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thou buildest, enclosest, and dost labor to live and enjoy the fruits thereof with plenty, multiplying thy little means for thy children's good when thou art no more.
But art thou of a greater fortune and more gloriously spirited ?—I have told thee before what thou mayst be assured of, whereby it may appear thou shalt not want means nor opportunity to exercise the excellency of thine own justice, and ingenuity to govern and act the best things, whether it be for thyself or such as live under thee, or have their dependency or hopes of happiness upon thy worth and virtue as their chief. Neither are these parts of the world void of opportunity to make a further discovery into the vast territories, that promiseth so much hopes of honor and profits (formerly spoken of) to be raised to posterity by the means and opportunity of those great and goodly lakes and rivers, which invite all that are of brave spirits to seek the extent of them,-expecially since it is already known that some of these lakes contain fifty or sixty leagues in length, some one hundred, some two hundred, others four or five hundred; the greatest abounding in multitude of islands fit for habitation; the land on both sides, especially to the southward, fertile and pleasant, being between the degrees of forty-four and forty-five of latitude; and to the west of these lakes that are now known, they pass by a main river to an
Are these the folk whom from the brittish
Through the stern billows of the watry main, I safely led so many thousand miles,
As if their journey had been through a plain ? Whom having from all enemies protected,
And through so many deaths and dangers
If these be they, how is it that I find
In stead of holiness Carnality,
For burning zeal luke-warm Indifferency,
For temperance (in meat, and drinke, and
Now therefore hearken and encline yor ear,
In judgement I will henceforth with you
plead; And if by that you will not learn to fear,
But still go on a sensuall life to lead : I'le strike at once an All-Consuming stroke;
Nor cries nor tears shall then my fierce in
Ah dear New England ! dearest land to me;
Which unto God hast hitherto been dear, And mayst be still more dear than formerlie, If to his voice thou wilt incline thine ear.
Consider wel & wisely what the rod,
chastized, Instructeth thee. Repent, & turn to God,
Who wil not have his nurture be despized.
Thou still hast in thee many praying saints,
Of great account, and precious with the Lord, Who dayly powre out unto him their plaints,
And strive to please him both in deed & word.
Cheer on, sweet souls, my heart is with you all,
And shall be with you, maugre Sathan's might: And whereso'ere this body be a Thrall,
Still in New-England shall be my delight. Mass. Historical Society (Boston, 1871-1875), XII. 84-93 passim.
17. Religious Toleration as a Principle
of Government (1670)
By REVEREND ROGER WILLIAMS
Williams was the first Baptist leader in America, and founder of Rhode Island colony.
10. Alas, Sir, in calme midnight thoughts, what are these leaves and flowers, and smoke and shadows, and dreams of earthly nothings, about which we poore fools and children, as David saith, disquiet ourselves in vain? Alas, what is all the scuffling of this world for but, come will you smoke it? What are all the contentions and wars of this world about, generally, but for greater dishes and bowls of porridge, of which, if we believe God's spirit in scripture, Esau and Jacob were types ?
. . Besides Sir the matter with us is not about these children's toys of land, meadows, cattell, government, &c. But here all over this colonie, a great number of weake and distressed soules, scattered are flying hither from Old and New England, the Most High and only wise hath in his infinite wisdom provided this country and this corner as a shelter for the poor and persecuted, according to their several perswasions.
Thus Sir, the Kings Majestie ... hath vouchsafed his royall promise under his hand and broad seal that no person in this Colony shall be molested or questioned for the matters of his conscience to God, so he be loyall and keep the civil peace. Sir, we must part with lands and lives before we part with such a jewell.
Some of yours, as I heard lately, told tales to the Archbishop of Canterbury, viz. that we are a prophane people and do not keep the Sabbath, but some doe plough, &c. But (1) you told him not how we suffer freely all other perswasions, yea the common prayer, which yourselves will not suffer. If you say you will, you confesse you must suffer more, as we doe.
2. You know this is but a colour to your design for, first, you know that all England: It selfe (after the formalitie and superstition of morning and evening prayer) play away their Sabbath.
6. I have offered and doe by these presents to discusse by disputation writing or printing, among other points of differences these three positions; first that forced worship stincks in God's nostrils. 2d that it denies Christ Jesus yet to be come, and makes the church yet national, figurative and ceremonial. 3d That in these flames about religion, as his Majestie his father and grandfather have yielded, there is no other prudent, christian way of preserving peace in the world but by permission of differing consciences..
. . I know you are both of you hot, I fear myself also; if both desire, in a loving and calm spirit, to enjoy your rights I promise you, with God's help, to help you to them in a fair and sweet and easie way - My receit will not please you all. If it should so please God to frowne upon us that you should not like it, I can but humbly mourne and say with the Prophet that which must perish, must perish. And as to myself, in endeavouring after yor temporall and spirituall peace, I humbly desire to say, if I per