From the Editor. The Mayflower Compact was signed by forty-one men aboard the Mayflower on November 11, 1620, four hundred years ago next month.
Haveing undertaken, for ye glorie of God, and advancemente of ye Christian faith and honor of our king & country, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly & mutually in ye presence of God, and of one another, covenant, & combine ourselves together into a Civill body politick; for our better ordering, & preservation & furtherance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hereof to enacte, constitute, and frame such just & equall Lawes, ordinances, Acts, constituions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be tought most meet & convenient for ye generall good of ye colonie: unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
Clearly, for all of their imperfections, the Pilgrims that landed mistakenly on Cape Cod four centuries ago desired to glorify God in their dangerous endeavor.
As Darryl Hart reminds us in his review article, “The Pilgrims: Forgotten, Remembered, Celebrated,” the first Reformed Christians to arrive in seventeenth century New England were different in some significant ways from the Puritans who began to arrive in far greater numbers a decade later.
I have attached a booklet (DOC, PDF) with some history of Thanksgiving, beginning with the first. It has been our tradition for many decades to read Psalm 136 and portions of the attached selection of historical proclamations. Printed on both sides of one sheet of nice quality paper it may be folded and handed out at Thanksgiving.
Hart also reviews a significant addition to Puritan history in David D. Hall’s The Puritans: A Transatlantic History, which clarifies the relationship between Puritanism and Presbyterianism, showing the “sustained and comprehensive account of the effort to reform further the English-speaking churches.”
In “Imago Hominis: Our Brave New World,” I review the arresting work of Jacob Shatzer, Transhumanism and the Image of God: Today’s Technology and the Future of Christian Discipleship. His accurate analysis of the amalgam of transhumanism and technology forms the basis for an alarming description and a penetrating critique of that complex movement, along with a useful roadmap for navigating it faithfully as Christians.
Ann Hart reviews Robert Andrews, Churchill: Walking with Destiny as an example of one who, despite all of his flaws, heroically led England through the European crisis of German Naziism. Despite all of the prior material written about Churchill this biography stands out due to its author’s access to unique, newly available correspondence, as well as his charmingly written narrative.
Charles M. Wingard reviews Alan Strange’s Imputation of the Active Obedience of Christ in the Westminster Standards emphasizing the critical importance of Christ’s active obedience in pastoral ministry, reinforcing Machen’s dying words, “I’m so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it.”
Two poems remember the importance of thanksgiving and the landing of the Mayflower—each nearly four centuries apart, one a poem of thanks and the other a historical reflection.
The cover picture is one I recently took of the newly restored Mayflower II, which has returned to its dock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Blessings in the Lamb,
FROM THE ARCHIVES “PURITANS”
Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God-glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high-quality editorials, articles, and book reviews, we will endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.