The Missing Cross to Purity


The Persecutions of Early Quakers in America

(continued)

He that is born of the flesh persecutes him that is born of the spirit.
Gal 4:29

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CHAPTER IV

Mary Dyer and Ann Burden arrive at Boston from London—They are immediately imprisoned and sentenced to banishment—Ann Burden is sent to England—Mary Dyer goes to her home on Rhode Island— Extract from a letter of Henry Fell to Margaret Fell—Eleven Friends in the ministry feel a religious call to visit New England—Their difficulty in procuring a passage—Robert Fowler, a Friend, offers his small vessel for the purpose—His offer is accepted—Proceedings of the Society for defraying the expenses of this and other foreign gospel missions—They sail from London—William Dewsbury visits them at the Downs—His letter to Margaret Fell—Robert Fowler's narrative of the voyage—Facsimile of a letter from W. Robinson one of the martyrs in New England, written to Margaret Fell, during the voyage—Five of the Friends land at New Amsterdam, now New York—The others proceed to Rhode Island—John Copeland's letter from Rhode Island.

For a few months after the banishment of Nicholas Upshal, the colony of Boston appeared to be clear of "Quaker heretics." The law which had been passed for their exclusion, the Puritan rulers and ecclesiastics fondly hoped would prove effectual for its intended purpose; and thus ended the year 1656. But this eventful period in the history of Friends in America had scarcely closed, before others of the Society were directing their course to the forbidden land of Massachusetts, and as early probably as the First Month of 1657, Mary Dyer and Ann Burden reached the bay of that colony.

Mary Dyer was an inhabitant of Rhode Island, and had been on a visit to Great Britain, but for what purpose it is not clear. While in England, she became convinced of the principles of Friends, and had received a gift in the ministry. Ann Burden, it appears, at this period was not a minister. She had formerly lived in New England, having been an inhabitant of Boston or its vicinity for sixteen years; but her husband had removed his family to England and died there. She therefore now came to Boston, for the purpose of collecting some debts due to his estate. Both had been Antinomian exiles of Massachusetts; Mary Dyer and her husband on their banishment, had sought refuge in the free colony of Rhode Island, while Ann Burden and her husband returned to their native land, to enjoy that religious freedom which the Puritans found under the Commonwealth.

Almost immediately on the arrival of Mary Dyer and Ann Burden at Boston, under the provisions of the Act against Quakers, they were seized by order of the magistrates, and placed under close confinement, in order that none might come at them." On their examination, Ann Burden pleaded the lawfulness of her business in the colony, but the only reply given to her reasoning was, that "she was a plain Quaker, and must abide their law. After an imprisonment of three months, during which she suffered from disease, she was placed on shipboard for banishment.

The object of Ann Burden's voyage from England being thus frustrated by the unrelenting rulers, the sympathy of the kind-hearted people of the town was excited on her behalf. Some of them exerted themselves in favor of the persecuted widow, and her fatherless children, and collected a portion of her debts, in goods, to the value of about forty pounds. But the goods being of a description unsuited for the English market, they interceded with the magistracy that she might be allowed to take them to Barbados, where they would find a ready sale. This humane and reasonable request was, however, unavailing. The master of the ship was "compelled to carry her to England;" and on inquiring from whom he was to receive payment for her returning passage, he was advised to seize a sufficient quantity of her goods to meet the charge; but with the remark that it was without her consent that she became his passenger, he declined to act upon the recommendation. The moral sensibilities of the magistrates blunted by sectarian bigotry, not being so nice on the question of right or wrong in the matter, as that which the sea captain had evidenced, they immediately ordered the seizure on the goods of the prisoner, to the amount of six pounds and ten shillings, for payment of the passage money. Deeming this an insufficient infliction on the distressed widow for professing Quakerism in their territory, they subsequently directed that none of the remaining portion of her goods should be shipped. So she received no part of the goods collected for her; and, except for the small sum of six shillings, sent by an honest debtor, she obtained no portion of the amount due to her husband's estate.

How long Mary Dyer was imprisoned is not stated, but her husband, who was not a Quaker, on hearing of his wife's imprisonment, came from Rhode Island to get her. So much, however, did the priests and rulers of Boston dread Quaker influence, that they would not allow him to take her to his home, "until he posted a bond guaranteeing not to lodge her in any town of the colony, or permit to speak to anyone on her journey."

The following extract from a letter addressed by Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, contains some additional facts relative to the visit of Mary Dyer and Ann Burden.

HENRY FELL TO MARGARET FELL

Barbados, 19th of Twelfth Month, 1656

MY DEARLY BELOVED, in the Lord Jesus Christ,— I was expecting to come away with the next ship, seeing freedom to come away from this place, and knowing no other then but for England. But truly at present the Lord has ordered it otherwise, and, though it was contrary to my own will, yet by his eternal power, I was made willing to give up all to Him who has laid down his life for me. Upon the 9th day of the Eleventh Month, the word of the Lord came to me that I should go to New England, there to be a witness for Him. So I was made willing to offer up my life and all, in obedience to the Lord; for his word was as a fire, and a hammer in me; though then in outward appearance there was no likelihood of getting passage there, by reason of a cruel law which they have made against any Friends coming there, (the copy whereof is here enclosed) but yet I was made confident, and told [by the Lord] to wait till there was a way made for me. About fourteen days after, a ship came in here, which was going to New England, and had arrived upon that coast; but the storms were so violent that they were forced to come here, until the winter there was nearly over. In this ship are two Friends, Ann Burden of Bristol, and one Mary Dyer from London. Both lived in New England formerly, and were members cast out of their churches. Mary is traveling to her husband, who lives upon Rhode Island, (which they [the Puritans] call the island of error); where they banish those who dissent from them in judgment; and its likely Ann Burden has some outward business there. In this ship the master has permitted me passage, whom the Lord has made pretty willing to carry me, and, he said he will endeavor to put me ashore upon some part of New England, out of their power and jurisdiction of those who have made that law. In the jurisdiction of Plymouth patent, where there is a people not so rigid as the other at Boston, are great desires among them after the truth; some there are, as I hear, convinced, who meet in silence at a place called Salem. Oh! Truly great is the desire of my soul to be among them for the Seed's sake, which groans for deliverance from under that Egyptian bondage. I cannot express the desire of my soul towards them, and the love that flows out after them daily; for I see in the eternal light, the Lord has a great work to do in that nation; and the time is hastening, and coming on apace, in which He will exalt his own name and his power over all the heathen that know Him not."*

Henry Fell

*It does not appear that Henry Fell was enabled to reach New England on this occasion.

The ship which conveyed Ann Burden to the shores of Britain, had scarcely weighed anchor for her passage across the Atlantic, before six of the eight Friends, who had been expelled from Boston in the preceding year, believed they were required to attempt another voyage to New England, "being firmly persuaded that the Lord had called them to bear testimony to his truth in these parts, and having a full assurance of faith, that He would support them through whatsoever exercises He should be pleased to suffer them to be tried with." These were, William Brend, Christopher Holder, John Copeland, Sarah Gibbons, Mary Wetherhead and Dorothy Waugh.* About the same time a similar impression of religious duty was felt by five others, namely: Robert Hodgson, Humphrey Norton, Richard Doudney, William Robinson and Mary Clark.

*The remaining two of the eight were Thomas Thurston and Mary Prince. The former again visited America, and to whom we shall hereafter refer; but the latter does not appear to have had any further call in her divine Master's service to that land. As it is our intention to give brief notices of the lives of those who visited the new continent in the work of the gospel, before we turn from the subject of the visit of Mary Prince and her companions, we shall give a few particulars concerning her. Mary Prince was an inhabitant of Bristol, and was one of those who were convinced through the powerful and baptizing ministry of John Camm and John Audland, on their visit to that city in 1654. Soon after her convincement she was called to labor in word and doctrine. However, we have no particulars of her services as a gospel minister until her visit to Boston in 1656. In 1660, she traveled extensively on the continent of Europe with Mary Fisher. During the years 1663 and 1664, she, along most of her fellow-professors in Bristol, suffered severely for her religion. Within these two years she was committed to prison in that city three times. Her daughter Hannah, about this period, was united in marriage with Charles Marshall, a physician of Bristol, who had also been convinced, and, who in a few years after also came forth in the ministry. Mary Prince died in the Tenth Month 1679. In the burial record she is described as a widow of Castle Precincts, Bristol.

The persecuting enactment of the court of Boston, which imposed serious penalties on the master of any ship who should venture to land Quakers within the limits of its jurisdiction, had now become known in England, and a reluctance was naturally felt by the owners of vessels to take them as passengers. There appeared, therefore, no very early prospect that these devoted individuals would be able to obtain a passage to New England. But He, who is wonderful in working, and excellent in counsel, and who is often pleased to manifest his wisdom and power, at a time and in a way least expected by short-sighted man, was providing a means by which his servants might be enabled to go forward in the work to which He had called them. Robert Fowler, a ministering Friend of Burlington, in Yorkshire, a mariner by occupation, had about this time, completed the building of a small vessel; and while it was in the course of construction, he was impressed with the belief, that he should have to devote it to some purpose in furtherance of the cause of Truth. He first sailed in his new ship to London; and while at this port thought it right to state the feelings which had impressed him to Gerard Roberts, a merchant of Watling Street. Gerard, who was one of the most active members of the Society in making the needful arrangements for the visits of its ministers to foreign parts, was not slow to discover that a providential hand had led to their interview. To all human appearance the vessel was far too small to venture with safety on the mighty billows of the Atlantic; but Gerard Roberts and his brethren, not questioning that this was the mode provided for conveying the party to New England, engaged it for that purpose.*

*The expenses incurred by several of these early missions were considerable, but the services having been undertaken with the full concurrence of the Society, the charges were paid from a fund raised for the purpose, in a manner similar to the practice of the Society in the present day. In the year following that in which Robert Fowler sailed with the little company for America, the first Yearly Meeting of the Society was held. It took place at Scalehouse, about three miles from Skipton, in Yorkshire. At this meeting the subject of the visits of Friends " beyond the sea” claimed much attention, and it was agreed to recommend a general collection in the aid of these gospel missions. In pursuance of this conclusion, the following epistle was issued:

At a meeting of Friends out of the Northern Counties of York, Lincoln, Lancaster, Chester,
Nottingham, Derby, Westmoreland, Cumberland, Durham, and Northumberland, at Scalehouse,
the 24th of the Fourth Month, 1658.

Having heard of great things done by the mighty power of God, in many nations beyond the seas, whither He has called forth many of our dear brethren and sisters, to preach the everlasting Gospel; by whom He has revealed the mystery of His truth, which has been hid from ages and generations, who are now in strange lands, in great straits and hardships, and in the daily hazard of their lives :—our bowels yearn for them, and our hearts are filled with tender love to those precious ones of God, who so freely have given up for the Seed's sake, their friends, their near relations, their country and worldly estates, yes, and their own lives also; and in the feeling we are [have] of their trials, necessities and sufferings, we do therefore in the unity of the Spirit and bond of truth, cheerfully agree, in the Lord's name and power, to move and stir up the hearts of Friends in these counties, (whom God has called and gathered out of the world,) with one consent, freely and liberally, to offer up unto God of their earthly substance, according as God has blessed every one,—to be speedily sent up to London, as a free-will offering for the Seed's sake; that the hands of those that are beyond the seas in the Lord's work may be strengthened, and their bowels refreshed, from the love of their brethren. And we commit it to the care of our dear brethren of London, Amos Stoddart, Gerrard Roberts, John Boulton, Thomas Hart, and Richard Davis, to order and dispose of what shall be from us sent unto them, for the supply of such as are already gone forth, or such as shall be moved of the Lord to go forth, into any other nation, of whose care and faithfulness we are well assured. And such Friends as are here present, are to be diligent in their several counties and places, that the work may be hastened with all convenient speed.

From the Original.

[Signed by many Friends.] .

The appeal thus made was liberally responded to, and, considering the relative value of money at that period, a large amount was raised. (Over ₤480 was collected, which is about $200,000 in 2008).

At the General or Yearly Meeting held at Skipton, the 25th day of the Second Month, 1660, an epistle was issued containing a recommendation for a similar collection. It commences thus :— "

DEAR FRIENDS AND BRETHREN,

We having certain information from some Friends of London, of the great work and service of the Lord beyond the seas, in several parts and regions, as Germany, America, and many other islands and places, as Florence, Mantua, Palatine, Tuscany, Italy, Rome, Turkey, Jerusalem, France, Geneva, Norway, Barbados, Bermuda, Antigua, Jamaica, Surinam, Newfoundland; through all which, Friends have passed in the service of the Lord, and divers other countries, places, islands, and nations; and among many nations of the Indians, in which they have had service for the Lord, and through great travails have published His name, and declared the everlasting gospel of peace unto them that have been afar off, that they might be brought nigh unto God," A collection is then recommended in every particular meeting, to be sent "as formerly, to London, for the service and use aforesaid."

Caton Collection of manuscripts, being an ancient volume of letters of early Quakers copied by William Caton.

The fact, that eleven Friends in the ministry were about to leave their native land for the shores of New England, and under circumstances so peculiar, did not fail, as it may be readily supposed, to produce an unusual degree of interest in the Society; and a deep solicitude was felt, that He who holds the waters as in the hollow of his hand, might go with them, and prosper them where they were sent. On the 1st of the Fourth Month, 1657, Robert Fowler sailed with the party, from London, and on the following day reached the Downs. Here William Dewsbury, who was engaged in gospel labors in Kent, went on board to visit them, and was enabled to give them a word of encouragement. Writing to Margaret Fell about that time, he thus notices going on board:—

WILLIAM DEWSBURY TO MARGARET FELL

Kent, the 5th of Fourth Month, 1657

DEAR SISTER,

I was in the Downs aboard ship with Friends that go to New England the third day of this month. They were, in their measure, bold in the power of God. The life did arose in them. When I came off, they went on in the name and power of the Lord our God. His everlasting presence keep them in the unity, in the life, and prosper them in his work. For many dear children shall come forth in the power of God in those countries where they desire to go.

In the power of the Lord God, farewell.

William Dewsbury

As they passed down the English Channel the wind blew roughly, and it was deemed advisable to put in at Portsmouth. While at this place, William Robinson, one of the eleven, addressed the following letter to Margaret Fell:—

WILLIAM ROBINSON TO MARGARET FELL

Southampton, the 6th of the Fourth Month, 1657. M. F,

Dear Sister, my dear love salutes you in that which thinks not ill, which was before words were, in which I stand faithful to him who has called us, and doth arm us against the fiery darts of the enemy, even in the fear and dread of the Almighty. I know you and have union with you, though absent from you. I thought it meet to let you know, that the ship that carries Friends to New England is now riding in Portsmouth harbor. We only stay for a fair wind. I hear nothing of the two Friends, the man and his wife, of which you told me of when I was with you at Swarthmore, about their coming to London as yet; so I thought good to let you know the names of them that are going, which are ten in number, in the work of the ministry: Humphrey Norton, Robert Hodshon, Dorithy Waugh, Christopher Holder, William Brend, John Copeland, Rich Doudney, Mary Weatherhead, Sarah Gibbons, Mary Clarke. The name of the master of the ship is Robert Fowler, a Friend; so in that which changes not, I remain,

William Robinson

P. S. Robert Hodshon is with me at this place, for we came here this afternoon to have a meeting, seeing the wind is at present contrary; but we intend, if the Lord permits, to return back again to the ship tomorrow. Robert remembers his dear love to you, and to the rest of Friends, with mine also.—

They sailed from Portsmouth on the 11th of the Fourth Month, and after once more touching English ground, the little boat was fairly launched on the mighty ocean. During the passage, several incidents of an interesting character occurred, which are detailed in a descriptive account penned by Robert Fowler himself; a manuscript copy of which, endorsed by George Fox, is still preserved among the archives of the Society in London. The narrative, though lengthy, is too interesting to be omitted in these pages. It is as follows:

A TRUE RELATION OF THE VOYAGE UNDERTAKEN BY ME ROBERT FOWLER, WITH MY SMALL VESSEL CALLED THE " WOODHOUSE;" BUT PERFORMED BY THE LORD, LIKE AS HE DID NOAH'S ARK, WHEREIN HE SHUT UP A FEW RIGHTEOUS PERSONS AND LANDED THEM SAFE, EVEN AT THE HILL ARARAT.

The true discourse taken as follows. This vessel was appointed for this service from the beginning, as I have often had it manifested unto me; that it was said within me several times, "You have her not for nothing; " and also New England presented before me. Also, when she was finished and freighted, and made to sea, contrary to my will, was brought to London, where, speaking touching this matter to Gerard Roberts and others, they confirmed the matter in behalf of the Lord, that it must be so. Yet entering into reasoning, and letting in temptations and hardships, and the loss of my life, wife, and children, with the enjoyment of all earthly things, it brought me as low as the grave, and laid me as one dead as to the things of God. But by his instrument George Fox, was I refreshed and raised up again, which before was much contrary to myself, that I could as willingly have died as have gone; but by the strength of God I was [now] made willing to do his will; yea, the customs and fashions of the custom-house could not stop me. Still was I assaulted with the enemy, who pressed from me my servants; * so that for this long voyage we were but two men and three boys, besides myself.

*{Pressed, means forced into the English navy. England had about this time fitted out a fleet for the Baltic, in order, as was alleged, to stop the aggressions of the Swedish monarch towards Denmark.}

Upon the 1st day of the Fourth Month, called June, I received the Lord's servants aboard, who came with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm with them; so that with courage we set sail, and came to the Downs the 2nd day, where our dearly beloved William Dewsbury, with Michael Thompson came aboard, and in them we were much refreshed; and, after recommending us to the grace of God, we launched forth.

Again reason entered upon me, and thoughts rose in me to have gone to the Admiral, and have made complaint for the want of my servants, and for a convoy, from which thing I was withheld by that Hand which was my helper. Shortly after the south wind blew a little hard, so that it caused us to put in at Portsmouth, where I was furnished with choice of a men, according to one of the captains words to me, if I had enough for money; but he said my vessel was so small, he would not go the voyage for her.

Certain days we lay there, wherein the ministers of Christ were not idle, but went forth and gathered sticks, and kindled a fire, and left it burning; also several Friends came on board and visited us, in which we were refreshed. Again we launched forth from there about the 11th day of the Fourth Month, and were put back again into South Yarmouth, where we went ashore, and there in some measure did the like. Also we met with three pretty large ships which were bound for Newfoundland, which accompanied us about fifty leagues, which could have 300, if they had not feared the men-of-war. To avoid them they took to the northward, and left us without hope of help as to the outward. Though before our parting it was showed to Humphrey Norton early in the morning that they, who sought our lives, were near unto us, and he called me and told me: "Thus said the Lord, you shall be carried away as in a mist." Presently we saw a great ship making up towards us, and the three great ships were much afraid, and tacked about with what speed they could. In the very interim the Lord God fulfilled his promise, and struck our enemies in the face with a contrary wind, wonderfully to our refreshment. Then upon our parting from these three ships ,we were brought to ask counsel of the Lord, and the word was from Him: "Cut through and steer your straightest course, and mind nothing but me;" to which He much encouraged us, and caused us to meet together every day, and He himself met with us, and manifested himself largely unto us. So that by storms we were not prevented [from meeting] above three times in all our voyage. The sea was my figure, for if any evil got up within me, the sea without rose up against me, and then the floods clapped their hands, of which in time I took notice, and told Humphrey Norton. Again, in a vision of the night, I saw some anchors swimming about the water, and something also of a ship, which crossed our way; I saw this fulfilled in our meeting, for I myself, with others, had lost ours, [spiritual ways] so that for a little season the vessel ran loose in a manner; which afterwards, by the wisdom of God, was recovered into a better condition than before.

Also upon the 25th day of the same month, in the morning, we saw another great ship making up towards us, which in the distance appeared to be a frigate. The ship signaled us to come to them, which to me was a great cross, because we being to windward of them; and it was said, "Go speak him, the cross is sure; did I ever fail you therein ?" And unto others there appeared no danger in it, so that we did; and it proved a tradesman of London, by whom sent letters back home. Also it is very remarkable, when we had been five weeks at sea in the ship, wherein the powers of darkness appeared in the greatest strength against us, having sailed only 300 leagues, Humphrey Norton falling into communion with God, told me that he had received a comfortable answer; and also that about such a day we should land in America, which was even so fulfilled. Also thus it was all the voyage with the faithful, who were carried far above storms and tempests, that when the ship went either to the right hand or to the left, their hands joined all as one, and directed her way; so that we have seen and said, we saw the Lord leading our vessel even as it were a man leading a horse by the head. We regarded neither latitude nor longitude, but kept to our Line, which was and is our Leader, Guide, and Rule; while they that regarded latitude and longitude failed.

Upon the last day of the Fifth Month, 1657, we arrived at land. It was part of Long Island, far contrary to the expectations of the pilot. Furthermore, our drawing had been all the passage to keep to the southwards, until the evening before we made land, and then the word was, "There is a lion in the way;" unto which we gave obedience, and said, "Let them steer northwards until the day following." Shortly after noon there was a drawing to meet together before our usual time, and it was said, that we could look abroad in the evening; and as we sat waiting upon the Lord they discovered the land, and our mouths were opened in prayer and thanksgiving; and as way was made, we made towards it, and seeing a creek, our advice was to enter there, but the will of man [in the pilot] resisted; but in that state we had learned to be content, and told him both sides were safe, but going that way would be more trouble to him; also he saw after he had laid by all the night, the thing fulfilled.

Now to lay before you, in short, the largeness of the wisdom, will, and power of God! thus, this creek led us in between the Dutch Plantation and Long Island, where the movings of some Friends were unto, which otherwise had been very difficult for them to have gotten to. The Lord God that moved them also brought them to the place appointed, and led us into our way, according to the word which came unto Christopher Holder: "You are in the road to Rhode Island." A shallow boat in the creek came to meet us. The recognized us as strangers as we approached in our boat. Since they spoke English, they informed us and also guided us along. The power of the Lord fell much upon us, and an irresistible word came unto us: "That the seed in America shall be as the sand of the sea." It was published in the ears of the brethren, which caused tears to break forth with fullness of joy. Robert Hodgson, Richard Doudney, Sarah Gibbons, Mary Weatherhead, and Dorothy Waugh, prepared themselves to disembark, and the next day they were put safely ashore into the Dutch plantation, called New Amsterdam.* We arrived and it being the First-day of the week several came aboard to us, and we began our work. I was required to report to the Governor, and Robert Hodgson went with me; the Governor was moderate both in words and actions.

*{Upon the acquisition of New Netherlands, having lost a war with England and ceded New Amsterdam to England as a war settlement, the English changed the name to New York, in honor of the Duke of York, who shortly became King James II.}

Robert and I had several days before seen in a vision of the vessel in being in great danger. The day following this, the vision was fulfilled. There was a passage between two lands, which is called by the name of Hell-gate. We lay very conveniently for a pilot, and into that place we came, and into it were forced, and over it were carried, which I never heard of any before that had been. There were so many rocks on both sides of the passage that I believe one yard's length would have endangered loss of both vessel and goods. There also was a shoal of fish that pursued our vessel and followed us strangely, all along close by our rudder. In our meeting it was shown me that these fish are to you a figure of how the prayers of the churches proceed to the Lord for you and the others in your company. Surely in our meeting this message ran through me like oil, and told me to greatly rejoice.

Robert Fowler

Endorsed by George Fox,

R. Foyer's Voyage, 1657.

It has been already stated, that of the eleven Friends who crossed the Atlantic in the " Woodhouse," five, namely Robert Hodgson, Richard Doudney, Sarah Gibbons, Mary Weatherhead, and Dorothy Waugh, landed at New Amsterdam on the 1st of the Sixth Month, 1657; this occurred in two months from the time of their departing London.

The rest of this little band of gospel laborers left New Amsterdam in Robert Fowler's vessel on the 3rd of the Sixth Month, and passing through Long Island Sound, reached Rhode Island in safety. While there, John Copeland addressed the following letter to his parents in England : —

Rhode Island, the 12th of the Sixth Month, 1657

DEAR FATHER AND MOTHER,

My love salutes you and all the faithful in Christ Jesus, who is my joy, and in whom I do rejoice at present. This is to let you all know that I am at Rhode Island and in health, where we are received with much joy of heart; but now I and Christopher Holder are going to Martha's Vineyard, in obedience to the will of our God, whose will is our joy.

Humphrey Norton is presently at Rhode Island; Mary Clark is waiting to go towards Boston; William Brend is towards Providence. The Lord God of Hosts is with us, the shout of a King is among us, the people fear our God, for his goodness is large and great, and reaches to the ends of the earth; his power has led us all along, and I have seen his glory, and am overcome with his love. Take no thought for me, for my trust is in the Lord; only be valiant for the truth upon earth. The Lord's power has overshadowed me, and man I do not fear; for my trust is in the Lord, who has become our shield and buckler, and exceeding great reward.

The enclosed is the voyage as Robert Fowler related it, which you may read as you can. Salute me dearly to my dear friends, with whom my life is, and the Lord's power overshadow you; so may you be preserved to his glory. Amen, amen. Stand fast in the Lord. "We are about to sail to the Vineyard, and having this opportunity, I was free to let you know, by way of a ship going to Barbados, how we are. Farewell. I am your servant for the Lord's sake,

John Copeland

CHAPTER V

{The Quakers were sent to witness the truth, for the same reason as the Lord said to Paul:
I am sending you to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God,
so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins
and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me.
Acts 26:17-19.}

W. Robinson leaves Rhode Island for Maryland and Virginia—Mary Clark goes to Boston—Is imprisoned for three months, and whipped —John Copeland and Christopher Holder visit Martha's Vineyard— Are banished from that island and go to Sandwich—Several are convinced by their ministry—They are arrested, sent to Plymouth, and finally banished that colony—Some remarks on Friends preaching in steeple-houses — The colonies of Massachusetts and Plymouth ineffectually endeavor to influence the authorities of Rhode Island to banish Friends—J. Copeland and C. Holder leave Rhode Island for Massachusetts—Several are convinced by their preaching at Salem—They are arrested and sent prisoners to Boston —are whipped—Several of the colonists who had become Friends are imprisoned—Richard Doudney travels in Rhode Island and Massachusetts—at Boston he is imprisoned and whipped—J. Copeland, C. Holder, and R. Doudney, give forth a declaration of their Christian faith—The rulers at Boston enact a more severe law against Friends— The prisoners there are cruelly scourged—Their release—Humphrey Norton's travels and sufferings in New England—W. Brend and J. Copeland travel in Massachusetts and Connecticut—The authorities at Plymouth pass a law against Friends.

SEVERAL gospel ministers having now landed in New England, it will be interesting to trace the directions they severally took, in the prosecution of their religious labors. William Robinson appears to have been engaged for some time within the limits of Rhode Island; he then traveled southward as far as Maryland and Virginia; and, after an absence of two years, returned to New England. We shall later relate his engagements in this part of America.

Mary Clark, to whom John Copeland refers in his letter, as being at Rhode Island, "waiting to go towards Boston," arrived at that town in the latter part of the Sixth Month. The magistrates having soon been informed of the arrival of Mary Clark, immediately issued a warrant for her arrest, and on committing her to prison ordered her to be severely whipped. This punishment was executed with great barbarity, twenty strokes with a heavy three-corded whip, "laid on with fury," being inflicted upon her. For three months she was detained a prisoner in Boston jail, during which time she suffered much from cold.

John Copeland and Christopher Holder, very early after landing on Rhode Island, felt it required of them to visit the island of Martha's Vineyard, which lay a few leagues from the main land, where they landed on the 16th of the Sixth Month. The principal portion of its inhabitants at this period consisted of Indians of the Algonquin race, among whom the Puritans had established a mission for their conversion to Christianity. The head of this community was the son of the governor of the island. The class to whom the religious labors of the two Friends were more immediately directed, being the English settlers of the island, they thought it right to attend their place of worship. Here, after waiting quietly until Mayhew, the priest, had concluded, one of them spoke a few words to the company. The liberty thus taken gave great offence, and the Friends were forthwith "thrust out of doors," by the constable. This rough treatment did not discourage them from making another attempt, and in the afternoon they again assembled with the congregation. On this occasion, "they had some dispute " on doctrinal points, and were allowed quietly to withdraw. The governor, however, participating in the prejudices against Friends, determined to rid Martha's Vineyard of them; and accordingly, on the following morning, taking a constable with him, he called on the two strangers, and ordered them to immediately leave the island. But John Copeland and Christopher Holder, who came as they believed in obedience to a divine call, and not in their own will, replied, that "in the will of God they stood as He made way." "It is the will of God," rejoined the governor, "that you should go to-day; " and having hired an Indian to convey them to the mainland, ordered the Friends to pay for the passage themselves. But not being willing to facilitate their own banishment, and not feeling that it was their divine Master's will for them to leave the island, they declined to go, or to pay the Indian who was hired to take them.

The refusal was unexpected to the governor, and after directing the constable forcibly to obtain the requisite sum from the strangers, he gave peremptory orders to the natives to take them away in their canoes. The Algonquin Indians, however, not being in any great haste to execute the bidding of the governor contrary to the will of the Friends, and at a time too when the weather was stormy, entertained them for three days with marked kindness and hospitality. A change in the weather then taking place, and the banished ones feeling that it was no longer required of them to stay on the island, the Indians, at their own request, prepared to take them across. Before leaving the island, the Friends offered to remunerate the natives for their kindness, but these poor people, from the generous impulses of their hearts, acting more in unison with the spirit of Christianity than those who were accustomed to be their teachers, declined to receive any reward. "You are strangers," they replied, "and Jehovah has taught us to love strangers." Such simple and feeling language from the lips of a North American Indian, was a striking rebuke to the bigotry and intolerance which marked the conduct of their hypocritical teachers, [ministers of the Letter, who spoke of the Lord with their lips, but their hearts and actions spoke did not follow.]

John Copeland and Christopher Holder landed on the coast of Massachusetts on the 20th of the Sixth Month, 1657, and proceeded to the town of Sandwich. Their arrival at this place was hailed with feelings of satisfaction by many who were sincere seekers after heavenly riches, but who had long been burdened with a lifeless ministry and dead forms in religion. To these, in the authority and life of the gospel, the two Friends were enabled to offer the word of consolation and encouragement. But the town of Sandwich had its advocates of religious intolerance, and no small commotion ensued, when it was generally known that two English Quakers had arrived among them. Great was the stir and noise of the tumultuous town," they remarked, "yes, all in an uproar, hearing that we, who were called by such a name as Quakers, had come into those parts. A great fire was kindled in the hearts of many and burned within them, so that in the heat thereof some said one thing, and some another; but the most part knew not what was the matter. "

The stay of John Copeland and Christopher Holder at Sandwich was short, and from there they proceeded to Plymouth. Here, as at Sandwich, their presence seems to have caused much consternation, especially among the rulers and ecclesiastics of the place. While "at the ordinary there," some who desired to ascertain the fact that Quaker ministers had really arrived, came and had a " long dispute" with them; and, finding that they were of the heretical sect, told them that they could not be permitted to remain within the limits of that colony. The Friends, however, feeling that it was required of them to return to Sandwich, frankly told the magistrates that they could not leave the colony, until they had again visited that town. They returned that night unmolested to their lodgings, but on the following morning they were arrested and taken before the magistrates. On their examination many questions were put to them, but since was no ground for their commitment to prison, they were discharged, with express orders from the bench, "to depart from their colony.'' On the following morning they left for Sandwich, but had not proceeded far before they were overtaken and arrested by a constable, who, having orders to prevent their traveling in that direction, conveyed them six miles towards Rhode Island, and then left them. This interruption of their course did not, however, deter them from attempting to reach Sandwich. The priests there, alarmed at the return of the Friends after a few days, prevailed on the local magistracy to have them arrested and taken back to Plymouth, where they were again examined in the presence of the governor. No infraction of the law was proved against them, they were nevertheless "required to depart" from the colony. Feeling that the service required of them in that part of New England was not accomplished, they intimated to the governor that they could not accede to his request, and that it was their intention to return to Sandwich. It appears that their gospel ministry had been instrumental in convincing many at this place of the principles of Friends, a circumstance which increased the alarm of the priests, who now exerted their utmost influence to procure their banishment. The urgent appeal was effective, and the governor to satisfy them, issued a warrant for the arrest of the Friends, "as extravagant persons and vagabonds," to be brought before him at Plymouth. A copy of the warrant under which they were thus deprived of their liberty was asked for and refused; William Newland, at whose house the meetings of the newly convinced had been held, insisted that it was illegal to commit the strangers without acceding to their demand to show a warrant. The result of his exertions on behalf of the prisoners was a severe rebuke and a fine of ten shillings. The prisoners were again arraigned before the court at Plymouth and told by the magistrates, who were urged on by the priests, that there was a law forbidding them to remain in that jurisdiction. The Friends replied that they could not promise to leave. The following warrant for their expulsion was then issued, accompanied with a threat from the bench, that if they returned they should be whipped as vagabonds :

TO THE UNDER-MARSHAL OF THE JURISDICTION OF PLYMOUTH,

Whereas, there has been two extravagant persons, professing themselves to be Quakers, at the town of Plymouth, who, according to order, may not be permitted to abide within the liberty of this jurisdiction. These are therefore in the name of his highness, the Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland, to will and command you forthwith, on receipt hereof, to convey the said persons: Christopher Holder and John Copeland, unto the utmost bounds of our jurisdiction. Whereof fail not at your peril."

Dated at Plymouth, the 31st of August, 1657

The under-marshal, in fulfillment of his charge, conveyed them fifty miles in the direction of Rhode Island, and then set them at liberty; and the Friends soon reached that asylum for the persecuted.

In the course of this history, and especially in the New England division of it, several instances of Friends having entered the public places of worship will be met with. One has already been mentioned in the foregoing account of the religious services of C. Holder and John Copeland. Much censure has been undeservedly cast upon the early Quakers, by some modern writers, for these acts of devotedness; we say undeservedly, because the practice of individuals addressing the congregation after the minister had concluded his sermon, was not infrequent during the Commonwealth, nor at all peculiar to Friends. The subject is one of much interest, as affecting the character of many of the prominent members of the Society, during its rise, both in this country and America; and, in the hope that they may tend to remove the censure which has been unjustly entertained in this respect, the following remarks are offered.

It is generally admitted, that the Christian church in apostolic days recognized no one individual as the appointed minister of their religious congregations, but that all present, who felt a divine call to address the assembly, were at liberty to do so. "You may all prophesy," said Paul to the Corinthian church, "one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted; "—" wherefore brethren," he continues, "covet to prophesy." The original practice of the Christian church in this respect, agreed with the usages of the Jewish Synagogues, in which it was the custom for persons holding no office or appointment, to address the assembly. Thus we find, that Paul and Barnabas preached to the Jews in their synagogue at Salamis, and that Paul, both at Corinth and Ephesus, "entered into the synagogue and reasoned with them." As the Christian church departed from its primitive purity and simplicity, this individual liberty was discontinued, but at what particular period of its history the restriction took place, it is not easy to ascertain. Several allusions are made to these administrations in the writings of the Fathers of the first century, and we also find them noticed during the latter part of the second century. Justin Martyr in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew, A.D. 183, mentions that the gifts of prophecy were exercised both by men and women; they are also referred to by Irencus, bishop of Lyons, A.D. 178. "We hear many brethren in the church," he remarks, "who are endued with prophetic gifts; who speak by the Spirit in all kinds of languages; who bring to light the secrets of men for good purposes, and who declare divine mysteries."

During the long night of apostasy which followed, the freedom of gospel ministry was superseded by human ordination and intervention, and it does not appear that Luther and his reforming contemporaries, were enlightened on this manifest departure from Christian principle. Among the dissenting bodies, however, that arose soon after the Reformation, the liberty for any individual member of the church that felt himself divinely called to address the congregation, was again admitted. The Baptist and Independent churches of Great Britain, and also the Pilgrim Fathers of New England, recognized the primitive example. In a work, entitled "The True Constitution of a particular visible church," published in 1642, by John Cotton, Puritan pastor of Boston, in Massachusetts, he thus describes the degree of liberty then allowed:—"Where there are more prophets as pastors and teachers, they may prophesy two or three, and if the time permit, the elders may call any other of the brethren, whether of the same church, or any, to speak a word of exhortation to the people, and for the better edifying of a man's self, or others, it may be lawful for any, (young or old), except for women, to ask questions at the mouth of the prophets." The Baptists in 1643, thus express themselves on the subject: "Although it is incumbent on the pastors and teachers of the churches to be instant in preaching the word, by way of office; yet the work of preaching the word is not so peculiarly confined to them, but that others also gifted and fitted by the Holy Ghost for it, and approved, being by lawful ways and means, in the providence of God called to it, may publicly, ordinarily, and constantly perform it, so that they give themselves up to it." "The English Independents," remarks Robert Barclay, "also go so far as to affirm, that any gifted brother, as they call them, if he find himself qualified, may instruct, exhort, and preach in the church." During the civil wars in the time of Charles I , it was no uncommon practice for the laity, and even for soldiers, to preach in the public places of worship, and with the sanction of the civil power. Sir John Cheke, when High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, preached at the University at Oxford dressed in his sheriff's robe and gold chain of office. The rigid Presbyterians of Scotland, however, never admitted the liberty; and during Cromwell's victorious campaign in that country in 1650, the Scotch ministers expressed their dissatisfaction with him for "opening the pulpit doors to all intruders;" to which he returned this memorable reply:

We look on ministers as helpers of, not lords over, the faith of God's people. I appeal to their consciences, whether any, denying their doctrines or dissenting from them, will not incur the censure of a sectary. And what is this but to deny Christians their liberty, and assume the infallible chair? Where do you find in Scripture that preaching is exclusively your functions? Though an approbation from men has order in it, and may be well, yet he that has not a better than that, has none at all. I hope He that ascended up on high, may give his gifts to whom he pleases, and if those gifts are the seal of missions, are not you envious, though Eldad and Medad prophesy? You know who has told us to covet earnestly the best gifts, but chiefly that we may prophesy; which the apostle explains to be, a speaking to instruction, edification, and comfort, which the instructed, edified, and comforted, can best tell the energy and effect of.

Now if this be evidence, take heed you envy not for your own sakes, for fear that you are guilty of a greater fault than Moses reproved in Joshua, when he envied for his sake. Indeed you err through mistake of the scriptures. Approbation is an act of convenience, in respect of order, not of necessity, to give faculty to preach the gospel. Your pretended fear, that error should result, is like the man that would keep all the wine out of the country, for fear that men should be drunk. It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy, to deny a man the liberty he has by nature, upon a supposition he may abuse it. When he abuses it, then judge.

And in answer to the governor's complaint, that men of secular employments had usurped the office of ministry, to the scandal of the reformed churches, he queries,

Are you troubled that Christ is preached? Does it scandalize the reformed churches, and Scotland in particular? Is it against the covenant? Away with the covenant if it is so. I thought the covenant and these men would have been willing that any should speak good of the name of Christ; if not, it is no covenant of God's approving, nor the church you mention, the spouse of Christ.*

* Cromwell's Letters and Speeches by Thomas Carlyle, vol. i. p. 61.

It was in the time of the Commonwealth that the Society of Friends arose in England, a time not only of great excitement in the religious world, but also of great unsettlement in the State. The Royalists had been subdued by the Parliamentarians, and Puritanism was on the rise. The Puritans, however, were far from harmonious in their views on politics, and they differed still more widely in matters of religion. The Presbyterians and Independents formed the leading parties of the combination, and while with common consent they abolished Episcopacy, there was a rivalry between them as to the ecclesiastical government which should be its substitute. The Presbyterians made great efforts for the recognition of their form; this, however, was strenuously and successfully opposed by the Independents. The intention of many of the leaders in parliament was to admit of no established church, but leave everyone to embrace whatever sect was most congenial to them; and to support such ministers as met their approval. In 1653, the parliament actually took into consideration the abolition of the clerical functions as savoring of popery, and the taking away of tithes,* which many of the members called a relic of Judaism. The Presbyterians were decidedly opposed to these views; but so strong was the feeling against the application of tithes for the clergy, that in a house of one hundred and eleven members, forty-three voted against such an appropriation, although Cromwell, in this instance, had thrown the weight of his influence on the Presbyterian side** on the abolition of Episcopacy, the Liturgy was superseded in 1645, by another form of worship, called, the "Directory," and which continued in use until the restoration of the monarchy.

*{From George Fox's Journal

Cromwell had promised before the battle of Dunbar that "if he were victorious over his enemies, he would abolish tithes, or else let him be rolled into his grave with infamy." But after the Lord had given him victory, and he became the chief of the land, he confirmed the former laws that if people did not pay tithes, they would be forced to pay triple, as executed by any two justices of the peace with two witnesses. But when the King came in, they dug up Cromwell from his grave, hung him, [cut off his head, and then displayed his head on pike at Westminster Hall], re-burying him at Tyburn, where he was rolled into his grave with infamy. When I saw him hanging, I saw that his words had justly come upon him.}

**Burton's Diary, vol. i. p. 3.

The Directory was not an absolute form of devotion, but contained only some general directions to the ministers as to public prayer and preaching, and other parts of their functions, leaving them a discretionary power to fill up the vacant time. While there was this general regulation as to the form of worship, the pulpits were occupied variously by all kinds of professors. "Independent and Presbyterian priests, and some Baptist priests," observes George Fox his Journal in 1655, "had gotten into the steeple-houses," and who, now the Episcopalians were driven out, were said to hunt after a benefice [high compensation] as "crows do after a rotten sheep."

Enlightened as were the early Quakers on the subject of ministry and worship, they viewed with feelings of sorrow the routine of lifeless forms and ceremonies which prevailed among the various classes of the religious community;—a strong and a deep conviction rested on their minds, that the prevailing religious systems were essentially opposed to the pure and spiritual religion of Christ. They were not less fully persuaded of this, nor, it may be added, on less substantial grounds, than John Huss or Martin Luther was of the anti-christian character of the Roman church. They believed themselves called upon* to testify, "in the name of the Lord," against a system which contained so woeful a mixture of human invention, [essentially superstition].

* The early Quakers were men and women who had crucified their selfish spirits on the inward cross of self-denial, including the destruction of their carnal mind, receiving a new heart and mind from the Spirit of Life. The were comnaded to prophesy, the testimony of the Lord. And the dragon [Satan] was angry with the woman [the true church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commands of God, and have the testimony [the Spirit of Prophecy] of Jesus Christ. Rev 12:17.

When the first Quakers went forth to preach among their fellow-men the spiritual and primitive doctrines of the gospel, they frequently embraced the liberty granted in the days of the Commonwealth of addressing the congregations in steeple-houses. As early as 1648, George Fox preached in these places. "I was moved," he observes at this date, "to go to several courts and steeple-houses at Mansfield, and other places, to warn them to leave off oppression and oaths, and to turn from deceit to the Lord, and do justly." In the two succeeding years he also mentions preaching in steeple-houses. In 1651, he records several instances of this service. At Beverley, he writes, "I went up to the steeple-house where was a man preaching. When he had done, I was moved to speak to him, and to the people, in the mighty power of God, and turned them to their teacher, Christ Jesus. In the afternoon I went to another steeple-house, about two miles off. When the priest had done, I was moved to speak to him and to the people very largely. The people were very loving and would have had me come again on a week-day, and preach among them." At Malton the priest wished him to go into the pulpit, but having an objection to pulpits, he declined, and addressed the congregation from a less conspicuous place, and "having had a large opportunity among them, he departed in peace." At Pickering soon after, he had a similar opportunity. George Fox, when he first visited Swarthmore, "went to Ulverstone steeple-house on a lecture or fast-day; but he came not in," says Margaret Fell, "till the people were gathered; I, and my children, had been a long time there before. And when they were singing before the sermon, he came in; and when they had done singing, he stood up upon a seat or form, and desired that he might have liberty to speak; and he that was in the pulpit said, he might." From Ulverstone he went to Aldenham and Ramside steeple-houses, where he also addressed the congregations. At the latter place, the priest "having acquainted" the people of G. Fox's visit, a large number attended. He also mentions preaching in several other steeple-houses during the same year.

*{In his his Journal, Fox reports: when I came on the top of a hill in sight of the town, I saw the great steeple-house: and the Lord said unto me, ‘You must go cry against that distant great idol,* and against the worshippers inside.’ The Lord has referred to the church building, the steeple-house, as a great idol. An idol is something people venerate; something they take pride in. The temple in Jerusalem was the only temple God ever wanted or commanded. Church buildings, cathedrals, and such monuments to man's pride are not wanted by God and contemptible in his sight, for the Most High does not dwell in houses and temples made with hands, Acts 7:48-9. He wishes to dwell in you with Christ in his glorious Kingdom - after you are purified. See Temple for More.}

In 1604, when Friends first visited London, they frequently availed themselves of these opportunities. " Last First-day but one," observes E. Burroughs in 1654, "I was at a steeple-house in the morning, and had free liberty to speak what I was free, and passed away to [our] meeting in the afternoon." About the same date F. Howgill writes, "I went to Edward Burrough, who was gone to Lombard street to a public steeple-house, where most of the high notionists in the city come, and so I came to him before the priest had done, and after he ceased, Edward stood up upon a seat and spoke with a loud voice, and in much power, and all was still and quiet; and he spoke about one hour, and the people were very calm; and afterwards, I spoke, and we cleared our consciences and passed away in peace." In the following year when Richard Hubberthorne visited the eastern counties, he occasionally preached in steeple-houses. On one occasion he says, that he stayed all day in the steeple-house with the people; " and on "the same day," he remarks, "James Parnell was at another steeple-house, where the priest allowed him to speak." It is also noteworthy, that John Bunyan, who was a Baptist, held disputations with Friends in Bedford steeple-house.

The circumstance of the early Quakers entering the public places of worship in the times of the Commonwealth, is one which has been much misunderstood, and greatly misrepresented. For these acts of dedication they have been calumniated as disturbers of religious congregations, and as outraging the peace and order of the churches. This estimate doubtless has been formed with reference to usages of more modern date; but to decide upon the conduct of Friends in this particular, from a consideration of present circumstances, would be exceedingly erroneous. In preaching in the national places of worship, they only availed themselves of a common liberty, in a period of extraordinary excitement on religious things.* There were numerous other religious meetings held in those times, but into none of these did Friends intrude themselves. Some, probably, will argue, that the fact of their being so severely punished for persisting in this practice, may be adduced in support of its irregularity; but it may be answered, that the preaching of Friends almost everywhere at that time, whether in steeple-houses or private houses, or in-doors or out of doors, equally called down the rigor of ecclesiastical vengeance. It was not, in fact, because Friends preached in these places so much as for what they preached, that they suffered. When George Fox was committed to Derby prison in 1650, after preaching in the steeple-house at "a great lecture," the mittimus states, that his offence was for "uttering and broaching of several blasphemous opinions." In 1659, Gilbert Latey went to Dunstan's steeple-house in the West, where the noted Dr. Manton preached. At the conclusion of the sermon Gilbert Latey addressed the assembly relative to some errors in Manton's sermon, for which he was seized by a constable and taken before a magistrate, who, however, gave G. Latey leave to speak for himself. The statement he made satisfied the justice, and he replied, that he had heard the people called Quakers were a sort of mad, whimsical folks; " but," said he, " for this man, he talks very rationally, and I think for my part, you should not have brought him before me." To which the constable replied, "Sir, I think so too." This occurred eleven years after G. Fox first visited a steeple-house, and during that time Friends had suffered very much for speaking in steeple-houses, yet now a magistrate declares, that speaking rationally after the preacher had finished in a steeple-house, is not an offence for which a man ought to be brought before him. But the ministry of Friends struck at the very foundation of all hierarchical systems, and the discovery of this circumstance prompted the priests to call in the aid of the civil power to suppress the promulgation of views so opposed to ecclesiastical domination.

*{The author forgets that these early Quakers were commanded by the Lord to go into these steeple-houses and call down the false prophets. Is a man to refuse the Lord's command for fear of being rude or certain imprisonment? A man of the flesh cannot comprehend the degree to which false prophets are held in contempt by God, and therefore spared no extent of verbal lashing, especially when in a debate with others listening who might have been misled. Babylon has sinned, all you that bend the bow, shoot at her; spare no arrows, for she has sinned, Jer 50:14. When John Burnyeat was sent into a steeple-house the first time, before speaking, he was too polite and let the priest finish his sermon and leave. He reports: "the wrath and displeasure of the Lord in his word sprung dreadfully in my heart, and a dreadful cry was in me from the same,—'cursed is he that does the work of the Lord negligently."'

This requirement of the Lord to go into a steeple-house, (a house supposedly dedicated to the Lord) , has been totally misunderstood by unregenerated Quakers from 1750 until today. Custom or not. Rude or not. Legal or not. Subject to imprisonment of not. If the Lord says go and dispute with the false prophets, how can he be refused?

Some ministers have said that even if they were preaching a different gospel, the Quakers should leave them alone, citing the scripture: Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is on our side, Mark 9:38-40. But those doing miracles in the name of Jesus were not preaching a different formula for salvation, or gospel; they were doing miracles in his name, casting out demons. Further, Paul said: if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed, Gal 1:9; and For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake; Titus 1:10-11. (They preached for money, against the commands of Christ and command of Peter.) Doing miracles in the name of Christ does not damage the work of Christ; but to preach a false salvation or false gospel, immeasurably damages the work of Christ.}

The arrival of so many ministers in New England during the summer of 1657, and more particularly the visits of Mary Clark to Boston, and of Christopher Holder and John Copeland to Sandwich and Plymouth, together with the marked success which attended their labors in the propagation of their principles, caused no small degree of alarm and excitement among those who were striving for the entire ascendancy of Puritan orthodoxy in that country. The safety and freedom which Rhode Island afforded to the persecuted and banished of every country, including the poor banished and hunted Friends, proved very annoying to the rulers of church and state in Massachusetts. In their estimation it was an evil of such magnitude, and so fraught with danger to the true interest of that religion for which they and their forefathers had suffered, as to require counteracting measures of a very decided character. The Commissioners of the United Colonies, lending a ready ear to the suggestions of intolerance, determined to exert their power and influence to effect the desired object, and, if possible, to compel the authorities of Rhode Island to unite with the other colonies of New England, in expelling Quakers from their territory. In the early part of the Seventh Month, 1657, a general meeting of this body took place at Boston, at which, in pursuance of their purpose, the following minute and letter were prepared for the governor of Rhode Island."

Sept. 12th, 1657. The Commissioners, being informed that several Quakers have arrived this summer at Rhode Island, and entertained there, which may prove dangerous to the colonies, thought meet to manifest their minds to the governor there, as follows :— "

GENTLEMEN,—We suppose you have understood that the last year a company of Quakers arrived at Boston, upon no other account than to disperse their pernicious opinions, had they not been prevented by the prudent care of the government, who by that experience they had of them, being sensible of the danger that might befall the Christian religion here professed, by suffering such to be received or continued in the country, presented the same unto the Commissioners at their meeting at Plymouth; who, upon that occasion, commended it to the general courts of the United Colonies, that all Quakers, Ranters, and such notorious heretics, might be prohibited coming among us; and that if such should arise from among ourselves, speedy care might be taken to remove them; (and as we are informed) the several jurisdictions have made provision accordingly; but it is by experience found that means will fall short without further care by reason of your admission and receiving of such, from where they may have opportunity to creep in among us, or means to infuse and spread their accursed tenets to the great trouble of the colonies, if not to the professed in them; notwithstanding any care that has been previously taken to prevent the same; whereof we cannot but be very sensible and think no care too great to preserve us from such a pest, the contagion whereof (if received) within your colony, were dangerous to be diffused to the others by means of the intercourse, especially to the places 'of trade among us; which we desire may be with safety continued between us; we therefore make it our request, that you as the rest of the colonies, take such order herein that your neighbors may be freed from that danger. That you remove these Quakers that have been received, and for the future prohibit their coming among you; whereunto the rule of charity to yourselves and us (we conceive), doth oblige you; wherein if you should we hope you will not be wanting; yet we could not but signify this our desire; and further declare, that we apprehend that it will be our duty seriously to consider, what provision God may call us to make to prevent the aforesaid mischief; and for our further guidance and direction herein, we desire you to impart your mind and resolution to the General Court of Massachusetts, which assembles the 14th of October next. We have not further to trouble you at present, but to assure you we desire to continue your loving friends and neighbors, the Commissioners of the United Colonies."

Boston, September 12th, 1657

The letter of the Commissioners, being received by the governor of Rhode Island, was presented by him to the "Court of Trials," held at Providence, the 13th of the Eighth Month following. It was the desire of that body to maintain friendly relations with all the settlements of New England; but, acting in unison with the law of their colony, "that none be accounted a delinquent for doctrine," they resolved that no settler or stranger within the limits of their jurisdiction should be persecuted for whatever opinions in religion he might either hold or teach. The "Court of Trials," however, desiring to avoid any immediate collision with their neighbors, thought it best to return a cautious answer to the Commissioners, informing them that the subject would obtain further consideration at their own general assembly, which was to meet early in the following year. The reply, although it speaks of the doctrines of Friends as tending to the "very absolute cutting down and overturning relations and civil government among men, is generally received," which had reference only to their testimony against war,* evidently admitted that, although several had visited the colony, and some had received the doctrines they preached, yet the civil authorities had no complaint to prefer against them. The general assembly of Rhode Island adverted to, met in the First Month, 1658. The communication of the Commissioners of the United Colonies, being then brought under their consideration, resulted in the preparation of the following answer :—

*{I suspect the author is making an incorrect assumption that these Quakers were testifying against war. Instead, some of the resident Quakers had probably refused to bear arms in the militia. But when this book was written, (two hundred years later in 1845), Quakers had been preaching against war - their supposed "peace testimony." To testify against war was not advocated by George Fox or other early Quaker elders. Fox and the early Quaker's testimony against war was written in a letter to King Charles, because the authorities feared the Quakers as a source of possible armed revolution; it was limited to their own denial of using force against man, the image of God. I doubt these Quakers were preaching to lay down arms, for that is an individual decision of conscience, left to occur in a person's spiritual growth, only when the Lord revealed such a requirement. See Submission for more details as to why this should be left to an individual's conscience, after God has changed and taught each individual. In England, there were many soldiers and sailors, who became Quakers and continued in their country's services.

Certainly in New England their was a perceived threat from the many tribes of Indians, and or pirates. Fox later sent a letter confirming that even if a Quaker was convinced not to fight, he would be expected to serve as a watcher against intrusions by hostile forces.

William Penn had heard Thomas Loe preach several times before joining the society. While in Ireland, he heard Loe preach again, and joined; having already attended several meetings in Ireland, a soldier came into one of the Quakers' meeting and made great disturbance; at which William Penn went to him, took him by the collar, and would have thrown him down stairs, except for the interference of a Friend or two who requested William to let him alone, telling him the Friends were a peaceable people, and would not have any disturbance made. This is hard evidence that early Quakers did not preach against war or outward peace, leaving it to individual conscience.

Further, at the time of almost throwing the soldier down the stairs in Ireland, Penn had not yet met George Fox. While recently convinced of the Truth, he went to Fox and asked him if he should continue to wear his sword. Fox answered, "wear it as long as you can." Afterwards, meeting Penn without the sword, Fox said, - "William, where is your sword?" "Oh," said Penn, "I have taken your advice. I wore it as long as I could." Fox had deliberately left it to Christ as to when to tell Penn to cease wearing his sword, of which he did cease.}

From the General Assembly to the Commissioners of the United Colonies.

HONORED GENTLEMEN,—There has been presented to our view, by our honored president, a letter bearing date September 25th last, subscribed by the honored gentlemen, commissioners of the united colonies, concerning a company of people, (lately arrived in these parts of the world,) commonly known by the name of Quakers; who are generally conceived pernicious, either intentionally, or at least-wise in effect, even to the corrupting of good manners, and disturbing the common peace, and societies, of the places where they arise or resort unto, etc.

Now, whereas freedom of different consciences, to be protected from enforcements, was the principal ground of our charter, both with respect to our humble suit for it, as also the true intent of the honorable and renowned Parliament of England, in granting the same unto us; which freedom we still prize as the greatest happiness that men can possess in this world; therefore, we shall, for the preservation of our civil peace and order, the more seriously take notice that those people, and any other that are here, or shall come among us, be impartially required, and to our utmost constrained, to perform all duties requisite towards the maintaining the dignity of his highness, and the government of that most renowned Commonwealth of England, in this colony; which is most happily included under the same dominions, and we so graciously taken into protection thereof. And in case they the said people, called Quakers, which are here, or shall arise, or come among us, do refuse to submit to the doing all duties aforesaid, as training, watching, and such other engagements as are upon members of civil societies, for the preservation of the same in justice and peace; then we determine, yes, and we resolve (however) to take and make use of the first opportunity to inform our agent residing in England, that he may humbly present the matter, (as touching the considerations premised, concerning the aforesaid people called Quakers), unto the supreme authority of England, humbly craving their advice and order, how to carry ourselves in any further respect towards those people—that there may be no damage, or infringement of that chief principle in our charter concerning freedom of conscience. And we also are so much the more encouraged to make our addresses unto the Lord Protector, for his highness and government before said, for that we understand there are, or have been, many of the before said people allowed to live in England; yes, even in the heart of the nation. And thus with our truly thankful acknowledgments of the honorable care of the honored gentlemen, Commissioners of the United Colonies, for the peace and welfare of the whole country, as is expressed in their most friendly letter, we shall at present take leave and rest. Yours, most affectionately, desirous of your honors and welfare.

JOHN SANDFORD, Clerk of the Assembly.

From the General Assembly of the Colony of Providence Plantation,

To the much honored John Endicott, Governor of Massachusetts. To be also imparted to the honored Commissioners of the United Colonies at their next meeting; these.

The reply of the general assembly of Rhode Island was just such as might have been expected from men enlightened on the subject of religious freedom; and the special reference which they make "to the freedom of different consciences," as being the principal ground of their charter, manifests their desire to impress on the minds of the rulers of Massachusetts, how greatly they prized that privilege. The absence of anything like a response to the feelings which dictated the message from Massachusetts, and the probable effect of their answer in inducing a hostile feeling towards them, led them doubtless to refer in the manner they did to their being "graciously taken into protection" by England. It is evident that they wished to convey the idea, that in the event of compulsory measures being resorted to, the assistance of the Commonwealth would be sought; and the parallel which they draw between their own position and that of the mother country, by referring to the circumstance of Friends "being allowed to live in England—in the very heart of the nation," was significant of their hope, that in case of need, that assistance would not be sought in vain.

The general assembly of Rhode Island, feeling the peculiarity of their position in extending toleration to Quakers within their borders, thought it advisable to put their representative in England in possession of the facts of the case. The following extract from a letter addressed to him on the subject, still further shows the manner in which they regarded the communication of the Commissioners : — "

The last year we had laid you with much employment, which we were then put upon, by reason of some too refractory among ourselves; wherein we appealed unto you for your advice, for the more public manifestation of it with respect to our superiors. But our intelligence it seems fell short, in the great loss of the ship, which is conceived here to be cast away. We have now a new occasion, given by an old spirit, because of a sort of people, called by the name of Quakers, who arc come among us, and have raised up divers, who seem at present to be of their spirit, whereat the colonies about us seem to be offended with us, because the said people have their liberty among us, as entertained into our houses, or into our assemblies. And for the present, we have no just cause to charge them with the breach of the civil peace; only they are constantly going forth among them about us, and vex and trouble them in point of their religion and spiritual state, though they return with many a foul scar on their bodies for the same. And the offence our neighbors take against us is, because we take not some course against the said people, either to expel them from among us, or take such courses against them as themselves do, who are in fear lest their religion should be corrupted by them. Concerning which displeasure that they seem to take; it was expressed to us in a solemn letter, written by the Commissioners of the United Colonies at their sitting, as though they would bring us in to act according to their scantling, or else take some course to do us greater displeasure. A copy of which letter we have herewith sent unto you, wherein you may perceive how they express themselves. As also we have herewith sent our present answer unto them, to give you what light we may in this matter. There is one clause in their letter, which plainly implies a threat, though covertly expressed.

Sir, this is our earnest and present request unto you in this matter, as you may perceive in our answer to the United Colonies, that we fly, as to our refuge in all civil respects, to his highness and honorable council, as not being subject to any others in matters of our civil state; so may it please you to have an eye and ear open, in case our adversaries should seek to undermine us in our privileges granted unto us, and to plead our case in such sort as we may not be compelled to exercise any civil power over men's consciences, so long as human orders, in point of civility, are not corrupted and violated, which our neighbors about us do frequently practice, whereof many of us have large experience, and do judge it to be no less than a point of absolute cruelty.

Returning to Christopher Holder and John Copeland, whom we left in Rhode Island after their expulsion from Plymouth, we find them, about the middle of the Seventh Month, 1657, passing northwards to Salem, within the settlement of Massachusetts. In that vicinity they held meetings, and made converts to the doctrines they preached. Referring afterwards to this visit they thus speak: "Having obtained mercy from God, and being baptized into his covenant Christ Jesus, we preached freely unto them the things we had seen and heard, and our hands had handled, which as an engrafted word took place in them, such as never can he rooted out, so that our hearers in a short time became our fellow-sufferers."

On First-day, the 21st of Seventh Month, they went to the Puritan place of worship at Salem; and, after the priest had concluded, Christopher Holder felt a religious call to address the assembly. Here, however, as in Martha's Vineyard, he was not allowed to proceed, one of the Commissioners, "with much fury" seized him, and, "dragging him back by the hair of his head," violently thrust a glove and handkerchief into his mouth. Samuel Shattock, who afterwards became convinced, on witnessing the furious conduct of the Commissioner, and fearful that the Friend might be choked, interfered; and, taking the hand of the incensed ruler, drew it away. Shattock, though a man of "good reputation," had to suffer severely for showing his kindness to the stranger; being sent the next day, as a prisoner with the two Friends to Boston. The course taken by the authorities of Boston with the strangers, was to examine them separately, in order "to find them in contradictions;" and for this purpose, Bellingham, and the secretary, accompanied by "the Elder and Deacon" of the place, visited the prisoners. "But," remarked the Friends, "we abiding in the truth, which is but one, spoke one thing, so that they had no advantage against us, neither could take hold of anything we had spoken." The inquisitors, however, not being willing to acknowledge that their labor was altogether lost, declared that their answers "were delusive, and that the devil had taught them a deal of subtlety."

A few hours after this interview, Christopher Holder and John Copeland were ushered into the presence of the Governor and Commissioners; and, after undergoing a frivolous examination, were sentenced, under "the law against Quakers," to receive thirty lashes. The brutal manner in which the sentence was carried out, was in accordance with the spirit that prompted the rulers to pass the cruel law. A three-corded knotted whip was used on the occasion; and the executioner, to make more sure of his blows, "measured his ground," and then "delivered his strokes with all his might." Thirty strokes thus inflicted, as will be readily imagined, left the sufferers miserably torn and lacerated; and in this state they were conveyed to their prison cell. Here, without any bedding, or even straw to lie on, the inhuman jailer kept them for three days without food or drink; and in this dismal abode, often exposed to damp and cold, were these faithful men confined for the space of nine weeks. We may wonder that under such aggravated cruelties, their lives were spared, but He, for whose holy cause they thus suffered, was near to support and console them. His ancient promise was fulfilled in their experience, and they rejoiced in the comforting presence of his living power.


For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.

1 Pet 2:21

Samuel Shattock, who was committed to prison on the charge of being "a friend to the Quakers," was released on his giving a bond in the sum of twenty pounds, to answer the charge at the ensuing court, "and not to assemble with any of the people called Quakers at their meetings." Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick, "an aged and grave couple" of Salem, who had entertained the two gospel messengers, were also arrested on a similar charge. Lawrence, being a member of the Puritan church, was released to receive his punishment of a church censure. Cassandra, who had long dissented from the "Pilgrim Fathers," in both doctrine and worship, and who was not therefore amenable to their discipline, was obliged to expiate her offence by an imprisonment of seven weeks in Boston jail.

Richard Doudney, who left the "Woodhouse" ship at New Amsterdam, was engaged for several weeks in that vicinity. He then directed his course towards Rhode Island, and again proceeding northwards, entered Massachusetts. In the early part of the Ninth Month he reached Dedham, where, on being discovered by his speech to be a Quaker, he was apprehended, and quickly taken before the authorities at Boston. In less than three hours after he had entered this place, he was subjected to a cruel whipping of thirty lashes, and was then sent to share the lot of his friends in Boston jail.

It will be readily supposed that the course pursued by the priests and ruling powers of Massachusetts towards Friends, must have raised in the minds of many of the honest-hearted settlers a considerable degree of prejudice against them. The distorted views of Quaker tenets, which were industriously circulated throughout New England, in justification of the cruelties practiced, could scarcely fail to produce such a result. In the American colonies, as well as in England, calumny and misrepresentation were too generally favorite weapons of the enemies of the new Society. From a very early date it had been the practice of Friends, in order to correct the public mind in reference to their principles, to put forth declarations of their christian faith, and this course Christopher Holder and John Copeland felt it right to adopt while imprisoned at Boston. The document they issued, an imperfect copy of which has been preserved, is rendered the more interesting, as being, it is believed, the first written exposition of the doctrinal views of the Society, and containing, as it does, clear evidence of the soundness of the views of the early Quakers, is additionally valuable. Richard Doudney, enjoining his imprisoned friends, also attached his signature to the declaration. There is but little doubt that this document is the " paper of exhortation " referred to by the historian Sewel; it is as follows:

A DECLARATION OF FAITH, AND AN EXHORTATION TO OBEDIENCE THERETO, ISSUED BY CHRISTOPHER HOLDER, JOHN COPELAND AND RICHARD DOUDNEY, WHILE IN PRISON AT BOSTON IN NEW ENGLAND, 1657.

Whereas it is reported by them that have not a bridle to their tongues, that we, who are by the world called Quakers, are blasphemers, heretics, and deceivers; and that we do deny the scriptures, and the truth therein contained: therefore, we, who are here in prison, shall in few words, in truth and plainness, declare unto all people that may see this, the ground of our religion, and the faith that we contend for, and the cause wherefore we suffer. "Therefore, when you read our words, let the meek spirit bear rule, and weigh them in the equal balance, and stand out of prejudice, in the light that judges all things, and measures and manifests all things."

All things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Eph 5:13

As [for us] we do believe in the only true and living God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all things in them contained, and upholds all things that he has created by the word of his power. Who, at sundry times, and in divers manners, spoke in time past to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has made heir of all things, by whom he made the world. The which Son is that Jesus Christ that was born of the virgin; who suffered for our offences, and is risen again for our justification, and is ascended into the highest heavens, and sits at the right hand of God the Father. Even in him do we believe; who is the only begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. And in him do we trust alone for salvation; by whose blood we are washed from sin; through whom we have access to the Father with boldness, being justified by faith in believing in his name. Who has sent forth the Holy Ghost, namely, the Spirit of Truth, that proceeds from the Father and the Son; by which we are sealed and adopted sons and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. From which Spirit, the Scriptures of truth were given forth, as, said the Apostle Peter, 'Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.' The scriptures were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world have come; and are profitable for the man of God, to reprove, and to exhort, and to admonish, as the Spirit of God brings them unto him, and opens them in him, and gives him the understanding of them.

{And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever. 1 John 2:17. These men had been translated out of darkness into the Kingdom, and the world had disappeared as they entered the different dimension of consciousness and sight, no longer walking by the light of the sun and moon, but walking by the light of God, their darkness having become as the noon-day sun.}

So that before all we do declare that we do believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, according as they are Scriptures; and the Scriptures we own to be a true declaration of the Father, Son and Spirit; in [which] is declared what was in the beginning, what was present, and was to come. "

Therefore, all people in whom honesty is! Stand still and consider. Do not believe those that say: Report, and we will report it—that say, Come, let us smite them with the tongue; but try all things, and hold fast that which is good. Again we say, take heed of believing and giving credit to reports; for know that the truth in all ages was spoken against, and they that lived in it, were, in all ages of the world, hated, persecuted, and imprisoned, under the names of heretics, blasphemers, and

[Here part of the paper is torn off; and it can only be known, by an unintelligible shred, that fourteen lines are lost. We read again as follows:]

Turn inward to Christ the light, which shows you the secrets of your hearts, and the deeds that are not good. Therefore, while you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of the light; for, as you love it and obey it, it will lead you to repentance, bring you to know Him in whom is remission of sins, in whom God is well pleased; who will give you an entrance into the kingdom of God, an inheritance among them that are sanctified. For this is the desire of our souls for all that have the least breathings after God, that they may come to know Him in deed and in truth, and find his power in and with them, to keep them from falling, and to present them faultless before the throne of his glory; who is the strength and life of all them that put their trust in Him; who upholds all things by the word of his power; who is God over all, blessed for ever. Amen.

Thus we remain friends to all that fear the Lord; who are sufferers, not for evil doing, but for bearing testimony to the truth, in obedience to the Lord God of life; unto whom we commit our cause; who is risen to plead the cause of the innocent, and to help him that has no help on the earth; who will be avenged on all his enemies, and will repay the proud doers.

Christopher Holder

John Copeland

Richard Doudney

From the Home of Correction the 1st of the Eighth Month, 1657, in Boston.

{For a complete understanding of the Light's operations in man, see George Fox's Testimony of the Light.}

In addition to the foregoing, Christopher Holder and John Copeland prepared a document, showing how contrary to the tenor of the New Testament was the persecuting spirit exhibited in New England; with a warning to those who indulged therein. This paper gave great offence to the magistrates. The malevolent Endicott told the prisoners that they deserved to be hanged for writing it; and if he had possessed power to execute his desires, the beam of the gallows on Boston Common would, in all probability, soon have terminated the labors of these good men. In their hatred of Quaker doctrines the governor and deputy-governor were resolved to crush every appearance of them in Massachusetts, and they determined that those whom they had imprisoned in Boston jail should feel the utmost weight of their hand. Overstepping the bounds of their existing laws, cruel as they were, they ordered all the Friends then in prison to be "severely whipped twice a week," the punishment to commence with fifteen lashes, and to increase the number by three, at every successive application of the degrading sentence.

Severe as the Massachusetts law of 1656 had been against the Quakers, its promoters found, to their disappointment and dismay, that it failed to accomplish its purpose. The rulers of Boston, with Endicott at their head, urged blindly on by their animosity to the new sect, concluded to try the effect of yet severer measures, and at their court in the Eighth Month, 1657, passed the following law:

As an addition to the late order, in reference to the coming, or bringing in any of the cursed sect of the Quakers into this jurisdiction, It is ordered, that whosoever shall from henceforth bring, or cause to be brought, directly or indirectly, any known Quaker or Quakers, or other blasphemous heretics into this jurisdiction, every such person shall forfeit the sum of ₤100 to the country, and shall, by warrant from any magistrate, be committed to prison, there to remain, until the penalty be fully satisfied and paid; and if any person or persons within this jurisdiction, shall henceforth entertain or conceal any Quaker or Quakers, or other blasphemous heretics, (knowing them to be so), every such person shall forfeit to the country forty shillings for every hour's concealment and entertainment of any Quaker or Quakers, etc., and shall be committed to prison till the forfeitures be fully satisfied and paid. It is further ordered, that if any Quaker or Quakers shall presume, (after they have once suffered what the law requires), to come into this jurisdiction, every such male Quaker shall, for the first offence, have one of his ears cut off, and he kept at work in the house of correction, till he can be sent away at his own charge. For the second offence, he shall have his other ear cut off, and kept at the house of correction as before said. And every woman Quaker that has suffered the law here, that shall presume to come into this jurisdiction shall be severely whipped, and kept at the house of correction at work, till "she be sent away at her own charge; and so also for her coming again, she shall be used as before said. For every Quaker, he or she, that shall a third time offend, they shall have their tongues bored through with a hot iron, and kept at the house of correction close to work till they be sent away at their own charge. It is further ordered: That all and every Quaker, arising from among ourselves, shall be dealt with and suffer the same punishment, as the law provides against foreign Quakers.

Edwad Rawson, Secretary

Boston, 14th day of October, 1657

The barbarous and illegal proceedings of Endicott and Bellingham, in ordering the imprisoned Friends to be whipped twice a week in the manner described, raised loud murmurs among many inhabitants of the town, who felt that such cruel indignities were alike repugnant to humanity and justice. The compassion thus excited towards the sufferers, effected their release, and on the 24th of the Ninth Month, they obtained their discharge. The law which had been enacted in the previous month was then read to them, when they were subsequently banished from the colony, except Cassandra Southwick, who was permitted to return to her home at Salem. In addition to Christopher Holder, John Copeland and Richard Doudney, we find that Mary Clark was banished on this occasion.

Humphrey Norton, who landed from Robert Fowler's vessel at Rhode Island, appears to have been engaged in that colony during the Sixth and Seventh Months, and in the following month, within the limits of Plymouth colony. On entering the latter he proceeded to Sandwich, where he labored in the work of the ministry among those who had now become his fellow-professors. However, he was not allowed to remain undisturbed for long. A warrant was issued against him on the vague charge of being an extravagant person, and he was arrested and conveyed to Plymouth. Having been detained there a considerable time without examination, Humphrey began to fear that the court then sitting would adjourn without giving him a hearing; he therefore sent this brief message to the magistrates.

Seeing you have apprehended me publicly as an evil doer, and have continued me [a prisoner] contrary to law, equity, and good conscience, I require of you a public examination, and if found guilty, to be publicly punished; if not, cleared.

The magistrates accordingly had the prisoner brought before them. Several of them showed a feeling of moderation, except the governor, who commenced an attack on the doctrines of Friends, denying that the light which enlightened every man was sufficient for salvation. But Humphrey Norton showed him by the declaration of Holy Scriptures, that "the grace of God, that brings salvation has appeared unto all men; " and that Christ had said "my grace is sufficient for you." The governor then asked him "whether the Scriptures were not the rule of life and ground of faith."* He replied, that it was only "through faith in Christ Jesus," the great Author and Finisher of our faith, and the true Rule and Guide of life, that the Scriptures were able to make wise unto salvation. Unable to convict him of any breach of their laws, they nevertheless sentenced him to banishment. Having been taken by the officers fifty miles in the direction of Rhode Island, he proceeded to that settlement, within the limits of which he labored for some months in the work of his Great Master. Towards the close of the year, he passed over to Long Island, and arriving in the Twelfth Month at Southhold, he was arrested and taken to New Haven in Connecticut, where he was heavily ironed, and imprisoned for twenty-one days, and, notwithstanding the severity of the season, was also denied the use both of fire and candle. To his further sufferings at New Haven, we shall have occasion again to refer.

*{The scriptures are not the rule and ground of faith. If the scriptures are your ground of faith, your faith is in a book. You must have faith that is Authored by Christ himself - faith that comes by hearing him speak to you - and you recognizing him to be your God. Faith comes from hearing the word of god, not someone reading a book. Faith is not assent to historical record; faith is hearing his voice from heaven, and recognizing it to be the voice of God. And the scriptures cannot be your rule; Christ must be your rule. See James Parnell's outstanding writing on this subject. (James Parnell, made a minister of Christ at 16, was the first of hundreds of Quakers to die in prison at age 19.)

This was, and is, a fundamental difference between the Protestant's faith and the faith of the early Quakers. This denial of the Bible as the source and rule of faith, caused many to slander the Quakers, saying they did not believe in the scriptures. The scriptures testify about God; accepting the testimony of God is not receiving God. You cannot give your heart to Jesus with words or wishes. It has to be taken, inch by inch, in a battle of the Holy Spirit against the Spirit of Satan, the self-gratifying spirit in every man. This only occurs by abiding in the living word within to become free; abiding in the light to produce the fruit of the spirit: love, peace, joy, gentleness, kindness, patience, faith, goodness, meekness, gentleness.

Per George Fox, in his writing, The Way to the Kingdom: "the Church [Christ's body of true believers] is the pillar and ground of truth, gathered by the eternal power that was before letter [Bible] was; and all who are in this church, as it is called of the world, and live in the comprehension of the letter (Bible), and the earthly part yet standing, there is devilishness in your minds, and earthliness, and pride, and filth. If you hearken to that light in your conscience, it will let you see so; and while those are standing, such whose sacrifice God accepts not, and praises (while nature is standing) God accepts not, which is Cain's, to which God has no respect, but only to Abel's."

Fox in his letter, regarding the Word, further says: "Those of you who live in the first nature, not knowing the word of God, but only the Letter [only have knowledge from the Bible]; you crucify the just, and you get up into the just's place, quenching the light within you, with the deceit transforming into the just's place, as Cain did when he slew his brother Abel. He got up into his brother's place and said, 'Am I my brother's keeper?' So all of you, who crucify the just, you are like Cain, for it is the righteous that God accepts, the second birth. As you read, Cain's sacrifice was not accepted by God, but Able (the second birth) God did accept, for he was righteous. Cain murdered Able because Abel's works were righteous, and Cain's were evil. Now all of you, who are in the first birth, are Cain, in envy; manslayers, and God does not accept your sacrifice. Now all that come to the word, come to before Cain was."}

William Brend, who we may here remark, was an aged person, after landing with his companions at Rhode Island, appears to have confined his gospel labors to that province until the Eleventh Month of 1657; when, being joined by his young friend John Copeland, who had been but a few weeks before banished from Boston, he set out on a visit to the colony of Plymouth. They first proceeded to Scituate, (now Pembroke) where they met with their fellow-voyager Sarah Gibbons, who had lately come from New Netherlands {to be renamed New York}. At Scituate there were those who rejoiced in the spread of the doctrines declared by Friends, and at the house of James Cudworth, a magistrate, the three gospel laborers met with a cordial reception. Their presence in the colony again disturbed the rulers at Plymouth, and, anticipating that neither Cudworth, nor his fellow-magistrates of Scituate, would prosecute them, officers were dispatched for their arrest. Timothy Hatherly, another magistrate of Scituate, on examining the warrant of the officers, significantly observed, "Mr. Envy had procured this; " and, on his own responsibility refused to permit the arrest to take place. Thus shielded from their enemies, William Brend and John Copeland pursued their religious engagements without interruption. The heart of Timothy Hatherly had evidently been tendered by the Day-spring from on high, awakening his interest for the spread of vital religion, and for the preservation of its advocates from the hands of evil men. With this feeling, the worthy magistrate, on the departure of William Brend and John Copeland, furnished them with the following pass:—

These are, therefore, to any that may interrupt these two men in their passage, that you let them pass quietly on their way, they offering no wrong to any.

Timothy Hatherly

With this pass, the two Friends left Scituate, intending to proceed without delay to the colonies of Rhode Island and Connecticut; and in their journey they passed through Plymouth. On hearing this, the magistrates immediately issued a warrant for their arrest, which was soon accomplished. Being brought before the authorities, they were required to enter into an engagement to leave that jurisdiction within forty-eight hours. They replied that it was with the intention of proceeding elsewhere that they were pursuing the journey, but that they felt restrained from making a promise to do so. This being construed by the bench into contemptuous perverseness, the travelers were sentenced to a severe scourging. It was in vain that these persecuted men pleaded their rights as Englishmen, to travel in any part of the dominions of their country; "the protector's instrument of government" was unheeded by the persecuting magistrates.

The rulers of the colony of Plymouth, like their fellow professors at Boston, found that their efforts for the suppression of Quakerism were abortive. Ministers of the new Society continued to arrive within their limits, and the doctrines which they preached had been received by many, who rejoiced to welcome them to their homes. The noble conduct of Cudworth and Hatherly, in protecting the persecuted Friends, tended greatly to increase the gloomy apprehensions of the Puritans. These alarming indications of the spread of the "Quaker contagion," having obtained the grave consideration of the Court at Plymouth, induced it to enact the following law.

Whereas there has several persons come into this Government commonly called Quakers, whose doctrine and practices manifestly tend to the subversion of the fundamentals of Christian religion, church order, and civil peace of this Government, as appears by the testimonies given in sundry depositions and other. It is therefore enacted by the Court and authority thereof, that no Quaker or person commonly so called, be entertained by any person or persons within this Government, under the penalty of five pounds for every such default or be whipped. And in case any one shall entertain any such person ignorantly, if he shall testify on his oath that he knew not them to be such, he shall be free of the before said penalty, provided he, upon his first discerning them to be such, does reveal them to the constable or his deputy.

The passing of the foregoing order brings us to the close of the year 1657, a year memorable in the early history of Friends in America. In addition to those who landed from the "Woodhouse " ship, New England was also visited towards the close of this year by John Rous, William Leddra, and Thomas Harris from Barbados. There were, therefore, at least ten Friends who were traveling at this period in the work of the ministry in that province. From what has already been related, it is evident that the work in which they were engaged was not of human appointment, and that, under the divine blessing, the precious truths they advocated, had taken root, and were spreading in the western world.

<Continued American Early Quakers>>>>

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