John Cotton explains his mission

A simpler expression of the Christian faith

John Cotton helped establish the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • John Cotton helped establish the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

To exhort all that are planted at home, or intend to plant abroad, to look well to your plantation, as you desire that the sons of wickedness may not afflict you at home, nor enemies abroad, look that you be right planted, and then you need not to fear, you are safe enough: God hath spoken it, I will plant them, and they shall not be moved, neither shall the sons of wickedness afflict them any more…. Secondly, for consolation to them that are planted by God in any place, that find rooting and establishing from God, this is a cause of much encouragement unto you, that what he hath planted he will maintain, every plantation his right hand hath not planted shall be rooted up, but his own plantation shall prosper, and flourish. When he promiseth peace and safety, what enemies shall be able to make the promise of God of none effect? Neglect not walls, and bulwarks, and fortifications for your own defense; but ever let the name of the Lord be your strong tower; and the word of his promise the rock of your refuge. His word that made heaven and earth will not fail, till heaven and earth be no more. Amen.

— From “God’s Promise to His Plantation,” London, 1630, a sermon preached as advice to colonists by John Cotton.

John Cotton (1584–1652) was an English clergyman who journeyed to the American colonies to help establish the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Having established himself as a Puritan theologian and scholar of high reputation, Cotton preached a simpler expression of the Christian faith than that which the Anglican Church at the time was practicing. While he maintained his position as pastor at St. Botolph Church, Boston, England, he was eventually pressured into fleeing to the New World where he became instrumental in establishing a new Boston in the heart of a New England.

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