« PreviousContinue »
A SHORT DISCOURSE; SHEWING WHY THE WRIT, DE HÆRETICO COMBURENDO, SHOULD BE ABOLISHED,
Chrysippus non dicit idem, nec mite Thaletis
DEFORE I give my reasons, it will be necessary to shew the state D of the law at present upon this writ: before the statue, 2 Henry the Fourth, cap. 15, No person could be convicted of heresy, but by the archbishop, and all the clergy of the province; but, by that statute, any particular bishop might in his diocese convict of heresy, and issue forth bis precept to the sheriff, to burn the person he had convicted :' a law whereby the clergy had gained a dominion over the lives of the subjects independent upon the crown. It was repealed by the statute, 25 Henry the Eighth, cap. 14. ' But so as particular
bishops may still convict; but without the king's writ, de hæretico
comburendo, first obtained, no person convict can be put to death ;' and so the law stands at this day.
My REASONS are these : I. The continuance of this writ in force amongst us, is a standing reproach to the Christian religion we profess (a religion of love and peace.) If it be not to be propagated in the whole by force and blood. shed, certainly a part of it, as a particular point of faith in it, is not. In the gospel of Christ all the punishment of heresy, and of infidelity itself, are adjourned over, and left to the other world.
II. If an act pass to abolish this writ, it will be an act of indulgence in part, and give an assurance to all persons of a different judgment from the present established church, that they are secure as to their lives under the government.
III. If Popery should ever return back into England, there must a parliament sit to repcal such an act, before any Protestant for his opinion could be put to death,
IV. Such an act would leave the power of the present church to convict, excommunicate, and imprison untouched, only would take away their barbarous execution of her sentence.
If it be objected, « The writ is grown obsolete and disused, and so need not be taken away,' the answer is obvious; not so obsolete nei. ther: it was used in King James's time; however, it is fit it should not remain as a snare among our law, for the case concerus life or death ; and the Papists use the writ constantly against the Protestants, but they never against them.
THE LATE WARS RISEN IN NEW-ENGLAND, Occasioned by the quarrelsome disposition and perfidivus carriage of the barbarous and savage Indian natives there ; . .
WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE FIGHT THE 19th OF DECEMBER LAST, 1675.,
London, February 19th, 1675-6. Licensed, Henry Oldenburgh. London : printed by J. D. for M. K. and are to be sold by the Booksellers, 1676
Quarto, containing eight pages.
Boston, December 28th, 1675. TIS verily believed with us, that all generous minds in both Enge
1 lands, which concern themselves to enquire after our affairs in these parts of the world, and wish us well, have a longing desire the Indian wars might be ended; and we presumed e're this, that the powers of persuasion or force would have made a happy change, by altering the minds, or restraining the malice of our heathen foes.
But so it is, the rod of God's anger is still upon us; for the Pocanaket sachem Metacom, alias Philip, still lives! he lives to be vexation to us in all places where he comes: yea, he lives, and by his subtlety proves a more forcible and perillous enemy to us than ever we could have imagined. He hath drawn into his confederacy all the Indians, from Cape Sables eastward to the Mohawks, which is about three hundred miles or up. wards : and our fears are (which would to God they were but fears) that some traders of Europe, for love of gain, have from time to time supplied them with ammunition.
At the eastward, the Indians have ruined Falmouth Black Point, and Saco, and slain in those towns thirty persons : some they took alive, and sat them upright in the ground, using this sarcasm: “You English,
since you came into this country have grown exceedingly above ground, let us now see how you will grow when planted into the 'ground. At Ketterey they have slain fourteen persons, and burnt sundry houses: at Dover they also have killed some, and fired two or three houses. Our enemies proudly exult over us, and blaspheme the name of our blessed God, saying, "Where is your O God '' Taunting at the poor wretches, which, to make themselves sport with, they cruelly torture to death : but our affiance is in the God that made heaven and earth, who, when he arises, will scatter our enemies.
It hath been the great care of our council to distinguish between friends and enemies; for most of our mischiefs have flowed from pre. tended friends, who have demeaned themselves exceeding fairly with us, till they have bad the opportunity secretly and suddenly to endamage us, and then they fly to our avowed adversaries. Many of our commonalty would have all Indians (quatenus such) declared enemies : but our soberest sort justly fear to condemn the innocent with the guilty : knowing that justitia est firmitas regni; nor would they draw on them. selves the guilt of blotting out the interest of the Gospel amongst the Indians, remembering New-England was originally a plantation more famous for religion than trade; and to this day the Massachusets, in the impress of their publick seal, have an Indian engraven with these words, Come over and help us; alluding to Acts xvi. 9. Much intestine heart-burnings and complainings, not to say mutinies, have been about these matters; to quiet which, eleven of the most notorious, with whom some English plunder was found, were arraigned, six whereof, being evidently found guilty, were soon after executed; and, at the de. sire of the honestest of them, all the professing Indians are placed and provided for on certain islands, where they are out of harm's way; and, by an act of the general court, which is our parliament here, 'tis death for any of them to come off thence without license from the magistrate. Our people, since the loss of Captain Lathrop of Beverly, with about sixty men by surprize, and the burning of Springfield, are grown not less valorous, but more cautious : experience is the mother of prudence, and little good comes of despising an enemy. Yet let not the world censure too much Captain Lathrop: he, in the Pequot wars, had done exploits; nor in this would have been behind-hand, if the narrow passage or cansey, where his unexpected enemies set on him, would have given him leave to have drawn up his men. But, however, this may be said, to use the words of a wise man; “There was never censor that judged, senator • that ordered, general that commanded, council that executed, orator 6 that persuaded, nor any other mortal man, but sometimes he com.
mitted errors. Let such as are too apt to censure the conduct of some affairs here, remember this.
On the 19th of October, Philip 'assaulted Hatsfield, a town on Connecticut River, with about eight hundred men: but there were two hundred of ours then in the town, which in two hours space, with the loss of one man only, put the Indians to a total light, and killed about an hundred of them, sixty of whose dead bodies the Indians carried with them on horses, &c. (for they had several horses amongst them). After which Philip and the Nipnet Indians Aed to the Narragansits; which caused the council of the Massachusets, to publish in print this manifesto. :
TO OUR BRETHREN AND FRIENDS THE INHABITANTS
OF THE COLONY OF THE MASSACHUSETS. Although you cannot be ignorant, how studious this government hath been to preserve peace in this colony, and have taken up and compromised divers quarrels that have risen between ourselyes, our neighbours,
and the Indians, and thereby at several times prevented those calamities wherewith we are now pressed: yet, to satisfy you that the same mind and the same endeavours are continued in the present government, we have thought it necessary to let you understand the rise and progress of our present troubles, with our endeavours to have prevented the same.
In June last, we were certified by our friends and confederates of Plymouth, that Philip, the sachem of Mount Hope, was in arms, and had sollicited all the Indians to join with him against the English; and, withal, they desired our assistance to suppress him : which we, by the articles of confederation, could not deny, and therefore applied ourselves to raise some force for their assistance, but were still desirous to prevent a war with the Indians; and therefore, upon a former experience of a good effect wrought upon the said Philip, we resolved to use the same means, viz. sending messengers from hence to Philip to treat with him, hoping of the like issue, which, upon the like case about four years since, we, by God's good hand, obtained. But our messengers arriving at Swanzy in their way towards Philip, found divers English murthered on the road; and were informed by the English there, of divers hostilities of the Indians, which rendered our design and their negotiation hopeless ; upon which they returned, and informed us as abovesaid. Whereupon our forces began their march in aid of our frends at Plymouth ; and having driven Philip from his country, we being informed that the Narragansets harboured bis women, and aided bim with men, we ordered our soldiers to march to Narraganset, in order to keep them quiet, and prevent their succouring or harbouring the enemy : where, after some delay, they were drawn to consent to our demands, promising neither to entertain nor assist our enemies, which they since confirmed in a treaty with the commissioners of the colonies ; further engaging, that they would deliver all those of Philip's party, that, upon his route ncar Scatoneck, or since, were fled to them; but have failed in every particular.
You may also take notice, that, before any of our soldiers marched to Mount Hope, we were very careful to understand the state of the Nipnet Indians, to prevent Philip's design, and secure those Indians; and, therefore, dispatched two messengers well known to them, io certify them of Philip's motion, and of our desire to keep amity and friendship with them, according to the covenants made with them long since, no ways violated on our part. And, by the said messengers, received fair returns from the most of them, being in ten or twelve plantations. Some of them pretending fear of us; for their further satisfaction, when our forces were sent out against Philip, we, to satisfy and secure them, sent them, by Ephraim Curtice, a declaration under the publick seal, that we had no design, or intent, to disturb them, or any other Indians, that would remain in their plantations peaceably; which message and messenger was evilly treated by many of them then assembled, and the messenger much endangered by the younger men, and not with any satisfaction by their sachems, as the event, shewed, though at that present more inoderately received.
Soon after this dispatch, and before Philip's flying from Pocasset, and march up towards the Nipnet country, some of the said Nipnet Indians
assaulted and slew divers of our people at Mendam ; whereapon, Cap. tain Hutchinson, with a small guard, was sent up to the said Nipnet Indians, if possible to keep them quiet; who arriving at Quabaog, whereabouts was a rendezvous of the Indians, and having sent to them, they promised to meet him in a certain place, whither he at the time repairing, found not the Indians; and, being encouraged by the English of Quabaog, that the Indians were peaceable, &c. be advanced forward towards the place of the Indians rendezvous to treat them; but, in the way, was, by ambuscade, treacherously way-laid, by which himself, with several others, were wounded and slain, the English of Quabaog im. mediately assaulted, and the town, except one house, totally destroyed; at which time, as we understand, Philip also, with his broken party, came up to the said Indians, and upon the first, or immediately before the arrival of the forces we sent up for the relief of those of Quabaog, Philip and his whole crew retreated, as we then feared, and afterwards were informed, towards Connecticut river; from whence, recruiting himself with ammunition from Albany, and with men, partly from the treacherous Indians about Hadly, and Spring-field, he hath prosecuted his first design to ruin and destroy the English. And, notwithstanding all the opposition of our forces, hath done much mischief and spoil; and, since the repulse he received at Hatsfield, withdrew into the Nipnet country, and since that, as we understand, towards the Narragansets, who, we 'do conclude, have favoured, abetted, and assisted him therein ; and, by entertaining and harbouring our enemies, have dealed falsly and perfidiously with us; whereby we find ourselves necessarily engaged, with the consent, advice, and assistance of the rest of the colonies, in a war with them, as well as with Philip, unless they prevent the same by a timely compliance, and performance, and security for the future: for the managing and carrying on whereof, we hope for, and expect (as we have hitherto had) the assistance of all his majesty's subjects of this colony in their respective capacities, in the just defence of the glory of God, the honour, defence, and safety of our king, country, and ourselves, from the subtlety, rage, and treacherous attempts of our barba. rous enemies.
Dated at Boston, the 7th of December, anno Christi, 1675,
annoque domini Caroli secundi regis Angl. Scot. Fran, et Hiber. defensoris fidei, &c. 27th.
By the Council,
EDWARD RAWSON, Secret.