William Bradford was one of the original Pilgrim fathers who landed at Cape Cod, in present day Massachusettes, in 1620.  At that time, Bradford and roughly 100 others established Plymouth Colony. Bradford ruled Plymouth as governor from 1621 until almost the time of his death. His history of the Pilgrim’s settlement in the New World, Of Plymouth Plantation, is the only surviving historical work written by someone on the Mayflower. Bradford was a devout Christian and follower of Jesus. The following poem gives an account of his faith and obedience to the Lord through a life filled with many ups and downs. Happy Thanksgiving friends! I hope the example of this man of faith will encourage your heart on this day, November 22, 2018.

Providence and the Pilgrim by William Bradford (1590-1657)

From my years young in days of youth,

God did make known to me His truth.

And call’d me from my native place,

For to enjoy the means of grace.

In wilderness He did me guide,

And in strange lands for me provide.

In fears and wants, through weal and woe,

A pilgrim, passed I to and fro:

Oft left of them whom I did trust,

How vain it is to rest on dust!

A man of sorrows I have been,

And many changes I have seen.

Wars, wants, peace, plenty have I known;

And some advanc’d, others thrown down.

The humble, poor, cheerful, and glad;

Rich, discontent, sower, and sad:

When fears and sorrows have been mixt,

Consolations came betwixt.

Faint not, poor soul, in God still trust,

Fear not the things thou suffer must;

For, whom He loves He doth chastise,

And then all tears wipes from their eyes.

Farewell, dear children, whom I love,

Your better Father is above;

When I am gone, He can supply;

To Him I leave you when I die.

Fear Him in truth, walk in His ways,

And He will bless you all your days.

My days are spent, old age is come,

My strength it fails, my glass near run.

Now I will wait, when work is done,

Until my happy change shall come,

When from my labors I shall rest,

With Christ above for to be blessed.

http://www.bartleby.com/400/poem/26.html (accessed 21 November 2018)