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“That they intended no offence to ye in coming thither, for they - must come to you in their clothes, of which the hat is part, if they came decently; for it was not their manner to have to do with Courts. And as for withdrawing from their meetings, or keeping on their hats, or doing anything in contempt of them or their laws,” they said, “the Lord was their witness," as He is, “that they did it not.” So you rose up, and bid the jailer take them away.
The next day was your lecture-day at Boston, whereat Charles Chauncey preached, a master of your college or university; the work of whose sermon was to destroy them, and to set you on so to do, when ye could prove nothing against them. And thus he put it:—“Suppose," said he, “ye should catch six wolves in a trap,”'—now those to whom he alluded were six Friends, all inhabitants of Salem,—"and ye cannot prove that they killed either sheep or lambs, and now ye have them they will neither bark nor bite; yet they have the plain marks of wolves. Now, I leave it to your consideration,” said he, “whether ye will let them go alive,-yea or nay?" This was as to the case of those Friends in custody, whose blood he and you thirsted after, but could not tell how to conte at it by any colour of law, nor to work their sufferings, nor justify what ye had already done unto them; for proof of which they had already put you, but ye could not make it; or, that they were such that your law took notice of. Therefore your high-priest came to do it and to show you a way, which is the most devilish that ever was heard of, viz.: To cause a man to suffer, not for what he is, but for what he may be,-to judge a man to death without proof,—to kill him, lest he may do so and so,—to execute law where there is no fact,—to deal with a man as with a beast,—to put man, who was made after the image of God, (of whom God saith, he that “sheddeth man's blood, by. man shall his blood be shed; for after the image of God made He man,") into the state of a beast, which is known by its skin. But a man is not, but by the spirit that is in him; nor by that alone either, so as to judge unto suffering, but by the effects, or some overt act, (as the law of England termeth it; and it is a
good word upon something done, as is the interpretation,) and that upon proof. To make a man as a beast, as a beast of prey, which any man may kill, and it is lawful so to do,.-to judge of a fact by its hereafter, and of what a man may do for time to come, but as yet it cannot be said of him,—to kill a man for the hereafter, and for ages to come; yet this is Priest Chauncey's doctrine, and the doctrine of your priests, and your practice also, as the sequel makes manifest; for you had a great consultation again, and your priests were put to it, how to prove them as your law had said. And ye had them before you again, and your priests were with you, every one by his side, and so came ye to your Court; and John Norton must ask them questions, on purpose to ensnare them, that ye might condemn them by your standing law for heretics, as your priests before consulted. And when this would not do, for the Lord was with them, and made them wiser than your teachers, ye made a law to banish them, upon pain of death,—even all such as, having suffered your law, should offend again: that is to say, come into your jurisdiction, or be such an one as is called a Quaker, whom in that law ye so distinguish by the hat, viz. :-" The not observing the laudable custom of the nation,” (that is, the putting off the hat,) "and the contempt of authority” (that is, keeping it on in the Court); and these, having suffered your law again and again, and that without cause or legal proceeding, ye banished after all whilst ye could have nothing against them, either to justify what ye had already done by virtue of your law, or for what ye did so do unto them under colour of a law made by you whilst they were under your hands,—by a law, a postea, made after they were prisoners, because they had wrongfully suffered your law twice before. What abominable injustice is this, and hard to be parallelled! And so
they suffered, whose names are Lawrence Southwick, Cassandra · his wife, their son Josiah, (see, a man and his house; yea, a man and his heritage !) Samuel Shattock, Nicholas Phelps, and Joshua Buffum; of which more hereafter, when I come to your law of banishment.
After this the Constables of Salem, at the instigation of William Hathorn, made diligent search after their meetings, sometimes on horseback and sometimes on foot, with power to break open houses, where they should not be let in, of those who resisted them not; and twelve more of them were had to your Court at Salem, and fined forty pounds nineteen shillings for absenting from your meetings; which, as the Spring grew on, your Marshal gathered up for your treasuries by attaching cattle and land, and ye took great fines from men for their wives' absence, though they themselves came to your meetings, (of which I have touched,) to the impoverishing of many families, who had but ·little in the outward; the fines then taken amounting to one hundred pounds and upward. And William Marston, of Hampton, in your colony, for two books found in his house, viz., John Lilburn's Resurrection (so entitled) and William Dewsbury's Mighty Day of the Lord, was fined ten pounds, and the books also taken away; and five pounds for not coming to your ineetings, and for your priest three pounds, for which certain barrels of beef were seized on, and you took to the value of about twenty pounds. And because, whilst Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick were in prison, coming through Salem, he took some provisions to them from their children, and for Josiah from his wife, he was sent for by your governor, and committed to prison, and continued there about fourteen days in the cold Winter season, though aged about seventy years.
Thus have you made a prey of the innocent, and added affliction to their bonds, and stopped your ears at the cry of their oppression; therefore the Lord will not hear your cry in the day of your calamity, * which shall suddenly come upon you, nor deliver you. His eye will not spare you, but ye shall fall; the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.
* This was fulfilled in the time of the wars with the Indians, when on the days of their most solemn humiliation, by fasting and praying for success against the enemy, they commonly lost inore men and had more harm done. them by the Indians, than at other times, as one of their priests confessed ; and that there seemed a thick cloud between the Lord and their prayers; and that the Lord went not forth with their forces; but on the very days that they fasted and prayed before the Lord, did their enemies give them the greatest overthrows; and that the last time they fasted, they had the greatest slaughter. See New England's Present Sufferings, page 6, and Increase Mather's History of the Wars, puges 7, 14, 16, 17, &c. So that it is plain the Lord did not hear their cry in the day of their calainity.
But, to return to your House of Correction, and to lay in order before you the sufferings of the strangers as well as of the inhabitants, and to relate what ye did unto them, and the ears you cut off, as saith your Declaration, viz.,—"The penalty was increased by the loss of the ears of those that offended a second time:" that is to say, that came into your jurisdiction,-for that was the offence,-and so to seal up your sum.
About the beginning of the Sixth month, 1658, Christopher Holder and John Copeland were moved of the Lord to go again to Boston, where they had suffered so cruelly before; and on the 3rd of the said month went thitherward, and came as far in their way as a town called Dedham, where they lodged that night, intending the next morning to move to Boston, but were prevented. For the constables came early in the morning, and told them that they had a warrant to carry them to Boston, where they brought them before your governor, who (being tormented in spirit) said, in a rage, “Ye shall be sure to have your ears cut off.” And, after asking them many questions, he sent them to prison, and the next day had them before the Court, where he sought to ensnare them; but they told him, “ That they should not answer him." Whereupon he had the impudence to say, “That they sought to ensnare them, sure enough.” And so, at the motion of Rawson, your Secretary, they were committed to prison, and ordered to be kept close at work, with prisoner's diet only, till their ears were cut off, and threatened with your former law, of “whipping them twice a week, and every time to increase three,-from fifteen stripes the first time, to eighteen,'' and so forward; and showed them the order whereby four of ten Friends were so used, and why they would put their bodies to such torture. He asked them, as if he had pity for them, “Who sought to destroy them?" But they could not answer him, whose demand was as well beside your law as it was against the Lord. So he shut them up in a close room, where they were kept without any food that he knew of for the space of eight days; after which his wife came, fearing what might become of them, and tendered them milk or what they would for their money, so that, from that time, friends were suffered to put in at the window what they needed. So, through hard suffering, they overcame your law and his cruelty.
Some time after this, John Rouse was commanded of the Lord to go to Boston, and came thither on the 25th of Sixth month, 1658, where he honestly discovered himself, as to what he was, to the man of the house, that he might not suffer through an ignorant entertaining of him, who shortly after fetched the marshal, who brought him to your governor, who committed him to prison after an impertinent examination. .
So, on the 7th of the Seventh month, 1658, these three, viz., : Christopher Holder, John Copeland, and John Rouse, all single young men, were had before you; and because they had been before you, and had suffered your law once before, which should have cleared them from further suffering,-for, by the law of England, a man having suffered the penalty is clear, as if he had not transgressed the law,—they, after being a first and a second time at your Court, viz., on the roth of the Seventh month aforesaid, wherein your governor and deputy-governor showed their rancour and unreasonableness of spirit, the said Dennison saying, “We are the stronger, and so look to yourselves," which base words he often used; "and, Master Rouse, for so I may call you, having heard of your father, that he is a gentleman,”-threatening to gag them if they would not be silent, when they were speaking for themselves in such a case as the loss of a member, and such an one as an ear, and so to be marked as rogues; and denying their appeal to England, which they solemnly made, after that the governor had said unto them, “It is the sentence of the Court, that you three have, each of you, his right ear cut off by the hangman.” And, after the sentence, ye hastened the execution, and on the 16th of the said month ye sent your marshal's deputy, who came to the prison with a company of bloodthirsty men, such as fitted his turn and served his end, and, after shutting the door,—whereas the execution of justice ought to be