Title: Of Plymouth Plantation
Plot: The story of the colonization of Plymouth, Massachusetts
Note: He is my great grandfather 12 or more generations ago.
Listen to "Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford [15 Mins]" on Spreaker.
Hey, welcome back!
Today I will be reviewing Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford.
I should mention that he is my great grandfather 12 or more generations ago.
He became Governor of Massachusetts in 1621 after John Winthrop served for one year.
This is a fascinating book! I gave it five stars. There are some nitpicky things I can say, like when he included letters he failed to introduce them. He just kind of inserted them and said, see!... Forcing the reader to guess why it was included and wonder if we guessed right. But later in the book he recovered from that mistake and started explaining ya know: this letter from x to y is about z and that really really helped. Also, he didn’t name his chapters, which is moderately annoying, because he only numbered them. So I found myself wondering if I wanted to read one more with no clues that might compel me one way or the other. And finally his ending appeared to be abrupt, like it was an interrupted book. And perhaps it was, so I let it slide.
It seemed to imply someone walked into his library and shot him mid-paragraph.
And getting back to the letters, I disliked the inclusion of so many of them because he often included them the way a lawyer might in order to support statements he’d already made which is not only redundant, it's also tedious. But these are nitpicky style issues that are a matter of my opinion; some might love the inclusion of the letters. Particularly descendants of the men who wrote them.
So again I gave the book five stars. I'm partial to him because he is my grandfather. He opened the book well. Normally I dislike stories that go in order because they read too much like a diary or log of events.
Captain's log stardate Wednesday November 27, 2019 my first officer, William T Riker fell into a thorny bush and it was quite funny. November 28, 2019 we got him out.
Thankfully, William's writing skills overcame the typical monotony of a timeline.
I’m somewhat fascinated by circumstances, because as my regular podcast listeners know, I’ve been talking about witchcraft and demon possession lately. And that was triggered of course by Halloween and some close encounters with witches that came afterward.
All of which plunged me into a deeper study of witchcraft from a Christian perspective. Now I don’t recommend for the average Christian. I think God made some of us researcher types for the purpose of gathering information, cleansing it and then sharing it with others, but it’s not for everyone.
And so as I read William’s story, I see it differently now than I would have in other times past.
For example, at the end of the podcast titled, Obstacles to Deliverance. I talked about being 100 pages into this Plymouth book and how I noticed his comment that the Indians organized a three day national pow wow to curse the settlers of this newfoundland. That behavior is considered witchcraft by God’s definition. Dancing, drum beats, smoking, meditating and cursing are witchcraft. We shouldn’t expect to see a sign hung on a tree that says witchcraft in progress. Anymore than one would think to hang a sign on his bathroom door that says pooping is in progress. But I digress...
So when I read about his encounter with two men, based on research I’ve recently done, I can tell you that they were warlocks. And as a rule of thumb anyone who splits a church is a warlock. Despite how religious they might seem or what stories they tell themselves to justify it. Or how many tears they shed. And William gives us a bird’s eye view with perfect attention to detail:
One man was named Lyford and the other was Oldham.
Though William didn’t diagnose the men they way I am about to, he described them in sufficient detail for me to make these leaps with my conclusions. I believe Oldham was a demon possessed warlock. For example, there were occasions he was put in jail for the rage fits he threw and released after he came to himself. I found that expression to be revealing when William said, we let him go when he came to himself. Implying he wasn’t himself and revealing an explanation for his behavior where one minute he was crying and confessing to his sins, and the next he was skulking around causing mischief and doing serious harm to his friends and neighbors using his evil laugh.
And make no mistake the Plymouth Colony was as a much a church as a body politic. Every word William writes is written from the perspective of a believer in Christ. He often quotes Scripture and praises God. And you can scarcely find a sing chapter where he fails to do this.
In the beginning, these two men showed up praising the settlers for their patient endurance of their hardships. They were billowing tears and lifting the people up in their pride for their dedication to each other and to God and to their amazing accomplishments. And these men by the way were pastors. So the people greeted them with open arms. Gave them privileges they didn’t earn including food and housing. The settlers were so taken with affection for these men, that they went without in some cases.
Both of them eagerly and willingly confessed to past sins. And they threw themselves at the mercy of the kindness of these Christian brethren in Plymouth who forgave them their past transgressions and welcomed their honesty. Upfrontness and repentance is a sign of authenticity after all.
And then the men went to work attempting to split the church. They started whispering in secret and sowing discord and they even broke church members away from other churches having their own Sunday worship services complete with Sacrement.
Governor Bradford became suspicious of the men and so he sailed out to a mail ship bound for England and intercepted their letters. He sent most of them through, but made copies of them all, and in some cases forwarded those copies and kept the originals. But he kept all of this to himself.
Time elapsed and he continued to watch the men and about the time they were ready to execute their seditious plans, he brought them to court. In the beginning of the proceedings the men lied their asses off, and by the end William produced the letters they wrote and signed themselves reading these letters aloud leaving everyone speechless.
Realizing they were caught, Lyford confessed to his sins and once again relied on the mercy and forgiveness of the saints who were witnessing the trial. While Oldham tried to get the people present to rise up in rebellion to the governor on his behalf. Because Warlocks seek power and they achieve it through a combination of division and rebellion.
Both men were sentenced to banishment from the community, because the settlers found their letters disturbing. They struggled to overpower the disparity between what the men said to their faces and what they wrote behind their backs.
Most of us are familiar with this behavior and sadly, some of us are guilty of it.
A backstabber is by nature a witch because this behavior is considered stirring the pot. He embraces those he calls friends to their face, he induces them to talk and uses their words to sow discord with their enemies. After the pot is sufficiently stirred, he induces a battle; hence the name warlock.
And while these sins seem small we must remember that Satan began with the sin of pride, staring into a mirror and declaring himself hot, and later transformed himself into a serial killer false deity demanding that the world bow down and worship him.
God judges sin harshly because he knows the future and he's all too familiar with the horror of end states. Even the drug dealer knows that while the first one is free, the last one will cost you everything.
In particular the settlers were shocked that the appeals to England were intended for the ruin of their Colony. How could these men who seemed so godly, be so evil?
Oldham was immediately expelled and Lyford was given six months to find a new home. In that time, his constant tears and confessions ultimately led the more sympathetic believers to reinstate him as a pastor.
It’s worth mentioning that after his banishment Lyford moved to Naumkeag, that’s N-a-u-m-k-e-a-g, which you most likely know as Salem Massachusetts. And so this relates back to a comment I made in an earlier podcast: we should acknowledge that there are seed states and end states. You can put an oak tree in your pocket when it’s in it’s seed state. It’s harmless and manageable like that, but after you water it and it grows, the oak tree can transform into a monster capable of smashing your house in a storm.
While some would say that Salem was unduly punished for witchcraft by a backward people, I would say just look at it now. Salem has become a safe haven for witches who cry victim and stand behind the shield of past injustices so they can break God's law in the present without repercussion.
It is the behavior of a witch, to cry really big very fake tears in order to get their way. They will do anything to get their way. Witchraft begins as a sin of rebellion and manipulation and eventually transforms itself into death, destruction and open devil worship.
I should be careful to point out that this is my view of his book. He doesn’t accuse these men of witchcraft or even guess at it. I only mention this because his descriptions of these men fit my recent research.
There are so many reasons to buy and read his book. It is bursting with great stories. And it changes your view of the founding of our country. I’ve heard things like: we were wrong to have had the Salem witch trials, we were terrible to the Indians. But when I read a book written by someone who actually lived in the 1600s, I see a completely different story unfolding. It makes me curious. Because what we’re saying now doesn't sound anything like recorded history.
In an earlier podcast, I warned you not to put your faith in books written by those who wrote about the founders of our country. What you want do is get your hands on books written by the founders of our country. And you won’t find those on Amazon. The only place I know where those books are available is the Library of Congress and I will eventually do podcasts on them.
Refuse to read what people write about great people and instead read what great people wrote themselves.
William Bradford wrote a fantastic book. There are many great stories about God’s involvement in the founding of our country. I’ll give you some:
There was one particularly horrible seaman, on the Mayflower, who every day regaled the pilgrims with stories of the large percentages of land lubbers who died crossing the Atlantic. He made guesses about which of these godfearing men and women would be the first he would feed to the sharks. And he told them daily: someone is going to die, it could be you!
But He died. He got sick and died and he was the first and only body ever thrown overboard.
On another occasion a storm was tossing the Mayflower and a strong deckhand was thrown overboard. But as he reached out his hand a rope fell into it. He grabbed it. For a time, he was two leagues underwater, but he held fast and when the ship righted itself the rope lifted him out of the water and his fellow seamen lowered him onto the deck with a hook.
The Mayflower was actually one of two ships heading to America. The other one kept leaking and so both ships made two stops to repair leaks before crossing the Atlantic. The last stop before crossing the Atlantic was Plymouth, England.
When they arrived on land at Cape Cod, some men were out exploring and pursued three Indians overnight unable to overtake them. The next day they stumbled on an abandoned colony with stores of corn. They later came to discover it already had a name, it was called Plymouth.
There are no shortages of great stories in this book and some that will make your neck hairs stand. And it will make you wonder why you wasn't I taught this stuff in school? These are great stories!
Today we hear about the wonders of socialism and communism. But William Bradford mentions in his book that when they arrived they attempted a communistic utopia, the one that Plato described. And their commitment to making it work meant they survived on rations of four kernals of corn per day for an entire winter. That was after years of trying to make it work. They failed to motivate people who owned nothing to work. Finally, the community said, bullshit! We want our own pieces of ground and we don’t want to have to share what we plant on it with anyone else! And it turned out the more the people owned the more they prospered. And after giving them an allotment of their own ground they prospered so much they began exporting and trading.
I find it ironic that people who label themselves as future thinking progressives, think that Communism is a new idea. Plato lived in 500 BC!
Ladies and gentlemen sometimes it makes sense to read the warnings written by men like William Bradford. He had a colony of good Christian men and women who were committed to making Communism work. They tried really hard. Hence the name: the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In the end he concluded that the problem was not that his people were not good or dedicated enough. But that no one is! Because God ordained things not to work that way — explaining why men and women will always reject communism.
The Bible says if you don’t work, you shouldn’t eat. Communism enables far too many people to not work.
You might wonder, why on this Thanksgiving I have decided to take up the mantle of revealing witchcraft and rejecting communism. Isn’t it obvious? With halloween just behind us... And as communists, they had nothing to be thankful for. They certainly weren’t thankful for living on four kernals of corn one winter. They were thankful that after they were given their own possessions and the authority to buy and trade for themselves, they finally had so much food, they could not only feast, they could export and trade. That is something to be thankful for! And something we should never surrender.
And so while our brothers and sisters in the military are out fighting wars abroad, let’s not lose the one at home.
God bless us all every one on this Thanksgiving Day. Have a brilliant holiday. And ya’ll come back now. Ya hear?
Podcasts mentioned in this episode
Listen to "Obstacles to Deliverance by Frank Hammond [7 Mins]" on Spreaker.