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Charles-town is, in the north, what Lima is in the south; both are Capitals of the richest provinces of their respective hemispheres: you may therefore conjecture, that both cities must exhibit the appearances necessarily resulting from riches. Peru abounding in gold, Lima is filled with inhabitants who enjoy all those gradations of pleasure, refinement, and luxury, which proceed from wealth. Carolina produces commodities, more valuable perhaps than gold, because they are gained by greater industry; it exhibits also on our northern stage, a display of riches and luxury, inferior indeed to the former, but far superior to what are to be seen in our northern towns. Its situation is admirable, being built at the confluence of two large rivers, which receive in their course a great of inferior streams; all navigable in the spring, for flat boats. Here the produce of this extensive territory concentres; here therefore is the seat of the most valuable exportation; their wharfs, their docks, their magazines, are extremely convenient to facilitate this great commercial business.


In this brief discourse, which is believed to have been delivered as a lecture to the group of colonists about to depart for the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop lays out a vision for building a godly commonwealth. Winthrop, a devout Puritan, was a lawyer, not a minister, and his training shines through in both the structure and content of his argument.

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The colonists—who were fleeing royal persecution for their religious beliefs—had to recognize that they were drawn together for a purpose far beyond their own liberty, or even security. First, to hold conformity with the rest of his works, being delighted to show forth the glory of his wisdom in the variety and difference of the creatures, and the glory of his power in ordering all these differences for the preservation and good of the whole; and the glory of his greatness, that as it is the glory of princes to have many officers, so this great king will have many stewards, counting himself more honored in dispensing his gifts to man by man, than if he did it by his own immediate hands.

Secondly, that he might have the more occasion to manifest the work of his Spirit: first upon the wicked in moderating and restraining them: so that the rich and mighty should not eat up the poor, nor the poor and despised rise up against their superiors and shake off their yoke. Secondly, in the regenerate, in exercising his graces in them, as in the great ones, their love, mercy, gentleness, temperance etc. Thirdly, that every man might have need of others, and from hence they might be all knit more nearly together in the bonds of brotherly affection. From hence it appears plainly that no man is made more honorable than another or more wealthy etc.

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Therefore, God still reserves the property of these gifts to himself as Ezek. There is a time also when Christians though they give not all yet must give beyond their ability…. Likewise, a community of peril calls for extraordinary liberality, and so doth community in some special service for the church. Lastly, when there is no other means whereby our Christian brother may be relieved in his distress, we must help him beyond our ability rather than tempt God in putting him upon help by miraculous or extraordinary means.

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If the time and occasion be ordinary, he is to give out of his abundance. Let him lay aside as God hath blessed him.

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A man must lay up for posterity, the fathers lay up for posterity and children, and he is worse than an infidel that provideth not for his own. For the first, it is plain that it being spoken by way of comparison, it must be meant of the ordinary and usual course of fathers, and cannot extend to times and occasions extraordinary. For the other place, the Apostle speaks against such as walked inordinately, and it is without question that he is worse than an infidel who through his own sloth and voluptuousness shall neglect to provide for his family…. Thou must observe whether thy brother hath present or probable or possible means of repaying thee, if there be none of those, thou must give him according to his necessity, rather than lend him as he requires; if he hath present means of repaying thee, thou art to look at him not as an act of mercy, but by way of Commerce, wherein thou art to walk by the rule of justice; but if his means of repaying thee be only probable or possible, then is he an object of thy mercy, thou must lend him, though there be danger of losing it, Deut.

If any of thy brethren be poor etc.

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The same as before, but with more enlargement towards others and less respect towards ourselves and our own right. Hence it was that in the primitive Church they sold all, had all things in common, neither did any man say that which he possessed was his own.

First it is a bond or ligament. Secondly it makes the work perfect. There is no body but consists of parts, and that which knits these parts together, gives the body its perfection, because it makes each part so contiguous to others as thereby they do mutually participate with each other, both in strength and infirmity, in pleasure and pain.

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To instance in the most perfect of all bodies; Christ and his Church make one body; the several parts of this body considered apart before they were united, were as disproportionate and as much disordering as so many contrary qualities or elements, but when Christ comes, and by his spirit and love knits all these parts to himself and each to other, it is become the most perfect and best proportioned body in the world, Eph.

So this definition is right. Love is the bond of perfection.

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Adam in his first estate was a perfect model of mankind in all their generations, and in him this love was perfected in regard of the habit. But Adam rent himself from his Creator, rent all his posterity also one from another; whence it comes that every man is borne with this principle in him: to love and seek himself only, and thus a man continueth till Christ comes and takes possession of the soul and infuseth another principle, love to God and our brother, and this latter having continual supply from Christ, as the head and root by which he is united, gets the predomining in the soul, so by little and little expels the former.

First, this love among Christians is a real thing, not imaginary. Secondly, this love is as absolutely necessary to the being of the body of Christ, as the sinews and other ligaments of a natural body are to the being of that body. Thirdly, this love is a divine, spiritual, nature; free, active, strong, courageous, and permanent; undervaluing all things beneath its proper object and of all the graces, this makes us nearer to resemble the virtues of our heavenly father….

It rests now to make some application of this discourse, by the present de, which gave the occasion of writing of it. Herein are four things to be propounded; first the persons, secondly the work, thirdly the end, fourthly the means. We are entered into covenant with Him for this work.

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We have taken out a commission. The Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles. We have professed to enterprise these and those s, upon these and those ends.

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We have hereupon besought Him of favor and blessing. Now if the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath he ratified this covenant and sealed our Commission, and will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it; but if we shall neglect the observation of these articles which are the ends we have propounded, and, dissembling with our God, shall fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves and our posterity, the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us; be revenged of such a [sinful] people and make us know the price of the breaches of such a covenant.

Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection.

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We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. So that we shall see much more of his wisdom, power, goodness and truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with. The eyes of all people are upon us.

The busy-body, no. 1

So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. I shall shut up this discourse with that exhortation of Moses, that faithful servant of the Lord, in his last farewell to Israel, Deut. But if our hearts shall turn away, so that we will not obey, but shall be seduced, and worship and serve other Gods, our pleasure and profits, and serve them ; it is propounded unto us this day, we shall surely perish out of the good land whither we pass over this vast sea to possess it; [12].

Therefore let us choose life—that we, and our seed may live, by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him, for He is our life and our prosperity.

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Colonial America. The Busy-Body, No. Laws, Rights, and Liberties Related to Religion in December 31, Indenture between the four Adventurers and Robert September 07, Letter from an Indentured Servant to his Parents Passengers Bound for New England March 20, On Censure or Backbiting September 07, Old Mistresses Apologue June 25, Of the Original Contract On Conciliation with the Colonies March 22, Memoirs of Alexander Graydon August, Letter to the Secretary of the Society for the Pro October 31, What is an American September 28, George Washington.

Chapter 4: Experiments with Freedom of Conscience. Letter to Peter Collinson May 09, Reasons Against Satirizing Religion December 13, Mayflower Compact November 11, Of Property from Plymouth Plantation A Model of Christian Charity A Model of Christian Charity December 31, The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut January 14, Admonishment and Reconciliation of Robert Keayne w The Body of Liberties of the Massachusetts Colony On Liberty Maryland Act Concerning Religion April 21, Apologia August 01, Colonial Virginia Laws Related to Slavery Pennsylvania: Frame of Government The English Bill of Rights December 16, George Whitefield Preaches in Philadelphia The Essential Rights and Liberties of Protestants An Exhortation Seeking Charleston princes to pleasure the Inhabitants of the Province Upon the Peace A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law The Journal of Reverand Charles Woodmason Selected Poems Poems An Election Sermon Testimonies

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