Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers

The Landing of the Pilgrims, December 1620


The breaking waves dashed high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
Their giant branches tossed;

And the heavy night hung dark,
The hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles moored their bark
On the wild New England shore.

Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true-hearted came;
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame;

Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear;
They shook the depths of the desert gloom
With their hymns of lofty cheer.

Amidst the storm they sang,
And the stars heard, and the sea;
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free.

The ocean eagle soared
From his nest by the white wave's foam;
And the rocking pines of the forest roared -
This was their welcome home.

There were men with hoary hair
Amidst the pilgrim band:
Why had they come to wither there,
Away from their childhood's land?

There was woman's fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow, serenely high,
And the fiery heart of youth.

What sought they thus afar?
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?
They sought a faith's pure shrine!

Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod;
They have left unstained what there they found -
Freedom to worship God.

by Felicia Dorethea Hemans (c.1793-1835)

"Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers" is reprinted from Historic Poems and Ballads.
Ed. Rupert S. Holland. Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs & Co., 1912.

* * * * * * * *


The Pilgrims

The pilgrims were a group of English protestant “Separatists” who first sought freedom from religious persecution by the Church of England by moving to Leiden, Holland, and about ten years later by relocating to North America where they hoped to establish a colony in Northern Virginia. They were joined on their journey across the Atlantic by other English families and individuals, not Separatists, many of whom had skills and trades needed by the pilgrims to establish a colony, and who were themselves simply seeking the opportunity for a better life.

The Voyage

The Pilgrims engaged two aging sailing vessels, the Mayflower and the Speedwell to transport them with their supplies to Northern Virginia, where they had obtained a charter from the English king. The group left Southampton England in August 1620, but were forced to return to port after the Speedwell proved to be unseaworthy. One hundred and two passengers then crowded aboard the Mayflower in September 1620 and set out again, having to leave a number of their fellow pilgrims and vital supplies in England. The crossing was slower than expected and the Mayflower was driven off course and arrived far north of their Northern Virginia destination in November 1620, at the start of a harsh winter. The pilgrims decided that further travel to Northern Virgina at that time of year was dangerous and unwise, and began exploring Cape Cod seeking a safe harbor and suitable place to establish their colony.

The Mayflower Compact

Before leaving the Mayflower, the pilgrims and the other voyagers, drafted and all signed a document that established the legal and political structure of the new colony. That historic document is considered to be the first to set forth the democratic self governance principles on which the the United States Constitution was based a century and a half later, and is known as the Mayflower Compact:

Agreement Between the Settlers at New Plymouth : 1620
IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience.
IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.
Mr. John Carver
Mr. William Bradford
Mr Edward Winslow
Mr. William Brewster
Isaac Allerton
Myles Standish
John Alden
John Turner
Francis Eaton
James Chilton
John Craxton
John Billington
Moses Fletcher
John Goodman
Mr. Samuel Fuller
Mr. Christopher Martin
Mr. William Mullins
Mr. William White
Mr. Richard Warren
John Howland
Mr. Steven Hopkins
Digery Priest
Thomas Williams
Gilbert Winslow
Edmund Margesson
Peter Brown
Richard Britteridge
George Soule
Edward Tilly
John Tilly
Francis Cooke
Thomas Rogers
Thomas Tinker
John Ridgdale
Edward Fuller
Richard Clark
Richard Gardiner
Mr. John Allerton
Thomas English
Edward Doten
Edward Liester

Plymouth Colony

The pilgrims selected a site on the western shore of Cape Cod in Massachusetts which they named Plymouth and where they established their colony. During that first winter, 46 of the 102 colonists died from the severe cold plus an influenza type of illness known as the “great sickness”, and left the remaining colonists weakened and without adequate food and supplies. During the spring of 1621, however, members of the peaceful native Wampanoags tribe, helped the colonists to adapt and grow enough food to survive. Although the colonists struggled and endured hardships for the first few years at Plymouth, they prevailed and established the first permanent colony in New England.

The First Thanksgiving

At the time of the fall harvest in 1621, Massasoit, the great sachem of the Wampanoag tribe and 90 of his people arrived with meat, fowl, fish and crops and helped the pilgrims prepare for the upcoming winter. The pilgrims and the Wampanoags joined together for a great three day harvest feast and a time of thanksgiving for the blessings bestowed on them. Almost two and a half centuries later in 1863, during the American Civil War, President Lincoln, who was urged to follow the tradition of the pilgrims' first thanksgiving, proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving. This tradition was followed by every succeeding president, until Congress in 1941 established Thanksgiving as an official national holiday.

Plymouth Rock, Plymouth, Massachusetts


T h e   P i l g r i m s

During the middle of the sixteenth century the social condition of the people of England was very primitive, and life was hard. Poor people lived in cottages built of wooden frames filled in with dirt; their houses were without wooden floors; and in many of them the fireplaces were constructed in the middle of the rooms with no chimneys, a hole being left in the roof for the smoke to escape. The windows were not glazed, and were closed against the weather, and the light was allowed to enter by means of oiled paper. Such was the plain condition of the houses of the Puritans of New England.

Very few vegetables were cultivated, as gardening had not yet become popular. The common material for bread was flour of oats, rye, and barley; and sometimes, when these were scarce, they were mixed with ground acorns. Even this black bread was sometimes not available, and meat was the principal diet. Their forks and ploughs were made of wood, and these, with a hoe and spade, constituted the bulk of their agricultural implements. Their spoons and platters were made chiefly of wood, and forks were unknown. It is said that glazed windows were so scarce, and regarded as so much of a luxury, that noblemen, when they left their country-houses to go to court, had their glazed windows packed away carefully with other precious furniture.

The non-conformist English refugees in Holland under the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Robinson, yearning for a secluded asylum from persecution under the English government, proposed to go to Virginia and settle there in a distinct body under the general government of that colony. They sent Robert Cushman and John Carver to England in 1617 to treat with the London Company, and to ascertain whether the King would grant them liberty of conscience in that distant country. The company were anxious to have these people settle in Virginia, and offered them ample privileges, but the King would not promise not to molest them. These agents returned to Leyden. The discouraged refugees sent other agents to England in February, 1619, and finally made an arrangement with the company and with London merchants and others for their settlement in Virginia, and they at once prepared for the memorable voyage on the Mayflower in 1620. Several of the congregation at Leyden sold their estates and made a common bank, which, with the aid of their London partners, enabled them to purchase the Speedwell, a ship of 60 tons, and to hire in England the Mayflower, a ship of 180 tons, for the intended voyage. They left Delft Haven for England in the Speedwell (July, 1620), and in August sailed from Southampton, but, on account of the leakiness of the ship, were twice compelled to return to port. Dismissing this unseaworthy vessel, 101 of the number who came from Leyden sailed on the Mayflower on September 6.

Delft Haven
Delft Haven

The following are the names of the forty-one persons who signed the constitution of government on board the Mayflower, and are known as the Pilgrim Fathers: John Carver, William Bradford, Edward Winslow, William Brewster, Isaac Allerton, Myles Standish, John Alden, Samuel Fuller, Christopher Martin, William Mullins, William 'White, Richard Warren, John Howland, Stephen Hopkins, Edward Tilley, John Tilley, Francis Cook, Thomas Rogers, Thomas Tinker, John Ridgedale, Edward Fuller, John Turner, Francis Eaton, James Chilton, John Crackston, John Billington, Moses Fletcher, John Goodman, Degory Priest, Thomas Williams, Gilbert Winslow, Edward Margeson, Peter Brown, Richard Britteridge, George Soule, Richard Clarke, Richard Gardiner, John Allerton, Thomas English, Edward Doty, Edward Lister. Each subscriber placed opposite his name the number of his family.

Pilgrims Signing Mayflower Compact
Pilgrim's Signing the Mayflower Compact

The following is the text of the agreement which was signed on the lid of Elder Brewster's chest (see BREWSTER, WILLIAM).
"In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are hereunto written, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc., having undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith, and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God and of one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitution, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names, at Cape Cod, the 11th of November [0. S.], in the year of the reign of our sovereign lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini 1620."

The Mayflower first anchored in Cape Cod Bay, just within the cape, on November 21, in what is now the harbor of Provincetown, the only windward port for many a league where the vessel could have safely stayed. Nearly all the company went ashore, glad to touch land after the long voyage. They first fell on their knees, and thanked God for the preservation of their lives. The waters were shallow, and they had waded ashore—the men to explore the country, the women to wash their clothes after the long voyage.

The spot chosen by a party of explorers for the permanent landing-place of the passengers on the Mayflower was selected about Dec. 20, 1620, where New Plymouth was built. From about the middle of December until the 25th the weather was stormy, and the bulk of the passengers remained on the ship, while some of the men built a rude shelter to receive them. On the 25th a greater portion of the passengers went on shore to visit the spot chosen for their residence, when, tradition says, Mary Chilton and John Alden, both young persons, first sprang upon Plymouth Rock from the boat that conveyed them.

Plymouth Bay MapMost of the women and children remained on board the Mayflower until suitable log huts were erected for their reception, and it was March 21, 1621, before they were all landed. Those on shore were exposed to the rigors of winter weather and insufficient food, though the winter was a comparatively mild one. Those on the ship were confined in foul air, with unwholesome food. Scurvy and other diseases appeared among them, and when, late in March, the last passenger landed from the Mayflower, nearly one-half the colonists were dead.

The lands of the Plymouth Colony were held in common by the "Pilgrims" and their partners, the London merchants. In 1627 the "Pilgrims" sent Isaac Allerton to England to negotiate for the purchase of the shares of the London adventurers, with their stock, merchandise, lands, and chattels. He did so for $9,000, payable in nine years in equal annual installments. Some of the principal persons of the colony became bound for the rest, and a partnership was formed, into which was admitted the head of every family, and every young man of age and prudence. It was agreed that every single free-man should have one share; and every father of a family have leave to purchase one share for himself, one for his wife, and one for every child living with him; that every one should pay his part of the public debt according to the number of his shares. To every share twenty acres of arable land were assigned by lot; to every six shares, one cow and two goats, and swine in the same proportion. This agreement was made in full court, Jan. 3, 1628. The joint-stock or community system was then abandoned, a division of the movable property was made, and twenty acres of land nearest to the town were assigned in fee to each colonist. (See PLYMOUTH, NEW.)
Pilgrims Landin Plymouth Rock
Pilgrims Landing in the New World

Gov. WILLIAM BRADFORD wrote a History of the Plymouth Plantation, of which the following is an extract: This was written in a form of old English, so spelling and sentence structure may appear awkward today.

The Pilgrims' Arrival at Cape Cod.—Being thus arived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees & blessed ye God of heaven, who had brought them over ye vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all ye periles & miseries thereof, againe to set their feete on ye firme and stable earth, their proper elemente. And no marvell if they were thus joyefull, seeing wise Seneca was so affected with sailing a few miles on ye coast of his owne Italy; as he affirmed, that he had rather remaine twentie years on his way by land, then pass by sea to any place in a short time; so tedious & dreadful was ye same unto him.

But hear I cannot but stay and make a pause, and stand half amased at this poore peoples presente condition; and so I thinke will the reader too, when he well considers ye same. Being thus passed ye vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation (as may be remembered by yt which wente before), they had now no friends to wellcome them, nor inns to entertaine or refresh their weather-beaten bodys, no houses or much less townes to repaire too, to seeke for suecoure. It is recorded in scripture as a mercie to ye apostle & his shipwraked company, yt the barbarians shewed them no smale kindnes in refreshing them, but these savage barbarians, when they mette with them (as after will appeare) were readier to fill their sids full of arrows then otherwise. And for ye season it was winter, and they that know ye winters of yt cuntrie know them to be sharp & violent, & subjecte to cruell & feirce stormes, deangerous to travill to known places, much more to serch an unknown coast. Besids, what could they see but a hidious & desolate wildernes, full of wild beasts & willd men ? and what multituds ti r might be of them they knew not. Nether could they, as it were, goe up to ye tope of Pisgah, to vew from this willdernes a more goodly cuntrie to feed their hops; for which way soever they turned their eys (save upward to ye heavens) they could have litle solace or content in respecte of any outward objects. For sumer being done, all things stand upon them with a weatherbeaten face; and ye whole countrie, full of woods & thickets, represented a wild & savage heiw. If they looked behind them; ther was ye mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a maine barr & goulfe to seperate themfrom all ye civill parts of ye world. If it be said they had a ship to sucour them, it is trew; but what heard they daly from ye mr. & company? but yt with speede they should looke out a place with their shallop, wher they would be at some near distance; for ye season was shuck as he would not stirr from thence till a safe harbor was discovered by them wher they would be, and he might goe without danger; and that victells consumed apace, but he must & would keepe sufficient for them selves & their returne. Yea, it was muttered by some, that if they gott not a place in time, they would turne them & their goods ashore & leave them. Let it also be considered what weake hopes of supply & succoure they left behinde them, yt might bear up their minds in this sade condition and trialls they were under ; and they could not but be very smale. It is true, indeed, ye affections & love of their brethren at Leyden was cordiall & entire towards them, but they had litle power to help them, or them selves; and how ye case stode betweene them & ye marchants at their coming away, bath allready been declared. What could now sustaine them but ye spirite of God & his grace? May not & ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: Our faithers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this w-illdernes; but they cried unto ye Lord, and he heard their voyce, and looked on their adversitie, &c. Let them therefore praise ye Lord, because he is good, & his mercies endure for ever. Yea, let them which have been redeemed of ye Lord, spew how he hath delivered them from ye hand of ye oppressour. When they 'wandered in ye deserte wilddernes out of ye way, and found no citie to dwell in, both hungrie. & thirstie, their sowle was overwhelmed in them. Let them confess before ye Lord his loving kindnes, and his wonderful works before ye sons of men.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

For More Information on the
Pilgrim's Mayflower Compact, c.1620


For More Information on the
Discovery and Settlement of America


The Pilgrim's Mayflower Compact, c.1620

Mayflower Compact's relevance to us today

New Hampshire Sentinel Source.com
November 23, 2011

On the day before Thanksgiving it’s worth looking at a document that has a close tie to the holiday: The Mayflower Compact. This was the 200-word statement that was put on paper while the Mayflower lay at anchor in Provincetown harbor after a long and difficult passage across the Atlantic Ocean.

The Compact, which was signed by all 41 adult males on board, has a relevance today, though not for some of the reasons that have been claimed.

For example some see in the Compact a precedent for the Constitution that emerged more than a century-and-a-half later and that, with amendments, still guides us. But one would be hard put to find much literal connection between the spare document of 1620 and the detailed diagram of self-governance of 1787 [effected a 167 years later].

And some argue that the Compact, by its very language, establishes the United States as a Christian nation; in that case, the statement’s words and circumstances would also certify the nation as forever a subject of the British monarchy, controlled only by males and given to appropriation of other people’s lands.

We see a different meaning to the nation in the historic statement that was signed aboard the Mayflower, particularly in light of our current state of affairs. Consider the actual language:

“In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620.”

The meaning of those words that principally resonates today is this: We are all in the same boat.

More than a few passengers on the Mayflower were surprised by where they had landed, having expected to wind up a couple of hundred miles to the south, and they threatened to leave. The Compact formally bound them into a single community where they were, and reinforced the original ambition to establish a settlement together. Notable is the commitment to “covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick,” with emphasis on the word “civil.”

The history books spell out how hard and sometimes imperfect that commitment turned out to be. But a shared mission it was, despite individual differences or preferences, with everyone working together toward a common goal. A worthy Thanksgiving ideal.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Signed by the Pilgrims in 1620
Showing Full Reference to God & the Christian Faith

In 1620, a small group of pilgrims arrived in New England and wrote out
the Mayflower compact creating their own community
"for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith."

Modern Transcription:

In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, convenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politic, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience.

In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620″

Mayflower Compact, Nov. 11, 1620
Literal Transcription:

"In ye name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord King James by ye grace of God, of Great Britaine, Franc, & Ireland king, defender of ye faith, &c.

Haveing undertaken, for ye glorie of God, and advancemente of ye Christian faith, and honour of our king & countrie, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly & mutualy in ye presence of God, and one of another, covenant & combine our selves togeather into a civill body politick; for our better ordering & preservation & furtherance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hearof, to enacte, constitute, and frame shuch just & equall lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete & convenient for ye generall good of ye Colonie: unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witnes wherof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cap-Codd ye .11. of November, in ye year of the raigne of our soveraigne lord King James of England, France, & Ireland ye eighteenth, and of Scotland ye fiftie fourth. Ano: Dom. 1620."

PILGRIMS’ WRITINGS – Early Christian records of the U.S. history


“OF PLIMOTH PLANTATION” written by the Pilgrim Governor William Bradford

(Bradford was Governor of the Pilgrams for over 30 years)
e-book: History of Plymouth Plantation 1606-1646 (PDF)
e-book: History of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647

This journal “Of Plimoth Plantation” was written by Pilgrim Governor William Bradford – check the Massachusetts Records, here, here, and here

The Massachusetts State House stores the hand-written journal of Mayflower Captain and Pilgrim Governor William Bradford where he narrates the first years of the Pilgrim colony at Plymouth. The Pilgrims sailed from England on the Mayflower and arrived in Massachusetts in 1620 where Bradford served as the colony’s first governor. Bradford wrote an account of the settlement from 1620 to 1646, titling it “Of Plimoth Plantation.”
The hand-written journal describes the voyage of The Mayflower and the Pilgrims’ experience settling in Plymouth

Originally titled “The Log of the Mayflower” contains an account as narrated by Mayflower Captain William Bradford who was one of the Company of Englishmen who left England in April 1620 in the ship known as “The Mayflower.” He also narrates the circumstances leading to their prior Settlement in Holland, their return to England and subsequent departure for New England, their landing at Cape Cod in December 1620, their Settlement at New Plymouth and their later history for several years.

This record is an invaluable source for the early history of Massachusetts and the United States.

The manuscript contains a copy of the Mayflower Compact (the original copy, written on board of the Mayflower, no longer exists), a list of passengers who sailed on the vessel. (p19)

PILGRIMS’ WRITINGS – Thanksgiving to God

THE FIRST THANKSGIVING AT PLYMOUTH – to honor God for His deliverance and providence.

As narrated by the Pilgrim, Captain and Governor William Bradford in his manuscript “Of Plymoth Plantation” (originally titled “The Log of the Mayflower”).


● The grateful Pilgrims therefore declared a three-day feast in December 1621 to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends.
● It is primarily from the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving celebration of 1621 that we derive the current tradition of Thanksgiving Day.

Modern transcription:

And thus, they found the Lord to be with them in all their ways, and to bless their outgoings & incomings, for which let his holy name have the praise for ever, to all posterity.

They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.”

"Mourt's Relation" by Pilgrim Edward Winslow
“MOURT’S RELATION” written by Pilgrim Governor Edward Winslow, 1621

(Mourt was Governor of the Pilgrims several times)
e-book: Mourt’s Relation or Journal of the Plantation at Plymouth (PDF)

Modern transcription:

our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

This journal Mourt’s Relation was:

- Written primarily by Pilgrims and Mayflower passengers: Edward Winslow, William Bradford.

- Written between November 1620 and November 1621.

- Describes the landing of the Pilgrims at Cape Cod, their exploring and eventual settling at Plymouth, their building of the Colony, their relations with the surrounding Indians, including the First Thanksgiving.

- Originally printed in 1622 under the tile A Relation or Journal of the English Plantation settled at Plymouth, is the first published account of the coming of the Pilgrims to the New World to settle Plymouth Plantation.

Pilgrims embrace Capitalism
(from the journal of Pilgrim William Bradford)


(as written by the Pilgrim’s second Governor, William Bradford)

Pilgrims corn production increased when each family was assigned a parcel
● For the Pilgrims, life was a constant battle for survival. Later, Governor William Bradford made a decision. Instead of the colonists sharing their crops equally, he assigned a parcel of land to each family and told them they could keep whatever they produced for themselves.

● ‘This had very good success, for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.’ If you can keep everything you make, of course you’re going to work harder….
Modern transcription:

All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.more
For More Informatino on the History of Thanksgiving in America:

History of Thanksgiving in America
Celebrating Thanksgiving in America
What is the origin of America’s annual Thanksgiving Day?

Embarkation of The Pilgrims (painting on south side of the Rotunda in the United States Capitol Building)
Embarkation of The Pilgrims
(painting in the U.S Capitol Building)
by Bernard Gribble
The Mayflower at Sea
by Margeson
Thanksgiving Pilgrims
First Thanksgiving
by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris
Colonization of New England by Costaggini – Frieze in the U.S. Capitol
Early settlers cut and saw trees and use the lumber to construct a building.
Many others are giving praises to God.
Thanksgiving Thanking the Christian God
The First Thanksgiving
by Jennie A. Brownscombe
Pilgrims Signing the Mayflower Compact by Edward Percy Moran
Signing the Mayflower Compact
by Edward Percy Moran

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

For More Information on the

For More Information on the
Discovery and Settlement of America

Harry Potter World Premier Farewell, Thank You Speech, and Press Conference

Emma Watson Breaks Down At Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part II London Premiere

Rupert/Emma: We say goodbye

World Premier Thank Speech Pt 2
Daniel Radcliffe

World Premier Thank Speech Pt 2
Emma Watson

World Premier Thank Speech Pt 2
Rupert Grint

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,' Part 2
Press Conference

Part 1/3

Part 2/3

Part 3/3

Ed Dobson's Story - A Film Series About Hope (re: Suffering, Illness and Healing)


A seven-part film series about hope, featuring Ed Dobson. Watch the trailer to get a taste of the journey we take with Ed through these seven films.

In It Ain't Over, the first film in the Ed's Story series, Ed Dobson reminds us that life isn't over yet and that we don't have to feel overwhelmed by the struggles we're facing today. Difficult news can sometimes make us feel like our lives are over. Ed shows us that we don't know the future, and that things may turn out quite differently from what we expect.

Sometimes we worry too much about the future. Ed stopped making plans more than two weeks out after his ALS diagnosis. Why? Tomorrow is not guaranteed—for any of us. When we worry about tomorrow, we often miss out on the beauty, richness, and fulfillment of today.

Could living for today be what's best for us, and could it even free us from the worries of tomorrow?

When those close to us suffer, it's only natural to want to help. But what do you say when someone's life falls apart and suffering becomes their reality? How can you show you care?

The people who comforted Ed most were the ones who just showed up and didn't say a word.

Perhaps just being present can bring more comfort, peace, and a sense of God's presence than words ever could.

Many of us find our identity in what we do. But what happens when our career comes to an abrupt end? What happens when that job is no longer there? Are we still ourselves? Does our identity change?

A pastor for many years, Ed struggled to adjust to a life without the pulpit. He eventually discovered there is much more to who we are than what we do. Could it be that change is an opportunity for a renewed sense of purpose?

When Ed was told that his life would be over in a few short years, he found his priorities drastically rearranged. He wanted to mend relationships that may have been broken. He decided that relationships where way more important than who was right and who was wrong.

Ed discovered that forgiveness is an issue that requires humility. He also discovered a transforming experience for all involved. Could the power of forgiveness lead to a better world around us?

Many people start each day with a list of things to accomplish. But it's possible to get caught up in this list; to anticipate how things will go and actually feel entitled to each of our days. As if they are owed to us. It wasn't until Ed was forced to slow down that he truly began to see all that he has been given.

Tragedy reminds us what little control we have over life; we are always at the mercy of something other than ourselves. As Ed shares, perhaps acknowledging this lack of control is the key to really understanding the notion of healing.

Ed Dobson

Ed Dobson is pastor emeritus of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and serves as a consulting editor for Leadership magazine. He holds an earned doctorate from the University of Virginia, and is author of numerous books, including The Year of Living Like Jesus and Prayers and Promises When Facing a Life-Threatening Illness. He moved to the United States from Northern Ireland in 1964 and now lives with his family in Grand Rapids.

The Year of Living Like Jesus - BookThe Year of Living Like Jesus

In The Year of Living Like Jesus, Dobson chronicles his humbling and inspiring year in Jesus's sandals. Like A. J. Jacobs's bestseller, The Year of Living Biblically, Dobson's book is funny, challenging, and provocative. With great candor and wisdom, he invites readers to join him on a year of revelation, a year that changed his spiritual life forever.

Prayers and Promises When Facing a Life-Threatening IllnessPrayers and Promises When Facing a Life-Threatening Illness

Thirty short-yet-powerful morning and evening reflections offer encouragement, hope, and inspiration to people dealing with a life-threatening illness, and to their family members and caretakers. Here are honest insights and personal stories from a pastor who continues his own journey with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's disease".

Ed's Blog