(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
A Pastoral Letter of
Much Respected FRIENDS,
that are in their Voyage
Present with Care, I Pray.
Per Samuel Scammon. Q. D. C.
My Brethren, dear Friends, and Christian Neighbours,
INasmuch as I may neither be permitted to return with you ; nor be permitted to come to see you before you
return ; These come to acquaint you,
That I am truly desirous of your Prosperity, for Soul and Body. I would
bless God who is opening a door of Return for you : And if God be your
Front-Guard, and Rereward, it shall
yet go well with you ; a Mercy , I
would humbly be imploring for you.
I hope you will continue to Pray for
us that are left behind, that God would
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It proved difficult for New England Puritans to sustain the pitch of spiritual emotion and zeal Calvinism demanded in the absence of the religious persecution in which that faith had been forged. Colonial conflicts with the French and Indians provided a new source for Puritan martyrs and a new literary genre: the captivity narrative. The Reverend Cotton Mather (1662-1727) of Boston collected and published three of these narratives in 1706 under the title, "Good Fetch'd Out of Evil." Among these documents was "A Pastoral Letter" by the Reverend John Williams (1664-1729). French and Indian attackers took Williams to Canada, along with over one hundred other Deerfield residents following the Deerfield Raid in 1704. Williams wrote this letter to a group of freed captives returning to New England. Williams admonished his parishioners to use their ordeal to strengthen their faith.
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Pastoral Letter excerpted from "Good Fetch'd Out of Evil"
| publisher Benjamin Green
| author Reverend John Williams (1664-1729)
| date 1706
| location Boston, Massachusetts
| height 5.75"
| width 3.75"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| item type Books/Booklet - Sermon
| accession # #L99.016
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