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the above laws and persecution was to protect the Epis. copal church, the salary of whose ininister was first set. tled at 16,000 pounds of tobacco, in the year 1696, to be levied by the vestry on the titheables of the parish, and 80 continued to the Revolution.
So late as the year 1768 John Waller, Lewis Craig, - James Childs and others, were seized by the sheriff, and hauled before three magistrates, who stood in the meetin-house yard, and who bound them in the penalty of one thousand pounds, to appear at Court, two days after. At court they were arraigned as disturbers of the peace. On their trial they were vehemently accused by a lawyer who said to the court, “ may it please your worships, these men are great disturbers of the peace, they cannot meet a man on the road, but they must ram a text of Scripture down his throat.” As they were moving through the streets of Fredericksburgh, they sung the hymn, “ Broad is the road that leads to death, and Waller and the others continued in jail 43 days aud were discharged without any conditions. While in prison they continually preached through the grates, and althogh the mob prevented the people from hearing, as much as possible, yet many beard to their permanent advantage. After their discharge they preached as before. Sometimes their enemies rode into the water to mock them baptizing, and often mocked them when preaching, by playing cards and drinking spirits while they were preaching. Two noted sons of Belial, who were notorious for these practices, namej Kemp and Da. vis, both died soon after, ravingly distracted, each accu.. sing the other of having led him into these crimes." .
6 In Goochland county this persecution raged vehem. ently. On the tenth of August, 1771, while a Mr. Webs ber was preaching from these words, shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works,' a magistrate pushed up, and drew back his club to knock him down. Some person caught the club, and prevented mischief. Being backed by two sheriffs, he seized Messrs. Webber, Waller, Greenwood and Ware.
they were comunitted to prison-they were retained 30 days in close confinement, and fed on bread and water. As they preached through the grates, and made many converts, they were glad to let them go, on their giving of bond for good behaviour. A thousand false reports from the pulpit and from the press, misrepresents
ing the doctrines and practice of these holy men, were amongst the means employed to keep up this fiery trial. But the revolution took the power out of the hands of their persecutors, and their cause triumphed. This is a small specimen of the Pedo-baptist persecutions of the baptists in Virginia, which will suffice my purpose in the mean time-(see Benedict's bistory of the Baptists, vol. 2, page 63–73.) I shall now quote a few facts from history in support of this item, to shew that not only the pedo-baper tists of the Episcopacy, but those of other protestant sects, manifested the same spirit. In the good state of Massachusetts, (which I select not as the only state in which persecution raged, but as eminent for the exercise of this zeal) the baptists suffered much for many years, In this state, in the year 1644, we are informed by Mr. Hubbard, that a poor man, by the name of Painter, sud. denly became baptist, and having a child born, would not suffer his wife to carry it to be baptized. He was com. plained of to the court, and was enjoined by it to suffer his child to be baptized. He had the impudence to tell thern that infant baptism was an anti-christian ordinance, for which he was tied up and whipped."
About this time a law was passed for the suppression of the baptists. After a long preamble, in which the baptists were accused of two great crimes; the one, for denying that the civil magistrate could lawfully inspect or punish men for any breach of the laws, in the first table of the law; the other, for saying that infants should not be baptized; it concludes with these words_ It is ordered and agreed, that if any person or persons within this jumisdiction, shall either openly condemn or oppose the baptizing of infants, or go about secretly to seduce others from the approbation or use thereof, or shall purposely depart the congregation at the ininistration of the ordi. nance, or shall deny the ordinance of the magistracy, or their lawful right to make war, or to punish the outward breaches of the first table, and shall appear to the court wilfully and obstinately to continue therein, after due time and means of conviction, every such person or persong shall be sentenced to banishment Of this act Mr. H obard, their own historian, says but with what success it is hard to say: all men being naturally inclived to pity them that suffer, and the clergy, doubtless, bad a hand in fra ning this shameful act, as they, at this time, were the secretaries and counsellors of the legislature.”
26 About this time the Westminster Divines sat in London; a book written by one of the Baptist ministers was dedicated to the Westminster Divines. Soon after the news reached England, of the law to banish the Baptists, Mr. Tombes sent a copy of this work to the ministers of New England, and with it an epistle dated from the Temple in London, May 25, 1645, " hoping thereby to put them upon a more exact study of that controversy, and to allay their vehemency against the baptists." • But the Westminster A-sembly, says Backus, were more ready to learn severity from this country, than these were to learn lenity from any."
66 All letters and reconstrances proved ineffectual with the New England Divines. They held fast their integrity-and in 1651 the baptists were unmercitully whipped, and not long after, the Quakers were murderously hung *
I am sorry that my prescribed limits forbid my giving any thing like a history of those times, or even from des tailing the trials and able remonstrances of the baptists and Quakers in those days. I can only cull a few facts, out of volumes of matter, to support this particular. The reader, anxious to read the history of these proceedings, I would refer to Benedict's. Histo ry of the Baptists of New England, vol. 1, from pag 354 and onwards.
Obadiah Holmes was sentenced to pay 30l, or to be well whipped, for denying the lawfulness of infant baptism, and for baptizing some who had been sprinkled. In a manuscript of Governor J. Jenks, he says,
66 Mr. Holmes was whipped 30 stripes in such an unmierciful manner, that for many days he could take no rest, but as he lay upon his knees and elbows, not being able to suffer any part of his body to touch the bed on which he lay.
i Warrants were issued against 13 persons for pitying Mr. Holmes-two of them only could be taken-they were sentenced to pay 40 shillings, or to receive ten
When I shall have transcribed another act of the Assembly. I shall bring this article to a close. In May, 1668, the Assembly decreed, “ That, whereas, Thomas Gould. Wm. Turner, and John Turner, sep. obstinate and turbulent Anabaptists, have some time since combi-:
* Benedict, page 364.
ned theniselves with others in a pretended church state, without the knowledge and approbation of the authority here established ; to the great grief and offence of the Godly orthodos; the said persons did, in open court, assert their former practice to have been according to the mind of God, that nothing they had heard convinced them to the contrary, which practice, being also otherwise circumstanced with inaking infant baptism a nullity, and thereby making us all. to be unbaptized persons, and so, consequently, no regular churches, ministry, or ordinances; as also renouncing all our churches, as being so bad and corrupt, as they are not to hold communion with. This court do judge it necesa sary, that they be removed to some other part of this country, or elsewhere, and accordingly doth order, that the said Thomas Gould, Wm. Turner, and John Farnar, sen. do, before the 20th July next, remove themselves out of this jurisdiction; and that if, after the said 20th of July, either of them be found, in any part of this jurisdiction, without license had from the court or council, he or they shall be forth with apprehended and committed to prison, by warrant from any magistrate, and there remain without bail or mainprize, until he or they shall give sufficient security to the governor, or any magistrate, immediately to depart the jurisdiction, and not to return as abovesaid. And whereas, Thomas Gould is now committed to prison, in the county of Middlesex, by the last court of assistants, for non-payment of a fine imposed, this court judgeth it meet, after the sentence of this court is published this day, after the lecture to them, that the said Gould shall be discharged from imprisınment in Middlesex as to his fine ; that so he may have time to prepare to submit to the judginent of the court." Acts of the Assembly, 1668.
Under this act and the preceding, many suffered for con. science sake, from the hands of the orthodos. Tine would fail me, to tell of the persecutions of the poor baptists, un der the dominion of " the orthodox” in other parts of this country, and in Europe, in ancient and modern times.Some of the strongest arguments of the pedo-baptists, in support of the rite of infant sprinkling, have been fines, imprisonments, banishment, stripes, &c. They have made it a bloody rite!! Like circumcision indeed!
In support of my assertion, that infant baptism inspires a persecuting spirit, I conceive sufficient documents have been adduced but I have only adduced a few of the most recent and the most mild, and also in relation to one of the many objects of persecution. All the persecutions that have ever been carried on in Christendom, have been car. ried on by pedo-baptists. Baptists and quakers, every bo. dy knows, never persecuted, they have, bowever, had the good fortune to be often persecuted. But who was it that burned John Huss and Jerome of Prague ? Pedo-baptists. Who was it, dug up the bones of Wicklif and burned them Pedo-baptists. Who was it that burned, beheaded, hồng, drowned, and massacred, in a hundred forms, inillions of the best men in Europe in Germany, France, Spain, Eng. land, Ireland, Wales, &c. ? Pedo-baptists, I am sorry that so many evidences exist on the page of history, in support of the truth of my observation-Alas! it is too true. Civil law, and a new order of things, have, however, checked the prevalence of this spirit in this country, and also in the greater part of Europe. I believe no pedo-baptist sect of equal power, and equal age, persecuted less than the English Episcopalians, but even they capnot wash their hands of cruelty towards the baptists and others.,
It is no pleasing theme for me to enlarge on these things. I wish to insist no farther, than will merely suffice to establish the point under consideration. I would much rather draw the vail of forgetfulness over these things, if my duty, on the present topic, did not require it.
I must however, obviate one objection that may, perhaps, be made against the use I make of the above historic evi. dence, viz. that this persecuting spirit is not a necessary appendage to infant spriukling. I do not say that every pedo-baptist did, or does, possess such a spirit; and no doubt the increase of religious and political knowledge, has tended much to suppress such a spirit-yet, I could wish that we had not evidence, so convincing, that the same spirit yet exists; and in many instances vents itself, even at the very threshold of the city of refuge, which our consti, tution and laws have established, for the common benefit of inen of all religious persuasions. The spirit of persecution, I am convinced, necessarily grows out of the system, inasmuch as it necessarily confounds the radical distinction betwixt the church and the world, by making baptism a birth-right privilege, and thereby bringing the world into the church. The world, I say, in as far as the professors are pedo-baptists, which was once almost universally the case, throughout all the nations professing Christianity The obvious and necessary consequence of which was, the