Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

soon tasted of your cruelty, and hath been much and long imprisoned by you; and although still you have sorely shot at him, yet his bow abides in strength, being enabled to bear all your cruelty, and stand as a faithful witness for the Lord against you. By which you may see how insufficient your endeavours are, to stop the way and course of the Spirit of Life, which neither your whips nor your gallows are able to reach. There was one Edward Wharton, of the town of Salem, whom ye had committed for going up and down, from town to town, with those two servants of the Lord whom you have murdered, and because he could by no means own the guilt of their blood, , “Nay, not for all the world,” as he said, when you charged it upon him and sought by consequence to prove it, because he travelled up and down with them, and said, “The guilt thereof was so great and heavy, that he was not able to bear it,” ye drew his blood by twenty sore lashes with your whip of cords, as aforesaid, and his purse by a fine of twenty pounds, as a peremptory fellow, for so speaking to clear himself; and ye charged him with being an enemy to the country, though he had formerly taken the oath of fidelity, as you call it. And this was on the 3d day of the Ninth month, he being apprehended the last day of the month before at Salem, and brought to Boston, where he was continued prisoner till a friend of his paid the fine for him, against his will. And as for the rest of the prisoners there, of whom I have spoken, on the 11th day of the Ninth month, 1659, viz., Christopher Holder, Daniel Gould, Robert Harper, and W. King, in the forenoon, and in the afternoon, Alice Cowland, Margaret Smith, Mary Trask, Hannah Phelps, Hope Clifton, Mary Scott, and Provided Southwick, whom having examined and said to them what you would, ye sent to prison again; and on the morrow, having them before you, Rawson, your secretary, read unto them their sentences, which were:–Daniel Gould, to be whipped thirty stripes; Robert Harper, fifteen; William King, fifteen; Margaret Smith, ten; Mary Trask, ten; and Provided Southwick, ten stripes; which your executioner soon laid on them, in the open street, with great cruelty. Until now, your executions were done in private; but, having gone over the lives of the innocent by executing them in the open field, you were bold to declare your sin as Sodom, and shrank not to draw the blood of the rest in the sight of the sun. Beginning with Daniel Gould, your executioner stripped off his clothes, and having tied him to the wheel of a great gun, stripped the skin from off his back and beat his flesh on his bones with the number of stripes as aforesaid; and so he dealt by the rest. And, having drank this other draught of blood, and delivered over Alice Cowland, Hannah Phelps, Mary Scott, and Hope Clifton to your governor, to be admonished, and sentenced Christopher Holder to banishment upon pain of death, for coming into your jurisdiction to pass to England, as aforesaid, ye ended this your General Court, the prisoners being returned from whence they came to answer your jailer's fees, and there continued, until some friendly people engaging for the payment of the same of their own accords, they gained their liberty. And so I have walked step by step through the cruel and merciless order of your gradual proceedings, from imprisonment to death, to see if I could find anything of law, anything of fact, anything of justice, any regular proceeding according to either, by which ye. might warrant what ye have done; but I find none, and let the sober reader see if he can; or any other thing than the monstrous shape of cruelty and blood, and great inhumanities and barbarous acts, under the profession of religion. For, this let me say, that though more blood hath been shed, and with greater and, in some sense, more cruel executions, by those who have not pretended to religion, at least to liberty of conscience, from whom no other thing could be expected, being delivered to their wills; yet, from men pretending to religion and to conscience; who suffered for religion and their conscience; who left their native country, relations and friends, to dwell in a wilderness to enjoy their conscience and religion; from professors who have made so much ado about religion and for their conscience, and set themselves up as the height of all professors of religion, and the most zealous asserters of liberty of conscience; and for that cause have expected to be held in regard, viz., because of conscience and religion, as is your case; for men who are relative to another country, whose government doth depend upon others; who receive their commission elsewhere, and are in subordination to the power from which they receive their commission, thus to exceed all bounds and limits of moderation, law, humanity, and justice upon a people merely for their conscience and the exercise of their religion,--as ye have done in the instances aforesaid; and much more which could be brought, were it not too burdensome to the reader; for I am forced to take but the minutes of many things for the reader's satisfaction,-and for you to do it, who yourselves are the men, not another generation, who so fled, and so suffered, is beyond a parallel. And yet, after all these your illegal and unrighteous proceedings in blood and cruelty, you are not ashamed to say in your

DECLARATION.

“The consideration of our gradual proceeding will vindicate “us from the clamorous accusations of severity, our own just and “necessary defence calling upon us, other means failing, to offer “the point, which these persons have violently and wilfully rushed “upon and thereby become felons de se, which might it have “been prevented, and the sovereign law, salus populi, been pre“served, our former proceedings, as well as the sparing of Mary “Dyer upon an inconsiderable intercession, will manifestly evince “that we desire their lives absent, rather than their deaths pres

** ent. “EDWARD RAWSON,

“Secretary.”

So ends your Declaration, printed by your order.

ANSWER.

Had ye not foreheads of brass, and faces of flint, and hearts harder than the adamant, and consciences seared with a hot iron, it were wonderful to think that you should dare to utter such abominable untruths before God and man, much less to put your justification of all upon the consideration of what you here call your “gradual proceeding.” For, First, your gradual proceeding is not from the merits of the fact, for here is none; nor from the warranty of the law, for that is grounded upon fact; nor from the bottom of justice, for it is founded upon law; but from one irregular proceeding to another. For you have proved nothing, as I have shown, and there being no proof, there is no ground for law; and there being no law, there is no justice; and so your gradual proceeding, being contrary to law, serves to convict you of the transgression of the law. And the more you have risen up from a bottom that is wrong, and not on a right foundation, and the farther you have proceeded from step to step, the more ye have swerved from the right, and are gone from a right foundation; and so the consideration of your gradual proceeding from one punishment to another is but the consideration of your gradual proceeding from one cruelty to another, from imprisonment to whipping, from whipping to cutting off ears, from cutting off ears to finings and confiscation of estates, from finings and confiscation of estates to selling for bondmen and bondwomen, from selling for bondmen and bondwomen to banishment upon pain of death, from banishment upon pain of death to death itself; and manifestly evinceth that you desire their deaths present rather than their lives absent; and is so far from vindicating you from the accusations of severity, that it chargeth, yea, the greatest upon you. Secondly.—You were put upon no other manner of defence than that which is not of this world, but that which is spiritual; for they came not to you with swords nor with staves, neither with staff nor with spear, but in the Name of the Lord and with the Word of Truth, as did the apostles and disciples of old, and as ye did to the bishops; and only sought, by the demonstration of truth, to be made manifest to that of God in every man's conscience. And they were sent of the Lord in love, to “turn you from darkness to the Light, and from the power of Satan unto God; that ye might receive remission of sins, and an inheritance which is incorruptible,” among them who are sanctified by faith in Christ. And this was the end of their coming, and the intent thereof, and no other; and no other thing did they do, nor have ye convicted them of any other. Now, what is this to which you pretend and seem to insinuate, by all this clamour, of your “just and necessary defence. And all other means failing— . . . and which, might it have been prevented, salus populi, and the sovereign law been preserved,”—as if the whole country, and every individual therein, and yourselves in particular, were in danger, as by a hostile enemy? Were ye in the Truth, or of the Truth, the Truth is able to defend its own; and its “weapons are not carnal, but spiritual; mighty through God, to the casting down of . strongholds, and every imagination which exalteth itself against the kingdom of Jesus Christ.” And it needs not man, nor the arm of man, to defend it. But in that ye have not warred with these, but with other weapons; and have sought to support your religion by cruelty and blood, which the Truth is against, and have endeavoured by such proceedings as these and loud acclamations to preserve your religion, and to bespeak your justification with the people, it is manifest, and it plainly shows, that your religion is not Truth; that your clamour is not right; that ye who cry out at wrong are the greatest wrong-doers; that there is no such thing as ye pretend,-and that you are as ridiculous in your fears as you are cruel in your wills. Thirdly.—The other means you mention to have used, are:— “Imprisonments, whippings, cutting off ears, fines and confiscation of estates, selling for bondmen and bondwomen for the payment of fines.” Where you had taken all, or there was no other thing to satisfy you, new fines you laid, and whether you did it upon new laws or old, that is not the point; but lay them you did, and they are some of your other means, and cruel ones too, as I have shown, with “banishment upon pain of death.” These are your means, you say; your other means failing, you offered them the point; which they wilfully and violently rushed upon, as you say; but time will make it appear, that it was in the Will of God they came into your jurisdiction, and in the moving and by the command of Him who is above your laws. Not

« AnteriorContinuar »