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[361] and stormy passage, the timely arrival of the Lyon
Chap. IX.} 1631.
from Bristol laden with provisions, caused public thanksgiving through all the plantations. Yet the ship brought but twenty passengers; and quenched all hope of immediate accessions. In 1631 ninety only came over, fewer than had gone back the preceding year; in 1632 no more than two hundred and fifty arrived. Men waited to learn the success of the early adventurers. Those who had deserted excused their cowardice by defaming the country; and, moreover, illwillers to New England, were already railing against its people as separatists from the established church, and traitors to the king.

The little colony, now counting not many more than one thousand souls, while it developed its principles with unflinching courage, desired to avoid giving scandal to the civil and ecclesiastical government in England. Wilson was on the point of returning to bring over his wife; his church stood in special need of a teacher in his absence, and a young minister ‘lovely in his carriage,’ ‘godly and zealous, having precious gifts,’ opportunely arrived in the Lyon. It was Roger Williams. ‘From his childhood the Father of lights and mercies touched his soul with a love to Himself, to his only-begotten. Son, the true Lord Jesus, and his holy Scriptures.’ In the forming period of his life he had been employed by Sir Edward Coke, and his natural inclination to study and activity was spurred on by the instruction and encouragement of the statesman, who was then ‘in his intrepid and patriotic old age, the strenuous asserter of liberty on the principles of ancient laws,’ and by his writings, speeches and example, lighted the zealous enthusiast on his way. Through the affection of the great lawyer, who called him endearingly

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