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[356] ‘the wiser of the best;’ disinterested, brave, and con-
Chap. IX.} 1630.
scientious—his character marks the transition of the reformation into virtual republicanism; when the sentiment of loyalty, which it was still intended to cherish, gradually yielded to the irresistible spirit of civil freedom.

England rung from side to side with the ‘general rumor of this solemn enterprise.’ On leaving the Isle of Wight, Winthrop and the chief of his fellow passengers on board the Arbella, including the ministers, bade an affectionate farewell to the church and the land of their nativity. ‘Reverend Fathers and Brethren,’ such was their address to all from whom they parted,

Howsoever your charitie may have met with discouragement through the misreport of our intentions, or the indiscretion of some amongst us, yet we desire you would be pleased to take notice, that the principals and body of our company esteem it our honour to call the church of England, from whence wee rise, our deare mother, and cannot part from our native countrie, where she specially resideth, without much sadnes of heart and many tears in our eyes; blessing God for the parentage and education, as members of the same body, and while we have breath, we shall syncerely indeavour the continuance and abundance of her welfare.

Be pleased, therefore, Reverend Fathers and Brethren, to helpe forward this worke now in hand; which, if it prosper, you shall bee the more glorious. It is a usuall exercise of your charity, to recommend to the prayers of your congregations the straights of your neighbours: do theike for a church springing out of your owne bowels; pray without ceasing for us, who are a weake colony from yourselves.

What we intreat of you that are ministers of

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Fathers (2)
John Winthrop (1)
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