Skip to main content

Full text of "Proceedings at the Unveiling of the John Robinson Memorial Tablet in Leyden ..."

Google 



This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 



1 



v 



I 



f 



/ '7 



, ,Y^S^ 



i J 



5 








1> r^'h 



PROCEEDINGS AT THE UNVEILING 



OF THE 



John Robinson Memorial Tablet 



IN LEYDEN. HOLLAND, JULY 24, 1891, 



UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE 



NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CONGREGATIONAL 

CHURCHES OF THE UNITED STATES. CV^x-^^-^aXu_ t>^ 



BOSTON : 
Thomas Todd, Printer. Omgregatioiial House, i Somerset St 

1891. 






tO THE 

JOHN ROBINSON MEMORIAL TABLET. 



On Friday, July 24, 1891, a bronze tablet in 
honor of Rev. John Robinson, pastor of the church 
of the Pilgrim Fathers during their residence in 
Leyden, Holland, 1 608-1 620, was unveiled in that 
city. It had been erected by the National Coun- 
cil of the Congregational Churches of the United 
States of America, in accordance with the action 
of the Council on the subject at its session in 
1877, at Detroit. A committee representing the 
Council had charge of the exercises. 

Early in the afternoon a procession was formed 
at the Hotel du Lion (T Or^ and moved to the 
St. Peter's Church, on the outer wall of which is 
the tablet, and opposite to which is the site of the 
dwelling in which Pastor Robinson lived and the 
Pilgrims were accustomed to worship. The pro- 
cession was headed by Rev. C. R. Palmer, D.D., 
and Rev. Morton Dexter, representing the Com- 
mittee of the National Council, and Principal A. 



M. Fairbairn, D.D., representing the invited guests. 
On arriving at the church, where a large company 
had assembled — including delegations from the 
International Council of Congregational Churches 
which had just closed its sessions in London, the 
Congregational Union of England and Wales, Yale 
University and Mansfield College, Oxford, and also 
many of the citizens of Leyden, not less than seven 
hundred in all — the dedication exercises were held. 

Among those presei\t were Rev. F. A. Noble, 
D.D., Rev. A. H. Ross, D.D., President W. F. 
Slocum, Rev. T. T. Munger, D.D., Rev. Burdett 
Hart, D.D., Rev. I. C. Meserve, G. Henry Whit- 
comb, Esq., Samuel Holmes, Esq., and the Hon. S. 
R. Thayer, United States Minister at the Hague, 
from the United States ; Rev. Alexander Mackennal, 
D.D., Rev. John Brown, D.D., Rev. D. B. Hooke, 
Rev. G. S. Barrett, Rev. J. W. Harrison, and Mr. 
Henry Spicer, from England ; and Rev. Thomas 
Roseby, LL.D., Principal A. Gosman, and Mr. 
Josiah Mullens, from Australia, as well as' repre- 
sentatives of the city of Leyden, its Ecclesiasti- 
cal Commissioners, its University, various religious 
bodies, and the military regiments there stationed. 

As Prof. G. E. Day, D.D., the Chairman of the 
Committee of the National Council, was unable to 
be present, Rev. C. R. Palmer, D.D., acted in his 
behalf. At the appointed hour, two o'clock, Dr. 
Palmer, accompanied by his daughter, Miss Edith 
B. Palmer, Rev. Morton Dexter, and Rev. Alexander 
Mackennal, D.D., ascended the platform, and called 
the gathering to order. Mr. Dexter then read the 



following historical statement, which had been pre- 
pared by Professor Day: 

For the information of the company present, the fol- 
lowing statement is made concerning the tablet in memory 
of the Rev. John Robinson, now about to be unveiled. 

For the last twenty-six years the inscription, " On this 
spot lived, taught, and died John Robinson, 1611-1625,** 
has marked the site of the dwelling of the revered pastor 
of the first settlers of New England ; but beyond this, it 
has been felt that some fuller expression of the honor in 
which his name is held by the numerous churches in the 
United States which accept the principles of ecclesiastical 
polity which he maintained and defended, is due to his 
memory. Accordingly, at the meeting of the National 
Council of the Congregational Churches of the United 
States in Detroit in 1877, the following resolution was 
adopted : 

Resolved^ that the Council heartily accept the suggestion of the 
fitness and propriety of looking forward to the erection in some suit- 
able place in the city of Leyden, Holland, of a monument to the 
memory of John Robinson, whose name will ever head the list of 
the pastors of the Congregational churches of the United States, 
and that a committee of seven be appointed to take measures thereto, 
with full power, when they shall see the way clear, to go forward and 
erect the same as a tribute to his memory. 

The Committee consisted of the Rev. Drs. H. M. Dex- 
ter, S. C. Bartlett, and G. E. Day, and Messrs. Alpheus 
Hardy, A. S. Barnes, E. W. Blatchford, and S. S. Smith. 
The places of Messrs. Hardy, Barnes, and Smith, subse- 
quently made vacant by death or resignation, were filled 
by the appointment of the Rev. Drs. J. K. McLean, C. R. 
Palmer, and W. A. Robinson. Dr. Dexter, to whose warm 
interest in the proposed memorial its successful execution 
is largely due, died in November, 1890, only a short time 
before the final arrangements were completed, and was 



succeeded by his son, the Rev. Morton Dexter, who was 
appointed Secretary and Treasurer of the Committee. 

The time required for determining the kind of monu- 
ment to be erected, and for settling several connected 
questions, far exceeded what was originally anticipated. 
Many of the plans proposed were found to be impractica- 
ble or open to serious objections ; but, after a special visit 
to Leyden by two members of the Committee, it was finally 
decided that a bronze tablet occupying the niche or recess, 
about seven feet high by six wide, on the outside of that 
part of St. Peter's Church directly opposite the site of 
Robinson's dwelling, would exactly meet the conditions 
required. It would indicate in general the place of his 
burial, and at the same time be near to the place where 
the Pilgrim Fathers assembled for religious worship and 
to the famous University, to the privileges of which he 
was admitted, and on the records of which his name may 
now be seen. 

To the application made to the Ecclesiastical Com- 
missioners in charge of the church buildings in Leyden 
for permission to place the proposed tablet in this recess, 
a courteous and favorable answer was returned, coupled 
only. with the reasonable condition that the inscription 
should be submitted for their approval. 

The tablet, which was cast in bronze, together with 
the raised letters, in one solid piece — the largest, with 
a single exception, ever made in America — is the work of 
the Henry Bonnard Bronze Co., of New York. 

In accordance with a suggestion of Mr. A. S. Barnes, 
a figure of such a vessel as that in which the Pilgrim 
Fathers were borne to New England stands at the head 
of the tablet, with the inscription, "The Mayflower, 1620." 
The inscription itself, which covers, so far as the space per- 
mits, the most important points in the life of Robinson, 
and his connection with th^ first settlers of New England 



s 

and the Congregational churches of the United States, is 
as follows : 

IN MEMORY OF 

REV. JOHN ROBINSON, M.A. 

PASTOR OF THE ENGLISH CHURCH WORSHIPING OVER AGAINST 
THIS SPOT, A.D. 1609-1625, WHENCE AT HIS PROMPTING 

WENT FORTH 

THE PILGRIM FATHERS 

TO SETTLE NEW ENGLAND 
IN 1620. 



BURIED UNDER THIS HOUSE OF WORSHIP, 4 MAR. 1626 

AET. XLIX YEARS. 



IN MEMORIA AETERNA ERIT JUSTUS. 



ERECTED BY THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF THE CONGREGATIONAL 
CHURCHES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 

A.D. 1 89 1. 

The fund in payment for the tablet and its erection 
in Leyden was raised by the voluntary subscription of 
pastors and members of Congregational churches in the 
United States. 

By vote of the Committee a special invitation to attend 
the exercises at the unveiling of the tablet has been ex- 
tended to all universities and theological seminaries in 
sympathy with Congregationalism, to the members of the 
International Council of Congregational Churches in Lon- 
don, to the Congregational Union of England and Wales 
and other gentlemen in Great Britain, to the Ecclesiastical 
Commissioners having charge of the church buildings in 
Leyden, to the magistrates and pastors of the city, the 
professors and students of the Leyden University, and to 
the citizens of Leyden generally. To the Rev. Charles 



R. Palmer, D.D., pastor of the First Congregational Church 
in Bridgeport, Conn., has been assigned the duty of com- 
mitting this monument to the memory of Robinson and the 
Pilgrim Fathers to the care of the authorities in Leyden, 
and of explaining the grounds on which the memory of 
Robinson and the Pilgrim Fathers is cherished by the 
Congregational churches in all parts of the world. 

Rev. Alexander Mackennal, D.D., one of the 
representatives of the International Congregational 
Council, then ofifered the following prayer : 

Almighty God, the God of our fathers and the God 
of us their children, we beseech Thee to look upon us as 
we are gathered here today, and to fill our hearts with 
thoughts of Thy goodness and with gratitude for the 
men whom Thou hast given to us. O Thou who Thy- 
self art Love, and out of whose love comes eternal right- 
eousness, we bless Thee for the men of old who have 
been Thy servants — interpreters of Thy holy will, inter- 
preting to the churches which have come to them the 
mind, the authority, the rule of Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Especially we beseech Thee as we are gathered here to- 
day as the spiritual children of Thy servant whose name 
is upon our lips and in our hearts, that we may be filled 
with the spirit that animated him, the spirit of loyalty to 
Jesus Christ, fidelity to conscience, and a profound devot- 
edness to Thy holy will. Give to us also, we beseech 
Thee, the sweetness which characterized him, so that 
while we witness to the truth we may witness to the 
truth of love. Make us zealous for the honor of Thy 
name and the glory of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the 
world, and for the unity of Thy people. And grant that, 
as a result of this gathering today, the fellowship of Thy 
servants in Christ Jesus may be more fully apprehended ; 
and, as we apprehend the fellowship of Christ Jesus, let 



all other fellowships disappear, let all names become un- 
known but the name of Him Whom we trust, Whom we 
love, and Whom we serve — even the name of Christ Jesus 
our Lord — -for Whom we bless Thee, Thine unspeakable 
gift — in Whose words we further pray : 

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy 
name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, 
as it is done in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. 
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass 
against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us 
from evil ; for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and 
the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. 

Dr. Palmer next announced the formal unveil- 
ing of the tablet, and Miss Palmer at once let fall 
its canvas covering, revealing it to sight, although, 
still partly hidden by the three national ensigns 
which drooped above it. Meanwhile a military 
band in attendance played the appropriate air, 
Integer Vita. Miss Palmer then raised the Dutch 
flag to the top of its pole, the band giving the 
Dutch national anthem," Wien Neerlandsch Bloed ;'^ 
next the American flag — its stafif being in the 
center and higher than the others — while the 
band played " The Star Spangled Banner ; " and 
finally the English flag, while the band rendered 
" God Save the Queen," the assembly applauding 
heartily. 

Dr. Palmer then announced that the remain- 
ing ceremonies would be held within the church, 
and the procession was re-formed as before and 
entered the building, the band again playing Integer 
VitcSy which the organ within took up as the pro- 



8 

cession appeared. After the audience had seated 
itself, the following familiar hymn, by the late 
Rev. Leonard Bacon, D.D., was sung by the con- 
gregation, the orgjin accompanying : 

O God, beneath Thy guiding hand 

Our exiled fathers crossed the sea ; 
And when they trod the wintry strand, 

With prayer and psalm they worshiped Thee. 

Thou heardst, well pleased, the song, the prayer ; 

Thy blessing came ; and still its power 
Shall onward through all ages bear 

The memory of that holy hour. 

Laws, freedom, truth, and faith in God 
Came with those exiles o'er the waves ; 

And where their pilgrim feet have trod, 
The God they trusted guards their graves. 

And here Thy name, O God of love. 

Their children's children shall adore. 
Till these eternal hills remove. 

And spring adorns the earth no more. 

Dr. Palmer then ascended the pulpit and deliv- 
ered the following address : 

My Countrymen^ Brethren of England, Representatives of 
the Churches, the University, the City of Ley den; Ladies 
and Gentlemen ; most heartily do I greet you. 

Heaven smiles upon us today ! The fair and peaceful 
morning, the soft and genial air, the cloudless sky, the 
bright sunshine, bespeak the favor of Providence under 
which we have assembled to celebrate the performance 



of a filial duty and to honor the memory of a great and 
good man. Beneath the ensigns of three nations, repre- 
senting widely separate homes ; with one heart and con- 
scious of the sympathy of multitudes that are far away, 
we unite in these simple services of commemoration and 
dedication, under the benediction of the God of our 
fathers, tl^e God of their children. 

Standing where we do, on a spot so historic in this 
famous city, on the soil of this illustrious Commonwealth, 
thoughts of the past come unbidden. Remembrance of 
the changes and the conflicts through which the evolu- 
tion of Western Civilization has marched enchains us. 
To many stirring recollections the special purpose of our 
assembling forbids expression. But of one movement we 
cannot help speaking — a mighty movement, the thrust of 
which has given direction to the history of nearly four cen- 
turies — the persistent, the ever intensifying and expand- 
ing struggle of men for personal liberty. The primary 
impulse of this movement was religious. It was the logi- 
cal outcome of that insurrection of the human conscience 
which we call the Reformation. That which conscience 
demands, no power, ecclesiastical or political, provincial 
or imperial, autocratic, aristocratic, or democratic, can for- 
ever withhold. The wills of individual men may be sub- 
dued ; their hearts may be broken ; their lives may be 
embittered or extinguished ; generations may be bound 
in fetters or led to the slaughter ; nationalities may be 
extirpated ; but the moral sense of mankind is irrepres- 
sible. It triumphs at last and reigns. A monk's asser- 
tion, against Pope and Emperor, of the rightful independ^ 
ence of the human soul in matters of religion, made 
necessary in due sequence a reconstruction of society, of 
which the end is not yet. The awakening in men and 
women of the sense of personal right, and of convictions 
of public duty, put enough passion into their hearts, and 
iron into their blood, to make them heroes ; to render 



10 

them intolerant of wrong, and to mass them against the 
most formidable intrenchments of injustice, however de- 
fended. The development of the spirit thus generated 
has overturned, or brought to terms, the thrones of 
Europe, and filled America with free peoples. The world 
has become too wise to attempt to suppress it. 

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth the seeds of liberty 
which a divine enlightenment had been scattering broad- 
cast in England for fifty years began to germinate, to take 
root and to grow. Nowhere can these seeds be discov- 
ered so readily as in the convictions of the advanced 
Puritans. Their watchword was reformation, but the real 
outcome of their conflict with repressive power was to be 
religious and political freedom for untold myriads. We 
are bound to remember this day the particular shape this 
conflict assumed. Hundreds and thousands of Christian 
people, in whose hearts there burned a passionate desire 
for a spiritual church and an unadulterated gospel, felt 
constrained to renounce the national church of England. 
They believed the further reformation of religion to be 
imperatively needful. Hopeless of seeing this effected 
within the national church — because the Episcopal party, 
who could promote it, would not, and the Puritan party, 
Presbyterian in its preferences, who would promote it, 
could not, and the two parties were in irreconcilable 
antagonism — they resolved upon "reformation without 
tarrying for any." They separated themselves from the 
church by law established, and at the cost of everything 
which men hold dear, organized, by covenant with God and 
each other, what we know as Congregational churches, 
on what they conceived to be New Testament principles. 
Like other third parties, they were subject to ill will from 
both sides. They offended the party within the church 
which was zealous for further reformation, no less than 
the opposite party who believed reformation had already 
gone too far. To go forth, therefore, was to challenge 



II 

well-nigh universal execration. The step exposed them 
to be hunted as malefactors, to be persecuted, imprisoned, 
plundered, banished, executed. But forth they went, and 
the future vindicated their self-sacrifice and their faith. 
They became by the act the vanguard of advancing 
Christendom. Their heroic struggles, their unconquer- 
able resolution in all this experience, make the period 
forever memorable. Nor did they struggle, dare, and en- 
dure, to no purpose. Posterity owes to them what it 
enjoys of religious liberty. Those Separatist commun- 
ions were the pioneer free churches. By them was it 
distinctly perceived that a man's right to a sacrament was 
grounded not in his citizenship, but in his character and 
his confession of Christ. By them was definitely asserted 
the right of Christian men to freedom of faith and wor- 
ship. By them was confidently claimed the non-dependence 
of the churches organized by Christian men and women 
upon priest or prelate, magistrate. Parliament or Lords in 
Council, Miter or Crown. In the end of the sixteenth 
century these rights were asserted. In the end of the 
seventeenth, they were extorted from reluctant rulers. 
In the end of the eighteenth, there stood secure, beyond 
the seas, free churches in free States. In the closing 
decade of the nineteenth, men are agitating for the Fed- 
erative Union of Free Churches ; holding Ecumenical 
Councils of Free Churches ; and looking hopefully for 
the reunion of Christendom upon democratic principles. 
To the Christian peoples belongs the future ; to the 
flocks, not to the would-be keepers, nor yet to the wolves. 
And of this majestic, resistless movement of the Chris- 
tian world toward the liberty which is in Christ, we see 
the beginnings in that heaven-inspired separation of three 
hundred years ago! 

In the autumn months of 1575, when this movement 
was but incipient, a man was born, destined in his less 
than fifty years of life to play an important part at the very 



12 

center of it — John Robinson, the pastor of the Pilgrim 
Church. His birthplace, it is believed, was Gainsborough- 
upon-Trent, in Northwestern Lincolnshire, in which town 
the family enjoyed some local prominence. Of his par- 
ents, his childhood, his youth, we know nothing. His first 
distinct emergence is in his matriculation as a student in 
Corpus Christi College, in Cambridge, when he must have 
been close upon seventeen years of age. His name is still 
legible upon the college register. There he spent the 
years from the autumn of 1592 to 1600, taking successively 
the degrees of B.A. and M.A., and in 1599 winning a fel- 
lowship. Naturally enough his university life was by no 
means apart from the fierce discussions of this time. We 
know from various sources a good deal of the excitements 
which entered into it. Cambridge was full of Puritanism, 
and the disputes about it waxed hotter as the years went 
on. His sympathies led him into the Puritan party, and 
we know something of the men with whom these sympa- 
thies would ally him. Doubtless here the substratum of 
his theological opinions was deposited ; but there is abun- 
dant evidence that they grew with his growth, expanded 
with his knowledge, and received ever fresh accretions 
while he lived. His years of academic study and disci- 
pline were laborious and fruitful, and made of him for his 
time a ripe scholar and a close reasoner. 

When he left Cambridge, in 1600, he became engaged 
in the work of the ministry in or near Norwich, very prob- 
ably as a curate. His Puritanism was so pronounced that 
the bishop of the diocese, who had been the master of 
Corpus Christi College during Robinson's residence, and 
knew him well, suspended him ; and upon his continuing 
to preach in Norwich to a congregation of Puritan wor- 
shipers, subjected him "to great disturbance and afflic- 
tion,'*' and excommunicated his followers. He strongly 
preferred to retain his place in the national church, and, 

' Ainsworth. 



'3 

as he himself tells us, long resisted the conviction that 
his position was untenable. But in 1603 James I suc- 
ceeded Elizabeth, and in the course of a year the situation 
became distinctly worse. In 1604 he saw no alternative 
but separation at any cost, and went to Cambridge to re- 
sign his fellowship and cast in his lot with those to whom 
reformation was dearer than the church of their fathers, 
than home or country, estate or life. To do this, he natu- 
rally went northward. At Gainsborough, his native town, 
centered the most considerable body of Separatists in the 
kingdom. Its members were drawn from a large area, 
extending into three counties. It had been organized 
some two years before, its members covenanting together 
"to walk in His ways, made known or to be made known 
unto them, according to their best endeavors, wfiatever it 
should cost them'* Here Robinson found Brewster, and 
others of the Pilgrim Fathers of the future, and here he 
made the acquaintance of the estimable woman who after- 
wards became his wife, Bridget White. In 1606 the church, 
having become so large as to be too conspicuous, and sub- 
ject to persecution from every side, divided into two for 
greater convenience and safety. The majority retained 
the organization, and in the same year removed to Amster- 
dam. The rest became the historic church at Scrooby, 
meeting there in William Brewster's house. Richard Clyf- 
ton was chosen pastor, and John Robinson teacher, of 
this body. For a year these devoted and resolute souls, 
in spite of many cruel hardships, baffled the malice of 
their enemies, but at last saw no hope but in emigration 
to Holland, and upon this they resolved. The plan was 
easier to conceive than to execute. Their opponents had 
as little disposition to suffer them to depart in peace, as 
to let them alone. It were untimely to rehearse here the 
long story of their exodus. Their repeated attempts to 
migrate in a body, their arrest in each, their harsh treat- 
ment, their detentions, their perils, their sufferings, their 



14 

losses, it is painful to recall. At length, in couples, in 
small groups, or one by one, the fugitive church evaded 
pursuit, and gathered in Amsterdam in 1608. But their 
difficulties were not yet over. The refugees collected in 
that city were many, and among them there were already 
discernible discordant elements. Robinson and his friends 
foresaw the coming conflicts, and felt that for themselves 
and their company Amsterdam was not the place. They 
resolved upon another removal, " even though it should be 
to the prejudice of their outward estate." Wise were 
they in this new sacrifice, and happy was its sequel. In 
1609 they made application to the authorities of the city 
of Leyden for permission to settle there, "to the num- 
ber of one hundred, or thereabouts.'* On the 12th of 
February this application was granted, and in that spring 
season the removal was effected. Clyfton electing to 
remain in Amsterdam, Robinson became the leader and 
afterward the pastor of the church. At last, then, in 
Leyden — "a fair city," "of a sweet situation," they 
thought it ; a city at that time of a hundred thousand 
inhabitants — we see the hunted church, with none to 
molest or make afraid, locate themselves as best they 
could, and address themselves to the task of making a 
living by industry, and of governing their households in 
the fear of God. This task was the harder that most of 
them had been agriculturists, and now had trades to learn. 
But they were full of faith and of energy, and gradually 
their sterling worth won appreciation, and they found 
well-wishers and friends. In this and in their political 
obscurity was their safety. In January, 161 1, Robinson 
and others purchased the house which then stood oppo- 
site this edifice, and when possession was acquired, made 
it the home of his family and the meeting-place of the 
church. In the spacious grounds in the rear of it, more- 
over, were built twenty-two cottages for his fellow exiles. 
In this situation he studied, wrought, and faithfully min- 



15 

istered for the remainder of his life, and here were pre- 
pared for their great adventure the goodly company of 
stout hearts and devout spirits who in 1620 set out for 
the founding of New England. Before that date the 
church was above three hundred in number, and in the 
archives of Leyden is the record that no complaint had 
ever been lodged against any one of them. . 

Upon his church, upon the community of Leyden, 
upon his generation, and through the Pilgrim Fathers 
upon the future of New England and of the United 
States, and even upon the England which had driven 
him from her shores but which he never ceased to love, 
John Robinson made an enduring, an indelible impression 
— an impression not rationally to be accounted for save 
in one way: it must have been the impress of a grand 
personality, grand in its moral, its intellectual, its spiritual 
resources. Of what sort was this pastor of the Pilgrims i 
What do we know of the man, of his make-up, his char- 
acteristic spirit, his gifts, his power ? 

No likeness of him exists ; no description of his per- 
sonal appearance. Not a single sermon of his has come 
down to us. Yet in the testimonies of Bradford and 
Winslow ; in various utterances of friends and foes ; in 
these three volumes of his collected works which we are 
this day to present to the University of Leyden, we have 
no limited means of taking the measure of the man 
as he was. In this University founded in the year in 
which he was bom, yet already renowned when he came 
hither, he became affiliated September 5,- 1615; and in 
it he gained a high reputation as a theologian and an 
enviable repute as a man. In public disputation, after 
the fashion of the day, he was the chosen champion of 
Orthodoxy against Episcopius, and won laurels for his 
cause and distinguished honor for himself. By his preach- 
ing and his publications he became widely known in 
Holland and in England, and his reputation has endured. 



i6 

Competent critics have mentioned his " Essays, or Obser- 
vations, Divine and Moral," in connection with the more 
famous "Essays'* of Bacon, as "weighty with thought, rich 
in knowledge of mankind . . . sparkling with a kind of 
grave wit, and admirable for the best qualities of style." 
Of his controversial works, one of these critics — Dr. 
Leonard Bacon — recorded this judgment: "They show 
great familiarity with the Scriptures, great common sense 
in interpretation, a habit of logical exactness and acute- 
ness, a practical ability in dealing with the profoundest 
themes in theology." Such facts would indicate to us 
one ranking among the leaders of men in intellectual 
power and culture. All the testimony points the same 
way. In the opinion of his Anglican opponents he was 
" a man of excellent parts, and the most learned, polished, 
and modest spirit that ever separated from the Church of 
England." His friends and followers naturally speak still 
more positively. Bradford says he was " a man not easily 
to be paralleled." Winslow says "he was much esteemed 
and reverenced of all who knew him, and his abilities were 
acknowledged both of friends and strangers." Mr. Mot- 
ley, in his " Life of John of Bameveld," says of Robinson, 
"He was a man of learning, eloquence, and lofty intel- 
lect." Beyond question this was the conviction of his 
contemporaries, and must be accepted as the verdict of 
history. He must be credited with a vigorous understand- 
ing ; with solidity of judgment, strong common sense, un- 
usual aptitude for afifairs; with well-disciplined powers, 
with scholarly culture and accomplishments, with extraor- 
dinary intellectual honesty, with both readiness and self- 
control. Nor was this all This large-minded man was 
also large-hearted — a loving and a love-winning man. 
" He was much beloved of his people, and as loving was 
he unto them." ' His care of them was most paternal 
and most comprehensive. He was wholly devoted to their 

* Bradford. 



17 

religious interests, and "helpful of their outward estates." 
He had a benign and gentle spirit, great amenity of man- 
ners, and singular tact. He was sociable, affable, and 
conciliatory. He had a remarkable skill in harmonizing 
differences and settling disputes. He added to a tender 
conscience, and an acute moral sense, unusual consider- 
ateness of the scruples of others. In his day controversy 
was merciless, and its masters were unsparing in personal 
vituperation and abuse ; controversy was a public duty, 
and enlisted men's passions like internecine war. But 
forcible as are Robinson's controversial works, one is 
struck with their comparative freedom from the wrath 
and bitterness so characteristic of the period .Evidently 
he loved not strife and debate, and never lost, when borne 
into them, the temperance, the deliberateness, the loyalty 
to truth and the remembrance of charity which lifted 
him above all merely personal contests. Bradford tells us 
of Robinson : " He was never satisfied in himself until he 
had searched any cause or argument he had to deal in to 
the bottom ; and we have heard him sometimes say to his 
familiars ' that many times, both in writing and in dispu- 
tation, he knew he had sufficiently answered others, but 
not himself.' He was ever desirous of any light, and the 
more able, learned, and holy, persons were, the more he 
desired to confer and reason with them." 

His most imposing virtue, perhaps, was his catholicity — 
his large tolerance. In this he outran his time. Dr. Bush- 
nell declares him two whole centuries in advance of his 
age. The statement seems scarcely extravagant. He was 
a Separatist on principle ; or, as he says, " on most sound 
and irresistible convictions ;" and yet, contrary to the ori- 
ginal Separatist theory, advocated putting a wide differ- 
ence between renouncing a falsely organized church, and 
renouncing the ministers and members thereof, who were 
in the judgment of charity Christian people. He saw no 
reason to withhold private and unofficial communion with 



i8 

these, or to disallow the hearing of godly ministers preach 
and pray in their own pulpits in the national church. He 
also favored full communion with the Reformed churches 
of France and Holland, and the interchange of members 
with them. And this large catholicity grew upon him to 
the end. If this does not seem to us a very wonderful 
liberality, it was extremely wonderful in its own day, and 
in its wide contrast with the Church of England itself. 
It was the recognition of this contrast which made Mr. 
Motley say of Robinson's Farewell Address to the Pil- 
grim Fathers, that "for loftiness of spirit and breadth of 
vision it has hardly a parallel in that age of intolerance." 
Nor was .this liberality of Robinson a mere sentiment. 
It was a matter of principle. He instilled it into the 
minds of his people. He urged it upon their hearts and 
consciences. He infixed it there as an abiding conviction. 
They carried it with them to Plymouth. It became char- 
acteristic of the Plymouth Colony as contrasted with that 
of Massachusetts Bay. Not among them was Roger Wil- 
liams forbidden to worship, or banished the soil. Not 
among them were enacted the New England Tragedies. 
History abundantly attests this abiding fruitage from the 
magnanimity of John Robinson, and his wise and most 
Christian counsels. 

It is a mark of the greatness of this venerable man, 
that while the sturdiness of the convictions, and the reck- 
lessness of cost or sacrifice under the stress of convictions, 
which made him a Separatist, are beyond question, he has 
been distinctly recognized as one of the most conserva- 
tive of Separatists, and as the reformer of Separatism. He 
was free from fanaticism. He never fell into, he never 
sympathized with, the extravagances into which many 
good men among his contemporaries were led. So far as 
the Separatists, by reason of the force of the impulse to 
which they had yielded, tended to extremes, he was dis- 
tinctively a reactionary. If in the earlier years of his 



19 

ministry he was led by the intensity of his convictions 
into any narrowness of view, it is apparent that every 
year led him further from everything of the kind, and 
that by the force of the better reason he carried men 
with him into the eillargement he himself had experienced. 
And to him more than to any other man of his age is 
traceable that ultimate development of true liberality and 
charity toward all, which is the glory of modem Congre- 
gationalism. 

What Robinson's religious character was appears from 
the testimony of those who knew him best, from the rever- 
ence in which he was held of all his people and the good 
report he obtained of those among whom he sojourned, 
and from his writings, especially his "Essays," and his 
letters. In this way we learn that he was characterized 
by a profound and spiritual piety; an intense loyalty to 
Christ as in all things his Master and Lord ; singular 
reverence for the Scriptures as the rule of faith and con- 
duct ; an unconquerable trustfulness, giving him courage, 
fortitude, and assurance of the future ; strong religious 
affections and unfailing sympathies ; openness, frankness, 
transparent sincerity ; an abhorrence of cant, pretense, and 
indirection ; an exemplary walk and a scrupulous vigilance 
of himself ; and his saintly spirit shone ever more brightly 
until the last. His decisive personal influence was largely 
founded in his conspicuous righteousness, fidelity, and 
disinterestedness. 

Doubtless many of us will recall, at this point, an esti- 
mate of John Robinson by one of the most competent 
and careful students who ever investigated his history. 
It is the tribute of him who of all men, could the desires 
of his brethren have been gratified, should have lived to 
stand here today and dedicate a memorial in which he 
was so deeply interested. I mean my distinguished and 
lamented kinsman. Dr. Henry Martyn Dexter. It were a 
grave omission not to repeat in this hour his well-consid- 



20 

ered and most forceful words : " That [ John Robinson] 
was a good man, whose lustrous character was dimmed 
by no stain of indiscretion, roughened by no hardness of 
spirit ; who forsook all to follow what to him was Christ ; 
who had large faculties, and used them at his best discre- 
tion well for God and his fellows ; and who deserves the 
world's grateful and unqualified respect — no faithful stu- 
dent of his life and writings will deny. . . . Piety, learning, 
energy, catholicity, and faith in the future, in the first 
generation of the seventeenth century, would have saved 
any man from mediocrity. The final judgment of devout, 
scholars must decide they made John Robinson great.*' 

The time came, as we all know, when Robinson and 
Brewster were convinced that duty to themselves, their 
children, and the kingdom of Christ, demanded the under- 
taking of a new emigration, to a land where they could 
be Englishmen and yet be free ; where they could perpet- 
uate their own traditions, their own language, their own 
faith ; and where, please God, they might " lay some good 
foundation, or at least make some way thereunto, for the 
propagating and advancing the gospel of the kingdom of 
Christ in those remote parts of the world — yea, though 
they should be but even as stepping-stones unto others 
for the performing of so great a work.'* Dr. Bushnell 
calls these adventurous spirits " great in their unconscious- 
ness ; '* aye, but they were also great by reason of that of 
which they were conscious, the inspiration of a great task, 
the prompting of a great calling, the dim but fascinating 
presentiment of a destiny of transcendent import to man- 
kind. Into the history of that immortal adventure we 
cannot go at this time ; but it is part of John Robinson's 
record that he incited, promoted, counseled, and directed 
it, from its inception to its execution, and hoped to join 
the colony in due time, until he was summoned to a better 
inheritance above. 



21 



When, two hundred and seventy-one years ago this 
very week, the 22d of July, he returned to his home 
yonder, not without sadness of heart, after witnessing the 
embarkation at Delftshaven, he doubtless felt that much 
remained to be done here, and he had visions of a home 
beyond the seas. But anxieties, hopes deferred and at 
length rebuffed, domestic sorrows, and many discourage- 
ments awaited him, to chasten, but never to break his 
dauntless spirit. In less than five years his ministry was 
ended, for God took him. Unlooked for came the last 
messenger, but he was not unready. On the 4th of March, 
1625, followed by the congregation, the ministers of the 
city, the University, and a sympathizing community, his 
remains were borne to their resting place beneath this 
ancient church, " amid lamentations for the loss that not 
alone his own communion, but all the churches of Christ 
had sustained." Yet although his life was ended, his 
work had but begun, and the abiding fame of it was un- 
suspected of men. Not only has that fame continued — 
its splendor has increased with every generation. And 
now at length we, descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers, 
proud of their blood and their faith, messengers of five 
thousand churches and of uncounted Christian citizens in 
the Great Republic, are here to call to remembrance his 
inestimable services to Truth, to Liberty, to Civilization, to 
Christ's Eternal Kingdom, and by this tablet, which we 
are now solemnly to dedicate, to perpetuate that remem- 
brance to coming generations. Fitly will it stand here, 
a silent but eloquent memorial, telling to listening pos- 
terity its story of faith and patience, of fortitude and 
magnanimity, of heroism and triumph ! Yet it will not 
be John Robinson's grandest monument. That is the 
Great Republic itself, spanning the Western Continent, 
rising conspicuous among the nations, cherishing the ex- 
alted consciousness that in its broad area, and in its 



22 



intense life, civil and religious freedom far transcend- 
ing the fathers' aspirations reigns universal, unassailable, 
enthroned in the hearts of ever-multiplying millions. 

We do not wonder if Leydeners love their fair and 
famous city. We do not wonder if they take pride in 
their renowned University, itself a monument of the hero- 
ism of their fathers, and of an almost miraculous deliver- 
ance from their ruthless besiegers. But they must indulge 
us in the cherishing of a deep and tender interest in these 
scenes so familiar to them, which we can hardly imagine 
that they share. We come hither as to a venerated shrine. 
We find sacredness in these streets, and take pleasure in 
these stones. Here our fathers in a time of sorest need 
found a welcome refuge; a respite from cruel persecu- 
tions ; an opportunity to house their hunted families and 
earn the bread their country denied them ; liberty to labor, 
to love, to worship, and to learn ; to fulfill their vocation of 
Christ; to gather wisdom, and energy, and courage for 
their great mission over the wide Atlantic to New Eng- 
land's rugged shore. Not without regrets did they leave 
this " goodly and pleasant resting place,'* but the beckon- 
ing of their destiny they could not resist. Dear and lov- 
ing were the friends they left here, to meet them next in 
heaven. Tenderly they remembered Leyden. And here 
the dust of Robinson remains. These memories endear 
to us, and will endear to our posterity, the very name of 
Leyden. Long may its ancient towers salute the sun that 
rises, and be gilded by the sun that sets ! Long may it 
flourish, foster learning, and rejoice ! Happy and hoilor- 
able be its future years ! Often shall the western breezes 
bear to it the benisons of the children, of the Pilgrims ! 

In closing, there come to me recollections of the part- 
ing counsels of Robinson, spoken over yonder ' the night 
before the embarkation. I seem to catch the lingering 

' Uncertain, but probable. 



23 

echoes of the words reported to us by Winslow. Let us 
listen for a moment : " I charge you, before God and his 
blessed angels, to follow me no further than I have fol- 
lowed Christ ; and if God shall reveal anything to you by 
any other instrument of his, to be as ready to receive it 
as ever you were to receive any truth by my ministry. 
For I am very confident the Lord hath more truth and 
light yet to break forth out of his Holy Word. . . . But 
withal take heed what you receive for truth, and well ex- 
amine and compare it with other Scripture before you 
receive it. For it is not possible that the Christian world 
should come so lately out of such thick anti-Christian 
darkness, and the full perfection of knowledge break forth 
at once.'* Such was the spirit of this man of God, this 
apostle of liberty, this leader of his age ; so radical and so 
conservative ; so modest, so hopeful, so cautious. Wise be- 
yond his generation, or his century, indeed ! Wise enough 
to counsel even us, his remote ecclesiastical descendants ; 
bidding us to be fixed in faith, free in the thinking which 
faith inspires, hospitable to the truth which God reveals 
through faith-inspired thought, tenacious of truth approved 
through past experience of its spiritual force. What can 
we counsel better than this in our own place and time ? 
The words in which he indicated to the Pilgrim Fathers 
their path across the ocean into the fateful future — the 
path which was to prove to them the way of greatness and 
of glory — still indicate to us the way into a future of ever 
expanding and ever brightening enlightenment, and in- 
spire us with assured expectation of still grander triumphs 
of Christianity and of human freedom, and a larger, fuller, 
richer life for ourselves and for our posterity ! 

To Dr. Palmer's address, although delivered in 
English, unwavering attention was given to the end. 
When he had concluded, Rev. F. A. Noble, D.D., 



24 

took his place in the pulpit, and offered the dedi- 
catory prayer in these words: 

Almighty and most merciful God, our Heavenly Father, 
in the name which is above every name we draw nigh unto 
Thee, that we may acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, 
and render thanks for all Thy manifold loving-kindnesses. 
In all, and over all, Thy wisdom is manifest in the varying 
providences in which the world has been set forward in 
truth and in righteousness. Thou dost call great men and 
they answer Thee, and great events turn upon the issues 
which Thou Thyself hast determined. He whom we call 
the Father of the Faithful heard Thy voice and did Thy 
bidding. The great law-giver became Thy servant, and 
the leader of Thy chosen people out of their bondage into 
liberty, and through his lips came the commandments for 
the moral government of mankind. Through all ages the 
apostles and prophets have beheld the visions Thou hast 
placed before them, and have fallen into obedience to Thy 
divine will. We thank Thee for all of them, for the brave 
words they have spoken, and for the brave deeds they have 
done* Especially do we thank Thee for the gift of this 
man whose memory is to be perpetuated in part by the 
tablet unveiled today, in the midst of the community where 
so much of his life was lived, where so many of his words 
were spoken, where so much of his self-denial was prac- 
ticed, and where he illustrated the grace of God in Christ 
so eminently. We thank Thee for the rare endowments 
which Thou gavest him ; for all the intellectual capabilities ; 
for his moral qualities ; for his spiritual insight and over- 
sight ; for his apprehension of the truth ; for his fidelity to 
conscience ; for his patience ; for his love, and for his wise 
and sweet shepherding of the souls which came within the 
circle of his speech and influence. We thank Thee for 
those particular qualities he possessed by which he was en- 



abled to become the leader of the people out into a larger 
place ; by which he could discern the needs of the times ; 
by which he could do the work committed to his hands, 
so that in after centuries those who came after him should 
see that he was the inspirer and organizer of the great 
religious movement which was to include all mankind in 
its benefits ; whereby he could withhold his followers, even 
though he himself had passed away, from giving his name 
to the body he had called into existence, that all glory 
might be given to Him who is Head of the Church, so 
that the name of Christ might still be the name above 
every name. We beseech Thee to receive at our hands 
the dedication of this tablet which we bring in consecra- 
tion to this great man's memory, and through him to the 
Lord Jesus Christ who called him into His precious service. 
Grant that we today in our own behalf, and in behalf of 
those we represent, may catch such inspiration from this 
service that Christ shall seem nearer and dearer to us, and 
it shall be a greater joy to work in the service of Christ, 
to witness for the truth, and to aid in winning souls into 
His kingdom. Grant that we may feel how empty this 
ceremony would be if in unveiling this tablet — that the 
memory of this great servant of Jesus Christ may have 
further perpetuation — we did not come into completed 
consecration to the service of our Lord. May we catch 
his spirit today; may it be within us to work with the 
spirit in which he wrought. May his mind, in so far as 
it was a mind in Christ, be in us, and may we plant our- 
selves in a firm footing on the truths he apprehended and 
which were so precious to him. May the Word of God be 
the word of man, and may we hold the truths fast and 
be prompt to receive any new light which shall break forth 
from the Word of God, and so may this body of Christians, 
which worships and works in the Congregational way, be 
quickened and brought into higher loyalty to Christ. We 
thank Thee for this hour, and we thank Thee that Thou. 



26 

didst put it into the hearts of Thy servants to accomplish 
this pious work. Help us to cherish the memory of those 
whom Thou hast called away from us, to remember those 
who have thus wrought, those who are unable to be with 
us, but who are with us in spirit ; and help them to feel 
that wherever they are, they have helped to bear witness 
to the truth. May Thy Spirit descend upon us, and grant 
that in all our hearts there may be such a working of the 
Divine Spirit that we may be called into loyalty to Jesus 
Christ ; that conscience may have new dominion over us ; 
and that we may work with new heart to bring all men 
everywhere into the faith and fellowship of the Son of 
God. We ask it in the name of Him who loved us with 
infinite love, and who gave Himself to die for us on the 
cross, and who is the risen Redeemer. May He pour in 
His Divine Spirit upon our lives, that we may work day 
by day and live in Him and in the Spirit, to Whom be 
praise evermore. Amen. 

Dr. Palmer then formally consummated the 
dedication of the tablet in the following sentences: 

Now, therefore, we, Samuel C. Bartlett, Eliphalet W. 
Blatchford, George E. Day, Morton Dexter, John K. Mc- 
Lean, Charles Ray Palmer, and William A. Robinson, by 
authority to us intrusted, in the name of the National 
Council of the Cougregational Churches in the 
United States of America — delegates from the Con- 
gregational Union of England and Wales and from the 
International Council of Congregational Churches lately 
assembled in London, together "with representatives of 
Yale University, the University of Leyden, and Mansfield 
College in Oxford, present and assisting — do solemnly 
set apart and dedicate this Bronze Tablet, which we have 
erected, to the perpetuation of the venerable and sacred 



27 

memory of the erudite scholar, the devoted minister, the 
saintly man, whose name it bears — John Robinson, M.A., 
the Pastor of the Pilgrim Church, the projector and spirit- 
ual father of the Plymouth Colony ; and we declare this 
dedication duly and irrevocably accomplished. And for 
the grace vouchsafed to that blessed man, and to our 
forefathers, and to us their descendants and fellow ser- 
vants — to God Almighty, the Father, the Son, the Holy 
Ghost, we give praise now and evermore ! Amen. 

Turning to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners 
of the city of Leyden, he also addressed them 
thus : 

To the Honorable^ the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. 

Gentlemen : This tablet, which we have brought 
from our far away home and dedicated to the perpetual 
remembrance of John Robinson, we now take pleasure in 
committing to your honorable keeping. We heartily thank 
you for the gracious permission to erect it here. We 
thank you also for the kindly sympathy with us in our 
filial purpose, manifested by your presence with us today. 
To you, and to your successors forever, we now convey 
and deliver this memorial in which we feel so deeply 
interested, assured that our trust is by you cordially 
accepted, and that it will be safe in your hands. Receive 
with it, gentlemen, assurances of the highest considera- 
tion on the part of ourselves and of the churches and 
institutions we have the honor to represent ; and also of 
our best wishes and our prayers for the peace and prog- 
ress of the churches of Leyden, and of all the churches 
of this ancient and honorable realm. 



28 

Several responses to this address were then 
made. The first speaker was Mr. E. van den 
Brandeler, who spoke in Dutch as follows : 

Very Reverend Gentlemen: The Ecclesiastical Com- 
mission of the Netherlandish Reformed Church, which 
I have the honor to represent on this occasion, tender to 
you their thanks for the manner in which you have per- 
formed an act of filial regard, in doing which neither 
pains nor expense have been spared. You have not been 
deterred by the distance from crossing the ocean and com- 
ing to us in order to devote this hour to an impressive 
ceremonial. We are proud to see this elegant and at the 
same time simple monument which adorns our church. 
Tell it far and wide, gentlemen, on your return to the 
New World, that in the Netherlands, also, hearts beat at 
the memory of John Robinson. He was a great man, who 
bravely strove for his faith, and labored with unsparing 
self-sacrifice to promote the religious welfare of his con- 
gregation. It is appointed to man once to die. Even 
great men die ; but the memory of the righteous is blessed 
forever. The Ecclesiastical Commission regard it as a 
sacred duty to hold this monument in honor, and gladly 
take it under their protection. 

The next speaker was the Burgomaster of the 
city of Leyden, Mr. E. M. De Laat de Kanter. 
He also spoke in Dutch, and as follows: 

Ladies and Gentlemen : The celebration in which we 
here unite has rather a religious than a civil character, yet 
it is not exclusively religious. It commemorates the time 
when the Pilgrim Fathers settled in Leyden, and the wel- 
come they received from the authorities and citizens. All 
this has not been forgotten, but is gratefully remembered 
by their posterity. The visits so often made to the old 



29 

memorial stone show that the memory of all this survived 
in their hearts. The sphere of our city government is 
different from that of the Ecclesiastical Commission. All 
that we, on our part, can do, is to see that the memorial 
tablet is treated with proper regard by our people. There 
is no reason to fear the contrary. We are living no longer 
in a time of religious animosity, when men hate and despise 
each other for differing in opmion. I am reminded by this 
occasion of the time of persecution which made the coming 
of your ancestors to this land both desirable and neces- 
sary. It is not so very long — not more than half a cen- 
tury — since the principle of entire religious freedom has 
been recognized. At heart it was held by our people, but 
the abolition of the laws which interfered with it was 
forgotten. It was only when dissenters were persecuted 
more on "account of the law than on account of their opin- 
ions, that those laws were abolished. And now I assure 
you that, so far as it depends upon the executive authority 
of the city of Leyden, the memorial tablet shall be safe with 
us. If the memory of Robinson was honored by us before, 
it will be none the less now that this monument is erected. 
As you return to your own country, present to your people 
the assurance that we shall ever think of you, your pos- 
terity, and your ancestors, with respect. The memory of 
the Pilgrim Fathers has now once more been revived by 
this memorial tablet. In Leyden it shall be safe. 

The representative of Leyden University, Prof. 
A. Kuenen, D.D., spoke first in Dutch. Said he: 

In the name of the Leyden University, which in the 
absence of the Rector Magnificus I have the honor to 
represent, I thank the Committee for having invited us 
to be present at this ceremony. In doing so they have 
met a wish which we cherished ; perhaps I ought to say 
they have recognized what we might claim as a right. 



30 

Wherever honor is paid to the memory of John Robinson, 
the Leyden University may not be wanting. The orator 
of the day has reminded us that Robinson, although the 
years of his college life had long passed, was registered 
here at his own request as a student in theology. His 
object certainly was not simply to enjoy the privileges 
which were then accorded to the members of the Univer- 
sity. No ; it was because he was heartily in sympathy 
with the view of Christian truth which was zealously and 
ably defended by the majority of its professors, and wished 
to share in their scientific life. It is testified of him that 
he took part also in the controversy of those days. Sev- 
eral of the Leyden professors were among his friends, and 
when, in 1625, his remains were buried in this very church 
edifice, representatives of the University were among the 
mourners. 

Since that sorrowful day more than two centuries and 
a half have passed ; but yet — we have the evidence of it 
before us — John Robinson is living on in the grateful 
remembrance not only of his spiritual descendants, but of 
the whole North American people. We esteem it a priv- 
ilege to join by our presence in the beautiful tribute now 
paid to his memory. Opinions and forms pass away, but 
the principle represented so well by Robinson and his con- 
gregation remains eternally true, and claims our entire 
sympathy. For conscience' sake they left their native 
country and sought refuge here. They made every sacri- 
fice for the liberty of serving God in accordance with their 
own convictions, and therefore they receive only what is 
their due in the place of honor they hold in the period of 
history anterior to the existence of the North American 
Republic. The memorial tablet, consecrated by a grateful 
posterity to their leader, Robinson, honors and adorns our 
city. But beyond this it may be added that in Leyden, 
which owes its flourishing state and its University to its 
struggle for freedom, and in near proximity to the Univer- 



31 

sity whose vital principle is and will ever be liberty, this 
monument has found its appropriate place. 

And now, having spoken in Dutch, as became the 
representative of a Dutch university, I beg to add a few 
words in English : 

Ladies and Gentlemen : When you have gbne back to 
America, tell your countrymen that the citizens of Ley den 
and the membe rs of its University are proud to possess in 
the midst of us the monument you have dedicated today, 
and that we like to consider it as a pledge of the future 
lasting friendship of both the countries — America and our 
Fatherland — whose early history, as that monument testi- 
fies, is so closely identified. Tell them that we say that 
in that monument we have a pledge of hearty cooperation 
in the common love for civil and religious freedom. 

The closing speaker was Rev. A. M. Fairbairn, 
D.D., principal of Mansfield College, Oxford Uni- 
versity, England. His address was as follows: 

It is as a connecting link between Holland and Amer- 
ica that I am called to stand here. The American people 
are still English, and for the English people Holland has 
done many services of the kind she rendered when she 
gave to John Robinson a home. Your victory was ours ; 
if defeat had come tp you in the struggle with Spain, 
we could never have prevailed. The event which distin- 
guished your town and founded your University, your 
delivery from your city's great besiegement, saved our 
freedom. On your soil, though for our common good, our 
Sidney shed his blood. Here, when once you had won your 
freedom, you gave a hospitable home to all who had need. 
Our fugitives learned from your Mennonites the principles 
of the toleration they returned to teach to their own people. 
Our Ames, your Amesius, forsook his own home, took part 



32 

in your high debate at Dordt, and settled as professor at 
Francker. Later Thomas Goodwin and Philip Nye found 
here a home, and learned the principles of freedom and 
independency which they returned to argue for in the 
Westminster Assembly. Your hospitable welcome was 
not denied to the men who found the England of the 
Commonwealth an uncongenial home, while your Salma- 
sius in stately Latin defended our king and accused our 
people, and our Milton in still statelier Latin defended 
our people and accused our king. Here, too, came our 
Scotch Covenanters and waited through evil days for the 
brighter times that were to dawn. On the walls of your 
library stands a tablet which tells that the dust lies here 
of John, Earl of Loudoun, one who contended and suf- 
fered much in our stern Northern wars. In the same 
period Gilbert Burnet, later a prelate of the English 
Church, helped to make a happier home for your William 
and our Mary, and to prepare your prince to become our 
king. And near his court lived a quiet scholar, John 
Locke, who used the leisure of his exile to write certain 
letters on toleration, which did much to create a broader 
freedom in our land. And in the century that followed, 
when to our fathers the English universities were closed, 
the learning that enabled Lardner to write his Credibility 
of the Gospel History^ and Neale his History of the Puri- 
tans, was obtained here. 

Our peoples, then, have lived in closest terms of inter- 
course. You have been generous in your hospitality to 
our persecuted men and causes ; and it is to me a proud 
privilege to be allowed to stand here and confess our 
obligations. Long may our peoples, our faiths, and our 
churches live together in holy and beautiful friendship, 
and be united in their common and faithful service of 
freedom, civil and religious ! By these we stand, and the 
name we have this day honored sanctions and consecrates 
our common and mutual love ! 



33 

At the end of these addresses the audience 
sang Mrs. Hemans' hymn : 

The breaking waves dashed high 

On a stem and rock-bound coast, 
And the woods against a stormy sky 

Their giant branches tossed ; 
And the heavy night hung dark 

The hills and waters o'er, 
When a band of exiles moored their bark 

On the wild New England shore. 

Not as the conqueror comes. 

They, the true-hearted, came ; 
Not with the roll of the stirring drums, 

And the trumpet that sings of fame ; 
Not as the flying come, 

In silence and in fear — 
They shook the depths of the desert gloom 

With their hymns of lofty cheer. 

Amidst the storm they sang, 

And the stars heard and the sea ; 
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang 

To the anthem of the free. 
The ocean eagle soared 

From his nest by the white wave's foam, 
And the rocking pines of the forest roared — 

This was their welcome home ! 

What sought they thus afar ? 

Bright jewels of the mine ? 
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war ? 

They sought a faith's pure shrine ! 
Aye, call it holy ground. 

The soil where first they trod ! 
They have left unstained what there they found — 

Freedom to worship God. 



34 

After the singing, Dr. Palmer concluded the 
exercises with the benediction. 

The Committee of the National Council can- 
not close its report without putting on record an 
expression of its appreciation of the valuable assist- 
ance rendered by Professor J. F. Weir, of the School 
of the Fine Arts in Yale University, in the selec- 
tion of the style of the tablet and the design of 
the " Mayflower ; " by Mr. E. F. Aucaigne, connected 
with the Henry Bonnard Bronze Co., of New York, 
in his intelligent and sympathetic superintendence 
of the construction and shipping of the tablet ; and 
by Mr. F. de Stoppelaer, of the famous publishing 
house of E. J. Brill, of Leyden, through his manifold, 
unwearied, and indispensable cooperation in respect 
to the reception, erection, and dedication of the 
memorial. 

For the Committee. 

George E. Day. 
Charles Ray Palmer. 
Morton Dexter. 



Subscribers to the John Robinson Memorial Fund. 



r Mr. Eugene F. Aucaigne, New York 
Mr. Henry Baldwin, New York . . . . 
Prof. Simeon E. Baldwin, New Haven^ Conn, . 
Mr. A. S. Barnes's children, by Dr. Charles R. Palmer, 

Bridgeport^ Conn 

Hon. E. W. Blatchford, Chicago^ III, 

Brooklyn (N. Y.) Congregational Club, by Richard 

S. Barnes, Treas 

Hon. Peter Burns, Syracuse^ NY, 

Mr. Samuel B. Capen, Boston^ Mass, 

Clinton (Conn.) Congregational church, by Rev. 

Thomas A. Emerson 

Connecticut Congregational Club, by L. W. Ripley, 

Treas. (to complete the sum of $400 contributed 

by members of the Club) . 
Dea. Alexander L. Cum mock, Lowell^ Mass. 
Rev. E. Curtis, Buffalo, NY, ... 

Mr. Frederick A. Cushman, New York , 
Mr. Charles W. Cushman, Philadelphia, Penn, 
Prof, and Mrs. James D. Dana, New Haven, Conn, 
Prof. George E. Day, New Haven, Conn, 
Mr. George Denison, yamaica Plain, Mass, 
Prof. Franklin B. Dexter, New Haven, Conn, 
*Rev. Henry M. Dexter, D.D., Boston, Mass,, by 

Rev. Morton Dexter .... 
Mr. Thomas Doane, Charlestown, Mass, 
Dea. John Dunn, Syracuse, NY, , 
Rev. Henry Fairbanks, D.D., St, Johnsbury, Vt, 
Mr. Edward Ferris, New York 
Rev. Frank S. Fitch, Buffalo, N Y, 
Mrs. William Fitch, New Haven, Conn, . 



$10.00 

6.00 

25.00 

500.00 
100.00 

200.00 
10.00 
15.00 

10.00 



40.00 

10.00 
5.00 
5.00 
5.00 

25.00 

100.00 

2.00 

25.00 

500.00 
10.00 

5.00 
50.00 

5.00 
10.00 
25.00 



36 



Glastonbury (Conn.) Congregational church, by W 

S. Williams 

Rev. William E. Griffis, D.D., Boston^ Mass, . 

Mr. W. C. Hamilton, Fond du Lac^ Wis, 

Mr. Hamilton A. Hill, Boston^ Mass. 

Mr. Reuben Hutchinson, Lowell^ Mass, 

Mr. Leonard A. Jenkins, New York 

Mr. E. A. Jewell, Hartford^ Conn. . 

Mr. Charles L. Lovering, Taunton^ Mass 

Dea. Sewell G. Mack, Lowell^ Mass. 

Mr, Roland Mather, Hartford^ Conn. 

New York Congregational Club, by Dea. J. H 

Washburne, Treas. 
Rev. E. M. Packard, Syracuse^ N. Y. 
Rev. A. F. Pierce, Middletown^ N. Y. 
Rev. William A. Robinson, D.D., Horner^ N. Y, 
Mrs. Sarah B. A. Robinson and daughters. Wash 

ington, D.C. , 
Dea. Jacob Rogers, Lowell^ Mass. . 
Rev. A. Hastings Ross, D.D., Port Huron, Mich. 
Rev. Edward A. Smith, Hartford, Conn. . 
Rev. R. S. Storrs, D.D., Brooklyn, N. Y. 
Mrs. Susan M. Sturges, Mansfield, O. 
Mr. Ezekiel H. Trowbridge, New Haven, Conn. 
Rev. George Leon Walker, D.D., Hartford, Conn. 
Mr. Stephen A. Walker, Hartford, Conn. . 
Prof. Williston Walker, Hartford, Conn. . 
Wethersfield (Conn.) Congregational church, by Rev 

Wm. H. Teel 

Mr. G. Henry Whitcomb, Worcester, Mass, 
Mr. William H. White, Lowell, Mass. 



$50.00 
25.00 
20.00 
20.00 
10.00 
25.00 
50.00 
25.00 
10.00 
50.00 

200.00 

5.00 

5.00 

10.00 

10.00 
10.00 
25.00 
15.00 
25.00 
1. 00 
25.00 
100.00 
25.00 
25.00 

20.00 
10.00 
10.00 






'H 

m 



1 -;agfffrt 



~ £!iC 









:.''"'i::' j-:- 



..V- 






'- ' '</ 

' '' '■"■ 'J 









^.^• 






I 



\ 



Ill 



i'lli 






11 1- 



V 



m 



1 \mi 



•Hiijr •■■•■ 



l^"' y I 















1 



,-- *f ■ ,.1- 



'J 1 [ 






\