memoirs of american governors

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: 49 II. WILLIAM BRADFORD. i When, at the commencement of the seventeenth century, the little band of English Puritans gathered together, and formed their congregation, near the confines of the counties of York, Nottingham and Lincoln,— choosing for their ministers, Richard Clifton and John Robinson,—a sedate youth, then scarcely twelve years of age, of grave countenance and earnest manner, was observed to be a constant attendant upon their meetings. That youth was William Bradford, an orphan. He was born in the year 1588, at Austerfield, an obscure village in Yorkshire. His parents dying while he was a child, his education was provided for by his grand parents and uncles; but was limited almost exclusively to those branches of knowledge deemed necessary to an agricultural life, and such as generally falls to the share of the children of English husbandmen. Deprived of other sources of information, his love of reading naturally sought gratification in the Bible, and he drank deep of the fountain of truth in the sacred volume. He thus acquired those deep impressions of piety, and that inflexible love for, and disposition to maintain what he believed to be the truth, for which he was afterwards distinguished. His attendance upon the ministrations of Clifton, deeply offended his relatives. They were hostile to the new sect, and their hostility was not likely to be softened by the reflection, that one of their family, dependent in some degree upon their friendship, had presumed, in opposition to their remonstrances, to embrace the faith of the puritans. Young Bradford was therefore exposedto their resentment, as well as to the jeers and scoffs of his juvenile companions. But he had deliberately made up his mind, in the full belief that his course was right—and no persuasion ...
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