Chapter Nine describes the stormy, dangerous, and difficult passage that Bradford and the Pilgrims endured before arriving in Massachusetts Bay. The main theme of the chapter, and really the book as a whole, is that they survived because of their faith in God, and because it was God's will that they do so. As Bradford writes at the end of the chapter, quoting from Psalms:
When they wandered in the desert wilderness out of the way, and found no city to dwell in, both hungry and thirsty, their soul was overwhelmed in them.
But the chapter also includes a darker vision of the Calvinist notion of justice. During the voyage, one young man "cursed" the Pilgrims for their sickness and weakness. He would often, according to Bradford, "swear and curse most bitterly," even saying that he would probably throw half of them overboard before they made landfall. But as it turned out, this "proud and profane" young man himself was among the first to die from disease. It was him that was thrown overboard, a fact that Bradford and the Pilgrims interpreted as the "just hand of God."