Hello everyone, thanks for coming back. In this post, I will be taking a look at the first hand accounts of William Bradford. First I would like to add a little biography of, in my eyes, a very great man. So let’s get right to it.
Synopsis: Believed to have been born in 1590, William Bradford became a leading figure in the Puritans’ Separatist movement. He and congregants eventually sailed from England on the Mayflower to establish a colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where Bradford became longtime governor after a devastating winter. He died in 1657, with much of the history of the settlement recorded in his two volume work, Of Plymouth Plantation. (biography.com)
It will be from these writings I will be taking his accounts of the persecution led by the Royalty of England, against the Puritan Separatist.
Background: William Bradford was believed to have been born in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England, in March 1590, with records indicating his baptism being held around this time. His parents died early in his childhood, leaving Bradford in the care of various relatives. Attending a religious service in Scrooby before his teen years, the youngster joined the Separatist denomination, a more radical branch of Puritanism that believed in removing itself from the Church of England. He and other congregants eventually fled to the Netherlands to escape persecution, though in their adopted land, they still faced attacks, due to the country’s affiliation with England’s King James I. (biography.com)
Before I continue on here, I want to bring something to everyone’s attention. It’s interesting to note, that after the Bible was able to be published and printed and available to the public. It didn’t take long for the truth of scripture to leap off the pages, and for those to see that The Roman Catholic Church was in full Apostasy. The Church did not adhere to most of what scripture said, and this in itself started the Protestant reforms, with Martin Luther, John Calvin, William Tyndale etc. However when the Puritans saw that the Church of England was this ugly mixed mess of Catholicism and Protestantism, called Anglicanism, they knew it was time to Separate and stay true to God’s most Holy Word. They were not compromisers, like King James and those who remained in the Church of England, they had integrity and held fast to the truth, and was not going to let anyone, or any church, or any King force them to do otherwise. This is the true congregation of Jesus, the true believers, not the “church” as some would like to believe. The Holy Spirit moved through the pages of the Bible, and the truth came to light. This is why the Roman Catholics didn’t want the people to have Bibles, they didn’t think they had God’s wisdom like they thought they had, to understand the Word. They were wrong, again the “church” shows it’s true colors, colors that are not of God, but of man. Now let’s go right to William Bradford and let him tell us what it was like, under the persecution by the “church” and under today’s Protestant denominational “churches” Royal Saints of England. I pray they wake up, and learn the truth.
Of Plymouth Plantation: Chapter 1
[The Separatist Interpretation Of The Reformation In England, 1550-1607]
It is well known unto the godly and judicious, how ever since the first breaking out of the light of the gospel in our honourable nation of England, ( which was the first of nations whom the Lord adorned therewith after the gross darkness of popery which had covered and overspread the Christian world), what wars and oppositions ever since. Satan hath raised, maintained and continued against the Saints, from time to time, in one sort or other. Sometimes by bloody death and cruel torments; other whiles imprisonments, banishments and other hard usages; as being loath his kingdom should go down, the truth prevail and the churches of God revert to their ancient purity and recover their primitive order, liberty and beauty.
Ok let’s take a look at this and break it down, so we can clearly understand what William was telling us, and reading now in the twenty first century. We need to understand, and learn from this man. He starts out with, what I was saying earlier, that in England the Bible was translated, and the truth of the gospel came to light. Before was the dark days of popery, or the pope and the Roman Catholic Church. He then goes on to say that this “church” with its apostasy and false doctrine overspread the Christian world. Remember only the hierarchy of the church had the Bible, which was printed by hand, and interpreted to say exactly what they wanted it to say. The commoners did not have the Bible to read like we do, all they could do was trust what the Pope and the other hierarchy was telling them. This was truly the dark ages, the truth from the early Apostles was now fully hidden, and the Congregation severely wounded, by Satan through the false satanic church, of the Roman Catholics. Satan was in full control of it and was using it to keep salvation away from the people. And it was working, but our God said no more, and He allowed the people to come out of the darkness of Satan and the Roman Catholic Church, and learn once again the one true gospel, the gospel of the early congregation of believers. Then William goes on to say that it was satan, that attacked through various different ways the congregation of Jesus, to try to destroy the spreading of the gospel, and the truth. Satan did this using a “church.” And Satan used this church to fight against his number one enemy, Jesus. Then William goes on to say that satan was worried that his kingdom should go down, and the truth prevail, so that the churches (congregation) of God should learn and revert back to their ancient purity and recover their primitive order. The primitive order is not the “church,” the primitive order is the congregation of God. The One Congregation of God, not thousands of “churches” satan can use at any moment in time for his purposes, because the “church is man” the “congregation is God.” The “church” enslaves and holds one in bondage, to their doctrines and traditions, but as William said, that the congregation would revert to their ancient purity and recover their primitive order, which is liberty and beauty, Amen. See so far now, how my earlier posts should be starting, I hope, to make much more sense. Let’s continue.
But when he could not prevail by these means against the main truths of the gospel, but that they began to take rooting in many places, being watered with the blood of the martyrs and blessed from Heaven with a gracious increase; he then began to take him to his ancient stratagems, used of old against the first Christians. That when by the bloody and barbarous persecutions of the heathen emperors he could not stop and subvert the course of the gospel, but that it speedily overspread, with a wonderful celerity, The then best known parts of the world; he then began to sow errours, heresies and wonderful dissensions amongst the professors themselves, working upon their pride and ambition, with other corrupt passions incident to all mortal men, yea to the saints themselves in some measure, by which woeful effects followed. As not only bitter contentions and heartburnings, schisms, with other horrible confusion; but satan took occasion and advantage thereby to foist in a number of vile ceremonies, with many profitable canons and decrees, which have since been as snares to many poor peaceable souls even to this day. (histarch.illionois.edu)
I have so much to break down here for you, and to comment on, but time is rather short today, so I will stop here until next time. But I really want to stress how important this is to know and understand exactly how satan works. There is coming in the future a persecution that is so great that nothing in the past will compare. It will be a persecution against Jesus’s Chosen Remnant, by the anti-christ (satan), it’s very important to fully grasp how satan works, because as William Bradford said, he (satan) reverts back, he repeats himself, and in the future we are his targets, he’s coming after us, because we hold the truth, we must prepare. Again next post I will break the above paragraph down and then we will move on, there is much more, until next time, may the Lord bless your search for truth.