The Humble Request of His Majesty’s Loyal Subjects, the Governor and Company late gone for New England; and to the rest of their Brethren in and of the Church of England; for the obtaining of their Prayers, and the removal of Suspicions, and Misconstructions of their Intentions.

REVEREND FATHERS AND BRETHREN, — The general rumor of this solemn enterprise, wherein ourselves with others, through the providence of the Almighty, are engaged, as it may spare us the labor of imparting our occasion unto you, so it gives us the more encouragement to strengthen ourselves by the procurement of the prayers and blessings of the Lord’s faithful servants. For which end we are bold to have recourse unto you, as God hath placed nearest to his throne of mercy, which as it affords you the more opportunity, so it imposeth the greater bond upon you to intercede for his people in all their straits. We beseech you therefore, by the mercies of the Lord Jesus, to consider us as your brethren, standing in very great need of your help, and earnestly imploring it. And however your charity may have met with some occasion of discouragement through the misreport of our intentions, or through the disaffection or indiscretion of some of us, or rather amongst us (for we are not of those that dream of perfection in this world), yet we desire you would be pleased to take notice of the principals and body of our Company, as those who esteem it our honor to call the Church of England, from whence we rise, our dear mother, and cannot part from our native Country, where she specially resideth, without much sadness of heart and many tears in our eyes, ever acknowledging that such hope and part as we have obtained in the common salvation we have received in her bosom, and sucked it from her breasts.

We leave it not therefore as loathing, that milk wherewith we were nourished there; but, blessing God for the parentage and education, as members of the same body, shall always rejoice in her good, and unfeignedly grieve for any sorrow that shall ever betide her, and while we have breath, sincerely desire and endeavor the continuance and abundance of her welfare, with the enlargement of her bounds in the Kingdom of Christ Jesus.

Be pleased, therefore, reverend fathers and brethren, to help forward this work now in hand; which if it prosper, you shall be the more glorious, howsoever your judgment is with the Lord, and your reward with your God. It is a usual and laudable exercise of your charity, to commend to the prayers of your congregations the necessities and straits of your private neighbors: do the like for a Church springing out of your own bowels. We conceive much hope that this remembrance of us, if it be frequent and fervent, will be a most prosperous gale in our sails, and provide such a passage and welcome for us from the God of the whole earth, as both we shall find, and yourselves, with the rest of our friends, who shall hear of it, shall be much enlarged to bring in such daily returns of thanksgivings, as the specialties of His providence and goodness may justly challenge at all our hands. You are not ignorant that the spirit of God stirred up the Apostle Paul to make continual mention of the Church of Philippi, which was a Colony from Rome; let the same spirit, we beseech you, put you in mind, that are the Lord’s remembrancers, to pray for us without ceasing, who are a weak Colony from yourselves making continual request for us to God in all your prayers.

What we entreat of you that are the ministers of God, that we also crave at the hands of all the rest of our brethren, that they would at no time forget us in their private solicitations at the throne of grace.

If any there be who, through want of clear intelligence of our course, or tenderness of affection towards us, cannot conceive so well of our way as we could desire, we would entreat such not to despise us, nor to desert us in their prayers and affections, but to consider rather that they are so much the more bound to express the bowels of their compassion towards us, remembering always that both nature and grace doth ever bind us to relieve and rescue, with our utmost and speediest power, such as are dear unto us, when we conceive them to be running uncomfortable hazards.

What goodness you shall extend to us in this or any other Christian kindness, we, your brethren in Christ Jesus, shall labor to repay in what duty we are or shall be able to perform, promising, so far as God shall enable us, to give him no rest on your beliefs, wishing our heads and hearts may be as fountains of tears for your everlasting welfare when we shall be in our poor cottages in the wilderness, overshadowed with the spirit of supplication, through the manifold necessities and tribulations which may not altogether unexpectedly, nor, we hope, unprofitably, befall us. And so commending you to the grace of God in Christ, we shall ever rest

Your assured friends and brethren,








From Yarmouth, aboard the Arbella April 7, 1630


SOURCE:  Facsimile of: The humble request of His Maiesties loyall subjects, the governour and the company late gone for New-England, to the rest of their brethren, in and of the Church of England … London : Printed for Iohn Bellamie, 1630

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