Page:Anne Bradstreet and her time.djvu/54

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ANNE BRADSTREET.

a stubborn resolution never to yield an inch of the new convictions. No clearer presentation of the case is to be found anywhere than in Mason's life of Milton, the poet's life being absolutely contemporaneous with the cause, and his own experience came to be that of hundreds. From his childhood he had been set apart for the ministry, but he was as he wrote in later life, with a bitterness he never lost, "Church-outed by the prelates." "Coming to some maturity of years, and perceiving what tyranny had invaded in the Church, that he who would take orders, must subscribe slave, and take an oath withal, which, unless he took with a conscience that would retch, he must either straight perjure or split his faith, I thought it better to prefer a blameless silence before the sacred office of speaking, bought and begun with servitude and forswearing."

Each year of the increasing complications found a larger body enrolled on his side, and with 1629, Simon Bradstreet resigned any hope of life in England, and cast in his fortunes once for all with the projected colony. In dissolving his third Parliament Charles had granted the charter for the Massachusetts Colony, and seizing upon this as a " Providential call," the Puritans at once circulated "conclusions" among gentry and traders, and full descriptions of Massachusetts. Already many capitalists deemed encouragement of the emigration an excellent speculation, but the prospective emigrants had no mind to be ruled by a commercial company at home, and at last, after many deliberations, the old company was dissolved; the officers resigned and their places were filled by persons who proposed to emigrate.