Eighteen men on board the Shallop (small sailing vessel) sailed into Plymouth harbor on Friday, December 8, 1620 in the midst of a storm. They had lost their mast as well as their rudder and became shipwrecked on an island.
After drying out on Saturday and repairing their Shallop, it was too late to land that day. The next day was Sunday, and since they honored the Sabbath, they would not land on that day but held a church service, probably near the large boulder now known as Pulpit Rock in the center of Clark’s Island. Then, on Monday, December 11, they landed on what is now known as Plymouth Rock.
The interesting providence is that the pilgrim church had been taught that religious liberty is internal, and civil liberty external. The first precedes the second and is in proportion to it. They held a service at Pulpit Rock before landing on Plymouth Rock, and the first boulder is more than 20 times larger than the second. If our religious convictions do not exceed our civil ones, we lose both.