« PreviousContinue »
denly, confessing the hand of the Lord was upon him as aforcsaid.
Old Edward Norris, priest in Salem, who stirred up the rulers and people there to madness, saying, “What was done to the Quakers was not persecution, but prosecution;" as he was vindicating his bloody principle, was suddenly and strangely smitten dumb in his pulpit, and after a while died.
Old Priest Wilson, who reviled the servants of the Lord as they were led forth to be put to death, was also by the hand of the Lord swept away, though the particulars thereof are not related, and Cotton Mather hath the cunning, in his History, to pass slightly over the deaths of most of these old persecutors, that he writes the lives of, without stating how they died; and I appeal to him, if he would be ingenuous, whether there was not something remarkable in the deaths of several of them, beyond what he relates.
Timothy Dalton, priest of Hampton, who called it blasphemy to say, the Light within was the Light of Christ, and his brother Philemon, were taken away, one by the fall of a tree, and the other by another visitation as aforesaid.
Priest Mitchell, of Cambridge, who lately stirred up the rulers to persecution and madness, was soon after smitten down by the hand of the Lord; and it is testified, “That his very tongue, while he was alive, turned exceeding black in his mouth," and soon after he died.
The hand of the Lord hath visited sundry others, not mentioned here, with judgments upon themselves, and upon the fruit of their bodies, taking away the lives of divers of their first-born by unusual deaths; and from year to year, to this day, since they murdered the servants of the Lord, hath the hand of justice blasted their corn in the fields; their wheat, when in the ear near to blossom, being in a strange manner smitten with death at the root, and so did wither away, and become so loathsome after being cut down, that the beasts of the field cared not to eat it, as before hinted. This blasting of their principal grain, Cotton Mather confesses, in his History, to continue to this day as aforesaid, as a
just judgment, no doubt, for their wickedness and cruelty, in persecuting and putting the servants of the Lord to death. Which is remarkable, and a lively figure of New England's abominable profession, and a true token of God's displeasure against them; according to the Word of the Lord spoken to them by the mouth of His servants whom they put to death.
Then the Lord poured out a sore plague in bloody Boston, even a rent between rulers, priests, and people,* so that, in the bitterness of their envious hearts, they have risen up one against another, to the endangering of the dashing their babel to pieces; and this was foretold by word and signs, to and amongst them by the Lord's servants in the Spirit of Truth, “that as a potter's vessel, so should they be broken, never to be joined together any more."These things were written, not in malice or prejudice to any of the forementioned persecutors; but in tender love to all rulers, priests, and people, that they may be warned by them in the fear of the Lord, to take heed how they open their mouths or lift up their hands against the innocent, for God is on their side. And although some, to their own destruction, have been suffered to persecute and put some of the bodies of the children of the living God to death; yet against the life and power of the Lord in them, they nor their weapons shall never prosper; the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. And as for them that remain of the dark persecuting priests, rulers, and people in New England, whose hands have been dyed in the blood and lives of the innocent; oh that there were in them hearts truly sensible of their great wickedness against the Lord, and against His people, that so they might be truly humbled before the Lord, and delivered from the wrath to come, which will most assuredly overcome and destroy all them that fight against the Lord !
O New England, New England, how can the tender-hearted whom thou hast most cruelly persecuted and despitefully used, in the sense of thy sad state, forbear to take up a lamentation for thee, who seemed beautiful in thy beginning, and lovely wast thou whilst in thy integrity, which was but for a moment, or as the early dew, for thy day was eclipsed in the morning, and thou soon went a whoring from the guide of thy youth, and so thou becamest as a monstrous woman in His sight, and now thou art unto Him as Sodom, and thy offspring as Gomorrah, who perished in the morning; for thy wickedness is as scarlet, and thy iniquities as crimson, before the Lord. Let the ears of kindred, nations, and people, that hear of thy horrible apostasy, tingle; for thou soon grew great, and said in thy heart, “I am as queen of all nations ;" and so, in the greatness of thy pride, thou attemptedst to climb up high, even into the throne of God. How art thou fallen, O thou untimely daughter of Babylon !* Let all people and professors, who hear of thy deadly fall, fear and tremble, and dread the living God, and with speed come out of their empty forms, the chambers of death, and come into the mighty power of the endless life of God, that in it you may escape the wrath of the Almighty, which is coming upon the world, that lies in wickedness. Woe unto you, ye rulers and hireling priests of New England, who have drunk the blood of martyrs and saints, and mingled it with your sacrifices; for the Lord hath found you in the way of Cain, and in the filthy error of Balaam, persecuting and killing the just. Woe unto you, rulers and priests of New England, who have taken counsel to destroy the work of the Lord, and have laboured to suppress the sun in its rising. Ye are as Pharaoh and his magicians; for you have withstood Him who has come in His mighty power, to lead Israel out of Egypt's darkness and house of bondage. Woe unto you, priests and rulers of New England, who have cut off the lives of the prophets from among their brethren, and have cruelly entreated the children of the Lord, whom he hath raised up and sent amongst you.
* Which Cotton Mather confesses in a large degree in his History, Book VII., chap. i.
+ This is fulfilled at this day as to their government, which is broken; and I do not find by Cotton Mather's llistory that they are ever like to be joined together again, in that and other respects. Sec the chapter above-stated.
* This is confirmed by Cotton Matlıcr in his Book of Wilches, page 6, as hereafter cited, who confesses, “That they are miserably degenerated from the first love of their predecessors;" and that “the happiness of New England was but for a time.”
You have slain the Lord's worthies upon your high places; therefore upon your mountain comes no dew nor rain, and your house is left desolate because the Lord is departed from it, for in it is found the blood of the martyrs of Jesus; and there it is you
have killed the tender lambs in the bosom, and the royal and lovely babes as they were sucking the breasts of their mother. “For these things' sake will I arise and plead with you, O ye the greatest of mine enemies, saith the Almighty," who in the height of your pride boasted, and said, "There was not such another church in the world, as the church at Boston." But your bloody hands have made you manifest to be the worst among them called churches, in the whole world, especially of them called Protestants.
To which may be added :
Richard Bellingham, governor after John Endicott, who, besides all his cruelty and iniquities mentioned in the former treatise, banished Solomon Eccles, and Nicholas Alexander, of Jamaica, a justice of the peace; and when William Coddington,* of Rhode Island, had ten pounds' worth of books sent from England, some of the New England magistrates, or officers, searching the vessel, seized and delivered them to the said Richard Bellingham, who detained them from him. He also took another parcel from John Tyso, seizing him and his goods by a constable, before he came on shore, and committed him to prison, a stinking, smoky hole, only because he was a Quaker; and he and his assistants laid a fine of one hundred pounds on the poor man in whose ship he came, if he sent him not away the first opportunity. He imprisoned James Lancaster, John Stubbs, John Rance, Thomas Eaton, and Robert Hornden, five strangers, and also George Heatbrot, an owner and commander of a ship, the First of the Sixth month, 1672, for delivering Solomon Eccles' letter, and not putting off his hat; and when the said William Coddington wrote to him for his books, warning him and others of their persecution, he tore the letter in pieces, and put it into the candle and burned it, without reading it, and threatened to send Nicholas Moulder, a merchant
• William Coddington's Demonstration of True Love, page 5, 7, &c., and 8. Groom's Glass for the People of New England.
of Boston, to prison, only because the letter was left at his house for him; and shortly after, the said Richard Bellingham, having completed the measure of his iniquity, died distracted the Seventh of the Tenth month, 1672. The hand of the Lord cut him off, that other sons of Belial, of his persecuting spirit, might be warned not to put the evil day far from them.
And also, their dismal wars with the Indians, wherein they had blood to drink, as was foretold; and that their carcasses should fall, and be as dung on the earth, and be buried with the burial of an ass; and that their young men should fall by the sword, and their wives should be widows, and their children fatherless; and the cup they had filled to others should be filled double to them, noted before as fulfilled, and confessed by themselves, and which broke out again, and lately held them ten years together, as Cotton Mather relates, and of which he gives so doleful an account.
G. Keith's Account of the Fust Fudgment of Goit on them, in
Answer to Increase Mather. 66 And whereas the said Increase Mather hath writ' so many “ remarkable judgments of God that have come upon notorious “offenders, on purpose to record them in print; and that he “saith, We may not judge of men merely by outward accidents “ which befall them in this world,' etc. And some lines after, “ he saith, “Nevertheless, a judgment may be so circumstanced as “that the displeasure of heaven is plainly written upon it in “ legible characters.' And in this he saith true; but he should “ have added that such men who can read the same must not be “blind, but have the true eye opened in them, otherwise they will “make a wrong construction of these things: there wants to be “inserted or added to his book the many signal and manifest “judgments of God that came upon the people of New England “in general, and upon divers particular persons, the main actors, “ for that horrible persecution they raised against that honest “people, called Quakers, and putting to death four of the Lord's " servants, for which the name of these actors and abettors is a