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return, and his declarations and parliament speeches since, and many.suitable actings, bow the Father of spirits hath mightily imprest and touched his royal spirit, though THE BISHOPS much disturbed him, with deep inclinations of favour and gentleness to different consciences and apprehensions, as to THÊ INVISIBLE King, and way of his worship. Hence he vouchsafed his royal promise, under his hand and broad seal, that no person in this COLONY, shall be molested or questioned for matters of conscience to God, so he be loyal and keep the peace! Sir, we must part with lands and lives before we part with this, jewel! I judge you may yield some land and the government of it to us, and we, for peace' sake, the like to you, as being but subject, of one King, &c. And I think the King's MAJESTY would thank us for many reasons. But to part with this jewel, we may as soon do it as the Jews with the favour of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes. Yourselves pretend liberty of conscience, but, alas!. it is but self, the great God self, only yourselves. THE King winks at Barbadoes, where Jews and all sorts of Christian and Antichristian persuasions are free, but our grant, some few weeks after yours was sealed, though granted as soon, if not before yours, is crowned with the King's extraordinary favour to the colony, as being a banished one, in which his MAJESTY declared himself that he would experiment whether CIVIL GOVERNMENT could consist with such liberty of conscience!! : “ This grant was started at by his MAJESTY's high
officers of state, who were to view it in course, before the sealing, but fearing the lion's roaring, they chouched against their wills, in obedience to his MAJESTY's pleasure !
“Some of yours, as I heard lately, told tales to the Archbishop of Canterbury, viz. that we are a profane people, and do not keep the sabbath. But,
“1. You told him not how we suffer freely ALL other persuasions, yea, the common prayer, which yourselves will not suffer. If you say you will, you confess you must suffer more, as we do. ii.
“ 2. You know this is but a colour to your design; for, first, you know that all England itself, (after the formality and superstition of morning and evening prayers), 'play away the sabbath! Secondly, you know that yourselves do not keep the sabbath, that is, the seventh day.
“3. You know, that famous Calvin, and thousands more, held it but ceremonial and figurative, from Col. 2, &c. and vanished; and that the day of worship was alterable at the churches' pleasure: thus also the Romanists confess, saying, that there is no express Scripture, first, for infant baptism, nor secondly, for abolishing the seventh day, and instituting of the eighth day worship, but that it is at the churches' pleasure.
« 4. You know that, generally, all this whole colony observe the first day; only here and there, one out of conscience, another out of covetousness, make no conscience of it.
“5. You know the greatest part of the world make no conscience of the seventh day; the next part of the world, Turks, Jews, and Christians, keep three different days, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, for their sabbath and day of worship, and every one maintains his own by the longest sword.
“6. I have offered, and by these presents, to discuss by disputation, writing, or printing, among other points of difference, these three positions, first, that forced worship stinks in God's nostrils ; secondly, that it denies Christ Jesus yet to be come, and makes the church yet national, figurative, and ceremonial ; thirdly, that in these flames about religion, there is no other prudent Christian way of preserving peace in the world, but by permission of differing consciences!
“ Accordingly, I do now offer to dispute these points, and other points of difference, if you please, at Hartford, Boston, and Plymouth. For the manner of the dispute, and the discussion, if you think fit, one whole day in each month, in summer, at each place by course. I am ready, if the Lord permit, and as I humbly hope, assist me.
“ As to myself, in endeavouring after your temporal and spiritual peace, I humbly desire to say—IF I PERISH, I PERISH! It's but a shadow vanished-a bubble broke-a dream finished-ETERNITY will pay for all! “Sir, I am your old and true friend and servant,
“Roger WILLIAMS*.” .* Collections of the Historical Society, Vol 1. p. 271– 283.
· MR. WILLIAMS sent this letter to Connecticut, dated June 22, 1670, and then sent a copy of it to the General Court at Plymouth, which was preserved in the Winslow family, and now published by a Society who are all Pædobaptists.
The wisdom of God in these affairs appears very wonderful; for MR. WILLIAMS was the most ac, quainted with the Indian language, and had the most friendship with them of any man in New England; and as he settled at Providence in the spring or summer of 1636, so Governor Endicot went with an army. in August that year, by water, to force the Pequats to terms, which they refused; and in September, sent their ambassadors to the Narragapsets to join with them against the English. And they observed to them, that if they helped to subdue the Pequots, the English would overrun all the country. Whereas they were now so much scattered and weak, that if the Indians would all unite against them, they need not to come to open battle, but only to shoot them as they went about their business, kill their cattle, and fire their hay and buildings, and they would be forced to leave the country..
These are the ideas given in MAJOR Mason's History of the Pequot War, which I have. But instead of this, Williams prevailed with Miantonomo, the Nafraganset Sachem, to come to Boston in October, 1636, when he entered into a treaty to join with the English against their enemies, which was a great means of saving the country! And if Governor Winthrop, and other ralers, could have acted their own minds, WILLIAMS would have been honoured and rewarded for these services, but cruel ministerial tyranny prevented it.
It may be also remarked, that when MR. ROGER WILLIAMS, for denying THE MAGISTRATE's interference with conscience, was banished the state of Massachusetts, and driven into the wilderness amidst the rigours of a New England winter, he and his friend Oldey, and Thomas Angel, an hired servant, were at the mercy of the savages of the desert! Coming over the river in a canoe, they were saluted by the Indian word, signifying, what cheer ?- They came round Fox point, until they met with a very pleasant spring, which runs to this day nearly opposite the Episcopal Church. Settling on this spot, they, from a grateful sense of the preserving goodness of God, assigned it the name of PROVIDENCE, now the flourishing capital of the state of Rhode ·Island! Here, with difficulty, a Baptist church was formed; small, but bound together in harmony and peace. They first met for worship, like the ancient Druids, in a grove, unless in wet or stormy weather, when they assembled in private houses. MR. WILLIAMS, after four years, resigned his pastoral office, and went to England, to procure a charter for his infant colony. On his return, he preached among the Indians with great success. Indeed, MR. WIL