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Answer.What was the penalty ? and what did ye inflict ? Oh, ye shameless men ! who make so slight of so heavy punishments! whose cruel strokes rent the air, whose bloody draughts pierced the hearts and souls of those who saw them, as they did the bodies of those whose filesh ye tore and whose blood ye drew! Yet this is insufficient,—the penalty inflicted proving insufficient. Never bloody enough to the spirit of wickedness, when once it launches out and dips its foot in the blood of the innocent,—SO it was and so it hath been with men in your state from the beginning. But the righteous God will fill to you again, yea, double in the cup that ye have filled, and ye shall surely receive your reward. Therefore deceive not yourselves; for, as you have sown, so shall ye reap; as you have done, so shall it be done unto you; and ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have taken vengeance upon you, and rendered unto you according to your deeds.-See Esek. vii. 5-9. Then shall you see and be ashamed for your envy at My people. Shame shall cover you,* who have said unto them, Where is now the Lord thy God? And ye shall be a desolation; the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it, who also will do it and perform it in its season.
Now, as to the sufferings, what were they? and your House of Correction, that ye make so slight of them, and say of them, “Which proving insufficient"?
The first two that came over after this your law, were Ann Burden and Mary Dyer, she who was afterwards put to death. Ann Burden's business was, to gather up some debts in the country for the maintenance of her and her children, her husband, who was a long inhabitant therein, being dead: she had lived about sixteen years in Boston and those parts, and was unblamable before them with whom she lived. Nor had ye anything wherewithal to charge her now, but that she was a plain Quaker, as Richard Bellingham said, and “ that she must abide your law.” Mary Dyer's business was to pass that way to Rhode Island, having no knowledge, before she arrived there, of what ye had done. These two ye imprisoned, and kept close prisoners, that none might come at them; and, though William Dyer came from Rhode Island for his wife, after he had heard that she was there and in prison, yet ye suffered him not to take her until he became bound, so great was your fear, in a heavy penalty, “Not to lodge her in any town of your colony, nor to permit any to have speech with her in her journey,” -an unmanly thing. But as for Ann Burden, ye held her to it, and when she was very sick in prison, ye suffered not her friends to come and visit her; yea, your jailer shut her up in a close room in the heat of Summer, upon the visit of two friends at the window as they came from your meetings. And as for her debts, although some tender-hearted people were moved to look after them whilst she was in this restraint, and had procured of them to the value of about thirty pounds, and desired that she might have the liberty, when ye sent her away, to pass to England by Barbadoes, because the goods so gathered for that part of the debt were not fit for England; which was so reasonable that it seemed, at first, as if you might grant it, if any would voluntarily receive her, for that ye could compel none so to do but he that brought her thither; and they, upon this seeming liberty of yours, had procured such a passage; yet ye suffered her not to go, but most unreasonably compelled the master of the ship that brought her there to carry her back to England, without any of her goods with her. Nor had she so much as one pennyworth of her husband's, except to the value of six shillings, which an honest man sent her upon an old account whilst she was in New England; but ye returned her empty to her fatherless children, though they were born in the country. And after that ye had kept her there for the space of about twelve weeks close prisoner, and put her to the charge of abiding there, when the master of the ship asked, “Who should pay for her passage?" ye advised him to take so much of her goods as would answer it. Which he refused to do, rather trusting to her honesty, of which he was persuaded, that she would not let him be a loser, though he could not compel her to pay,– which she paid him in London upon that account,-seeing she went not of her own will, ye let him go. And when he that had the first trust from her husband with the estate, was to convey, after she was gone, what was gathered to Barbadoes, ye stopped to the value of six pounds ten shillings of it for her passage, who went upon her own charge; and paid it in London, as aforesaid, and seven shillings for boat-hire to carry her on shipboard, though the master proffered John Endicott, your governor, to carry her in his own. But Richard Bellingham, your deputy-governor, would not consent, but sent her, with the hangman, in a boat that he had pressed; and stopped fourteen shillings for the jailer, to whom she owed nothing. And, as for the rest, she heard of some goods that were sent to the Barbadoes, by the honest man that stirred to have it in; but of him that was intrusted she neither heard when nor what, nor hath anything of it come to her hands (25th of the Second month, 1660) to relieve her and her children. And as for the remainder of the estate left in the country, which should have been a livelihood for her and her children, and for which she came, she knoweth not what is become of it, nor cannot go over to inquire, without imprisonment. And this is your mercy, your way to pay debts, your tenderness, your regard to the widow and the fatherless, your justice, and the execution of your laws, where the reason of your law hath no place. And for this expect that ye shall have your reward from Him who is the Father of the fatherless and the husband of the widow; who is no respecter of persons, but will render to every man according to his works.
* This was fulfilled when King Charles II. sent over an order to stop their proceedings, and they sent agents to excuse themselves, as Norton and Bradstreet,-who, when he heard that William Robinson's father was coming up out of the North to call him to account for murdering his son, fled and durst not stand the trial; shuffling and endeavoring to evade the guilt of it, as in the Second Part is mentioned, being ashamed to own it. So that they seldom mention it, to any purpose, even in their histories; but rather pass it over slightly, if they do touch it, than relate it as they ought, and as other historians used to do, even the cruelties of their own nation; as in England, the Sufferings of the Martyrs, &c.; but they endeavour to cover it in deceit. Witness Morton's Memorials, and Mather's late History of New England, wherein he just mentions it, and runs on a-railing, yet will not confess their guilt or know any shame.
Mary Clark, wife of John Clark, a merchant-tailor of London, England, and a mother of children, whom she left, being moved of the Lord to come unto you, is the next; whose tender body ye mercilessly tore, on the 24th of the Sixth month, 1657, with twenty stripes of a whip with three cords, laid on with fury, after she had delivered her message, which she received from the Lord, to you; upon which ye turned your backs, and said ye would not hear, like those proud men to whom the prophet Jeremiah spake •the Word of the Lord. So she turned her back on you, and ye smote it, as aforesaid; and, after having detained her prisoner for about twelve weeks in the Winter season, ye turned her out of your jurisdiction. And this is your House of Correction, and the beginning of the infliction of the penalty, which, ye say, was insufficient.
Christopher Holder and John Copeland are the next,— who, being moved of the Lord to go to Salem, a town in your colony, and Christopher Holder speaking a few words in your meeting on the 21st of the Seventh month, 1657, after the priest had done, was haled back by the hair of his head, and his mouth violently stopped with a glove and handkerchief, thrust therein with much fury by one of your church-members and commissioners; and they were both thrust out and had to a house, and continued there till the next day; and then had to Boston, where, on the 23rd of the said month, ye laid it on with thirty stripes a-piece at once, with a knotted whip of three cords, as near as could be in one place, the hangman measuring his ground, and fetching his strokes with the greatest strength and advantage he could, to cut their flesh and to put them to suffering,—the cruelty of which was so great, that a woman, seeing it, fell down as dead. Yet it did not end there,—for that night, and for three days after, your jailer kept them without food or water, lying on the boards, without bed or straw, after so cruel execution, and so close that none might come to speak with them. So they might have perished, but the Lord preserved them under your merciless cruelty; and, when all this would not do, ye kept them prisoners nine weeks in the cold Winter season without fire, and then turned them forth. And the Friend of Salem, Samuel Shattock by name, who pulled away the hand of the said church-member and commissioner, when he thrust the glove and handkerchief into the mouth of Christopher Holder, lest it should have choked him, being not able to behold so barbarous an act, though an inhabitant of Salem, and a man of good repute among ye, yet you sent him to Boston, and there kept him prisoner; whom ye have since whipped and banished upon pain of death, as a friend of Quakers, though ye had no law so to do, who only did this friendly act, until he had given in bond of twenty pounds to answer it at the next Court, and not to come to any of the meetings of the people called Quakers. And this was the second progress of your House of Correction, and the further infliction of your sufficient punishment, which ye laid on without compassion or pity, and yet call it insufficient. “The penalty inflicted proving insufficient,” say ye, who are thus drunk in blood and filled with madness, that ye care not what you do to the innocent, nor what cruelty ye inflict, nor how your rage reacheth. up to Heaven in causing them to suffer; but, being mounted in blood, ye ride on with speed, and no consideration or bowels of tenderness can stop your career,—no, not the sad condition of your neighbours, the inhabitants, who had lived long amongst ye, and were partakers of the same distance from their country and other inconveniences, and were known to you to be of sober conversation; your eye pitied not, neither did ye spare them. The cry of their oppression came not into your ears, neither did your hearts relent; but, as men given up to a reprobate sense, implacable, unmerciful, without natural affection, so ye proceeded with the inhabitants as with the strangers, and more cruelly too, neither regarding age nor sex, neither the hoary head nor him that stoopeth for age, neither child nor old woman, neither infant of days nor the man of riper years, neither a man and his house nor a man and his heritage, neither many men and their houses, nor many men and their heritages, wives, children, families, relations, estates, goods, lands, persons, beings, as I shall set in order before you by and by,though therein you are silent. And the righteous judgments of God will not spare you, for your iniquities and hard-heartedness to the poor, neither will His eye pity you nor will He spare you; but the reward of your hands shall be given you, and the fruit of