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β€˜ [352] presence of my dearest friends. Therefore herein I
Chap. IX.} 1629.
submit myself to God's will and yours, and dedicate myself to God and the company, with the whole endeavors, both of body and mind. The Conclusions which you sent down are unanswerable; and it cannot but be a prosperous action which is so well allowed by the judgments of God's prophets, undertaken by so religious and wise worthies in Israel, and indented to God's glory in so special a service.’

On the twenty-sixth of August, at Cambridge, in England, twelve men, of large fortunes and liberal culture, among whom were John Winthrop, Isaac Johnson, Thomas Dudley, Richard Saltonstall, bearing in mind that the adventure could grow only upon confidence in each other's fidelity and resolution, bound themselves in the presence of God, by the word of a Christian, that if, before the end of September, an order, of the court should legally transfer the whole government, together with the patent, they would themselves pass the seas to inhabit and continue in New England. Two days after this covenant had been executed, the subject was again brought before the court; a serious and long continued debate ensued, and on the twenty-ninth of August a general consent appeared, by the erection of hands, that β€˜the government and patent should be settled in New England.’

This vote, by which the commercial corporation became the germ of an independent commonwealth, was simply a decision of the question, where the future meetings of the company should be held; it was sanctioned by the best legal advice; its lawfulness was at the time not questioned by the privy council, at a later day, was expressly affirmed by Sawyer, the

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