Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff.

Records of the governor and company of the Massachusetts bay in New England : Printed by order of the legislature online

. (page 32 of 77)
Online LibraryNathaniel Bradstreet ShurtleffRecords of the governor and company of the Massachusetts bay in New England : Printed by order of the legislature → online text (page 32 of 77)
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first pleading necessity, or to meintejne wife & family," but afterwards boldly

to mainteyne licentious lusts like salvage bruite beasts, they put no manner

of difference betweene houses, goods, lands, wiues. Hues, blood. If it may

therefore please yow, of gentle curtesy, & for the preservation of humanity &

mankind, to consider our condition, & lend your neighborly helping hand, &



send us such asistance,' &6 : thus the crjes, or rather the outcrjes, of poore op-
pressed Providence. Finally, when he had wearied out Plimouth, Road
Island, & Providence, vnder pretence of purchase of land of an Indian prince, „ ^ ^^^^
(not the proprietor, but an vsurper,) they tooke possession of a tract of land Pomham & the

... . natiues w"

belonging of right to the Indians, where then- carriages also were so insolent, him, &c, -who
that it was intollerable to the poore oppressed natives, who also were com- "^^ ^. ^^J
pelled to craue the ajde & protection of the Massachusets. How inconsistent *s' ii™ &


the conditions & dispositions of these persons are w"' their present petitions,
wherein they highly pretend to a conscientious seuerity in matters of religion,
& insist vpon it as the only ground of offence, from whence these controuersies
arose, & their tendernes of conscience the only delinquencje charged vpon
them, wee humbly offer to consideration.

Secondly. Compare this petition w"^ their oune principles, sufficiently 2. Compare yir
notorious to the world, not only by their oune pubhcke professions & prac- P^.'"™ ■" ^^
tises, but also by the fore mentioned booke, & therein, —

First. "Wee shall annimadvert vpon their principles in religion, if wee They"- be found
may, w'^'out an abuse, make vse of the word religion, in the expression of, -^ notori-
or in conjunction w"", their irreligious & blasphemous tenents, which they haue, °"^ ^"^ ^^^^'

phemious ten-

by their words & writings, given large & vngratefuU opportunity vnto vs, to ets, &c.
vnderstand if wee may suppose the dialect wherein those doctrines of devills
are taught, rationally intelligible to any vnderstanding not acted by the same
spirit of error ; their very language being accomodated to the expressions of
the deepest misterjes of iniquity, & to compose a systeeme of the most dan-
gerous & darning heetrodoxies, consisting of all deceiveableness of vnright-
eousnes, & so fitted to deceive, especially *in such tjmes wherein the ven- [*542.]
geance of God hath seized vpon the intellectualls of men, God out of his just
judgment giving some men vp to beleiue lyes, that they may be damned.

A breife collection of the principles of these men is taken out of their Declaring
oune letters, printed in the foresajd booke, & in their oune words. Churches, Revised platt-
they say, are devised platformes, & the wisdome of man is that which giues !['™g^j/^'^'
the whole being of churches & coinon-wealth. Of ministers they say that, to &c.
make their call mediate, & not imediate, is to make a nuUitje of Christ, to
crucify Christ, to put him to open shame ; & that such ministers are magi- Y' ministers
cjans ; as also that sermons of Gods ministers are tales, lyes, & falshoods. Of
Baptisme, ' Behold the vanity & abomination of your baptisme,' &6. The Sermons of

. . J, .,, godly ministers

Lords supper they call it 'your dish' vp daintyes, turning the jujce of a silly tales, iyes,&c.

grape, that perisheth, into the blood of Christ, by the cunning skill of your gj^^{"^'^^;ty ^5

magicians, which doe make mad & druncke so many in the world.' Of re- *s Lords sup-
per disht vp
pentance they affirme to this purpose, that, in a way of compunction & sorrow daintjes, &o.



1 G 6 5. for sinn, for a Christian to seeke for consolation from Christ, that this is to
" "< ' make the Sonne of God Beliall, & Signienis, the devill himself. Of our Lord

May session. i-Ni. /.i iii t.t. /^

„, , Jesus Christ one of them most blasphemously sajd, in open Court, when asked

consolation what was that Christ which was borne of the Virgin Mary, & suffered vnder

from X', y« is, .

y°y say, to Pilate, that he was a semblance, picture, or shaddow of what was & is donne,
ofGod'EeikLf ^^^'^^^^7 ^ Substantially, in Christians ; therefore they sajd of ministers, that
Affirme Xt to they are wizzards & necromancers, who rayse a shaddow w*''out a substance,
&e^ minisTe'r "^^^ ^^ make Christ to be slajne in types since the world beganne. They fur-
wizards & neo- j-^gj. aifirmed, in open Court, that, as the image of God in Adam was Christ,


raysing a shad- (for God, they sajd, had but one jmage,) so that the losse of this jmage by

Q.OW TV^^Otlt 3.

substance &c. ^^^ '^^^ ^^^ death of Christ. Oh, astonishing blasphemjes, the very thoughts
of which cannot but surprise the heart of any sencible Christian with horror !
They are indeed clouds w*out rajne, but clouds full of the most paestifferous
exhalations, exhaled from that mist which is risen out of the bottomless pitt,
& condensed by their oune naturall corruptions, breaking forth in clapps &
flashes of thundering & lightning passions ; for it is observable, that, in all
these transactions, they manage the weapons of the prince of darknes w*'' the
vtmost expression of their malignity & enmity against churches, ordinances,
magistrates, & ministers, & therefore wee may not feare also to say, ag' Gods
glory. How inconsistent the principles of these men are in matters of re-
ligion w"^ this, wherein they pretend to be sufferers in & for the cause of
religion, & that they were vrged to a relinquishing of their religion, — of that
religion which they had learned in their constant attending on the publicke
Putting high assembljes in our native country, — which also deserves an animaduersion that
saCTe™d^otri^e ^^^^ should put such an indignity vpon the sound & wholesome doctrine of the
of y churches churches of England as once to mention it in coniunction w*^ their damna-

of England, , , , . , ^

&c. ble hseresjes, much more w"* impudency to make vse of the doctrine of Eng-

land to patronize their blasphemjes, especially after they had published the
most of these blacke & darke doctrines, in their writings, to the world, &

Men Toyd of openly professed them, w"" their mouthes, before many witnesses, it seemes to

shame, &c. ^^.g^g ^j^^^ ^|^gy ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^£ gj^g^^g ^ fg^^^.g^

Againe : they assert in their petition that they were likely to be tempted,

vpon perrill of life, vpon pajne of death, to desert their faith to God, which

what their faith was appeares by the premisses. Wee say againe, therefore.

Their princi- how inconsistent the principles of these men are in religion to this their pe-

ples of inciuil . . ,

ity appeare iu titiou, wcc humbly offer to Consideration.

& rorTs'tTy* ^" ^^^ ^^^° ^*^*® *^^^^ principles in evills in comparison w*'' their petition.

^f°^ * T^'" '^^^^ principles of civility, or rather incivility, they they haue largely ex-
sets. pressed also, partly by their writings, partly by their words, to their Govern'


& magistrates of this his majestjes colony, in the mannagement of that trans- 1665.
action. A collection of their reproachfuU & reviling speeches hath been long ^' ''' '

Mjiv scssioii

since published to the -world in the aforesaid booke. *They were indeede so r^cAoi
volible & voluminous in their raylings & revilings of Gouerno'', magistrates, &
government, that, to epittomise their rayling accusations will suiEce to de-
monstrat to the world what spirits they were influenced by. They scornfully They scomM
called our magistrates letter to them an irregular noate ; they slily called them Xt.*iett°e™au
the seed of the ancient mother, i. e., of the enmity of the divill ; that they Regular noate,

them the seed

delighted dayly to eate of the forbidden fruite ; they compared them to doggs, of y« ancient
in reassuming their vomit into its former concoction ; by receiving Cole & ™° ^^'
Arnold vnder their protection, that they renounce & reject a Christ; that
they were so farr from yeilding subjection to Christ as Cole & Arnold were
from being honorable & good subjects, whom they called the shame of re-
Hgion, deboyst, rude, inhumane NabaUs, illbread, apostatized, fellonious per-
sons, &6 ; that the magistrates were Jewes in the flesh — stout mainteyners
of the man of sinne ; that their profest cleomency & mercy was, as much as
in them lay, to send soule & body to heU, — Sheol, (the graue or hell,) — w*''-
out redresse or hope of recouery ; that their wayes are wicked & to be ab-
hord ; because of their professed course, the two witnesses are slayne by
them ; that the light appearing among them was the light of Balaam, &S ;
that the magistrates set vp Signien, which, as themselves interpret, is feare &
horror or the divill, by which they hope to be saued ; they call the Generall Call y« Genet
Court the great IdoU Generall, whose pretended seq^uity of distributing justice ^^^ j^^^^
is a meere device of man, according to the sleights of Sathan, & call t£em a Gen", &c.
generation of vipers ; they tell the Court that they are not a cup fitt for their A generation
appetite, but a cup of trembling, either to make them vomit vp their oune ° "P'"'^'
setemaU shame, or els to make them burst asunder w"' their ffellow confessor,
Judas Iscariot. This is not aboue halfe the opprobrious speeches they then
abused the Court w"^all ; but this may suffice to demonstrate how much they
were acted by that spirit vnto whom the angell sajd, ' The Lord rebuke thee.'
Neither may it be supposed that these barbarismes were extracted out of them Their too ab-
by any vnjust provocation in the frenzie of passion ; & so that these expres- proceed°rora^I
sions proceed only from a principle of enmitje against our magistrates & min- spi"t_of ™mi-
istrje ; for when they were in the best capacitje to be treated w* civilitje, (if
at all they were in such a capacity,) yet then they resolutely & dehberately
majntejned the opinion of anarchic, allowing only a distribution of justice
in the way of parity, by the fraternitje, w*out superiority or inferiority ;
therefore, in open Court, they did seeme to condemne all the magistrates, be-
cause euery one did not sitt there to judge as a brother ; &, consequent-


166 5. ly, to be a choheire with Chi-ist is a higher spheare then to be a civill

' ^^ ' officer.

To settTTen ^* '^^^7 expressly afErmed that the office to minister justice belongs only

to be judges of to the Lord, (and that, therefore, from this instance Herod men make them-

good & eufll, , T <■ 1 3 r ^x.'

&c, tiieysay,is selues gods, which themselues interpret to be only Irora the god ot this
IndentVllt ^o^'^^> &» therefore, flatt against God,) by ruling ouer the bodjes & estates of
of the serpent, j^q-^ . affirming that to set vp men to be judge of good & euill, for which all
men are set vp in that kind, that this is reacting that ancient spirit ot the ser-
pent, ' If yea eate, yee shallbe as gods ; ' therefore say they, that to choose men
honorable, wise, & of good report, &5, or els they may not rule, &6 ; this,
they say, is of man by man, & a putting the second witnes to death, that is to
say, the death or witnes of Christ, orj in plaine English, it is the killing of
&y«y7y'canii 3. They affirmed that they who cann create, make voyd, & remoove

moove officer & offices & officers at their pleasure are of that evill one, i. e., the divill, & not
officers at y«ir p£ Jesus Christ, but of Shedim, that waster & destroyer of mankinde for euer,

pleasure are of

y divill, &c. ScS. They sajd that men destroyed the Holy One of Israeli, &d, if men ac-
knouledg that Christ rules on earth only by his deputjes, vicegerents, & leif-
tennants, that is, by persons invested w"" civil authoritje & office : therefore
they sajd againe, that none shall see Christ come into his kingdome w"" com-
fort vntill the power & authority of man appeare to be as the building of
Babell. They add further, that a man may as well be a slaue to his belly, &
[*544.] make that his god, as be a vassall to *his oune species or kinde. That these
are their principles as to matters of civill gouernment appeares by the
extraction of their oune letters compared w"" their speeches in Courts, also as
it is to be scene in the aforesajd booke.
They pretend Now, how inconsistent these principles are w*'' their petition, wherein

betwen yra & ^hey represent themselues as being then very much offended, & very deepely
vs was our dis- affected w"* the least omission of formallities in the administration of iustice.

loyalty ; but y« •* J '

designe is to and as if One principle ground of the controuersy had beene our disloyalty,

trample on his - . ,,,,,,,.

maj'j" authori- whereas it appeares that their principal designe was not only to trample vnder-

ty here, &o. gj^jg j^jg majestjes authority in this gouernment here established vpon his

royall charter, but also express their despite to all dominion, & to speake of

dignitjes as comon enemjes to all gouernment in church & comon wealth.

How likely y« How likely these men were to dye martyrs to the faith of God & the king,

y^" men were to ,

dye martirs to which they pretend to, & how inconsistent (wee say againe) their principles
& ^'kfn" u*lot ^®^^ *° ''^^^ petition, wee humbly offer also to consideration. Againe : wee
difficult to de- also compare this petition with the whole transaction, in the examination of

termine. ,.,..,-,,.,,

which, it is to be feared, that it will appeare that there is as litle of verity in


this their petition to his majestjes honorable comissioners, as there was of 186 5.
Christianity or civility in their letters & speeches to the Generall Court. "" ^i '

1. For, first, whereas they insinuate that they haue been evilly intreated t j^t t
of their countrymen, only in speciall hinting them of the Massachusetts, "omon enemya

11 1 • • ■ 1 1 ■ • 1 • to all y« colo-

they charge his majesties good subjects m his other colonjes w* injury & njes.

injustice, whereby it appeares they were comon ennemjes to all his majesties Y» whole coun-
try compeld to

good subjects in other colonjes where they liued, & that the whole country stand on y
was compelled to stand vpon their defence against them, as disturbers of the y^mls dis"fairb-
kings peace euery where. ers of the kings


Whereas they doe boldly affirme that a non compljance w'^ vs of the
Massachusetts in matters ecclesiasticall & civill was the only delincLuency
which they were charged w"^all by this gouernment, asserting their oune inno-
cency as to matter of fact, & waving any charge vpon that account, it is not
to be beleiued, but to be rejected as a manifest vntrueth, & astonishing impu-
dency to preface their petition w"" such an inconsistency. The true state of
the controuersy haue binn already printed in the foresajd booke, which ap-
peares to be this : Samuel Gorton hauing, by his high afii-ont which he had put
vpon the gouernment of Plimouth, Koad Island, & poore Providence, put
himself out of a capacity vnto a civil correspondency w* any, either civil or
ecclesiasticall, society in either of those colonjes. Having associated & assimi-
lated twelue or fowerteene persons to himself, they now endeavo' to finde a They endeauc
place in the woods, where they might secure it themselues, & Hue according a place to y"-
to their oune principles of anarchy ; & yet w*''all that their vicinity might give ^^l''^^ '° 1"^®
them oppertunity to manage their owne malignity vnto the disturbance of the their principles
peace of their neighbors. To this end they treate w''' a great sachem, Mlan-
tinomo, about the purchase of a tract of land which the sajd sachem pretend- Make vse of
ed a title to, although it did indeed belong to another sachem, Pomham, who, op'p'sse Pom-
partly awd by the great sachem, & partly betrayed by Gorton, set his hand to j'^f^'j* j^^ym*
a writing, not knowing what he did, & vtterly refusing to take any pay of &c.
Gorton; notw^standing, the sajd Gorton tooke possession of the land, & be-
ganne to excercise his former insolencjes more injuiiously & more imperiously,
both against English & Indians, then formerly ; herevpon both English &
Indjans make deplorarable complaints to this gouernment, craue, yea, cry out
for their protection against the sajd Gorton & his companjes violence.

The Court sends for the aforesaid Indian sachems, & vpon examination Miantonomo

"' found to be au

finde, both by English & Indian testimony, that Miantonomo v/as only an -vsurper.
vsurper, & had no title to the aforesajd land, & out of pitty receaved those ^ee pomhom
two inferior sachems, their subiects & lands, to protect them, as also some of & Socoronoco

•^ _ _ in to proteo-

the English of Providence ; herevpon the Court sent to Gorton, advising of tion.


him & his company either to come or send some persons to make out their

title to the land which they possessed ; offred them safe conduct. They

r* ^ / ^ , *scorned the Courts letters : returned scoffs & blasphemies. Some time after,
„ , , „ , the Court sent two of their oune members w*'' letters, to treate them civilly, &

Send to Gorton ' •"

& compa. to to perswade them to come, promising them safe conduct againe ; but they en-
come or send to , 1 T 1 /» 1 . 1 .

make out his tertejned those messengers as they had done the former, threatnmg to whip
homs land ' °^^ °^ them J yet, notw^'standing, a third time the Court sent coraissioners to
They scorne treate w"' them, to heare their allegations, & to receive their answers, & to

the Courts let- ..... i i o ^ i • mi _..

ters, returne take satisfaction if tendered, & so leaue them m peace. Those comissioners
SCO s, 0. ^ffexe guarded with forty men, & in case they should persist in their obsti-


refusaiis, y' nacy, had instructions to bring them by force. In the way, as our comis-

Courts sends . . , , +1,1- t • i ■

comissioners sioncrs Were going to them, they were mett w™ diuers provoking, daring,
■w'l' a guard to domineering papers sent from them. The Comissioners, arriving, make their

treat w* ym, & Jr" i- JO'

&o. proposalls. They standing vpon their defence, our coinissioners forced them

neyare orce ^^ surrender, & brought them away. This was the true & reall grounds of

to Eurrend'. y Q j a

the Courts proceedings w* them thus farr ; & yett those men haue the con-
fidenc, or rather the impudence, to say in the frontipeece of that petition,
' w"'out any fault of ours that wee know,' which argues that they are so pro-
digiously blinded & hardened that they account not any of their outrages,
riotous, jnjurious carriages or behauiours in matters of fact, which by the
Courts messengers & letters to them they were charged w"', & convinced of
In transacting deservedly called faults. It is acknowledged, that, in the transaction of this
they render matter, they made themselues guilty of such horrid & high handed blasphe-
ofwTd wi"^ mles against God & Christ, & the worship of God, that the Court judged
phemyes, &c. themselues bound in duty to God not to let them goe out of their custody
w*out taking cognizance thereof as a capitall delinquency. After a faire
trjall, in which they mainteyned their blasphemjes & added more, the Court,
for prevention of spreading their blasphemous doctrines, imposed the posnalty
of confinement to seuerall tonnes during the. Courts pleasure, & shortly after
banished them, which wee suppose, had they been trjed in any other of his
majestjes Courts of justice, would haue vndergonne a pcenaltje not exceeding
the merrit of the offence.

2. They say that their offence was a non compljance w*'' us in our civil
course of administration, when it plainly appeares from the premisses that they
did bid defiance to all civil gouernment, accounting it a slauery & vassalage to
be subject to any of their oune klnde or species, as they say.

3. Thirdly. They say that before they were brought doune, our minis-
ters preached them grosse h^reticks, & men not worthy to Hue vpon the earth,
to prepare the people to judge them worthy of death. This wee take only as an


May session

expression of their continued enmity enmity to the ministry, a plajne calumnie 166 5.
& vntrueth.

4. They charge our comissioners 'w''' breach of couenant in not keeping
those honorable termes which they yeilded vpon, which also is a flatt vntrueth ;

|. for the grand condition which they insisted vpon in their surrender, it was,
that they should goe doune w"^ our comissioners, vnbound, & haue safe con-
duct, which they had not, being bound, but in that respect as much at liberty
in the journey as any of ours.

5. They complaine of hard fare & hard worke, which wee suppose also
it may be, ranked w"* the former, for they had their diet from the cookes, as
good meate & drinke as the place afforded j & if they were sentenced to grind
in the mill, yet wee doe not remember that they were euer put vpon it, but
found better, enterteinement.

6. They complaine of oppression, by taking away catle, & the catle
taken were not neere suiEcjent to defray their charges ; but some part of it
hath been pajd since out of the country treasury vppon the country account.

7. They complayned wee maynteined the Indians vpon their land, plant-
ing, burning, killing, &d, vnto this day ; which is also notoriously not so ; for
whilst those Indjans were vnder this gouernment, if they had been so injuri-
ous to our oune countrymen, the Court would soone haue afforded redresse to
any complaint, & haue provided as much as in them lay for their indemnity.
& fiirther, the gouernment heere hath, for causes them therevnto mooving,

many yeares *since w^'draune their protection both from the English & Indians [*546.]
in those partes ; therefore they doe not maintejne them to this day : hence it
appeares notoriously to any impartiall eye that this petition, for the most part
of it is a composition of forgerjes.

Lastly, whereas they charge this gouernment w*'' excercising power be-
yond their jurisdiction & bounds, &S, making themselues to be lords of the
land, &6, —

1. Wee reply, not sole lords of the land, for wee haue studiously en-
deavored to keepe his majestjes peace, both w"' & in all his majestjes other
colonjes here setled & established in any orderly way of gouernment, main-
teyning alwayes an amicable correspondency as their fellow subjects. And
wee solemnly profest that not the least ground of this transaction w* Gorton
& his company was the preservation of the publick weale, & peace in his ma-
jestjes other colonjes, therefore not the sole lords of the land ; too peremptory
an expression to be presented in a petition to his majestjes honourable comis-
sioners, which wee suppose their hono'^s could not chuse but take notice
of, at least as an extravagancy of speech.


1665. 2. Wee reply, that althougli that tract of land whicli they possessed

were not w'^'in our Ijne, yet it was vpon very strong probabilitjes supposed to
be w^'in the bounds of Pljmouth patent, their bounds not being then precisely
determined; & therefore this gouernment hauing taken the protection of the
Indians of that land, they desired this gouernment to make provission for
their indempnitje, & wholly transferred the matter to vs.

3. "Wee reply, that all the comissioners of his majestjes United Colonjes,
taking notice of Gorton & his company as coinon ennemyes to the publick
weale of the whole, & looking vpon their actings to be of very dangerous con-

Online LibraryNathaniel Bradstreet ShurtleffRecords of the governor and company of the Massachusetts bay in New England : Printed by order of the legislature → online text (page 32 of 77)