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A Copy of a Certificate from the Court of Accomack
County in Virginia, read by Lord Cornbury, before Commitment of Francis Makemie, for Preaching a Sermon at York.
Hese may Certifie to all, to whom these Presents may
concern, that Mr. Francis Makemie, a Dissenter and Preacher, in the aforesaid County of Accomack, hath at a Court held in the aforesaid County, October the 5th. 1699. performed and answered, by taking the Oaths, &c. Enjoined in a certain Act of Parliament, made the 24th day of May, Anno Dom. 1689. In the First Year of the Reign of King William and Queen Mary, Entituled, An Act for Exeinpting Their Majesty's Protestant Subjects, Dissenting from the Church of England, from the penalties of sundry Laws. And by his application to the Court by Petition obtained Order in October Court last, that his own House at Accomack-Town, and his Dwelling-House at Pocamock, should be Registred and Recorded to be the first places of his constant and ordinary Preaching : Which is Attested this 10th day of October, Anno Dom. 1699.
Per me John Washbourn, Cler. Car. Com. Accomack.
An account of the Charges of the Imprisonment of Francis
Makemie, and John Hampton; and Prosecution of the former, for Preaching a Sermon at New-York City.
ty, on Long-Island, for apprehending and
carried out of the way.
attending Lord Cornbury's leisure, besides what sundry Friends spent.
To Ebenezar Wilson High Sheriff for Com
mitment to his House.
of our Imprisonment.
Virginia both by Land & Water, to at
tend the Tryal at New-York.
Sum 81 04 09
IN N this Postscript, there is first, The only Establishing Act of
New-York which the Clergy of the Church of England has laid hold upon, & thereby would deceive the World, in imposing upon, not only the American, but Europæan World, that ihey are Established in New-York Government, as in England; but also influence that Noble Corporation or Society for Propogating the Gospel, or the Patrons of most of them, to break the Filth Commandment, in Stubbs his Scheme: And tho’ the foregoing Tryal has opened the eyes, and undeceived most, if not all at New-York, in this matter; for which they may thank a Prison. So this is to enlighten, not only those abroad in the World, but also influence and direct the Assemblys of NewYork for the future; in not giving a handle to any, to pervert their Laws, contrary to the intention of the Legislators, or con
firming by subsequent Acts, in their unjust possessions; all which they may perceive from the following particulars. 1. This Law is not general for the whole Government, but for four Counties of a Colony, where there are nine Counties ; so that the largest share is yet without the benefits of this Act. 2. It was made upon the motion and application of sundry Dissenters, on Long-Island, yet alive, who expected another benefit by it, then they have been since treated with. 3. It was made by an Assembly generally Dissenters, and are so to this day; and let such as are alive declare their design in this Law. 4. There is not any mention of so much as the name of the Church of England, or the mode or manner of the Church of England Worship, Government or Ceremonies in all the Law, without which, I cannot imagine they can have any Establish
5. Every sufficient Protestant Minister, duly called according to directions of said Law, has a right hereunto, and none else; and that Dissenters for whom this Law was originally designed, are deemed and called Ministers, and men in Holy Orders, is plain from the express words of the Act of Toleration. 6. None have a right unto, or should have any benefit by this Act, but he that is called and chosen by twelve men, chosen by the free Votes of the people of the County which Mr. Urqhart of Jamaica, never had by any Vote of the majority; therefore has as great a right to the Salary there, as he has to the Meeting-House, with the House & Land he lives upon, of which the Proprietors have been Ousted with violence, without all legal Process or Ejectment; and being of 1500 l. value. It is matter of satisfaction this practice is singular, and not yet made a President of, tho' New-Town is threatned by the same Parson. 7. It is observable, at the time this Law was made, there was not a Church of England Clergy man in all that Country, and for some time after. 8. As no person had a right by this Law, but such legally called, and chosen; so consequently it was no crime for the Vestry to refuse levying or paying money to such as had no right. 9. By English Law, and Practice, no Vestry men were to be fined as culpable, until legally convicted of the crime, or matter of fact. 10. By the last clause of this Law, all former Agreements made between Ministers and People, were confirmed and ratifyed, and all such were then, and are to this day, Dutch, French, and British Dissenters. So much concerning New-York Act of Assembly.
As to the English Act of Parliament, 1 shall say nothing, but leave that to the Queens-Bench, and the Learned Judges
there, when the crimeless Mittimus, and till further order comes to be tryed by them.
The next Copy is a New-York Licence, not so common and and general to Dissenters, as Mr. Attorney asserted at the Tryal ; for if they were all called in, they would make but a small number, and any may have thern for half the money they cost; and with some not so easily swallowed down, as Conformity, for which we dissent: And for these Reasons. 1. If we are not Ministers before, this Licence can never make us so. 2. No such Instructions from the Queen was produced at the Tryal, as laid Dissenters under any obligations of taking Licences. 3. By this Licence they are only tolerated to exercise their Religion in one Congregation, and allows not a liberty to Preach to any People in the whole Government, who shall desire it, which no Minister in bis right wit for the future, will submit to. 4. It is a most precarious liberty, which is granted, not, Quamdiu bene se gesserit, but during pleasure ; which is inconsistent with that Commission and Authority, which Ministers of the Gospel, called of God, derive from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head and King of his Militant Churches: Therefore it is from a principle of Conscience, and not from any contempt of Government or disrespect to the persons of any in Authority, that they cannot, they dare not submit to such a Licence, so inconsistent with the toleration, and that liberty of Conscience allowed in Britain, and practised in all the Queens Dominions, besides New-York, and commanded to be allowed by the Queens Instructions.
The next thing to be taken notice of in this Postscript, is a Copy of Mr. Makemies Certificate from a Court of Record in the Dominion of Virginia, which was produced to, and read by Ld. Cornbury, before Confinement, and shown to the Grand Jury, before the Presentment was found: And tho' Mr. Attorney told the said Jury, while four of the Hearers were examining upon Oath concerning the Sermon, this Certificate was writ under a Hedge, which no doubt influenced them to have no regard thereunto; Yet if the Act of Toleration, and consequently this Certificate had come in play at the Tryal, he was armed with an Exemplification from the Government, signed by the Præsident, and the Seal of the Colony annext, to prove the truth and validity of this Certificate, and vindicate it from Forgery.
The last thing is an account of the Expences, of not only a person who is innocent, but for doing good, as was determined by the Tryal; and in complying with the most solemn obliga
tions of duty, both to God, and the Souls of men. To which, besides loss of time, and absence from his Family and Concerns, he might have justly charged Twelve Pounds more Money, by being necessiated to make his Escape, both by Land and Water to New England, from Officers with new Precepts, whereby a whole Sabbath was prophaned, in seeking to apprehend him; for which some must be accountable.
But it is plain and undeniable, that the Prosecution of the most innocent person in the world at New-York is more expensive, then if Mr. Makemie had been guilty of all the Pænal Laws mustered up, in the Indictment against one Sermon, if prosecuted ju England, even while Pænal Laws were in force, and Executed there.
And a fair and legal decision, cannot put an end to a Controversy, where the same fact is made criminal, and a new Process violently designed, and vigorously aimed at, by such, as nothing but the interposition of the Authority of England will put a stop to.
And what legal Authority Mr. Attorney, and a perpetual Sheriff have for their demanded Fees, I leave to the Regulated Table of Fees of New York to determine; not to be paralelled by any Colony in Her Majesty's Dominions.
In regard that all Opportunities have been denyed to
the abovesaid Mr. Makemie for his own Vindication, 'twas thought proper here to Subjoin a Copy of his Letter to the Lord Cornbury, of which no regard was had, nor answer given.
Boston, July 28th. 1707.
May it please Your Lordship,
Most humbly beg leave to Represent to Your Excellency my just astonishment at the Information received from sun
dry hands since my arrival in these Colonies, and after so long and so expensive a Confinement, so deliberate and fair a Tryal, before Judges of Your Lordships appointment, and by a Jury Chosen by your own Sheriff, on purpose to try that matter: I have been legally cleared, and found guilty of no Crime