Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647 Book 1, Chapter 3 Summary
The Pilgrims at first settle in Amsterdam, but spiritual discord shows to be a recurring issue: John Smith and his fans had also settled there however “had currently fallen out with the church that was there formerly” (9 ). Fearing that this conflict would spread out, Robinson and his own fans choose to transfer to Leyden– a “fair and gorgeous city, of a sweet circumstance,” but “doing not have in [the] sea-faring trades” (9) that had previously supplied work for many of the Pilgrims.
Since the majority of the group had actually farmed back in England, the Pilgrims had actually entered the Netherlands (a commercially-based economy) at a drawback. However, Bradford says that the Pilgrims stood firm in doing whatever they could, “valuing peace and their spiritual convenience above any other riches whatever” (9 ). Over the next a number of years, a robust community develops under the management of Brewster and (especially) Robinson, who “besides his particular capability in magnificent things […] [is] likewise very able in directing [the Pilgrims’] civil affairs and anticipating risks and troubles” (10 ).
Bradford characterizes Robinson as community-oriented and describes how the churchgoers worked to solve disagreements rapidly, “that love, peace, and communion continued” (10) though he also notes that in unusual cases, members of the neighborhood might be expelled. Essentially, Bradford argues that the community in Leyden most likely approached the values and organizational structures of the really earliest Christian communities. To support these claims, Bradford accentuates a handful of anecdotes including the English inhabitants.
He keeps in mind, for example, that both the city government and the local merchants viewed the Pilgrims positively in spite of their relative poverty; this, Bradford argues, speaks with the Pilgrims’ honesty, dependability, and tranquillity. He likewise explains how Robinson ended up being involved in a debate at the university over the teaching of predestination: according to Bradford, Robinson argued in support of predestination so masterfully that numerous locals hoped he and his fans would end up being naturalized citizens. Bradford brings these occurrences up in order to refute the concept that the Pilgrims were forced to leave Leyden.