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On this day, four hundred years ago, the Mayflower Compact was signed by forty-one men aboard the Mayflower. Here is a sample:

“Haveing undertaken, for ye glorie of God, and advancemente of ye Christian faith and honor of our king & country, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly & mutually in ye presence of God, and of one another, covenant, & combine ourselves together into a Civill body politick; for our better ordering, & preservation & furtherance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hereof to enacte, constitute, and frame such just & equall Lawes, ordinances, Acts, constituions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be tought most meet & convenient for ye generall good of ye colonie: unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.”

See the current edition of Ordained Servant for more on this theme.