We have been thinking about William Bradford’s classic History of Plymouth Plantation as an appropriate read for November. If you are just now clicking in for the first time, take a moment and scroll down through the last several postings just to get a context for this post.
Within 2-3 months in the first winter nearly half the company of pilgrims dies. The healthy brave all to help their brethren. Bradford himself is among the sick. Miles Standish is one of the strong ones. It was another story with the sailors back on the ship, however. They scorned to help the pilgrims, often scoffing and mocking. Sure enough, they too came down sick (at God’s hand, Bradford assumes). Again, Bradford tells of a proud boatswain who curses and scoffs at the passengers yet is brought to his own death in the end. This story is then balanced by another crew member who repented his wicked treatment of the pilgrims and survived illness to live many years among a faithful member of the congregation.
Speaking of the healthy members of the company who gave all to aid their sick brethren, Bradford says, “And yet the Lord so upheld these persons.” Of course, we can’t help but ask what about the others, can we? Think about it. Did God not uphold them?
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