« AnteriorContinuar »
her children at once, yet ye were not able; notwithstanding, you fined her in a great sum, which, in behalf of the Court, Rawson, your secretary, was willing to take in good fish; and Salter, for diet and lodging, in barrels of mackercl, so devouring the widow's house. And her two sons you sentenced to stand under the gallows certain hours with ropes about their necks, and to be whipped in your market-place, which was performed with many bloody lashes; at which the young men being not appalled, old Wilson standing by, said, “Ah ! cursed generation l’’ and to be whipped also at Salem, where Michelson, the marshal, a bloody-spirited man, came to see it executed, where it was so mercilessly done, that one of the young men sunk down or fainted away under the torture of his cruel suffering, whose body they raised up again, and his senses came to him. This was near about the time of your murdering William Leddra. Thus were your officers of Boston punctual to your cruelty, to see it executed; but to their duty, in giving the people called Quakers copies of their warrants, with which they came to disturb and molest, and their promise so to do; neither were your officers careful, nor, when you heard thereof, did you require them so to do; but at your very Court allowed them to suffer. " In particular, John Lane coming to disturb Mary Tomkins and Alice Ambrose, aforesaid, at Boston, Mary demanded a copy of his warrant; he promised it, but gave it not. They espying him the next day in the street, followed him into your Courthouse, and complained to some of you, that he had not performed his word, and demanded, “Whether it was not just he should do it?” Instead of doing them justice, they bade the women not to trouble them. So he violently haled them out of the Courthouse, and hurled them down the stairs; some of you thinking that they might be with child, and that that might hurt them, “bade him,” after he had done it, “not to hurt them; ” but neither required him to give them a copy of the warrant, nor did he give it, nor reprove or punish him for using them so. Now to come to the sufferings of Elizabeth Hooton, who is aforementioned, and to show therein your cruelties to the aged, as well as to the infant of days, that it may appear to ages and generations to come, that your rage hath no mercy, nor your cruelty consideration, of any sort or condition of people, you who live in wickedness, and on whom lies the blood of the innocent; you who have drawn forth your character beyond the precedent of former generations; whose character I have drawn out for future generations, that they may see what you are, who shall know what you have done, and be rewarded according to your deeds. The aforesaid Elizabeth Hooton, being an ancient woman, of about sixty years old, and being very unlikely, as to her condition and age, to go through such a work, and such sufferings, which she might well expect, considering the report of your cruelties and blood, beyond what hath been heard of in the English nation, and found amongst you, yet being required of the Lord, she willingly undertook what was required at her hands; and in the year 1661, having Joan Brokesup with her, a woman near as aged as herself, who was willingly offered up in the will of the Lord, she set sail from Old England, toward Virginia; no vessel directly hence to your parts accepting to carry them, because of your fiundred-pound defence for every Quaker which any shipmaster should bring into your jurisdiction. And from Virginia knew not but they must pass on foot through the untrodden wilderness, as to the English, many hundred miles, for that the shipmasters, because of the said defence, refused also to carry them thence; but the Lord affording an opportunity by a ketch, which carried them part of the way, they went the rest by land, and came to Boston, where, after a hard passage, and many tedious sufferings, for women in their condition, too long to mention, they could find no place to receive them, because of the penalty of your laws on those that should receive a Quaker into their houses, as it. was to them that should bring them in; so you thought to do your work and to be rid of those people, by your cruelties, within your jurisdiction, whom the Lord has sent and raised up amongst you, to turn you unto Him. So, ill requiting the love of the Lord, and the tenderness of His servants to youwards, who, notwithstanding all your cruelties and penalties, nay, the blood of several of His servants, gave not over, but still pressed in upon you and your laws of blood and death, to fulfil their testimony for the Lord unto you, and to leave you without excuse, that His seed may be raised among you, according to His will; and that the gospel of salvation may be sounded forth among you, and the great day of God Almighty be proclaimed through the earth, who is come to judge the nations with equity, and the people with truth, that the poor among men might trust in the Name of the Lord: yet at length it was so ordered of the Lord, that a woman Friend received them, in whose house they lodged, who were weary and had been hard bestead in the wilderness. The next morning they went to visit Friends in prison; but your jailer and his wife were so filled with cruelty, that they would not let them in, nor near to the place where they were to see them; but your jailer haled them up to your Governor Endicott, the usual civility with which you entertain strangers, and those who come to visit the prisoners of the Lord, of which much is spoken in this treatise, who are inhospitable, barbarous, and cruel, and worse than the Indians, who do readily supply them with what they have, when they travel amongst them and are forced to wander up and down in the howling wilderness, and brought them before him, who, after many questions asked them by your governor, to which they gave answer as they were enabled by the Lord, and much scurrilous language, as calling them witches, and threatenings, he sent them to prison, by which means they came to see their dear brethren and sisters, who were thrust therein for their testimony to the Truth, Your governor asked Elizabeth, “What she came for P” She answered, “To do the will of Him that sent her.” He demanded, “What was that?” She replied, “To warn him of shedding any more innocent blood.” He returned to her, “That he would hang more.” She told him, “He was in the hand of the Lord, who could take him away first.” Which was fulfilled, for after that he never took away the lives of any more of our Friends. So he sent them to prison, where were nearly thirty more, who
stood in the capacity of suffering with them also for the Name of the Lord, into which suffering it was crime enough to be committed, if any one being spoken to did but own himself a Quaker, or to their judgment did but so appear, without having spoken or done anything but coming within your jurisdiction. A most bloody and savage cruelty, hardly heard of in any age or generation by people professing godliness, much less that, as outcasts, as you would reckon yourselves to be, and with which name your high-priest, John Norton, baptized you in some of his sermons, which by your order, since his death, are made public, fled to a wilderness, out of their own land, for liberty of conscience, to their own countrymen, yea, to their neighbours and inhabitants, who are such people as in good conscience, or for conscience' sake, come in amongst you. The day will come, yea, already is, wherein men will be as much ashamed of your cruelty as you are past shame in exercising thereof, upon your neighbours and countrymen, for their conscience to God. Oh, the dreadful account you will have to give to Him, who is judge of all, for these things, whose judgment none can pass Oh, the shame of men, that you must pass to posterity,” through a line of darkness and blood, of which this shall be an everlasting monument whilst age and generation is; which shall encircle your name for ever and ever, f which shall rot, and your memorial perish, as to anything that is good, amongst men, and you shall know that the Most High ruleth among the children of men. Being thus brought to the sight of their suffering friends and among them through the same door of suffering, they were detained till the Court of Assistants, where there was a great ado about them, as I have instanced before, as to what to do with them; some were in the capacity of death, as sentenced thereunto, viz., Wenlock Christison, who being condemned, and appealing to the General Court at Boston, had a reprieve, and was not executed; though when he appealed to England, you admitted it not; nor when William Leddra appealed to England, did you suffer it, but put him to death. See how you put yourselves above England, and hold yourselves unconcerned as to any relation to your country, though the king was come in. A man appealed thither, and was hanged: a man appeals thither, and is sentenced to death; but a man appeals to your General Court, and hath a reprieve from the execution, and is afterwards set at liberty, and driven, with the rest of those afore-mentioned, with sword and club into the wilderness. The cases of William Leddra, whom you hanged, after denial of his appeal, and Wenlock Christison, aforesaid, I say, some were in capacity of death by your law, some of banishment, some of whipping, and a great number being in jail, a great fear was upon you, what should become of you, who had such a number in your jail. Your soldiers were commanded to their arms, your guards were set; the innocent lambs were brought before you, as so many sheep among wolves; great tossings and consternations among you, what you should do with them, whether to hang, or
* It is plain that a sad account they that remain who had a hand therein, no doubt have to give, and His judgments they have not passed by their own confessions, nor cannot; and they have been the shame of men, and Inust therefore pass through to posterity as they have hitherto, because thereof, as appears by the judgment of most serious considerate persons of Inost nations, who have written of it as before hinted, and much more could I mention. Yea, their own historian, Cotton Mather, hath shamed them for it, in that “he will not, nor cannot,” as he pretends, “windicate all the severities against the Quakers;” but says, “IIe is sorry that they were ever persecuted;" and renders the rulers as “mad by oppression” that acted it. So it is plain, they are now ashamed of their envy in that respect at His people, as George Bishop said, and the shame they must pass through to posterity, by Cotton Mather's own History, Book II., chap. i., page 1, Book III., chap. ii., page 38, Book VII., chap. i., page 23, and chap. i., page 100.
f This is evident, that a line of darkness and blood hath and doth encompass them and their names, which do rot and perish, as to anything that is good, like former persecutors both outward and inward, as appears by the sad estate they have been in ever since, not only by the tempests, blastings, witchery, wars, and blood, that have followed them outwardly, and which I know no country like in all respects; but also the darkness of their estates inwardly, always hating the Light of Christ, and opposing the Truth because their decds are evil; and of which this is none of the least of their judgments, that in the darkness of their minds, and enmity of their spirits against the truth, they cannot see the hand that smites them, nor the cause or end wherefore it is.