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chapTER ing-house at Boston, before the magistrates and deputies

* in joint session, “divers of the elders being present, and

1645, a great assembly of people.”

Winthrop placed himself below the bar, and, having heard the charges, made his defense. Half the deputies, with Bellingham and Saltonstall, who formed a sort of opposition in the board of magistrates, thought that too much power had been exercised, and that the people's liberties were in danger. The rest of the magistrates, with the other half of the deputies, thought authority too much slighted, “which, if not remedied in time, would endanger the commonwealth, and bring on a mere democracy.” o After a tumultuous hearing, a statement of facts was

drawn up, not without much difficulty, by a joint committee, and the two boards then separated, to deliberate apart. The deputies, equally divided, and unable, after much debate, to come to any conclusion, sent to the magistrates to ask their opinion. They replied, without hesitation, that the petition was false and scandalous; that the parties committed were all offenders; that they and the petitioners ought to be censured, and Winthrop acquitted and righted. The deputies, thus enlightened, after much debate voted the petition false and scandalous, but they would not agree to any censure. The magistrates proposed to refer the matter to the elders; but the disposition of the elders to side with the magis. trates was quite too notorious. Wearied at last by the length of the session, the deputies proposed an arbitration; the magistrates acceded, and named six elders on their part, requiring a like nomination from the deputies. Finally it was agreed to compromise matters by declaring Winthrop fully acquitted, and requiring the petitioners to pay the expenses of the session.

Sentence having been pronounced, Winthrop took his choren seat on the bench, and delivered a long speech, concluding as follows: “Concerning liberty, I observe a great 1645. mistake in the country about that. There is a twofold liberty, natural (I mean as our nature is now corrupt) and civil, or federal. The first is common to man with beasts and other creatures. By this, man, as he stands in relation to man simply, hath liberty to do what he lists; it is a liberty to evil as well as good. This liberty is incompatible and inconsistent with authority, and can not endure the least restraint of the most just authority. The exercise and maintaining of this liberty makes men to grow more evil, and, in time, to be worse than brute beasts, omnes sumus licentia deteriores—we all become worse by license. That is that great enemy of truth and peace, that wild beast, which all the laws of God are bent against, to restrain and subdue it. The other kind of liberty I call civil or federal; it may also be called moral in reference to the covenant between God and man in the moral law, and the political covenants and constitutions among men themselves. This liberty is the proper end and object of authority, and can not subsist without it, and it is a liberty to that only which is just, good, and honest. This liberty you are to stand for at the hazard not only of your goods, but of your lives, if need be. Whatsoever crosseth this is not authority, but a distemper thereof. This liberty is maintained and exercised in a way of subjection to authority; it is of the same kind of liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. The woman's own choice makes such a man her husband; yet, being so chosen, he is her lord, and she is to be subject to him, yet in a way of liberty, not of bondage; and a true wife accounts her subjection her honor and her freedom, and would not think her con

chapter

1645.

October.

dition safe, and free but in her subjection to her husband's authority. Such is the liberty of the church under the authority of Christ, her king and her husband. His yoke is so easy and sweet to her as a bride's ornaments; and if through frowardness and wantonness she shake it off at any time, she is in no rest in her spirit until she take it up again; and whether her lord smiles upon her, and embraceth her in his arms, or whether he frowns, or rebukes, or smites her, she apprehends the sweetness of his love in all, and is refreshed, supported, and instructed by every such dispensation of his authority over her. On the other side, ye know who they are that complain of this yoke, and say, let us break their bonds; we will not have this man to rule over us. Even so, brethren, it will be between you and your magistrates. If you stand for your natural corrupt liberties, and will do what is good in your own eyes, you will not endure the least weight of authority, but will murmur and oppose, and be always striving to shake off that yoke. But if you will be satisfied to enjoy such civil and lawful liberties as Christ allows you, then will you quietly and cheerfully submit unto that authority which is set over you, in all the administrations of it, for your good. Wherein if we fail at any time, we hope we shall be willing, by God's assistance, to hearken to good advice from any of you, or in any other way of God; so shall your liberties be preserved in upholding the honor and power of authority among you.” In spite, however, of Winthrop's eloquence and influence, there was still to be found in the colony some to whom the yoke of theocratic authority was not quite so easy and sweet. At the next session of the General Court, a petition was presented from divers merchants and others, asking a reconsideration of the law against Baptists, and a repeal of the act which prohibited the caster entertainment of strangers without license from a magistrate. In England, the doctrine of religious liberty 1645. had made great progress; the Independents already controlled the Parliament, and the petitioners complained that “many godly” in that country had taken great of. fense at these laws. A portion of the court were inclined to listen to this petition; but the elders went first to the deputies, and then to the magistrates, and representing what advantage it would give the Baptists, whose notions were fast spreading, they succeeded in obtaining a peremptory vote that the laws complained of should neither be altered nor explained. The Commissioners for the United Colonies added their support, advising at their next meeting the suppression of the influx of error, “under a deceitful color of liberty of conscience.” But, though any thing tending to liberty of conscience was not to be allowed, a concession was made to the jealousy of the freemen; the unpopular Council for Life was deprived of its military authority, and, thus stripped of the last vestige of power, it became but a mere name. Ever since the death of Miantonimoh, the young chief Pessacus, his brother and successor, and the rest of the Narragansets, had been in a state of great uneasiness. They had repeatedly sent presents to the colonists, requesting liberty to wage war against Uncas, whom they accused of having killed Miantonimoh, notwithstanding the acceptance of a ransom for him. This complaint had been specially investigated by the Commissioners for the United Colonies, and pronounced unfounded; for how could they fail to uphold their ally in an act done by their command and for their special benefit? They arranged a temporary truce, which having expired, the Narragansets sent war parties against Uncas. On news of these pro

chapter ceedings, a special meeting was forthwith called of the

Commissioners for the United Colonies, and prompt meas

1645. ures were taken for the support of this convenient ally. ** In the curious manifesto issued by the commissioners on

this occasion, they acknowledge their “lord and master” to be “king of peace and righteousness,” requiring them to hold forth an example not only to Europe, but to the “barbarous tribes of the wilderness.” They profess, indeed, “an awful respect to divine rules,” and an endeavor “to walk uprightly and inoffensively, and in the midst of many injuries and insults to exercise much patience

and long suffering;” but they argue that, under existing

circumstances, “God calls the colonies to war,” and they
order accordingly an immediate levy of three hundred
men. Sergeant-major Gibbons was appointed command-
er-in-chief, with Standish of Plymouth, Mason of Con-
necticut, Seely of New Haven, and Leverett and Ather.
ton of Massachusetts, as his council of war. Endicott
was still major general of Massachusetts; Gibbons, to
whom the leadership of this expedition was intrusted,
was commander of the Suffolk regiment. Originally
a wild companion of Morton of Merry Mount, he had
joined the Boston Church, and, having property, had estab-
lished himself in that town as a merchant. He was, so
Captain Edward Johnson tells us, “a man of resolute
spirit, bold as a lion, being wholly tutored up in New
England discipline, very generous and forward to promote
all military matters.” -
Alarmed at the preparations against him, and not
placing any great reliance on that patience and long suf-
fering, or that awful respect for divine rules of which the
treatment of Miantonimoh had furnished but unpromis-
ing specimens, Pessacus listened to Williams's advice and
hastened to Boston to make his peace. He could only

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