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serious prejudi se, it fell out that the little handful of men and women gathered into the Church at Scrooby, and there cradled, and afterwards nurtured into strength at Leyden, became the nucleus of the first Free Church of America, the founders of a new free commonwealth of Churches, destined to sow over a vast continent the seed of religious faith and religious liberty.

Growing prosperity of Plymouth. In 1627 the partnership with the “ Adventurers," or merchants in London who had advanced the money necessary to enable the Fathers to emigrate, came to an end. The whole of their stock and interest in the colony were made over to the settlers, and they were relieved of the burden of pecuniary obligation which for seven years had been weighing heavily upon them. The sun of prosperity had begun at last to shine upon them; the wilderness had become a fruitful field, and gave promise of yet further increase of growth and fruitfulness. There is no better or more pleasing picture of the condition and appearance of New Plymouth than that furnished by Isaac de Rasières, secretary of the Dutch colony at New Netherlands, who visited Plymouth in 1627. It stood on rising ground, separated from the sea by some twenty yards of sand. The buildings were laid out like a Roman city in miniature. Two streets crossing one another formed the town, and at their meeting stood the governor's house.

Before it was an open space, guarded by four cannon, one to command each of the ways which there met. On an eminence behind the town, but within its precincts, stood the little meeting-house, which,

besides serving the purpose of worship, was also a public storehouse, a powder magazine, and a fort all in one, protected with battlements and six cannon—a combination of law and gospel, which not only served the convenience, but was essential to the safety of the little community. Each house was a substantial log-hut, standing in its own enclosed patch of ground. Round the whole ran a palisade, the tun, which, as a distinguishing feature, so often gave its name to the Teutonic settlements. Of the four entrances three were guarded by gates, the fourth being sufficiently protected by the fort or by the sea. Along the stream to the south was the arable land divided into small patches of corn. Beyond lay the common pasture, consisting of meadow and wood and jungle. But it is not necessary to expand this description. Enough has been noted to indicate the thrift and growing resourcefulness of the young vigorous colony. New Plymouth is now fairly started on its epoch-making career.

The founding of Massachusetts

CHAPTER II

THE FOUNDING OF MASSACHUSETTS

NINE years after the planting of New Plymouth, another band of exiles, unable to endure longer the yoke of an overbearing and prelatical Church, and enamoured with the prospect of enjoying liberty and purity of worship, set sail to the shores of New England, and formed themselves into a colony on Massachusetts Bay. They were fortunate enough to secure a charter from the King, empowering them to form themselves into a corporation, and assume the title, “The Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England." The readiness with which the Royal charter was granted is doubtless explained by Charles' desire to rid himself of those who had become to him and his government a source of trouble and annoyance, though afterwards, like Pharaoh, he seems to have hardened his heart and repented for having let the people go.

The number of new settlers was between three and four hundred; they were a mixed body of emigrants, consisting mainly of Puritans whose leanings were rather towards. Presbyterianism than Independency, and did not favour the Separatist principles of the latter.

They esteemed it their honour to call the Church of England their dear mother, and could not part from their

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