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THE WELLS

ADAMS HOUSE, ON SALEM STREET, WHERE THE BAPTISTS HELD

SECRET

MEETINGS

THE NEW -1.3 PUBLIC LIBRARY

ASTOR, LENOX TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

to me and my family, and the ways and means of subsistence.

“ 3d. The place from which I go hath fuel and all provisions for man and beast laid in for the winter. ... The house I have builded upon very damageful conditions to myself, out of love for the college, taking country pay in lieu of bills of exchange on England, or the house would not have been built. ...

" 4th. The persons, all beside myself, are women and children, on whom little help, now their minds lie under the actual stroke of afliction and grief. My wife is sick and my youngest child extremely so and hath been for months, so that we dare not carry him out of doors, yet much worse now than before. ..."

Still slight heed was paid to him. For in answer to these pathetic demands Dunster was reprieved only until March and then, with what was due him still unpaid, he was driven forth, a broken man, to die in poverty and neglect. Clearly Massachusetts was not a comfortable place for the Baptists. You see the eminent John Cotton had declared that the rejection of infant baptism would overthrow the church; that this was a capital crime and that therefore, those opposing this tenet were

" foul murtherers!” The offence was plainly enough admitted to be against the clergy rather than against God. When John Wilson — of whom in his venerable old age Hawthorne has given us a pleasing portrait in “ The Scarlet Letter was in his last sickness he was asked to declare what he thought to be the worst sins of the country. His reply was that people sinned very deeply in his estimation when they rebelled against the power of the clergy.

Upon the Quakers, who absolutely refused to conform, and who promulgated the doctrine that the Deity communicated directly with men, were naturally visited the worst of all the religious persecutions. The first Quakers who came to Boston were women, Mary Fisher and Ann Austin, the former being a person whose previous experience enabled her to compare unfavourably the manners of New England Christians with those of Turkish Mahometans! For, some time before setting out for Boston, Mary Fisher had made a romantic pilgrimage to Constantinople for the purpose of warning the Turks to flee from the wrath to come.” This was at a time when the Grand Vizier was encamped with his army near Adrianople, to whom this astonishing person having journeyed “ 600 miles without any abuse or injury” had herself announced as “an Englishwoman bearing a message from the Great God to the Great Turk.” She was promptly

. given an audience and treated with great respect, an escort being even offered to her when the time came for her to depart.

As for her treatment in Boston, let us read Sewel: “ It was in the month called July, of this present year (1656) when Mary Fisher and Ann Austin arrived in the road before Boston, before ever a law was made there against the Quakers; and yet they were very ill-treated; for before they came ashore the deputy governor, Richard Bellingham (the governor himself being out of town), sent officers aboard, who searched their trunks and chests and took away the books they found there, which were about one hundred and carried them ashore, after having commanded the women to be kept prisoners aboard; and the said books were, by an order of the council, burnt in the market-place by the hangman. And then they were shut up close prisoners and the command given that none should come to them without leave; a fine of five pounds being laid upon any that should otherwise come at or speak with them, tho' but at the window. Their pens, ink and paper were taken from them and they not suffered to have any candle

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