Imágenes de páginas

further asked you, “Whether it was for that fault they were committed to prison and were banished, before the law had a being; or when was it?" but ye were silent. One of them also desired of the governor, “That he would be pleased now to declare before the people, the real and true causes of all your thus proceeding against them?" He answered, “It was for contemning authority, in not coming to the ordinances of God,"_see the priest in the bottom, to keep up his audience and authority. For the Apostles of Christ used no such thing; but they drew men to that of God in every man's conscience, thereby to lead them; and not by the outward sword, which is the weapon of Antichrist. But the weapons of our warfare, said Paul, are not carnal; but mighty, through the Spirit. So ye, who seek to compel the conscience by the sword of man, show where ye are. Your governor said, “They had rebelled against the authority of the country, in not departing according to their order,"—who, as they told him, had no otherwhere to go, and had wives and children, and families and estates, to look after, and were conscious of nothing that they had done which was worthy of death, banishment, or bonds, or of any of the things which they had suffered; yet, for keeping meetings of their own, you had taken from them upward of one hundred pounds. Major-general Dennison told them, “That they stood against the authority of the country, in not submitting to their laws; that he should not go about much to speak concerning the errors of their judgment; but, as had been told them, that they and you were not able well to live together; and that, at present, the power was in your hands, and therefore the strongest must fend off." (So no man should live by another on the face of the earth, where the other was the stronger. And where would this end, but in the destruction of mankind? But how long may your power hold ? can ye tell ? Could not the Bishops have said so? Yet they turned you not out, as I have said, nor do they keep you out.) Than which, what can be said more wicked? or, what more destructive and more dangerous principle can there be in the world? Yet this hath been Majorgeneral Dennison's word in all Courts, and this is the principle that part of it comer satisfied with what hut you must be deatino

on which ye go, because ye have power in your hands; to whom is the woe, who devise iniquity, and work evil upon your beds: and when the morning is light, ye practice it, because it is in the power of your hands.-See Micah ii. 1. So, see your portion, and your judgment from the mouth of the Lord. Then ye put them forth a little while, and called them in again, and pronounced their sentence of banishment upon pain of death; who departed, as aforesaid. The sentence was dated May uth, 1659, without a legal conviction on one principle or practice that was contrary to law, but because they were such as were called Quakers. And this is New England, and the justice of the Court of that part of it as is called the Bay of Massachusetts.

Yet ye were not satisfied with what ye had done to Lawrence and Cassandra and Josiah Southwick, but you must be dealing with the rest of the family; and they having more children that were friends of Truth, viz., Daniel and Provided, the Courts at Ipswich and at Salem fined them ten pounds for not coming to your meetings. But they having no visible estates, so as you could find to lay hold upon, to satisfy it according to your law; and your resolution in the case being desired, ye ordered them to be sold for the payment thereof. Your order runs thus: “Whereas “ Daniel Southwick and Provided Southwick, son and daughter " of Lawrence Southwick, have been fined by the Courts of Salem " and Ipswich, pretending they have no estates, and resolving not " to work," that is, to the treasurer, to answer the fines, and you will sell the innocent, where there is nothing to be had; as those did who “sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes. That pant after the dust of the earth, on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek, * * * and lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge on every altar; and drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their God."-See Amos ii. 7, 8. Because of which, the Lord said by the prophet Amos, He would not turn away the punishment thereof, even from Israel, where these things were found, nor will He from you, but the flight should perish from the swift, and the strong should not strengthen his force, neither should the mighty deliver himself: neither shall he that handleth the bow and he that is swift of foot deliver himself: neither should he that rideth the horse deliver himself: and he that is courageous among the mighty should fee away naked in that day.* So saith the Lord of you, as He did unto them, and it shall come to pass. So read your punishment, and take your judgment, ye who have done this and have not feared the Lord:

“And others likewise have been fined for siding with the Quak“ers, and absenting themselves from the public ordinances. In "answer to what should be done for the satisfaction of the fines, “ the Court, upon perusal of a law, which was made upon the account of debts, in answer resolves, that the Treasurers of the “several Counties are and shall be fully empowered to sell the "said persons to any of the English nations, as Virginia or Bar“badoes, to answer the said fines, &c.


" Secretary." Thus ye ordered to be sold of your brethren, of their sons and their daughters, not among yourselves, but into other plantations; not as servants in your houses, but as slaves to others; and yet you cry out, “Are not we the people of the Lord? Is not the Lord in the midst of us? The ordinances of God,- for not coming to the ordinances of God, and contemning authority therein, therefore have we done thus and thus unto you," said your governor in answer to them, when they desired him before the people to declare the real cause wherefore you dealt thus with them. And yet there is an ordinance of God, and a very positive one too; yet how contrary is this your order unto that! And how have ye ruled over them with rigour, and the height of cruelty, which the Lord said ye shall not do, ye shall not rule over them with rigour; “they shall not be sold for bondmen." But the just Lord is in the midst thereof, indeed, He will not do iniquity: every morning doth He bring His judgments to light. He faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame. Said the Lord, “Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!. She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God. Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow. Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.”—Zeph. iii. 1-4. Such is your case at this day.

* This was fulfilled during the wars with the Indians, when neither the strong nor the mighty, nor he that handled the bow, &c., could deliver themselves in that day, but the courageous, &c., fled before their enemies; because the Lord was not with them, nor went not forth with their armies, as they confessed, as aforesaid; and one of their priests on a fast-day, took his text out of the 44th Psalm, beginning at the 9th verse. “But thou hast cast us off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies. Thou makost ns to turn back from the enemy; and they which hate us spoil for themselves," &c., to the 14th, but preached chiefly on the 9th. See New England's Present Sufferings, page 6, as also, Increase Mather's Book of the Wars, pages 14, 25, 27 and 30, who confesses, page 25, “This seenis to argue something of a divine forsaking and displcasure in heaven against them."

Nor will that pretence in your Order cover you, viz., the paying of debts:—". Which was made upon the account of debts." And these being debts by the fines, and they not having wherewithal to pay them, therefore we sell them for their debts. For in no case were the Israelites permitted to sell their brethren and sisters for bondmen and bondwomen, nor to rule over one another with rigour.—See Lev. xxv. 42, 43. And as for the selling that the Israelites might do, it was thus:—“If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution: if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.”Exod. xxii. 2, 3. Were these such? Did ye take them breaking-up and stealing ? Then had ye something to say, and some pretence why ye should sell them; but to sell men for pretended debts, there can be no just cause.

Now what is this, as to the justification of your selling of these people to answer your fines, which you laid upon them, when the law of God lays none? And for meeting together, which “they, that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord

hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him, for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”Mal. iii. 16, 17. And this was when the proud were called happy; yea, when they that worked wickedness were set up; and they that tempted God were even delivered.–See Mal. iii. 15. Read the words, and yourselves, and them therein. And “not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is," said the apostle to the true Church of Christ, which is in God; "but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.”Heb. x. 25. And they met every week, on the First-day, at Corinth; and at Troas on the First day of the week. And “the same day at evening, being the First day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed them his hands and his side.”John xx. 19, 20. After Jesus was risen, they met together from house to house. And those that were converted, denied the idols' temples and met not in them; yet neither the one nor the other were fined, and after such a manner as ye have done to the servants of the Lord, and for speaking one to another, as aforesaid. And, for meeting together, ransacking their estates; breaking open their houses; carrying away their goods and cattle, until ye have left none; then their wearing apparel, and then their land, as in Plymouth Government; and when ye have left them nothing, sell them for that which ye call debt,-a people who are harmless, who are innocent; who defraud not nor oppress, nor do others wrong; your brethren, of yourselves, of the same nation and country; inhabitants long together in the country, where you are known one to another, and they being of unblamable conversation, fellow sufferers, and in the same condemnation. Oh, ye rulers of Boston ! ye inhabitants of Massachusetts Bay! what shall I say unto you? whereunto shall I liken you ?

« AnteriorContinuar »