« AnteriorContinuar »
And now I shall declare the execution of your warrant on the said Daniel and Provided Southwick, whom Edmund Butter, a wicked and cruel man, and one fit for your purpose, sent your marshal for, who accordingly fetched them, and sought out for a passage to Barbadoes, to send them there for sale, as men sell goods, to fill his purse, he being your treasurer. But the man to whom he spake, would not carry them on that account, a thing so horrible!—and one of them, to try Butter, said, “That they would spoil all the vessel's company;” laying that as an argument why he would not carry them. “Oh, no,” said Butter, “you need not fear that I for they are poor, harmless creatures, and will not hurt anybody,” or words to this purpose. “Will they not so?” said the ship-master; “and will ye offer to make slaves of so harmless creatures?” So Butter sent them home again, to live off themselves, as he used to let their cattle feed upon them all the Winter until the Spring, which he took for fines, when they should make benefit of them, to answer their being chargeable in the Winter, till he could get a convenient opportunity to send them away.
And whilst I am hereupon, let me give you two more instances, viz., those of Edward Wharton and Samuel Gaskin, who were arrested for not coming to your meetings; and were had to Ipswich Court and fined, the one five pounds ten shillings, and the other eight pounds,-one of them being a young man, and apparently having no visible estate. William Hathorn, though he was but an assistant in the Court, gave judgment against him, and advised, “That if he had not, nor would not pay, they must send him to Barbadoes and sell him, to pay it.” And this was when the Court knew not on what to levy the fines. And this is the said Hathorn of whom I have before spoken, who turned from the tenderness that was once in him to please you, to get an employment whereby to live; and, having got it, thus turned against his tender principles and his friends, to whom he was once tender, to sell them for slaves, as he did in other particulars. One case of which, in a warrant sent to the Constable of Salem under his hand, in these words, I shall instance:—
“You are required, by virtue hereof, to search in all suspicious “houses for private meetings; and, if they refuse to open the “doors, you are to break open the door upon them, and return “the names of all ye find to Ipswich Court. “WILLIAM HATHORN.” But at this time he missed, though he shall not miss his judgment from the hand of the Lord, who will assuredly meet with him, and give him his portion with the rest of those who persecute His Truth, who once had a tender principle in them, and now turn against it, the case of all of you at this day. Yea, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for you. So, take your judgment together, ye who have been together in causing the innocent to suffer. Thus have I traced you through this long and crooked path of cruelty and blood, as well for the clearing of the innocent, viz., those among you who have not consented to, but in their place have opposed, and withstood, and testified against your proceedings unto blood; that the righteous may be separated from the wicked in the great day of the Lord, which is near at hand; who will render to every man according to his deeds; and that the struggle this thing met withal in its bringing forth, and who were the fathers and bringers of it on, and that the priests and you may be made manifest, I shall now proceed to what ye did to the strangers as well as to the inhabitants, and how ye did not only banish, but indeed put to death. These were the men of the country, whom I mentioned before, with whom ye proceeded as to banishment upon pain of death, and upon whom ye began. But these were not all, but with others, natives of England, accounted strangers by you, ye proceeded as with the inhabitants; yea, and also put to death, as I shall show by and by. For the Lord God of life and power, who gives unto all men life, breath, and motion, who is the Lord of heaven and earth, and doeth whatsoever He pleaseth in them both, and who shall say unto Him, “What dost thou? who saith to the North, give up; and to the South, keep not back, &c. Bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth,”—could not be limited by you, whose breath is in your nostrils, who are but dust, and whom in a moment He can turn into dust; nor be restrained by your laws, which were made in your wills to persecute, the just. But the stronger ye made your laws, and the more cruel ye became, the more He weakened you by His power in His servants, who went through banishment and death. And the more ye sought to keep Him under, the more He rose up amongst you in His servants and broke your bonds, and burst your cords asunder; and ye were mistaken, who thought that by such things His people could be disannulled, or His counsel be kept from being brought to pass, though He suffered ye thus to do, for the filling up your measures, and the making bare His arm, and the manifesting of the glory of His power, who is bringing great and mighty things to pass: to whom be glory, and praise, and dominion forever. So death was the thing ye aimed at, and their blood ye would have, and their blood ye had, and the Lord suffered ye so to do to try you, and to prove you, and to let the world see how far profession will go without the power of godliness. So saith your Declaration.—“Which sentence, viz., of banishment upon pain “of death, being regularly pronounced at the last Court of As“sistants against the parties above named, and they either return“ing, or continuing presumptuously in this jurisdiction, after their “limited time, were apprehended; and owning of themselves to “be the persons banished, were sentenced by the Court to death, “according to the law aforesaid, which hath been executed upon “two of them. Mary Dyer, upon petition of her son, and the “mercy and clemency of this Court, had liberty to depart within “two days; which she hath accepted of.” Answer.—Now, I am come to the bottom of your work and the height of this your gradual proceeding, from banishment unto death; and in the instance of those three servants of the Lord, viz., William Robinson, Marmaduke Stevenson, and Mary Dyer, two of whom, viz., William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson, ye confess to have executed; and the third, viz., Mary Dyer, to have sentenced to death, but reprieved, whom ye have since put
to death. I shall now proceed to the relation of their sufferings and the merits of their deaths, and then reason with you for the price of their sufferings. William Robinson, a merchant of London, and Marmaduke Stevenson, a countryman of the East part of Yorkshire, being moved of the Lord, in the Fourth month, 1659, to go from Rhode Island into your jurisdiction, came thither accordingly; whom ye soon apprehended, and with them one Nicholas Davis, who came from Plymouth Patent, of which he was, to reckon with those with whom he traded in Boston, and to pay some debts, and Patience Scott, daughter to Catharine Scott aforesaid, a girl of about eleven years of age, whose business to you, from her father's house in Providence, was, “To bear witness against your persecuting spirit.” And ye sent them to prison, there to remain ... until the sitting of the Court of Assistants; during which time Mary Dyer, aforesaid, was moved of the Lord to come from Rhode Island to visit the prisoners, whom ye also imprisoned, and at the sitting of the said Court of Assistants, banished, together with William Robinson, Marmaduke Stevenson, and Nicholas Davis, upon pain of death, if after the 14th of the Seventh month following they should be found in your jurisdiction. The child, it seems, was not of years as to law, to deal with her by banishment, but otherwise in understanding, for she confounded you; and some of you consent that ye had many children, and they had been well educated, and that it were well if they could say half so much for God as she could for the devil. So ye blasphemed the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth that spake in her, saying, “It was an unclean spirit.” For, saith the Son of God, “All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.”—See Mark iii. 22–30. For they said, he cast out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils; and that he had a devil. And Nicholas Upshall, the old man whom ye imprisdned, fined, and banished with such cruelty, as aforesaid, returning again to Boston, after the space of three years banishment, to his wife and family about the time of the sitting of this Court, as was laid upon him by the Lord, ye cast him into prison, there to remain until he acknowledged his offence, who only bore a Sober witness against your persecuting law as a freeman of Boston, after that your deputy-governor had charged him with denying his relations, in not coming to his wife and children in all that space of time; whereas ye had banished him from them, upon pain of perpetual imprisonment, if he came back again,_a wicked thing so to charge him for the suffering of that which ye had done unto him, to make him so suffer, and then to charge him for so doing. To which he answered, “Was not thou, and the rest of you here, the cause of it? Who banished me so that if I did return, I must be kept in prison until I did acknowledge my offence, which was for bearing witness against a wicked and unrighteous law, made to persecute the saints of Jesus Christ. Then ye sent me to the General Court, where I declared unto you, that the prosecution of that law would be a forerunner of a judgment on the country. Therefore I said, in tenderness of love which I bore to the people and country, I did humbly desire you to take heed what ye did, lest ye should be found fighters against God; and it had been good for ye that ye had attended to it.” And so it had, and you will find it so in the end, when that day is come upon you and the things are fulfilled, which he in the spirit of prophecy spoke to you: then ye will know that he spake not in vain, and that it had been your wisdom to have hearkened whilst ye had time; but now the things that are coming upon you make haste. The blood of the innocent cries loud against you, and the Lord is near to avenge it, the fruits of that law which took so with the old man, and which he bore testimony against and spake so of, and whose sufferings the Lord will recompense on you, who have cast him now into prison again, where he remains to this day, borne up by the Lord to bear your cruelty, that your measure may be filled to the full. For such a thing hath been hardly heard of, that men should take such an aged man as he, who had scarce a tooth, if any, in his head, whose provision of meat is scraped into a spoon,