Thursday, September 8, 2016

Education Week Class Notes: Stories of Pilgrims led to the Promised Land


  “America! God shed his grace on thee: Oh, Beautiful for Pilgrim Feet: Led by the Spirit to the New Promised Land, (by Jay A. Perry)
Katharine lee Bates wrote lyrics for “America the Beautiful”. She took a trip across the US and saw all kinds of things, which she put into the song.
It was published in the Congregationalist magazine.
Some people want to make that song the national anthem. [Personal comment: This is not surprising, and it's a neat idea, but it probably will not happen, considering secularism today.]

2000 years before Columbus, Nephi saw the people who would come. (1 Nephi 13:12)
The Spirit was upon the gentiles They did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance. (1 Ne 13:15)

Columbus.
Christopher -- “Christ-bearer”
He felt driven by a mission to take Christ to others.  The Lord put it into his mind that it was possible to sail to the Indies.
He sought support in the 1470s at three different countries.
Spain finally agreed to help once the war with the Moors (going on for 900 years) ended.
Then suddenly, amazingly, the war was brought to a conclusion!
He was urged to press forward.
Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria.  Santa Maria only 75 feet long. He had 40 men on the three ships.
They went out far enough from land that the crew got really nervous and threatened mutiny unless land was seen in three more days.  He pleaded with the Lord to help them to sight land. Then a strong wind blew them faster than they had gone before. On the third day they sighted land.

Columbus felt his discovery would bless millions of people.  He felt he was the chosen instrument of God in bringing to pass a great event to convert millions who were living in paganism.
He felt the voyage has miraculously proven that the Lord directs our affairs. He emphasized the miracles that had occurred during the voyage.
Miracle – Spain agreed to sponsor him after having previously refused.
Miracle -- He wasn’t the first one to try to cross the Atlantic, the winds were contrary.
On Columbus’s way, the winds were cooperative on the routes he took.  Those routes are used today.
Miracle -- Columbus didn’t make a false move on the voyage. He had to make two course corrections, but he changed course without knowing what was ahead.  At the end, he made course correction that enabled him to sight land.
Biographers conclude he was either very lucky or he was a genius.  Columbus knew he was guided by God.
God gave him the keys to the awesome seas.
When they landed, they gave the land the name “San Salvador” (Holy Savior)
“Our Lord made me the messenger of the new heaven and the new earth… and he showed me the place where to find it.”

Then everyone wanted to get in on it. Everyone wanted dominion there.
None come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord (2 Nephi 1:6).
France, Spain, Portugal,
Lots of failed colonies that didn’t work.  Perry had a partial list of 10 failed colonies from 1526 to 1607.
1570 Ajacan betrayed to the Indians
1585 Roanoke Island starved to death because all the food was eaten on the voyage.
1587 delayed supply shipments and no one knows what happened to them to this day.
1607 Jamestown, Virginia. Near-starvation conditions. Finally met by a fleet with supplies and people that saved the colony. Had a form of communism, had non-working gentlemen, bad relations with the Indians, rumors of cannibalism.  They survived because they decided only those who worked would eat.  They turned to God and relied on God.   “God hath opened the door of Virginia..”  (gave God the credit) 

Alexander Whitaker was a churchman who came to Virginia. He baptized Pocahontas.
John Rolfe testified God preserved Jamestown to possess it with a mighty hand.

Jamestown didn’t come out of captivity. They were sent by investors.
The Pilgrims came out of captivity.
“They went forth out of captivity upon the many waters. (1 Nephi 13:13)

Pilgrims wanted a community to serve and worship God.
Pilgrims in Leidan Holland, seeking religious freedom. Conditions changed and their children were picking up bad habits that they didn’t like. They wanted to be separate from the world.
They were knit together in a covenant with the Lord. They saw themselves as new Israel.
Pilgrims on the Mayflower were 36 peope. 66 other strangers.  Saints and strangers + crew.  202 passengers in a tiny space.
At sea for 7 weeks.

Miracles: Cross-beam miracle.
Big storm made ship roll over. Sailors saw the crossbeam had cracked and was sagging, but not completely broken. They tried to fix it, but they couldn’t. The pilgrims prayed about it, one of their leaders remembered he had brought a big corkscrew and they used it like a jack and jacked up the mast and fixed it in its original position. Then they praised God and acknowledged his hand.

Quieter miracle.
They arrived further north than they had planned.  The weather wouldn’t let them re-position. The place they landed was devoid of hostile Indians and it was the perfect place to land for that.
 A hostile tribe (Patuxit) that had been there previously died of a terrible plague.  Other Indians feared the Patuxit had been killed by a supernatural spirit, so they stayed away from that land.  That land was where the Pilgrims landed and settled.

The first winter was a terrible one. It was a time of general sickness. 6 died in Dec 8 died in Jan, 17 died. In Feb, 13 died in march. They didn’t mark graves to prevent the Indians from knowing their weakness.  47 died. 
13 of 18 wives were dead.  5 wives left. 

Samoset and Squanto were Indians who helped them find food.

Samoset spoke broken English. Chief of Algonquins.
He said to them, “Welcome! Have you got any beer?” 
He had learned English from fishermen. 
 
Squanto .
He spoke fluent English. He was a Patuxit, had been a slave in Spain and learned English, went back to homeland. Found all his family gone. He adopted the Pilgrims and he helped them survive. He taught them how to fish and plant corn.
They celebrated the first Thanksgiving feast.

1630: A larger group of puritans sailed from England. 
Massachusetts Bay colony. Their churchman John Cotton equated them with Israel saying they would be planted in a place and not be afflicted anymore.  “What God hath planted, he will maintain.”
12 ships that went after his sermon.
Only 1 ship of 198 ships in early 1600s was lost.  More than 40,000 English colonists had moved to Massachusetts bay colony.
“Upon the first sight of New England” 1638 poem on seeing America.

Reverend John Lathrop. 
Came in 1634.  Was the 5th G-grandfather of Joseph Smith.
He saw the churches were not following the Bible and established a new church (which was against the law) He was arrested and imprisoned. Was told to leave the country with his family and 13 members of congregation. 

Edward Johnson. Government in the form of a covenant. Covenant with the Lord and with each other to cleave to the Lord.
They viewed America as a promised land and a type of Jerusalem..

Cotton Mather.  Named after John Cotton his grandfather. He said of Pilgrims that their removal to America was similar to Abraham leaving Ur.

Jonathan Edwards. 1742 a prominent preacher.
Said God does a great thing to make introduction for the church’s latter-day glory to rise from this new world. (The great thing was the first great awakening)

Ezra Styles felt God gave America to us as the seed of Abraham.

Tensions increased between America and England. They turned to God to recognize their dependence on him for their success to withstand their oppressions. 
“If an army should be sent to enslave us, we will put our lives in our hand and cry to God. ‘See how they want to cast us out of our possession and help us.’” (Boston  Gazette 1768)

Proposed for the Great Seal for America: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God”
Ben Franklin proposed an image of Moses lifting the rod and dividing the sea and Pharaoh overwhelmed by the waters.  (Looking back to Israel’s deliverance by God.)
Jefferson proposed an image for the seal of Israel in wilderness led by cloud by day and fire by night.
Neither was chosen, but that was what they wanted.

Timothy Dwight in 1777.  Grandson of Jonathan Edwards.
God brought his little flock here to establish permanently the church of Christ in the regions of idolatry and sin and starting the glorious work of salvation. This continent would be filled with the praise and piety of the Millennium.