One of the my most valued books is Of Plymouth Plantation. It is William Bradford’s record of the Pilgrim’s trip from England to set up a colony on our shores. He was the principle leader for over thirty years. He described their perilous voyage, trials upon landing, the first Thanksgiving, and the difficult years that followed. It is priceless history and is like reading the Bible since Bradford quoted Scripture often.
The actual book had 270 leaves. He even recorded his Hebrew language exercises in it. He studied Hebrew so he could read the Scripture in the original languages. “…I am refreshed to have seen some glimpse hereof, as Moses saw the land of Canaan afar off. My aim and desire is to see how the words and phrases lie in the holy text, and to discern some-what of the same, for my own content.” He loved God’s Word.
The book was passed down and eventually kept in the tower of the Old South Church and was likely lost as loot about 1776 to a British soldier and sold in London. It ended up in the Fulham Palace library where an English pastor found it and proposed it be returned to America. That took forty years of wrangling and red tape to accomplish. Senator George Hoar of Massachusetts was successful in 1897. After reading the manuscript he said it was “the most precious on earth,” with the possible exception of the Gospels. Later he told Queen Victoria, there was nothing like the Bradford History “in human annals since the Story of Bethlehem.” It was returned and today resides in Boston.
Reading the manuscript made me much more thankful for God’s unseen hand in the establishment of our country. Too often we know only the surface details of history. Let us give thanks, as the Scriptures exhort us, for all the blessings He has brought up this country and pray for it deeply as we celebrate.
Nancy and I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving. Psa. 9:1
Saturday 9 to 11AM Nativity Setup - Clearing, setting up buildings etc. as we draw near. Screw guns, bits, knives, rakes, shovels and muscles needed.
Sunday Nov. 26 & Dec. 3 no Sunday School due to holiday events.