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These things granted, by the blessing of God to us in Christ, we hope to see the now contemned Ordinances of God, highly prized; the Gospel much darkned, break forth as the sun at noon-day; Christian charity & brotherly love almost frozen, wax warm; Zeal and holy emulation, more fervent; Jealousies of Arbitrary Government, the bane of all Commonwealths, quite banished; The wicked, if any such be found, in their courses disheartned; The righteous actors, in their wayes, encouraged; Secret discontents fretting like cankers, remedied; Merchandizing, shipping, by speciall Providence wasted, speedily increased; Mines undertaken with more cheerfulnesse, Fishing with more forwardnesse; Husbandry, now withering, forthwith flourishing; Villages and Plantations, much deserted, presently more populous; All mechariicall Trades, the great enrichers of all Commonwealths, bravely going on; Staplecommodities, the life of States, presently raised; Our almost lost credit regained; Our brethren of England's just indignation, and therefore as from a pest flying from us, turned to imbraces; The honourable Houses of Parliament, Patrons of Piety, under their wings, in these dangerous times, with all alacrity shrowding us; The Priviledges and Immunities which we and ours enjoy in our native Land, more firmly setled; Foraign enemies daily threatning, totally discouraged; Unsetled men now abounding, firmely planted, that the prosperity of England may not be the ruine of this Plantation, but the contrary; Hands, hearts, and purses now straightned, freely opened for publick and honorable services; Strife and contention now rife, abated; Taxes and sesses, lightned; The burthens of the State, but pleasure. To conclude, all businesses in Church and Common wealth which for many years have seemed to goe backward, beyound our desert, yea expectation, the good hand of our God going along with us, succesfully thriving.
And shall alwayes pray the Almighty the only wise God, to guide you with his wisedome, strengthen you with his power, in all your undertakings, that all may be to his glory, and good of his people; and that he would blesse your Wisdomes with the blessings of peace, plenty, and long dayes, &c.
Robert Child, Tho. Foivle, Samuel Maverick, Thomas
This Petition was presented to the Generall Court held at Boston,
A Relation of the effects this Petition produced.
ry* Hough this Petition of Dr. Child was in a peaceable way * presented, only by two of the Subscribers; yet it produced these effects, and thus it wrought
First, the Elders, (not all, some few being silent) in their Congregations publikely using severall Expressions, but to one and the self-same end; as, That it was a seditions Petition full of malignancie, subvertive both to Church and Commonwealth in their foundations; Some calling those that so Petitioned, or comparing them to Sons of Belial, Judasses, Sons of Corah with sundry appellations of that nature, with some such applications, which seemed not to arise from a Gospel spirit; usually ekeing out their Sermons in large and defamatory declamations both against their Persons and Petition, yea sometimes a whole Sermon, and that not very short neither, being spent in enlarged sentences to denote the destructivenesse thereof to Church and Commonwealth; yea publikely exhorting Authority to lay hold upon those Petitioners, which the same night they did.
Nor were the Magistrates in the mean season altogether silent, but spake in the same key; yea, One publikely in open Court gave charge to the Jury to take notice of such a Petition, and of such as were that way affected, for they were both Presentable and punishable by their Law; for he said it was a wicked Petition, full of malignancie, subverting the very foundations both of Church and Corrrmomvealth, or words to that effect; And how far it reached, he knew not, pointing (as was apprehended) at a Capital Law there made, here reprinted.
Now at the next sitting of the General Court, six of the seven that Petitioned, were sent for by the Marshall to come to the Court, where they were charged ore tenus, with great offences contained in their Petition and Remonstrance, against the Court and Government; and that such of them as were bound out of the Jurisdiction, should enter into Bond with security, to stand and abide the Judgement of the Court, and the rest were confined, and charged to attend the Court to the same end. The Petitioners desired to have their Charge in writing, which was then denied; and some added, That was but a trick of them that they might carry it and shew it in England:
They _-^ \
They replied, if the offences were contained in the Petition, they then must needs be such as concerned Government; and that the Parliament, now sitting in England, were competent Judges, and could best discern such errors; and therefore they did appeal to that High Court, and did tender sufficient Securitie therefore. For which two of them were presently committed, and forced thereby to give Bond to stand to the Order of that Court therein. And the Cause afterwards came to Hearing, notwithstanding they did appeal to the high Court of Parliament, and would have given Security; they were Fined, as appears by this their censure. And since, two of them, Dr. Child and another, had their Trunks and Studies broke up, and their Papers taken away, and imprisoned close prisoners, and are in danger of their lives by reason of that Capitall Law here recited.
BY THE COURT:
In theYeares, 1641. 1642.
Capital Lawes, established within the Jurisdiction of
F any man, after legall conviction, shall have or worship any other god, but the Lord God, he shall be put to death. Deut. 13.6, &c. and 17. 2, &,c. Exod. 22. 20.
2. TF any man or woman be a Witch, (that is) hath, or con-■-sulteth with a Familiar spirit, they shall be put to death.
Exod. 22. 18. Lev. 20. 27. Deut. 18. 10, 11.
3. TF any person shall blaspheme the Name of God the Farther, Son, or Holy Ghost, with direct, expresse, presumptuous, or high-handed blasphemy, or shall curse God in the like manner, he shall be put to death. Lev. 24. 15, 16.
4. TF any person shall commit any wilfull murther, which is -*• Man-slaughter, committed upon premeditate malice, hatred
or cruelty, not in a mans necessary and just defence, nor by
r.ieer meer casualty against bis will, he shall be put to death. Exod. 21.12,13,14. Num. 35. 30, 31.
5. TF any person slayeth another suddenly in his anger, or -^cruelty of passion, he shall be put to death. Num. 35.
20, 21. Lev. 24. 17.
6. "I F any person shall slay another through guile, either by -*-poysonings, or other such devilish practice, he shall be put
to death. Exod. 21. 14.
7. TF a man or woman shall lie with any beast or bruit creature, by carnall copulation, they shall surely be put to
death, and the beast shall be slain and buried. Lev. 20. 15, 16.
8. TF a man lieth with mankinde, as he lieth with a woman, -*-both of them have committed abomination, they both shall
surely be put to death. Lev. 20. 13.
9. "I F any person committeth adultery with a married or es** poused wife, the Adulterer and Adulteresse shall surely
be put to death. Lev. 20. 10. & 18. 20. Deut. 22. 23, 24.
10. TF any man shall unlawfully have carnall copulation with •* any woman child under ten years old, either with or without ber consent, he shall be put to death.
11. -IF any man shall forcibly and without consent ravish any •* maid, or woman that is lawfully married or contracted,
he shall be put to death. Deut. 22. 25, he.
12. | F any man shall ravish any maid or single woman, (com"mitting carnall copulation with her by force, against her
will) that is above the age of ten years; he shall be either punished with death, or with some other grievous punishment, according to circumstances, at the discretion of the Jvdges: and this Law to continue till the Court take further order.
13. IF any man stealeth a man, orman-kinde, he shall surely ** be put to death. Exod. 21. 16.
14. TF any man rise up by false witnesse, wittingly, and of pur** pose to take away any mans life, he shall be put to death.
Deut. 19. 16, 18, 19.
J5. IF any man shall conspire or attempt any invasion, insur
** rection, or publike rebellion against our Common-wealth,
or shall endeavour to surprise any Town or Towns, Fort or
Forts therein; or shall treacherously or perBdiously attempt the
alteration and subversion of our frame of Polity or Government
fundamentally, he shall be put to death. Num. 16. 2 Sam. 3.
& 18. &. 20. Per exemplar, lncre. Nowel, Secret.
Vol. IV.—No. 3. 12 THE OATH OF A FREE-MAN.
I (A. B.) being by Gods providence, an Inhabitant, and Freeman, within the Jurisdiction of this Commonwealth; do freely acknowledge my self to be subject to the Government thereof: And therefore do here swear by the great and dreadful Name of the Ever-living God, that / will be true and faithfull to the same, and will accordingly yield assistance &. support thereunto, with my person and estate, as in equity / am bound ; and will also truly endeavour to maintain and preserve all the liberties and priviledges thereof, submitting my self to the wholesome Lawes &, Orders made and established by the same. And further, that / will not plot or practice any evill against it, or consent to any that shall so do; but will timely discover and reveal the same to lawfull Authority now here established, for the speedy preventing thereof.
Moreover, / doe solemnly bind my self in the sight of God, that when / shal be called to give my voyce touching any such matter of this State, in which Freemen are to deal, / will give my vote and suffrage as / shall judge in mine own conscience may best conduce and tend to the publike weal of the body, without respect of persons, or favour of any man. So help me God in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Concerning the throwing the Petition over-board as a Jonas, it teas as followeth. Ylf Hen the first ship that came this Year 1646. from Neu,"England, was almost ready to come from thence; Mr. Cotton, in his Thursday-Lecture at Boston, preached out of that Scripture, Cant. 2. 15. Take us the little Foxes, fyc. In his Uses took occasion to say, That if any shall carry any Writings, Complaints against the people of GOD in that Country, it would be as Jonas in the ship, with many words to perswade from such Complaints in England, saying that they