« AnteriorContinuar »
“Adam's time, to this day, did put any man or woman to death, “because they would not worship God as they did, which I never “read of in the Scriptures; but many examples in the Scriptures “of those that were not the people of God, that did take away “their estates, and put them in prison, and punished them by “stripes oftentimes, and haled them before rulers, as Christ gives “testimony they should do; yea, whosoever killeth them, shall “think that he doth God good service; many of them shall think “so, but not all, for Judas did not think so when he betrayed “Christ. ‘For some shall sin against the Light of Christ in them,' “as saith the Scriptures. Yea, there is no example of any men “fearing God, that did make and execute such laws as are here “in force in this land, to take away men's goods, to put in prison, “to whip, to cut ears, to put to death those that would not wor“ship God as they did. Or where is it written, that they did ban“ish any for conscience' sake? But of those that did not fear “God, it is written of them, “They did put most of the prophets “to death,’ as Christ saith, ‘Which of the prophets have not “your fathers persecuted and put to death P' Yea, and Christ “suffered death; for it is written, ‘The Jews had a law, and by “our law He ought to die, because He maketh himself the Son of “God.' And likewise the apostles suffered death, most of them, “by those who would have put them out of the synagogue, which “should say, ‘That He was Christ;" they had so agreed before“hand; or it is like, if any did say, that they did persecute, they “would put him out of the synagogue too, for it is no great pun“ishment that befalls him, for it is written, they have a law to “put to death for conscience' sake. “Oh therefore now consider in the fear of God, from whence “ thou art fallen, and despise not the Love of God, and grieve “not the Holy Spirit any longer, by which every one that be“lieveth is sealed to the Day of Redemption, and consider with “thyself, how thy life and conversation hath been in times past, “when thou livedst next to me, who being often at thy house to “fetch home what was borrowed from me, I taking notice of “many disorders in the family, sitting up late at nights in much “idleness and wantonness, which hath been the occasion of much “evil; thy children being disobedient to their parents, and living “loosely in the time of their youth; thy servants very vain, some “of them very wicked and filthy, and unclean in their lives and “conversations secretly, as hath appeared openly to the view of “many, what evil hath been secretly committed by them, and “how little it hath been reformed by thee, the Lord will be wit“ness against thee, and also thy oppression of the poor. I am “an eye and ear witness to complaints made in this kind, which “hath had many poor men to work for thee, one year after “another, some never received anything to this day, others but “little, it may be some apples, or that which did but little good; “and some asked it so often, it is like, were ashamed to ask it “any more, of which I am one that hath forborne, because I see “nothing but words, no performances; which cry of the poor the “Lord's eye is open and attentive to, so the Scriptures declare, “which thou sayest is thy rule. But now, since thou comest to “Bostón, and left Salem, thou art become much more proud, that “the cause of the poor is despised and condemned by thee; and “he that is proud, and scornful, and high-minded, is approved “of by thee, because he ‘putteth off the hat and honoureth thee,’ “as thou callest, by bowing of the body, and saith, ‘Worshipful “sir;' this is pleasing to the flesh in thee; but plainness of speech “in words and actions, which the Scripture commends and com“mands, that we should be without dissimulation, that thousayest “is “unmannerly and inhumane, like brute beasts;" yea, it hath “been declared here in Salem pulpit, ‘That thou and thee, yea “and may, is the devil's sacrifice.’ The Scripture language “spoken of all along, from Adam's time; spoken by all the holy “prophets, and Christ and his apostles, and to this day the com“mon language among other nations, now called the devil's sac“rifice, is disowning the Scriptures for a rule of life to be guided “by, which in words ye own to be your rule, but in practice ye “deny it; as it doth appear by your lives and conversations, “which strive so much for honour, more than to reform the cry“ing sins of the times, which cries continually in the ears of the “Lord for vengeance to come upon you, but rather tolerate, as “shedding of innocent blood, the cry in the taverns, abusing the “creatures of God in drunkenness, in gluttony, excess, singing, “and roaring out with a loud voice in the times of your public “worship, on your lecture-days; and pride, uncleanness, filthi“ness, profaneness, idleness in their words and actions, in their “common discourse, to the grief of the Spirit of God in any, “where it is; and covetousness, which is idolatry; and extortion, “hard-heartedness, which proceeds all from unbelief; these sins “not so much looked after, as those honest people which you call “scornfully, “A cursed sect of Quakers;’ which some here in Salem “have made it part of their Sabbath-day work to hunt up and “down from house to house, glorying and rejoicing in the same, “to disturb them, who are met peaceably and quietly to wait upon “God in His own way held forth in the Scriptures, by the apostles “and servants of Jesus Christ, which God commanded should not “be; ‘For on the seventh day God rested from all His works,’ “it is said; and God never commanded any to break this rest, “by hunting up and down after the servants of God, to take “away their lives by a cruel death, those that do you no harm, “neither in thought, word, or deed, that doth unto all men as “they would have all men do unto them; that is, in their meas“ure; yet these let alone and upheld by a law, contrary to the “law of God, or the law of love, which is one, though they “break the rest which God commanded to be kept. “Oh I consider of these things before the judgments of the “Lord come upon thee, and before it be too late; for of a truth “it will come in the Lord's time, and will not tarry; and nothing “can keep them from thee, but repentance, and forsaking thy “evil way, turning to Him with all thy heart, with all thy mind, “and all thy soul, and repealing of those unrighteous laws which “yet remain in the country, and not to make more, as was “petitioned for this Court of Election, ‘That no man or woman “should bring anything to the prisoners, or carry anything from “them, upon the fine of twenty pounds,’ which was granted by “some of you, to the value of five pounds for the first time, and “ten pounds for the second; and whether to increase more, I “know not. A cruel law as ever I heard of; what, to starve “ them to death? Worse than to hang them by and by out of the “way; which doth plainly appear, that you would have starved “them to death, for which God in His time will call you to an “account; and happy is every one that hath no hand in these “cruel laws, made and executed upon many, unto death itself “upon three of them; and whippings and imprisonments above “measure, which makes many to fall off from you, through your “cruelty done to others, and I think will join no more with you, “known by the name of John Smith, thy next neighbour in times “past, and then serviceable to thee in many things, and, it is “like, somewhat beloved by thee; but now it is otherwise, as it “appears by thy hard dealing to my beloved wife. This I am “constrained to write to thee in love and tenderness. “JOHN SMITH.”
A copy of this was delivered to the governor, in some short time after the death of Mary Dyer, who was put to death by the Court of Election, at Boston, 1660.
Now, because I have made mention of the said John Smith, and his letter to your governor, which may serve as a windingsheet for him, to whom it was delivered, as I said, in his lifetime; I shall give }: copy of one more letter, written by Margaret Smith his wife, and Mary Trask, (a sore sufferer by you, mentioned in the former treatise), the 21st of the Tenth month, 1660, to your governor and you, which I should not have inserted, but that it contains a warning to you of the judgment that is coming upon you; as it is also an account of the harmless and innocent spirit that lodged in them, which is in the words following:—
“To thee, John Endicott, and the rest of the rulers of this “jurisdiction, who are given up to fight against the Lord and “His Truth in this day, wherein it is springing forth, and by the “comeliness of it hath the Lord our God constrained us to take “up the cross and follow Him through great trials and suf“ferings, as to the outward; and herein we can rejoice that we “are accounted worthy, and called thereunto to bear a testimony “against a cruel and hard-hearted people, who are fighting the “day of their visitation, and foolishly requiting the Lord for His “goodness, and shamefully entreating His hidden ones, whom “He hath sent amongst you to call you from the evil of your “ways, that ye might come with them to partake of His love, and “feel His life and power in your own hearts, that with us ye “might have been brought to be subject to the higher power, “Christ Jesus, whom you should have been obedient unto, and “hearkened to His judgments, whilst He stood at the door and
“knocked, “for He will not always strive with man,’ and then it “should have been well with you; but, seeing you are gone from “this, that leadeth into tenderness, love, and meekness, and to do “unto all, as you would be done unto; therefore ye are given up “to a spirit of error, and hardness of heart, and blindness of “mind, the eye of your minds being blinded by the God of this “world, so that you cannot see our life, which is hid with Christ “in God, who is become our light and life, and hope of glory, “and our exceeding great reward, in whom we do rejoice. “Yea, surely the God of Jacob is with us, whatever you may be “able to say against us; for, behold, the Lord our God is rising “as a mighty terrible One, to plead the cause of His people, and “to clear the cause of the innocent; but surely He will in no “wise acquit the guilty, who have shed the blood of the innocent; “and you shall assuredly feel His judgment, who have wilfully “put forth your hands against His chosen; ye have cut off the “righteous from amongst you, and are still taking counsel against “the Lord, to proceed against more of His people; but this “know, the Lord our God will confound your counsel, and lay “your glory in the dust. Unto whom will ye fly for help? And “whither will ye go to hide yourselves? For verily the Lord “will strip off all your coverings, for ye are not covered with the “Spirit of the Lord, therefore the woe is gone out against you; “for your place of defence is a refuge of lies, and under falsehood “ye have hid yourselves. Woe, woe unto you, for you have for“saken the Lord, the fountain of the living waters, and are