Tag Archives: William Bradford

Out of Small Beginnings

“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many., yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehova have all the praise”
― William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation

bradford1On William Bradford’s tombstone is written:

In Hebrew: “Jehova is our help”

In Latin: “What our fathers with so much difficulty secured, do not basely relinquish”

TEXT

For the Glory of God

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Psalms 118:29

As with any holiday, looking back upon its history tends to be commonplace, yet so much of this holiday’s history is lost to revision or explicit omission. The writings from our nation’s original architects, or those nearest to the origins, suit us best—still—as references from which we can learn. My amazement never wanes while reading of the “adventures” taken by the brave men, women, and children settling this great nation. The absolute trust they had in God’s daily provision is a picture of faith that we should all aspire.

The language used so naturally in reference to Scripture in William Bradford’s writings shows how integral their faith was in their lives. The Pilgrims endured many trials and tests because of their strong belief in freedom and worship. Their story is foundational to our Liberty and to this great nation “Under God.”

Although the original Mayflower Compact has been lost, William Bradford recounted the text in his writings “Of Plimoth Plantation” (sp. intentional). Bradford called this the “first foundation of their government in this place.” As to the reason for the Compact, he says “when they came ashore, they would use their own liberty; for none had power to command them.”

Signing of the Mayflower CompactThe Mayflower Compact

“In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.”

Happy Thanksgiving – Anno Domini 2014

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18