« AnteriorContinuar »
" societies animadvert upon him; but when he sins only in a re"ligious capacity, societies more purely religious are the fittest " then to deal with him. I pray, when did fines or jails ever “signify anything for the cure of heretics ? These violences may “ bring the erroneous to be hypocrites; but they will never make "them to be believers. No, they naturally prejudice men's minds " against the cause which is therein pretended for, as being a weak, "a wrong, an evil cause; wherefore, that things may go well, I " would willingly put in a bar against the persecution of any " that may conscientiously dissent from our way. Nor would I “ desire myself to suffer persecution upon a clearer cause, than " that of testifying against our persecution of other Christians that " are not of my own opinion. I am sure that things will not go “ well, as long as we incur the fulfilment of that awful word, «If ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not "consumed one of another. These things, (says he,) which " were then uttered, with many others, from 2 Chron. xií. 12. ""In Judah things went well.' Having the thanks of them that “ represented the province, then returned for them, I chose in " these terms here to represent the temper in this matter, which “ I suppose the considerate part of the province are now come “unto; and so long as they continue of it, I durst almost pro“phesy that sectaries will never be able to make any great impres“sions upon them. Well,” says he, “the enemy of the New “ England churches is hitherto disappointed.” Obs. With what face now can he pretend " that the enemy of the New England churches is hitherto disappointed''? If they count persecution the enemy of it, as he would imply from the above sermon, as to be sure it is, and of all countries under heaven, I cannot imagine, when they have been so notoriously guilty of it, that there is any Christian Kingdom or State in the world, going under the name of Protestant, that has equalled them; if he can tell of any that do compare with them in it, let him name them, they having been in this point, of all others, next to the Papists; and if things were to go well with them only while they did not persecute others, it is another strong indication why things have gone so ill with them; and the sequel hath proved that they have been great persecutors, by things going so ill with them, as they have ever since; neither were they such rulers that were a terror to evil works, but to the good; and if they are now come to that temper, as the sermon expresses, it seems they have not been of it all along, by their being but now come to it; though they gave thanks for it so long ago, they did not keep to it; but it seems, it is but “the considerate part that is come to that tem: per," so that there may be an inconsiderate part that may still be of the old persecuting temper; and that “so long as they continue of it, he durst almost prophesy,'' and yet deny the spirit of prophecy, the testimony of Jesus in his witnesses; but it is but almost that he pretends to prophesy, “that sectaries will never be able to make any great impressions upon them ;' but how doth this agree with the letter in vindication of their severities, printed at the end of Norton's book, 1660, that “religion will never stand long where it (viz., coercive power in matters of religion) is for: saken; and if coercive power, then corporal punishments in meet cases," and that “the sword of magistracy is to be used against such?'? Which of these shall we credit? And who is in the confusion now? Well, however, let them keep in the temper against persecutions, that. he pretends “the considerate part are now come unto;'' and as for them he calls sectaries (as the Papists do all Protestants) making impressions on them, we will venture that; and leave the issue to the Lord.
Reader, this above, “That the enemy of New England (persecution) hath been hitherto disappointed," is a very great piece of confidence, as well as falsehood, when it is so manifest to the contrary; but this following is also so great, that I know not which is the greatest, viz., that after all the persecutions, cruelties, and barbarities which they have acted to both strangers and inhabitants, he should have the face to say, chap. i., page 31; “ Heaven is witness to the injustice of the slander. by some “uttered against us, “That we have ever been uncivil to strangers;' " and the strangers themselves have witnesses, that nowhere “under heaven could they expect more civility than that where: " with we have ever treated them;" when it is so notorious to the contrary, as not only heaven but the earth is witness, and can judge; for whatever strangers that came thither could expect, it is manifest that nowhere under heaven (especially among Protestants) they have been worse treated than many have there, as the strangers have witnessed. And that they were far from treating them with that civility he pretends, witness among many others that might be mentioned, not only them they put to death (though strangers), and how they treated Ann Austin and Mary Fisher; and William Brend and Ann Coleman, they almost whipped to death; Christopher Holder, John Copeland, and John Rouse, whose ears they cut off, &c.; but also Elizabeth Hooten and her daughter, though she came with license from the king to purchase and live among them, which they would not admit of, but whipped her eight times, and drove her several times into the wilderness, with many others as aforesaid; but this civility he speaks of to strangers, the reader may take notice, is in his chapter of impostors and their civility to them, and not the servants of the Lord called Quakers.
Chap. i., page 96.-As for his ranking our Friends with the Indians “preying upon the frontiers and outskirts of the province, and that the Quakers have chosen the same for their more spiritual assaults, labouring incessantly, and sometimes not unsuccessfully, to enchant and poison the souls of people, in that very place where the bodies and estates of the people have presently after been devoured by the savages;" this is but some of the venom of his spirit, and the dirt that works up from the bottom of his heart, as he says in another case elsewhere, because of his enmity against the Truth, and its prevailing anywhere, even on the outskirts; though he will not afford them much other room as aforesaid, nor that neither, if he could help it. And if any such thing as he speaks of happened after, he may reflect on themselves as the cause of bringing such judgments on the country for their persecutions. And if any suffered in those calamities, where the Quakers had been, and who had received or entertained them, (for that is his grudge,) it is no more to be attributed to their receiving our Friends than to others recciving the Presbyterian priests; and if it did so happen, as it may alike to all in such cases, it was better they died in the belief of the Truth, though he calls it poison, and which the blind priests always reproached, than in the bloody spirit of New England persecutors, as it is to be feared too many did.. · Ibid. “That one Thomas Maule," as he calls him, “at this time living in Salem, hath exposed unto the public a volume of nonsensical blasphemies and heresies, wherein he sets himself to defend the Indians in their bloody villanies, and revile the country for defending itself against them ;'' and queries," have the Quakers eyer yet censured this their author, for holding forth in his Alcoran, page 221, that the devil, sin, death, and hell are but nothing, they are but a nonentity?" Now, it is not likely that any Quaker should write so, if what he writes of him be true; which no Quaker, that I know of, ever did. And were it not but that he must manifest his own folly, I could hardly think he would put stuff, that is so unlikely, in his History, to spoil his credit. And I can hardly credit what he writes of him, though I never heard of the man before; yea, he himself seems to question whether we own it, as he hath set it down, by saying, “That if you do not publicly give forth a testimony to deny Thomas Maule and his work, it will be thought by some that you own this bloody stuff.” So that it seems he is uncertain whether they own it or no, as well he may, as he hath set it down, “which doubtless," as he says, "they will not be so ill advised as to own." But that I shall suspend at present, till we hear farther, and leave him to vindicate himself. But, to deal plainly with him, I question whether all the Presbyterians will own all his bloody and lying stuff in his History, whether they put out a testimony to deny him and it, or no; but if they do not apply the proverb to him, as he would have them of Thomas Maule, as great a liar as Cotton Mather, they will not give him his due.
Ibid. Chap. ii.-" In the mean time he owes unto the public a piece of history, which it may be for the safety of their Northern towns to be acquainted withal;' and that is, “ That once the famous George Keith undertook to be the champion of their New England Quakers," but this is but a vain repetition, unbecoming an historian, answered before, “and bid fair," says he, “ to be the very Daloe or Prester John of all the English Tartars," which shows his frothy spirit; “but a minister of Boston, upon that occasion, publishing a book, could not but complain of it, as a very scandalous thing in George Keith, to maintain the points of the Foxian Quakerism, while he really differed from them.” Answer. That is more than he can prove, as aforesaid. However, I do not believe, as I said before, that that was the occasion of his change, nor that he will own it; though perhaps they may shake hands now, if they meet at Boston. “All this while," says he, “ George Keith was admired by our Quakers as an apostle, or an oracle ; but he, finding it impossible to maintain the gross tenets of the common Quakers,” that is false again; for it was not impossible, but that he did defend them, though not as gross tenets as he calls them, but as sound principles, "preached unto them the necessity of believing on a Christ without, as well as a Christ within." And what of that? So he had long before, and all the Quakers in England, &c., believed it, even before he was a Quaker himself, though not as two Christs, but the same without as within.
“Hereupon,” says he, “there grew such alienations between him and the other Quakers." False still; the alienation grew not thereupon, but upon preaching, “that the Light within was not sufficient to salvation," or not sufficient, “without something else;" when the Lord said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee;' and, “by grace ye are saved;" and "the ingrafted Word,” which is all one thing, “is able to save the soul;" and too nicely distinguishing between “Christ without” and “Christ within," contrary to his former doctrine,* not too nicely to distinguish betwixt his “inward and outward coming,' &c., as if not one but two Christs, to confuse people's minds, that they knew not what to make of it.
And that George Fox said, “ The devil is in them who say they are saved by Christ without,"' is a perversion of his words; * Way to the City of God, pages 125 and 137.