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SECT. VI. It was in this year, and with a view to the re-
1668. vival and diffusion of a spirit of piety, that an at-

tempt was made to print an edition of Thomas a
Kempis. The design however failed, through
an apprehension in the general court, that the
book, being written by a papist, might excite a
relish for popish principles. Capt. Daniel Gookin
and Rev. Jonathan Mitchel, who were licensers of
the press, were accordingly ordered by the court
to stop the progress of the work. What would
be thought, at this day, of a legislature, which
should forbid the publication of any one book of
any one sect of christians ? Indeed a like degree
of rigour, at the same point of time, was not exer-
cised in the parent country. But it had grown
customary with men, who had fled the tyranny of
the lord bishops to practise the tyranny of the
lord brethren.* Intolerance was the order of the
day ; and the government of each individual
church was as eagle eyed in discovering heresy,
and sometimes as cruel in' punishing it, as the
Spanish inquisition.

This truth was disgracefully manifest, about
this period, in the sufferings of the baptists. At
the very moment, when congregationalists were
writhing beneath the lashes of persecution in
England, they seemed determined in this country
to retaliate vengeance on dissenters from them.
This wicked conduct was neither unnoticed nor
unreproved.t A letter was sent from London to

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* Chalmers i. 392.

† Neal i. 371.

the governour of Massachusetts, signed by Drs. SECT. VI. Goodwin and Owen, Messrs. Nye and Caryl, 1668. and nine other ministers, entreating him to use his authority for releasing the baptists from prison, and rescuing them from the power of sangui nary laws. But this letter, though penned with moderation and gentleness, and containing the most touching appeals to the heart, made no impression on the congregationalists of Massachusetts. The baptists still groaned in prisons. The most unrighteous laws stared them in the face; and the most villanous conduct was secretly practised to their mischief.

This treatment of the baptists was comparitively trivial to what the poor quakers endured.

They were subjects of reproach, scorn, buffetting, · scourges, torture, and death. They were strip

ped of the clothes, they wore, and robbed of the beds, whereon they lay. The vessels, in which they ate, were forced from them, and their food itself reduced almost to nothing. If any thing in extenuation of this persecuting spirit may be alleged, it is the exceedingly irregular and extravagant behaviour of the sectaries, who kept no terms with decency, and strangely imagined, they were doing God service by violating the rules of good manners.

The church was, for the first time, vacant; and the desk was supplied by preachers, whom circumstances threw in the way.

Six men, and four women were, this year, admitted to the church, and three male and two female children baptized.

1668.

SECT. VI. On the death of Mr. Wilson, the church seem

- to have had no idea of supplying his place by a

young man, or a man, who had not beến educated in England.

Rev. John Davenport of Newhaven, had formerly exercised his talents in this church, and therefore was not wholly unknown to several of the members. Fame moreover had ever distin. guished him among the preachers of this country. He was now seventy years old. At first view, therefore, he would hardly relinquish, at such an age, a place, of which he might be called the planter and patriarch. Those however, who knew all the circumstances of his situation, knew, that he was displeased with the union of Newhaven and Connecticut colonies, and had always manifested a particular attachment to the metropolis of Massachusetts. He was accordingly invi. ted, and he accepted the invitation. Because of his advanced age however, it was thought expedient to unite with him in the care of the church Rev. James Allen. The latter gentleman had been ejected by the Bartholomew act from his living in England, and, for four years, had been a member of First Church. These two gentlemen were installed together, as copastors of the church, on the ninth of December, 1668.

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From the settlement of Messrs. Davenport and Allen to the death

of the former and the installation of Mr. Oxenbridge. Including the years 1669, 1670.

The removal of Mr. Davenport was a remark

SEC. VII. able event, not only in the history of this church,

1669. but in the ecclesiastical history of Massachusetts. * It will be recollected, that, in 1662, a synod was holden in Boston, which decreed, that persons, owning the covenant, might have their children baptized, although they did not observe the Lord's-supper. The result of this synod Mr. Wilson had subscribed ; and a neglect to observe it, or a disposition to oppugn it, he considered, in his last days, as one of the lamentable errours of the times. Whether he had particular reference to Mr. Davenport, in uttering this lamentation, cannot now be known. Certain it is, that Mr. Davenport was opposed to this result, when it passed, and published his opinion against it afterwards. But, notwithstanding this church agreed with their late pastor respecting the determinations of the synod, and were therefore widely

* Trum. i. 484.

SEC. VII. asunder from Mr. D. yet they saw fit to elect 1669. him, and he to obey their summons. The union

however was not effected without difficulty.

There were, at that time, two parties in First Church, one of which strongly opposed the measure, * both on account of the age of the candidate, and the rigidity of his sentiments. Mr. D. had also to surmount a high bar to his removal in the affection of his own church, and in their determination to retain him. In this situation of affairs, it was not surprising, that Mr. D's installation should kindle the flames of ecclesiastical contention. Nor was the evil confined to a small district. Mr. Davenport had been considered, as the head of a party more strictly calvinian, than the body of the colonists. He had also personal friends, and so had the party in First Church, who opposed him.

A part of First Church therefore, to the number of formed a society, which made the third congregation in Boston. Seventeen ministers publickly testified their disapprobation of the conduct of the majority of First Church, and especially of its three officers, Messrs. Davenport and Allen, and elder Penn. It was said, on the part of the ministers, that the whole truth respecting Mr. D's dismission was never told them : that parts only of letters were read, which ought to have been fully exposed ; and that the publick were not ingenuously dealt with upon the subject. It was denied by Mr. D. and his friends,

* Hutch. i. 247.

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