A Looking-Glass for the Presbyterians at New-London is the account written by John Rogers III (1724-79) of the Rogerenesí ďGrand CountermoveĒ of 1764-66, their protest against the establishment of the Congregational church as a state-supported church and against the doctrines and practices of that church. Quakertown Rogerenes were active in this protest, and The Battle-Axe includes the account of Timothy Watrous, Sr., of his involvement.
James Swift Rogers provides the following information about John Rogers III (James Rogers of New London, Ct., and His Descendants, Boston, 1902, pp. 99-101): ďJohn Rogers lived on the central third of the Mamacock farm, left him by his father, and occupied his fatherís house.Ē ďHe married Jan. 2, 1755, Delight, daughter of Capt. Benjamin and Almy (Angell) Greene.Ē ďHe was an educated man of more than ordinary business ability, and highly respected by his townsmen. He was appointed guardian of his two minor brothers and executor of his fatherís large estate.Ē ďHe died Feb. 11, 1779, of small pox, in a pest-house, near the river. He requested to see his family before he died, and was allowed to look at them through a window.Ē ďOn account of the Quaker sentiments of the Rogerenes the British spared their houses when New London was burned ; many people of the town availed themselves of the opportunity to store their valuables in the buildings thus preserved. Tradition states that the large front room, 20 x 25, in the house of widow Delight Rogers, was piled with such articles nearly to the ceiling.Ē
For more information about the ďGrand CountermoveĒ and the ministry at New London of the Rev. Mather Byles, see Jonathan Blake Vaughanís 2009 thesis No Peace in New London: Mather Byles, the Rogerenes, and the Quest for Religious Order in Late Colonial New England (Miami University, Oxford, Ohio) and Anna B. Williams's chapter "The Grand Countermove (1764-1766)" (The Rogerenes, Boston: Stanhope Press, 1904, pp. 284-97).
PRESBYTERIANS at New-London;
To see their Worship and Worshippers weighed in
the Balance, and found wanting.
With a true Account of what the People called Rogerenes, have suffered in that Town from the 10th of June 1764, to the 13th of December 1766. Who suffered for testifying, That it was contrary to Scripture for Ministers of the Gospel to teach for hire. That the First Day of the Week was no Sabbath by Godís Appointment. That sprinkling Infants is no Baptism, and nothing short of Blasphemy, being contrary to the Example set us by Christ and his holy Apostles. That long Public Prayers in Synagogues is forbidden by Christ. Also for reproving their Church and Minister, for their great Pride, Vain-Glory, and Friendship of the World which they lived in. With a Brief Discourse in Favour of Womenís prophecying or teaching in the Church.
Written by JOHN ROGERS, of New-London.
Thou shalt speak my Words unto them, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear. Ezek. ii. 7.
Arise and speak unto them all that I command thee, be not dismayed at their Faces, lest I confound thee before them. Verse 19. [Jer. 1:17]
They shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee, for I am with thee saith the Lord to deliver thee. JER. i. 17. [Jer. 1:19]
What I tell you in Darkness that speak ye in Light, and what ye hear in the Ear, that preach ye upon the House-Tops: And fear not them which kill the Body, &c. MATT. x. 27, 28.
Printed for the AUTHOR. M DCC LXVII.
A LOOKING-GLASS, &c.
WE had been many times to the meeting-house at New-London, to put the minister and people in mind how contrary their worship was to the scriptures, and that it was not the worship of God. But we could never persuade the minister nor congregation to stop and hear what we had to say concerning these articles above-mentioned, their deeds being evil, as Christ said, John iii. 20, 21. Every-one that doth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God.
June 10, 1764. We went to the meeting-house at New-London, and some of our people went into the house and set down, others tarried without, and sat upon the ground some distance from the house. And when Mather Byles, their priest, began to say over his formal synagogue prayer, forbidden by Christ, Matt. vi. 5, &c. some of our women began to knit, others to sew, that it might be made manifest they had no fellowship with such unfruitful works of darkness. But justice Coit and the congregation were much offended at this testimony, and fell upon them in the very time of their prayer, and pretended divine worship; also they fell upon all the rest of our people that were setting quietly in the house, making no difference between them that transgressed their law, and them that transgressed it not; for they drove us all out of the house in a most furious manner; push-
ing, striking, kicking, &c. so that the meeting was broken up for some considerable time, and the house in great confusion: Moreover they fell upon our friends that were setting abroad, striking and kicking both men and women, old and young, driving all of us to prision in a furious and tumultuous manner, stopping our mouths when we went to speak, choaking us, &c. So Justice Coit committed us to prison, to lie there until the evening of the next day, and then to be set at liberty without a trial. Now let us try these worshippers by the scriptures, and see if they be worshippers of the true God: For Christ saith, Matt. vii. 18. &c. a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, and by their fruits ye shall know them, Thus it appears by Christís own mouth, that it is an evil tree that brings forth evil fruit: Also the scripture saith, 1 Cor. xiii. 4. Charity suffereth long, and is kind. Verse 5, Is not easily provoked, Verse 7. Beareth all things, endureth all things. Now it is evident by this text, that this church notwithstanding all her pretended solemn prayers and outward pretences of worshipping God, had not charity, which is the love of God. For they could not bear all things, endure all things, but were easily provoked, and the corrupt fruit these pretended Christians brought forth, even in the very time of their most solemn devotion, manifested that which lay hid in their inside, according to Christís testimony of such a generation. Matt. xxiii. 27, 28. Woe unto you scribes and pharisees, hypocrites, for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Also the scripture saith, 1 Cor. i. 25, &c. The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. And that God hath
chosen the foolish, weak and base things of the world, and things which are despised, to confound the wise and mighty, that no flesh should glory in his presents. And thus it appeared, for the weakness and foolishness of the cross in these womenís knitting and sewing, proved stronger and wiser than all the worldly wisdom and strength of that church, for it stripped their worship naked, and left their painted hypocrisy without any covering, and the inside of these whited sepulchers appeared to be as the scripture saith, Rev. xviii. 2. The habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
The next first day of the week we went among them again, to warn them to forsake their false worship, pride, &c. But justice Coit being very angry at our coming, fell upon us in a furious manner, as he did the week before, striking and kicking both men and women, setting an example to the rest of the people, so he committed us to prison, to lie there two days, and then to be set at liberty in the evening without trial. But we constantly came among them every first day of the week, to witness against their false worship, and to warn them to flee from the wrath to come.
But the authority and minister, and some of the people were greatly offended at our opposing their false worship; for they carried on their worship in such pride, and so contrary to the holy scriptures, that they could no ways defend it by the scripture, and therefore took another way to defend it, never practiced by Christ or any of his followers. For justice Coit, did continually fall upon us when we came among them, and drive us to prison, in an angry and furious manner; sometimes twenty, sometimes thirty in a day, striking and kicking both men and women, pulling off womenís caps and bon-
nets, and tareing them to pieces with his hands, setting an example to the rest of the people: Also he made no difference between them that spoke at the meeting-house against their worship, and those that did not speak; for his constant practice was to fall upon all our friends that came to the meeting-house, and all that he could see in sight of the house, and drive them to prison; he and his company, in a most furious and tumultious manner, stopping their mouths when they went to speak, choaking them, &c. Also he doubled our imprisonments every time we came among them: but this method he took, added no peace to them, for some of our friends were always coming out of prison, as well as going in, and so always ready to oppose their false worship every first day of the week, and they found this scripture fulfilled. Isaiah lvii. 21. There is no peace saith my God to the wicked. However, this was the method they took, and after this manner they celebrated their sabbaths from the 10th of June, to the 12th of August.
And then we prisoners, seeing justice Coitís mob driving some of our friends before them, to commit them to prison for near four months, as appeared by his mittimus; and then to be set at liberty in the evening, without a trial, for so all his mittimuses run: Then seven of us prisoners having an opportunity, barred the outside prison door, and held them fast at the door, according to the example set us by Elisha the prophet, 2 Kings, vi. 32. in such an unlawful case; and in this we did not resist the authority of the government, but a company of lawless men for justice Coit, (if he may be so called) and his company proceeded against us without any order of law: Also we blew a shell in the prison, in defiance of their idol sabbath, and to mock their false worship,
as Elijah mocked the worshippers of Baal: 1 Kings, xviii. 27. But the authority, and a multitude of people soon assembled themselves together, at the prison, and the high sheriff demanded entrance, but we employed ourselves in exhorting the authority and people to repentance. The authority seeing this, gave orders to break open the prison door; so they went to work, and laboured exceeding hard on their sabbath, cutting with axes, and heaving at the door with iron bars for a considerable time, till they were wearied, but could not break open the door. Then justice Coit and a great company with him, went up to the garret window by a ladder, and got into the garret, and laboured very hard for some considerable time to cut away a very thick strong trap door, full of iron spikes; and after they had obtained their end, they came down among us, and took away our bibles, provision, bedding, and every thing they could find: Also they committed their prisoners.
About two days after this, we were taken out of prison and brought before justice Coit, and two other justices, who required bonds of us for good behaviour; but we refused to give such bonds, judging we had not behaved ill, nor resisted the authority of the government, in baring the prison door against Daniel Coit and his lawless company: so they committed us to prison, to lye there till November court; but they turned all the rest of our friends out of prison, that justice Coit had committed to prison in such an unlawful and mobbish manner. Now from this time to November court, when our friends went to the meeting-house and witnessed against their worship, or carted wood to the prisoners on the first day of the week, justice Coit would fine them, and commit them to prison on judgments of court; but he doubled their imprisonment no more after they stopped the prison door.
The 2d day of December, being the second week of the courts setting, our friends that stopped the prison door, were carried to Norwich court and fined forty shillings each, and about forty shillings toll was laid on each of them; Execution was given out, and their estates taken away to satisfy the fine and charges: but the court ordered our friends to be set at liberty, that justice Coit had committed to prison on judgments of court: But after the court set those people at liberty, justice Coit sent executions and took oxen, cows, and other estate from these people that he had so long confined in prison, to satisfy the fine and charges which he laid upon them when he first committed them to prison.
After this imprisonment, justice Adams undertook to stop our testimony against their worship, by confining us in his house on the first days of the week, when we came among them, and when their worship was over he would set us at liberty. This method he practiced for some considerable time. In his house we many times met with rough treatment. After his we were several times driven from the meeting-house, into a slaughter-house in a rigorous manner: One of the selectmen of the town, would beat our women with his hands, and rub dirt and dung in their faces, and force it into their mouths: but when their divine worship, as they call it, was over they would set us at liberty. But October 13, 1765, some of our friends was in the meeting-house, and when the hired priest began to say over his carnal prayer, forbidden by our blessed saviour, Mat. vi. 5, &c. some of our women being moved with zeal, sewed with their needles, that it might be known they had no fellowship with such unfruitful works of darkness. Then justice Coit drove them out of the house, but he said the men might set in the house, if they would
be orderly: then one of our men told him, that the priest had ordered our hats to be taken off, and that we could not have so much fellowship with his carnal prayer, as to set quietly without our hats: then the justice ordered him to be taken care of. Upon this others spoke, and told the people their worship was contrary to the scripture, and therefore not the worship of God: so justice Coit committed six of our friends to prison. October 15, they beat the drum through the street, and gathered the people of the town together, and took our friends out of prison, and whipped five of them publickly at the beat of the drum. When the first of these sufferers was taken out of prison to receive his sentence of whipping, the sheriff asked if any body would pay his fine for him: but he told the sheriff and people, he did not want any body to pay his fine; and then went to justice Coit, and told him that their worship was the worship of devils: and when he had received ten severe stripes, and was untied from the post, he told justice Coit again, that their worship was the worship of devils, and that God would overthrow it.
The next first day of the week, justice Coit committed twelve more of our friends to prison for the like testimony. October 23, they were taken out of prison, and nine of them publickly whipped, at the beat of the drum, and then committed to prison again: But soon after the prison keeper was sent to bring them out, one by one, with their bedding and other goods; but the sheriff stood in the lower entry, and as they came out he took away all their goods from them that he could find, without making any demand, or showing any execution.
The next first day of the week, we went into the meeting-house again, and one of our friends went up to justice Coitís pew, and told him that he had
whipped us twice for testifying against their false worship, and that now we were come again in the same testimony: for what Christ tells us in darkness, he requires us to speak in the light; and what we hear in the ear, to proclaim upon the house tops, and not to fear them that kill the body: moreover he told the people that their worship was not the worship of God, and that God was about to overthrow it. For these, and other words spoken by our friends against their worship, justice Coit committed eight of us to prison. November 1, he sentenced seven of these people to be publickly whipt, but committed them to prison again, and deferred their punishment to the 4th of November.
The next first day of the week, three of our men went into the meeting-house, and boldly witnessed against their false worship, pride, &c. November 4th, these three men were sentenced to be publickly whipped, and then committed to prison, with the other seven; and soon after they were taken out, and nine of them whipped.
There was among the prisoners, an old woman near about seventy years of age, that had been publickly whipped the week before, at the beat of the drum, and was sentences to be whipped this time, but was not whipped; it was supposed her fine was paid by some of the spectators. She seeing her friends and children taken out of prison, one by one, and tied to the post and whipped before her eyes, she sung this verse:
Let God arise, and then his foes
Shall turn themselves to flight;
His enemies they also shall
Be driven out of sight.
There was one of these sufferers that as taken out of prison to receive his sentence of whipping, who
was comforted with these words, The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runneth therein and are safe.
There was another of these sufferers after he had received ten severe blows on his naked body, turned about and told the people, he hoped he should be more full in his testimony against their false worship than he had been.
Another of these sufferers after his second public whipping, testified to the people at the post, that it was the true God and eternal life that was with him in his testimony and sufferings.
The next first day of the week, after our third whipping, being the 10th of November, a guard was set to keep us from the meeting-house, yet two of our men escaped the guard, and went into the house, and boldly declared against their false worship, and justice Coit committed them to prison. November 14, being their pretended thanksgiving day, one of our friends went into the meeting-house, and told the people, God would not hear their prayers so long as they lived in such pride, and persecuted Godís children: but justice Coit ordered a constable to take care of him; and after their worship was over, about eight or ten men came out from their worship, among which was justice Coitís son William, and two of the high sheriffís sons, and took him out of a house, and the justiceís son laid hold on him, and said, ďcome you dog, you shall go along with us:Ē So they carried him to a place of muddy water, and threw him into it several times: also they threw mud and dirt in his face, and upon him for some time: But he testified to these wicked men, when they had him in the water, that he felt a peaceable quiet spirit, which they could not disturb. After this he was carried by the sheriffís house, where justice Coit was,
who had a mittimus ready, and committed him to prison, in that wet and dirty condition.
The next first day of the week, being the 17th of November, some of our friends went through the town, and an old man aged about 73 years, cryed repentance through the street, and as he went, he stopped at the authorities houses, and warned them of the danger they were in, if they did not repent of their presecuting Godís people: moreover he told them, that the cries of Godís suffering children was gone up before God, and that the Lord Jesus was coming with ten thousands of saints to execute judgment upon all their ungodly deeds. Now after they had gone through the town, they went to the meeting-house about the time that they were gathered together for their forenoon meeting; but the people at the meeting-house fell upon our friends in a very angry manner, and drove them into the school-house by justice Coitís order, and a constable kept the door, and confined them there: and in the evening a very great concourse of people, both men and women came together to the school-house, and our friends were taken out, one by one, both men and women, and their heads and cloaths were tarred with warm tar: also they rubbed tar in some of their eyes, which was grievous: also they put tar into their hats, and put them on their heads: moreover they threw some of our friends into a ditch of water, and rolled them over, jumping upon them with their feet.
After this they took one of our friends that had been much abused that day, and one of his ribs broken by a Grand-Juryman, and forced him to the river and threw him in: Now he testified to these wicked men whilst they were abusing him, that he had a good conscience both towards God and man:
Some of these people thus used, were elderly people, that had great families of children and grand-children; and there is no doubt but this abuse was done to them by order of authority. Thus their pretended holy sabbath and divine worship ended for that day: By their fruits, saith Christ, ye shall know them. Some time after this we were confined in the school-house again, and one of our friends wrote upon the school-masterís slate as follows.
Our blessed Lord, for sinners sakes,
A crown of thorns did wear;
Why then should we ashamed be,
A crown of tar to bear.
The next first day of the week after our friends was tarred, we went to the meeting-house again; but they carried us away from the meeting-house to the school-house, and confined us there till their meeting was over, and then set us at liberty. The next day, being the 25th of November, these three men before mentioned, were taken out of prison and brought before Justice Coit. And he took up the writ he had against them, and read part of it and laid it down on the table, and asked them if they owned what they were charged with in that writ; they answered they did own it; and they told the Justice more that they said at the meeting-house than he had got in his writ against them. Then justice Coit said, What would you have us do? Then our friends told him they would have them get into the love of God, and get such a meek and lowly spirit, as to be willing to hear the meanest of Godís children, and to be like our saviour, who was so meek and lowly in heart as to wash his discipleís feet. So after some considerable discourse more, justice Coit set them at liberty, without inflicting any further punishment on them, thoí guilty of the like crime that he whipped us for just
before, three weeks running, and twice at the beat of the drum.
The next first day of the week, being the first day of December, we went among them again, and were confined in the school-house till their meeting was over, and then set at liberty. But as we passed by the meeting-house, justice Coitís son William, and the High-Sheriffís eldest son, and others with them, beset us, and the justiceís son said we deserved to be crucified. Now after they had let us go, and we were some considerable distance from them, they pursued after us to the upper end of the town, as men greedy after our blood, and indeed our lives have been threatened by that company; but when they came near to us they made a stop, and turned back.
February 2, 1766, some of our people were in the meeting-house, and when the priest began to say over his pretended prayer, as Christ saith, for a pretence they make long prayers, some of our women sewed with their needles: Then they turned them out of the house, but one of them went in again, and told the priest, that his prayers were a smoke in Godís nose, a fire that burns all the day long. Then they turned her out again, and she went to the back side of the house, and struck against the house several times, still to testify against his pretended prayer, that it might be declared upon the house-tops, that she had no fellowship with such unfruitful works of darkness, and she said she had a good conscience and boldness towards God in what she did, knowing she pleased God in it: But though she did it in a great self-denial, for no other end but to please God, yet some of the people ran out and fell upon her, and one of the Select-men of the town struck her several hard blows on her head and face, by which she was much hurt.
February 9, one of our women told the priest as he was in the pulpit, that God would reprove his great pride, and set his sins in order before his face: For these words she was committed to prison for several days, and then set at liberty.
February 16, some of our friends were setting quietly in the meeting-house, between meetings, and Colonel Saltanstall came in, and laid hold of an old man that had the numb palsy, aged 73 years, and with great violence hauled him out of the seat, setting an example to others, who fell upon them and drove them out of the house, and drove them to the court-house in a furious manner, and carried them up throí a trap-door into a dark garret, and locked them in, and at night a company of base men got together, among which was Dudley Saltanstall, son to Colonel Saltanstall, and two of justice Adamsís sons, and two of the High-Sheriffís sons, and Daniel Hurlbut, son to Titus Hurlbut one of the Selectmen of the town. This base company went into the court-house and shut themselves in, and took our friends out of the garret, and offered shameful abuse to our women in the dark. Now one of these women, as they were taking her down out of the garret through the trap-door, told them, that the Lord would come with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon all their ungodly deeds; her husband hearing this, cried out to the people of the town, that the Sodomites had got his wife. Another of these women as they were hauling her down through the trap door, cried all the while, Lord Jesus Christ deliver me; and no doubt God heard her prayers and the prayers of the rest, for the women were delivered in that they feared. Now after this shameful abuse to the women, they took two men and stripped of their cloaths and tied them to a post in the court-house, and whipped them
in a most unmerciful manner, especially one of them, which they struck unmerciful blows with a staff and with bunches of rods on his back, till it was like a jelly, also they rubbed tar into their wounds, and whipped upon the tar, forcing it into their flesh; also they rubbed tar in the mouths of the men and women when they went to speak. When these two men were first tied to the post they sang praises to God, and in the time of their torment, they called upon God to strengthen them.
After this they laid hold on these two men, and forced them to run down near to the town wharf, and threw them into the water several times; also they took their hats and threw water on them for some considerable time: moreover they threw the women into the water. After this the sheriffís eldest son and another man with him, took a poor weakly woman, forty odd years of age, and forced her to run through the street till she dropped down, and then they left her.
This woman told them if they did not repent, they would remember their nightís work when they and all men must appear before God to give an account of their deeds. Now after this shameful abuse, these people had to go near three miles wet, in a cold winter night, before they could shift their cloaths. This nightís work seems to exceed what was done by the Sodomites the night before their final overthrow.
Thus their pretended divine worship and holy sabbath ended for that day; Isaiah iii. 9. The shew of their countenance doth witness against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not.
Their worship is by Sodomites maintainíd,
By cruelties their worship is sustainíd;
No sons of Sodom ever yet were known,
Christís truth to favour, or his worship own.
Now the next first day of the week, after Colo. Saltanstall shut our friends up in the court-house and set his son Dudley, and others to abuse them, it being the 23d of February, we were coming to the meeting-house again, but as soon as we appeared in sight, Colonel Saltanstall run out and met us, and a great company with him, and fell upon us in a very angry manner, before we had spoke one word, to drive us to the court-house, as he did the week before, when our friends were setting quietly in the house between meetings. But as soon as they fell upon us, we spoke and made a great noise, and refused to go with them, telling them we chose to be killed publickly before the people, rather than to be murdered privately in the court-house.
Now the tumult grew very great, so that the meeting was† broken up for some considerable time, and they dragged both men and women on the ground to the court-house; some by their hands, some by their legs, and some by the hair of their heads, striking them with their fists, kicking them, striking and punching them with staffs, and tearing the cloaths off from their backs, and they dragged them into the court-house and hauled both men and women up two pairs of stairs, and hauled them up through a trap door into that dark loft that they had shut our friends up in the week before, and they locked them in. In this tumult an aged woman was so overcome that she fainted away, and they left her lying on the ground. Now there were present in this riot, justice Coit, justice Adams, justice Law, the High-Sheriff, and Col. Saltanstall, besides constables and grand-jurymen: There was also a Deacon among them, which makes us write as follows...
The deacon and the justices
Were busy in this fray,
Church members and grand-jurymen
Forgot their sabbath day.
Now after the tumult was over, these church members remembered their sabbath, and returned to their pretended divine worship again: But as soon as that was over, the authority consulted together at the meeting-house, and sent the High-Sheriff, who came with a company of men, and took down ten women out of that dark loft that the authority had shut them up in: Two of these women had young children with them, and another was big with child, and committed them to prison, leaving near twenty small children motherless at their homes. Now as the High-Sheriff was going from the meeting-house, to commit these women to prison, some of the people of the town asked him what they were going to do with our friends; the sheriff answered, that the women were to be committed to prison, but he said the men were to be delivered up to Satan to be buffeted; so the authority kept the men locked up in that dark garret till night, and then they were delivered up to the authorityís children, and a rude company of young men, who came and unlocked the trap-door, and abused our friends in the manner following: They took down one man first out of this dark loft, and brought him down into the lower room of the court-house, and tied his hands round a post, also they tied another line to his hands, and hoisted him up by a tackle, then they brought his knees round the post and tied them with a line, and stripped his cloaths up over his head, and tied them also; then they whipped him in a very barbarous manner by the light of a candle. And when they had done torturing him, they let him down, and shut him up in one of the court-house chambers. They then brought down another out of the garret, and tortured him
after the same manner as they did the first, and then shut him up also, pretending they would whip them all over again, except they would recant and promise not to come among them any more. There were twelve whippers that took turns to whip, and commonly three or four to whip one man, one after another, they pretended to give those men thirty-nine stripes each; but they used several sorts of whips, especially one unmerciful instrument made of cow-hide, also they whipped them with large rods tied together, some of which had ten in a bunch, so that they far exceeded thirty-one stripes, for they struck each person thirty-nine times with these cruel instruments, except one man, which after they had struck him thirty unmerciful blows, one of the spectators ran and untied him, telling the whippers he was an old man, and that they ought to use some discretion towards him. Nine men were thus used this night, all heads of families, some of which were elderly men, that had great families of children.
This whipping was executed in a very barbarous manner, for the rods were trimmed, and long sharp snags left on them, to tear the flesh of the sufferers, also these men that whipped our friends, struck them in such a violent manner with these heavy bunches of rods, that they beat and bruised their flesh till it was like a jelly. Moreover, some of the wrists were so cut and their sinews so much hurt with the line they hung by, that several of their hands were numb for more than two months after. Also them two men that had been so unmercifully whipped by this company in the court-house the week before, and otherwise abused, as is already related, were of these nine that suffered this night: And they struck one of these men, he that had been the most abused the week before, forty-three cruel blows on his old sores, and
ten or twelve of these blows were after he was swooned away. Our persecutors cut these rods, upon their sabbath, and fitted them at the court-house, and Colonel Saltanstall was at the court-house among them, when they were preparing these rods.
The names of the men that whipped us are as follows: Two of Cononel Saltanstallís sons, Dudley and Richard, also William Coit, son to justice Coit, two of justice Adamsís sons, William and Pygan, two of the High-Sheriff Christopherís sons, Christopher and Joseph, also Butolph Hurlbut, son to Titus Hurlbut, one of the selectmen of the town, also John Chapman and Gideon Stacey, John Spooner and John Waigh, son to Thomas Waigh. Our friends that suffered this night, asked no favour of their persecutors, but called earnestly upon God to strengthen them to go through their trial. But when their persecutors heard them praying and calling upon Christ for strength, they would threaten them, and whip with all their might, endeavouring to make them promise to renounce their testimony against their worship, but were not able to make one of them renounce their testimony, or make any promise at all: But the sufferers told them to this effect, that what they did against their worship was for no other end but to please God and keep a good conscience, and that if they should promise to renounce their testimony, God would renounce their souls for ever. Also when some of these men had suffered this cruel whipping, and were shut up in the court-house chamber, they prayed earnestly to God to strengthen their brethren that were to suffer, also they prayed for their persecutors, for God gave them a more than common love to those that were tormenting them.
So after these nine men had suffered they were set at liberty, their persecutors threatened them to double
their whipping every time they came to the meeting-house among them. And no doubt they would have gone farther had not God prevented them by making a division among the people; the neighbouring towns crying out against such barbarous and unlawful behaviour; also it was a common saying among the people, that they were sorry their rulers had resigned up their authority to a company of boys, and set them to defend their worship.
The 27th day of February these ten women before-mentioned, were taken out of prison and brought before justice Coit, and he called that wicked company together, that he and the rest of the authority at New-London had just before set to abuse our men. And instead of punishing them for abusing our friends, he made witnesses of them against these women, and fined them forty shillings each, and laid nineteen shillings cost on each of them: Also he required bonds of good behaviour, pretending they had broken the peace and sabbath in a high-handed manner, but they refused to give such bonds: So justice Coit committed them to prison to lie there till the court, which was to set at Norwich the fifteenth of April: Yet there was not one of these women that spoke one word at the meeting-house before Colonel Saltanstall, and that wicked company fell upon them, and some of these women did not speak after they fell upon them, only cried out under the abuse they met with, by being dragged such a length of way on the ground, and hauled up two pair of stairs, through a trap door into the court-house garret, in such a cruel and indecent manner as has been already related. Now whether it was these women that were guilty of breaking the peace and sabbath in a high-handed manner, as is charged against them: Or whether it was justice Coit and that company with him that abused them at
the meeting-house, that was guilty of breaking the peace and sabbath in a high-handed manner, and of a riot also, we shall leave to the judgment of the reader.
A particular account of these two last mobs, and of these ten womenís imprisonment was laid before the county court at Norwich, April 15, 1766, the day that their bonds were up. But the authority at New-London kept all these women in prison till June court, except two, who were set at liberty a few days before court, notwithstanding their bonds were up the 15th of April. Now seven of these women were menís wives, so that the authority could have no cloak of law for imprisoning them after their bonds were up.
The 10th day of June, being the first day of the courtís setting, these women sent a paper into court to inform the judges of their wrong imprisonment: And some days after one of our friends asked two of the judges, whether it was according to law to keep menís wives in prison upon executions.
The same day after this question was put to the judges, two of these women were set at liberty. One was the woman before mentioned, that was big with child when she was committed to prison, her husband carried her home, and she was delivered of a child within three hours after she went out of the prison. A few days after three more were turned out of prison, and the 21st day of June the last of these women were set at liberty. Now the next first day of the week, after the authority had shut our friends up in the court-house garret, and delivered them up to the young people to be abused; we went into the meeting-house, and Colonel Saltanstall told us to take off our hats; but we told him it was a principle we held, and that we ought to have liberty to wear
our hats: But he said, we should not wear them in the time of divine worship; so he ordered our hats to be taken off, and we went out of the house. Now how he can prove their worship to be divine we know not: For it is certain their worshippers are very corrupt, and the fruits they bring forth very evil. The next first day of the week we went into the meeting-house again, and justice Coit told us to take off our hats; but we insisted hard upon wearing them. Then the priest spoke in the pulpit as follows: I solemnly declare before God and this assembly, that as long as I officiate in the priestís office in this house, no man shall sit here with his head covered, and then struck his hand hard upon the pulpit in confirmation of his words. So justice Coit ordered our hats to be taken off, and we went out of the house. Now our hats is such an offence to this proud priest, that he will neither preach nor pray when they are in sight. And this has been often proved, and especially one time not long since: When he saw some of our friends setting without the meeting-house door on the steps, he stopped in the midst of his service, and shut up his bible, and told the authority they were come again: But the authority seemed to take but little notice of it, but the priest continued insisting that they should be taken away from the door; and at last told the authority plainly, that if they did not order them away he would not preach to them; so then the authority gave orders, and they moved them from the door.
But although this priest is so offended at our hats, yet he is no ways offended at the authority and people for their cruel and unlawful behaviour towards us, all which he has publickly justified: But the hat he cannot endure, pretending it is contrary to 1 Cor. xi. 4. Every man praying or prophecying hav-
ing his head covered, dishonoureth his head. Now if this priest would but read the next words, he might see it to be as contrary to scripture for women to pray or prophecy uncovered, yet his meeting is full of young women with their heads naked, but that gives him no offence at all, it is the fashion so to dress. And if he would but read carefully what the apostle saith about this covering, he might see that the apostle tells plainly himself, before he leaves the matter, what covering it is that he is treating of; as is to be seen in the 13th, 14th, and 15th verses of this chapter. Judge in yourselves, is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered: Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair it is a shame unto him: But if a woman have long hair it is a glory to her, for her hair is given her for a covering.
Thus it appears that the apostle is speaking of the hair, and not of any garment of the body: Also God commanded his ministers under the law, to cover their heads with a garmet, when they came to minister in his presence, and not to wear long hair; as appears Ezek. xliv. 18, 20, They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, &c. Nor suffer their locks to grow long.
April 13. Some of our friends were setting in the meeting-house, but when the priest came in he ordered their hats to be taken off; when one of our friends, an old man, told him that he had something on his mind to speak to the people, and would be glad to have him hear it: but the priest said he would hear nothing from him, and commanded the people to turn our friends out of the house. But the priest seeing the people very moderate, and unwilling to meddle with us, he soon grew angry, and called to the young men in the galleries, and bid them come down and carry them fellows out of the house: then
an aged woman of our company, being near the pulpit, spoke to this effect, ďWoe, woe to them that worship idols, and persecute Godís people.Ē These words she repeated sundry times: so they moved us out of the house very moderately, and we went away.
We have lately seen a paragraph in a Boston newspapers [sic], as follows: We hear the Sons of Liberty at New-London, have taken such methods with the sect called Rogerenes, that they are prevented from disturbing the worshipping assemblies in that neighbourhood on Lordís Day: a practice they have followed more or less, for many years past, and which all the laws made in the government, and executed in the most judicious manner, could not put a stop to.
Answer. As to what they have heard concerning our testimony being prevented, is not to be credited, for we hear no such news at New-London, neither have we any reason to believe that our rulers at New-London, have gained either strength or credit in delivering us up to the young people, and setting them to abuse us.
But they positively affirm in this news paper, that all the laws made in the government, and executed upon us for many years past, could not put a stop to our testimony or disturbance as they call it.
This affirmation is true, and it is good proof that we are not like the stoney ground, spoken of Mat. xiii. 20, 21: but have digged deep, and laid our foundation on a rock; according as we read Luke vi. 48. and Mat. vii. 24, 25. Moreover we may consider that all the laws made in Rome for many years past, and executed upon the protestants, could not put a stop to their testimony: nor all the cruel and barbarous laws made in Boston government, and executed upon the people called Quakers, in the most rigorous manner, and the righteous blood shed in that govern-
ment could not put a stop to the testimony of that people.
Sept. 14, 1766. Some of our people went and set down some distance from the priestís house, and when he came out to go to meeting, they walked with him and endeavoured to have some friendly discourse with him concerning the things of God: But the priest would not talk with them about the things of God. However, they walked with him and talked to him, but before they came to the meeting-house, justice Coit began to kick them in a furious manner, especially the women. Also one of the townsmen fell upon them, punching both men and women with a staff in a cruel manner, so they were driven by some of the people to the upper end of the town.
The next first day of the week, being the 21st of September, as some of us were setting by the side of a house, between meetings, about four or five rods from the priestís house, saying nothing to any person, the High-Sheriff came with some assistants and took us and sent for justice Coit, who came and committed eight men of us to prison. And on the 26th day of the same month, justice Coit came to the prison, and we were taken out, and brought before him, and he charged us with disturbing the ministerís peace: We told him we had no thought of doing the minister any hurt: Justice Coit answered, that he did not suppose that we intended to strike him or wrestle with him, nor he did not suppose that we intended to hurt a hair of his head; but he supposed that we intended when the minister came out to go along by his his side and talk with him. So when justice Coit had confessed that he did not suppose we intended to hurt a hair of the priestís head, he fined us five shillings each, and required bonds of good behaviour towards all his majestyís subjects, but especially towards the priest. But we refused to have such bonds, looking upon the judg-
ment to be very absurd, and that justice Coitís supposing that we intended to talk with the priest was not breach of peace in us, so he committed seven of us to prison again, all heads of families, one of which men was in his seventy-fifth year. Four of these men were kept in prison till the 13th of December following, and two were set at liberty about the 28th of November, and one within a few days after we were committed to prison.
Now after these men were committed to prison, our friends that were at liberty thought it necessary that some of our people should go on the first days of the week and set in the priestís sight, and not fear them that persecute the body. But when the priest saw them sitting in sight, if it were but a few women, he would not come out of his house to go to meeting, which manifested him to be a shepherd that did not care for his sheep, according to Christís testimony, John x. 13. The hireling fleeth because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. Also this behaviour of the priest occasioned much trouble to his poor flock, for sometimes the bell would ring and the people set waiting for their priest till it was time for meeting to be half done: And then justice Coit, or some of the rest of his sheep were obliged to come and move the women out of the priestís sight, and guard their shepherd to the meeting-house, lest these women should speak to him of the things of God.
It was almost every first day of the week for the whole time of this imprisonment, which was near three months, that this shepherd was kept in his house by the sight of our friends, and sometimes only at the sight of a few women, and he never ventured to come out till some of his sheep came and drove the women away. But justice Coit committed no more of our friends to prison under bonds of good
behaviour, because he supposed they intended to talk with the priest after these men abovementioned. But the 23d of November, one of our men told the priest after he was come out of the meeting-house, that he came to put him in mind how they kept Godís children in prison, and that their worship was upheld by cruelty. The priest answered to this effect, that they could uphold it no other way. Then the man replied it must certainly be of the devil if there is no other way to uphold it but by cruelty. But the sheriff struck him twice on his head, and punched him with his staff to prevent his speaking to the priest. And he and three women were committed to prison, but at night they were set [at] liberty. Some of our neighbours argue that they have built them a meeting-house, and have a natural right to worship in it; and that no person has any right to come into their house and oppose their worship.
But how they can maintain this argument we know not, except they deny God to have any authority over them, for God said, Jer. i. 7. Thou shall go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shall speak. Also the apostle Paul exhorteth us to be followers of him as he was of Christ, 1 Cor. xi. 1. And Paul spent much time in going from place to place, disputing in the synago[g]ues on the sabbath days, as appears in the Acts of the Apostles. And no doubt they built their synagogues, and thought as our neighbours do, that they had a natural right to worship in them, and that the apostle had no right to oppose them in their worship, for they were as much offended at the apostle as our neighbours are at us, for they called him a pestilent fellow, and said he was a mover of sedition throughout the world, Acts xxiv. 5. Also speaking of Paul and
Silas, they said, Acts xvii. 6. These that have turned the world up side down, are come hither also.
Now the reason that we oppose our neighbours in their worship is, because Christ hath enlightened us both by his spirit and the scriptures, to see that their worship is carried on in pride and in the vain glory of this world contrary to the scriptures, by the instigation of that old serpent called the devil and satan which deceiveth the whole world, Rev, xii. 9. And Godís children are his witnesses, Isaiah xliii. 12. Ye are my witnesses saith the Lord. And God requires his witnesses to be faithful and zealous in opposing false worship; as appears both from the old testament and the new; for it was the work of Godís children under the law to destroy false worship: it was the statutes and judgments that God commanded them to observe and do all the days that they lived on the earth: see Deut. xii. 1, &c. It was Isarelís arrant [sic] out of Egypt, to destroy the false worship of them kingdoms, as appears by the following scriptures; Exod. xxxiv. 10 to 18 verse. Exod. xxiii. 20 to 26. Deut. vii. 1 to 6 verse. Numb. xxxiii. 50, 51, 52.
Moreover they were commanded of God to destroy all such among themselves as went after false worship; and not to pity or conceal any, though it were their sons and daughters, or wife of their bosom, if they enticed them to go and serve other Godís [sic]; but they were commanded to witness against them; and their hands were to be first upon them, to put them to death, and afterwards the hands of all the people: see Deut. xiii. 6 to 12 ver. and chap. xvii. 2 to 8 v.
Now under the law, Godís people were to destroy false worship by the carnal sword; but under the gospel by the word of their testimony, as appears Rev. xii. 11. And they overcame by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved
not their lives unto the death: Also Christ saith, Mat. x. 27, 28. What I tell you in darkness, that speak in the light, and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the house tops, and fear not them that kill the body, &c. Thus it appears by these scriptures that Christ requires his witnesses to be very zealous in testifying against false worship: And it is this Godly testimony that our neighbours are offended at, it is the division Christ came to make, for he came not to send peace on earth, but a sword; he came to kindle a fire, and make a division: See Mat. x. 34, &c. Also Luke xii. 49 and 51. Now the established ministers of this land, learn their trades and hire themselves out as other tradesmen do: They are hired by the year to preach, as idolators were of old; Judg. xvii. 10. And our saviour saith, the hireling careth not for the sheep: John x. 13. Also Christ calls such false prophets and ravening wolves: Mat. vii. 15. Moreover Christ saith they devour widows houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: Mat. xxiii. 14. Also the prophet cries out against such hirelings: Isaiah lvi. 10. His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs. Verse 11 Yea, they are greedy dogs, which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand, they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.† And do not the hireling watchmen of this land, look to their own way, even to their own worldly interest, every one for his gain from his quarter or parish, as much as those watchmen did in the prophet Isaiahís time: Ezek. xxxiv. 2, 3. Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves, should not the shepherds feed the flock, ye eat the fat and ye cloath you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed, but ye feed not the flock.† Also we read 2 Tim. iv. 3. and 2 Peter ii. 3. that the time would come when they would heap to
themselves teachers having itching ears, and that they would make merchandize of the people: And we see these scriptures fulfilled in this our day; for there is such heaps of vain youths brought up at colleges, that they sworm out like locusts out of the smoak [sic] of the bottomless pit: Rev. ix. 2, 3. Enough to supply every town and village in the country, and to spare; for they are as thick as Baalís priests were in the days of Elijah.
Also these hireling priests teach people to observe the first day of the week as a sabbath, but the scripture teacheth no such thing, for there is not one word in all the scripture that says any thing about it being a sabbath: And the scripture says, where no law is, there is no transgression, Rom. iv. 15. And sin is not imputed when there is not law, Rom. v. 13. To the law and the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah viii. 20.
Moreover these hireling priests sprinkle people, instead of baptizing them, and sprinkle little infants also, contrary to the practice and example given to us both by Christ and his holy apostles, as appears by these following scriptures; Acts ii. 38. Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the holy ghost. But infants have nothing to repent of, for they are not capable of committing sin, for they have no knowledge between good and evil: See Deut. i. 39. Also we are to be buried with Christ by baptism: Rom. vi. 4. Buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. And Christís messengers always baptized the believing and repenting sinner, by burying him in the water, in the like-
ness of Christís death, and raising him up out of the water in the likeness of Christís resurrection; as appears throughout the new testament: Acts viii. 37, 38, 39. And Philip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest, and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the Eunuch, and he baptized him, and when they were come up out of the water, &c. Mat. iii. 5, 6. Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
Thus it appears by these scriptures, that we must repent and believe with all our heart, and confess our sins before we can be fit subjects of baptism: Also the Greek word baptize, is wash or dip in water: And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straight way out of the water, Mat. iii. 16. And John also was baptizing in Enon, because there was much water there, John iii. 23. Which scripture fully confutes and condemns this Popish practice of sprinkling instead of baptizing.
Also Christ commanded his disciples not to be like the hypocrites that prayed in synagogues and public places, Matt. vi. 5. But the hireling priests of the land go contrary to this plain command of Christ, and contrary to his practice: For the scripture does not shew that ever Christ or his apostles made a prayer in a public assembly when they were met together for preaching: Also the dress of their churches, which are dressed in gold and costly array, contrary to 1 Tim. ii. 9. and 1 Pet. Iii. 3. resembles the dress of mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, that was drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus, and arrayed in purple, and decked with gold, &c. harlot-like, Rev. xvii. 4. &c. Now Christ hath enlightened us both by his spirit and the scriptures, to see that all these articles above-named is
contrary to the scriptures, and that all the established worship of this land is upheld and carried on in pride and oppression, by the instigation of that old serpent called the devil and satan, which deceiveth the whole world, Rev. xii. 9. And Christ has called us to bear an open testimony against it, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear, for it is that which God hath appointed to utter destruction, and will be over thrown by the testimony of Godís children, as is written in these following scriptures, Rev. xii. 11. And they overcame by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death. Jer. li. 20. Thou art my battle-axe and weapons of war, for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms, &c. Zech. xii. 3. In that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; all that burden themselves with it, shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. Isaiah liv. 17. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shall condemn: This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
Concerning Womenís Prophesying or
Teaching in the Church.
WHEN God delivered Israel his chosen people from the Egyptian bondage, he did not send men teachers only, to instruct his church, but he sent a woman teacher also, to teach and instruct his people. See Mic. vi. 4. I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. Here we may see that God sent a woman teacher to instruct his church and people, and to
go before them, as he sent Moses and Aaron. Joel ii. 28. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Acts xxi. 9. Philip had four daughters that prophesied, these were teachers in the church: for the apostle says, 1 Cor. xiv. 3. He that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification and exhortation and comfort. So that these women were sent of God, to teach and exhort the church: Also in the first verse of this chapter, the church is exhorted to follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that they may prophesy. Verse 4th, He that prophesieth edifieth the church; that is by teaching and exhortations. Verse 5th, Greater is he that prophesieth. Here we may see that the apostle prefers the gift of prophesy or teaching as one of the most excellent gifts in the church. This excellent gift God bestows upon women. Joel ii. 28. Your daughters shall prophesy or teach. Moreover in the 4th chapter of Judges we have an account of Deborah, a prophetess, a judge that God raised up and sent to teach and instruct Israel his chosen people, and to go before them. Also we read 2 Kings xxii. 13, &c. of king Josiahís sending his princes to a woman teacher, for her to enquire of the Lord for him and for the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem: And she said unto the princes, thus saith the Lord God of Israel, tell the man that sent you unto me, &c. Also in Luke ii. 36. we have an account of one Anna, a woman teacher, that departed not from the temple, and spoke of Christ to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. Moreover we have an account in Rom. xvi. 3, &c. of Priscilla, Paulís helper in Christ Jesus, who for his sake, laid down her own neck. The woman was one that traveled with Paul, as appears Acts xviii. 18. Also when Apollos was speaking boldly in a synagogue, knowing only the baptism of John: This woman and her husband
took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of the Lord more perfectly. Acts xviii. 26.
Thus it appears by the holy scriptures, that God sends women to teach and instruct his church, and to expound the way of the Lord, and that he endues them with the gift of prophesy: And he that prophesieth saith the apostle, speaks to men to edification and exhortation and comfort.
But it may be objected that the apostle said to the church of Corinth, Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak.
To which we answer, That this church of Corinth had gotten into great confusion and disorder, as appears 1 Cor. xiv. 26. Every one having a psalm, a doctrine, a tongue, a revelation, an interpretation; so that the apostle is putting down disorder in the church, and disorderly women; and not such women as God had endued with the gift of prophesy, to teach and instruct his church; for such saith the apostle, speaks to men to edification and exhortation and comfort.
Neigher can we reasonably suppose that the apostle meant to silence such women as Miriam, that God raised up for a teacher, and sent before Israel with Moses and Aaron, to teach and instruct his church: Neither could he intend such women as Deborah the prophetess, a judge that God raised up and set over Israel, to teach and instruct his church, and to go before them: For such godly judges are to speak and teach in the church and not to be silent, see Judg. v. 10. Speak ye that ride on white asses, ye that set in judgment.
2d Object. That the apostle exhorted these women in the church of Corinth, if they would learn any thing, to ask their husbands at home. Answer. All women have not husbands at home; and some godly
women have unbelieving husbands that are not capable of teaching them, so that we may reasonably suppose the apostle to be reproving disorderly and talkative women, that had husbands at home that were capable of teaching them, and not such women as God had endued with the gift of prophecy; for such saith the apostle speaks to men, to edification, and exhortation and comfort.
3d Object. That the apostle said, I suffer not a woman to teach, nor usurp authority over the man.
Answ. Such women as God has endued with the gift of prophecy, to teach and instruct his church, speak by the authority of Christís spirit, and not by an usurped authority; and the apostle allows such women to pray and prophecy in the church, their heads being covered in token of their obedience: And such women as pray and prophecy in the church, teach in the church, and speak in the church, to edification and exhortation and comfort.
There are some things in Paulís epistles which are hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 2 Pet. iii. 15, &c.
ERRATA. In the Title Page, nine Lines from the Bottom, for Verse 19, read Jer. i. 17. The same Page, seven Lines from the Bottom, for Jer. i. 17. read Verse 19. Page 28, Line 14, for set liberty read set at liberty.
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