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because I have an experimentall knowledge in my self, that in members of the same Body, while it stands in union with the head, there is a sympathizing Spirit, which passeth through, and also remain in each particular, so that one member can neither mourn nor rejoyce, but all the members are ready to mourn or rejoyce with it; I shall the rather impart unto you some dealings which I have had therein from the Sons of Men, and the gracious supports which I have met with from the Son of God, my Lord, and yours, that so like Members you might rejoyce with me, and might be encouraged by the same experiment of his tender mercies, to fear none of those things which you shall suffer for Iesus sake. It pleased the Father of Light, after a long continuance of mine in death, and darknesse, to cause life and immortality to be brought to light in my soul, and also to cause me to see that this life was by the death of his Son, in that hour, and power of darknesse procured, which wrought in my heart a restless desire to know what that Lord, who had so dearly bought me, would have me to do, and finding that it was his last will (to which none is to adde, and from which none is to detract) that they which had faith in his death for life, should yeeld up themselves to hold forth a lively consimilitude, or likenesse unto his death, buriall, and resurrection by that Ordinance of Baptisme; I readily yeelded thereto being by love constrained to follow that Lamb (that takes away the sins of the World) whither soever he goes; I had no sooner separated from their assemblies, and from Communion with them in their worship of God and thus visibly put on Christ, being resolved alone to attend upon him, and to submit to his will, but immediately the adversary cast out a flood against us, and stirred up the spirits of men to present my self and two more to Plymouth Court, where we met with 4 Petitions against our whole company to take some speedy course to suppress us, one from our own Plantation with 35 hands to it, one fro the Church (as they call it) at Tanton, one from all the Ministers in our Colony, except two, if I mistake not, and one from the Court at Boston in the Mathatusets under their Secretaries hand; whereupon the Court straitly chargeth us to desist, and neither
to ordain Officers, nor to Baptize, nor to break bread together, nor yet to meet upon the first day of the week, and having received these strait charges one of the three discovers the sandy foundation upon which he, stood, who when the flood came, and the wind blew, fell, yet it pleased the Father of mercies (to whom be the praise) to give us strength to stand, & to tell them it was better to obey God, rather than man, and such was the grace of our God to us-ward that though we were had from Court to Court, yet were we firmly resolved to keep close to the rule and to obey the voyce of our Lord, come what will come; Not long after these troubles I came upon occasion of businesse into the Colony of the Mathatusets, with two other Brethren, as Brother Clark, being one of the two, can inform you, where we three were apprehended, carried to the prison at Boston, and so to the Court, and were all sentenced; what they laid to my charge, you may here read in my sentence: Vpon the pronouncing of which as I went from the Bar, I exprest my self in these words ; I blesse God I am counted worthy to suffer for the name of Iesus; whereupon Iohn Wilson (their Pastor as they call him) strook me before the Iudgment Seat, and cursed me, saying, The Curse of God, or Iesus goe with thee; so we were carried to the Prison, where not long after I was deprived of my two loving Friends ; at whose departure the Adversary stept in, took hold on my Spirit, and troubled me for the space of an hour, and then the Lord came in, and sweetly releeved me, causing me to look to himself, so was I stayed, and refreshed in the thoughts of my God; and although during the time of my Imprisonment, the Tempter was busie, yet it pleased God so to stand at my right hand, that the motions were but sudden, and so vanished away; and although there were that would have payd the money if I would accept it, yet I durst not accept of deliverance in such a way, and therefore my answer to them was, that although I would acknowledge their love to a cup of cold Water, yet could I not thank them for their money if they should pay it; so the Court drew neer, and the night before I should suffer according to my sentence, it pleased God I rested, and slept quietly; in the morning many Friends came to
visit me, desiring me to take the refreshment of Wine, and other Comforts, but my resolution was not to drink Wine, nor strong drink that day untill my punishment were over, and the reason was, lest in case I had more strength, courage, and boldnesse than ordinarily could be expected, the VVorld should either say he is drunk with new V Vine, or else that the comfort and strength of the Creature hath carried him through, but my course was this: I desired Brother John Hazell to bear my Friends company, and I betook myself to my Chamber, where I might communicate with my God, commit my self to him, and beg strength from him ; I had no sooner sequestred my self, and come into my Chamber, but Sathan lets flie at me, saying, Remember thy self, thy birth, breeding, and friends, thy wife, children, name, and credit but as this was sudden, so there came in sweetly from the Lord as sudden an answer, 'tis for my Lord, I must not deny him before the Sons of men (for that is to set men above him but rather lose all, yea wife, children, and mine own life also: To this the tempter replies, Oh! but that is the question, is it for him ? and for him alone? is it not ratherfor thy own, or some others sake ? thou hast so professed and practised, and now art loth to deny it; is not pride and self in the bottom ? surely this temptation was strong, and thereupon I made diligent search after the matter, as formerly I had done, and after a while there was even as it had been a voyce from Heaven in my very Soul, bearing witnes with my Conscience, that it was not for any mans case or sake in this world, that so I had professed and practised, but for my Lords case, and sake, and for him alone, whereupon my spirit was much refresht; as also in the consideration of these three Scriptures, which speak on this wise, Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods elect? Although I walk through the valley and shadow of Death I will fear none evill, thy rod and thy staff they shall comfort me. And he that continueth to the end, the same shall be saved. But then came in the consideration of the weaknesse of the Flesh to bear the strokes of a whip, though the Spirit was willing, and hereupon I was caused to pray earnestly unto the Lord, that he would be pleased to give me a spirit of courage and boldnesse, a tongue to
speak for him, and strength of body to suffer for his sake, and not to shrink or yeeld to the stroaks, or shed tears, lest the adversaries of the truth should thereupon blaspheme, and be hardned, and the weak and feeble-hearted discouraged, and for this I besought the Lord earnestly, at length he satisfied my spirit, to give up as my soul, so my body to him, and quietly to leave the whole disposing of the matter to him, and so I addressed my self in as comely a manner as I could, having such a Lord and Master to serve in this businesse: And when I heard the voyce of my Keeper come for me, even cheerfulnesse did come upon me, and taking my Testament in my hand, I went along with him to the place of execution, and after common salutation there stood; there stood by also one of the Magistrates, by name Mr. Encrease Nowell, who for a while kept silent, and spoke not a word, and so did I, expecting the Governours presence, but he came not. But after a while Mr. Nowell bad the Executioner doe his Office, then I desired to speak a few words, but Mr. Nowell answered, it is not now a time to speak, whereupon I took leave, and said, Men, Brethren, Fathers, and Countrey-men, I beseech you give me leave to speak a few words, and the rather, because here are many Spectators to see me punished, and I am to seal with my Blood, if God give strength, that which I hold and practise in reference to the Word of God, and the testimony of Iesus; that which I have to say in brief is this, Although I confesse I am no Disputant, yet seeing I am to seal what I hold with my Blood, I am ready to defend it by the Word, and to dispute that point with any that shall come forth to withstand it. Mr. Nowell answered me, now was no time to dispute, then said I, then I desire to give an account of the Faith and Order I hold, and this I desired three times, but in comes Mr. Flint, and saith to the Executioner, Fellow, doe thine Office, for this Fellow would but make a long Speech to delude the people; so I being resolved to speak, told the people; That which I am to suffer for, is for the Word of God, and testimony of Iesus Christ; No, saith Mr. Nowell it is for your Error, and going about to seduce the people; to which I replyed, not for Error, for in all the time of my Imprisonment, wherein
I was left alone (my Brethren being gone) which of all your Ministers in all that time came to convince me of Error ? and when upon the Governours words a motion was made for a publick dispute, and upon fair terms so often renewed, and desired by hundreds, what was the reason it was not granted ? Mr. Nowell told me, it was his fault that went away, and would not dispute; but this the Writings will cleer at large: still Mr. Flint calls to the man to doe his Office, so before, and in the time of his pulling off my cloathes I continued speaking, telling them, That I had so learned, that for all Boston I would not give my bodie into their hands thus to be bruised upon another account, yet upon this I would not give the hundredth part of a *Wampon Peague to free it out of their hands, and that I made as much Conscience of unbuttoning one button, as I did of paying the 301. in reference thereunto; I told them moreover, the Lord having manifested his love towards me, in giving me repentance towards God, and Faith in Iesus Christ, and so to be baptized in water by a Messenger of Iesus into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, wherein I have fellowship with him in his death, buriall
, and resurrection, I am now come to be baptized in afflictions by your hands, that so I may have further fellowship with my Lord, and am not ashamed of his sufferings, for by his stripes am I healėd; And as the man began to lay the stroaks upon my back, I said to the people, though my Flesh should fail, and my Spirit should fail, yet God would not fail ; so it pleased the Lord to come in, and so to fill my heart and tongue as a vessell full, and with an audible voyce I brake forth, praying unto the Lord not to lay this Sin to their charge, and telling the people, That now I found he did not fail me, and therefore now I should trust him for ever who failed me not; for in truth, as the stroaks fell upon me, I had such a spirituall manifestation of Gods presence, as the like thereunto I never had, nor felt, nor can with fleshly tongue expresse, and the outward pain was so removed from me, that indeed I am not able to declare it to you, it was so easie to me, that I could well
* A Wampan Peague is the sixth part of a penny with us.