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Legacy of the Pilgrims...

Growing up, I loved American History.  I still do!

When I was a little girl, my family and I headed up to New England for a summer vacation.  One of our stops was Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower and Plimouth Plantation.  The story of the Pilgrims was always my favorite.

And much to my delight, my mom recently discovered, while researching our family's geneology, that our ancestors have a connection to the Pilgrims!  

I am now blessed to live just 45 minutes away from Plymouth.  It is still one of  my favorite places to visit, especially around Thanksgiving.  We used to love to take our children to the annual Thanksgiving Parade held there the weekend before Thanksgiving.   One year they passed out orange foam turkeys to wear on your head.  My husband took great delight in doing so!  lol.

It had been quite a while since my husband and I had visited Plymouth around Thanksgiving, but yesterday that changed...

We enjoyed a beautiful, sunny afternoon in Plymouth.  One of my favorite places to go is Burial Hill which overlooks the water and downtown Plymouth.  







One cannot help but become reflective standing on the ground where some of the Pilgrims once stood, burying their loved ones...

Old historic grave stones, neatly scripted words etched in stone, glimpses into the life of the person buried beneath.   Inscriptions describing who they belonged to on earth and Whose they were in Heaven.     

Epitaphs that left a record, set in stone, of personal character and the hope of eternal life...




In belief of Christianity I lived.
In the hope of a glorious resurrection I died.




Epitaphs that described the service of the Saints buried beneath...



"Here lyeth buried ye body 
of that precious servant of God, 
MR. THOMAS CUSHMAN, 
who, after he had served his 
generation according to the 
will of God and particularly 
the Church of Plymouth
for many years in the office of 
ruling elder, fell asleep in Jesus
December 10th 1691"

Epitaphs describing virtuous and devoted wives and mothers...


Gazing over the gravestones, I imagine that great day, when all the saints buried beneath will rise from the ground to meet Jesus in the air...

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 
1 Thessalonians 4:17

 These great saints, their love for Christ so evident in the legacy of the stone left behind...



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plymouth is also home to the magnificent National Monument to the Forefathers.

On the occasion of its dedication in 1889, the following poem was read...

“This Monument, where Virtue, Courage, Law and Learning sit, 
Calm Faith, above them, grasping Holy Writ; 
Whitehand upraised o’er beauteous trusting eyes,
 and pleading fingerpointing to the skies.
– John Boyle O’Reilley.”








My  husband and I visited here as the sun was setting.  Although the lighting didn't make for as clear a picture as I would have liked,  it made for a beautiful special effect, the rays of sun shining behind the monument, clouds streaking across blue skies.


The following excerpts are from The Rewriting of America’s History © 1991, 2011 by Catherine Millard.

The central figure of the monument represents Faith; her one foot rests on a replica of Plymouth Rock and holds an open Bible in her left hand.  Her right hand points heavenward.  The symbolism represents trust in God and His unfailing words, those written in the Bible.

There are four seated figures that represent Christian values and principles modeled by the Pilgrims themselves.

Morality holds the Ten Commandments in her left hand and the scroll of Revelation – the
last book of the Bible, in the right. She is flanked by an Old Testament Prophet on one side, and the
Evangelists on the other.

Law is tempered with Justice on the one hand, and Mercy on the other.

Education is represented with the Wisdom of maturity on one side and Youth following Experience on the other.

Liberty is accompanied by Peace on the one side and the Overthrow of Tyranny on the opposite side.

The main pedestal has four polished facades. Two of these bear the names of the Mayflower Pilgrims, while another bears the following inscription...



I could not adequately describe the symbolic details of the National Monument to the Forefathers.  It is truly a sight to behold.  The atmosphere around the monument feels like that of silent worship prior to a church service... tourists quietly taking in the significance of every facade...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I left Plymouth that day feeling sadness...

Sadness of how far we as a nation have come from the Word-saturated, Gospel-centered, prayerful and Christ-like lives of the Pilgrims and our forefathers...

Indeed, their lives were extremely difficult experiencing unbearable grief burying infant after infant, husbands burying wife after wife, wives burying husbands lost at sea, kin burying kin who had succumbed to illness, yet I would venture to say these Pilgrims had the underlying Peace and Joy that only Christ can bring in the midst of the fiery trials.  They stayed true to their calling as servants of the Lord...  A true testament to living a life in the Word, hour after hour, day in and day out...

When I first set out to write this post, I had one thought in mind in which I was going to build the whole post off of, but as it came time to write that thought, the Holy Spirit convicted me and what I had planned to say was not quite accurate...

Originally, I was going to state that 21st Century Pilgrims have many more distractions than the Pilgrims of  long ago.  Distractions of social media, work, school, children's activities, social engagements, and even ministry activities that have taken the place of being in the Word.

But the reality is, the 17th century Pilgrims had more distractions than the 21st century Pilgrims.  Distractions that were actually all consuming!  Caring for those who were sick time and time again; suffering through and subsequent grief from the death of one child after the other; and extremely hard physical labor all day every day...  Yet the 17th Century Pilgrims, whose days didn't seem to have enough hours to complete all the work of their hands, still made abundant time to study the Word of God and assimilate into their daily lives as evidenced in the record of their deaths on that hill top burial ground in Plymouth...  And in the immortalized legacy of the Christian values depicted on the Monument to Our Forefathers.

Oh that we would have a hunger for the Scriptures like the Pilgrims did who clung to every Word that proceeded from the mouth of God to bring Him Glory and to receive the blessing of joy and peace in the midst of trials...

We may not be able to change the course of America which seems to have taken God out of almost everything, but we can change the course of the way that we as 21st Century Pilgrims conduct our lives...  Let us allow the example of the Plymouth Pilgrims to push away any excuse that we are too busy to be in the Word of God so that our light may shine before men in life as their's has in death...

I didn't leave Plymouth with just feelings of sadness, but also felt profound joy...

Joy in looking to Heaven, to my final home, where ALL the saints will be gathered around the throne room of God...   With kindred that have gone on before, all of us in the light and presence of Christ Jesus.  Oh what amazing Heavenly fellowship that will be!

...and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
Ephesians 2:6

I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.…
Revelation 21:23

No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, Or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred Will be thought accursed. They will build houses and inhabit them; They will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit.  They will not build and another inhabit, They will not plant and another eat; For as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, And My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands.…
Isaiah 65:21

My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
    in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
Isaiah 32:18


 Our earthly Pilgrimage will one day reap Heavenly joys.   Let us live to that end...




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Comments

  1. great pictures and lovely visit. We truly forget what our history was made of what sacrifices were made for us to live as we do today.

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    Replies
    1. Karen, Thank you!

      And thank you for sharing your thoughts as well.

      I appreciate your visit!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your visit to Plymouth and this bit of American history. I've never been to this part of the US.
    I wonder how our generation will be viewed in a few hundred years. Will we be blamed or praised? What will be on my tombstone?

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    Replies
    1. Constance, Your very welcome.

      I often wonder that too! And I also wonder with everything becoming digitalized, with no old books to go back and actually touch and look through, what kind of true "history" will be left behind...

      Thank you for sharing, and for stopping by.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing your visit to Plymouth. I have never been there, but would love to visit some time. I have been reading the story of the Pilgrims to my preschoolers and it really makes me want to see where all took place. It's on my bucket list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pam, You are very welcome! :-)

      I'm sure your preschoolers are enjoying learning about the Pilgrims. :-)

      I really am blessed to live in such a historic area. I hope you can check it off your bucket list one day. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Oh, dear friend! I sit here in tears, as my heart yearned for the way things were when those tombstones were erected! Especially the one thanking our forefathers for their labors for the cause of religious liberty. And, now those precious liberties they so faithfully sacrificed to give us are under attack more than any other time in the history of our great nation. Layer by layer, they are being taken away from us. I am pleading with God for a mass revival across our land...oh, that we would return to the God of our fathers! I so appreciate your posts, and I am thankful for the way you are obedient when God directs you in a different direction than what you set out to write. You are a faithful servant of God, and you are making a difference here. Thank you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, and enjoy your family. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheryl, Your tender heart is such a sweet testimony of your incredible love for the Lord. Thank you for sharing your heart for this country and for God's name to be honored and revival to come back.

      Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. They are such a blessing. All praise and honor to Him.

      Thank you! We had so much fun! I hope your day was blessed with love, laughter, family and friends.

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  5. Thank you for sharing at Weekend Whispers!

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    Replies
    1. Barbie, You are very welcome!

      Thanks for hosting! :-)

      Delete

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