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To the Church of God, at Plymouth, in New England.—[Spelling modernized.]

Much beloved brethren, neither the distance of place, not distinction of body, can at all either dissolve or weaken that bond of true Christian affection in which the Lord by his spirit hath tied us together. My continual prayers are to the Lord for you; my most earnest desire is unto you; from whom I will not longer keep (if God will) than means can be procured to bring with me the wives and children of divers of you and the rest of your brethren, whom I could not leave behind me without great both injury to you and them, and offence to God and all men. The death of so many our dear friends and 14brethren; oh! how grievous hath it been to you to bear, and to us to take knowledge of, which, if it could be mended with lamenting, could not sufficiently be bewailed; but we must go unto them and they shall not return unto us: And how many even of us God hath taken away here, and in England, since your departure, you may elsewhere take knowledge. But the same God has tempered judgment with mercy, as otherwise, so in sparing the rest, especially those by whose godly and wise government, you may be, and (I know) are so much helped. In a battle it is not looked for but that divers should die; it is thought well for a side, if it get the victory, though with the loss of divers, if not too many or too great. God, I hope, hath given you the victory, after many difficulties, for yourselves and others; though I doubt not, but many do and will remain for you and us all to strive with. Brethren, I hope I need not exhort you to obedience unto those whom God bath set over you, in church and commonwealth, and to the Lord in them. It is a Christian's honour, to give honour according to men's places; and his liberty, to serve God in faith, and his brethren in love orderly and with a willing and free heart. God forbid, I should need to exhort you to peace, which is the bond of perfection, and by which all good is tied together, and without which it is scattered. Have peace with God first, by faith in his promises, good conscience kept in all things, and oft renewed by repentance; and so, one with another, for his sake, who is, through three, one; and for Christ's sake who is one, and as you are called by one spirit to one hope. And the God of peace and grace and all goodness be with you, in all the fruits thereof, plenteously upon your heads, now and forever. All your brethren here remember you with great love, a general token whereof they have sent you.

Yours ever in the Lord,

John Robinson.

Leyden, June 30, Anno 1621.

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