« AnteriorContinuar »
Which your sentence being given, with outstretched arms and hands spread before you, he said, “Here is my body; if you want a further testimony of the Truth I profess, take it, and tear it to pieces. It is freely given up; and as for your sentence, I matter it not.” A noble spirit, which overlooked your cruelty, and the nobility of the spirit thereof is the nature of Truth in those whom it leads. And truly he was able to and did say in the presence of God, “That it was no more terrifying unto him than if you had taken a feather, and blown it up in the air, and had said, Take heed it hurteth you not. And surely tongue cannot express nor declare,” said he, “the goodness and love of God to His suffering people.” So you caused him to be tied to the cart's tail in Boston, when your hangman laid on with what vehemency * he could; but his spirit was so borne up by the power of the Almighty, and the Springs of Life so opened within him, that he could not but sing His praise in the midst of the people with a loud shout, as he was , led through the streets at the cart-tail. “They that know God to be their strength, cannot fear what man can do,” said the suffering Josiah Southwick. And through two more towns also, according to your Order, your executioner cruelly whipped him, the last being the town of Dedham, which he performed the next morning. It being very cold, he could not get through all his work on the first day; and having brought him into the wilderness twenty-six miles from Boston, and fifteen miles from any town, he discharged him. In a little time after he returned, with two Friends that had accompanied him; he being upheld by the Spirit of the Lord, who was with him, and lifted him up above all the heads of his adversaries. And in the space of seven or eight miles he was ahead of the constable, though he had horses, who was offended to see him; but Josiah travelled all night, and by sun-rising he and his friends came to his home, having only one horse between them, he having travelled thirty miles that night, and about sixty miles in twenty-four hours, notwithstanding his back was ploughed with stripes as aforesaid, and his flesh torn and beat, in which the Lord helped him. But before I pass to Boston, the seat of blood, I must give the reader to understand a little how you dealt with John Chamberlain, in regard to his then wife, whom Bellingham, your deputygovernor, knowing that she was not of the same principle altogether with her husband, he went about to draw her to deny and disown him: this was when she and her tender children spffered so much by his long imprisonment. And this was the time the tempter took to work, telling her, or endeavouring to make her believe, “That when he came home again, he would murder her in her bed, or some other place;” and to persuade and draw her the surer to the thing, he told her, “she should not want,” and that “she might live with another husband.” But not being able, with all his art, to prevail on the poor woman, who held her true affection to her husband, and told him of these things, your Court—such was her extremity, being with child and having other children, and their father kept from them—could not but order, “that he should have liberty to work in the prison at his calling,” which was that of a currier. Whereupon he had his necessaries brought to the prison, and with the help of William Leddra and other Friends, who were then his fellow-sufferers, who in love assisted him, he got rid of his work apace; and his customers brought much work unto him, which your savage jailer perceiving, he vexed and fretted much, and said, “That he got more in prison than he would have done if he had been at liberty.” It so fell out that, during this time, a young man was brought into prison for theft, whom those in the prison, called Quakers, endeavoured to convince of his evil ways; and he being willing to hear them, report went abroad as if he were turned a Quaker. Whereupon the mother of the lad, dwelling about Scituate, hastened thither, and not liking her son's carriage to her—it is like, the not putting off his hat—she struck him, and by and by went to pray for him; Smiting and praying, as it were, in one breath. This was one of your professing women. And she went to the governor, and made her complaint, that her son was like to be a Quaker, and so be undone. And your governor sends for him, and demands of him, “Whether the Quakers did show him any of their books?” Which he confessing, rather than the thief should turn to an honest man, your governor, notwithstanding his theft, set him at liberty. On hearing this, William Salter, your jailer, goes to the prison and charges John Chamberlain with the great crime of endeavouring to draw the man from the evil of his ways, and showing him books for that purpose. John said to him, “Thou shouldst not lie.” Then he turned to Edward Wharton, and charged him with it. “I did so,” replied Edward. “Then you shall up for it,” said your jailer. “Truly,” said William Leddra, “if I had books, I should give them to people.” “Wouldst thou?” said Salter. “Then thou shalt up too.” “And I should do so too,” said another. “Then thou shalt up too,” said Salter. So he locked up all of them in a very little room, to keep them from their friends, who were willing to reclaim the offender; whereas the offender was set at liberty, that he might not be reclaimed. It also fell out that this Salter had another thief in his custody, who, finding his chamber-door open one night, and the bunch of keys hanging at the door of the prison, took the opportunity and made his escape; and Salter, being drunk and mad with Friends, locked them up in a narrow room, because they had not spoken to him what was convenient, coming to the thief's chamber-door in the morning, and finding it open, called to the thief, “George, George I" for that was his name, but there was no answer. He, Salter, made up the matter as well as he could with him that put in the thief, telling him, “That the Quakers had let him out.” Which John Chamberlain hearing, he said to Salter, in the common jail, “William, if we do make known thy lying, thank thyself.” Whereupon Salter locked the outer door in a rage, and, looking in at a window, said, “Now, John, do thy worst.” And he denied his customers to come to him, to bring him work; and when they demanded of him, “Why they should not be suffered to bring their leather unto him?” the jailer said, “It will overthrow justice.” Which was his justice, because he would have fathered the escape of the thief on Friends, who were innocent, so as to make up the matter with him that put the thief in, which John Chamberlain hearing, he cleared Friends thereof. And . though the Court had done John so much justice as to suffer him to work, though they unjustly detained him in prison, yet this the jailer did deny to avenge his own quarrel, for he came with his axe and hewed down John's beam, by reason of which he could not work in the prison. Once more, and I shall have done with this jail and jailer at present, and pass somewhere else. Moreover it fell out that Salter had a young woman in the prison, a thief, who, coming among women Friends in the prison, was brought under condemnation and to some sense of her evil ways; which the jailer hearing of, took her into his house, where came other people, and told her, “She were better be as she was before,” a thief, “than a Quaker.” The woman, being thus instructed, got over that which had condemned her, and, having opportunity, went at her old work again, and stole considerable linen from Davis' (the apothecary) garden, and hid them under her bedclothes; which being found out, and the shame of their counsel returning upon them, she was sent to Virginia. This your jailer was a member of your church, and this is the reckoning that is made of thievery and that which judgeth it. In the year 1662, Mary Tomkins, Alice Ambrose, and George Preston, from Old England, with Edward Wharton, of Salem aforesaid, came to Piscataqua river, and, passing up, landed at the town, it being laid on them by the Lord to go thither, where they had a good opportunity in the inn with the people that resorted to them, who reasoned with them concerning their faith and hope; which being made manifest to the people, some confessed to the truth thereof, and others, not being able to gainsay the Truth, ran to one Rayner, their priest, and told him, “That
* The whip used for those cruel executions is not of whip-cord, as in England, but of dried guts, such as the bass of viols, and with three knots an the end, which the hangman many times lays on with both his hands, and must needs be of most violent torture and exercise to the body.
such a people were come to town, that they had much discourse with them about their religion, and were not able to contradict what they said, and therefore desired him to come forth and help them, or else,” said they, “we are like to be run aground.” At this the priest chafed and fretted, and he asked the people, “Why they came amongst them?” To which they answered, “Sir, it is so; we have been amongst them, and if you come not forth to help us, we are aground.” “And,” said the priest's wife, “which do you like best, my husband or the Quakers?” Said one of them, “We shall tell you that after your husband hath been with them.” Whereupon in came Rayner in a fretting and froward manner, saying, “What came ye here for, seeing the laws of the country are against such as you are P” “But what hast thou against us?” replied Mary Tomkins. “You deny magistrates and ministers,” said the priest, “and the churches of Christ.” “Thou sayest so,” replied Mary. “And you deny the Three Persons in the Trinity,” said the priest. To which Mary answered, “Take notice, people, this man falsely accuseth us, for godly magistrates and the ministers of Christ we own, and the churches of Christ we own; and that there are Three that bear record in heaven, which Three are the Father, Word, and Spirit, that we own; but for the Three Persons in the Trinity, that is for thee to prove.” “I will prove Three Persons in the Trinity,” said the priest. “Thou sayest so,” said George Preston; “but prove it by the Scriptures.” “Yes,” replied Rayner, “by this I will prove it, where it is said, And he is the express image of his Father's person.” “But,” one said, “that is falsely translated.” “Yes, it is,” replied a learned man; “for, in the Greek, it is not person, but substance.” “But,” said the priest, “it is person, and so there is one person.” “Thou sayest so,” said George Preston; “but prove thy other two, if thou canst.” Then said the priest, “There are three somethings,” and so went away in a rage, calling to his people at the window to go from amongst them; but Mary Tomkins soon got after him, and spoke to him “to come back, and not to leave his people among them he called wolves.”