« PreviousContinue »
worldly Governour to defend them, but all came out against them, Ammon and Amaleck,Balack, Ogg, and Sihon, and the rest; in the which condition Stephen perceived himselfe, when he witnessed unto the word of truth, in alleadging that place of the Prophet * . Samuel Gorton. Amot.5.26.
Upon the finishing of these answers on the Munday morning, the Court sent for S. Gorton to come before them; and when he was come, the Governor asked him, whether he had brought in his answer to the questions propounded unto him (at their last sitting) in writing, he answered he had brought them ; then the Governor asked him, whether he had put his hand unto them, he answered he had not, not thinking it would be required, else he had done it; the Governour called for pen'and inke, and caused him to put his hand unto them, and then demanded them of him, Gorton desired he might have liberty to read them first in the Court, that he might pronounce the Phrases and words according to the true meaning, and intent, having had experience of wrong done, in reading (in way pronunciation of things not plainly) before, to the giving of true intelligence to the hearers, when the answers were read in the audience of the Court, the Court paused, and no man said any thing unto them, only bade Gorton with-draw, which being done, they hade some consultation among themselvs, and shortly after called for Gorton to be brought in again: Master Saltingstone found fault, that it was written in the answer, what is the Star of (that) God Remphan, whereas it was in the writing (your, God Remphan) Gorton answered, the Phrase was only changed for modesty; for indeed (saith he) it is the phrase of the Apostle, your God Remphan, and so it rested to clear that scruple. The Governour told Gorton, that they were one with him, in those answers; for they held as he did; Gorton answered he was very glad of it, for he loved not differences and divisions amongst men: the Governour then asked him whether he would retract the writing that was formerly written unto them ; Gorton answered, that nothing was written before, but would suit and agree, with these answers; so that if there was cause to retract one, there was cause to retract all; the Governour said, no, these answers they could agree with him in; but not in the former writing; whereupon Master Dudley stood up, seeming to be much moved, and said he would never consent to it whilst he lived, that they were one with him in those answers; the Governour then asked Gorton what Faith ivas; to which lie answered, that was nothing that concerned what they had formerly written, and that he and the rest had only undertaken to answer to any thing that was in their writing: the Governour told him, he was bound, and ought to be ready to give an answer to any thai should aske him a question of the hope that is in him; Gorton made answer, that the difinition which the Apostle gives of faith, was sufficient, as he thought to give any man satisfaction ; he asked him what that was, he told him it was this; that faith is the hypostasis or substance of things that are hoped for, and the evidence (or argument demonstrative) oj things that are not seen, nor demonstrated at all; the Governour told him that was true, but he could say more of faith then so; Gorton told him, it g-ave him satisfaction, and being an other point then they had to deale about, since their comming amongst them, and being no question produced from former writings, desired to be spared from any further answer then the plain words of the Apostle; whereupon Master Bruadstreet made answer, that be thought it was not fit to put him upon any new questions, unlesse he were free to speake unto them, and so they dismissed him from the Court to the Prison againe.
Shortly after this, there was a day appointed, wherein wee were to receive our sentence from the Court, which was to be given in the afternoon, and in the forenoon Master Cotton preached, having gathered up the minds of the people, in what they had observed, and perceiving the people took notice, that in what we dissented from them, was out of tendernesse of conscience, and were ready to render a reason and ground for what we held and practised, & divers such like things ; to which he answered, that if we had done it out of ignorance, then there had been hopes of regaining us; but if out of tendernesse of conscience, and able to render reason for what wee did (and other things of like nature) then were we ripened for death, urging them to agree together, and consent in one thing, that so it might be, else would not the Angels carry their soules to heaven; for he was then speaking of the office of the Angels in that point; and when by all their examinations in Court, lnturgatories put upon us in Prison, and publicke preaching, they could find nothing against us, for the transgressing of any of their Lawes, they then proceeded to cast a lot for our lives, putting it to the major vote of the Court, whether we should live or die, which was so ordered by the providence of God, that the number of two votes carried it on our side; and whereas
both by Law, Equiiie, and act of Providence, they ought to have set us forthwith at liberty, yet notwithstanding they pro-' ceeded further to censure; namely, confined us to severall Towns, and to wear bolts and irons, and to worke for our livings, though it was in the extremity of the winter, and not to spcake of any of those things which they had dealt ivith us about, and all this during the pleasure of the Court, and that upon pain of death.
Here followeth a true Copie of the censure, and of the charg as it was given unto us in writing by the Court, being extant, and here set down verbatim, as it tvas given to Samuel Gorton, the rest being the same, but onely the change of the names.
For Samuel Gorton. -|T is ordered that Samuel Gorton shal be con- e Whereas they -* fined to Charlstowne, there to be set on worke, J}°^ «"iuCu and to wear such bolts or irons, as may hinder his unto them, escape, and so to continue during the pleasure of ti"-re wa"an the Court; provided, that if he shall break his said '^'unto ihein confinement, or shall in the meane time, either by by us, but it speech or writing, publish, declare, or maintaine TMno ground any of the blasphemous or abominable heresies, pVoceedinE»6'' wherewith he hath been charged by the generall against us, Court, contained in either of the two [c] books sent therefore we unto us by him, or by Randall Houldtn: or shall fit^bri'nif'ii reproach, or reprove the Churches of our Lord into this treaJesus Christ in these united Colonies, or the civilltise; for jhoy government, or the publicke Ordinances of God' cTM° e therein (unlesse it be by answer to some question they would propounded to him, or conference with any Elder, doe unio ""• or with any other licensed to speak with him pri- "t J£'TMxf"„! vately, under the hand of one of the Assistants) before that that immediatly upon accusation of any such wri- writing came ting, or speech, he shall by such Assistant, to whom S'J,TM?1 there to be tryed by a Jury, whether he hath so spoken or written, and upon his conviction thereof, shall be condemned to death, and executed. Dated the 3°. of the 9°. Moneth, 1643. Per. cur.
L r • i ii L L L L • j it onely met
such accusation shall be brought, be committed to the souldiers
prison, till the next Court of Assistants, then and on the way toward! us, with Commission to put us to the sword; we shall desire to publish it by it selfe; for wo are willing to have it known, and we made answer to any thing in it, they could seem to object, when wee were amongst them. The Massachufett promised the people, that however they might not hear our writings read then among tliem, yet they should see them shortly in print, but they put us to the labour and cost of it; else they cannet be content to have them lie buried, but render them, and their dealings with us, in all places wher they come, to u : uthur things then indeed they are,
Increase Noivell, Secret.
A Copie of the Charge.
QAmucl Gorton, being convict as a blasphemous enemy to k-^the true Religion of our Lord Jesus Christ, and all his holy Ordinances, and also to all civill authority among the people of God, and particularly in this jurisdiction, as appeareth by writings and speeches.
This charge being laid upon us, at the Barre before we heard of the censure (though they came as above in writing to us:) the Governour asked us, whether we bowed under it, and whether we would retract; we answered and told them (as in the presence of God) that the charge neither bowed no touched us at all, for we were free, and farre from being guilty of any such things, and for our retractation, we told them we came not there to deny our Religion, in any point of it, but to testifie and bear witnesse unto it; then did they reade our censure, for our confinement, as is above said; and when the bolts and chains were made ready, they put them upon us, in the prison at Boston, that so we might travell in them to the severall Towns to which we were confined, some of us having fifteen miles, and some thirty to goe from Boston; only we were to stay till Master Cotten his Lecture day, and then were all brought to the Congregation in that our iron furniture, for the credit of the Sanctuary, which had set the sword on work to such good purpose, and after that were with all speed sent away; yea, some of us among the people that went from the Lecture, that so we might be a spectacle unto them.
In which condition we continued a whole winter season; in which time their Ministers stirred up the people in their publick Sermons to famish us to death, out of that place of the Prophet Zephany, 2. 10. 11. This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached, and magnified themselves against the people of the Lord of Hosts; the Lord will be terrible unto them, for he will famish all the Gods of the earth, and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the Isles of the Heathen. Samuel Gorton having intelligence, from Boston, to Charles-Town, to which he was confined ; that
Master Cotton preached from that text in the pro- d We had l; phecie of Zephany, and how he applyed the doc- berty to speak trine from it to have all necessaries with-held from °r write to Elhim, telling some eminent members of the Church, UgrtShe°Magithat if they either went unto us, to visit us, or sent strates lycenunto us, to minister to our wants, the curse of God 8ed t0 speake would abide both on them and their posterity, for TMjj'""'„"" so doing; the said Gorton hearing of these things, stion, whom writ a Letter to the ruling Elder in Charles-lowne, t'»y thought [d]a Copie whereof (verbatim) here followeih, TMZTMTM,« which was consulted upon, by the Ministers imme- that this w'ridiatly, together with the Governour, as intelligence tine'» but a was brought unto him, but never answer given unto i"^^ iTrge it, neither by word nor writing. preface.
Charles-towne, Ianuary the 12. 1643.
Mr. Green ^Or as much as we know that the Ruler of the Congregation hath power to give utterance, and to authorise speech unto edification, [e] and that none ought to hinder, where ever or whomsoever he permits or giveth°^8"'-6-»• Lycense unto, [f ] and in as much as we also pro- 20a''"' dfesse, that there is one thing that is needful I, and r Act. 4.18. l!l whosoever shall make choise of that, it shall never 20be taken away from him e, which is to hear the ^ u " ,0' 4Iwords of Christ. Neither are we ignorant, that none are truly sensible, or know the necessity, use, and benefit of hearing the words of Christ, but only such as are sensible, and see the necessitie; (yea, and that in the same subject) of speaking and delivering the words of Christi', lor
i. 1 /**», Q |c
the heart of every Saint is equally ballanced with'
these two; the same necessitie he finds to speak, he also finds
to heare; the same necessity he finds to heare, he finds
to speake also the word of God, for faith is in hearing, and
hearing is in speaking the word of God [';] if we
deny either of these unto a Christian, we deny him ' Bom. 10. 17.
the power of faith, which doth consist in them both;
nay, if he want a tongue to speake, or an eare to
heare (and that equally, the one as the other) we Coltos*2* 10
deny him to be complcat in Christ [k,] who as he
had an ear open to the voice of the Father in all' P*al. 40. 6.
things [i,] so had he a tongue to divulge and de- m Ig/i >7 6
dare them unto the world; ["'J even so with the 26.
heart Vol. IV.—No. 6. 23