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“ tabernacle, if unmerciful men be suffered to take it from me. “And herein I rejoice, that the Lord is with me, the Ancient of “ Days, the Life of the suffering Seed, for which I am freely given “ up, and singly do I stand in the Will of God; for me to live is “Christ, and to die is gain; and truly I have a great desire and “ will to die herein, knowing that the Lord is with me, whatever “ignorant men shall be able to say against me; for the witness of “the Spirit I have received, and the preference of the Lord, and " His heavenly life doth accompany me, so that I can say in truth "and from an upright heart, Blessed be the Lord God of my life, "who hath counted me worthy, and called me hereunto, to bear “my testimony against ungodly and unrighteous men, who seek “ to take away the life of the righteous without a cause, as the “rulers of Massachusetts Bay do intend, if the Lord stop them “not from their intent. Oh, hear, ye rulers ! and give ear and “ listen all ye that have any hand herein, to put the innocent to " death! For in the name, and fear, and dread of the Lord “God, I here declare the cause of my staying here among you, “and continuing in the jurisdiction after there was a sentence “ of banishment upon death, as ye said, pronounced against me “ without a just cause, as ye all know, that we that were ban“ished committed nothing worthy of banishment, nor of any “punishment, much less banishment upon death. And now, ye “ rulers, ye do intend to put me and my companion to death, “unto whom the word of the Lord God came, saying, 'Go to “Boston with thy brother, W. Robinson.' Unto which com“mand he was obedient, who had said unto him, 'He had a “great work for him to do.' Which thing is now seen, and the “Lord is now a doing of it; and it is in obedience to the Lord, “the God of the whole earth, that we continued amongst ye, and “ that we came to the town of Boston again, in obedience to the “Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth, in whose hand you “ breath is. And will ye put us to death for obeying the Lord, “the God of the whole earth? Well, if ye do this act, and put “ us to death, know this and be it known unto you all, ye rulers “and people within this jurisdiction,--that whosoever hath a hand “herein, will be guilty of innocent blood. And not only upon “yourselves will ye bring innocent blood, but upon the town and “ the inhabitants thereof, and everywhere within your jurisdiction, “ that had the least hand therein. Therefore be instructed, ye “rulers of this land, and take warning betimes, and learn wisdom " before it be hid from your eyes.
“ Written in the common jail, in Boston,. the 19th of the “Eighth month, 1659, by one who feareth the Lord, who is “called a Quaker by ignorant people, and unto such am I known “ only by the name of
. “WILLIAM ROBINSON, " yet a new name have I received, which such know not.”
Marmaduke Stevenson's Paper, on his Call to the Work and Ser.
vice of the Lord. Given forth by him a little while before he was put to death, and after he had received his sentence :
“In the beginning of the year 1655, I was at the plough in the “ East part of Yorkshire, in Old England, near the place where “my outward being was; and as I walked after the plough, I was “ filled with the love and the presence of the living God, which “ did ravish my heart when I felt it; for it did increase and “abound in me like a living stream, so did the love and life of “God run through me like precious ointment, giving a pleasant ".smell which made me to stand still; and as I stood a little still, " with my heart and mind staid on the Lord, the Word of the
“fectly, saying to me, in the secret of my heart and conscience, "I have ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.' And at the “ hearing of the Word of the Lord, I was put to a stand, being " that I was but a child for such a weighty matter. So at the “ time appointed, Barbadoes was set before me, unto which I was “ required of the Lord to go, and leave my dear and loving wife " and tender children. For the Lord said unto me, immediately " by His Spirit, that He would be as a husband to my wife, and " as a father to my children, and they should not want in my ab“sence, for He would provide for them when I was gone. And “I believed that the Lord would perform what He had spoken, “because I was made willing to give up myself to His work “and service, to leave all and follow Him, whose presence and “life is with me, where I rest in peace and quietness of spirit “with my dear brother, under the shadow of His wings, who “ hath made us willing to lay down our lives for His own name "sake, if unmerciful men be suffered to take them from us; and “if they do, we know we shall have peace and rest with the Lord “ forever in His holy habitation, when they shall have torment “ night and day. So, in obedience to the living God, I made “ preparation to pass to Barbadoes, in the Fourth month, 1658. “So, after I had been for some time on the said island in the ser“vice of God, I heard that New England had made a law to put “servants of the living God to death, if they returned after they “ were sentenced away,—which did come near me at that time; "and as I considered the thing, and pondered it in my heart, im“mediately came the Word of the Lord unto me, saying, “Thou “knowest not but that thou mayest go thither;' but I kept this “word in my heart, and did not declare it to any until the time “appointed. So after that, a vessel was made ready for Rhode “ Island, which I passed in. And after a little time that I had “ been there, visiting the Seed which the Lord hath blessed, the “Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 'Go to Boston with “thy brother, William Robinson'; and to His command I was "obedient, and gave up myself to do His will, that so His work “ and service may be accomplished. For He had said unto me, “That He had a great work for me to do;' which is now come “to pass. And for yielding obedience to, and obeying the voice " and command of the everlasting God, who created heaven and “ earth, and the fountains of waters, do I, with my dear brother, “ suffer outward bonds near unto death. And this is given forth “to be upon record, that all people may know, who hear it, that “we came not in our own wills, but in the will of God. Given “ forth by me, who am known to men by the name of
“ MARMADUKE STEVENSON, “ but have a new name given me, which the world knows not of, “ written in the Book of Life.
“Written in Boston prison, in the Eighth month, 1659."
Thus they, and thus you; but as for Mary Dyer, when she had parted with her friends, between whom she came joyfully hand in hand to the place of execution, though Michaelson, your marshal, was troubled thereat, and asked, “Whether she was not ashamed to walk hand in hand between two young men ?" not knowing her joy in the Lord; to whom she answered, "It is an hour of the greatest joy I can know in this world," adding these words, “No eye can see, no ear can hear, no tongue can speak, no heart can understand the sweet increase and refreshment of the Spirit of the Lord which I now enjoy,”—I say, after she had parted joyfully from her friends at the foot of the ladder, expecting to die, and seeing her two friends hanging dead before her, her arms and legs tied, the halter about her neck, and her face covered with a handkerchief which your priest Wilson lent the hangman, and was with the Lord in joy and peace, an order came for her reprieve, upon the petition of her son, and unknown to her; which being read, and the halter loosened and taken off her neck, she was desired to come down. But, not answering, and waiting on the Lord to know His pleasure in so sudden a change, having given herself up to die, as aforesaid, the people cried, “Pull her down." Nor could she prevail with them to stay a little, so earnest were they, whilst she might consider and know of the Lord what to do. But her and the ladder they were pulling down together, and were stopped, and your chief marshal and others took her down by the arms, and had her to prison; from whence she wrote to you, when she understood upon what account she was reprieved, denying your reprieve, and the ground of it; and the next morning tendered her life again, for the abrogating of your law; but some came presently and took her in their arms, and sat her on horseback, and conveyed her fifteen miles toward Rhode Island, and then left her with a horse and man, to be conveyed further; which she soon sent back, when she saw she might do it freely. For she was sensible how that her sudden reprieve had served your end, in turning the people to you, who were turning from you by the deaths of the others. But the Lord otherwise ordered it, in suffering you to put her to death after a reprieve : (of which, and of your cruelty, I shall speak more anon,) therefore He suffered this to be, and gave her liberty to go from those parts to Newport in Rhode Island, from whence she came.
But the people returned from the execution of the other two sad and with heavy hearts, as W. Robinson had foretold them; and the one end of a drawbridge rose up, and fell upon many, and some were hurt, especially a wicked woman, who was observed to have reviled those servants of the Lord at their death; whom it greatly bruised, and her flesh rotted from her bones, and her stink was so noisome, that people could hardly come near her; in which miserable condition she remained until she died, a sad example of the vengeance of the Lord, who renders to every man according to his work. Three also of priest Wilson's grandchildren died within a short time after ye had put these two servants of the Lord to death, as something upon his head, who cared not how he bereaved the mother of her son, and the children of their father, and the wife of her husband. The judgment of the Lord in both of which cases is to be taken notice of.
Thus have I gone through the execution ye made of the innocent, and the relation of your shedding of the blood of those who feared the Lord, and shall now return from your field of blood, to your bloody prison, and there take an account of what ye did to the rest of their brethren, whom they there left behind.
And here by the way, you may see the insufficiency of your gallows to restrain the Spirit of the Lord in this remarkable passage, to wit, John Chamberlain, one of your inhabitants of Boston, being at the execution of these aforesaid, who beholding their faith, constancy, and comfort at their death, in the innocency of their cause, whose heart the Lord opened, to receive and embrace the truth for which they suffered, and in whom love was raised toward the sufferers, that it drew him to visit those in prison; for the which he was apprehended and put in prison, and