What is a summary of Chapter 4 in "Of Plymouth Plantation" by William Bradford?

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In this chapter, Bradford discusses the reasons that the Pilgrims left Holland for the perilous journey to the New World. He writes:

Not out of any newfanglednes, or other such like giddie humor, by which men are oftentimes transported to their great hurt & danger, but for sundrie weightie &...

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In this chapter, Bradford discusses the reasons that the Pilgrims left Holland for the perilous journey to the New World. He writes:

Not out of any newfanglednes, or other such like giddie humor, by which men are oftentimes transported to their great hurt & danger, but for sundrie weightie & solid reasons.

In other words, the Pilgrims thought through their decision carefully and acted for serious reasons. These reasons included the following:

First, the hardships they had endured in Holland made life very difficult. Most worked hard and yet still lived in poverty.

Second, the fear grew that as people aged and could longer tolerate the hard living, they would scatter to places easier to live, and thus the group would break up.

Third, their children suffered under the hard labor they were subjected to in order to help support their families. Many children, too, were rejecting that harsh lifestyle and joining the army or in other ways assimilating into Dutch culture and society, a society which this religious group found corrupting.

Finally, the group was filled with hope and enthusiasm for finding an easier life, but even more so for promoting the gospel in some faraway part of the earth, such as America: in other words, they hoped to evangelize and were driven by missionary zeal.

The chapter then lays out in gruesome detail the dangers they would face in the New World. These included:

For ther they should be liable to famine, and nakednes, & ye wante, in a maner, of all things. The chang of aire, diate, & drinking of water, would, infecte their bodies with sore sickneses, and greevous diseases. And also those which should escape or overcome these difficulties, should yett be in continuall danger of ye salvage people, who are cruell, barbarous, & most trecherous.

However, the group finally decided to make the journey for two reasons. They believed that God would protect them. Also, the truce between the Netherlands and Spain was coming to end, and they feared the cruel consequences of a Spanish invasion that could end the religious freedom they had enjoyed in their host country.

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In chapter 4 of History of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford writes that the English reformers who lived in the Netherlands for eleven or twelve years have endured "great labor and hardships," and many of the congregants have died. Consequently, the leaders consider leaving this country.

In consideration of such a departure, the congregants recognize that it will be difficult to move to another country, but because of the hardships in the Netherlands, few would come to them, and probably fewer would stay if they did come.

For many, though they desired to injove
the ordinances of God in their puritie, and the libertie of the gospell with
them, yet, alass, they admitted of bondage, with danger of consciente, rather
than to indure these hardships; yea, some preferred and chose the persons in
England, rather then this libertie in Holland, with these afflictions.

So, if they are to continue as a congregation, they must go elsewhere. The members of this religious group also recognize that they have a duty to their children to preserve them and provide them a life where corrupting influences will not harm their Christian lives. Furthermore, they wish to spread their faith around the world.

So, the reform leaders decide to sail to America. Nevertheless, some in the congregation are apprehensive about sailing so far while others argue that such a venture will be very costly as there will be those who die during the arduous voyage. To this argument, the leaders reply that these Christians can die satisfied that they have made such a journey so that others may have the liberty to practice their faith and to live comfortably without such hardships as they now endure.

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In chapter four of William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation, he is outlining the reasons for the Pilgrims to leave Leiden in Holland for the lands across the Atlantic Ocean. They endured a hard life working in Holland for approximately 12 years before they made known their thoughts on leaving. The Twelve Years Truce would end in 1621, and war was brewing which could make their situation in Holland even more tenuous. Bradford explains that although they were able to practice their religious beliefs, they endured many hardships and some returned to England knowing that they would lose this particular freedom.

When they spoke of moving to uncivilized “countries of America,” Bradford documented their fear of “savage and brutish men,” in other words the Native Peoples who inhabited the yet unsettled areas of America. It was difficult for the Pilgrims to decide if was beneficial for them to leave the hardships that they already understood in Holland for those that were unknown and little understood in a new land.

Bradford tells how many of the original Pilgrims were aging under the hard labor they endured, and how the children were leaving the Church being lured by other opportunities in Holland.

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