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

Thursday, January 24, 2013

"A City on a Hill," by Governor John Winthrop

Late last summer my family and I travelled to Massachusetts to stay in downtown Boston for four days, afterwhich we travelled to Cape Cod's National Seashore where we stayed another three days in the little town of Orleans as we visited outlying areas. During which time we included a wonderful day trip to the whaling island Nantucket while I got my truck fixed in Hyannis Port. As we travelled back home to Michigan we stopped in the historic port city of New Bedford to have lunch and visit the whaling museums. And then Pawtucket, Rhode Island, just north of Providence, to visit my very distant relative, Samuel Slater, to see the technology he implemented that began America's Industrial Revolution through his textile mills in the Blackstone River Valley. An industry which he had learned as an young apprentice in his early teen years in old England, and which he later exported to the American colonies as a young man of 28.

For his effort in establishing the Slater Mill (see also Wikipedia's reference here), the history books have recognized Samuel Slater as the Father of the Industrial Revolution, employing gins, jennies, and spinning frames he had developed, but found insufficient, and pushed forward to develop with Moses Brown's help carding, drawing, roving and blending machines built after Richard Awkright's English designs:

"Slater realized that nothing could be done with the machinery as it stood, convincing Brown of the worth of his opinion. He was able to promise: "If I do not make as good yarn, as they do in England, I will have nothing for my services, but will throw the whole of what I have attempted over the bridge."[3] In 1790 he signed a contract with a Brown to replicate the British designs. The deal that was struck allowed Slater the funds to build the water frames and associated machinery, with a half share in their capital value and the profits derived from them. By December the shop was operational with ten to twelve workers. Despite shortages of tools and skilled mechanics, by 1791 Slater had some machinery in operation. In 1793 Slater and Brown opened their first factory in Pawtucket." - Wikipedia

Samuel Slater is also noted as the nation's first employer of religious education, using his textile mills as the nation's  first Sunday Schools. However, he did this as a matter of practicality to instill the high disciplined practices, and ethics, of old English Puritanism to the families and children of his labour forces. And thus, fearing God and duty, implanted old Europe's harsh working conditions to any families joining Slaterville (ibid) desperate for income, housing, and employment. With the outcome that here, in his mills on the banks of Pawtucket Falls of the Blackstone River, Samuel Slater could employ the popular industrial practices of child labour to maintain dangerous textile machinery. Using the little hands and small bodies of children, ages 7 to 12, to maintain large, unforgiving steel equipment, as each piece voluminously pitched-and-wove highly sought-after clothing too-expensive to import, for a growing young country full of destiny and weariness.

With the result that as the National Park Service employees personally walked us through the water-powered milling properties on that late afternoon it grieved me to hear first-hand of the Dickersonian-like employment practices being conducted in early colonial America by a revered relative and originator of the Slater-line in the relatively new nation known as America. Though great and necessary industry had been accomplished, it was accomplished upon the common practices of harsh working conditions to both child and parent. A labour environment that would require many long years of human-rights advocacy and reformation against an exploitative work environment at once epitomized in Old Boston's industrial shops and factories. An labour market that would shortly come under the austere scrutiny of another relative of mine.... but this time in support of working families and children. A civil reformation that would soon ignite America into civil war as it focused upon labour practices, basic human rights, slavery reform, and racial discrimination from Boston to San Francisco.


Not until late in the Industrial Revolution did child labour practices go away. However, in Boston, my other relatives, the Beechers, beginning with the father Lyman Beecher, and then his sons and daughters, advocated for human civil rights. Each were instrumental leaders in America's Second Great Awakening, including his daughter Harriet Beecher Stowe of Uncle Tom's Cabin fame. Beginning with Lyman, and continuing through his outspoken progeny, the Beechers worked tirelessly as abolitionists against the practices of slavery and bigotry, supported human rights legislation, advocated actively against Chinese immigration serf acts, supported woman's suffrage, and encouraged their friend, and sometimes congregant, President Lincoln, to emancipate the slaves by proclamation. Often, Lyman's son Henry Ward Beecher, would auction off slaves during Sunday morning worship services as a lawful way to purchase their freedom. One such memorial moment was that of the slave girl Pinky that pulled at the heartstrings of every congregant inflamed by her peril and condition. Here was began the hotbed of forment and rebellion within the American Church of the 19th century, in active, vocal advocacy against inhumane civil, and institutional, laws betraying uncharitable working and living conditions for families, individuals, and unempowered workers across the shops floors, factories, rail lines, and industries of America. A civil advocacy without which the Second Great Awakening could hold no power for reform, nor no reason to reform, when beholding the claims of Jesus and His power of redemption, if presented so simply in speech alone, and not by action and civil revolt.

When Abraham Lincoln met author Harriet Beecher Stowe, he leaned
over and said, “So this is the little lady who made this big war.”
reference: Banned Books Awareness
While in Boston, I happened one day upon Governor John Winthrop's gravesite at King's Chapel, and when learning of his speech on board the ship Arbelle, "A City on a Hill," thought that I should include it as a good example of the best, and the worst, of Puritan New England Colonialism. A religious system that spoke highly of God's love, yet strove desperately to work it out under the given conditions of the day (which I suspect were imported from the climes and cultures of dearest mother England herself). Thus, after having read Winthrop's "Charitable Christian Model," I had high hopes until reading further of the Bay Colonies more restrictive, grim, observances of what they deemed as charitable legislation and government according to the Puritan model. For apparently God's grace was a meager lot when pertaining to those disenfranchised unfortunates circumcised under the harsh laws of newest New England.

Grievously, many have suffered at the hands of Christian governance historically, just as many have prospered by it's same councils. The difference however lay on what side of the cultural divide you stood and lived. If on the side of hope and charity all was well and there was little apparent need to consult your neighbor's conditions of injustice, social squalor, or personal impoverishment. Thus, when speaking here of establishing an Emergent Theology that is post-modern, and post-structural, it is with the hope (and the personal courage required) that we followers of Jesus remember to apply God's grace to ALL people and not simply to our own people groups.
For it is in Jesus that ethics and morality shine. Whereas the Old Testament would show to us a God who was harsh and judgmental in His rule and laws (which I actually think were the purposeful redactions of the Jews to show God's high demands for establishing loving social societies in contrast to their neighbors base cacophony of gods, goddesses, and heathen practices). As such, in the New Testament Jesus shows to us the real God of the Old Testament misperceived by its attendant councils over the generations. Hung up on issues of "Law versus Grace," and misunderstanding that grace overrules, and superintends, over all laws, councils, codices and charters.... Hence, in the person of Jesus, we see grace and mercy, hope and forgiveness, in abundance. And if I were to judge as to whether we have two gods in the Bible, or one God, my measuring stick is that of Jesus. In Jesus is the true God of either Testament. And without Jesus we know not the God of the Old Testament (unless we do some serious reading through the Old Testament passages... And certainly more than what I have observed within the general reading public's surmise in my experience. If they had, we wouldn't have the Richard Dawkins and Newsweeks-of-the-world pushing its stereotypes of an unloving God in the Old Testament, whose stereotypes I have purposely played to here.)
Consequently, when speaking of a Jesus theology, or of an Emergent Christian faith, or of living before God's presence in obedience to His will, we must always see its practice by word and deed. Without which, according to James (of the New Testament) our faith is null and void. And so, it is vitally important to learn to "see" those in our lives we normally would overlook in casual acquaintance or tacit engagement. Which is a very hard thing to do when we consider our usually short-sighted, self-absorbed, agendas. And yet, as I've mentioned once or twice here before, simply taking baby steps, one step at a time, is the best way to get started. Making the small adjustments in life that would affect Jesus' grace to society around us while trusting God to make those small changes redemptively significant (kinda like the chaotic theory of "butterfly wings" on one side of the world creating windstorms on the other side of the world).
So, rather than being too harsh on John Winthrop, I would applaud his vision - as well as the vision of the Puritans of his day - and say, to this effort let us not believe that charters and tracts, creeds and confessions, are sufficient statements in-and-of themselves. Let us use our minds, speech, hands, feet, relationships, social networks, organizations, families, churches, schools, posts, corps, bases, teams, boards, committees, and every means possible to make "A City on a Hill" necessary and possible. That, to me, is what Emergent Christianity is all about... a Christianity that is Emerging, and a beacon of light to the Kingdom of God that would reside amongst men, like a City on a Hill, in redeeming human relationships, and not upon our lips alone.
R.E. Slater
January 24, 2013
Biography of Governor John Winthrop
John Winthrop (12 January 1587/8[1] – 26 March 1649) was a wealthy English Puritan lawyer and one of the leading figures in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the first major settlement in New England after Plymouth Colony. Winthrop led the first large wave of migrants from England in 1630, and served as governor for 12 of the colony's first 20 years of existence. His writings and vision of the colony as a Puritan "city upon a hill" dominated New England colonial development, influencing the government and religion of neighboring colonies.
Born into a wealthy landowning and merchant family, Winthrop was trained in the law, and became Lord of the Manor at Groton in Suffolk. Although he was not involved in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1628, he became involved in 1629 when the anti-Puritan King Charles I began a crackdown on Nonconformist religious thought. In October 1629 he was elected governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and in April 1630 he led a group of colonists to the New World, founding a number of communities on the shores of Massachusetts Bay and the Charles River.
Winthrop's Arrival at Salem
Between 1629 and his death in 1649, he served 12 annual terms as governor, and was a force of comparative moderation in the religiously conservative colony, clashing with the more conservative Thomas Dudley and the more liberal Roger Williams and Henry Vane. Although Winthrop was a respected political figure, his attitude toward governance was somewhat authoritarian: he resisted attempts to widen voting and other civil rights beyond a narrow class of religiously approved individuals, opposed attempts to codify a body of laws that the colonial magistrates would be bound by, and also opposed unconstrained democracy, calling it "the meanest and worst of all forms of government".[2] The authoritarian and religiously conservative nature of Massachusetts rule was influential in the formation of neighboring colonies, which were in some instances formed by individuals and groups opposed to the rule of the Massachusetts elders.
Winthrop's son, John, was one of the founders of the Connecticut Colony, and Winthrop himself wrote one of the leading historical accounts of the early colonial period. His long list of descendants includes famous Americans, and his writings continue to be an influence on politicians today.
Winthrop's reference to the "city upon a hill" in A Modell of Christian Charity has become an enduring symbol in American political discourse. Many leading American politicians, going back to revolutionary times, have cited Winthrop in their writings or speeches. Winthrop's reputation suffered in the late 19th and early 20th century, when critics like Nathaniel Hawthorne and H. L. Mencken pointed out the negative aspects of Puritan rule, leading to modern assessments of him as a "lost Founding Father". Political scientist Matthew Holland argues that Winthrop "is at once a significant founding father of America's best and worst impulses", with his calls for charity and public participation offset by rigid intolerance, exclusionism and judgmentalism. 

A Model of Christian Charity
 Governor John Winthrop
c. 1630, aboard the Arbella

A City upon a Hill is a phrase from the parable of Salt and Light in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5:14, he tells his listeners, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden." It has become popular with American politicians.
A Model of Christian Charity
The phrase entered the American lexicon early in its history, in the Puritan John Winthrop's 1630 sermon "A Model of Christian Charity". Still aboard the ship Arbella, Winthrop admonished the future Massachusetts Bay colonists that their new community would be a "city upon a hill", watched by the world---which became the ideal the New England colonists placed upon their hilly capital city, Boston. Winthrop's sermon gave rise to the widespread belief in American folklore that the United States of America is God's country. Because metaphorically, it is like a Shining City upon a Hill, and early example of American exceptionalism.
Introduction to Document
by John Beardsley
This is Winthrop’s most famous thesis, written on board the Arbella, 1630. We love to imagine the occasion when he personally spoke this oration to some large portion of the Winthrop fleet passengers during or just before their passage.
in an age not long past, when the Puritan founders were still respected by the educational establishment, this was required reading in many courses of American history and literature. However, it was often abridged to just the first and last few paragraphs. This left the overture of the piece sounding unkind and fatalistic, and the finale rather sternly zealous. A common misrepresentation of the Puritan character.
Winthrop’s genius was logical reasoning combined with a sympathetic nature. To remove this work’s central arguments about love and relationships is to completely lose the sense of the whole. Therefore we present it here in its well-balanced entirety. The biblical quotations are as Winthrop wrote them, and remain sometimes at slight variance from the King James version. This editor has corrected the chapter and verse citations to correspond to the King James text, assuming that the modern reader will wish to conveniently refer to that most popular English version of the Bible, as the Governor lays out his argument for charity and decent human behavior in the community.
Winthrop’s intent was to prepare the people for planting a new society in a perilous environment, but his practical wisdom is timeless.
Redacted and introduced by John Beardsley, Editor in Chief, the Winthrop Society Quarterly. Copyright 1997. The Introduction and Gov Winthrop's writing appear here with the kind permission of Mr. Beardsley. You are invited to visit the web site of the The Winthrop Society.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A City on a Hill
A Model of Christian Charity 
GOD ALMIGHTY in His most holy and wise providence, hath so disposed of the condition of mankind, as in all times some must be rich, some poor, some high and eminent in power and dignity; others mean and in submission.
The Reason hereof:
1st Reason. First to hold conformity with the rest of His world, being delighted to show forth the glory of his wisdom in the variety and difference of the creatures, and the glory of His power in ordering all these differences for the preservation and good of the whole, and the glory of His greatness, that as it is the glory of princes to have many officers, so this great king will have many stewards, counting himself more honored in dispensing his gifts to man by man, than if he did it by his own immediate hands.
2nd Reason. Secondly, that He might have the more occasion to manifest the work of his Spirit: first upon the wicked in moderating and restraining them, so that the rich and mighty should not eat up the poor, nor the poor and despised rise up against and shake off their yoke. Secondly, in the regenerate, in exercising His graces in them, as in the great ones, their love, mercy, gentleness, temperance etc., and in the poor and inferior sort, their faith, patience, obedience etc.
3rd Reason. Thirdly, that every man might have need of others, and from hence they might be all knit more nearly together in the bonds of brotherly affection. From hence it appears plainly that no man is made more honorable than another or more wealthy etc., out of any particular and singular respect to himself, but for the glory of his Creator and the common good of the creature, man. Therefore God still reserves the property of these gifts to Himself as Ezek. 16:17, He there calls wealth, His gold and His silver, and Prov. 3:9, He claims their service as His due, "Honor the Lord with thy riches," etc. --- All men being thus (by divine providence) ranked into two sorts, rich and poor; under the first are comprehended all such as are able to live comfortably by their own means duly improved; and all others are poor according to the former distribution.
Here are two rules whereby we are to walk one towards another: Justice and Mercy. These are always distinguished in their act and in their object, yet may they both concur in the same subject in each respect; as sometimes there may be an occasion of showing mercy to a rich man in some sudden danger or distress, and also doing of mere justice to a poor man in regard of some particular contract, etc.
There is likewise a double Law by which we are regulated in our conversation towards another. In both the former respects, the Law of Nature and the Law of Grace (that is, the moral law or the law of the gospel) to omit the rule of justice as not properly belonging to this purpose otherwise than it may fall into consideration in some particular cases. By the first of these laws, man as he was enabled so withal is commanded to love his neighbor as himself. Upon this ground stands all the precepts of the moral law, which concerns our dealings with men. To apply this to the works of mercy, this law requires two things. First, that every man afford his help to another in every want or distress.
Secondly, that he perform this out of the same affection which makes him careful of his own goods, according to the words of our Savior (from Matthew 7:12), whatsoever ye would that men should do to you. This was practiced by Abraham and Lot in entertaining the angels and the old man of Gibea. The law of Grace or of the Gospel hath some difference from the former (the law of nature), as in these respects: First, the law of nature was given to man in the estate of innocence. This of the Gospel in the estate of regeneracy. Secondly, the former propounds one man to another, as the same flesh and image of God. This as a brother in Christ also, and in the communion of the same Spirit, and so teacheth to put a difference between Christians and others. Do good to all, especially to the household of faith. Upon this ground the Israelites were to put a difference between the brethren of such as were strangers, though not of the Canaanites.
Thirdly, the Law of Nature would give no rules for dealing with enemies, for all are to be considered as friends in the state of innocence, but the Gospel commands love to an enemy. Proof: If thine enemy hunger, feed him; "Love your enemies... Do good to them that hate you" (Matt. 5:44).
This law of the Gospel propounds likewise a difference of seasons and occasions. There is a time when a Christian must sell all and give to the poor, as they did in the Apostles’ times. There is a time also when Christians (though they give not all yet) must give beyond their ability, as they of Macedonia (2 Cor. 8). Likewise, community of perils calls for extraordinary liberality, and so doth community in some special service for the church.
Lastly, when there is no other means whereby our Christian brother may be relieved in his distress, we must help him beyond our ability rather than tempt God in putting him upon help by miraculous or extraordinary means. This duty of mercy is exercised in the kinds: giving, lending and forgiving (of a debt).
Question: What rule shall a man observe in giving in respect of the measure?
Answer: If the time and occasion be ordinary he is to give out of his abundance. Let him lay aside as God hath blessed him. If the time and occasion be extraordinary, he must be ruled by them; taking this withal, that then a man cannot likely do too much, especially if he may leave himself and his family under probable means of comfortable subsistence.
Objection: A man must lay up for posterity, the fathers lay up for posterity and children, and he is worse than an infidel that provideth not for his own.
Answer: For the first, it is plain that it being spoken by way of comparison, it must be meant of the ordinary and usual course of fathers, and cannot extend to times and occasions extraordinary. For the other place the Apostle speaks against such as walked inordinately, and it is without question, that he is worse than an infidel who through his own sloth and voluptuousness shall neglect to provide for his family.
Objection: "The wise man's eyes are in his head," saith Solomon, "and foreseeth the plague;" therefore he must forecast and lay up against evil times when he or his may stand in need of all he can gather.
Answer: This very Argument Solomon useth to persuade to liberality (Eccle. 11), "Cast thy bread upon the waters...for thou knowest not what evil may come upon the land." Luke 16:9, "Make you friends of the riches of iniquity..." You will ask how this shall be? Very well. For first he that gives to the poor, lends to the Lord and He will repay him even in this life an hundredfold to him or his. The righteous is ever merciful and lendeth, and his seed enjoyeth the blessing; and besides we know what advantage it will be to us in the day of account when many such witnesses shall stand forth for us to witness the improvement of our talent. And I would know of those who plead so much for laying up for time to come, whether they hold that to be Gospel Matthew 6:19, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth," etc. If they acknowledge it, what extent will they allow it? If only to those primitive times, let them consider the reason whereupon our Savior grounds it. The first is that they are subject to the moth, the rust, the thief. Secondly, they will steal away the heart: "where the treasure is there will your heart be also."
The reasons are of like force at all times. Therefore the exhortation must be general and perpetual, with always in respect of the love and affection to riches and in regard of the things themselves when any special service for the church or particular distress of our brother do call for the use of them; otherwise it is not only lawful but necessary to lay up as Joseph did to have ready upon such occasions, as the Lord (whose stewards we are of them) shall call for them from us. Christ gives us an instance of the first, when he sent his disciples for the donkey, and bids them answer the owner thus, "the Lord hath need of him." So when the Tabernacle was to be built, He sends to His people to call for their silver and gold, etc., and yields no other reason but that it was for His work. When Elisha comes to the widow of Sareptah and finds her preparing to make ready her pittance for herself and family, he bids her first provide for him, he challenges first God's part which she must first give before she must serve her own family. All these teach us that the Lord looks that when He is pleased to call for His right in any thing we have, our own interest we have must stand aside till His turn be served. For the other, we need look no further then to that of 1 John 3:17, "He who hath this world's goods and seeth his brother to need and shuts up his compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" Which comes punctually to this conclusion: If thy brother be in want and thou canst help him, thou needst not make doubt of what thou shouldst do; if thou lovest God thou must help him.
Question: What rule must we observe in lending?
Answer: Thou must observe whether thy brother hath present or probable or possible means of repaying thee, if there be none of those, thou must give him according to his necessity, rather then lend him as he requires (requests). If he hath present means of repaying thee, thou art to look at him not as an act of mercy, but by way of commerce, wherein thou art to walk by the rule of justice; but if his means of repaying thee be only probable or possible, then he is an object of thy mercy, thou must lend him, though there be danger of losing it. (Deut. 15:7-8): "If any of thy brethren be poor ... thou shalt lend him sufficient." That men might not shift off this duty by the apparent hazard, He tells them that though the year of Jubilee were at hand (when he must remit it, if he were not able to repay it before), yet he must lend him, and that cheerfully. It may not grieve thee to give him, saith He. And because some might object, why so I should soon impoverish myself and my family, he adds, with all thy work, etc., for our Savior said (Matt. 5:42), "From him that would borrow of thee turn not away."
Question: What rule must we observe in forgiving (a debt)?
Answer: Whether thou didst lend by way of commerce or in mercy, if he hath nothing to pay thee, thou must forgive, (except in cause where thou hast a surety or a lawful pledge). Deut. 15:1-2 --- Every seventh year the creditor was to quit that which he lent to his brother if he were poor, as appears in verse 4. "Save when there shall be no poor with thee." In all these and like cases, Christ gives a general rule (Matt. 7:12), "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye the same to them."

Question: What rule must we observe and walk by in cause of community of peril?
Answer: The same as before, but with more enlargement towards others and less respect towards ourselves and our own right. Hence it was that in the primitive Church they sold all, had all things in common, neither did any man say that which he possessed was his own. Likewise in their return out of the captivity, because the work was great for the restoring of the church and the danger of enemies was common to all, Nehemiah directs the Jews to liberality and readiness in remitting their debts to their brethren, and disposing liberally to such as wanted, and stand not upon their own dues which they might have demanded of them. Thus did some of our forefathers in times of persecution in England, and so did many of the faithful of other churches, whereof we keep an honorable remembrance of them; and it is to be observed that both in Scriptures and latter stories of the churches that such as have been most bountiful to the poor saints, especially in those extraordinary times and occasions, God hath left them highly commended to posterity, as Zaccheus, Cornelius, Dorcas, Bishop Hooper, the Cutler of Brussels and divers others. Observe again that the Scripture gives no caution to restrain any from being over liberal this way; but all men to the liberal and cheerful practice hereof by the sweeter promises; as to instance one for many (Isaiah 58:6-9) "Is not this the fast I have chosen to loose the bonds of wickedness, to take off the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke ... to deal thy bread to the hungry and to bring the poor that wander into thy house, when thou seest the naked to cover them ... and then shall thy light brake forth as the morning and thy health shall grow speedily, thy righteousness shall go before God, and the glory of the Lord shalt embrace thee; then thou shall call and the Lord shall answer thee," etc. And from Ch. 2:10 (??) "If thou pour out thy soul to the hungry, then shall thy light spring out in darkness, and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in draught, and make fat thy bones, thou shalt be like a watered garden, and they shalt be of thee that shall build the old waste places," etc. On the contrary most heavy curses are laid upon such as are straightened towards the Lord and his people (Judg. 5:23), "Curse ye Meroshe ... because they came not to help the Lord." He who shutteth his ears from hearing the cry of the poor, he shall cry and shall not be heard." (Matt. 25) "Go ye cursed into everlasting fire," etc. "I was hungry and ye fed me not." (2 Cor. 9:6) "He that soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly."
Having already set forth the practice of mercy according to the rule of God's law, it will be useful to lay open the grounds of it also, being the other part of the Commandment and that is the affection from which this exercise of mercy must arise, the Apostle tells us that this love is the fulfilling of the law, not that it is enough to love our brother and so no further; but in regard of the excellency of his parts giving any motion to the other as the soul to the body and the power it hath to set all the faculties at work in the outward exercise of this duty; as when we bid one make the clock strike, he doth not lay hand on the hammer, which is the immediate instrument of the sound, but sets on work the first mover or main wheel; knowing that will certainly produce the sound which he intends. So the way to draw men to the works of mercy, is not by force of Argument from the goodness or necessity of the work; for though this cause may enforce, a rational mind to some present act of mercy, as is frequent in experience, yet it cannot work such a habit in a soul, as shall make it prompt upon all occasions to produce the same effect, but by framing these affections of love in the heart which will as naturally bring forth the other, as any cause doth produce the effect.
The definition which the Scripture gives us of love is this: Love is the bond of perfection. First it is a bond or ligament. Secondly, it makes the work perfect. There is no body but consists of parts and that which knits these parts together, gives the body its perfection, because it makes each part so contiguous to others as thereby they do mutually participate with each other, both in strength and infirmity, in pleasure and pain. To instance in the most perfect of all bodies: Christ and his Church make one body. The several parts of this body considered a part before they were united, were as disproportionate and as much disordering as so many contrary qualities or elements, but when Christ comes, and by his spirit and love knits all these parts to himself and each to other, it is become the most perfect and best proportioned body in the world (Eph. 4:15-16). Christ, by whom all the body being knit together by every joint for the furniture thereof, according to the effectual power which is in the measure of every perfection of parts, a glorious body without spot or wrinkle; the ligaments hereof being Christ, or his love, for Christ is love (1 John 4:8). So this definition is right. Love is the bond of perfection.
From hence we may frame these conclusions:
First of all, true Christians are of one body in Christ (1 Cor. 12). Ye are the body of Christ and members of their part. All the parts of this body being thus united are made so contiguous in a special relation as they must needs partake of each other's strength and infirmity; joy and sorrow, weal and woe. If one member suffers, all suffer with it, if one be in honor, all rejoice with it.
Secondly, the ligaments of this body which knit together are love.
Thirdly, no body can be perfect which wants its proper ligament.
Fourthly, All the parts of this body being thus united are made so contiguous in a special relation as they must needs partake of each other’s strength and infirmity, joy and sorrow, weal and woe. (1 Cor. 12:26) If one member suffers, all suffer with it; if one be in honor, all rejoice with it.
Fifthly, this sensitivity and sympathy of each other's conditions will necessarily infuse into each part a native desire and endeavor, to strengthen, defend, preserve and comfort the other. To insist a little on this conclusion being the product of all the former, the truth hereof will appear both by precept and pattern. 1 John 3:16, "We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." Gal. 6:2, "Bear ye one another's burden’s and so fulfill the law of Christ."
For patterns we have that first of our Savior who, out of his good will in obedience to his father, becoming a part of this body and being knit with it in the bond of love, found such a native sensitivity of our infirmities and sorrows as he willingly yielded himself to death to ease the infirmities of the rest of his body, and so healed their sorrows. From the like sympathy of parts did the Apostles and many thousands of the Saints lay down their lives for Christ. Again the like we may see in the members of this body among themselves. Rom. 9 --- Paul could have been contented to have been separated from Christ, that the Jews might not be cut off from the body. It is very observable what he professeth of his affectionate partaking with every member; "Who is weak (saith he) and I am not weak? Who is offended and I burn not?" And again (2 Cor. 7:13), "Therefore we are comforted because ye were comforted." Of Epaphroditus he speaketh (Phil. 2:25-30) that he regarded not his own life to do him service. So Phoebe and others are called the servants of the church. Now it is apparent that they served not for wages, or by constraint, but out of love. The like we shall find in the histories of the church, in all ages; the sweet sympathy of affections which was in the members of this body one towards another; their cheerfulness in serving and suffering together; how liberal they were without repining, harborers without grudging, and helpful without reproaching; and all from hence, because they had fervent love amongst them; which only makes the practice of mercy constant and easy.
The next consideration is how this love comes to be wrought. Adam in his first estate was a perfect model of mankind in all their generations, and in him this love was perfected in regard of the habit. But Adam, himself rent from his Creator, rent all his posterity also one from another; whence it comes that every man is born with this principle in him to love and seek himself only, and thus a man continueth till Christ comes and takes possession of the soul and infuseth another principle, love to God and our brother, and this latter having continual supply from Christ, as the head and root by which he is united, gets predominant in the soul, so by little and little expels the former. 1 John 4:7 --- Love cometh of God and every one that loveth is born of God, so that this love is the fruit of the new birth, and none can have it but the new creature. Now when this quality is thus formed in the souls of men, it works like the Spirit upon the dry bones. Ezek. 37:7 --- "Bone came to bone." It gathers together the scattered bones, or perfect old man Adam, and knits them into one body again in Christ, whereby a man is become again a living soul.
The third consideration is concerning the exercise of this love, which is twofold, inward or outward. The outward hath been handled in the former preface of this discourse. From unfolding the other we must take in our way that maxim of philosophy, "simile simili gaudet," or like will to like; for as of things which are turned with disaffection to each other, the ground of it is from a dissimilitude or arising from the contrary or different nature of the things themselves; for the ground of love is an apprehension of some resemblance in the things loved to that which affects it. This is the cause why the Lord loves the creature, so far as it hath any of his Image in it; He loves his elect because they are like Himself, He beholds them in His beloved son.
So a mother loves her child, because she thoroughly conceives a resemblance of herself in it. Thus it is between the members of Christ; each discerns, by the work of the Spirit, his own Image and resemblance in another, and therefore cannot but love him as he loves himself. Now when the soul, which is of a sociable nature, finds anything like to itself, it is like Adam when Eve was brought to him. She must be one with himself. This is flesh of my flesh (saith he) and bone of my bone. So the soul conceives a great delight in it; therefore she desires nearness and familiarity with it. She hath a great propensity to do it good and receives such content in it, as fearing the miscarriage of her beloved, she bestows it in the inmost closet of her heart. She will not endure that it shall want any good which she can give it. If by occasion she be withdrawn from the company of it, she is still looking towards the place where she left her beloved. If she heard it groan, she is with it presently. If she find it sad and disconsolate, she sighs and moans with it. She hath no such joy as to see her beloved merry and thriving. If she see it wronged, she cannot hear it without passion. She sets no bounds to her affections, nor hath any thought of reward. She finds recompense enough in the exercise of her love towards it.
We may see this acted to life in Jonathan and David. Jonathan a valiant man endued with the spirit of love, so soon as he discovered the same spirit in David had presently his heart knit to him by this ligament of love; so that it is said he loved him as his own soul, he takes so great pleasure in him, that he strips himself to adorn his beloved. His father's kingdom was not so precious to him as his beloved David, David shall have it with all his heart. Himself desires no more but that he may be near to him to rejoice in his good. He chooseth to converse with him in the wilderness even to the hazard of his own life, rather than with the great Courtiers in his father's Palace. When he sees danger towards him, he spares neither rare pains nor peril to direct it. When injury was offered his beloved David, he would not bear it, though from his own father. And when they must part for a season only, they thought their hearts would have broke for sorrow, had not their affections found vent by abundance of tears. Other instances might be brought to show the nature of this affection; as of Ruth and Naomi, and many others; but this truth is cleared enough. If any shall object that it is not possible that love shall be bred or upheld without hope of requital, it is granted; but that is not our cause; for this love is always under reward. It never gives, but it always receives with advantage:
First in regard that among the members of the same body, love and affection are reciprocal in a most equal and sweet kind of commerce.
Secondly, in regard of the pleasure and content that the exercise of love carries with it, as we may see in the natural body. The mouth is at all the pains to receive and mince the food which serves for the nourishment of all the other parts of the body; yet it hath no cause to complain; for first the other parts send back, by several passages, a due proportion of the same nourishment, in a better form for the strengthening and comforting the mouth. Secondly, the labor of the mouth is accompanied with such pleasure and content as far exceeds the pains it takes. So is it in all the labor of love among Christians. The party loving, reaps love again, as was showed before, which the soul covets more then all the wealth in the world.
Thirdly, nothing yields more pleasure and content to the soul then when it finds that which it may love fervently; for to love and live beloved is the soul’s paradise both here and in heaven. In the State of wedlock there be many comforts to learn out of the troubles of that condition; but let such as have tried the most, say if there be any sweetness in that condition comparable to the exercise of mutual love.
From the former considerations arise these conclusions:
First, this love among Christians is a real thing, not imaginary.
Secondly, this love is as absolutely necessary to the being of the body of Christ, as the sinews and other ligaments of a natural body are to the being of that body.
Thirdly, this love is a divine, spiritual, nature; free, active, strong, courageous, permanent; undervaluing all things beneath its proper object and of all the graces, this makes us nearer to resemble the virtues of our heavenly father.
Fourthly, it rests in the love and welfare of its beloved. For the full certain knowledge of those truths concerning the nature, use, and excellency of this grace, that which the holy ghost hath left recorded, 1 Cor. 13, may give full satisfaction, which is needful for every true member of this lovely body of the Lord Jesus, to work upon their hearts by prayer, meditation continual exercise at least of the special influence of this grace, till Christ be formed in them and they in him, all in each other, knit together by this bond of love.
It rests now to make some application of this discourse, by the present design, which gave the occasion of writing of it. Herein are four things to be propounded; first the persons, secondly, the work, thirdly the end, fourthly the means.
First, for the persons. We are a company professing ourselves fellow members of Christ, in which respect only, though we were absent from each other many miles, and had our employments as far distant, yet we ought to account ourselves knit together by this bond of love and live in the exercise of it, if we would have comfort of our being in Christ. This was notorious in the practice of the Christians in former times; as is testified of the Waldenses, from the mouth of one of the adversaries Aeneas Sylvius "mutuo ament pene antequam norunt" --- they use to love any of their own religion even before they were acquainted with them.
Secondly for the work we have in hand. It is by a mutual consent, through a special overvaluing providence and a more than an ordinary approbation of the churches of Christ, to seek out a place of cohabitation and consortship under a due form of government both civil and ecclesiastical. In such cases as this, the care of the public must oversway all private respects, by which, not only conscience, but mere civil policy, doth bind us. For it is a true rule that particular estates cannot subsist in the ruin of the public.
Thirdly, the end is to improve our lives to do more service to the Lord; the comfort and increase of the body of Christ, whereof we are members, that ourselves and posterity may be the better preserved from the common corruptions of this evil world, to serve the Lord and work out our salvation under the power and purity of his holy ordinances.
Fourthly, for the means whereby this must be effected. They are twofold, a conformity with the work and end we aim at. These we see are extraordinary, therefore we must not content ourselves with usual ordinary means. Whatsoever we did, or ought to have done, when we lived in England, the same must we do, and more also, where we go. That which the most in their churches maintain as truth in profession only, we must bring into familiar and constant practice; as in this duty of love, we must love brotherly without dissimulation, we must love one another with a pure heart fervently. We must bear one another’s burdens. We must not look only on our own things, but also on the things of our brethren.
Neither must we think that the Lord will bear with such failings at our hands as he doth from those among whom we have lived; and that for these three reasons:
First, in regard of the more near bond of marriage between Him and us, wherein He hath taken us to be His, after a most strict and peculiar manner, which will make Him the more jealous of our love and obedience. So He tells the people of Israel, you only have I known of all the families of the earth, therefore will I punish you for your transgressions.
Secondly, because the Lord will be sanctified in them that come near Him. We know that there were many that corrupted the service of the Lord; some setting up altars before his own; others offering both strange fire and strange sacrifices also; yet there came no fire from heaven, or other sudden judgment upon them, as did upon Nadab and Abihu, whom yet we may think did not sin presumptuously.
Thirdly, when God gives a special commission He looks to have it strictly observed in every article; When He gave Saul a commission to destroy Amaleck, He indented with him upon certain articles, and because he failed in one of the least, and that upon a fair pretense, it lost him the kingdom, which should have been his reward, if he had observed his commission.
Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into covenant with Him for this work. We have taken out a commission. The Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles. We have professed to enterprise these and those accounts, upon these and those ends. We have hereupon besought Him of favor and blessing. Now if the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He ratified this covenant and sealed our commission, and will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it; but if we shall neglect the observation of these articles which are the ends we have propounded, and, dissembling with our God, shall fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves and our posterity, the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us, and be revenged of such a people, and make us know the price of the breach of such a covenant.
Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others’ necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness and truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when He shall make us a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, "may the Lord make it like that of New England." For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God, and all professors for God's sake. We shall shame the faces of many of God's worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going.
And to shut this discourse with that exhortation of Moses, that faithful servant of the Lord, in his last farewell to Israel, Deut. 30. "Beloved, there is now set before us life and death, good and evil," in that we are commanded this day to love the Lord our God, and to love one another, to walk in his ways and to keep his Commandments and his ordinance and his laws, and the articles of our Covenant with Him, that we may live and be multiplied, and that the Lord our God may bless us in the land whither we go to possess it. But if our hearts shall turn away, so that we will not obey, but shall be seduced, and worship other Gods, our pleasure and profits, and serve them; it is propounded unto us this day, we shall surely perish out of the good land whither we pass over this vast sea to possess it.
Therefore let us choose life,
that we and our seed may live,
by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him,
for He is our life and our prosperity.
The Grave of John Winthrop
Buried in King's Chapel, Boston, Massachusetts
Born: 12 January 1588
Died: 26 March 1649
"Under Puritan Law the model of Christian charity
failed in its corporate observance and governance
by Jesus' standards of light and love. Let us not then
stand guilty ourselves in this present day under our
own Christian models of charity and love."
- R.E.Slater

History of the
Massachusetts Bay Colony
On 8 April 1630, four ships left the Isle of Wight, carrying Winthrop and other leaders of the colony. Winthrop sailed on the Arbella, accompanied by his two young sons, Samuel and Stephen.[55] The ships were part of a larger fleet, totalling 11 ships, that would carry about 700 migrants to the colony.[56] Winthrop's son Henry missed the Arbella's sailing, and ended up on the Talbot, which also sailed from Wight.[19][20] Winthrop wrote a sermon entitled A Modell of Christian Charity, which was delivered either before or during the crossing.[57] It described the ideas and plans to keep the Puritan society strong in faith as well as comparing the struggles that they would have to overcome in the New World to the story of Exodus. In it he used the now famous phrase "City upon a Hill" to describe the ideals to which the colonists should strive, and that consequently "the eyes of all people are upon us."[58]
Upon the fleet's arrival at Salem in June, the new colonists were welcomed by John Endecott. Winthrop and his deputy, Thomas Dudley, found the Salem area inadequate for creating a settlement suitable for all of the arriving colonists, and embarked on surveying expeditions of the area. They first decided to base the colony at Charlestown, but a lack of good water there prompted them to instead move to the Shawmut Peninsula, where they founded what is now the city of Boston.[59] Because the season was relatively late, the colonists decided to establish dispersed settlements along the coast and the banks of the Charles River in order to avoid presenting a single point that hostile forces might attack. The colony struggled with disease in its early months, losing as many as 200 people, including Winthrop's son Henry, in 1630, to a variety of causes.[32] Winthrop set an example to the other colonists in joining servants and laborers in the work of the colony. According to one report, he "fell to work with his own hands, and thereby so encouraged the rest that there was not an idle person to be found in the whole plantation."[60]
Winthrop built his house in Boston, where he also had a relatively spacious plot of arable land.[61] In 1631 he was granted a larger parcel of land on the banks of the Mystic River that he called Ten Hills Farm.[62] On the other side of the Mystic was the shipyard owned in absentia by Matthew Cradock, where one of the colony's first boats, Winthrop's Blessing of the Bay, was built. Winthrop operated her as a trading and packet ship up and down the coast of New England.[63]
The issue of where to locate the colony's capital caused the first in a series of rifts between Winthrop and Dudley. Dudley had constructed his home at Newtown (present-day Harvard Square, Cambridge) after the council had agreed the capital would be established there. However, Winthrop decided instead to build his home in Boston when asked by its residents to stay there. This upset Dudley, and their relationship worsened when Winthrop criticized Dudley for what he perceived as excessive decorative woodwork in his house.[64] However, they seemed to reconcile after their children were married. Winthrop recounts the two of them, each having been granted land near Concord, going to stake their claims. At the boundary between their lands, a pair of boulders were named the Two Brothers "in remembrance that they were brothers by their children's marriage".[65] Dudley's lands became Bedford, and Winthrop's Billerica.[66]
Colonial governance
The colony's charter called for a governor, deputy governor, and 18 assistant magistrates (who served as a precursor to the idea of a Governor's Council), who were all to be elected annually by the freemen of the colony.[67] The first meeting of the General Court consisted of exactly eight men. They decided that the governor and deputy should be elected by the assistants, in violation of the charter; under these rules Winthrop was elected governor three times. The general court admitted a significant number of settlers, but also established a rule requiring all freemen to be local church members.[68] In 1633 and 1634, following the appointment of the strongly anti-Puritan William Laud as Archbishop of Canterbury, the colony saw a large influx of immigrants.[69]
When the 1634 election was set to take place, delegations of freemen sent by the towns insisted on seeing the charter, from which they learned that the colony's lawmaking authority and that the election of governor and deputy rested with the freemen, not the assistants. Winthrop acceded on the point of the elections, which were thereafter conducted by secret ballot by the freemen, but he also observed that lawmaking would be unwieldy if conducted by the now relatively large number of freemen. A compromise was reached in which each town would select two delegates to send to the general court as representatives of its interests.[70] In an ironic twist, Thomas Dudley, an opponent of popular election, won the 1634 election for governor, with Roger Ludlow as deputy.[71] Winthrop, as he had after previous elections, graciously invited his fellow magistrates to dinner.[72]
In the late 1630s the seeming arbitrariness of judicial decisions led to calls for the creation of a body of laws that would bind the opinions of magistrates. Winthrop opposed these moves, and used his power to repeatedly stall and obstruct efforts to enact them.[73] His opposition was rooted in a strong belief in the common law tradition and the desire, as a magistrate, to have flexibility in deciding cases on their unique circumstances. He also pointed out that adoption of written laws "repugnant to the laws of England" was not allowed in the charter, and that some of the laws to be adopted likely opposed English law.[74] The Massachusetts Body of Liberties was formally adopted during Richard Bellingham's governorship in 1641.[73] Some of the laws enacted in Massachusetts were cited as reasons for vacating the colonial charter in 1684.[75]
In the 1640s constitutional issues concerning the power of the magistrates and assistants arose. In a case involving an escaped pig, the assistants ruled in favor of a merchant who had allegedly taken a widow's errant animal. She appealed to the general court, which ruled in her favor. The assistants then asserted their right to veto the general court's decision, sparking the controversy. Winthrop argued that the assistants, as experienced magistrates, must be able to check the democratic institution of the general court, because "a democracy is, amongst most civil nations, accounted the meanest and worst of all forms of government."[2] Winthrop became the focus of allegations about the arbitrary rule of the magistrates in 1645, when he was formally charged with interfering with local decisions in a case involving the Hingham militia.[76] The case centered around the disputed appointment of a new commander, and a panel of magistrates headed by Winthrop had had several parties on both sides of the dispute imprisoned pending a meeting of the court of assistants. Peter Hobart, the minister in Hingham and one of several Hobarts on one side of the dispute, vociferously questioned the authority of the magistrates and railed against Winthrop specifically for what he characterized as arbitrary and tyrannical actions. Winthrop defused the matter by stepping down from the bench to appear before it as a defendant. Winthrop successfully defended himself, pointing out that not only had he not acted alone, but that judges are not usually criminally culpable for errors they make on the bench, and that the dispute in Hingham was serious enough that it required the intervention of the magistrates.[77] Winthrop was acquitted and the complainants were fined.[78]
One major issue that Winthrop was involved in occurred in 1647, when a petition was submitted to the general court concerning the limitation of voting rights to freemen who had been formally admitted to a local church. Winthrop and the other magistrates rejected the appeal that "civil liberty and freedom be forthwith granted to all truly English", and even fined and imprisoned the principal signers of the petition.[79] William Vassal and Robert Child, two of the signatories, pursued complaints against the Massachusetts government in England over this and other issues.[80]
c. 1901
Religious controversies
In 1634 and 1635 Winthrop served as an assistant, while the influx of migrants brought first John Haynes and then Henry Vane to the governorship. These two men, along with Anne Hutchinson and pastors Thomas Hooker and John Wheelwright, espoused religious or political views that were at odds with those of the earlier arrivals, including Winthrop.[81] Hutchinson and Wheelwright subscribed to the Antinomian view that following religious laws was not required for salvation, while Winthrop and others believed in a more Legalist view. This religious rift, commonly called the Antinomian Controversy, significantly divided the colony, and Winthrop saw the other side's beliefs as a particularly unpleasant and dangerous heresy.[82] By December 1636 the dispute reached into colonial politics, and Winthrop, in a bid to bridge the divide between the two factions, penned an account of his religious awakening and theological position papers designed to facilitate a harmonization of the opposing views. How widely these documents circulated is not known (and not all of them have survived), but the Legalist pastor Thomas Shepard reacted in a way that biographer Francis Bremer describes as "horrified", and containing "a color of Arminianism, which I believe your [Winthrop's] soul abhors."[83] In the 1637 election, Vane was turned out of all offices, and Winthrop was elected governor.[84]
His election did not immediately quell the controversy. First John Wheelwright and later Anne Hutchinson were put on trial, and both were banished from the colony.[85] (Hutchinson founded Portsmouth, Rhode Island and Wheelwright founded first Exeter, New Hampshire and then Wells, Maine in order to be free of Massachusetts rule.)[86][87] Winthrop was active in arguing against their supporters, but Shepard criticized him for being too moderate, claiming Winthrop should "make their wickedness and guile manifest to all men that they may go no farther and then will sink of themselves."[85] Hooker and Haynes had left Massachusetts in 1636 and 1637 for new settlements on the Connecticut River (the nucleus of the Connecticut Colony),[88] and Vane left for England after the 1637 election, suggesting he might seek to acquire a commission as a governor general to overturn the colonial government.[89] (Vane never returned to the colony, and became an important figure in Parliament before and during the English Civil Wars; he was beheaded after the Restoration.)[90]
In the aftermath of the 1637 election, the general court passed new rules on residency in the colony, forbidding anyone from housing newcomers for more than three weeks without approval from the magistrates. Winthrop vigorously defended this rule against protests, arguing that Massachusetts was within its rights to "refuse to receive such whose dispositions suit not with ours".[91] Ironically, some of those who protested the policy had been in favor of the banishment in 1635 of Roger Williams.[91] Winthrop, who was then out of office, actually had a good relationship with the controversial Baptist. When the magistrates ordered Williams' arrest, Winthrop warned him, making possible his flight that resulted in the establishment of Providence, Rhode Island.[92] Winthrop and Williams also later had an epistolary relationship in which they discussed their religious differences.[93]
Indian policy
Winthrop's attitudes toward the local Native American populations was generally one of civility and diplomacy. He described an early meeting with one local chief: "Chickatabot came with his [chiefs] and squaws, and presented the governor with a hogshead of Indian corn. After they had all dined, and had each a small cup of sack and beer, and the men tobacco, he sent away all his men and women (though the governor would have stayed them in regard of the rain and thunder.) Himself and one squaw and one [chief] stayed all night; and being in English clothes, the governor set him at his own table, where he behaved himself as soberly ... as an Englishman. The next day after dinner he returned home, the governor giving him cheese, and pease, and a mug, and other small things."[94]
Although the colonists generally sought to acquire title to the lands they occupied in the early years,[95] they also practiced a policy that historian Alfred Cave calls vacuum domicilium: if land is not under some sort of active use, it is free for the taking. This meant that lands that were only used seasonally by the natives (e.g. for fishing or hunting), which otherwise appeared to be empty, could be claimed. Winthrop claimed that the rights of "more advanced" peoples superseded the rights of the hunter-gatherers.[96]
However, cultural differences and trade issues between the colonists and the natives meant that clashes were inevitable, and the Pequot War was the first major conflict the colony engaged in. Winthrop sat on the council that decided to send an expedition under John Endecott to raid native villages on Block Island in the war's first major action,[97] but his communication with Williams encouraged the latter to convince the Narragansetts to side with the English against the Pequots, their traditional enemies.[98] The war ended in 1637 with the destruction of the Pequots as a tribe, whose survivors were scattered into other tribes, or shipped to the West Indies.[99]
Slavery and the slave trade
Slavery, according to Puritan thought, was condoned in the Old Testament, and therefore was not considered sinful towards God. The institution already existed in the Massachusetts Bay area prior to John Winthrop's arrival, since Samuel Maverick arrived in the area with slaves in 1624, and Winthrop supported the practice. This is most clearly evident in the aftermath of the Pequot War, in which many of the captured Pequots were enslaved. The Massachusetts council, headed by Winthrop, approved this action. Male warriors, deemed dangerous to the colony, were shipped to the West Indies, while females and children were divided among the colonists. Winthrop recorded that the exported male Pequots were traded for "salt, cotton, tobacco, and Negroes", and the practice of exporting captured Indians to exchange for goods and African slaves became a routine practice. Winthrop was known to keep three Pequot slaves, a male and two females.[100]
In 1641, the Massachusetts Body of Liberties was enacted, codifying (among many other things) rules about slavery. Winthrop was a member of the committee that drafted the code, but his role in drafting the slavery language is not known because records of the committee have not survived. Winthrop was generally opposed to the Body of Liberties because he favored a common law approach to legislation.[101]
Trade and diplomacy
Rising tensions in England (that culminated in civil war) led to a significant reduction in the number of people and provisions arriving in the colonies, something noted by Winthrop in 1643. The colonists consequently began to expand trade, interacting with other colonies, non-English as well as English. These led to trading ventures with other Puritans on Barbados, a source of cotton, and with the neighboring French colony of Acadia.[102]
French Acadia, covering the eastern half of present-day Maine, as well as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, was at the time embroiled in a minor civil war between competing administrators. After English colonists began trading with Charles de Saint-Étienne de la Tour in 1642, his opponent, Charles de Menou d'Aulnay, warned Boston traders away from la Tour's territories. In June 1643 la Tour came to Boston and requested military assistance against assaults by d'Aulnay.[103] Winthrop, then governor, refused official assistance, but allowed la Tour to recruit volunteers from the colony for service.[104] This decision brought on a storm of criticism, principally from the magistrates of Essex County, which was geographically closest to the ongoing dispute.[105] John Endecott was particularly critical, noting that Winthrop had given the French a chance to see the colonial defenses.[104] The 1644 election became a referendum on Winthrop's policy, and he was turned out of office.[106] The Acadian dispute was eventually resolved with d'Aulnay as the victor. In 1646, with Winthrop again in the governor's seat, d'Aulnay appeared in Boston and demanded reparations for damage done by the English volunteers. Winthrop placated the French governor with the gift of a sedan chair, originally given to him by an English privateer.[107]
Property and family
In addition to his responsibilities in the colonial government, Winthrop was a significant property owner. He owned the Ten Hills Farm, as well as land that would become the town of Billerica, Governors Island (now the site of Logan International Airport) in Boston Harbor, and Prudence Island in Narragansett Bay.[108] He also engaged in the fur trade in partnership with William Pynchon, using the Blessing of the Bay to further that business.[109] Governors Island was named for him, and remained in the Winthrop family until 1808, when it was purchased for the construction of Fort Winthrop.[110]
The farm at Ten Hills suffered from poor oversight on Winthrop's part — the steward of the farm made questionable financial deals that in the early 1640s caused Winthrop to have a cash crisis. The colony insisted on paying him his salary (something he had regularly refused to accept in the past), as well as his out-of-pocket expenses while engaged in official duties. Private subscriptions to support him raised about £500 and the colony also granted his wife 3,000 acres (12 km2) of land.[111]
His wife Margaret arrived on the second voyage of the Lyon in 1631, but their baby daughter, Anne, died during the crossing. Two more children were born to the Winthrops in New England before Margaret died on 14 June 1647.[112][113] Sometime after 20 December 1647 and before the birth of their only child in 1648, Winthrop married his fourth wife, Martha Rainsborough. She was the widow of Thomas Coytmore, and sister of Thomas and William Rainborowe.[114] Winthrop died of natural causes on 26 March 1649, and is buried in what is now called the King's Chapel Burying Ground in Boston.[115] He was survived by his wife Martha and five sons.[116]