MAYFLOWER COMPACT

Choosing whom to serve

“As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15 

A momentous document

“The date was November 11, 1620, and the place was the Mayflower, anchored off the coast of Cape Cod. One hundred and two passengers, including 34 children had spent seven weeks crossing the ocean from England. Among them were 27 adults and 14 children who were Pilgrims, separatists who had fled England for Holland, yet wished to retain their English heritage. They made arrangements with the Virginia Company to settle just south of the Hudson River within the northernmost boundary of the Virginia Charter. However, fierce winds blew them off course to the north — to the shores of Cape Cod.

They realized they would be on their own since they had no agreement with the New England Company. On board the ship some of the non-Pilgrim bonded servants and those hired by contract greeted the decision to settle in Cape Cod as an opportunity for rebellion. The Pilgrim leadership saw that they must act quickly to prevent a mutiny.

The result came to be known as the Mayflower Compact, the first time in recorded history in which free men covenanted together to form a civil government with the authority to enact laws that the people promised to obey.

Before leaving the Netherlands, the Pilgrims had knelt on the dock to ask God’s blessing on their voyage. After the first winter on Cape Cod, 47 people died, leaving only three families intact. These humble Christian men and women were to be the seeds of what would become the United States of America.”

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten (Tyndale) pp 632-33

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

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