Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

This post is originally from November 25, 2010, but due to a very busy schedule and since the information and sentiments are still true, here it is again [and again in 2013!]. Happy Thanksgiving to friends and family all around the world.
 

Every year at Thanksgiving we have a tradition of reading a quote before our Thanksgiving dinner. This quote is from one of the Pilgrims, an ancestor of my children although not of mine, William Bradford. [1]


Being thus arrived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element. …

But here I cannot but stay and make a pause, and stand half amazed at this poor people’s present condition; and so I think will the reader too, when he well considers the same. Being thus passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation, … they had now no friends to welcome them, nor inns to entertain or refresh their weather-beaten bodies, no houses or much less towns to repair to, to seek for succor…. And for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of that country know them to be sharp and violent and subject to cruel and fierce storms… If they looked behind them, there was the mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar and gulf to separate them from all the civil parts of the world. If it be said they had a ship to succor them, it is true; but what heard they daily from the master and company? … Let it also be considered what weak hopes of supply and succor they left behind them, that might bear up their minds in this sad condition and trials they were under; and they could not but be very small.… What could now sustain them but the spirit of God and his grace?

May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: “Our fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness; but they cried unto the Lord, and he heard their voice, and looked on their adversity. Let them therefore praise the Lord, because he is good, and his mercies endure forever. Yea, let them which have been redeemed of the Lord, show how he hath delivered them from the hand of the oppressor. When they wandered in the desert wilderness out of the way, and found no city to dwell in, both hungry, and thirsty, their soul was overwhelmed in them. Let them confess before the Lord his loving kindness, and his wonderful works before the sons of men.” [2]



[1] One of these years I will get around to posting about the Pilgrim ancestors on the Tanner line, Richard Warren and Francis Cooke. [Ed.—And John Cooke. See comments.]

[2] William Bradford was quoting from Psalm 107. The Pilgrims brought the Geneva Bible with them to the New World rather than the King James Version, and the text of the psalm in that translation reads as follows:

1 Praise the Lord, because he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. 2 Let them, which have been redeemed of the Lord, shew how he hath delivered them from the hand of the oppressor, 3 And gathered them out of the lands, from the East and from the West, from the North and from the South. 4 When they wandered in the desert and wilderness out of the way, and found no city to dwell in, 5 Both hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. 6 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress, 7 And led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. 8 Let them therefore confess before ye Lord his loving kindness, and his wonderful works before the sons of men.



The image of the Bradford journal is from the Wikipedia entry Of Plymouth Plantation. The Robert Walter Weir painting "Embarkation of the Pilgrims" is from the Wikipedia entry on William Bradford. Autumn photo from D Sharon Pruitt from http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/4050741912/. 

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this, Amy! I am a descendant of William Bradford as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. John Cooke, Francis' son, was also on the Mayflower (he married Sarah Warren) so we had 3 ancestors on the Mayflower. Anyway, thanks for the nice post.

    ReplyDelete