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denying, unanimous, honourable, triumphant Senate than is this from whence they were taken or ever Parliament will be. ... This is the true Parliamentum beatum, the blessed Parliament, and the only Church that cannot err.” Mrs. Eddy's words:
"We shall be waiting, in what glad surprise,
(Miscellaneous Writings, p. 387) embody what Richard Baxter strove to express in his description of communion entirely outside and beyond the physical senses, and yet a communion full and precious in possession of all the good which the individual heart has made its own.
To Baxter this heavenly life was the real life, the only desirable state of existence. It was composed entirely of spiritual qualities, and depended on man's unity with Christ in God. The more he dwelt upon the ideal, the saintly condition of thought, the less he felt his earthly constitution impaired, and the longer he continued living. Lifting his mind above time and space, age and decay, thrones and governments rose and fell around him, and he still remained in a world he vehemently renounced. In
a a profound passage Mrs. Eddy explains the scientific law governing this state of thought which Baxter had reached. She says:
“One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity. This exalted view, obtained and retained when the Science of being is understood, would bridge over, with life discerned spiritually, the interval of death, and man would be in the full consciousness of his immortality and eternal harmony, where sin,
sickness, and death are unknown." (Science and
Health, p. 598.) What a revolution had the Bible already made in religion that such a character as Richard Baxter had arisen, a preacher whose relatives were the spiritual reformers of all generations, and whose habitation was far more the "holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God” than the four walls of his modest lodging in the market town of Kidderminster.
THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER
HE story of the sailing of the Mayflower is a miracle
a which ranks with any of the marvels recorded of
the people of God in the Scriptures. Even in these days, when every scrap of authentic information concerning the enterprise is pigeon-holed and indexed by the critical eye of an official librarian or academic professor, it is a story that we cannot read without tears! That so poor
and humble a little flock of men, women, and children, should have embarked on an adventure so dangerous, so fraught with privation and suffering, and withal with such tremendous results to the civilized world, such mighty imports to the cause of religious liberty,—This surely is a record without parallel in human history. That the barn at Scrooby, where the Brewsters, the Robinsons, Richard Jackson, Robert Rochester, and others, gathered to worship God in defiance of the church laws of conformity, should have been the cradle of both a free church, and a new nation, is a testimony to the power of a right idea of which the human mind can hardly conceive, so wonderful, so touching is the whole drama.
Small, scattered groups of Separatists (as these spiritually free-thinking folk were called) holding their services as best they could in secret places, reading the Bible, abjuring all ritual, all creeds and liturgies, came to the conclusion that a Church Estate was simply a covenant with the Lord in the fellowship of the Gospel “to walk in all his ways made known or to be made known." Each group was the centre of vivid purpose, which neither poverty
nor persecution could quench. Even in the enlightened and peaceful land of post-Elizabethan England they were harried, arrested, imprisoned, fined! It was desperately difficult for them to escape even over the water to Holland! Let us follow one special little company of pilgrims, who were under the care of John Robinson, to their settlement in Leyden, and read of the infant colony there. A few among them were men of education and scholarship; Robinson was a scholar of Corpus College, Cambridge; Brewster had served on the staff of one of Queen Elizabeth's Secretaries of State; Winslow belonged to a fine old County family of Worcestershire; but the majority of them were craftsmen; weavers, leather-dressers, cobblers, drapers, carpenters; men who worked with their hands. They had very little. Such money or worldly goods, as they possessed they had left behind them in their enforced flight from the tyranny of ecclesiastical tribunals, or it had been devoured by their avaricious and unscrupulous persecutors. Yet it was these people with their young wives and their little children who dared conceive the stupendous idea of crossing an almost unknown ocean and colonizing on the far distant shore of a relatively unknown territory.
“A great hope and inward zeal they had of laying some good foundations," writes William Bradford, "or at least to make some way thereunto, for the propagating and advancing of the Gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world; yea though they should be even as stepping-stones unto others for the performing of so great a work!" Stepping-stones truly, pioneer altars raised to the glory of a free Gospel in a land of promise, but built of human lives, human bodies, mostly the bodies of women.