Blog: Let us rejoice our fathers’ refuge
By Evan Papamichael
Manuscript Master Evan
The Massachusetts Historical Society (in collaboration with – J STOR)
Pilgrims and Puritans: “Heroes” and “Villains” in the Creation of the American Past.
Author(s): Peter J. Gomes
Source: Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Third Series, Vol. 95 (1983), pp. 1-16
Published by: Massachusetts Historical Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25080920
Accessed: Thursday, 07-07-2016 04:03 UTC
What inspired our Pilgrim Fathers, to emigrate to the USA? What did they expect to find; and, what was the reality of their circumstances? They discovered a safe haven, far away from England; where many of them faced – religious intolerance. The new land on the other side of the Atlantic promised them: hope, dignity, comfort; and, a sense of belonging and self-worthiness.
Peter J. Gomes (1983:2-3) points out that:
…“Daniel Webster in his 1820 address to the 200th anniversary celebration of the Pilgrim landing on 22 December 1820”…
…”the Pilgrims had been rediscovered, never to be lost again”…
The Pilgrim Fathers found: a bright, new; and, refreshing – form of self-identity. They took pride, in this: momentous discovery. They were all: well-equipped to overcome; any pitfalls that lay ahead of them; and, were at a transition stage; from religious devastation in England; to a new beginning – in the Promised Land (New England) – which meant that they were blessed with: good fortune, wealth, peace and harmony; from an: economic, spiritual, political and moral perspective.
Daniel Webster (Ibid) further states: …“Forever honored be this place”… This indicates the brilliance, prominence and worthiness of Plymouth emigration as it was… “the place of our fathers’ refuge”… They took comfort in their new personal territory.
Daniel Webster (Ibid) points out how: …”the chief difference between the Pilgrim emigration to Plymouth and all others in antiquity was quality of purpose”…
This was not only, the chief difference; but, a substantial difference. It was nothing like -antiquated emigration – in the past. New England settlers were well focused, in their dreams and endeavors. By “quality of purpose” we refer to; quality of life; and, an optimistic forthcoming – of arriving; and, something that was, one of a kind.
What made this group: exclusive, unique, successful and honorable? How did they achieve such brilliance, in society? Daniel Webster (Ibid) points out that: …”They went to erect systems of more perfect civil liberty, or to enjoy a higher degree of religious freedom”…
By “civil liberty” one understands that; they wanted to be: civilized; and, to be treated as such – by all members, in society. This is what made it: “more perfect” indicating that, their fellow man, the government, judiciary and clergy; treated them with; self-respect and dignity.
Daniel Webster (Ibid) states that: The Pilgrims…”came hither to a land from which they were never to return”… [and] …”were acting upon a resolution not to be changed”…
“They were never to return” because their goal of finding “a higher degree of religious freedom” was welcomed and made possible while arriving in New England; and, they chose, to stay there permanently; because, this would bring them – infinite and lifelong: wellbeing.