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wholly new, in the form of another number of the series of Critical and Historical Tracts : but finding the tract on this subject has been long, in the bookseller's phrase, out of print, and that it is often inquired for ; and that to make the New Revelations intelligible it would be necessary frequently to reproduce the matter of the former tract, I have thought it best to send forth the present volume as an entire work in which the matter of the Tract and the matter since acquired are blended together, and a large Appendix is added, containing many pieces highly interesting in themselves, and with one exception, bearing directly on the subject of this emigration.
Some readers may think that many things in this book are of small importance. They are right, when these things are looked at as unconnected parts of the design ; for neither Bradford nor Brewster, nor the divines who were concerned in the movement were of the eminent of the earth, about whom there is a curiosity widely extended through the country which gave them birth, and concerning whom nothing is thought unimportant. It may even be said that they were but inconsiderable persons at home, and their consequence has undoubtedly arisen out of the grand results, which, unforeseen by themselves, have ensued on their great resolve. So that there is scarcely any. thing to be told of their early history besides those very small facts, of which so many will here be found, which make the history of men who are of but
small account in the midst of a large and advanced population.
It is, indeed, the part and peculiar office of the Antiquary to deal with such small facts. It is this which makes the distinction between the Antiquary and the Historian.
I have proceeded in the spirit of the Antiquary in gathering up these small fragments of truth, and I have proceeded also in the same spirit, as in contradistinction to the controversial, the sectarian, or other party spirit. Though sprung from persons who maintained many of the principles and adopted many of the practices by which these people were distinguished, and who were, indeed, the chief supporters of them in the Hundred of Broxtowewhich adjoins to Basset-Lawe, I have long known that when people think at all on subjects such as these, changes must come, and that a distant generation is no more bound to support the principles and opinions of ancestors of the days of Charles the First, than they were to support the principles of their own great-grandfathers as against the reformation. This is the necessary result of even their own great principle of free inquiry. I know very well that there are two different aspects under which the conduct of the persons about whom I write may be contemplated. Some may see in it nothing but self-will directed on subjects of inquiry which are at once difficult, and of supreme importance both to the inquirer himself and to the great community of which he is a member, which led to an uncalled-for schism, leading to social disunion, and having a tendency to produce much bitterness of spirit, and even the fiercest internal warfare, as, indeed, in but a few years it contributed to do. But there are many others who may look upon it but as a magnanimous and salutary assertion of the right of private judgment and public action according to the result of that judgment, and a submission to the teaching of Scripture as opposed to anything which claims to be an authoritative explanation of it. On both sides there is much to be said. But whatever view is taken of the principles on which these men acted, few will deny the praise of sincerity and earnestness, and a devout respect to what they deemed commands too sacred not to be obeyed, to those who were the leaders in this movement, and to those also who followed with them, though it may be of unrecorded name.
To those also who look with something of sorrow upon the divisions of the Christian world, and to the occasional manifestations of terrene thoughts entering into those which ought to have nothing in them but the celestial, arising out of these divisions ; there is some satisfaction in the thought that nothing seems to deprive Christianity of its salutary influences : for that however it is professed it still fills the mind with peace, and hope, and joy, and arms its professors, in whatever form professed, against the temptations of the world. But if we conclude that these people had mis
taken the path of duty, or had imposed upon themselves a severer burthen than God ever intended for them, there is still a heroism in their conduct which forbids us to regard them with indifference, nay rather, which will call forth the sympathy of every generous mind.
June 6th, 1854.
PRE FATORY STAN Z A S.
O little Fleet! that on thy quest divine
Say, too, has Heaven's high favour given again
About usummation of delavour given am:
Answer—Thou refuge of the Freeman's need,
When Thou wert wafted to that distant shore-