OPEN: The year was 1620.
102 pilgrims were huddled below deck and no hatches open because of continuous storms. All non-essential personnel required to stay below decks; there was the constant crying of small children; there was no chance to cook any meals.
The pilgrims spent 7 weeks in an ill-lit, rolling, pitching, stinking pit of human misery.
Still – in the midst of all this hardship, they constantly prayed and sang and confessed their sins.
This didn’t play well with the crew - one of which made it his personal agenda to mock the Pilgrims at every turn. He gloated at their sickness and delight in telling them how much he looked forward to sewing them in shrouds and feeding them to the fish. For surely some of them would soon be dying—death was a familiar late among landlubbers on these long voyages—and these were the puniest assortment of "psalmsinging puke-stockings" he’d ever seen.
But he was wrong.
There were only two deaths on the voyage of the Mayflower.
Guess who the first one to die was?
At the peak of his tormenting, this same crewman suddenly took gravely ill of an unknown fever and he died within a single day! No one else caught this mysterious disease, and his was the first shrouded body to go over side.
From that day on, the crew lost their enthusiasm to mock the pilgrims.
(The Light and the Glory Peter Marshall, David Manuel, p. 117)
When they finally reached the shores of the New World, finding a proper harbor for the Pilgrims was difficult. But they finally settled on what should have been the most disastrous piece of land available. It had been inhabited by the fiercest and most deadly Indian tribe anywhere along the coast.
But when they left their ship there were no Indians to be found.
The tribe had been decimated by a terrible plague that had swept through their people just a year or two before. When the Pilgrims left their ship they found that the land that had already b ...
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