History of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford

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Quotes

Satan hath raised, maintained, and continued against the Saincts, from time to time, in one sorte or other. Some times by bloody death and cruell torments; other whiles imprisonments, banishments, & other hard usages; as being loath his kingdom should goe downe, the trueth prevaile, and ye churches of God reverte to their anciente puritie, and recover their primative order, libertie, & bewtie [beauty].

Bradford opens his work dramatically by picturing the Puritans as part of a holy war, fighting no less than Satan in their attempt to maintain what Satan hates: the church of ancient purity and primitive order, liberty, and beauty. Bradford asserts that his church strips Christianity down to its essentials and is no less than the real church as God intended it.

And for ye season it was winter, and they that know ye winters of yt cuntrie know them to be sharp & violent, & subjecte to cruell & feirce stormes, deangerous to travill to known places, much more to serch an unknown coast. Besids, what could they see but a hidious & desolate wildernes, full of wild beasts & willd men? and what multituds ther might be of them they knew not.

As he recalls their arrival in the New World, Bradford again shows his sense of drama as he communicates the difficulties the pilgrims faced and overcame: violent, stormy, wintry weather; unknown terrain; and a hideous wilderness of "wild beasts & wild men." In this drama, the Puritans will be fully tested and heroically overcome odds stacked against them with the help of God.

May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: "Our fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness but they cried unto the Lord, and He heard their voice, and looked on their adversity, &c. Let them therefore...

(The entire section is 471 words.)