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provides against the error, as he calls it, may by the same argument be turned by a blind and ignorant zealot against conscience - itself. And though he says, page 72, “We know that it belongeth not unto the magistrate to compel any man to be a believer," (i.e. because he cannot,) “nor to punish any for not being a believer, but,” says he, “we believe it belongs to him to punish a blasphemer or turbulent heretic," and so the most conscientious Dissenters were always counted by their persecutors. Again, “Though we say," says he, “religion is to be persuaded with Scripture reason, not civil weapons; with arguments, not with punishments, but," says he, “ blasphemies immediate, and heresies carried on with an high hand, and persisted in, are to be suppressed with weapons and punishments, where reason and arguments cannot prevail." So see what he brings if to: if arguments will not do, weapons must; and so justifies all the persecutions, not only of the heathens against the Christians, but the Romanists against the first Reformers, &c., nay, of the prelates against themselves; and so goes on, page 73, to justify the proceedings of the magistrates there against the Quakers, which Cotton Mather now pretends "he will not nor cannot make himself a vindicator of.” And who sees not that the same arguments he uses against us may at another time be turned against themselves, and that there is no security, till they declare positively against all persecution, and for a universal liberty of conscience? otherwise, what they advance at one time against others will at another hit themselves; and therefore, if they have made any solemn act, as he speaks of, “ renouncing all laws against a just liberty of conscience," let them publish it, and declare against all persecution, and also renounce all their many wicked books which they have published against liberty of conscience, and for persecution of such as dissented from them in time past. Such are the Antapologia and Gangrena of their champion, Thomas Edwards, in three parts, wherein he says, first part, page 121, “A toleration is the grand design of the devil,” of which more hereafter; also, and particularly, his Treatise against Toleration and pretended Liberty of Conscience, which he calls “The casting down of the last and strongest hold of Satan;" wherein he endeavours to prove “the unlawfulness and mischief, in Christian commonwealths and kingdoms, both of a universal toleration of all religions and consciences, and of a limited and bounded of some sects only;" and consequently none but one, viz., that which is uppermost, which is always the right in the opinion of them that have the sword, and so to suppress all others, how true and conscientious soever they are. · Page 42, he says, “ Magistrates, by virtue of their office, as magistrates simply, every of them, though Turks, heathens and wicked, as well as Christian and orthodox, have an authority, right, and power from God, jure divino, in matters of religion, to command for God, and His honour, and to forbid and suppress the contrary.”
The meaning of this must be what they so account, in their blind zeal, right or wrong; and consequently Christians may be compelled to be Turks or heathens; of which pernicious doctrine, and the consequences of it, I leave others to judge, and only note how contrary this is to Christ's doctrine, whose kingdom was not of this world, and therefore taught His disciples to let the “tares and wheat grow together until the harvest,' or end of it, and told them, when they would have "commanded fire to come down from heaven to consume them” that did not receive them, that “they knew not what spirit they were of;" and contrary to the judgment of the best Christians, martyrs, kings, princes, statesmen, and historians, which always distinguished between Christ's and Cæsar's kingdoms; as Stephen, King of Poland, who said, “I am king of men, not of consciences; a commander of bodies, not of souls :" and King Charles I. said that “ Christ is the alone king of men's consciences.”
However, to conclude, if there were any such act, it must be after King Charles sent to stop their proceedings, and in all probability, after King James took away their Charter for abusing it, and gave liberty of conscience, that they could not execute those any longer, that then they would pretend, perhaps (if ever they did), to renounce them ; but did they ever do it of their own accord? or, did they condemn their former proceedings, or declare liberty of conscience the just right of all men? When our
Friends would have had them renounce those laws and revoke them, they would not hear, or be persuaded to it; and though Mary Dyer came with her life in her hand, the second time, to desire them to annul their wicked law of death, and to prevent shedding innocent blood, they would not, but put her to death also; which makes me think they never made such a solemn act, renouncing all such laws of their own accord, but as they were forced to it; and I have heard of several malefactors that when they have been taken and condemned have seemed to condemn their crimes very much, when they could not follow them any longer,—whatever they might have done, if they had not been prevented,—which yet is more than the New England men have ever done, that I know of.
Cotton Mather._“I would also entreat the world that they would not be too ready to receive all stories told by the Quakers" about their New England persecutions. Why? did they ever tell more of it than was true? Could he ever convict them of any falsehood in their relations? Of whom I may say, as he does in another case (as to the veracity of the former), “ The author, in whose historical writings the most inquisitive envy has never, to this hour, detected so much as one voluntary and material mistake." His reason, “Because they have complained of a New England persecution upon two women of their sect, who came stark naked into their public assemblies, and they were adjudged unto the whipping-post," is no reason at all. Did they complain of nothing but that, or of no other persecution than this? How idle then and ridiculous is it in him, especially as an historian, to go to mention that, if true, which I know not whether the Quakers justified, if it was, and take no notice of that which is so much more considerable? Why did he not tell how they got men to cause two innocent women, Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, to be stripped stark naked, in such an immodest manner as modesty will not admit to mention, more like the inquisitors in Spain than Christians or Protestants? and how they whipped William Brend one hundred and seventeen strokes with a pitched rope, until his flesh was like a jelly, so that he fainted away, which your High-priest Norton justified, saying, “William Brend endeavoured to beat their ordinances black and blue, and if he was beaten black and blue, it was just upon him, and he would appear in his (the jailer's) behalf.” And Ann Coleman, whom, with Joseph Nicholson, Joseph Liddal, and Jane Millard, they so cruelly whipped through Salem, Boston, and Dedham, till she was near dead indeed, being almost murdered by Hathorn's order and Bellingham's approbation, the cruel executioner so unmercifully laying on, that with the knots of his whip he split the nipple of her breast, which so tormented her that it had like to cost her her life; also Mary Tomkins and Alice Ambrose, whom with Ann Coleman they cruelly ordered to be whipped at a cart's tail through eleven towns at one time, ten stripes a-piece on their naked backs, which would have amounted to one hundred and ten in the whole, enough to have killed any one outright, especially women, as to outward appearance, had not the Lord upheld them, and on a very cold day they were stripped and whipped through three of the towns (the priest looking on and laughing), and through dirt and snow, sometimes half leg-deep, till Walter Barefoot, of Salisbury, got the warrant, and discharged them, to his praise be it spoken; and after going to Virginia they were whipped with thirty-two stripes a-piece, with a nine-corded whip, that the blood ran down their breasts in abundance, and so expelled those coasts, at your instigation; and from thence arriving at Boston, Mary being very sick, nigh unto death, often fainting away (Edward Wharton and Wenlock Christison coming to see thein), in came two constables, in a great rage and violence, and, notwithstanding her weak condition, forced them all up to the governor's house; and though Mary fell down as faint in the way, one of the constables stood over her till she revived, and so had her up, where Bellingham and Danforth ordered her and Alice to be whipped at the towns beyond Boston, but not at Boston, lest she should die under their hands, or the outcry of the people be too loud at their doors (but that Colonel Temple interceded for them, to his humanity be it remembered), as well as your cruelty; but Edward Wharton, being an inhabitant, they ordered to be whipped with thirty stripes on his naked body, through Boston, and so from constable to constable, home to Salem, as they often did at other times, though an inhabitant among them, when he came on his lawful occasions to Boston, too often to mention here; and how on the coming of Elizabeth Hooten and Jane Stokes, by the way of Virginia, in 1661,* no ship daring to carry them directly, for fear of the fine of one hundred pounds not hardly from them, and for going to visit their Friends in prison, imprisoned them with the rest, to the number of twenty-nine; and being afraid like Cain when he had slain his brother, raised all their soldiers about the country, to defend themselves against the innocent; and made a fence about the prison of high boards, and boarded up the windows, that they should not see; and after divers whippings, drove them out of their jurisdiction, with men and horses, near two days' journey in the wilderness, and there left them toward night, amongst great rivers and wild beasts that used to devour men; where they lay that night in the woods, without victuals, save a few biscuits soaked in the water; and when they were got to Rhode Island, where was a General Meeting, the persecutors, because of the guilt of innocent blood, thought an army was coming against them; and when they came to Boston again, the constable took her to convey her to the ship, saying, “It was their delight, and could rejoice to follow them to the execution as much as ever they did.” And after she had returned to England, contrary to the expectation of many, being in the heat of persecution which rang over the nations, causing an'ill savour and example, and strengthening the hands of the wicked in all those countries, as Virginia, Maryland, and the Dutch Plantation, to do the like, thinking to root out the Truth and its followers; she came again the second time to warn them, and to buy a house to live in, Friends to meet in, &c., having the king's license to settle in any of his plantations, which they refused her; and for asking Priest Raymond, at Dover, a question after he had done, they put her in the stocks and in prison in the cold of. Winter. And at Cambridge, where the scholars of their college, that Cotton Mather commends so much, and compares to “the streams of the river that makes glad the city of God," which is so foul, that they vilely abused her, putting her into a