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ers by, and such, whose minds are dis-engaged in the businesse will aptly conclude, and not without probable grounds, that the utmost they can say for themselves, and to stop the mouth of him that is contrary minded, lyes in the Sword and power of the Magistrate, which although it be a good Ordinance of God in this present evill World, to restrain the oppressor, and let the oppressed goe free, and so approved and owned by Christ and all true Christians, in case of wrong and wicked lewdnesse, as Gallio expresseth it, yet was it never appointed by Christ, (to whom all power, not only in Earth, but also in Heaven, is committed, and by whom all Earthly powers are to be judged, in that day in which he shall judge the World in righteousnesse; I say it was never appointed by Christ) to inform and rectifie the minds and consciences of men in the worship of God, in that great mystery of Godlinesse, and in those mysticall matters concerning the Kingdom of Christ, that being a matter that onely belongs to the Holy Spirit of Promise, and to the Sword of that Spirit, which is the Word (not of man, but) of God, to effect; much lesse to conform their outward man, contrary to their minds and consciences in the Worship of God; and therefore that Sword and Power ought to take heed how they meddle herein (lest they attempt to take the place, & enter upon the Throne and Kingdom of Christ) either to force such as be conceived to be true Worshipers, to the true Worship, and service of God, for it is written, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of Hosts. And again, In the day of thy power, thy people shall be a willing people; much lesse to force such as are no Worshipers, or false, to that Worship which is true, and yet much lesse to force false, to that which is false, or true, to that which is false; and hence it is, that although the Kings of the Earth have been deceived, and through the righteous judgment of God have given their power to the Beast, to their own dishonour and detriment, who have improved the same to bear up the Whore, and to bear down and crush the Spouse of the Lamb, so that Babel hath for a long time rejoyced, and Sion hath mourned; yet when the time appointed is come, at the voyce of her King Sion shall
deliver herself from the Daughter of Babel, though all the powers of this World seek to withstand it; neither shall the gates of Hell prevail against it: for it is written concerning those that keep the Commandements of God, and the Testimony of Iesus, that they overcame him (scil. that great Red Dragon called the Devill and Satan, who also gave his power to the Beast, they overcame him I say) by the Blood of that Lamb, and by that word of their Testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Now touching Iohn Crandall aforesaid, to whose charge they had also nothing to lay, but his being with us, owning the same Faith, and Order of the Gospell, and therefore refusing to stoop to that likenesse thereto, which they had set up; yet as is said, they sentenced him to pay 5 pounds by the next Court of Assistants, or else to be well whipt. Whereupon the day following he inquired of the Keeper, when that Court of Assistants would be, (being resolved not to chuse his punishment, they being not able to make it appear by the Law of God or Man that he was a Transgressor so to be punished) and being by him informed that it would be a quarrer of a yeer before that time came; and also, that if he were so resolved, he might put in Bail for his appearance at the time aforesaid, and so depart, he forthwith put in Bail, and so departed to visit his Family, being distant from thence threescore and ten miles. He was no sooner at home, but his Spirit was unsatisfied in what he had done, in leaving us behind in the Prison, though with our consent and counsell he did what he did; whereupon, leaving his Harvest upon the spoyl, within a few dayes he returned to us again, and tendered his person unto the Keeper, who refused it, saying, Since your departure I perceive your Sentence is, That you should not depart the Prison, without either paying the money, or putting in security for the payment of it; wherefore now either you or your Surety must pay it. To whom Brother Crandall replyed, you informed me otherwise before I went, and upon other termes I departed, wherefore for my own part I am resolved I will not pay it, and for my Surety he is at his liberty, being no otherwise bound, than for my appearance, and here I
am, and am your Prisoner ; neverthelesse when I was released, and turned out of Prison, and could no longer upon that account there remain, I counselled him to put the matter quite out of doubt, wherefore he said to the Iaylor, Let me know what I shall trust to, for if you accept me upon the former account, well, I shall willingly tarry, and remain your Prisoner, but if not, I shall now repair home with my Friend to my Family; so after the Taylor had advised with the Magistrate, he friendly told him, If he would promise to appear at the time appointed, he would take his word, become his Surety, and he might be gone; whereupon I being doubtfull, though he was confident concerning the time (there being an other Court between) desired him to send us certain word to the Iland, when that Court of Assistants would be; so having his promise, we thankfully accepted his kindnesse, & so departed : And being at home we waited for a word from the Keeper for a return, but the first word we heard touching that matter, was, that the Court was past (which was that Court I suspected) & that Brother Holmes had had his tryal by cruel scourgings, & that the Iaylor being Brother Crandals Surety, by reason of his nonappearance was constrained to pay the money; hereupon not long after Brother Crandall went to Boston, and charged the Iaylor with his mis-information, and neglect of his promise; and moreover declared that he had told him, That being Innocent, he would not make himself a Transgressor by chusing his punishment, and therefore had resolved, as he also knew, not to pay them a penny; and further he told him, that there was no necessity he should lay down the money, it being but through a mistake, and he being but Surety, when the Principall was present; and was able through the strength of Christ to answer the penalty: and thus having argued the case with the laylor, he left him without any grounds of hope to have it repaid, neverthelesse if advantage will be so strictly taken upon the Keepers mistake, neither Conscience nor Equity will suffer us it appearing to be a meer mistake, and no plotted thing) not to suffer him to bear it, and thus it appears how a second came off, and escaped a scourging: Now as concerning the third, by name Obe
diah Holmes, what is laid to his charge this Sentence under their Secretaries hand (a Copy whereof is here under written) will plainly expresse. The Sentence of Obediah Holmes of Seacuck, the 31 of
the 5th M. 1651. Forasmuch as you Obediah Holmes, being come into this Iurisdiction about the 21 of the 5th M. did meet at one William Witters house at Lin, and did hear privately (and at other times being an Excommunicate person did take upon you to Preach and to Baptize) upon the Lords day, or other dayes, and being taken then by the Constable, and coming afterward to the Assembly at Lin, did in disrespect of the Ordinance of God and his Worship, keep on your hat, the Pastor being in Prayer, insomuch that you would not give reverence in veiling your hat, till it was forced off your head to the disturbance of the Congregation, and professing against the Institution of the Church, as not being according to the Gospell of Iesus Christ, and that you the said Obediah Holmes did upon the day following meet again at the said William Witters, in contempt to Authority, you being then in the custody of the Law, and did there receive the Sacrament, being Excommunicate, and you did Baptize such as were Baptized before, and thereby did necessarily deny the Baptism that was before administred to be Baptism, the Churches no Churches, and also other Ordinances, and Ministers, as if all were a Nullity; And also did deny the lawfullness of Baptizing of Infants, and all this tends to the dishonour of God, the despising the ordinances of God among us, the peace of the Churches, and seducing the Subjects of this Commonwealth from the truth of the Gospel of Iesus Christ, and perverting the strait waies of the Lord, the Court doth fine you 30 pounds to be paid, or sufficient sureties that the said sum shall be paid by the first day of the next Court of Assistants, or else to be well whipt, and that you shall remain in Prison till it be paid, or security given in for it.
By the Court, ENCREASE NOWELL. And now because his sufferings, and the scence which
his Soul felt of the Lords Support, according to promise,
Kissin, and the rest that in London stand fast in that Faith, and continue to walk stedfastly in that Order of the Gospell which was once delivered unto the Saints by Iesus Christ. Obediah Holmes an unworthy witness, that Iesus is the Lord, and of late a Prisoner for Iesus
sake at Boston, sendeth greeting. Dearly Beloved and longed after,
My hearts desire is to hear from you, and to hear that you grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Iesus Christ, and that your love to him, and one unto another, as he hath given commandment, aboundeth, would be the very joy and great rejoycing of my Soul and Spirit ; had I not been prevented by my beloved Brethren of Providence, who have wrot unto you, (wherein you have my Mind at large) and also by our beloved Brother Clarke of Road-Iland, who may (if God permit) see you, and speak with you mouth to mouth, I had here declared
my self in that matter, but now I forbear; And