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The words of John Robinson here brought together are chiefly the letters, messages, and reports of addresses preserved by Bradford and Winslow, the words not embodied in the three-volume edition of Robinson's works. Those volumes, published in 1851, were edited with a memoir by Robert Ashton, secretary of the Congregational Board, London. They contain Robinson's more important theological and controversial works,—"Defence of the Doctrine propounded by the Synod of Dort," "A Justification of Separation from the Church of England," "The People's Plea for the Exercise of Prophecy," etc., and also the essays written during the last part of Robinson's life, and published in the year of his death, 1625, republished in 1628 and 1642. These essays, far too little read, are sixty-two in number, upon a great variety of subjects,—Man's Knowledge of God, Authority and Reason, Heresy and Schism, Wisdom and Folly, Books and Writings, Riches and Poverty, Marriage, Youth and Old Age, etc.

John Robinson, the pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers, who, more than any other, influenced and formed the founders of Plymouth, has until this latest time been very inadequately treated by our historical scholars, although having due recognition in the general histories of the Pilgrim Fathers. Dr. Henry Martyn Dexter devoted a careful chapter to his services in his invaluable work on "Congregationalism as seen in its Literature"; and Edward Arber reprinted various important words of his, especially showing his kind feeling toward the Church of England, in his "Story of the Pilgrim Fathers." Just as this leaflet is prepared, however (1903), there is published the scholarly and thorough volume, "John Robinson, the Pilgrim Pastor," by Rev. Ozora S. Davis, which fully meets the need which has so long been felt. To this work the student is referred for completest information concerning one who was not merely the great early representative of the Congregational polity of the fathers of New England, but a cardinal force in our early political life.


Old South Meeting-house, Boston, Mass,

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