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“from God, as doth appear by their own writings a little before “their death; and they knowing that in their obedience their “sufferings would be great, therefore God gave them strength “and boldness to go through, as you may see by their writings,” “having the promises and comforts of God in their obedience. “And now, because they were faithful unto God, in their obe“dience unto death, to be rendered wilful, resolute, and daringly “to affront them, is gross perversion, and wickedness in a high “degree, and be tokens still of a bloody mind; to say after they “have killed the innocent, that “they were not abused, but dealt “justly with,’ &c. Thus, notwithstanding the many great and “notable judgments of the Lord upon the country ever since, you “may see what a spirit still continues in these priests, who, Pha“raoh-like, still harden their hearts, not only against them that “were put to death, in saying, “They were not abused,’ &c., but “against them also that yet remain; for I have been informed “that one of these four priests hath been heard to say, ‘It is pity “they should be suffered,’ &c., Haman-like, who for the envy he “had to Mordecai, because he bowed not, nor did him reverence, “would have all the Jews destroyed; and to bring his envious “purpose to pass, he makes a fair show to the king, as if they “without question deserved to be destroyed; and went to the “king and said, “There is a certain people scattered abroad, and “dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom, “and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the “king's laws; therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer “them.—Esth. iii. 8. He does not nakedly and plainly tell the “king the grief of his heart, why he would have them destroyed, “but makes or invents a notorious lie, to render them a seditious “people; as if they came there and dispersed themselves on pur“pose to undermine his government; telling the king, ‘That it “was not for his profit to suffer them.' “So now these priests, instead of preaching repentance for “what they have done, in hanging the Quakers, they say, ‘They “were not abused, but dealt justly with." Oh that people would “but see and consider, how that the judgment of the Lord hath “been upon the country ever since; but some are hardened for “the day of slaughter, turning judgment backward, that because “New England had been visited with many sore and grievous “judgments, they are ready to say, ‘It is because the Quakers are “suffered.' Well, I leave all to the Lord, who said, ‘Wengeance “is mine, and I will repay;' rather wishing repentance to the “worst of our adversaries, than their destruction.” Which sufficiently shows their deceit, contradiction, and confusion, in going to justify that at one time, which at another they pretend they will not nor cannot, as uncertain of which or what to say or do in the case, and so discover their nakedness and shame, according to George Bishop's words aforesaid, that “they should be ashamed of their envy at His people.” And I would seriously ask Cotton Mather, as he would answer it at the day of judgment, whether all that he alleges against them, the Papists might not, or did not, allege against the martyrs? Does he say they were heretics? The Papists said so of them. Does he say they were rebels, &c.? The Papists said the same by them. Witness their champion, Allen Cope (Cotton Mather's figure).” Or does he think that such pleas will be of any value before the Lord in that day? Oh, nay; let them not deceive themselves, “God will not be mocked;'' all their excuses and evasions will not cover the blood of the slain, or wipe out the guilt of it; no, it is only the blood of Christ can do that, through deep repentance and confessing their sin, and not covering it, which they that do “shall not prosper.”—Prov, xxviii. 13. Ibid. “Nor do I,” says he, “look upon hereticide as an evangelical way for the extinguishing of heresy.” Much less of Truth, say I; but herein he contradicts his master Calvin, who held it lawful to burn heretics, and it had been well if they had always been of that mind; but persecutors do use to repent, or at least see their folly, when it is too late; but hereby he hath judged all their persecutors to be out of the right way, and consequently wrong, and yet otherwise commends and extols them, as good,
* In the Appendix to the First Part.
godly, and zealous men, which still shows his contradiction and confusion. “It is true,” says he, “these Quakers did manifest an intolerable contempt of authority.” Answer. No more than Mordecai did to proud Haman, when he would not bow to him in the gate; it being for not putting off the hat, and for being such as were called Quakers, you put them to death, as William Robinson noted to the people, when Priest Wilson said tauntingly to them at the place of execution, “Shall such jacks as you come in before authority with your hatson?” William Robinson replied, “Mind you, mind you, it is for not putting off the hat we are put to death.” So one may see how small a matter they count a contempt of authority, and worthy of death; the like I believe hardly ever heard of, except in the case of Haman, and then he could not bring it to pass neither, being hanged in Mordecai's stead. Ibid. “They did needlessly pull upon themselves a vengeance from which the authority would gladly have released them, if they would have accepted a release.” Answer. This is false, as appears before by their writings, how they desired their lives with the liberty of their consciences, and warned them not to put them to . death; but all would not do, resolved they were for their blood. So that they pulled it no more upon themselves, than the prophets, apostles, and martyrs did; and the Papists might as well have said so of them, as this envious adversary of our Friends; and they would gladly have accepted a release, if they could have been clear in their testimony in the sight of God, though otherwise “they loved not their lives to the death,” but gave it up for His sake that died for them; and their bodies to be “tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.” So that it was their persecutors that maliciously murdered them, and would not release them, and thereby pulled vengeance on themselves, from which they would now, I believe, gladly be released if they could without confessing their guilt and taking shame to themselves. “But,” says he, “it is also true, that they were madmen, a sort of lunatics, demoniacs, and energumens.” But that is also false; and I challenge him once more to show wherein,
by any action or behaviour of theirs, that did betoken any such thing, which, though he often most unjustly accuses them of, he hath not instanced the least shadow of proof of it, and therefore I charge it as a vile slander on his head; and also his saying that “he was a wise,” though far from “a good counsellor,” say I, “who propounded that a law might be made for the Quakers to have their heads shaved;” and his “punishment, to let them bleed too,” he may justly apply to their own rulers, whom he represents as mad, and that they were not wise men that were betrayed by that spirit of oppression into this madness; neither is he in following them, in reviling and abusing innocent sufferers, as he does, to cover the guilt of their sufferings. As for the Declaration of the General Court, at Boston, in 1659, published for the satisfaction of the people, a great part of whom, he confesses, “were much dissatisfied at what had been done,” which he sets down, it is answered at large by George Bishop, in the aforesaid book, and the invalidity thereof sufficiently shown, as it related to the several heads of sufferings therein mentioned and related; and which, had he been an impartial historian, as he pretends, he ought to have signified also, as well as reprinted it again in the vindication of it, though he pretends he will not nor cannot vindicate it. I may say of it as Osborn did of King James I.'s Declaration * for cutting off the head of Sir Walter Raleigh, finding him pitied, to use the historian's own words, “He, according to the mode of weak and illconsulted princes, set forth in print a declaration, which, according to the usual success of such apologies, rendered the condition of that proceeding worse in the world's opinion,” and so do theirs. And yet, though he pretends he will not nor cannot vindicate it, he still seems to commend their zeal, and calls them “godly men who then governed them.” But I have sufficiently shown before how far they were from godly or good men, and shall again anon. And as to any Quakers, whom he calls “wretches, ordinarily saying among the people, we deny thy Christ, we deny thy God, which thou callest Father, Son, and Spirit; thy Bible is the word * Memoirs of King James, page 20.
of the devil;” both these charges we utterly deny, as false in fact, and challenge him to prove who, or when any Quaker said so; and if any ever did or do, we should disown it, and testify against them; for we abhor the very thoughts of any such expressions; and that “the spirit of the crew,” as he vilely calls them, “was yet more provoking, pernicious, and perilous, as one of them has discovered it in a writing, published against all earthly powers, parliaments, laws, charters, magistrates, and princes.” What more provoking, pernicious, and perilous against magistrates than against God, if they had wrote so, which yet I deny, that is strange? However, if any one wrote so, which I question, this was but against such as were corrupt, and their corruptions, and not against magistracy and government itself; as any but the wilfully blind might easily see, by the many books and papers written by our Friends, owning them in their places. And what if George Fox, from a shoemaker, became an apostle of the Quakers, as Paul, the tent-maker, did an apostle of the Gentiles? And what though he were incapable of writing common sense, as he says? Or what if he could not have written at all, is that any argument against him? Were not several of the apostles illiterate? And what if “he, though not bitterly, inveighed against those who doted upon an earthly king,” &cP So he might against those who doted on anything else; for when things are idolized, it provokes the Lord against them. But what hypocrisy is this in Cotton Mather to insinuate that against the Quakers, of which he and his brethren were so notoriously guilty? What regard had his brethren to the laws of King Charles I. of England, their own Charter, &c., when without the king's order, contrary to law, and to the forfeiting their own charter, they put our Friends to death in New England P And did not his brethren in Old England, after they had brought King Charles I. to the block, engage and swear that they would never have any king or kingly power? What, did they then dote on an earthly king P Surely, nay; no. more than the Quakers: yet hypocritically charge the Quakers, who are subject to “every ordinance of God for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the king as supreme,” &c., though we say that