« AnteriorContinuar »
your doings, because ye spared not, neither had mercy. And the Lord will sulfill, whose Word it is, who is a God of faithfulness and truth: blessed are all they who put their trust in Him.
And here Cassandra Southwick and Lawrence, her husband,— an aged, grave couple, inhabitants of Salem and members of your church,-come to be considered; who, because they entertained the two strangers, viz., Christopher Holder and John Copeland, were committed to prison and sent to Boston, your metropolis of blood, where ye released Lawrence, to be dealt withal by them who reported him of their congregation; but Cassandra ye kept seven weeks a prisoner, and then fined her forty shillings for owning a paper written by the strangers aforesaid, in reference to Truth and the Scriptures, which your governor put to her wherewithal to ensnare her and to bring her under your law, who had none before, after ye had detained her as aforesaid; and she owning which, for that she could not deny, unless she had denied the Truth, ye fined her, though even that law, by which ye fined her, fineth only for heretical papers, which this was not proved to be.
Richard Dowdney was the next who felt your hand, upon whom there being a necessity laid from the Lord to come from England to you, ye apprehended at Dedham and brought to Boston, where he never was before, nor in that country; and, having given him thirty stripes at once, with such a whip as aforesaid, and laid them on with as much cruelty as the former, and searched for his papers and books, and took from him what ye would,—all which in the space of three hours after his coming to town, to the wounding of the hearts of many who heard and saw so innocent a man so inhumanly abused,—ye continued him twenty days a prisoner, and then sent him away with the four former, after ye had threatened him and them with the loss of their ears if they came there again, &c., into your jurisdiction. Which leads me to the next step of your proceedings, mentioned in your Declaration, viz., the cutting off of ears, the penalty, to wit, was increased by the loss of the ears of those that offended the second time. The whole runs thus:–
Declaration.—“And the penalty inflicted proving insufficient “to restrain their impudent and insolent obtrusions, was in“creased by the loss of the ears of those that offended the sec“ond time.” Answer.—Before I come to the particular execution of this increase of your cruelty, I must necessarily turn aside to show the reader the effect of the former upon the inhabitants, and what it produced as to them, and your proceedings thereupon. Your violent and bloody proceedings so affected the inhabitants of Salem, and so preached unto them, that divers of them could no longer partake with you, who mingled blood with your sacrifices; but, choosing rather peace in their consciences with * God, whose Witness in them testified against such worships, than to join with you, whatsoever they might suffer therefor, withdrew from your public assemblies, and met together by themselves on the First-day of the week, quietly and peaceably, in one another's houses, waiting on the Lord. This separation ye soon observed, for it could not be long hid, and it grieved you sore, and William Hathorn, one of your commissioners, having knowledge thereof, sent forth his warrant to bring all who were taken together before him the next morning. On being brought before him, he read unto them an old law, made in 1646, to convict those who should absent themselves from their public meetings after the rate of five shillings a week, (now the bishops' fine was but twelve pence in the days of Queen Elizabeth,) with which ye convicted them; a practice never used by Christ or his apostles, nor by the Jews of old; which yet satisfied him not. But this Captain Hathorn sent for them again, and asked them ensnaring questions concerning the sufficiency of the Light which convicteth of sin, and had the Clerk of the Court to write what they said: that Light which convinceth of sin being the Light of Christ, “which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world,” and who saith, “I am the Light of the world.” John saith, “That [this] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world; . . . in him was life, and the life was the Light of men.”—John i. 4, 9. They owning it to be that which it was, as it is to be minded by all, he, Captain Hathorn, sent three of them to you at Boston, viz., the said Lawrence Southwick and Cassandra, his wife, and Josiah, their son, (all of a family, to terrify the rest,) whom ye sent to your House of Correction, as ye call it, on the Third of the Twelfth month, 1657, and caused to be whipped with cords in the coldest season of the year, as those aforesaid, though two of them were aged people. And having kept them eleven days in prison, and commanded them to work for the jailer, who had families of their own and business to attend upon, from which ye detained them and caused them to work for another, under the penalty of your law, as if they were rogues or vagabonds, and such as would not work nor have regard to their families, but wander up and down to beg and steal, as is the law of England, and as it provides; and then, not in a legal way, set them at liberty. For, as for the information, the said Hathorn sent it in a private way, as his manner was, sealed up to your governor, which he produceth not. Nevertheless, with this the said Hathorn was not satisfied, but being filled with cruelty and blood, sent forth his warrants, and caused several of the beasts of the said Lawrence and Josiah Southwick to be distrained, to the value of four pounds thirteen shillings: that is to say, for six weeks absence of the said Lawrence and Cassandra, three pounds six shillings; and the rest for Josiah, their son, being two young beasts and a fat hog. Neither with this was the said Hathorn satisfied, nor with the departure of some out of that jurisdiction because of your cruelty, but from one Edward Harnet, aged about sixty-nine years, and his wife, aged seventy-three, and another aged family, he caused thirty-seven shillings to be taken for not coming to your meetings, though they were low in the outward, and had more need to have been ministered unto than to be taken from. And in the First month, 1658, ye committed William Shattock, an inhabitant of Boston, to your House of Correction, and cruelly whipped him at his first entrance, because he was found alone in his own house, by your constable, on a First-day, where ye kept him to work, which was making of shoes; and the jailer took his labour from his wife and children. Which, putting him to straits to think what he should do for their sustenance, though he could have well endured the thing as to himself, yet in regard your deputy-governor told his wife, in part of whose house his family then was, that in regard he was poor, and could not pay them five shillings a week for not coming to your meetings, you would continue him still in prison, he desired to depart your jurisdiction, to do which ye gave him but"a very short time. And your said deputy-governor endeavoured to make a separation between him and his wife, persuading her that she should never hear of him more, when he was gone to seek out a place for them in another jurisdiction, and that what William had done, was to be rid of her and her four children; and told her that, if she would disown him and persuade his children to it, a cursed work, neither she nor her children should want, for he intended to keep two of them himself; William's son being, as your said deputy said, fit to keep his sheep, whom he took from the place where William had appointed him to abide, lest the deputy should make a prey of him. And so he had but three days time to depart your jurisdiction, provide for his family and receive and pay his debts, which he was necessitated to accept; because ye had concluded to keep him still in prison and to take of his children to be your servants, and to make his wife do your wills, or perpetually banish him, as he understood by her. Besides, ye committed him, and ordered him to be severely whipped at his first entrance, according to your first law, entitled, “A Law concerning Quakers,” and there to be kept, and none suffered to converse with him whilst he was in prison. And this is the justice of the Court of the Massachusetts, and the religion of your deputy towards God. And, to proceed and let others see, as well as yourselves, what a generation ye are and heap of evil-doers, whom no consideration will tie, or keep mean or medium, there were about this time three of the inhabitants of Salem going to Rhode Island to see the place, and to provide a being for themselves and families, whose names are John Small, Josiah Southwick, and John Burton; who, coming to a place called Dedham, in the way thither, about thirty miles from Salem, as they were going into the ordinary to lodge the first night, one of the chief men of the place, Captain Lusher by name, was sent for, who examined them about religion with your ministers, on purpose to ensnare them. Which they perceiving, and refusing to answer unto his questions, though they gave him an account of their journey, he told them that he would send them where they should answer. And so the next morning the constable came with aid, and with a halbert and a brazen-headed staff, conveyed them like murderers through the street to Boston, where your deputy-governor reviled them, telling them that they should go to prison. And to prison they had gone, had they not desired to go to the governor; who, hearing the case, did. more like a man of understanding, if he had so held, and set them free, saying, “That they could not hinder men from travelling on their journeys.” Yet notwithstanding, the same governor and deputy-governor signed a warrant to levy twelve shillings on them, to pay the constable and his men: thus levying fines to force some away, and keep others back,-neither suffering them to live in quietness or depart in peace. Sarah Gibbons and Dorothy Waugh were the next on whom ye laid your bloody cruelty; for they, being moved of the Lord, went to Boston, and being found in your meeting-place speaking a few words after your lecture was ended, on the 13th of Second month, 1658, ye caused them to be had to your House of Correction, where your jailer, a member of your church, kept them three days without food in a close room, though they tendered money for provisions, not having eaten one morsel of bread during that time. Then ye sent for them to your Court, the 1st of Third month, 1658, and asked them many ensnaring questions, to get matter against them; in which not prevailing, for the Lord was with them, giving them a mouth and wisdom which ye could not resist,-ye sentenced them to prison, to be severely whipped; which was cruelly executed the Second day of the week following, with a three-sold corded-knotted whip, with which ye gave them ten lashes a-piece, tearing off their flesh and beating it to pieces, and then shut them up and stopped the windows, to prevent air