When Courage Falters and Faith Grows Dim

S. E. Morison concludes the Preface to his edition of Of Plymouth Plantation 1620–1647 by William Bradford with this stirring paragraph:

Bradford’s history is a story of a simple people inspired by an ardent faith to a dauntless courage in danger, a resourcefulness in dealing with new problems, an impregnable fortitude in adversity that exalts and heartens one in an age of uncertainty, when courage falters and faith grows dim. It is this story, told by a great human being, that has made the Pilgrim Fathers in a sense the spiritual ancestors of all Americans, all pioneers.

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  1. One wonders if S.E. was taking a break, when he wrote the above. After all, he also wrote, “The Intellectual Life of New England,” and he could not but have been aware of the fact that Rev. John Robinson was one of the participants in the Synod of Dordt, perhaps the most salient theological debate of the 17th century. A graduate of Cambridge, he was invited to participate in the ongoing controversy in the Univ. in the Netherlands.

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