It was simple, brief, and powerful document that bound the Pilgrims to live together under the rule of law, by self government, submitted to God under the authority of the Crown. It was the document that inspired our Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution. It’s also interesting that the Compact united the Separatists and the Strangers (those who did not wish to be separated from the Church of England). They recognized the need to work together.
Though the little colony of Plymouth would never know the affluence of Virginia, or the international prominence of Boston, Quebec, or New Amsterdam (New York City) its influence upon the United States is still felt today. It is the influence of faith in God and cooperating together rather than wealth and power.
These were young men and women many with their children coming to the New World to build a home and a future for their children. Interestingly they believed that this could be better accomplished by carving out a new life in the wilderness than in the society of Europe and England.
William Bradford was 31 when he was elected governor of the colony and some of the other leaders were in their twenties. They were young, full of vision, and life. The loved God, they were eager to learn, build, creative, and enjoy life. The false narratives that they were repressed and oppressive, are just lies about them. Reading the Puritans you come away knowing these people loved God, one another, celebrated the intimacy of marriage as well as the act of intimacy.
Take a moment, read the extremely brief document, and then give God thanks for these hardy and adventuresome Pilgrim fathers and their legacy of faith.
“In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereigne Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britaine, France, and Ireland king, defender of the faith, etc., having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honour of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northerne parts of Virginia, doe, by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politick, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enacte, constitute, and frame such just and equall laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete and convenient for the generall good of the Colonie unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cap-Codd the 11. of November, in the year of the raigne of our sovereigne lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fiftie-fourth. Anno. Dom. 1620.”