Imágenes de páginas

full of people, Edward cried aloud in the midst of them, and said, .“All people take notice, what horrible, wicked, and unjust men

these are, for after they had unrighteously taken me from my house, where, when the constable came in, I was found following my honest calling in the fear of the Lord, he forced me out, and led me along the country, with his black staff, like some evildoer, to the governor's house; where I asked the governor, what he had to charge me withal, who said, You shall know hereafter.' And now they have kept me alınost a year close pris-. oner, night and day; they have banished me on pain of death; and, for aught I know, they will murder me; and yet they have nothing to charge me withal, but my hair and my hat.”

Hereupon up started Rawson, your secretary, and, taking the Book of Records, read to the people how that, contrary to law, Edward Wharton had travelled up and down with William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson,-a sore crime, indeed! for which a man must be banished from his habitation upon pain of death. To which Edward Wharton replied, “What readest thou that for? Have you not ploughed blood-furrows on my back for that already, although you had no law for it?"

Rawson being thus repulsed, up stands Bellingham, your deputy-governor, to mend the matter, or, rather, to carry it on with blood and cruelty where the other could not with law, and he would have him whipped and carried to prison again, though he was ordered to banishment or else depart from the Court, which Bellingham commanded him to do.

So in that Court you finished your will on William Leddra, whom you sentenced to death, and John Chamberlain and Robert Harper, whom you banished upon pain of death, and his wife upon pain of imprisonment, and returned William Leddra to prison, in order to execution, which, on the 14th of the First month, 1661, after your lecture was ended, your sacrifice of blood, you performed in the manner following:

Your bloody sacrifice being ended as aforesaid, which was usually performed when you murdered the innocent, in imitation of Jezebel's fast, where Naboth was set on high among the people, -high religious pretences for the height of blood, when priests and pulpits serve to whet you on to cut off that or those in whom it is, which is come to manifest the deceit and cruelty of you and your priests: so going to your altar, and then washing your hands in the blood of the innocent, contrary to what the prophet said, “I will wash mine hands in innocency; so will I compass thine altar, O Lord,”-your governor came up with a guard of soldiers to the prison, to receive the innocent for sacrifice, and the irons, in which he had laid down and risen up, were knocked off, he having been chained to a log, as aforesaid, during a cold and miserable Winter, even as your jailer said unto William when he asked him, “When shall my irons be taken off?" “When thou art going to be hung," said your unmerciful jailer, as hath been related. So William Leddra, having taken farewell of Wenlock Christison,—who freely came into the Court as his second, or follower in the testimony for the Lord, with his life in his hand, as hath been shown, and the rest of his friends then in bonds for the same testimony, with most tender embraces and answers of love; and as a sheep dumb before the shearers, when they called him, he went forth to the slaughter in the meekness of the spirit of Jesus, whose testimony he willingly bore, and resigned in the Will of the Lord to seal the Truth, of which he testified, with his blood, which you were ready to spill, and whom your guard encompassed round about to prevent his speech with Friends, of his speaking with any, as you did when you murdered our other three Friends, you causing the drums to beat that none might hear them,-a more than Turkish cruelty; which Edward Wharton perceiving, and how your guard strove to prevent his speaking with William, said, “Friends! what, will ye show yourselves worse than bloody Bonner's brood? What, will you not let me come near my suffering friend, before you kill him?" "Oh," said one Anthony Chickley, of Boston, “Edward, it will be your turn next." Yet Edward stood in so little fear of you, that he told you he would not go from you when you sentenced him to banishment upon pain of death, and now accompanied his suffering friend to the tree, though under your observation and malice for so doing, who could kill all that were friendly to any whom your cruelty did kill. And said Oliver, your bloody captain, who led the guard that murdered the former, and whose drums beat that they might not be heard, when he led them to the tree, coming again to Edward, “If you speak a word, I will stop your mouth.” “What hast thou to do, James, to threaten me thus ?" said Edward. Oliver replied, “I am appointed to keep the country's peace here,"—which was, as it seems, thus to stop the mouth of the innocent, and forbid any one from speaking unto them when you are about to kill them. And this is New England, and the government of them who kill for religion.

So your guard brought this innocent servant of the Lord to the foot of the ladder, and pinioned his arms, where he took leave of his friend, Edward Wharton, as he was about to ascend the same, to whom he said, “All that will be Christ's disciples, must take up the cross ;” and, standing where your guard ordered, with an exceeding fresh and living countenance, he spoke to the people and said, “For bearing my testimony for the Lord against deceivers and the deceived, I am brought here to suffer." Which took much hold on the people and wrought tenderness in many, they seeing his meek and cheerful suffering and hearing what he said ; which an old priest (said to be one Allen) perceiving, who was attending the execution with a woman behind him, to take off the edge and quench the tenderness that was springing up in the people, cried out and said, with a false tongue and bloody heart, “People, I would not have you think it strange to see a man so willing to die, for it is no new thing; and you may read how the apostle saith, That some should be given up to strong delusions, and even dare to die for them."

Now I would like to know where the apostle so saith,—I am sure it is not contained in the Scriptures of Truth; and where then is this record of your old priest, who—with a lie in his mouth, and that on the Scriptures and the holy man of Godsought to quench the tenderness that arose in the people for this holy man of God for his testimony to the truth? These are your teachers, and these are your guides, false and “blind leaders of the blind," so it is no marvel that you both fall into the ditch. Indeed, the apostle saith, “Yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die."-Rom. v. 7. Where hath he said what is before asserted ? Men had need to know something else

than such cheats as these, as dare to put a lie upon the Scriptures · of Truth and the apostle of Christ Jesus, who commended what he said to that of God in every man's conscience, and dared so to do; but this man dared to belie them both, to stifle the Witness of God that arose in the people. This is one of the blind guides of New England, who lead their disciples into blood, even the blood of the innocent; and this is one of your shepherds, who cause you to err and hurl you to blood, to draw the wrath and vengeance of the Lord upon you, that there be no remedy.

Thus much for the priests; but as for William Leddra, as a man who was gathered up to God, and in peace with Him for whom he suffered, in the meekness and sense of Christ Jesus he said, as the murderer was putting the halter about his neck, “I commit my righteous cause unto Thee, O God." So your murderer made haste, being charged so to do, and turned off the ladder; and, as the ladder was turning off, William Leddra, the suffering lamb. and servant of Jesus Christ, who there thought not his life dear to death for the testimony of his Truth, cried out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Who rests with the Lord, who received him whom you would not suffer to live among you because of his faithfulness to the Lord, but cut him off from the earth; for which the Lord will cut you off, and render unto you according to your deeds. * The fourth person that-for bearing testimony in the Name of the Lord, and barely for being such an one as is called a Quaker, and coming into your jurisdiction without wronging of any, or being convicted of one opinion or principle that is contrary to godliness—ye have thus slain and hung upon a tree, after the many other most exquisite sufferings that at times before they received at your hands, as hath been formerly made mention of in this and the former treatise; for whose blood you have to answer, and which together makes up a sum of judgments upon you for which the Lord will not pardon you; but, as you have loved blood, so blood shall be given you;* it is the Word of the Lord. And all the judgments which the servants of the Lord have testified of as yours, and as coming upon you, shall come upon you, and you shall not escape. The issue will prove that what hath been said is so, and hath been accomplished, which I leave, and return to what yet remains of your account for the sufferings of the innocent.

* And the Lord did cut many of them off by His judgments, some one way, and some another, as Governor Endicott, Major-general Adderton, and Priest Norton, who encouraged the putting the servants of the Lord to death, and others hereafter related, against whom it was pronounced; and many others by sudden deaths, as Increase Mather's Essay of Remarkable Providences, page 369, confesses, twelve in three or four weeks. And though he says, page 339, "We may not judge of men merely by outward accidents. Nevertheless" says he, "a judgment may be so circumstanced, as that the displeasure of Heaven is plainly written upon it in legible characters;" besides the many cut off in the dismal wars, that Cotton Mather so much condoles, wherein the Lord did render unto many of them according to their deeds.

William Leddra being dead, your executioner cut him down, and, lest he should be as barbarously used as were the bodies of William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson, whom you had before murdered in that place, whose bodies your executioner cut down, being stiff, and let fall to the ground, none holding them when they were so cut, to the breaking of the skull of William Robinson, as is mentioned in the former treatise, Edward Wharton and three other Friends, namely, Robert Harper, John Chamberlain, and Philip Verrin, attended to the fall of it, and, having caught it in their arms, laid it on the ground until your murderer had stripped it of the clothes; who, when he had so done, confessed he was a comely man and Mary Dyer a comely

* And this is plain, that as they had loved blood, in drawing the blood of the Lord's servants, in whipping, cutting off ears, and hanging, so blood was given them in all these ways, as in Increase Mather's and Cotton Mather's Histories of the Wars is at large related, particularly Cotton Mather's History, Book VII., chap. ii., page 51, and chap. ii., page 110, hereafter related. So that all the judgments which the servants of the Lord have spoken of, as coming upon them, have and shall come upon them; we doubt not if there are any behind, they have not nor shall not escape till they repent. The issue hath proved it hitherto, that it hath been and shall be accomplished.

« AnteriorContinuar »