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contend that the General Baptists atsins, and the grace and favour of God; least have given greater scope to free according to the saying of St. Jolin, inquiry, have better understood and Qui crediderit et baptizatus fuerit more generally acted upon the avowed salvus erit.'" But here the obstinate right of every man to judge for him- heretics, it seems, very naturally self, than any other denomination. thought, that qui crediderit could have

In assuming this as a truth, I trust nothing to do with infants and I am borde out by the fact, that, in because they were so heretical and this deponimation there has been a blasphemous as to deny that infants greater variety of opinion than in any could be qualified, by betwering, for otber. Would the limits of my paper baptism, it was judged to be for the permit, I should endeavour to con- honour of Almighty God, and holy firm the truth of this assumption by mother Church, to convince them of an appeal to numerous and incontest their impiety by burning them to able evidences. It is, however, per- death! haps uunecessary; for that which I It appears that not less than twente. have mentioned to their honour, has six Baptists were burnt during this been brought, by bigots of all parties, reign ;' but whether they suffered against them as a proof that their solely for denying infant baptism is creed is founded in error, and that uncertain. The probability, however, they are themselves wholly indifferent is, that their opinions were all reto the truth as it is in Jesus.

garded as damnable heresies, and that The Baptists appear to have shared any one of them would have been very largely in all the persecutions thought sufficient to entitle them to which have been endured for con- the stake. From an Art of Grace science' sake in most parts of Europe. passed in 1538, the Anabaptists were Their sufferings in Great Britain excepted. alone, would occupy

a sufficient Iu the reign of Edward VI, the length for my whole paper, were I tv only persons who were burnt were attempt their enumeration. I must, two Baptists, Joan Bocher and George therefore, content myself with a brief Van Pare. Of the extraordinary he. notice of them.

roism of Joan of Kent, Burnet* gives The “ proto-martyr of the English a most interesting account. No hor

" nation (William Sawtre) is thought rors could affright her, no persuasions by some to have been a Baptist, be move her, no sutferings 'abate the cause the Lollards, who lived in the constancy of her mind. Van Pare is diocese of Norwich, where this man described by Burnet as “ being acfirst received and professed his no- cused for saying, that God the Father tions, were (says Crosby) generally was only God, and that Christ was not of that opinion.” He was burut in very God; he was deali with long to London in the year 1400, the 2nd abjure, but would not. So,on the 6th of of Henry IV., who granted a law to April, 1551, he was condemned in the the clergy for the purpose of burning same manner that Joau of Kent was, heretics.

and on the 25th of April was burnt Passing over the intermediate reigns, in Smithfield. He suffered with great it appears that many who suftered constancy of mind, and kissed the during the reign of Henry VUIfell stake and faggots that were to buro victims to their denial of Pædobap- him." + tism. This may at least be inferred The death of this most devout man from many having been called on to was very naturally brought forward abjure, among other heresies, their in the succeeding reign, as a proof denial of its efficacy; and from the that the Protestants considered herearticles relating to that subject, agreed tical pravity a sufficient justification on in the Convocation which sat in for putting men to death, however June 1536. Among these articles virtuous or pious they miglit be in one item is, “ That it is offered unto their lives. all men, as well infants as such as The following remark of one of have the use of reason, that by bap- the Lords of Queen Mary's council, tism they shall have the remission of

. Hist. of Ref. II. Pt. ii. pp. 110, &c. * Hist. of Eng. Baptists, I. p. 21. t Ibid. B. i. p. 190.

will sufficiently demonstrate what being burnt, were passed over in si. dangerous heretics this sect were lence. His letter to the Queen will esteemned

remain an everlasting monument to In the examination of Archdeacon his own honour, and of disgrace to Philpoto before the lords, Nov. 6, her who could retain her bloody pur1555, one of them said to him, “ All pose after reading it. heretics do boast of the spirit of God, The reign of James I. is remarkable aod every one would have a church for being the last in which the law De by himself; as Joan of Kent, and the hæretico comburendo was put in force. Anabaptists."+ Poor, narrow-minded Two persons suffered deaih under this bigot! You intended to convey a cen- form in the year 1611, viz. Barthosure and yon pronounced an eulogrum! lomew Legate, who was a decided Yes, Joan of Kent and the Anabap- Unitarian, and Edward Wightman, a tists had learned that to which you Baptist. The list of charges against the were a stranger-they had learned to latter is a self-contradictory farrago; regard religion as an affair between evincing the ignorance no less than God and their own souls, and there. the malignity of his enemies, who, it fore dared to think for themselves, in would appear, were determined to lay defiance of ty rauts, of prisons, and of so many heresies to his charge, that if death in its most horrid forms. one were not sufficient to justify bis

I must pass over the reigus of Mary being put to death, another might. and Elizabeth with barely mention - On this man's martyrdom Crosby ing that the reputed Anabaptists makes the following reinark:-" The shared largely in the sufferings wbich first who was put to this cruel death were endured for conscience' sake. in England was William Sawtre, sup:

Fus in his Latin edition mentions posed, upon very probable grounds, several who suffered in the reign of to have denied infant baptism; and Mary, whom he omits in his English this man, the last who was honoured edition. This omission Crosby con

with this kind of martyrdom, was jectures, with great probability, was expressly condemned for that opinion: with the view of doing more honour so that ihis sect had the honour both to the other martyrs. He was a of leading the way, and bringing up Pædobaptist himself, and could per. the rear of all the martyrs who were haps, therefore, hardly consider the burnt alive in England."* opposers of infant baptism as entitled In the year 1014, a number of fa. to be ranked among martyrs of that milies emigrated to America, hoping class which were to be held up to to find in New England that peaceadmiration. But it would be an act able enjoyment of their religion which of greater injustice than his, if his was denied them at bone. They supposed endeavour to

save Joan

were known by the general name Bocher, in Edward's, and two Dutch of Puritans, but appear to have conBaptists in Elizabeth's reign, from sisted chiefly of Presbyterians. It

is truly lamentable that men flying It is a nielancholy reflection that this become persecutors : for, not only did

from persecution, so soon learned to andaunted Protestant martyr should so imperfectly have understood the spirit of they persecute the Quakers, but also that religion for the sake of which he the Baptists, who had sought an suffered, as to aggravate the sufferings of asylum in that distant wilderness. bis fellow-prisoners by cruel tanints and Mr. Cotton Mather* says, “ Having invectives, calling them “men, or rather done with the Quakers, let it not be not men, but covered with man's shape, misinterpreted, if, into the same chappersons of a beastly understanding,-dead ter, we put the inconveniences which dogs, blasphemously barking against our the Churches of New England have Lord;"-liat he should have thought it also suffered from the Anabaptists." — a proof of fidelity to bis compassionate Saviour, to justify his having spat on an

• But at length it came to pass, that Arian, by such an exhortation as the fol while some of our churches used, it lowing :-"

"Speak ye that have tongues may be, a little too much cogency to praise and confess God, against these towards the brethren, which would Arians. Suffer them not to pass by you weakly turn their backs when in fants unpointed at. Refrain not to spit at such were brought forth to be baptized in inordinate swine"! † Fox, p. 1578, first ed.

• Hist, of New England, B. vii. p. 26.

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the congregation, there were some of gregation, he“ requested a dismission those brethren, who, in a day of to Salem," whither he was again intemptation, broke forth into schisma vited. He had now embraced the tical practices that were justly offen- opinion of the Baptists, and was prosive unto all the churches in this wil. bably one of the first public opposers derness.

of iufaut baptism in the New World. “Our Anabaptists, when somewhat The distinguished figure he afterwards of exasperatiou was begun, formed a made, will, I hope, be a sufficient church at Boston, on May 28, 1665, apology for these prefatory remarks. besides one which they had before at I feel happy in bringing him forward Swansey. Now they declared our to your notice, for, in the judgment of infant baptisen to be a mere nullity ; Dr. Gordon, who, as an ludependent, and they arrogate upto themselves the was perhaps a more competent judge title of Baptists, as if none were bap. than a member of any other denominatized but themselves.

tiou could be, Roger Williams justly “ The General Court," continues claims the honour of having being Mr. Mather, “ were so afraid lest the first legislator in the world, in its matters might at last, from small be latter ages, that fully and effectually ginnings, grow into a new Munster provided for and established a free, tragedy, that they enacted some laws full and absolute liberty of conscience." for the restraint of Anabaptistical ex- His denial of the magistrate's right orbitances."

to interfere in religious matters, havCan we wonder, after reading these ing at length procured his banishishort extracts, that exercising the ment, he sought and found an asylum right of private judgment should, in among the ludians in Rhode Island. all preceding periods, have called His kind, pacific and benevolent condown on the heads of the Baptists duct won their bearts, and two of the severest punishinent, and on their their distinguished Sachems made memories the greatest odium, from him a considerable grant of land. " It those who possessed less light and was not price nor money (said he knowledge than the New-England twenty years afterwards) that could settlers ?

have purchased Rhode Island. Rhode In tbe year 1631, the 6th of Charles Island was obtained by love; by the I., Roger Williains arrived in New love and favour which that hovouraEngland, and was invited to become ble gentleman Sir Henry Vane and an assistant preacher at Saleni, near myself had with that great Sachem Boston ; but the Governor and coun- Miantinomu,” &c. He subsequently cil of the Massechusetts interposed remarks, “ T having made covenant of their authority against the appoint. peaceable neighbourhood with all the ment. Nir. Williams had “ refused sachems and natives round about us, to join the Church'at Boston, because and having, in a sense of God's merthey would not make a public declara- ciful providence unto me in my distress, tion of their repentance for holding called the place ProvideNCF, 1 decom muviou with the Church of En- sired it might be for a shelter for gland while they lived there.” This persons distressed for conscience." In was one of their objections to him; the full spirit of this desire, he adbut another was probably the more mitted such as were seeking a place weighty-" because he declared it as in which to worship God agreeably his opinion, that the civil magistrate to the dictates of their consciences, might not punish any breach of the - to a share in his lands. Those u bo first table." This denial of the ma- were thus received signed a covenant, gistrale's right to a controul over reli- in which they promise obedience to gion, they forbore to punish for the laws, made by the consent of the mapresent; and Mr. Williams became jor part of the inhabitants for the the minister of a congregation at Ply- good of the body, only in civil things. mouth. Here he preached between fle obtained a charter for the colony, two and three years, till finding a at a great expense to himself, which difference of opinion between himself he was never wholly repaid ; and and the leading members of his con- experienced the greatest ingratitude

from those whom he laboured to pro

tect, enrich and make happy. He * Hist, of New England, B. vii. p. 27. was, however, at times the Presideut


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of the colony, and the ability and colonists, he made the Indians acimpartiality with which he managed quainted with Christianity, and suce its affairs, gave satisfaction to all but ceeded in bringing a considerable the bigoted and ungrateful. His im- number of them to profess its truths partiality, indeed, with regard to reli- and practise its virtues. Indeed, 30 gious matters, excited the rage of into. beloved was he by them, that bis lerants so highly, that he had repeat memory was fondly cherished by their edly to write in defence of his conduct. descendants down to the year 1787. I might give many examples of the But to relurn to England. Charles masterly style in which he wrote in I. was perhaps as much disposed to defence of complete civil and religious persecute Dissenters from the national liberty, but must content myself with church and faith, as any of his preonly the following:

decessors, and Chiarles II. still more so: • There goes many a ship to sea, whose reigni, during which it is said with many hundred souls in one ship, Dearly 8000 Protestant Dissenters pewhose weal and woe is common; and rished in prison), would furnish more is a true picture of a commonwealth, than sufficient materials for this essay, or a human combination, or society. already too long. I shall, therefore, It has fallen out sometimes that both add but one more testimony to the Papists and Protestants, Jews and heretical and dungerous tendency of Turks, may be embarked into one Baptist principles. ship. Upon which supposal I affirm, Thomas de Laune, the author of that all the liberty of conscience that A Plea for the Nonconformists, a book erer I pleaded for, turns upon these which ought to be known to every two hinges that none of the Papists, Dissenter, is the individual from whom Protestants, Jews or Turks, be forced I shall quote a passage in favour of to come to the ship's prayers or wor- religious liberty. This truly excellent ship; nor compelled from their own man, whom Neal, probably with a particular prayers or worship, if they little Presbyterian contempt, calls “an practise any. I further add, that I Anabaptist schoolmaster,"

was suf. never denied, that, notwithstanding fered to perish in prison, as well as this liberty, the commander of this bis wife and two children, for writing ship ought to command the ship's bis Plea. Defoe, in page 11 of the course; ea, and also command that Preface to the edition of 1720, ob. justice, peace and sobriety be kept serves, “I cannot refrain saying, such and practised, both among the seamen a champion of such a cause, deserved and all the passengers. If any of the better usage; and it was very hard, seamen refuse to perform their service, such a man, such a Christian, such a or passengers to pay their freight; if scholar, and on such an occasion, any refuse to help, in person or purse, should starve in a dungeon, and the towards the common charges or de- whole body of Dissenters in England, fence; if any refuse to obey the com- whose cause he died for defending, mon laws and orders of the ship, should not raise him 661. 13s. 4d. to conceroing their common peace or save his life. I could go on here, to preservation; if any shall mutiny and exclaim against the cruelty of one rise up against their commanders and party, and the ingratitude of the officers, if any should preach or write other, but the man is dead; he lies that there ought to be no commanders a monument of English tyranny on por officers, because all are equal in one band, and selfish principles on the Christ, therefore no masters nor offi- other, both which make nations blind cers, vo laws por orders, no correc- to men of merit." tions nor punishments; I say I never It will be recollected that Dr. denied but in such cases, whatever is Calamy in his sermon, entitled Scrupretended, the conjmander or com- pulous Consciences, had given an invimanders inay judge, resist, compel and punish such trausgressors, according to their deserts and nerits

Respecting this enlightened friend

of Civil and Religious Liberty, some inNot content with promoting the teresting particulars are expected to aptemporal and religious welfare of the pear shortly, in an Appendix to the

Memoirs of the late Rev. Wm. Richards, • Backus's Hist. of New England, I. of Lynn, wbich Mr. Evans, of Islington, pp. 297, 298.

is preparing for the press.

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tation to the Nonconformists to come usurp his sovereignty. Christ conforward and state what they had to quered his enemies by preaching and say in justification of their secession suffering. from the church; this invitation De “In a word, what to me seems clear, Lauve accepted, and wrote his Pleu (which I humbly submit to the conin answer.

I shall, however, give an sideration of others, i 18–1. That none extract from another of his works- ought to be persecuted for religion, The present State of London, printed whose privciples are consistent with in 1681, now very scarce, and not human society, and behave themselves generally known to have been his. according to the established laws of In pages 219, 220, he says, “ A thing the land quietly and peaceably; but may be clear to one man that would are to be won by the mild ways of fain impose it, but it may be doubtful the gospel. to him on whom it is imposed, which “2. That, if under pretence of reli. no one can help; must he therefore gion they disturb the common peace, be persecuted ?" If the point be clear or wrong any other, or be seditious in Scripture, what peeds any new and unquiet, they ought to be punished article of faith to impose it? If only by the magistrate; because religion deduced, what one thinks clearly de- teaches no such things, but the conduced, another, as learned and able as trary," &c. &c. he, may think not to be so.

This extract, with very trifling ex“ Men's understandings are as va. ceptions, contains so nearly the leading rious as their speech or faces ; and is principles of the Baptist denomination, it just for one man to quarrel with as far as I have been able to as. another, because different from him in certain them, on the right of free either of these; or to put him upon a inquiry and private judgment, that I rack in order to stretch him to his think it must be evident to every im. own dimensions, if not so tall as he? partial mind, that they have been a -Certainly that man is defective in grossly calumniated people. They charity, that thinks all Dissenters appear to have perceived, amidst the either maliciously or wilfully blind. darkness by which nearly all other No man can be forced to believe; he Christian sects were surrounded, that may be compelled to say this or that, as map is endued with the faculty of but not to believe it. His brains may reason, he ought to exercise it ; and sooner be knocked out than made they were determined to exercise it clear, and able to see or perform an whatever might be the result as to action morally beyond his power. A themselves. Priests who feared to man may as easily make a man stark bring their opinions or arbitrary aublind read Greek, or distinguish thority to the test of reason and Scripcolours, as an unbeliever to believe, ture, thought, pronounced, and persefor that is God's gift. Arguments cuted them as their worst enemies; are good inducements, but force has and where they had not the power of no countenance in the gospel, much persecuting them themselves, instigated less a command.* Force may make princes to imprison, torture and deone blind, but never to see clearer; it stroy them as enemies of regal authomay make a hypocrite, but no true rity and the well-being of civil society. convert.

I shall conclude with a short quoThe magistrate is (and ought) to tation from Whiston.

Having bepunish evil-doers, but not evil-believers stowed justly-merited praise on those —God reserves that to himself : and ministers who were against subscripman can never have a right cogni- tion in reference to the Exeter affair, zance of evil thoughts in another, for he adds, the greatest professor may be the “The General Baptists had also a greatest atheist. Nothing is more very great meeting in London about derogatory to the honour of God, 1730, where the numbers were about than for men to think he wants their 120, who also came in a manner unihelp to defend bim: nor can any versally into the same determination, thing more affront him, than for any of not making any human explications one to intrude into his tribunal, and necessary to Christian communion."

"* John xx. 31; V. 39; 2 Tim. iii.

* Whiston's Life by himself, 1753, p. 190.

Deut. xi. 32."


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