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[339] feeble influence compared with the consequences of
Chap IX.} 1624.
the attempt at a permanent establishment near Cape Ann; for White, a minister of Dorchester, a Puritan, but not a separatist, breathed into the enterprise a higher principle than that of the desire of gain. Roger Conant, having already left New Plymouth for Nantasket, through a brother in England, who was a friend of White, obtained the agency of the adventure.
A year's experience proved to the company, that their speculation must change its form, or it would produce no results; the merchants, therefore, paid with honest liberality all the persons whom they had employed, and abandoned the unprofitable scheme. But Conant, a man of extraordinary vigor, ‘inspired as it were by some superior instinct,’ and confiding in the active friendship of White, succeeded in breathing a portion
of his sublime courage into his three companions; and, making choice of Salem, as opening a convenient place of refuge for the exiles for religion, they resolved to remain as the sentinels of Puritanism on the Bay of Massachusetts.1

The design of a plantation was now ripening in the mind of White and his associates in the south-west of England. About the same time, some friends in Lincolnshire fell into discourse about New England; im-

agination swelled with the thought of planting the pure gospel among the quiet shades of America; it seemed better to depend on the benevolence of uncultivated nature and the care of Providence, than to endure the constraints of the English laws and the severities of the English hierarchy.

1 Hubbard, 102. 106—108. Prince, 224. 229. 231. 235, 236 Cotton Mather, b. i. c. IV. s. 3.

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