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LAW AGAINST ANABAPTISTS.
CHAP. Newberry aforesaid, was showed their agent, which he
well liked, and where we have since four towns settled, and more may be for aught I know; so that there they might have had a complete Presbytery, and whither they intended to have come. But meeting with manifold crosses, being half seas through, they gave over their intendments; and, as I have heard, these were many of the gentlemen that first fell upon the late Covenant in Scotland. By all which will easily appear how we are here wronged by many, and the harder measure, as we hear, imposed upon our brethren for our sakes, nay pretending our example for their precedent. And last of all, not long before I came away, certain discontented persons in open court of the Massachusets, demanding that liberty, it was freely and as openly tendered to them, showing their former practices by me mentioned, but willed not to expect that we should provide them ministers, &c. for the same; but getting such themselves, they might exercise their Presbyterian government at their liberty, walking peaceably towards us, as we trusted we should do towards thein. So that if our brethren here shall be restrained, they walking peaccably, the example must not be taken from us, but arise from some other principle.
But it will be objected, Though you deal thus with the Presbyterian way, yet you have a severe law against Anabaptists ; ' yea, one was whipped at Massachusets for his religion ;? and your law banisheth them. Answer. 'Tis true the Massachusets
· This lawmay be seen in punished was Thomas Painter, of Hazard's State Papers, i. 538. See İlingham. This was in 1644. See also Savage's Winthrop, ii. 174. an account of it in Savage's Win
· The name of the person thus throp, ii. 174.
CHAUNCY, OF SCITUATE.
Government have such a law to banish, but not to CHAP. whip in that kind. And certain men desiring some mitigation of it, it was answered in my hearing, “'Tis true we have a severe law, but we never did or will execute the rigor of it upon any; and have men living amongst us, nay some in our churches, of that judgment; and as long as they carry themselves peaceably, as hitherto they do, we will leave them to God, ourselves having performed the duty of brethren to them. And whereas there was one whipped amongst us, 't is true we knew his judgment what it was ; but had he not carried himself so contemptuously towards the authority God hath betrusted us with in a high exemplary measure, we had never so censured him ; and theresore he may thank himself, who suffered as an evildoer in that respect. But the reason wherefore we are loath either to repeal or alter the law, is, because we would have it remain in force to bear witness against their judgment and practice, which we conccive thicin to be crroncous. And yet nevertheless,” said the Governor to those [who] preferred the request, “you may tell our friends in England, whither ye are some of you going, since the motion proceedeth from such as we know move it in love to us, we will seriously take it into consideration at our next General Court.” So that thou mayest perceive, good reader, that the worst is spoken of things in that kind.
Furthermore, in the Government of Plymouth, to our great grief, not only the pastor of a congregation
· The person here referred to was should be administered to infants, the Rev. Charles Chauncy, at this provided it were done by iminersion. time minister of Scituate, and after. lIc took the degree of A. B. at wards President of Ilarvard College. Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1013, It appears, however, that he was of A. M. in 1617, and of B. D. in willing that the ordinance of baptism 1024. He was also incorporated
CONGREGATIONALISM THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH POLITY.
CHAP. waiveth the administration of baptism to infants, but
divers of his congregation are fallen with him; and yet all the means the civil power hath taken against him and them is to stir up our elders to give meeting, and see if by godly conference they may be able to convince and reclaim him, as in mercy once before they had done, by God's blessing upon their labors. Only at the foresaid Synod, two were ordered to write to him in the name of the Assembly, and to request his presence at their next meeting aforesaid, to hold forth his light he goeth by in waiving the practice of the churches; with promise if it be light, to walk by it; but if it appear otherwise, then they trust he will return again to the unity of practice with them. And for the other two Governments of Conectacut and Newhaven, if either have any law in force against them, or so much as need of a law in that kind, 't is more than I have heard on.
For our parts (I mean the churches of New England) we are confident, through God's mercy, the way of God in which we walk and according to which we perform our worship and service to Him, concurreth with those rules our blessed Saviour hath left upon record by the Evangelists and Apostles, and is agreeable with the practice of those primitive churches mentioned in the Acts, and regulated by the same Apostles, as appeareth not only in that Evangelical History, but in their Epistles to the several churches there mentioned. Yet nevertheless if any through tenderness of conscience be otherwise ininded, to such we never turn a deaf ear, nor become rigorous, though we have
A. M. at Oxford, in 1619. See Mass. Hist. Coll. iv. 112, x. 30, 174,
EVIL-DOERS NOT TO BE TOLERATED.
the stream of authority on our sides. Nay, if in the CHAP. use of all means we cannot reclaim them, knowing “ the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy ; and the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace,” according to Janies iii. 17, 18; and if any differing from us be answerable to this rule in their lives and conversations, we do not exercise the civil sword against them. But for such as Gorton and his company, whose wisdom seems not to be from above, as appeareth in that it is “ full of envying, strife, confusion,” being therein such James as the Apostle Jude speaks on, viz. "earthly, sensual, Jude devilish,” who “ despise dominion and speak evil of dignities,” these are “murmurers, complainers, walkers after their own lusts, and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, being clouds without water, carried about of winds, trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots, raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame, wandering stars, to whom, (without repentance, which I much desire to see or hear of in him, if it may stand with the will of God,) is reserved the blackness of darkness forever" - these, I say, are to be proceeded with by another rule, and not to be borne ; who suffer as evil-doers, and are a shame to religion, which they profess in word, but deny in their lives and conversations. These every tender conscience abhors, and will justify and assist “the higher powers God hath ordained,” against such carnal gospellers, “ who bear not the sword in vain,” but execute God's vengeance on such; for the civil magistrate is “the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath on him that doth evil.”
NEW ENGLAND - GOD BLESS HER !
CHAP. And therefore a broad difference is to be put between
such evil-doers and those tender consciences who follow the light of God's word in their own persuasions, (though judged erroneous by the places where they live) so long as their walking is answerable to the rules of the Gospel, by preserving peace and holding forth holiness in their conversations amongst men.
Thus much I thought good to signify, because we of New England are said to be so often propounded for an example. And if any will take us for a precedent, I desire they may really know what we do, rather than what others ignorantly or maliciously report of us, assuring myself that none will ever be losers by following us so far as we follow Christ. Which that we may do, and our posterities after us, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father accept in Christ what is according to him; discover, pardon and reform what is amiss amongst us; and guide us and them by the assistance of the Holy Ghost, for time to come, till time shall be no more ; that the Lord our God
still delight to dwell amongst his plantations and churches there by his gracious presence, and may go on blessing to bless them with heavenly blessings in these earthly places, that so by his blessing they may not only grow up to a nation, but become exemplary for good unto others. And let all that wish well to Zion
Amen. · The work of Winslow, to which London. 1649." The paging, list this Brief Narration is appended, of crrata, &c. are precisely the same was afterwards published with a as in the other book, Hypocrisy new title-page, as follows : " The Unmasked. danger of tolerating levellers in a Whilst Winslow was in England, civil state ; or a historical narration he published, in 1619, another book, of the dangerous practices and entitled " New England's Salamanopinions wherewith Samuel Gor- der Discovered — or a satisfactory ton and his levelling accomplices answer to many aspersions cast so much disturbed and molested upon New England." This work the several plantations in New is reprinted in Mass. Hist. Coll. xxii. England. By EDWARD WINSLOW, 110 — 145. of Plyinouth, in New England.