Each Thanksgiving Day, when our family gathered together, and right before the meal, we would all join hands in the kitchen where my grandmother would recite (from memory) the following poem. Note: It was actually required reading and she had to memorize it and recite it as part of the class curriculum when she was in grammar school. Boy have things changed! My grandma went to be with the Lord on June 6, 2007.
The Landing of the Pilgrims
The breaking waves dashed high,
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
Their giant branches tossed;
And the heavy night hung dark
The hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles moored their bark
On the wild New England shore.
Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true-hearted came;
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame;
Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear;--
They shook the depths of the desert gloom
With their hymns of lofty cheer.
Amidst the storm they sang,
And the stars heard, and the sea;
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free!
The ocean eagle soared
From his nest by the white wave's foam;
And the rocking pines of the forest roared—
This was their welcome home!
There were men with hoary hair.
Amidst that pilgrim band:
Why had they come to wither there,
Away from their childhood's land?
There was woman's fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow serenely high,
And the fiery heart of youth.
What sought they thus afar?
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?—
They sought a faith's pure shrine!
Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod.
They have left unstained what there they found—
Freedom to worship God.
If you have never studied the history of the Church of England; the “Act of Conformity”; the Pilgrims; the Geneva Bible; followed by the “Great Awakening” I encourage you to do so. So many of us have no idea who the Pilgrim's were and why they came to America. Here's just a taste:
The story of the Pilgrims is a riveting chronicle of a small group of everyday folks who changed the world. They laid the foundation for what would eventually evolve into our Constitutional form of government; a form of government that, in the beginning (at least), clearly recognized the God of the Bible as the holy sovereign He is, and applied principles of His law as the basic foundation for all civil government.
It is worth noting that the Pilgrims did not change the world as they did by conquering nations with powerful armies, or with political wrangling and domination. On the contrary, they changed the course of history by living simple, separate, deliberate, and obedient lives for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom. Christians of today can learn much from the Pilgrim example.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!