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him. Mr. Throgmorton hath lately brought in some corn from Hemstead and those parts, but extraordinary dear. I pay him 6s. for Indian, and 8s. for wheat. These rains, if God please to give peace, promise hopes of plenty.

Two days since, letters from my brother. He saith a ship was come to the Bay from England. She was not come yet in the river. A lighter went aboard, and brought the confirmation of the King's death, but no other particulars. The everlasting King of kings shine on us, &c."

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CHAPTER XIX.

Warwick-Mr. Williams' compensation-imprisonment of John Clarke and Obadiah Holmes

Mr. Coddington's

separate charterMr. Williams and Mr. Clarke prepare to go to England.

But a

It has been seen, that although Warwick was not named in the charter, yet that settlement, having obtained from England the sanction of the commissioners, had joined with the other towns, in forming a civil government. portion of the inhabitants of Pawtuxet, having submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, refused to acknowledge the authority of the charter. At the GeneralAssembly, at Warwick, in May, 1649, it was “ordered, that a messenger be sent to Pomham and the other sachem, to require them to come to this Court; and that letters be sent to Benedict Arnold and his father, and the rest of Pawtuxet, about their subjecting to this colony." They persisted in their refusal ; and, although the territory was undeniably included in the charter obtained by Mr. Williams, yet these inhabitants of Pawtuxet and its vicinity continued for several years to resist the authority of the General Assembly of Rhode Island, and caused much annoyance to the colony. In this conduct, they were upheld by the government of Massachusetts. In 1650, as we are informed by Mr. Backus,* “ William Arnold and William Carpenter, instead of submitting to the government of their own colony, went again and entered complaints against some of their neighbors to the Massachusetts rulers, and they sent a citation to some of them to come and answer the same in their courts, dated from Boston, June 20, 1650, signed by Edward Rawson, Secretary.”+

There seems to have been much disinclination to pay the sum voted to Mr. Williams for his services

procuring the charter. At the General Assembly, in May, 1650, three years after the grant, it was found necessary to send

* Vol. i. p. 207.

| Providence Records,

a fresh order to the towns to collect and pay the sums due, within twenty days. This order was not entirely success. ful, and it is nearly certain, that the whole amount was never paid. It is probable, that few disputed the justice of the grant, and we may hope, that the unhappy jealousies which subsisted between individuals, and some of the towns, together with the poverty of the inhabitants, rather than a deliberate disregard of Mr. Williams' just claims, were the causes of the failure. But gratitude has not been the most conspicuous virtue, either of kings or of republics. The patriotic Winthrop spent his large estate, and his life, in the service of Massachusetts; yet was he compelled to submit to an impeachment, from which, however, he issued with a purer fame. It is a lamentable fact, that men are often imboldened to do, in concert, what they would not venture to do, in their individual capacity. They seem to think, that they lose their identity in a crowd, and that guilt, in which many share, becomes so divided and attenuated, as to leave a very insignificant portion to each person. Human passions, too, are contagious, and a large assembly sometimes inflame each other to the perpetration of deeds, of which each man would, when alone, have been ashamed.

The memorable transactions in Massachusetts, in which the Rev. John Clarke, Mr. Obadiah Holmes and Mr. John Crandall* had so melancholy a share, deserve a notice. They show the rigor, with which the famous law of 1644, levelled ostensibly against anabaptists, was executed; and the special aversion which was felt towards intruders from Rhode Island.

In July, 1651, these gentlemen were deputed by the Baptist church in Newport, to visit William Witter, an aged member of that church, who resided at Lynn, a few miles east of Boston. Mr. Witter was an old man, and being unable to visit the church, he had requested an interview with some of his brethren. On this most Christian and in

* Rev. Mr. Clarke was the founder and pastor of the first Baptist church in Newport. Mr. Holmes was, a short time before these transactions, presented by a grand jury to the General Court at Plymouth, because he and a few others had set up a Baptist meeting in Seekonk. He removed to Newport, and after Dr. Clarke's death, was his successor, as Pastor. He had, at the time he was imprisoned and whipped, a wife and eight children.

offensive errand, the committee proceeded to Lynn. Their aged brother resided about two miles from the town, and the next day being the Sabbath, it was thought proper to spend it in religious worship at his house. Mr. Clarke preached from Rev. 3: 10. “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon

the earth.” In the midst of his sermon, he was interrupted by two constables. Mr. Clarke thus describes the scene :

“While in conscience towards God, and good will unto his saints, I was imparting to my companions in the house where I lodged, and to four or five strangers that came in unexpected after I had begun, opening and proving what is meant by the hour of temptation, what by the word of his patience, and their keeping it, and how he that hath the key of David (being the promiser) will keep those who keep the word of his patience, from the hour of temptation. While, I say, I was yet speaking, there came into the house where we were, two constables, who, with their clamorous tongues, made an interruption in my discourse, and more uncivilly disturbed us than the pursuivants of the old English bishops were wont to do, telling us that they were come with authority from the magistrate to apprehend us. I then desired to see the authority by which they thus proceeded, whereupon they plucked forth their warrant, and one of them, with a trembling hand, (as conscious he might have been better employed) read it to us; the substance whereof was as followeth :

By virtue hereof, you are required to go to the house of William Witter, and so to search from house to house, for certain erroneous persons, being strangers, and them to apprehend, and in safe custody to keep, and to-morrow morning, at eight o'clock, to bring before me.

"ROBERT BRIDGES.'»* The constables carried Mr. Clarke and his companions to the Congregational meeting, where they were compelled to stay till the service was closed. Mr. Clarke then rose and addressed the assembly, but was speedily silenced, and the next day, the three heretics were committed to prison in

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Boston. A few days afterwards, they were tried, before the Court of Assistants, and Mr. Clarke was sentenced to pay a fine of twenty pounds, Mr. Holmes thirty pounds, and Mr. Crandall five pounds; or, in default of payment, each was to be whipped. They refused to pay the fine, for the plain reason, that the payment of a fine is an acknowledgment of guilt, of which they felt themselves to be innocent They were accordingly committed to prison.

On the trial, Mr. Clarke defended himself and his companions so ably, that the Court were somewhat embarrassed. At length, (says Mr. Clarke) the Governor stepped up and told us we had denied infant baptism, and being somewhat transported, told me I had deserved death, and said he would not have such trash brought into their jurisdiction. Moreover he said, 'you go up and down, and secretly insinuate into those that are weak, but you cannot maintain it before our ministers. You may try and dispute with them.? To this I had much to reply, but he commanded the jailer to take us away.

From the prison, Mr. Clarke sent to the Court a proposttion to meet with any of the ministers, and hold a public discussion. This proposal was at first accepted, and a day was fixed. But the clergy probably thought, that a public debate about infant baptism, with so able an antagonist, would be inexpedient. Mr. Clarke's fine was accordingly paid, without his knowledge or consent, and he was released from prison. He was anxious for an opportunity to maintain, publicly, his opinions, and to vindicate his innocence. But he could not succeed in bringing his opponents to the trial of argument. Leaving, therefore, with the magistrates a declaration, that he would be ready, at any time, to visit Boston, and maintain his sentiments, he, together with Mr. Crandall, who was released on condition of appearing at the next Court, returned to Newport.

The two following letters from Mr. Williams to Mr. Winthrop, were written about this time, probably in August, 1651 :

Sir, Loving respects to you both, with Mrs. Lake and yours: By this opportunity I am bold to inform you, that from the

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* Benedict, vol. i. p. 367.

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