the accurate James Savage, but there were no annotations. In 1867 a reprint, almost a fac-simile, was brought out in a small edition of 260 copies by Dr. William F. Poole. This also was without annotations, but it has a long introduction on Johnson and his work which is a model of thorough investigation, and to which all subsequent writers who have touched on Johnson, including the present editor, have been deeply indebted. The present is the first edition supplied with foot-notes, which the seems particularly to require.

The frontispiece to the present volume is a reproduction of the title-page of the original work, which, by the courtesy of Mr. William R. Cutter of the Woburn Public Library, we were permitted to make from the volume in his custody. The map of New England, showing the settlements founded within the period covered by the book, is taken from the first volume of Dr. John G. Palfrey’s History of New England, by permission of Messrs. Little, Brown & Co., publishers of that work. The second fac-simile represents the first page of the town records of Woburn, consisting of the verses by Captain Edward Johnson, town clerk, which have been quoted above, on pp. ?18 and ? The handwriting, however, is not that of the captain, but that of his son, Major William Johnson. For permission to photograph the document we are indebted to the present city clerk of Woburn, Mr. John H. Finn. J. Franklin Jameson.

 

A HISTORY OF NEW-ENGLAND

From the English planting in the Yeere 1628. Untill the Yeere 1652.

Declaring the form of their Government, Civill, Military, and Ecclesiastique. Their Wars with the Indians, their Troubles with the Gortonists, and other Heretiques. Their manner of gathering of Churches, the Commodities of the Country, and description of the principall Towns and Havens, with the great encouragements to increase Trade betwixt them and Old England. With the names of all their Governours, Magistrates, and Eminent Ministers.

Psal. 107.24. The righteous shall see it and rejoice, and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.

Psal. 111.2. The works of the Lord are great, and ought to be sought out of all that have pleasure in them.

London, Printed for Nath: Brooke at the Angel in Corn-hill. 1654

TO THE READER

Good Reader,

As large Gates to small Edifices, so are long Prefaces to little Bookes, therefore I will breifly informe thee, that here thou shalt find, the time when, the manner how, the cause why, and the great successe which it hath pleased the Lord to give, to this handfull of his praysing Saints in N. Engl., and it will be clearely demonstrated, if thou compare them with any other people, who have left their countryes, as the Gothes, Vandals, etc. to possesse a fatter, as Italy, or warmer, as Spaine, etc. But these forsooke a fruitfull Land, stately Buildings, goodly Gardens, Orchards, year, deare Friends, and neere relations, to goe to a desart Wildernesse, thousands of leagues by Sea, both turbulent and dangerous; also many have travelled to see famous Cities, strong Fortifications, etc. or in hope to enjoy a setled habitation, where riches are attained with ease. But here the onely encouragements were the laborious breading up of bushy ground, with the continued toyl of erecting houses, for themselves and cattell, in this howling desart; all which they underwent, with much cheefulnesse, that they might enjoy Christ and his Ordinances in their primitive purity.

And now, you, my honoured Countrey-men, who have with indefatigable paines, and expence of a great part of your Estates, furthered this blessed work: Behold how the Lord of Hosts hath carried it on in despight of all opposition from his and their enemies, in planting of his Churches in this New World, with the excellent frame of their Government, both civil and military, already established; but why stop I you at the Threshold? go in, and seriously consider this The Wonder-working Providence of Sions Saviour. In the perusing of which, if thou receivest profit or delight, and God may have glory thereby, he hath attained the end that he aimed at, and full satisfaction for all his paynes, who heartily wishes thee all the good, both of this life, and a better life, in him who is a Christians all in all.

T. H.

INTRO
BOOK I:   Chapters 1 - 10 | Chapters 11 - 20 | Chapters 21 - 30 | Chapters 31 - 40 | Chapters 41 - 45
BOOK II:  Chapters 1 - 10 | Chapters 11 - 26
BOOK III