What was the goal of the Pilgrim Church? It was to be an example of the original Christian church recorded in Scripture, for as Bradford states “I know not but it may be spoken to the honor of God and without prejudice to any, that such was the true piety, the humble zeal and fervent love of this people (whilst they lived together) toward God and His ways, and the single-heartedness and sincere affection one towards another, that they came as near the primitive pattern of the first churches as any other church of these later times have done, according to their rank and quality.
Pastor Robinson and Elder Brewster led the church to practice its faith within. They did for eleven years in Leyden.
Being thus settled (after many difficulties) they continued many years in a comfortable condition, enjoying much sweet and delightful society and spiritual comfort together in the ways of God, under the able ministry and prudent government of Mr. John Robinson and Mr. William Brewster… So as they grew in knowledge and other gifts and graces of the Spirit of God, and lived together in peace and love and holiness and many came unto them from divers parts of England, so as they grew a great congregation.
And if at any time any differences arose or offenses broke out (as it cannot be but some time there will, even amongst the best of men) they were ever so met with and nipped in the head betimes, or otherwise so well composed as still love, peace, and communion was continued. Or else the church purged off those that were incurable and incorrigible when, after much patience used no other means would serve, which seldom came to pass.
A church that chose its own officers, governed itself, and remained pure and peaceable was a novelty in those days and would be today as well!