Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v3

156 LIVES OF THE PURITANS. in one place to flee onto another ; and that he wished to enjoy all the ordinances of God in their scriptural purity,. Taking leave of his numerous friends at Boston, he travelled to London in disguise. Upon his arrival in the metropolis, several eminent ministers proposed to have a conference, with a view to persuade him to conform, to which he readily consented. At this conference, all their arguments in favour of conformity were first produced ; all of which Mr. Cotton is said to have answered to their satisfaction. He then gave them his arguments for noncon- fonnity, with his reasons for resolving to leave the country, rather than conform to the ecclesiastical impositions. In the conclusion, instead of bringing Mr. Cotton to embrace their sentiments and conform, they all espoused his opinions ; and from that time Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Thomas Goodwin, Mr. Philip Nye; Mr. John Davenport, Mr. Henry Whit- field, and some others, became avowed nonconformists, for which they were all afterwards driven into a foreign land.t Mr. Davenport, one of the opponents, giving his opinion of this conference, thus observes : " Mr. Cotton," says he, " answered all our arguments with great evidence of scrip- ture, composedness of mind, mildness of spirit, constant adherence to his principles ; keeping them unshaken, and himself from varying from them, by any thing that was spoken. The reason of our desiring to confer with him, rather than any other, upon these weighty points, was, our former' knowledge of his approved godliness, excellent learning, sonnd judgment, eminent gravity, and sweet temper, whereby he could quietly bear with those who differed from him."1- Mr. Cotton having fully resolved upon crossing the Atlantic, John Winthrop, esq. governor of the new planta- tion, procured letters of recommendation from the church at Boston to their brethren in New England, He took shipping the beginning of July, 1633, and arrived at Boston in New England the beginning of September fol- lowing. He had for his companions in the voyage, the excellent Mr. Hookerand Mr. Stone, both driven from their native country by the intolerant proceedings of the bishops. After being about a month at sea, Mrs. Cotton was 'delivered of a son; who, from the place of his birth, was .1Hasachusets' Papers, p. 55-57. 1- Mather's Mist. b. iii. p. 20-218. I Norton's Life of Mr, Cotton, p.32, 33. Edit. 1658.