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The Pilgrims and Human Sacrifice Among the Wampanoag Tribe

Paul Jehle talks about human sacrifice in Plymouth colony in the 1600s.

The following legend is taken from the Scott Corbett’s book, Cape Cod’s Way: An Informal History of Cape Cod (New York: Thomas Crowell 1955). The information can be found in the Plymouth archives.

Once upon a time the old village of Monument nestled under the side of a hill near the Manomet River. That hamlet has now become the village of Bourne, and the canal has swallowed up the river as part of its route. The feeling of altitude, unusual on the Cape, remains, and somehow on a black night the spot reminds me of the Catskills in one of their pleasantly spooky moods. The village of Bourne is still a place where, on a murky, whispering evening, it is easy … to imagine what the frightful scene must have been like the night Richard Bourne called down the wrath of God on the Indians to stop their barbarous human sacrifices.

It was during this time [mid-1600s] that Richard Bourne was doing his good work among the Indians. His efforts met with great success, but apparently he had to cure the heathens of a few bad habits first. The legend of Richard Bourne and the Indian sacrifices involves a large rock north of the Bourne fire tower which was once called Sacrifice Rock, and later Chamber Rock. Tradition says it was here that the Indians offered sacrifices, sometimes human.

On one occasion, Bourne chanced upon the scene in the midst of a ritual of torture and death, and gave them a horrified warning to stop. When they would not, he called the wrath of God down upon them. A bolt of lightning instantly split the rock, killing an impressive number of Indians. After a home demonstration of that magnitude, the survivors must have been ready for speedy conversion to Christianity. At any rate, the first meetinghouse built for Indians in Plymouth County stood at the base of Indian Burial Hill in Bournedale and was well attended. Thomas Tupper, one of the “ten men of Saugus” who settled Sandwich, had charge of the meetinghouse. In 1696 he was preaching to one hundred and eighty Indians there.

NOTES:

Reverend Richard Bourne was born in 1610 in Barnstable, County Devonshire, England and died on September 18th, 1682 in Sandwich, Massachusetts. He came to Plymouth Mass about 1635. His ancestry traces back to Sir John Bourne, Secretary of State to Queen Mary (1553-1558). Richard, aged 24, left England, coming by way of St. Kitts & Barbados, arriving in America January 1st, 1635. He stayed with his brother Henry in Scituate Mass. Richard was one of the earliest settlers of Shawmee, Mass, later incorporated in 1637 as Sandwich, Mass. (Part of Sandwich became Bourne, Mass. in 1884.)

Richard Bourne had many interests but his work with the Indians is probably the most outstanding. The continued peace with the Indians was due more to his efforts than to the military forces. He learned the Indian language and began his work about 1658. He was ordained pastor of the Indian Church at Mashpee in 1670. Richard purchased at his own expense 16 square miles as a permanent home for the Mashpee Indians. He translated the Lords Prayer into the Indian language — copies are available at the Aptucxet Trading Post near Bourne. In 1919 Indians were still living on the land given them by Richard.

Thomas Tupper II was born at Sandwich, Mass., in 1638 and died in 1706. He became a freeman at the age of 20. He served on a jury in 1664, was an Exciseman in 1677 and Town Constable in 1669. He was a Selectman for 14 years, Town Clerk for 10 years, Deputy to General Court at Plymouth for 11 years. A Representative to the Court of Boston and in 1680 was appointed Lieutenant of the Military Company in Sandwich, becoming Captain in 1690. He had strong religious convictions and for many years was a Missionary among the Indians.

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

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— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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