« ZurückWeiter »
"rushing upon," as you allege, but soberly and in the fear of God, "thereby became felons de se," as you say; but you are guilty of their blood, and must know the price of it; for this shift will not serve you before the Judge of all, who will render to you according to your deeds, and seeth your hearts and knoweth the bottom of your intents against those people, and accordingly will judge you, whose judgments are just,—yet you put them to death. These are your means, but they are not the means which the Spirit of Truth prescribes in the scriptures of the apostles for the convincing of gainsayers; but exhortation, reproof, admonition, the Word of Truth, the Sword of the Spirit; and these the apostles used, and with these they warred, and they "wrestled not with flesh and blood, but with principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places;" "and in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth."-See 2 Tim. ii. 25. And the Son of God tells you, that he came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them; and, when his disciples would have fire come down on the men of Samaria, he said, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of." Now, you failing to use those means, or not being in that spirit which would teach you how to use those means which
should have used, ye betake yourselves to other means that you should not have used, the using of which cannot convince the hearts and consciences of men, nor instruct the ignorant; nor bring to the knowledge of the Truth those that oppose the Truth; nor overcome principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places; nor subdue the spirit, though it may bring under the body, and, through fear of him that can kill the body, blaspheme Him who can kill both , soul and body, and cast both into hell-fire: which was not the case of these, for they feared not you who did kill the body and could go no further; but they feared Him who can kill both soul and body, and cast both into hell-fire, and sanctified Him in their hearts, and made Him their fear and their dread. And He kept them who trusted in Him, because they trusted in Him, who never faileth those who put their trust in Him; and He delivered
them, and they have obtained a good report, and have finished their course with joy,—those whom you have put to death,-and have kept the faith; and “henceforth is laid up for them a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give them in that day, and not to them only, but unto all them also that love" the Lord Jesus Christ and his appearing. And these means failing, you betake yourselves to other means which the world useth, to show that you are of this world, which reacheth not the spirit, but the body; and because they cannot reach the spirit, they kill the body; whereas it is the spirit that offers up the body, and presents it a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is its reasonable service; and by which they offered up their bodies on the point which ye offered unto them, and on the tree triumphed over you all, and showed that greater was He that was in them, than he that is of this world; and that they could die to do the Will of God, and that nothing could separate them—no, not death itself—from the love of God, which is Christ Jesus. And so this means of cruelty, viz., death itself, hath failed you, in thinking thereby to overcome the saints of the Most High God, or keep them from the doing of His will.
Fourthly.—The point you offered them was without ground in law, or that the law allows you to put; for, as I have said, valuable considerations must precede, and such as will weigh down that of taking away of a man's life, which the law esteems a most precious thing. Now, no such consideration is here produced by you: the utmost is, that they are such as are called Quakers, who are proved to be another manner of people in this nation, and whom you have not convicted of one principle or practice that is contrary to godliness; only ye stumbled at the hat, which is their reasonable apparel, and ye judged them to be such by their hats, and put them to death. And this was the point which you offered, and in this, their reasonable apparel and the Will of God, they came upon your point, and passed through it. Now, where valuable considerations are not the ground, neither is law nor reason; for it is lawful for any Englishman to reside, come in, or be in any of the dominions appertaining to England, and as natural for one as for another; and it is not the distinction of word or habit, put by men, that must cut a man off from this his privilege, which is by nature, nor should names of distinction, much less of reproach, be given, whereby to raise one part of a nation against another,--for this ministers division, and is an occasion thereof, and tends to dissolution of government, and is contrary to law. Therefore they who come into a country. unto which they have a natural and legal right, (as these had, or any Englishman hath, to come among you,) and have not done anything by which, in the law of their country, they are justly made incapable of that right,-as these had not, for you are subordinate to England, and your laws are not to be repugnant unto it,—now, for such to come, reside, or to be, is no valuable consideration or legal ground to be put upon the point, or that the point should be offered unto them, and, if the point be offered unto such, and they be killed therewith, such cannot be said to be felons de se; for the law will say, Quo 'warranto? on what ground? Yet they that shall so offer the point, and run them through who come upon it, such are jugulatores de se, cutters of their own throats, or shedders of blood in their own wrong,—your case in this particular,—and the violence and wilfulness will be attributed, by the law, unto them who set the point, and not to those that come
Lastly.-0 ye wretched hypocrites and murderers ! did you not put the same Mary Dyer to death, when, after your reprieve, she came again into your jurisdiction, and when she was so near the execution as the turning of the ladder, she being ready, and having signified to your executioner that he might do it when he would ? So putting her twice to die,-a cruelty beyond once putting to death,--a comely and grave woman, of goodly personage and of good report, fearing the Lord, having an husband with an estate, and a mother of children,-did ye pity ? did ye spare? had ye compassion ? were bowels in you, ye cruel murderers? Was it an inconsiderable intercession that moved you to reprieve her? Or was it not your own deceit, to bring the people back to you upon a seeming show of mercy ? upon pretence of bowels moving, or the taking advantage of an inconsiderable intercession? Let the Witness of God in you be heard to speak,-for I am sure that it will one day, as to this very thing, when it shall arise in you,-a worm that shall never die, and a fire that shall never go out. And this your cruelty speaks against you, and the Lord God eternal hath tried you and your bloody laws by this, and snapped them asunder by a woman, and triumphed over them and you again and.again; and, by His eternal Arm, she was made twice to look death in the face, and overcame, rejoicing to die in the Will of God, and finishing her testimony and course in the face of you all, trampling upon you and your laws, your halter, gallows, and priests, and is sat down at the right hand of God. Ye monsters of men ! ye cruel murderers! Besides, did not John Winthrop, the governor of the jurisdiction of Connecticut, labour with you, that ye would not put them to death? And did he not say unto you, “That he would beg it of you, on his bare knees, that ye would not do it"? And did not Colonel Temple go to your Court, and tell you, “That if, according to your Declaration, ye desired their lives absent rather than their deaths present, he would beg them of you, and carry them away at his own charge; and give them a house to live in, and corn to feed on, and land for them and their heirs to plant on, that so they should be able to provide for themselves once within a year; and if any of them should come amongst ye again, he would again fetch them at his own charge"'? And was not this motion of his well liked by the magistrates, except two or three, who propounded it to the deputies the next day? But did not the deputies and those magistrates over-vote it, and order present execution to be done upon them that afternoon, as soon as your worship was ended, your Thursday's lecture? And so did you not put them to death and murder them, as aforesaid ? And yet see how you come and smooth over the matter now, like the harlot mentioned by Solomon, as if you had done no evil? Oh, ye impudent hypocrites ! as if it were far from you to desire their deaths, or that you did not desire it, but rather their lives; and that such clemency and mercy lodged in you, and such compassion and bowels, that you took notice of the least opportunity that might give occasion to make it manifest; and that ye did it upon an inconsiderable intercession, viz., for Mary Dyer. Yet, notwithstanding these considerable intercessions of such considerable men among you, and this other inconsiderable one, as you term it, which was from her son,-and that is something considerable; for a child is near, and its intercession of a prevailing nature,—you put her to death, as I may say, the second time. And yet see how you bring this as a demonstration,-as if you desired their lives absent rather than their deaths present, whereas you put them to death,-yea, this very woman, your instance, notwithstanding the several intercessions aforesaid. And then you say :-
DECLARATION AND ANSWER. “Although the justice of our proceedings against William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson and Mary Dyer, supported by the authority of this Court, the laws of this country, and the law of God"—which are all lies, for you have no such authority, nor can your laws support, where authority you have none; and the law of God is against you, for it puts not the innocent to death, nor gives you power so to do in matters of religion, which are beyond man's cognizance, and with which he hath not to do,—"may rather persuade us to expect encouragement”—from such as you, and who are of your spirit, but no other,—"and commendation from all pious and prudent men”—who, those who are truly so, will do the contrary,--"than convince us of any necessity to apologize”—yet why do ye do it, seeing that the very name of an apology mars your justice ?" for the same; yet, forasmuch as men of weaker parts, out of pity and commiseration, a commendable and Christian virtue," why then have ye not followed it? How come ye to condemn it in an apology, and yet ye set it above ye, as apologizing to it?— yet easily abused, and susceptible of sinister and dangerous impressions,”—and yet a Christian virtue and commendable! Can virtue be mixed ? Is it susceptible of sinister and dangerous impressions ?—“for want of a full