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one with another. In a word, the times and place in which he lived were not worthy of such a man.
But we find that he is taxed, in a book writ by George Johnson, with apostasy and to be a man-pleaser, etc.
Who can escape the scourge of tongues ? Christ himself could not do it when he was here upon earth, although there was no guile found in his mouth; nor Moses, although he was the meekest man in the earth. For man-pleasing, they that tax him [do it] because he concurred against their violent and endless dissensions about the former matters. And for his apostasy, this was all the matter. When he was a young man, before he came out of England, he at the persuasion of some of his godly friends went once or twice to hear a godly minister preach; and this was the great matter of apostasy, for which those violent men thought him worthy to be deposed from his place, and for which they thus charge him. And truly herein they may worthily bear the name of rigid, etc.
Mr. JOHN SMITH
Was an eminent man in his time, and a good preacher, and of other good parts; but his inconstancy, and unstable judg. ment, and being so suddenly carried away with things, did soon overthrow him. Yet we have some of us heard him use this speech : “ Truly," said he, "we being now come into a place of liberty, are in great danger, if we look not well to our ways; for we are like men set upon the ice, and therefore may easily slide and fall." But in this example it appears it is an easier matter to give good counsel than to follow it, to foresee danger than to prevent it: which made the prophet to say, “ O Lord, the way of man is not in himself, neither is it in man to walk and to direct his steps." He was some
time pastor to a company of honest and godly men which came with him out of England, and pitched at Amsterdam. He first fell into some errors about the Scriptures, and so into some opposition with Mr. Johnson, who had been his tutor, and the church there. But he was convinced of them by the pains and faithfulness of Mr. Johnson and Mr. Ainsworth, and revoked them ; but afterwards was drawn away by some of the Dutch Anabaptists, who finding him to be a good scholar and unsettled, they easily misled the most of his people, and other of them scattered away. He lived not many years after, but died there of a consumption, to which he was inclined before he came out of England. His and his people's condition may be an object of pity for after times.
Mr. JOHN ROBINSON
Was pastor of that famous church of Leyden, in Holland; a man not easily to be paralleled for all things, whose singular virtues we shall not take upon us here to describe. Neither need we, for they so well are known both by friends and enemies. As he was a man learned and of solid judgment, and of a quick and sharp wit, so was he also of a tender conscience, and very sincere in all his ways, a hater of hypocrisy and dissimulation, and would be very plain with his best friends. He was very courteous, affable, and sociable in his conversation, and towards his own people especially. He was an acute and expert disputant, very quick and ready, and had much bickering with the Arminians, who stood more in fear of him than any of the university. He was never satisfied in himself until he had searched any cause or argument he had to deal in thoroughly and to the bottom; and we have heard him sometimes say to his familiars that many times, both in writing and disputation, he knew he had sufficiently answered others, but many times not himself; and was ever desirous of any light, and the more able, learned,
* See Robinson's Life and Works, published by the Congregational Board of Publication, 3 vols.
and holy the persons were, the more he desired to confer and reason with them. He was very profitable in his ministry and comfortable to his people. He was much beloved of them, and as loving was he unto them, and entirely sought their good for soul and body. In a word, he was much es. teemed and reverenced of all that knew him, and his abilities [were acknowledged] both of friends and strangers. But we resolved to be brief in this matter, leaving you to better and more large information herein from others.
MR. RICHARD CLIFTON
Was a grave and fatherly old man when he came first into Holland, having a great white beard; and pity it was that such a reverend old man should be forced to leave his country, and at those years to go into exile. But it was his lot; and he bore it patiently. Much good had he done in the country where he lived, and converted many to God by his faithful and painful ministry, both in preaching and catechizing. Sound and orthodox he always was, and so continued to his end. He belonged to the church at Leyden; but being settled at Amsterdam, and thus aged, he was loath to remove any more; and so when they removed, he was dismissed to them there, and there remained until he died. Thus have we briefly satisfied your desire.
We are very thankful to you for your pains. We perceive God raiseth up excellent instruments in all ages to carry on his own work; and the best of men have their failings sometimes, as we see in these our times, and that there is no new thing under the sun. But before we end this matter, we desire you would say something of those two churches that
long in exile, of whose guides we have already heard.
Truly there were in them many worthy men; and if you had seen them in their beauty and order, as we have done, you would have been much affected therewith, we dare say. At Amsterdam, before their division and breach, they were about three hundred communicants, and they had for their pastor and teacher those two eminent men before named, and in our time four grave men for ruling elders, and three able and godly men for deacons, one ancient widow for a deaconess, who did them service many years, though she was sixty years of age when she was chosen. She honored her place and was an ornament to the congregation. She usually sat in a convenient place in the congregation, with a little birchen rod in her hand, and kept little children in great awe from disturbing the congregation. She did frequently visit the sick and weak, especially women, and, as there was need, called out maids and young women to watch and do them other helps as their necessity did require; and if they were poor, she would gather relief for them of those that were able, or acquaint the deacons; and she was obeyed as a mother in Israel and an officer of Christ.
And for the church of Leyden, they were sometimes not much fewer in number, nor at all inferior in able men, though they had not so many officers as the other; for they had but one ruling elder with their pastor, a man well approved and of great integrity; also they had three able men for deacons. And that which was a crown unto them, they lived together in love and peace all their days, without any considerable differences or any disturbance that grew thereby, but such as was easily healed in love; and so they continued until with mutual consent they removed into New England. And what their condition hath been since, some of you that are of their children do see and can tell. Many worthy and able men there were in both places, who lived and died in obscurity in respect of the world, as private Christians, yet were they precious in the eyes of the Lord, and also in the eyes of such
er can remove it.
* Sed Churches to be true churches, and even the
of them have ever done so, as appears by their 12 and other writings, and we ourselves some of us
much intercommunion that divers have held with
procally, not only with the Dutch and French, but Ar the Scotch, who are not of the best mould, yea and Kithe Lutherans also; and we believe they have gone as
o bom, both in judgment and practice, as any of the pes in New England do or can do, to deal faithfully and
w.mess against their corruptions. Hacang thus far satisfied all your demands, we shall here bres af this conference for this time, desiring the Lord to make ri to grow up in grace and wisdom and the true fear ne that in all faithfulness and humility you may serve him in four generations.
fortemen, we humbly thank you for your pains with us are set unto us, and do further crave that upon any fit zation, and herewith do humbly take our leave.
s kort them, whose virtues we with such of you as are the 12 cow and imitate.
YOUNG MEN. ar not be tedious, we would request to know one
It is commonly said that those of the Separa. none to be true churches but their own, and conshe churches in the world besides ; which lieth as a apen them, yea even on some here in New England,
ANCIENT MEN. 7 ja manifest slander laid upon them; for they hold al?