In William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation what is one quote that unequivocally supports the fact that he is a separatist?
In the first chapter Of Plymouth Plantation, entitled "The Separatist Interpretation of the Reformation in England, 1550-1607," Bradford writes about the conditions which convinced the Pilgrims to move, first to Holland, which was more accepting of those with religious differences.
In England, he writes of persecutions "on every side," including imprisonment, which made the "former afflictions" seem like "fleabitings [sic]."
The final paragraph of the chapter is very supportive of separatism, though it is not imbued with the hostility commonly associated with separatism. Instead, Bradford views the need to leave England as one that is inextricably tied to self-preservation:
Yet seeing themselves thus molested, and that there was no hope of their continuance there, by a joint consent they resolved to go into the Low Countries, where they heard was freedom of religion for all men; as also how sundry from London and other parts of the land had been exiled and persecuted for the same cause . . . . So after they had continued together about a year . . . notwithstanding all the diligence and malice of their adversaries, they seeing they could no longer continue in that condition, they resolved to get over into Holland as they could.
The phrase "no hope of their continuance there" evinces the sense of the Pilgrims having no other recourse if they wished to continue to worship as they pleased. Their commitment to their religious "tribe" required them to move "by joint consent . . . into the Low Countries." Their decision to move to Holland, which did not prove to be successful, was a result of their inability to "[exercise] the worship of God amongst themselves." Such language reinforces the intimacy that existed among the Pilgrims, and suggests that they had no desire to interfere with others, only to be left alone. Their inability to accomplish this at home resulted in their needing to separate from England.