Friday, January 19, 2018

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

1698 Puritan leader Cotton Mather (1663-1728) on Native Americans in The Story of Squanto

Cotton Mather 1663-1728

"The Story of Squanto" from 1698 Magnalia Christi Americana by Cotton Mather

A most wicked shipmaster being on this coast a few years before, had wickedly spirited away more than twenty Indians; whom having enticed them aboard, he presently stowed them under hatches, and carried them away to the Streights, where he sold as many of them as he could for Slaves. This avaritious and pernicious felony laid the foundation for grievous annoyances to all the English endeavors of settlements, especially in the Northern parts of the land for several years ensuing. The Indians would never forget or forgive this injury. . .
But our good God so ordered it, that one of the stolen Indians, called Squanto, had escaped out of Spain into England; where he lived with one Mr. Slany, from whom he had found a way to return unto his own country, being brought back by one Mr. Dermer, about half a year before our honest Plymotheans were cast upon this continent. This Indian having received much kindness from the English, who generally condemned the man that first betrayed him, now made unto the English a return of that kindness: and being by his acquaintance with the English language, fitted with a conversation with them, he very kindly informed them what was the present condition of the Indians; instructed them in the way of ordering their Corn; and acquainted them with many other things, which it was necessary for them to understand.

But Squanto did for them a yet greater benefit than all this: for he brought Massasoit, the chief Sachim or Prince of the Indians within many miles, with some scores of his attenders, to make our people a kind visit; the issue of which visit was, that Massasoit not only entred  into a firm agreement of peace with the English, but also they declared and submitted themselves to be subjects of the King of England; into which peace and subjection many other Sachims quickly after came, in the most voluntary manner that could be expressed. It seems that this unlucky Squanto having told his countrymen how easie it was for so great a monarch as K. James to destroy them all, if they should hurt any of his people, he went on to terrifie them with a ridiculous rhodomantado, which they believed, that this people kept the plague in a cellar (where they kept their gunpowder), and could at their pleasure let it loose to make such havock among them, as the distemper had already made among them a few years before. . .

Moreover, our English guns, especially the great ones, made a formidable report among these ignorant Indians; and their hopes of enjoying some defence by the English, against the potent nation nation of Narraganset Indians, now at war with them, made them yet more to court our friendship. This very strange disposition of things, was extreamly advantageous to our distressed planters: and who sees not herein the special providence of the God who disposeth all?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1677 Revenge of Marblehead, MA Women on Native Americans

Robert Roule, Deposition, MS 252, Edward E. Ayer Collection, The Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois.
Depiction of Metacomet, also known as King Philip of Wampanoag, by an Unknown artist of the British School

The Wampanoag Indians of New England began Metacom’s War (also known as King Philip’s War) in 1675, in an attempt to expel the English from the region. Metacom, leader of the Wampanoag, fashioned an alliance of many different groups, but Christian Indians & Iroquois who allied with the English proved to be a significant factor in the eventual colonial victory. In August 1676, colonial troops captured & killed Metacom, ending hostilities in southern New England. However, other Indians continued their attacks for another 2 years along the northern New England coast. In particular, they targeted fishing ketches operated out of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Mariner Robert Roules narrated one such incident in July 1677 when his boat was captured by Indians, then recaptured by the settlers. When the settlers sailed Roules’ boat into Marblehead harbor, the women of Marblehead took bloody revenge upon the Indian captives.

I Robert Roules of Marblehead, mariner, aged thirty years or thereabouts, belonging to the catch William and Sarah of Salem, do upon oath say, that Joseph Bovey went out master of the said ketch upon a fishing voyage to the eastern coast.


After we had caught, and being about half laden with fish, and riding at an anchor at port La Tour, near cape Sable, and on the easterly side thereof, on the 7th of this instant, July, it being saturday, purposing here to take in wood and water, and in two days to be again upon our fishing design, but on the Lords day) being the 8th instant, in line dawaning of the day, there came suddenly on board of us a canoe of Indians, in number nine or ten, as near as could judge, with their arms ready fixed, loaded and cocked.


I first discovered them, and dropped down upon deck to save myself from their shot. They immediately fired upon us, and their shot chiefly struck against the windlass, and so did not hurt us. I then called to them, and said What for you kill Englishmen? They answered me, If Englishmen shoot we kill—if not shoot, we no kill. They then ordered us to come up.

By this time they had boarded us, and we were obliged to surrender without conditions. They then proceeded to bind me, and the other four men with me, the master, Capt. Bovey being one. They stripped us, one after the other of all our clothes, only leaving tie a greasy shirt and waistcoat, and drawers we used to fish in, our shoes and stockings being in the cabin.

They then gave us liberty to sit upon deck, bound as we were all, till about two of the clock in the afternoon. After this they unbound us, and commanded us to sail our vessel towards Penobscot, which we endeavored to do; but the wind shortening we were forced to come to an anchor again, and lay there till the second day of our capture.

In the meantime, they told us they intended to kill all of us, and all the Englishmen, being in number twenty six, including boys, except three. They had taken four other vessels besides ours. On the second day they commanded us and the other ketches to sail together for Penobscot.

The Indians had dispersed themselves into all the ketches; there being seventy or eighty of them. As we sailed onward we espied a bark and gave her chase and soon took her, and found it Mr. Watts vessel.

The Indians compelled us to haile him, and he answered us he was from Boston, bound on a fishing voyage. To prevent the murder of him and his men, as soon as we came up with him we told him he was taken, but he thinking it only a joke, laughed at us.

The Indians now rose up and told Capt Watts if he did not strike they were all dead men. All but four of the Indians then went on board him, divided and mixed the Englishmen in the different vessels with themselves; sending master Bovey with one man more of our company, onboard another ketch, and left me as master of the ketch, (they wholly disliking the said Bovey) with an old man, whom I desired. And now being on board with Capt. Watts, the Indians having sent two of their number away, took two of Capt. Watts' men in their place, whereof one was William Buswell.

We had not been thus situated but a short time, when another sail was discovered, and we were commanded to give chase. We did so till it began to grow disky [dusky], and then the Indian Sagamore of our vessel ordered me, who being at the helm, to bear up; but I refused.

Thereupon the Sagamore grew angry, and was about to fall upon me, which William Buswell observing, seized him by the throat, and a close scuffle ensued. Buswell however soon tripped up his heels, fell upon him, and kept him down with his knee upon his breast.

Meantime, another of my companions in captivity, named Richard Dowries, closing with a second Indian, succeeded in getting him down also; and in attempting to throw him overboard, his legs became entangled, which Buswell perceiving, left his man, and seizing upon him too, they quickly threw him into the sea.

While this was going on the other Englishmen were enabled to confine the other Sagamore in the cook room, by shutting down the scuttle upon him. All hands then grasped another Indian and threw him overboard. It was a desperate attempt, but the victory was now certain. The two remaining Indians were Sagamores, one was an old man the other was a young man. One was fast in the cook room, and the other was glad to surrender to save his life.

We next proceeded to bind the two Indians, and then made all the sail we could to the southward, and on the fifteenth day [Sunday], a little before sun-down, we came to an anchor in the harbor of Marblehead.

News had reached this place that we were all killed and many people flocked to the water side to learn who we were and what other news they could, concerning the many vessels that had been taken by the Indians. They hailed us, and then some came on board; and when they saw the Indians, they demanded why we kept them alive and why we had not killed them.

We answered them, that we had lost everything, even to our clothes, and we thought if we brought them in alive, we might get somewhat by them towards our losses, But this did not satisfy the people, who were angry at the sight of the Indians, and now began to grow clamorous. We told them we should take them on shore and deliver them into the hands of the constable of the town, that they might be answerable to the court at Boston; and so we carried them on shore with their hands bound behind them,

Being on shore, the whole town flocked about them, beginning at first to insult them, and soon after, the women surrounded them, drove us by force from them, (we escaping at no little peril,) and laid violent hands upon the captives, some stoning us in the meantime, because we would protect them, others seizing them by the hair, got full possession of them, nor was there any way left by which we could rescue them. Then with stones, billets of wood, and what else they might, they made an end of these Indians.

We were kept at such distance that we could not see them till they were dead, and then we found them with their heads off and gone, and their flesh in a manner pulled from their bones. And such was the tumultation these women made, that for my life I could not tell who these women were, or the names of any of them.


They cried out and said, if the Indians had been carried to Boston, that would have been the end of it, and they would have been set at liberty; but said they, if there had been forty of the best Indians in the country here, they would have killed them all, though they should be hanged for ii. They suffered neither constable nor mandrake, nor any other person to come near them, until they had finished their broody purpose.
Taken upon oath this Robert Roules. 7th of July, 1677.
Edward Rowson, Sec.

Monday, January 15, 2018

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

French Huguenot looks at 1687 Puritan Boston

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A French Protestant Immigrant's Impression of in Boston, 1687


This French Huguenot arrived in Massachusettes with 30 families in the fall of 1687. Thousands of French Protestants fled first to England; and from there, many sailed for the British American colonies. The colonies offered plenty of inexpensive land for the newcomers, who could supply labor & expertise for colonial enterprises.

By the goodness of God, I arrived in this favored land in perfect health on the seventeenth of last month, after a passage of fifty-three days counting from the day we left the Downs, sixty miles from London, to that day we reached Boston...

The impression that advantages are granted to the refugees is one that needs to be dispelled. At first, indeed, some supplies were given them, but at present, nothing is to be hoped for in behalf of those who bring nothing. At Nipmuck, as I have before stated, lands are given away; and at Narragansett they have to be bought at twenty to twenty-five pounds sterling per hundred acres, so that he who brings nothing hither finds nothing.


It is quite true that here is very good living here, and that with a very little, once can keep house very comfortably. A family of three or four persons can keep house very nicely upon fifty pistoles: but nothing less would suffice...

One can come to this country and return just as in Europe. One is entirely free here, and lives without any constraint. Those who wish to come to this country should become naturalized in London in order to be at liberty to engage in traffic of all kinds, and to voyage among the English islands; without this it cannot be done...

There are several French families here that have bought them on very reasonable terms. M de Bonrepos, our minister’s brother, has purchased one at a distance of fifteen miles from this place, and within one league of a very pretty town, having a considerable trade, which they call Salem...

The house is very pretty, and was never built for fifty pistoles. There are seventeen acres of land, completely cleared, and a small orchard.

M. Légaré, a French merchant--a goldsmith--has purchased a property twelve miles south of this place, on the sea-coast, where he has a very pretty house, and twelve acres and a half of land, for eighty pistoles of ten livres of France each.

Besides, he has his share in the common lands, to which he can send his cattle for pasture, and where he can cut wood for his own use, and to sell here, as he can readily send it by sea. Similar opportunities occur daily; and of farms on lease, as many as are wanted may be had, and at low prices...

If our poor refugee brethren who understand farming should come here, they could not fail to live very comfortably and gain property; for the English are very lazy, and are proficient only in raising their Indian corn and cattle.

There are not over twenty French families here in Boston, and they are diminishing in number every day, because they go off into the country to buy or lease lands and attempt a settlement. Others are expected this spring from every quarter.


Two young men have just arrived from Carolina, who give some account of the country. In the first place, they say, they have never before seen so miserable a country, nor an atmosphere so unhealthy. Fevers prevail all the year, from which those who are attacked seldom recover...

They bring us also the tidings that, before their departure, a ship had arrived from London with one hundred and thirty persons on board, including the crew; of whom one hundred and fifteen died so soon as they landed, all from malignant fevers which spread among them. Some eighty persons are coming from Carolina to settle here, or in New York. M. Gaillard, whom my father knows, has arrived in Carolina with his whole family; also, M. Brie, of Montpelier...

The English who inhabit these countries are, as elsewhere, good and bad; but one see more of the latter than of the former class, and to tell it to you in few words, there are all kinds, and consequently all kinds of life and manners. it is not that strife and quarrels occur among them, but it is that they do not lead a good life.


There are some that practice no other formality of marriage than that of taking each other by the hand; and they live together peaceably; there are others, sixty years of age, who have not yet been baptized, because they are not members...

There is nothing to fear from the savages, for there are very few of them. The last wars they had with the English, twelve years ago, reduced them to a small number, and consequently they are not in a condition to defend themselves.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Friday, January 12, 2018

1644 Roger Williams' Plea for Religious Liberty

A PLEA FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY by Roger Williams

Roger Williams

Roger Williams (ca. 1603-83), religious leader and one of the founders of Rhode Island, was the son of a well-to-do London businessman. Educated at Cambridge (A.B., 1627) he became a clergyman and in 1630 sailed for Massachusetts. He refused a call to the church of Boston because it had not formally broken with the Church of England, but after two invitations he became the assistant pastor, later pastor, of the church at Salem. He questioned the right of the colonists to take the Indians' land from them merely on the legal basis of the royal charter and in other ways ran afoul of the oligarchy then ruling Massachusetts. In 1635 he was found guilty of spreading "new authority of magistrates" and was ordered to be banished from the colony. He lived briefly with friendly Indians and then, in 1636, founded Providence in what was to be the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. His religious views led him to become briefly a Baptist, later a Seeker. In 1644, while he was in England getting a charter for his colony from Parliament, he wrote the work from which this dialogue is taken. During much of his later life he was engaged in polemics on political and religious questions. He was an important figure in the intellectual life of his time.

First, that the blood of so many hundred thousand souls of Protestants and Papists, spilt in the wars of present and former ages, for their respective consciences, is not required nor accepted by Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace.

Secondly, pregnant scriptures and arguments are throughout the work proposed against the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience.

Thirdly, satisfactory answers are given to scriptures, and objections produced by Mr. Calvin, Beza, Mr. Cotton, and the ministers of the New English churches and others former and later, tending to prove the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience.

Fourthly, the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience is proved guilty of all the blood of the souls crying for vengeance under the altar.

Fifthly, all civil states with their officers of justice in their respective constitutions and administrations are proved essentially civil, and therefore not judges, governors, or defenders of the spiritual or Christian state and worship.

Sixthly, it is the will and command of God that (since the coming of his Son the Lord Jesus) a permission of the most paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or antichristian consciences and worships, be granted to all men in all nations and countries; and they are only to be fought against with that sword which is only (in soul matters) able to conquer, to wit, the sword of God's Spirit, the Word of God.

Seventhly, the state of the Land of Israel, the kings and people thereof in peace and war, is proved figurative and ceremonial, and no pattern nor president for any kingdom or civil state in the world to follow.

Eighthly, God requireth not a uniformity of religion to be enacted and enforced in any civil state; which enforced uniformity (sooner or later) is the greatest occasion of civil war, ravishing of conscience, persecution of Christ Jesus in his servants, and of the hypocrisy and destruction of millions of souls.

Ninthly, in holding an enforced uniformity of religion in a civil state, we must necessarily disclaim our desires and hopes of the Jew's conversion to Christ.

Tenthly, an enforced uniformity of religion throughout a nation or civil state, confounds the civil and religious, denies the principles of Christianity and civility, and that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.

Eleventhly, the permission of other consciences and worships than a state professeth only can (according to God) procure a firm and lasting peace (good assurance being taken according to the wisdom of the civil state for uniformity of civil obedience from all forts).

Twelfthly, lastly, true civility and Christianity may both flourish in a state or kingdom, notwithstanding the permission of divers and contrary consciences, either of Jew or Gentile....

TRUTH. I acknowledge that to molest any person, Jew or Gentile, for either professing doctrine, or practicing worship merely religious or spiritual, it is to persecute him, and such a person (whatever his doctrine or practice be, true or false) suffereth persecution for conscience.

But withal I desire it may be well observed that this distinction is not full and complete: for beside this that a man may be persecuted because he holds or practices what he believes in conscience to be a truth (as Daniel did, for which he was cast into the lions' den, Dan. 6), and many thousands of Christians, because they durst not cease to preach and practice what they believed was by God commanded, as the Apostles answered (Acts 4 & 5), I say besides this a man may also be persecuted, because he dares not be constrained to yield obedience to such doctrines and worships as are by men invented and appointed....

Dear TRUTH, I have two sad complaints:

First, the most sober of the witnesses, that dare to plead thy cause, how are they charged to be mine enemies, contentious, turbulent, seditious?

Secondly, shine enemies, though they speak and rail against thee, though they outrageously pursue, imprison, banish, kill thy faithful witnesses, yet how is all vermilion'd o'er for justice against the heretics? Yea, if they kindle coals, and blow the flames of devouring wars, that leave neither spiritual nor civil state, but burn up branch and root, yet how do all pretend an holy war? He that kills, and he that's killed, they both cry out: "It is for God, and for their conscience."

'Tis true, nor one nor other seldom dare to plead the mighty Prince Christ Jesus for their author, yet (both Protestant and Papist) pretend they have spoke with Moses and the Prophets who all, say they (before Christ came), allowed such holy persecutions, holy wars against the enemies of holy church.

TRUTH. Dear PEACE (to ease thy first complaint), 'tis true, thy dearest sons, most like their mother, peacekeeping, peacemaking sons of God, have borne and still must bear the blurs of troublers of Israel, and turners of the world upside down. And 'tis true again, what Solomon once spake: "The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water, therefore (saith he) leave off contention before it be meddled with. This caveat should keep the banks and sluices firm and strong, that strife, like a breach of waters, break not in upon the sons of men."

Yet strife must be distinguished: It is necessary or unnecessary, godly or Ungodly, Christian or unchristian, etc.

It is unnecessary, unlawful, dishonorable, ungodly, unchristian, in most cases in the world, for there is a possibility of keeping sweet peace in most cases, and, if it be possible, it is the express command of God that peace be kept (Rom. 13).

Again, it is necessary, honorable, godly, etc., with civil and earthly weapons to defend the innocent and to rescue the oppressed from the violent paws and jaws of oppressing persecuting Nimrods 2 (Psal. 73; Job 29).

It is as necessary, yea more honorable, godly, and Christian, to fight the fight of faith, with religious and spiritual artillery, and to contend earnestly for the faith of Jesus, once delivered to the saints against all opposers, and the gates of earth and hell, men or devils, yea against Paul himself, or an angel from heaven, if he bring any other faith or doctrine....

PEACE. I add that a civil sword (as woeful experience in all ages has proved) is so far from bringing or helping forward an opposite in religion to repentance that magistrates sin grievously against the work of God and blood of souls by such proceedings. Because as (commonly) the sufferings of false and antichristian teachers harden their followers, who being blind, by this means are occasioned to tumble into the ditch of hell after their blind leaders, with more inflamed zeal of lying confidence. So, secondly, violence and a sword of steel begets such an impression in the sufferers that certainly they conclude (as indeed that religion cannot be true which needs such instruments of violence to uphold it so) that persecutors are far from soft and gentle commiseration of the blindness of others....

For (to keep to the similitude which the Spirit useth, for instance) to batter down a stronghold, high wall, fort, tower, or castle, men bring not a first and second admonition, and after obstinacy, excommunication, which are spiritual weapons concerning them that be in the church: nor exhortation to repent and be baptized, to believe in the Lord Jesus, etc., which are proper weapons to them that be without, etc. But to take a stronghold, men bring cannons, culverins, saker, bullets, powder, muskets, swords, pikes, etc., and these to this end are weapons effectual and proportionable.

On the other side, to batter down idolatry, false worship, heresy, schism, blindness, hardness, out of the soul and spirit, it is vain, improper, and unsuitable to bring those weapons which are used by persecutors, stocks, whips, prisons, swords, gibbets, stakes, etc. (where these seem to prevail with some cities or kingdoms, a stronger force sets up again, what a weaker pull'd down), but against these spiritual strongholds in the souls of men, spiritual artillery and weapons are proper, which are mighty through God to subdue and bring under the very thought to obedience, or else to bind fast the soul with chains of darkness, and lock it up in the prison of unbelief and hardness to eternity....

PEACE. I pray descend now to the second evil which you observe in the answerer's position, viz., that it would be evil to tolerate notorious evildoers, seducing teachers, etc.

TRUTH. I say the evil is that he most improperly and confusedly joins and couples seducing teachers with scandalous livers.

PEACE. But is it not true that the world is full of seducing teachers, and is it not true that seducing teachers are notorious evildoers?

TRUTH. I answer, far be it from me to deny either, and yet in two things I shall discover the great evil of this joining and coupling seducing teachers, and scandalous livers as one adequate or proper object of the magistrate's care and work to suppress and punish.

First, it is not an homogeneal (as we speak) but an hetergeneal 3 commixture or joining together of things most different in kinds and natures, as if they were both of one consideration....

TRUTH. I answer, in granting with Brentius 4 that man hath not power to make laws to bind conscience, he overthrows such his tenent and practice as restrain men from their worship, according to their conscience and belief, and constrain them to such worships (though it be out of a pretense that they are convinced) which their own souls tell them they have no satisfaction nor faith in.

Secondly, whereas he affirms that men may make laws to see the laws of God observed.

I answer, God needeth not the help of a material sword of steel to assist the sword of the Spirit in the affairs of conscience, to those men, those magistrates, yea that commonwealth which makes such magistrates, must needs have power and authority from Christ Jesus to fit judge and to determine in all the great controversies concerning doctrine, discipline, government, etc.

And then I ask whether upon this ground it must not evidently follow that:

Either there is no lawful commonw earth nor civil state of men in the world, which is not qualified with this spiritual discerning (and then also that the very commonweal hath more light concerning the church of Christ than the church itself).

Or, that the commonweal and magistrates thereof must judge and punish as they are persuaded in their own belief and conscience (be their conscience paganish, Turkish, or antichristian) what is this but to confound heaven and earth together, and not only to take away the being of Christianity out of the world, but to take away all civility, and the world out of the world, and to lay all upon heaps of confusion? . ..

PEACE. The fourth head is the proper means of both these powers to attain their ends.

First, the proper means whereby the civil power may and should attain its end are only political, and principally these five.

First, the erecting and establishing what form of civil government may seem in wisdom most meet, according to general rules of the world, and state of the people.

Secondly, the making, publishing, and establishing of wholesome civil laws, not only such as concern civil justice, but also the free passage of true religion; for outward civil peace ariseth and is maintained from them both, from the latter as well as from the former.

Civil peace cannot stand entire, where religion is corrupted (2 Chron. 15. 3. 5. 6; and Judges 8). And yet such laws, though conversant about religion, may still be counted civil laws, as, on the contrary, an oath cloth still remain religious though conversant about civil matters.

Thirdly, election and appointment of civil officers to see execution to those laws.

Fourthly, civil punishments and rewards of transgressors and observers of these laws.

Fifthly, taking up arms against the enemies of civil peace.

Secondly, the means whereby the church may and should attain her ends are only ecclesiastical, which are chiefly five.

First, setting up that form of church government only of which Christ hath given them a pattern in his Word.

Secondly, acknowledging and admitting of no lawgiver in the church but Christ and the publishing of His laws.

Thirdly, electing and ordaining of such officers only, as Christ hath appointed in his Word.

Fourthly, to receive into their fellowship them that are approved and inflicting spiritual censures against them that o end.

Fifthly, prayer and patience in suffering any evil from them that be without, who disturb their peace.

So that magistrates, as magistrates, have no power of setting up the form of church government, electing church officers, punishing with church censures, but to see that the church does her duty herein. And on the other side, the churches as churches, have no power (though as members of the commonweal they may have power) of erecting or altering forms of civil government, electing of civil officers, inflicting civil punishments (no not on persons excommunicate) as by deposing magistrates from their civil authority, or withdrawing the hearts of the people against them, to their laws, no more than to discharge wives, or children, or servants, from due obedience to their husbands, parents, or masters; or by taking up arms against their magistrates, though he persecute them for conscience: for though members of churches who are public officers also of the civil state may suppress by force the violence of usurpers, as Iehoiada did Athaliah, yet this they do not as members of the church but as officers of the civil state.

TRUTH. Here are divers considerable passages which I shall briefly examine, so far as concerns our controversy.

First, whereas they say that the civil power may erect and establish what form of civil government may seem in wisdom most meet, I acknowledge the proposition to be most true, both in itself and also considered with the end of it, that a civil government is an ordinance of God, to conserve the civil peace of people, so far as concerns their bodies and goods, as formerly hath been said.

But from this grant I infer (as before hath been touched) that the sovereign, original, and foundation of civil power lies in the people (whom they must needs mean by the civil power distinct from the government set up). And, if so, that a people may erect and establish what form of government seems to them most meet for their civil condition; it is evident that such governments as are by them erected and established have no more power, nor for no longer time, than the civil power or people consenting and agreeing shall betrust them with. This is clear not only in reason but in the experience of all commonweals, where the people are not deprived of their natural freedom by the power of tyrants.

And, if so, that the magistrates receive their power of governing the church from the people, undeniably it follows that a people, as a people, naturally consider (of what nature or nation soever in Europe, Asia, Africa, or America), have fundamentally and originally, as men, a power to govern the church, to see her do her duty, to correct her, to redress, reform, establish, etc. And if this be not to pull God and Christ and Spirit out of heaven, and subject them unto natural, sinful, inconstant men, and so consequently to Satan himself, by whom all peoples naturally are guided, let heaven and earth judge....

PEACE. Some will here ask: What may the magistrate then lawfully do with his civil horn or power in matters of religion?

TRUTH. His horn not being the horn of that unicorn or rhinoceros, the power of the Lord Jesus in spiritual cases, his sword not the two-edged sword of the spirit, the word of God (hanging not about the loins or side, but at the lips. and proceeding out of the mouth of his ministers) but of an humane and civil nature and constitution, it must consequently be of a humane and civil operation, for who knows not that operation follows constitution; And therefore I shall end this passage with this consideration:

The civil magistrate either respecteth that religion and worship which his conscience is persuaded is true, and upon which he ventures his soul; or else that and those which he is persuaded are false.

Concerning the first, if that which the magistrate believeth to be true, be true, I say he owes a threefold duty unto it:

First, approbation and countenance, a reverent esteem and honorable testimony, according to Isa. 49, and Revel. 21, with a tender respect of truth, and the professors of it.

Secondly, personal submission of his own soul to the power of the Lord Jesus in that spiritual government and kingdom, according to Matt. 18 and 1 Cor. 5.

Thirdly, protection of such true professors of Christ, whether apart, or met together, as also of their estates from violence and injury, according to Rom. 13.

Now, secondly, if it be a false religion (unto which the civil magistrate dare not adjoin, yet) he owes:

First, permission (for approbation he owes not what is evil) and this according to Matthew 13. 30 for public peace and quiet's sake.

Secondly, he owes protection to the persons of his subjects (though of a false worship), that no injury be offered either to the persons or goods of any....

...The God of Peace, the God of Truth will shortly seal this truth, and confirm this witness, and make it evident to the whole world, that the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience, is most evidently and lamentably contrary to the doctrine of Christ Jesus the Prince of Peace. Amen.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

1693 Puritan Cotton Mather's "Rules" for Allowing Blacks to Worship in the Puritan Church

Cotton Mather, (1663-1728) was a socially & politically influential New England Puritan minister

Cotton Mather's (1663-1728) RULES For the Society of NEGROES. 1693. (Mather's rules for allowing African Americans to worship in the church.)

WE the Miserable Children of Adam, and of Noah, thankfully Admiring and Accepting the Free-Grace of GOD, that Offers to Save us from our Miseries, by the Lord Jesus Christ, freely Resolve, with His Help, to become the Servants of that Glorious LORD.


And that we may be Assisted in the Service of our Heavenly Master, we now Join together in a SOCIETY, wherein the following RULES are to be observed.


I. It shall be our Endeavour, to Meet in the Evening after the Sabbath; and Pray together by Turns, one to Begin, and another to Conclude the Meeting; And between the two Prayers, a Psalm shall be Sung, and a Sermon Repeated.


II. Our coming to the Meeting, shall never be without the Leave of such as have Power over us: And we will be Careful, that our Meeting may Begin and Conclude between the Hours of Seven and Nine; and that we may not be unseasonably Absent from the Families whereto we pertain.

III. As we will, with the Help of God, at all Times avoid all Wicked Company, so we will Receive none into our Meeting, but such as have sensibly Reformed their Lives from all manner of Wickedness. And therefore, None shall be Admitted, without the Knowledge and Consent of the Minister of God in this Place; unto whom we will also carry every Person, that seeks for Admission among us; to be by Him Examined, Instructed and Exhorted.


IV. We will, as often as may be Obtain some Wise and of the English in the Neighbourhood, and especially the Offcers of the Church, to look in upon us, and by their Presence and Counsil, do what they think fitting for us.


V. If any of our Number, fall into the Sin of Drunkenness, or Swearing, or Cursing, or Lying, or Stealing, or notorious Disobedience or Unfaithfulness unto their Masters, we will Admonish him of his Miscarriage, and Forbid his coming to the Meeting, for at least one Fortnight; And except he then come with great Signs and Hopes of his Repentance, we will utterly Exclude him, with Blotting his Name out of our List.


VI. If any of our Society Dele himself with Fornication, we will give him our Admonition; and so, debar him from the Meeting, at least half a Year: Nor shall he Return to it, ever any more, without Exemplary Testimonies of his becoming a New Creature.


VII. We will, as we have Opportunity, set our selves to do all the Good we can, to the other Negro-Servants in the Town; And if any of them should, at unfit Hours, be Abroad, much more, if any of them should Run away from their Masters, we will afford them no Shelter: But we will do what in us lies, that they may be discovered, and punished. And if any of us, are found Faulty, in this Matter, they shall be no longer of us.


VIII. None of our Society shall be Absent from our Meeting, without giving a Reason of the Absence; And if it be found, that any have pretended unto their Owners, that they came unto the Meeting, when they were otherwise and elsewhere Employ'd, we will faithfully Inform their Owners, and also do what we can to Reclaim such Person from all such Evil Courses for the Future.


IX. It shall be expected from every one in the Society, that he learn the Catechism; And therefore, it shall be one of our usual Exercises, for one of us, to ask the Questions, and for all the rest in their Order, to say the Answers in the Catechism; Either, The New-English Catechism, or the Assemblies Catechism, or the Catechism in the Negro Christianized.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Monday, January 8, 2018

1616-1650s New England area Native Americans dying en masse

Writing in 1634 from Boston, less than 4 years after the city had been founded, John Winthrop (1588-1649), the 1st governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, & the chief figure among the Puritan founders of New England, described a population of 4,000 settlers. The American Indian population did not fare as well. Epidemic diseases introduced by European fishermen & fur traders reduced the population of New England’s coastal tribes by about 90 percent by the early 1620s. Their numbers continued to dwindle after Winthrop’s colony arrived in 1630, a development he took as a blessing: “For the natives, they are near all dead of the smallpox, so the Lord hath cleared our title to what we possess.” This sentence—the last in this letter mostly about the weather & crops—reveals a belief in divine providence that would shape relations with Native peoples.
Abenakis couple. The Abenaki (Abnaki, Alnôbak) are a Native American tribe & First Nation. They are one of the Algonquian-speaking peoples of northeastern North America. The Abenaki lived in Quebec & the Maritimes of Canada & in the New England region of the United States. Along the Maine coast, where natives had sustained contact with French traders, some of the earliest reports of disease outbreak were made. In 1616, Father Pierre Baird, a French Jesuit missionary, noted: “[the Abenaki] are astonished & often complain that since the French mingle & carry on trade with them they are dying fast, & the population is thinning out.” In his 1658 A Briefe Narration of the Originall Undertakings of the Advancement of Plantations into the Parts of America, Gorges Ferdinando recorded that same year Captain Richard Vines, an English explorer, wintered on the Maine coast & noted that the local natives “were sore afflicted with the Plague, for that the Country was in a manner left void of inhabitants.”

Soon the mysterious disease spread throughout the coastal region – following the trade routes of the Abenaki, who traded furs for corn & other provisions from the tribes to the south – & turned the loose confederation of Algonquian villages that dotted the area into an apocalyptic wasteland. Thomas Morton's 1637 New English Canaan offerd a vivid account of the landscape left behind: “For in a place where many inhabited, there hath been but one left a live, to tell what became of the rest, the living being (as it seems) not able to bury the dead, they were left for the Crowes, Kites & vermin to prey upon. And the bones & skulls upon the severall places of their habitations, made such a spectacle after my coming into those partes … it seemed to mee a new found Golgotha.”

Plymouth’s colonial governor, William Bradford, recorded in his 1620-1647 History of Plymouth Plantation, “the good soyle, and the people not many, being dead and abundantly wasted in the late great mortalitie which fell in all these parts about three years before the coming of the English, wherin thousands of em dyed; … ther sculs and bones were found in many places lying still above the ground, where their houses and dwellings had been; a very sad spectackle to behould."

From the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 2nd Series, vol. 8 (Boston, 1892-1894). The writer is unidentified.March 15, 1631To my loving father William Pond, at Etherston in Suffolk give this...My writing unto you is to let you understand what a country this New England is where we live. Here are but few [Indians], a great part of them died this winter, it was thought it was of the plague. They are a crafty people & they will...cheat, & they are a subtle people, & whereas we did expect great store of beaver here is little or none to be had. They are proper men...many of them go naked with a skin about their loins, but now sum of them get Englishmen's apparel...Watertown, New England, Unsigned

Sunday, January 7, 2018

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

1642 Laws for Harvard College - No Women Allowed

Harvard College Laws of 1642
(from New England's First Fruits)

1. When any Schollar is able to Read Tully or such like classicall Latine Author ex tempore, and make and speake true Latin in verse and prose suo (ut aiunt) Marte, and decline perfectly the paradigmes of Nounes and verbes in the Greeke tongue, then may hee bee admitted into the College, nor shall any claime admission before such qualifications.

2. Every one shall consider the mayne End of his life and studyes, to know God and Jesus Christ which is Eternall life. Joh. 17.3.

3. Seeing the Lord giveth wisdome, every one shall seriously by prayer in secret, seeke wisdome of him.

4. Every one shall so exercise himselfe in reading the Scriptures twice a day that they bee ready to give an account of their proficiency therein, both in theoreticall observations of Language and Logicke, and in practicall and spirituall truthes as their tutor shall require according to their severall abilities respectively, seeing the Entrance of the word giveth light etc. psal. 119, 130.

5. In the publicke Church assembly they shall carefully shunne all gestures that shew any contempt or neglect of Gods ordinances and bee ready to give an account to their tutors of their profiting and to use the helpes of Storing themselves with knowledge, as their tutours shall direct them, and all Sophisters and Bachellors (until themselves make common place) shall publiquely repeate Sermons in the Hall whenver they are called forth.

6. They shall eschew all prophanation of Gods holy name, attributes, word, ordinances, and times of worship, and study with Reverence and love carefully to reteine God and his truth in their minds.

7. They shall honour as their parents, Magistrates, Elders, tutours and aged persons, by beeing silent in their presence (except they bee called on to answer) not gainesaying shewing all those laudable expressions of honour and Reverence in their presence, that are in uses as bowing before them standing uncovered or the like.

8. They shall be slow to speake, and eschew not onely oathes, Lies, and uncertaine Rumours, but likewise all idle, foolish, bitter scoffing, frothy wanton words and offensive gestures.

Friday, January 5, 2018

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

1640 Founding of Harvard College, for Men Only

New England's First Fruits 1640, for Men Only, Of Course...

The History of the Founding of Harvard College
AFTER GOD HAD carried us safe to New England, and we had built our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God's worship, and led the civil government, one of the next things we longed for and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches, when our present ministers shall lie in the dust. 

And as we were thinking and consulting how to effect this great work, it pleased God to stir up the heart of one Mr. Harvard (a godly gentleman and a lover of learning, there living among us) to give the one-half of his estate (it being in all about £700) toward the ing of a college, and all his library. After him, another gave £300; others after them cast in more; and the public hand of the state added the rest.

The college was, by common consent, appointed to be at Cambridge (a place very pleasant and accommodate) and is called (according to the name of the first founder) Harvard College. The edifice is very fair and comely within and without, having in it a spacious hall where they daily meet at commons, lectures, and exercises; and a large library with some books to it, the gifts of diverse of our friends, their chambers and studies also fitted for and possessed by the students, and all other rooms of office necessary and convenient with all needful offices thereto belonging. And by the side of the college, a fair grammar school, for the training up of young scholars and fitting of them for academical learning, that still as they are judged ripe they may be received into the college of this school.

Master Corlet is the master who has very well approved himself for his abilities, dexterity, and painfulness in teaching and education of the youths under him.

Over the college is Master Dunster placed as president, a learned, a conscionable, and industrious man, who has so trained up his pupils in the tongues and arts, and so seasoned them with the principles of divinity and Christianity, that we have to our great comfort (and in truth) beyond our hopes, beheld their progress in learning and godliness also. The former of these has appeared in their public declamations in Latin and Greek, and disputations logic and philosophy which they have been wonted (besides their ordinary exercises in the college hall) in the audience of the magistrates, ministers, and other scholars for the probation of their growth in learning, upon set days, constantly once every month to make and uphold. The latter has been manifested in sundry of them by the savory things of their spirits in their godly versation; insomuch that we are confident, if these early blossoms may be cherished and warmed with the influence of the friends of learning and lovers of this pious work, they will, by the help of God, come to happy maturity in a short time.

Over the college are twelve overseers chosen by the General Court, six of them are of the magistrates, the other six of the ministers, who are to promote the best good of it and (having a power of influence into all persons in it) are to see that everyone be diligent and proficient in his proper place.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

1640 Preface to the Bay Psalm Book

Preface to the 1640 "Bay Psalm Book" Probably written by Richard Mather

Richard Mather Born in Lancashire, England, 1596. Died in Dorchester, Mass. 1669

The singing of Psalms, though it breath forth nothing but holy harmony, and melody: yet such is the subtlety of the enemy, and enmity of our nature against the Lord, and his ways, that our hearts can find matter of discord in this harmony, and crotchets [i.e., whimsical notions] of division in this holy melody.—for.—There have been three questions especially stirring concerning singing. First, what psalms are to be sung in churches? whether David’s and other scripture psalms, or the psalms invented by the gifts of godly men in every age of the church. Secondly, if scripture psalms, whether in their own words, or in such metre as English poetry is wont to run in? Thirdly, by whom are they to be sung? whether by the whole churches together with their voices? or by one man singing alone and the rest joining in silence, and in the close saying amen. 
Touching the first, certainly the singing of David’s psalms was an acceptable worship of God, not only in his, but in succeeding times. as in Solomon’s time 2 Chron. 5:13. in Jehosaphat’s time 2 Chron. 20:21. in Ezra’s time Ezra 3:10,11. and the text is evident in Hezekiah’s time they are commanded to sing praise in the words of David and Asaph, 2 Chron. 29:30. which one place may serve to resolve two of the questions (the first and the last) at once, for this commandment was it ceremonial or moral? some things in it indeed were ceremonial, as their musical instruments, etc. but what ceremony was there in singing praise with the words of David and Asaph? what if David was a type of Christ, was Asaph also? was everything of David typical? are his words (which are of moral, universal, and perpetual authority in all nations and ages) are they typical? what type can be imagined in making use of his songs to praise the Lord? If they were typical because of the ceremony of musical instruments was joined to them, then their prayers were also typical, because they had that ceremony of incense admixt with them: but we know that prayer then was a moral duty, notwithstanding the incense; so singing those psalms notwithstanding their musical instruments. Beside, that which was typical (as that they were sung with musical instruments, by the twenty-four orders of Priests and Levites 1 Chron. 25:9) must have the moral and spiritual accomplishment in the New Testament, in all the Churches of the Saints principally, who are made kings and priests Rev. 1:6 and are the firstfruits unto God Rev. 14:4. as the Levites were Num. 3:45. with hearts and lips, instead of musical instruments, to praise the Lord; who are set forth (as some judiciously think) Rev. 4:4. by twenty-four Elders, in the ripe age of the Church, Gal. 4:1,2,3. answering to the twenty-four orders of Priests and Levites 1 Chron. 25:9. Therefore not some select members, but the whole Church is commanded to teach one another in all the several sorts of David’s psalms, some being called by himself MyrOmzm: psalms, some Myllyht: hymns, some Myryw: spiritual songs. So that if the singing of David’s psalms be a moral duty and therefore perpetual; then we under the New Testament are bound to sing them as well as they under the old: and if we are expressly commanded to sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, then either we must sing David’s psalms, or else may affirm they are not spiritual songs: which being penned by an extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, for the sake especially of God’s spiritual Israel, not to be read and preached only (as other parts of holy writ) but to be sung also, they are therefore most spiritual, and still to be sung of all the Israel of God: and verily as their sin is exceeding great, who will allow David’s psalms (as other scriptures) to be read in churches (which is one end) but not to be preached also, which is another end so their sin is crying before God, who will allow them to be read and preached, but seek to deprive the Lord of the glory of the third end of them, which is to sing them in Christian churches. 
Obj. 1. If it be said that the Saints in the primitive Church did compile spiritual songs of their own inditing [i.e., composition], and sing them before the Church. 1 Cor. 14:15,16.
Ans. We answer first, that those Saints compiled these spiritual songs by the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit (common in those days) whereby they were enabled to praise the Lord in strange tongues, wherein learned Paraeus proves those psalms were uttered, in his Comment[ary] on that place vers 14 which extraordinary gifts, if they were still in the Churches, we should allow them the like liberty now. Secondly, suppose those psalms were sung by an ordinary gift (which we suppose cannot be evicted [i.e., evidenced]) does it therefore follow that they did not, and that we ought not to sing David’s psalms, must the ordinary gifts of a private man quench the Spirit still speaking to us by the extraordinary gifts of his servant David. there is not the least foot-step of example, or precept, or color reason for such bold practice.
Obj. 2. Ministers are allowed to pray conceived prayers, and why not to sing conceived psalms? must we not sing in the Spirit as well as pray in the Spirit?
Ans. First because every good minister has not the gift of spiritual poetry to compose extemporaneous psalms as he has of prayer. Secondly, suppose he had, yet seeing psalms are to be sung by a joint consent and harmony of all the Church in heart and voice (as we shall prove) this cannot be done except he that composes a psalm, brings into the Church set forms of psalms of his own invention; for which we find no warrant or precedent in any ordinary officers of the Church throughout the scriptures. Thirdly, because the book of psalms is so complete a system of psalms, which the Holy Ghost himself in infinite wisdom has made to suit all conditions, necessities, temptations, affections, etc. of men in all ages; (as most of all interpreters on the psalms have fully and particularly cleared) therefore by this the Lord seems to stop all men’s mouths and minds ordinarily to compile or sing any other psalms (under color that the occasions and conditions of the Church are new) etc. for the public use of the Church, seeing, let our condition be what it will, the Lord himself has supplied us with far better; and therefore in Hezekiah’s time, though doubtless there were among them those which had extraordinary gifts to compile new songs on those new occasions, as Isaiah and Micah etc. yet we read that they are commanded to sing in the words of David and Asaph, which were ordinarily to be used in the public worship of God: and we doubt not but those that are wise will easily see; that those set forms of psalms of God’s own appointment not of man’s conceived gift or human imposition were sung in the Spirit by those holy Levites, as well as their prayers were in the Spirit which themselves conceived, the Lord not then binding them therein to any set forms; and shall set forms of psalms appointed of God not be sung in the Spirit now, which others did then?
Question. But why may not one compose a psalm and sing it alone with a loud voice and the rest join with him in silence and in the end say amen.
Ans. If such a practice was found in the Church of Corinth, when any had a psalm suggested by an extraordinary gift; yet in singing ordinary psalms the whole Church is to join together in heart and voice to praise the Lord.—for—
First, David’s psalms as has been shown, were sung in heart and voice together by the twenty-four orders of the musicians of the Temple, who typed out the twenty-four Elders all the members especially of Christian Churches Rev. 5:8. who are made Kings and Priests to God to praise him as they did: for if they were any other order of singing Choristers beside the body of the people to succeed those, the Lord would doubtless have given direction in the gospel for their qualification, election, maintenance etc. as he did for the musicians of the Temple, and as his faithfulness had done for all other church officers in the New Testament.
Secondly, others beside the Levites (the chief singers) in the Jewish Church did also sing the Lord’s songs; else why are they commanded frequently to sing: as in Ps. 100:1,2,3. Ps. 95:1,2,3. Ps. 102. title with verse 18. and Ex. 15:1. not only Moses but all Israel sang that song, they spake saying (as it is in the orig[inal language]) all as well as Moses, the women also as well as the men. v. 20,21. and Deut. 32. (whereto some think, John had reference as well as to Ex. 15:1. when he brings in the Protestant Churches getting the victory over the Beast with harps in their hands and singing the song of Moses. Rev. 15:3.) this song Moses is commanded not only to put it into their hearts but into their mouths also: Deut. 31:19. which argues, that they were with their mouths to sing together as well as with their hearts.
Thirdly, Isaiah foretells in the days of the New Testament that God’s watchmen and desolate lost souls, (signified by waste places) should with their voices sing together, Isa. 52:8,9. and Rev. 7:9,10. the song of the Lamb was by many together, and the Apostle expressly commands the singing of psalms, hymns, etc. not to any select Christians, but to the whole Church. Eph. 5:19. Col. 3:16. Paul and Silas sang together in private Acts 16:25 and must the public hear only one man sing? to all these we may add the practice of the primitive Churches; the testimony of ancient and holy Basil is instead of many Epist. 63 [letter 207; sec. 3]. When one of us (says he) has begun a psalm, the rest of us set in to sing with him, all of us with one heart and one voice; and this says he is the common practice of the Churches in Egypt, Libya, Thebes, Palestine, Syria, and those dwelling on Euphrates, and generally everywhere, where singing of psalms is of any account. To the same purpose also Eusebius gives witness. Eccles. Hist. Lib. 2 cap. 17. The objections made against this do most of them plead against joining to sing in heart as well as in voice, as that by this means others out of the Church will sing as also that we are not always in a suitable estate to the matter sung, and likewise that all cannot sing with understanding; shall not therefore all that have understanding join in heart and voice together? are not all the creatures in heaven, earth, seas: men, beasts, fishes, fowls, etc. commanded to praise the Lord, and yet none of these but men, and godly men too, can do it with spiritual understanding?
As for the scruple that some take at the translation of the Book of Psalms into metre, because David’s psalms were sung in his own words without metre: we answer—First, there are many verses together in several psalms of David which run in rhythms (as those that know Hebrew and as Buxtorf shows Thesau. pa. 629.) which shows at least the lawfulness of singing psalms in English rhythms.
Secondly, the psalms are penned in such verses as are suitable to the poetry of the Hebrew language, and not in the common style of such other books of the Old Testament as are not poetical; now no Protestant doubts but that all the books of scripture should by God’s ordinance be extant in the mother tongue of each nation, that they may be understood of all, hence the psalms are to be translated into our English tongue; and in it our English tongue we are to sing them, then as all our English songs (according to the course of our English poetry) do run in metre, so ought David’s psalms to be translated into metre, that so we may sing the Lord’s songs, as in our English tongue so in such verses as are familiar to an English ear which are commonly metrical: and as it can be no just offense to any good conscience to sing David’s Hebrew songs in English words, so neither to sing his poetical verses in English poetical metre: men might as well stumble at singing the Hebrew psalms in our English tunes (and not in the Hebrew tunes) as at singing them in English metre, (which are our verses) and not in such verses as are generally used by David according to the poetry of the Hebrew language: but the truth is, as the Lord has hid from us the Hebrew tunes, lest we should think ourselves bound to imitate them; so also the course and frame (for the most part) of their Hebrew poetry, that we might not think ourselves bound to imitate that, but that every nation without scruple might follow as the grave sort of tunes of their own country songs, so the graver sort of verses of their own country poetry.
Neither let any think, that for the metre sake we have taken liberty or poetical license to depart from the true and proper sense of David’s words in the Hebrew verses, no; but it has been one part of our religious care and faithful endeavour, to keep close to the original text.
As for other objections taken from the difficulty of Ainsworth’s tunes, and the corruptions in our common psalm books, we hope they are answered in this new edition of psalms; which we here present to God and his Churches. For although we have cause to bless God in many respects for the religious endeavours of the translators of the psalms into metre usually annexed to our Bibles, yet it is not unknown to the godly learned that they have rather presented a paraphrase than the words of David translated according to the rule 2 Chron. 29:30. and that their addition to the words, detractions from the words are not seldom and rare, but very frequent and many times needless, (which we suppose would not be approved of if the Psalms were so translated into prose) and that their variations of the sense, and alterations to the sacred text too frequently, may justly minister matter of offense to them that are able to compare the translation with the text; of which failings, some judicious have often complained, others have been grieved, whereupon it has been generally desired, that as we do enjoy other, so (if it were the Lord’s will) we might enjoy this ordinance also in its native purity: we have therefore done our endeavour to make a plain and familiar translation of the psalms and words of David into English metre, and have not so much as presumed to paraphrase to give the sense of his meaning in other words; we have therefore attended herein as our chief guide the original, shunning all additions, except such as even the best translators of them in prose supply, avoiding all material detractions from words or sense. The word v which we translate and as it is redundant sometimes in the Hebrew, so sometimes (though not very often) it has been left out and yet not then, if the sense were not fair without it.
As for our translations, we have with our English Bibles (to which next to the original we have had respect) used the idioms of our own tongue instead of hebraisms, lest they might seem English barbarisms.
Synonyms we use indifferently: as folk for people, and Lord for Jehovah, and sometimes (though seldom) God for Jehovah; for which (as for some other interpretations of places cited in the New Testament) we have the scripture’s authority Ps. 14 with 53. Heb. 1:6. with Psalm 97:7. Where a phrase is doubtful we have followed that which (in our own apprehension) is most genuine and edifying:
Sometime we have contracted, sometimes dilated the same Hebrew word, both for the verse and the verse sake: which dilation we conceive to be no paraphrastical addition no more than the contraction of a true and full translation to be any unfaithful detraction or diminution: as when we dilate who healeth and say he it is who healeth; so when we contract, those that stand in awe of God and say God fearers.
Lastly, because some Hebrew words have a more full and emphatic signification than any one English word can or does sometimes express, hence we have done that sometimes which faithful translators may do, viz. not only to translate the word but the emphasis of it; as lx mighty God, for God. jrb humbly bless for bless; rise to stand, Psalm 1. for stand. truth and faithfulness for truth. Howbeit, for the verse sake we do not always thus, yet we render the word truly though not fully; as when we sometimes say rejoice for shout for joy.
As for all other changes of numbers, tenses, and characters of speech, they are such as either the Hebrew will unforcedly bear, or our English forceably calls for, or in no way changes the sense; and such are printed usually in another character.
If therefore the verses are not always so smooth and elegant as some may desire or expect; let them consider that God’s altar needs not our polishings: Ex. 20. for we have respected rather a plain translation, than to smooth our verses with the sweetness of any paraphrases, and so have attended conscience rather than elegance, fidelity rather than poetry, in translating the Hebrew words into English language, and David’s poetry into English metre; that so we may sing in Sion the Lord’s songs of praise according to his own will; until he take us from hence, and wipe away all out tears, and bid us enter into our Master’s joy to sing eternal hallelujahs.
Songs of the Puritans: The first book printed in America. Supervised by Richard Mather, Thomas Weld and John Eliot. The preface was written by Mather. Printed by Stephen Daye, at Cambridge, Mass., 1640

Monday, January 1, 2018

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.