Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

by the back way,—it seems that you were afraid of the front way, lest it should affect the people too much,—to the place of execution, and caused the drums to beat when they attempted to speak, (hard work !) and placed them near the drums, that the people, who flocked about them in great multitudes, might not hear them when they spoke,-as you used to imprison any that you found looking in at the prison-windows, when they came there to visit them, thinking thereby to keep the Seed of God under, and their testimony from having a place in the people. But the more ye strove to hinder, the more it took effect (to wit, the message that they brought) and had place in their hearts; and the more cruel you were, the deeper place it took, which in due time will come forth and manifest itself. I say, your captain caused his drums to beat when they sought to speak; and he would not cease beating his drums whilst they were speaking, though they spake to him, -a barbarous inhumanity, to be used to a suffering people, never heard of before in the English nation. And, as he led them to the place of execution, your old and bloody priest Wilson, your high-priest of Boston, who was so old in blood that he would have had Samuel Gorton, and those with him, to be put to death long ago for their differing in religion; and, when it was parted by but one vote, was so mad that he openly inveighed against them who did it, saying in the pulpit, “Because thou hast let go the man whom I have appointed to destruction, thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people," he preaching from that text; and further said,* “He would carry fire in one hand, and fagots in the other, to burn all the Quakers in the world.” And having some of those people's books in his hand, when they were burning Friends' books by your order, threw them into the fire, saying, “From the devil they came, and to the devil let them go!”-a blasphemous wretch! He who said to you, when you sat on the trial of these men, “Hang them, or else —" drawing his finger athwart his throat, and thus making signs for their throats to be cut if you did not hang them, I say, that this your bloody old high-priest, with others of his brethren in iniquity and in persecuting the just, met these sufferers in your train-field, and instead of having a sense upon him suitable to such an occasion, and as is usual with men of any tenderness, he fell a-taunting of W. Robinson, and shaking his head in a light, scoffing manner, said, “Shall such jacks as you come in before authority with your. hats on?” with many other taunting words. To which W. Robinson replied, “Mind you! mind you ! it is for the not putting off the hat that we are put to death." And when W. Robinson went cheerfully up the ladder, to the topmost round above the gallows, and spoke to the people, “That they suffered not as evildoers, but as those who testified and manifested the Truth; and that this was the day of their visitation, and he therefore desired them to mind the Light that was in them, the Light of Christ, of which he testified, and was now going to seal it with his blood," this old priest, in much wickedness, said, “Hold thy tongue ! be silent! Thou art going to die with a lie in thy mouth,”—when he spake of the Light of Christ within, which testified against evil, as that which was sufficient to bring unto God, and for the testimony of which he then suffered.

* This is that priest Wilson, whom C. Mather, in his late History of New England, so much commends, and with his brother in iniquity, John Norton,-of whom more hereafter,-ranks with John Cotton, a man of better spirit in his day, under the title of "Reverend and Renowned Ministers of the Gospel,” comparing him to David and John the Apostle; and calls, “that great saint and worthy man," that was such an irreverent, unworthy, and bloodthirsty persecutor of the people of God. But, let him know, that sinners are no saints; nor, “no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." -1 John iii. 15.

So being come to the place of execution hand in hand, as to a wedding-day, all three of them with great cheerfulness of heart, and having taken leave of each other with the dear embraces of one another in the love of the Lord, your executioner put W. Robinson to death, and after him M. Stevenson, who died, both of them, full of the joy of the Lord, and steadfast in Him, and have received a crown of life; sealing their testimony with their blood, their countenances not changing, though the priests had thought to have found it otherwise, and some of them had spoken to this purpose, that they should see whether they would change countenance when they had a halter about their necks; but they

remained as fresh, in a manner, even after they were dead as before, as was observed by some. The bodies being dead, your executioner and officers were so barbarous, that when their dead bodies were cut down, they were suffered to fall to the ground, by which the skull of W. Robinson was broken, his body being stiff ere it was cut down; and, when down, their shirts were ripped off with a knife, and their naked bodies cast into a hole that was digged in the earth, without any covering. And when some Friends came, and desired that their bodies be put into coffins, and so into some enclosed ground, where beasts might not turn them up, your executioner suffered them to wrap them in linen, and to put them in again. But he suffered them not to take them away, saying, “He was strictly charged to the contrary,"—which was worse than Pilate, who gave unto Joseph the body of Jesus when he desired it. And, when a Friend had caused pales to be brought, to fence the place into which they were cast, that so their bodies might not be preyed upon by the brute creatures, seeing you would not suffer them to be removed, but left their bodies together in a pit, in an open field, which was soon covered with water; and, to make up all, when they were thus martyred by your order, your said priest Wilson made a ballad on those whom you had martyred.

Thus have I traced you through your deeds of darkness, and laid your blood-guiltiness * in order before you, and your other cruelties and monstrous barbarisms to the innocent, which shall not depart from your houses forever,--the Lord hath spoken it; but shall be visited upon you when time shall be no more. For

* It is plain their blood-guiltiness hath not departed from their houses, by what hath followed, nor never will till they repent, being like the iniquity of Eli's house, that shall not be purged with offering nor sacrifice forever, but hath been visited upon them ever since, as by the judgments of wars, blastings, fires, losses, sickness, sudden deaths, possessions, and witchcrafts, confessed by Cotton Mather to have continually followed them, as in his Book on Witches, pagos 37, 38, hereafter inentioned; and that their hour was over, thoy not repenting. So that Mather, in his llistory of the Wars, page 18, confesses that they might say, as some of old, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” See also puges 21-25, of his said book.

the hour of your visitation is over, as was told you by M. Stevenson it should be, after you had passed this sentence, if ye put them to death. And you have put them to death, and in that despite and with that cruelty, and after that barbarous manner, as aforesaid; and the hour of your visitation is past, -you who had to do with this thing.

And because, when W. Robinson was bidden to speak, if he had anything to say, wherefore you should not proceed to give sentence of death against him, he desired that his paper, giving the cause of his coming and abiding in your jurisdiction, might be read, fury rose up in your governor, and the form of his visage

-like Nebuchadnezzar's—was changed, and he said, “It should not be read, and that the Court would not hear it," and so in effect forbidding that which he bade him do, I shall set down the contents thereof, and of M. Stevenson's call into your parts,for which ye put him to death,—as a perpetual record to after ages of that for which they suffered, and to your everlasting shame:

William Robinson's Paper to the Court, before he was sentenced

to death, concerning the cause of their coming into those parts, for which they were put to death, which the governor in a great fury said should not be read, and that the Court would not hear it,"

WHICH WAS IN THESE WORDS:“On the 8th day of the Eighth month, 1659, in the after part of the day, in travelling betwixt Newport, in Rhode Island, "and Daniel Gould's house, with my dear brother, Christopher “Holder, the Word of the Lord came expressly to me, which “ did fill me immediately with life and power, and heavenly love, “ by which He constrained me and commanded me to pass to “the town of Boston, my life to lay down in His will, for the “accomplishing of His service that He had there to perform at “ the day appointed. To which Heavenly Voice I presently yielded obedience, not questioning the Lord how. He would “ bring the thing to pass, being I was a child, and obedience “ was demanded of me by the Lord, who filled me with living “strength and power from His heavenly presence, which at that “ time did mightily overshadow me, and my life at that time did “say Amen to what the Lord required of me and had com“manded me to do: and willingly was I given up, from that “time to this day, the will of the Lord to do and perform, what“ever became of my body. For the Lord had said unto me, “ Thy soul shall rest in everlasting peace, and thy life shall .“enter into rest, for being obedient to the God of thy life;' I

“ being a child, and durst not question the Lord in the least, but “ rather willing to lay down my life than to bring dishonour to “the Lord. And as the Lord made me willing, dealing gently “ and kindly with me, as a tender father by a faithful child whom “he dearly loves, so the Lord did deal with me, in ministering His life unto me, which gave and gives me strength to perform “ what the Lord required of me; and still, as I did and do stand “in need, He ministered and ministereth more strength and vir“ tue, and heavenly power and wisdom, whereby I was and am “ made strong in God, not fearing what man shall be suffered to “ do unto me; being filled with heavenly courage, which is meek“ness and innocency; for it is the Lord's cause that we go in, “and the battle is the Lord's. And thus saith the Lord of hosts, “the mighty and terrible God, “Not by strength, nor by might, “nor by power of man, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of “ hosts,' I will perform what My mouth hath spoken, through “ My servants whom I have chosen, Mine elect in whom My soul " delighteth. Friends, the God of my life, and the God of the “whole earth, did lay this thing upon me, for which I now suffer “bonds near unto death: He, by His almighty power and ever“ lasting love, constrained me, and laid this thing upon me; and “ truly I could not deny the Lord, much less resist the Holy One “ of Israel. Therefore, all who are ignorant of the motion of the “ Lord in the inward parts, be not hasty in judging in this matter, « lest ye speak evil of the things ye know not; for, of a truth, the “Lord God of heaven and earth commanded me by His Spirit, “and spake unto me by His Son, whom He hath made heir of all “things, and in His life I live, and in it I shall depart this earthly

« AnteriorContinuar »