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Zh. Calvin's doctrine and colonists of the New World


The congregation of future colonists arose in the English village Skru-bi (Nottinghamshire) in 1606, however soon more than one hundred her members emigrated at first to Amsterdam, and then to Leiden. The number of the Leiden community of Calvinists since 1610po 1620 vozroslado 400-500 people. In Holland the immigrants had to replace agriculture with craft, generally - production of fabrics. The decision on moving to New England was dictated by desire to construct society according to Zh. Calvin's doctrine. There was also especially material motive: in Holland the possibilities of immigrants to expand the economy were ogranicheny1.

Leydentsam was succeeded to agree with several English merchants, become shareholders of this enterprise. A smaller part of congregation was among pilgrims: in 1620 on Meyflauer 102 passengers went, and more than a half of them were not members of community. The organization of moving of the remained "brothers" whom the pastor J. Robinson continued to direct became the main task of colonists on the future.

The most known among them is At Bradford (1590-1657). Having origin, typical for immigrants, - his father was rather prosperous yeoman, - he was an uncommon personality. Early showed love for reading books and, contrary to desire of relatives, became the member of the congregation created in Skrubi. Having gone to Holland, it was engaged in production of velveteen. The next year after resettlement to New Plymouth it was for the first time elected to a post of the governor and, thanks to the abilities, it was repeatedly re-elected again. Knew the Dutch language and partly Latin, practised in the Hebrew letter, brought together quite good library, conducted extensive correspondence, wrote poems and dialogues. However the work "About the Plymouth Colony" - the chronicle and assessment of all events which took place in life of colonists from 1606 to 1648

became the main composition of Bradford

Zh. Calvin believed that existence of the rich and poor is predetermined by God, but considered all way of life equivalent. Also he insisted that the original wealth consists not in earthly goods, however recognized legitimacy of a prosperity if the person is not captured by self-interest, uses legal means and observes the interests of neighbors. The believer, he considered, can hope only for one way to succeed - God's blessing, - and the aspiration to grow rich should not disturb him. Therefore he pointed to lack of direct link between human work and a reward for it from outside of Gospoda2. Therefore, to -

stizheny prosperity, according to Calvin, was not the basis for finding of confidence of the Christian in the chosenness, it is equal as poverty did not demonstrate isolation.

Colonists also divided wealth into terrestrial and heavenly, giving a priority to the last and blaming attachment to the wordly benefits. Nevertheless, the basic value for them had finding of a certain welfare. So, Bradford remembers that in Holland before immigrants there was "a terrible face of poverty" presented to them by the main enemy. Further he with satisfaction notes that the enemy was prostrate persistent work and with the God's help.

Their English agent R. Kashmen wrote colonists of 1624 in the letter: "In the mean place and always let the Lord will be entirely your head, and will make the end of all your tests and troubles its own glory and our convenience... and let you will be always full of honesty, but [will never [be] so poor" 3. Kashmen was a member of the Leiden congregation since 1609 Being one of organizers of resettlement in the New World, he in colony did not get over, carrying out to the death in 1625 a role of the agent of colonists in England.

Colonists laid hopes for a reward from the Lord for the diligent work. One of members of the Leiden community T. Blosem who moved to colony later in 1625, wrote plimutets: "The Lord, as we see, meanwhile did not deign to grant to us the prosperity for the reasons known is the best of all for Him". However Blosem was sure of "the happy end": "As the Lord to great [our] admiration especially preserves business life, gives me sufficient hope that He grants it (if our sins do not become for this purpose a hindrance) in time fixed in advance the happy end" 4.

Colonists estimated success achieved by them in Plymouth as under-tvsrzhdsnis the fact that "The Lord stays with them in everything, and blessed their expenses and income" 5. That is the prosperity was perceived by them as the certificate of their ugodnost to God. On same specifies their conviction that God grants success only to the one who leads a moral life. From this position they estimated also a certain bristolets of E. Ashley with whom the London merchants in 1629 entered the agreement on the trading station basis near New Plymouth and recruited in this enterprise of heads of colony. Bradford explains unwillingness of colonists to get involved in this adventure the fact that though Ashley and "had enough mind and abilities to get along with case", "some of them held it for very impious young man. Therefore they were afraid, it kind of did not go in the bad way (though promised to improve), and God will not send it good luck" 6.

Fears of plimutets were confirmed, soon Ashley was sent from colony for traffic in arms with Indians, plimutets were confirmed: soon Ashley was sent from colony for traffic in arms with Indians.

However poverty was not presented to colonists as a result of moral dissoluteness or the evidence of "isolation" of the person at all. On the contrary, the ability to treat mercifully the poor was highly appreciated. For example, drawing a portrait of the "exemplary" believer, elders of plimutets At Brewster, Bradford notes his merciful relation to nuzhdayushchimsya7.

Calvin condemned the "unfair agreements" of creditors and governors contradicting the principle of public benefit and also enrichment of merchants as result spekulyatsii8. Colonists sought to be guided in everything by this principle, and the greed was presented to them by the main defect leading to its violation. As the proof of it serve descriptions of korystolyubets in Bradford's composition. Dealers who illegally sold weapon indeytsam9 belonged to their number. For fight against this evil on March 3, 1639/1640 the magistrate adopted the resolution forbidding any trade relations with Indians under the threat in 20 pounds with cheloveka10.

The main korystolyubets in the chronicle of the governor is I. Eller-ton. The dealer in cloth, he was one of the oldest members of congregation in Leiden. In colony became the first assistant to the governor Bradford, later performed functions of the agent of plimutets in England. Bradford writes: "In former years of m-r Ellerton brought a few goods for the money and sold for own benefit; what nobody did to this day". But it forgave him, "he him truly served in all the rest and also as sold them to local settlers, than satisfied their requirements". Merchants trusted Ellerton goods, believing that "to him there will be from it some benefit, and harm will not leave to anybody".

Under the agreement of 1626, colonists agreed about acquisition of shares of the English shareholders for 1,800 pounds in favor of all male adult colonists. For payment of this sum trade of Plymouth was redeemed from settlers by "businessmen" of colony (At Bradford, M. Stendish, I. Ellerton, E. Winslow, At Brewster, J. Huo-landom, J. Alden, T. Prins) for six years. However because the debt burden repeatedly increased at the beginning of the 1630th because of untidiness of Ellerton and partners, four former shareholders of the company, "businessmen" were forced to prolong annually this monopoly till 1640 11

When colonists made sure that "goods the most running usually belonged to it [Ellertona]; and he began to sell them already Wad Dra -

to gy settlements. And it, considering their commitment to common cause, it was not pleasant to them" 12. As a result their position interfered with business which was done by "businessmen". After a break with them, Ellerton continued to conduct trade activity in the next colonies.

So, settlers allowed a possibility of extraction of "some" benefit, however a measure of this benefit for them was observance of interests of inhabitants of colony.

Therefore the authorities constrained enterprise activity in Plymouth. In particular, permission of magistrate to construction of a mill of 1636/1637 ("privilege" on its construction was received by the major J. Jannie) regulated a payment for the right to make the thresh and a grinding of a maize which was the main culture in colony. It was necessary to raise half-gallon from each bushel of a maize within the first two years after a mill construction. After this term of Jannie had the right to raise "only a quart in bushel for everything that will bring others on a mill. But if he brings and will grind its [maize] or it will be made by its serventa, then to raise as a payment a half of gallon for each bushel, as before" 13. Possibly, the payment for a grinding in the first two years had to compensate expenses on construction of a mill. Subsequently it became easy for the farmer, and the income of the businessman was significantly limited.

In turn the "main" colonists, making the decision on monopolization of trade of New Plymouth, insisted that do it for the sake of public benefit. They pursued two aims: payment of debts of colony and moving of Leiden "brothers" to New Plimut14. Bradford notes that they acted from "fraternal affection and Christian care", risked, "having undertaken heavy obligations" to complete this business. However "carried out it willingly and joyfully and never demanded and did not receive Kako-go-or compensations of all considerable expenses". Expenses on moving of both groups of leydenets in 1629-1630 made more than 550 pounds Besides, their keeping in colony was carried out at the expense of other plimutets up to the following harvest: the first group - 16 months, the second - 1815.

The cost of property of most of colonists - "businessmen" fluctuated from 150 to 400 pounds. Meanwhile from 1631 to 1636 they sent to partners only of beaver skins for the sum more than 10 thousand pounds. As a result through what hands there passed thousands of pounds of fur in the first half of the 1630th, finished the "enterprise pits" with "very modest fortunes" 16.

Ellerton became the supplier of goods for the enterprise Ashley. However this trading station became the main competitor of colony in fur trade, and supply with its exchange goods happened much better, than snabzhe-

ny New Plymouth. So the agent of settlers did harm to the settlement about which prosperity had to be concerned first of all and by that "went beyond" own calling. Later it became clear that Eller-ton involved colonists in big debts to the English partners (more than 4,770 pounds), having dumped on them expenses and losses from the business activity. In this regard Bradford remembers the words of the apostle Timofey that "the root of all evils is srebrolyuby".

The pastor Robinson eloquently wrote about the same, convincing colonists that those "sincerely strove for general welfare and as plagues avoided disastrous for wellbeing of all and everyone care of own benefit in anything... Let everyone constrain in itself(himself) self-interest, let the community as rebels punish those who rise against general welfare and suppress all private human aspirations which are not answering to common goals" 17. Possibly, the magistrate was guided by this reason, adopting the law which limited compensation of mowers in New Plymouth. In it it was said that those mowers, "which received excessive earnings, namely three shillings a day, have to appear [before magistrate] if they did not return [surplus]" 18. The resolution was accepted on August 29, 1643, and, most likely, was caused by seasonal increase in demand for work of mowers.

Calvin realized that achievement of a prosperity often happens also without God's blessing, but considered that such success is subject proklyatiyu19. Possibly, this thought of the reformer was not so simple for understanding. Colonists considered losses or loss of property as the God's certificate of a penalty only in the presence of proofs that the victim caused a loss to general welfare. So, reporting about supply of colony in 1625, Bradford writes that shareholders on account of the goods delivered in colony (with a margin) sent two vessels which plimutets loaded with fur and fish to 70%. However this operation did not make the expected profit. About it Bradford notices: "Others said that God punished them for what was taken very much from poor settlers; but Lord's courts are incomprehensible, and I do not dare to speak about them..." 20

Narrating about the losses suffered by someone, Bradford seeks to emphasize that he does not interfere with the interpretation in the sphere of judgments of the Lord. He arrives, as well as it befits the obedient pupil of Calvin. On the other hand, in its narration event assessment by other plimutets who express public opinion is felt. Though Bradford allows the reader to draw the unique conclusion on actions of any given persons. Therefore total assessment which the governor gives to Ellerton looks natural: "Yes the Lord will help it to see the evil created by it with the failures and repentance it is simpler to deserve -

є for all troubles that it brought to much, but all more - to our unfortunate settlement" 21.

The aspiration to general welfare assumed assistance to persons in need. Calvin insisted that the main duty of the Christian is care of the neighbor and the help to each poor without exception, and allowed to cease to sacrifice only when for this purpose there is not enough VOZMOZhNOSTI22. In this question the colonists were "more moderate" and "less idealistic", than Calvin. Arguments of Kashmen who persuaded colonists to accept the conditions changed by shareholders in own favor are characteristic: "It is impossible in such business as ours to shout: "We are poor people, give us on poverty!" Charity is appropriate there where ruin, but not where money is invested..." 23 At the same time settlers helped more than once though it laid down a burden on them. They acted with the people sent by the former shareholder T. Weston this way: "And as accepted seven of his people earlier and fed on an equal basis with [people], so accepted also these... also sheltered together with their property. And as many were sick, provided them all the best that was available". Though plimutets knew that the organization in New England of own enterprise was Weston's purpose, they supported about three months 60 men, and patients still dolshe24.

The indicative example of mercy in relation to colonists from the person unfamiliar to them meets at Bradford. J. Hadlston, the captain of one of fishing vessels, having learned that settlers starve, offered them the help: Please... to allow me to follow the old rule, at school me acquired: the one whom misfortunes of others do not leave indifferent is happy". The supplies received from Hadlston were divided me5vdu by settlers and allowed them to hold on to new urozhaya25.

For colonists the act of the captain was represented quite natural and appropriate. Care of the poor in Plymouth was imputed a duty to the authorities of colony and officials of each city. The efficiency of this system was expressed in a small amount of applications on assistance from poor people. While in 1630 300-400 people, and in 1643 already about 2 thousand 26 lived in colony, from 1630 to 1645 only 57 cases of the address of poor people for the help to vlastyam27 are recorded.

Thus, plimutets, strictly following "spirit of the doctrine" of Calvin, under the influence of vital realities send on the way of simplification and giving of pragmatism it to views of wealth and poverty. Nevertheless, the basis of the concept of "calling" - service to the neighbor, - remained invariable that was brightly shown in commitment of colonists to the principle of general welfare. This principle served settlers as the main criterion in assessment about -

of outgoing events and the management in own actions. And it, in turn, led to restriction of a commercial initiative in New Plymouth.

1 Langdon G.D. Pilgrim Colony: A History of New Plymouth, 1620-1691. New Haven, 1966. P. 7.
2 Zh. Calvin. Manual in Christian belief. T. 2, book III. M, 1999. Page 163, 171, 186, 298, 364-365.
3 Bradford W. Letter Book 11 Puritan personal writings. Vol. 8. Autobiographies and other writings. N.Y., 1981. P. 35.
4 Ibid. P. 41.
5 Bradford W. Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647. N.Y., 1952. P. 90.
6 Ibid. P. 219. Fears of plimutets were confirmed, soon Ashley was sent from colony for traffic in arms with Indians.
7 Bradford W. Of Plymouth Plantation. P. 326-327.
8 John Calvin (Documents of modern history). N.Y., 1983. P. 120-121.
9 Bradford W. Of Plymouth Plantation. P. 205.
10 Foundations of Colonial America: A documentary history. Vol. 1. N.Y., 1973. P. 444. (Double dating is caused by the fact that approach of new year according to the English tradition happened on March 25 therefore 1639 designates year according to chronology in colony, and 1640 - historical date).
11 Bradford W. Of Plymouth Plantation. P. 211.
12 Ibid. P. 211.
13 Foundations of Colonial America... P. 444.
14 Bradford W. Letter Book. P. 59.
15 Bradford W. Of Plymouth Plantation. P. 214.
16 Bailyn B. The New England merchants in the Seventeenth century. Cambr. (Mass.), 1976. P. 24.
17 Bradford W. Of Plymouth Plantation. P. 369-370.
18 Foundations of Colonial America... P. 444.
19 Zh. Calvin. Decree. soch. T. 2, book III. Page 162.
20 Bradford W. Of Plymouth Plantation. P. 177.
21 Ibid. P. 239.
22 Zh. Calvin. Decree. soch. T. 2, book III. Page 159, 162.
23 Bradford W. Of Plymouth Plantation. P. 363.
24 Ibid. P. 109.
25 Ibid. P. 110.
26 Stratton E.A. Plymouth Colony: Its History People, 1620-1691. Salt Lake City, 1986. P. 50, 70-72.

The 11th Lee Ch.R. Public Poor Relief and the Massachusetts Community, 1620-1715//Puritans and Yankees: Selected Articles on New England Colonial History 1974 to 1984. N.Y.; L., 1988. P. 326.

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