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every description were to be free of taxes for ten years. The colonists were forbidden to make any woolen, linen or cotton cloth, or to weave any other stuffs, on pain of being banished, and arbitrarily punished ‘as perjurers,'—a regulation in the spirit of that colonial system adopted by all the nations of Europe, who sought to confine the colonists to the production of articles of export, and to keep them dependent on the mother country for the most necessary manufactures. The scheme met with favor: several members of the Company selected and purchased the most desirable locations on the Delaware Bay, and on the west bank of the Hudson opposite Manhattan Island. The former was called Swaanendael, or Swansdale; and the latter, to which Staten Island and other tracts were added, was entitled Pawonia. The agents of Van Rensselaer purchased the lands in the vicinity of Fort Orange: the name Rensselaerwyck was given to this tract, twenty-four miles long and forty-eight broad. De Vries went to Swansdale and settled there with a small colony, where the town of Lewiston now stands; and some beginnings were made in colonizing Rensselaerwyck and Pavonia. Difficulties soon occurred between the patroons and the Company in respect to trading privileges, and Minuit, who was accused of favoring the claims of the patroons, was recalled. " On his return to Holland with a cargo of furs, he was compelled by
Hildreth’s “History of the United States,” vol. i., p. 142.
stress of weather, to put into Plymouth harbor, where he was detained and threatened with being treated as an interloper. The Dutch title to New Netherland was discussed between the governments of England and Holland, the former insisting upon her right to the territory. De Vries, in December of this year, brought supplies to the little colony at Swansdale; but sad to relate, not a living being was to be found there ; the Indians had completely destroyed every thing. De Vries subsequently settled on Staten Island. Wouter Van Twiller, who succeeded Minuit, appears to have been appointed through family influence, and had few or no qualifications for the post of Director-general. He brought out with him over a hundred soldiers, a school-master, and a clergyman named Bogardus. Trade, however, was still the prevailing object with the Dutch. Nearly twenty years before, Block had ascended the Fresh or Connecticut River, where a profitable trade had commenced with the Indians, and continued to increase in importance. In order to secure this valuable traffic, the Dutch purchased of the Pequods, a tract on the west bank of the Connecticut, near where the city of Hartford now stands, and built a tradinghouse which was fortified with two cannon, and named the House of Good Hope. Soon after, a small vessel came from Boston with a letter to Van Twiller, from Winthrop, the governor, asserting anew the claims of England, and expressing surprise that the Dutch had taken possession on the Connecti
cut. The people of Plymouth, meanwhile, had taken steps to establish a post on the Connecticut, which they did, and when Van Twiller sent a company of soldiers to drive them out, they stood on their defence, and the Dutch withdrew without making trial of force. The new governor was zealous in his efforts to improve New Amsterdam: a church was erected, as were barracks for the soldiers, mills, etc. But the disputes with the patroons proved a serious hindrance to the progress of the colony; to get rid of these controversies, it was proposed to buy up the patroonships, and Swansdale was sold back to the Company for about $6,000. On the Connecticut the Massachusetts people were gradually crowding the Dutch out, and Fort Nassau, on the Delaware, was attempted to be surprised by a party from Plymouth. Van Twiller, with an eye to his own interests, secured several valuable tracts on Long Island and other smaller islands near by. Complaints, having been made against him at home by Van Dincklagen, late Schout-fiscal at New Amsterdam and an able and upright man, he was soon after recalled, and William Kieft was sent out as his successor, in March of the next year. While the people of New England were steadily advancing towards possession of the country claimed by the Dutch on the Connecticut, new competitors also appeared in Delaware Bay, in the persons of hardy and energetic Swedes. The illustrious Gustavus Adolphus had early perceived
the advantages which would ensue from colonization in America, and under his auspices a commercial company was formed for this purpose. The untimely death of Gustavus, at the battle of Lutzen, in 1632, and the breaking out of the German war, prevented any decisive action for some years. The chancellor Oxenstiern favored the plan of the company, and renewed their patent; but it was not till the close of 1637 that an expedition was actually fitted out. Under the command of Minuit, who had been previously Director of New Netherland, two vessels with fifty men entered the Delaware ; lands
were purchased of the natives
near the head of the Bay, and a fort was built, called Christina, in honor of the queen of Sweden. The Dutch governor, Kieft, protested against this intrusion, but to little purpose: it was unwise to attempt hostilities against the Swedes, and he desisted. Emigration continued to increase for several years, and Printz, the governor, established a residence, and built a fort near Philadelphia: thus Pennsylvania was occupied by the Swedes long before Penn became proprietary, and the banks of the Delaware, from the Ocean to the falls near Princeton, were known as NEw Swed EN. At enmity with the Dutch in all other things, the Swedes, nevertheless, joined with them in keeping out the English, who occasionally attempted to settle within the limits which they claimed as their own: all who came were either driven out by force or rigidly compelled to
submit to Swedish authority.
Interest and importance of New England History — The Reformation—Its effects — The English Reformation — Progress under Henry VIII., Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth — James I–His education and conduct — Points of variance between the Puritans and the Church of England —The king's feelings toward the Puritan party — Internal dissensions — The Brownists or Independents — Elders Brewster and Robinson — Emigration to Holland—Disputes in Amsterdam — Removal to Leyden – Reasons for desiring to leave Holland—Determination to colonize in America — Set sail—Stormy voyage — Reach the coast near Cape Cod — Social compact — Plymouth Rock — Sufferings during the winter — Intercourse with the Indians — Apprehensions — Plantation at Wissagusset — State of the colony in 1630 — Massachusetts Bay colony — Question of Religion — Charter and Company transferred to New England — Foundation of Boston — Organization of churches — Severe trials — Theocratic basis of the Government — Position and influence of the ministers.
PECULIAR interest and importance
belong to the early history and progress of New England. Its position among the English colonies in America; the influence which it has always exerted in American affairs; the persons by whom it was settled; the specialities of opinion and practice among the Puritan colonists; the reasons which led to their adoption of views in regard to religious and civil duties and obligations such as they held, maintained, and earnestly endeavored to carry into full effect, these, and the like points, seem to render it necessary to inquire with some care into several matters antecedent to the landing of the Pilgrims on the rock-bound coast of New England. It will be our effort to do this as briefly and impartially as possible. It was but natural that the great Reformation in the 16th century should have given rise to many varieties of opinions, and even very serious differ
nounced the corruptions in doctrine and practice of the Church of Rome. When one considers what an astonishing change was wrought by the preaching and labors of such men as Luther, Zuingle, Calvin, and other eminent Reformers, among a people who had for centuries been in absolute subjection, mentally and morally, to papal domination and tyranny; when one calls to mind the vast and incalculable effect produced throughout the civilized world by the art of printing, the revival of learning in Europe, the free use of the Scriptures in the vernacular language of the people, and free discussion of all religious subjects; and further, when one remembers that there is always a tendency among men to push matters of reform to an extreme ; it need not surprise us that good men, and honest and conscientious men, held sentiments not altogether accordant on many religious topics, even topics of vital importance, and adopted practices and views of the meaning of Holy Scrip
ture which produced dissension and dif. ficulty in the very earliest days of Protestantism. But beside considerations of this kind, there were marked peculiarities in the origin and progress of the Reformation in England, which were almost certain to produce strong feeling on both sides, and lead to the formation of religious parties and sects within the realm. Henry VIII, as every student of history knows, was not much influenced by love for truth and purity in what he did towards setting England free from papal tyranny and superstition. On the contrary, he had his own ends to serve, and he looked out for that in all the steps which he took. If he did no good to Protestantism, if he were a tyrant, and a beastly tyrant too, he certainly crushed under his heel the insolent pretensions of the pope to rule over and draw revenue from England; and in so far, at least, he was an instrument in God's hand for beginning the good work in England. Edward VI. died young, and unhappily before much could be done for reformation. Mary succeeded him, and very soon gave the English people a bitter draught of that chalice which Rome has always made her victims quaff, when she has had them quite in her power. Elizabeth came to the throne with a large share of her father's imperiousness, and with energy and ability probably unsurpassed by any monarch that has ever, as yet, guided the destinies of England. Fond of show and display in religious things, she determined that the Established Church should have all the advantage and dig
nity which these could afford. ConScientiously opposed to popery, she yet did not mean to alienate her Roman Catholic subjects, if that were possible, by any undue severity against the re
ligion which they professed; equally
indisposed to the bald, stern simplicity of the Puritanical worship, and sagacious enough to see the inevitable tendency of the doctrines which the Puritans set forth and maintained, she held
a tight hand, all through her reign,
over the heads of those who pleaded further reformation and larger liberty than the Church of England has ever, thus far, been willing to allow. She had no liking for those who opposed her views, and she was not at all disposed to tolerate non-conformity to what seemed to her and her principal advisers, good and proper in Church and State. Such a man as Whitgift, archbishop of Canterbury, was both able and willing to aid the queen in her efforts to enforce conformity under severe penalties, a course not likely, certainly, to produce harmony and concord and brotherly love among the contending parties. James I. was bred up in early life in strict Presbyterian views; but when, by that strange turn of affairs which brought the son of the murdered Mary to the throne of her who had so cruelly pursued even to the death the illfated Queen of Scots, James was in possession of the crown, he adopted at once the high notions of prerogative which characterized, as well as finally ruined, the Stuart dynasty, and he was disposed to go to any length against dissenters from his wishes and opinions,
THE PURITANS AND THE CHURCH. 51
whether in Church or State. He misliked the Puritans especially, because he had capacity enough to understand, that if their free opinions prevailed, they would interfere most materially with those prerogatives of absolute irresponsible exercise of power in Church and State, which he so eagerly coveted, and which he claimed as his by what he termed “divine right.” At all times, too, and sincerely, we believe, both James, and Charles, his immediate successor, opposed every attempt to make the English Church conform to the pattern of that which Calvin had established in Geneva. The two parties were at variance in several particulars. The Puritans planted themselves upon the open, naked Bible, as the only safe chart and guide in religious and civil duties and obligations. The defenders of the Church of England, while they freely and fully declared that Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation, and that nothing was to be held a matter of faith but what is contained in or proved from it, claimed that def. erence was due to the testimony and practice of the primitive Church, and the decisions of the first four or six General Councils. The Puritans scouted at all tradition without exception, as certainly the remnants of popery and superstition: the Church of England men were willing to yield respect to what they deemed primitive tradition and the unanimous consent of the fathers and doctors of the first ages. The Puritans liked well the extent to which reformation had been carried on the Continent; and many of the
exiles in Queen Mary's reign came back, on the accession of Elizabeth, full of zeal and determination to try to effect in the English Church a similar thoroughness of reform, and a closer and more perfect union and concord in doctrine and practice with the Calvinistic Churches abroad. The bishops and clergy of the Established Church, steadily opposed all this, for they held Episcopacy to be of divine origin and perpetual obligation; and they counted ceremonies, such as were retained in the Church, as calculated to help forward the cause of truth and godliness. These complained of all ceremonies, as marring the simplicity and purity of the Gospel; those advocated ceremonies as useful and edifying. These denied the need of ordination by a bishop in order to preach the Gospel and administer the sacraments; those refused then, and have always refused, to allow any one to officiate in the Church of England unless he first receive orders by the laying on of a bishop's hands. As might have been expected, sharp contentions ensued, and the breach was widened. King James, counting the Establishment to be his special ally, and the doctrines set forth by the clergy peculiarly adapted to further his pretensions to kingly prerogative, it soon came to be understood that the Puritans were the party opposed to all his extravagant claims to irresponsible supremacy in civil and religious matters. The Puritans were loyal subjects, and devoted to the sustaining the crown and royalty in the regular line of succession. Yet they could not, and did not, deny the tendency of their