« AnteriorContinuar »
“stink over many places of the world. And of these judgments in “general, the blasting of their wheat generally ever since they “put our worthy Friends to death at Boston; and the Indian “wars that soon after followed, whereby many English were “destroyed; and after that, but of late years, a dreadful visitation “of the small-pox, called by some the black-pox, that cut off very “many, both at Boston and elsewhere, of which they were fore“warned by a woman that came from Barbadoes, and went into “some of their meetings, with her face all made black, for a sign “of what was coming upon them, she being one of these people “called Quakers, and owned by them in that very testimony, “which she declared she was moved by the Lord to come from “Barbadoes to bear among them, her name being Margaret “Brewster; to which may be added the taking away their charter “and power, which they so grossly abused, in turning the sword “against the innocent, one cause of which was their persecuting “the Quakers unto death; and the manifest judgments of God “that came upon divers particular persons, notorious persecutors “of that innocent people, are very observable, as Major Adderton, “who joined in passing sentence of death against some of these “servants of the Lord who suffered death at Boston, who not “long after was killed with a cow; and that Norton, preacher at “Boston, a great persecutor, who died suddenly as he was walking “in his house after sermon, and Captain Davenport, another “great persecutor, who was killed with lightning. And though “the said Increase Mather doth relate the sudden deaths of both “these men, he altogether omitteth these great circumstances, of “their being great persecutors; the which omission, whether it “was wilfully in him or not, I shall not determine. But it is the “more memorable that the said Major Adderton, being warned “beforehand of the judgment of God, he made light of it, as I “was informed by some in New England who had the relation of “it, from some that did so warn him, being of that persecuted . “people. And also it is very memorable how one of these perse“cuted servants of the Lord, called Quakers, did plainly foretell, “‘That the house of governor Endicott, a greater persecutor,
“should be left desolate, and become a dunghill;" as did accord“ingly come to pass, and hath been observed by divers to have “been a real prophecy, divine justice and providence did so bring “it about. There are many other instances and examples might “be mentioned, some of which I refer to George Bishop's book, “called, Mew England Judged, to be there read and considered. “I shall only add one passage more, which I was informed of, “and had it writ from some of the people of Barnstable, how “that from an honest man, a Quaker in the town of Barnstable, “were taken four cows, with some calves, the Quaker's name being “Ralph Jones, who is yet alive; and these cattle were taken away “by the preacher of that town, his son-in-law, who had married “his daughter, and returned to the priest as a part of his wages. “The priest sent to Ralph Jones to tell him, “He might have “two of his cows returned to him, if he would send for them;’ “but he never sent, and so the said priest used them, and dis“posed of them as his own, killed one of the calves, and sent a “part of it to his daughter, that lay in child-bed; she no sooner “did eat a little of the calf, but she fell into a great trouble, “and cried, ‘Return home the man's cows; I hear a great noise “of them;’ and so died in that trouble. The priest alleged the “Quakers had bewitched his daughter, although it cannot be “proved that ever,they had any business with her. But to what “evil construction will not malice, and hypocrisy, and covetous“ness bend a thing? Some time after the said preacher killed “some of these cows, to be eat in his house, saying, “He would “try if the Quakers could bewitch him;’ and not long after he “died, even before the flesh of these cows was all eat. The “passage is so fresh in that town that it is acknowledged by “ divers of the neighbours to be true; and as great havoc was “made upon this honest man, and upon many in Sandwich, a “neighbouring town, and in many other places, so much more “might have been expected had not their violence been restrained “by the king's granting an indulgence to all tender consciences.” As also that of the witches and witchcraft that they have been so harassed with, and which they used to reproach our Friends. with, and strip and search as such, noted as a just judgment on them, from their own confession, but more here following; insomuch, as Cotton Mather says, Book VI., page 82, that “At last it was evidently seen that there must be a stop put to their executions, or the generation of the children of God,” as he calls them, “would fall under that condemnation.” And besides all the said fulfilling of the prophecies, noted above out of Increase Mather's History of the Wars, 1676, and his son Cotton, &c., for further confirmation, take the said Cotton Mather's confessions of their wickedness and cruelty, and the just judgments of God on them, in his Wonders of the Invisible World, 1693, which I may term
Wonders in the Land of Ham.
“All this, notwithstanding, we must humbly confess to our “God, that we are miserably degenerated from the first love of “our predecessors, however we boast ourselves a little when men “would go to trample upon us; hence it is that the happiness of “New England has been but for a time. A variety of calamity “has long followed this plantation; and we have all the reason “imaginable to ascribe it unto the rebuke of heaven upon us, for “our manifold apostasies; we make no right use of our disasters. “There is a further cause of our afflictions, whose due must be “given him.
“An army of devils is horribly broke in upon the place, which “is the centre, and, after a sort, the first of our English settle“ments; and the houses of the good people there are filled with “doleful shrieks of their children and servants, tormented with “invisible hands, with tortures altogether preternatural.
“The devils have made us like a troubled sea, and the mire and “mud begins now also to heave up apace; and the shake which “the devil is now giving us, fetches up the dirt which before lay “still at the bottom of our sinful hearts. Were it not for what is “in us, for my part I should not fear a thousand legions of “devils. Alas ! the Philistines of hell have cut our locks for us, “they will then bind us, mock us, ruin us. In truth, I can“not altogether blame it. Oh, condition truly miserable . To “wrangle the devil out of the country will be truly a new experi“ment. Alas! the devils they swarm about us like the frogs of “Egypt, in the most retired of our chambers, &c. We are con“tinually surrounded with swarms of these devils, who make this “present world become so evil. It is in persecution that the “wrath of the devil uses to break forth with its greatest fury.* “It is also to be remarked, that a disposition to recognize the “empire of God over the conscience of men, does now prevail “more in the world than formerly. “And that which makes our condition very much the more “deplorable, is, that the wrath of the great God himself, at “the same time also, presses hard upon us. First, the Indian “powwows used all their sorceries to molest the first planters “here. Then seducing spirits came to root in this vineyard. “After this we have had a continual blast upon some of our “principal grain, t annually diminishing a vast part of our ordi“nary food; herewithal wasting sicknesses, especially burning “and mortal agues, have shot the arrows of death in at our win“dows; next we have had many adversaries of our own language, “who have been perpetually assaying to deprive us of those “English liberties, in the encouragement whereof these territories “have been settled; as if this had not been enough, the Tawnies, “among whom we came, have watered our soil with the blood of “many hundreds of our inhabitants; desolating fires also have “many times laid the chief treasure of the whole province in “ashes. As for losses by sea, they have been multiplied upon “us, and particularly in the present French war, the whole “English nation have observed, that no part of the nation has “proportionably had so many vessels taken, as our poor New “England; besides all which, now at last, the devils, if I may so “speak, are in person come down upon us, with such a wrath as is “justly much, and will quickly be more, the astonishment of the
* It was so with you, that the wrath of the devil broke forth with great fury. f See also Morton's Memorials.
“world. Alas! I may sigh over this wilderness, as Moses did “over his, Psa. xc. 7, 9, ‘We are consumed by thine anger, and “by thy wrath are we troubled; all our days are passed away “in thy wrath.' And I may add this unto it, “The wrath of the “devil, too, has been troubling and spending of us all our days.” “But what will become of this poor New England, after all? “Shall we sink, expire, perish P I must confess, that when I con“sider the lamentable unfruitfulness of men among us, and, the “declining state of the power of godliness in our churches, with “the most horrible indisposition that perhaps ever was to recover “out of this declension, I cannot but fear lest it come to this, “and lest an Asiatic removal of candlesticks come upon us. “There is an agony produced in the minds of men, lest the “devil should sham us with devices, of perhaps a finer thread “ than was ever yet practised upon the world. Blessed Lord, are “all the other instruments of thy vengeance too good for the “chastisement of such transgressors as we are? Must the very “devils be sent out of their own place to be our troublers?" Must “we be lashed with scorpions, fetched from the place of torment? “Must this wilderness be made a receptacle for the dragons of “the wilderness? But that New England should this way be “harassed; they are not Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, “but they are bitter and burning devils. They are not swarthy “Indians, but they are sooty devils that are let loose upon us. “Ah! poor New England, must the plague of old Egypt come “upon thee, whereof we read, Psa. lxxviii. 49, “He cast upon “ them the fierceness of His anger, wrath, and indignation, and “ trouble, by sending evil angels among them.' What, oh! what “must next be looked for? Must that which is there next men“tioned be next encountered, “He spared not their soul from “death, but gave their life over to the pestilence,’ &c., as before “mentioned. “Oh I it is a defiled land wherein we live; let us be humbled * You counted the Quakers the troublers of you, as Cotton Mather says,
Book III., page 151, and lashed them, and therefore no wonder you should be troubled and lashed yourselves another way.