« PreviousContinue »
TO THE BOOK ENTITLED
NEW ENGLAND JUDGED.
This concerns all such Rulers, Priests, and People in New England, who have joined hand in hand to persecute the saints; but especially the rulers and priests of Massachusetts Bay, in New England; who are become more bloody, cruel, bold, and impudent in their wickedness than the rest of their brethren; who have attempted to make a bloody law and unrighteous decree, to banish the children and people of God, upon pain of death, out of their jurisdiction; and, by an unrighteous decree, have made a law to put the servants of God to death if they return again into their patent. Therefore mark the cruelties which are the fruits of New England's professors, all you that read this paper.
EARKEN and give ear, thou town of Boston, lend an ear,
all you that dwell therein, rich and poor, small and great, high and low, bond and free, of whatsoever sort; give ear, be attentive to the words of my mouth, which proceed from the Spirit of the Lord, and from the Power of the Almighty within me.
I have often considered your conditions, and your actions have often come into my remembrance, which have caused me to lament, because of the hardness of your hearts, who do thus
slight the Almighty and requite the Most High; O foolish and unwise! ye who do not regard the Lord that made you, who hath often sent to you His servants, to give you warning of the mighty day of the Lord of hosts, of the terrible day of the Lord God Almighty, which draweth near,—it hastens apace; the Lord hath said for His elect's sake, and for His own name's sake, "will the Lord arise, and plead with all His enemies, in this the day of His eternal power." O ye children of men, who are the workmanship of His hands, will ye resist the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, the Holy One of Israel, the strong and mighty God, who is arising in His saints, and coming forth in His strength, to scatter His enemies, and to destroy Pharaoh and all his hosts and chariots in the Red Sea, after the seed is come out of Egypt, and to turn the pride and haughtiness of men backward, that rises to withstand the Lord? Oh, consider, ye potsherds, who are as unstable as the waves of the sea, and are as the wind in His hand, which He turneth and causeth to blow which way it pleaseth Him, who will confound and destroy you in your imaginations, that you have imagined against Him and His saints. O man! what art thou that standest to resist the Lord, the mighty God of Jacob? Did ever any of your fathers, the persecutors of old, prosper? Did not the Lord consume them with the breath of His nostrils and with the word of His mouth ?-who will tear you to pieces that rise up in rebellion against Him. Consider: was it in vain that one said in a certain place, that "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft"? Consider, O ye that inhabit the earth, whose dwelling-place is beneath, doth not the Lord behold all your actions and all your unrighteous doings? O ye rulers and chief priests, are ye combining together?-are ye joined together?are you in league together, as the rulers and chief priests were in former ages? Consider their ends, and consider what you are doing; are you so blind that you cannot see you are persecuting the saints of the Most High? You who are seeking the life of the righteous, and whom nothing but blood will satisfy, the Lord will give you blood to drink; you that thirst for it, you shall have enough of it; you who spill and drink the blood of the saints and
martyrs of Jesus! Are not your brethren gone before you, in whose steps you are treading? And the fruits of the devil you are bringing forth, ye uncircumcised in hearts and ears, who do thus resist the Lord of Life,-as did your fathers, so do ye resist the Holy Ghost, and the Spirit of Truth, which is now appeared in the saints of the Most High, who are sent into your borders in love to your souls, and in tender mercy and compassion to the prisoner and to the captive that is within your gate. Oh, why will you strive any longer with the Lord who made you?—who is coming with ten thousand of His saints, to render vengeance in flames of fire upon all the ungodly-who hath said, "Vengeance is mine, and I will repay it, saith the Lord God of hosts;"who will recompense into your bosoms the reward of your doing. O people and inhabitants hereof, why will ye die in your sins? And whither Christ goes, thither you cannot come. Oh! why will you put the day of the Lord afar from you, who hath waited long to be gracious, and hath borne with you as a man doth with his only son that serveth him? So hath the Lord spared you; and do you thus requite the Lord for His loving-kindness, to whip, to imprison, and cut off the ears of His servants that are sent unto you? Is this your preaching forth of Christ? are these your good examples to others? Come, let us reason together. Have you not lost natural affection? have you not lost tenderness and compassion?
Woe is me for thee, O thou New England! who hast made such a noise among the nations! Is thy religion come to no more than whipping, imprisoning, burning in the hand, and cutting off ears, and in banishing upon death? What will be the next law that thou wilt make, O New England! against those that thou scornfully callest Quakers? terming them the "cursed sect of Quakers." If they were a cursed sect, as thou hast termed them, it seems they should be so for thee, and so die for thee; for thou hast made a law to put them to death, if they come the second time within thy borders. But I say, the Lord hath blessed the people called in scorn Quakers; and they are blessed, and shall be blessed for evermore. O ye rulers and chief priests, will you proceed
no further than putting to death the innocent? Is thy praying, thy preaching, thy many sacrifices and vain oblations, come to this? And will not thy sacrifices, and prayers, and solemn meetings become abomination? Is it not the greatest abomination that thou committest? Dost thou think that this will pacify the wrath of Almighty God, who is coming forth against thee, and will overtake thee, and strip thee naked and uncover thee in that day, and take all thy ornaments from thee? Oh, consider! Hast thou forgotten? Although thou wouldest cover the altar with tears, and "come before Him with thousands of rams, and ten thousands of rivers of oil, and give the fruit of thy body for the sin of thy soul," would it be accepted, being offered in that nature wherein thou livest? Much more when thou art become so bloody and so hard-hearted that, instead of covering the altar with tears, thou dost intend to cover it with blood? If thou canst, blush and be ashamed; hide thyself in the dust forever, because of the presence of the Almighty, who has now appeared, and is coming to set thy sins in order before thee; who will not blot out thy sins nor cover thy iniquities, which are many, unless thou speedily repent and forsake thy unrighteousness; for thy destruction hastens apace,-thou art running headlong to destruction; as the horse rusheth into the battle, so dost thou into blood. How dost thou think to expect anything from the Lord but sore destruction, famine and a plague, which is hastening upon thee, if thou continue still in rebellion, in persecuting His servants? This hath the Lord said, and this will the Almighty perform upon thee, in the day of His righteous judgments, which will overtake all bloody-minded men and blind persecutors.
Oh, I am full of the Spirit of the Lord, and of the power of Him that made me, who hath said unto me, "Fear not man, whose breath is in his nostrils; nor the son of man, that must die." For the Lord hath said unto me, "For this end have I called thee, and for this cause I have ordained thee; fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, nor be afraid of their threatening words; I the Lord, that created thee, am with thee; therefore fear not what man shall do unto thee. For I have made
thee as a wall of brass, whereat the bloody-minded men shall shoot their arrows, but shall not touch thee, as to offend thee.' Therefore the Lord hath said unto me, "Let not thy heart faint, because of what I shall suffer them to do unto thee; but let thy hands be strong in the Lord thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; for thy adversaries shall be confounded, and the enemies of the Lord shall be destroyed in that day."
O ye hypocrites! how can you sing, and keep such a noise concerning religion, when your hands are full of blood, and your hearts full of iniquity? Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings, cease to do evil, learn to do good; cleanse your hands, you sinners; and your hearts, you hypocrites; for "your prayers are an abomination to Me, saith the Lord of hosts; your singing is as the howling of a dog in the streets; such are the songs you sing in your temple unto Me, saith the Lord; my Spirit is weary with hearing, and my soul is vexed, day after day, with your abominations." Woe, woe to thee, thou bloody town of Boston! and the rest that are confederate with thee; and thou canst not escape! Thou who hast shed the blood of the innocent people called Quakers, and imprisoned and fined them, and taken away their goods; and they have become a prey unto thee, for thee to exercise thy cruelty upon them; and thou boastest in thy wickedness, and thinkest thou dost God good service, to hang and put to death the people called Quakers. Verily, this is the thoughts and intents of the hearts of many of you in this New England; but especially within thee and within thy jurisdiction that belongs unto thee, O thou town of Boston! For these words following did one whose name is Edward Rawson, called secretary, say in the governor's house, who did threaten me with these words following (on the 18th of the Fourth month, 1659): "That if I came again after I was sent away, or banished," he said, "he would write a warrant with his own hand, to send me to the gallows to be hanged." Are these your fruits, your corrupt speeches, to threaten the innocent with your gallows, to hang them thereon? Oh, that ever such words should proceed out of a man's mouth! to say that he would write a warrant with his own hand, to send