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This Barlow would boast, “That he would think what goods .. were most serviceable to the Quakers, and then he would take them away, when he went to distrain for fines.” This was in the days of Oliver Cromwell, wherein he grew rich with the spoils of the innocent; but now he being grown exceeding poor, he hath said, “He hopes for a good time again;" such he calls the days of ravening and blood; yet he presumes to say, “He thought that the Quakers would not let him want." And truly they bear such testimony to the Spirit of Jesus living in them, and of which the Scriptures speak, If thine enemy hunger, give meat, &c., and the dominion of Truth therein, that it is said they relieved his children, notwithstanding all the villainy that he hath shown to those people.
As for this Barlow, his natural inclination is to be lazy, filthy, and base to all. In his former years, he was one of the professor's preachers at Exeter, in New England, and elsewhere; of which being weary, or having worn that trade out, or it having worn him out, he turned lawyer, and so came into Plymouth Patent, where he became a notorious spoiler of the goods of the innocent, as the former treatise hath it at large, by being a marshal.
And now that I have given some account of a marshal, it will not be inconvenient if I speak a word or two of a treasurer, one Edmund Butter of Salem, whose cruel handling of the Friends of Truth in and about Salem, for fines, hath had some touch of relation in the former treatise.
This Butter, being a member of your church in Salem, and a man big in his own esteem, and fit, as himself thought, to be a magistrate; there being a vacancy in the magistracy of Salem, by reason of John Endicott's being made governor and dwelling in Boston, there was an endeavour in this man to procure a commission to fill it up, which he attempted what he could, and whose competitor therein was William Hathorn, a man often mentioned in this relation. This Hathorn, putting in for business, used his craft and cruelty, for who seemed most forward in persecuting the innocent most pleased the priests, through whose suffrage
such places used most to be supplied, and Butter walked in the same steps what he could; but Hathorn, being too hard for him, put him by, and was set in the seat; all that Butter could accomplish was the place of treasurer, for all such plunder, as, for not partaking with your sacrifices of blood, the servants of the Lord were condemned unto in Salem, and the parts thereabouts, or the county in which Salem was.
Being got into this employment, he was much lifted up, and behaved himself with much cruelty and wickedness, hunting after meetings, and the persons and estates of the innocent, as the wolf does after the sheep; and where he could do most mischief, and vex, and destroy, there he was most satisfied, as was the nature and custom of these bloody huntsmen, which were his companions, particularly Samuel Archer, his brother, Benjamin Felton, and Henry Skerry, church-members, and Thomas Roots.
To say nothing of what hath been already mentioned in the former treatise, and of many things more, which might make a relation of itself; nor to enlarge upon his, Butter's working with Henry Phelps, the son of Henry Phelps, to betray his father into prison, who was had there, by discovering the said Henry to have entertained Friends; the said Henry being brother-in-law to Butter, whose sister he married; nor how swift he was to have found out William Leddra, and so panting after his blood; I shall give one instance for all, wherein Edmund Butter may as well see himself concerned, as to the answering for blood, and the reader may thereby perceive how eager he was in his pursuit after it.
Upon a time, he being upon his scent, and so hunting for the innocent with the constable, and being in want of a horse to hasten after his prey, and meeting with a woman great with child on horseback, one Elizabeth Kitchin, wife of John Kitchin, of Salem, as she was travelling on the road, he would take the horse from her for that purpose; and so savage was he, that down he would have her, which he performed with such violence that the woman thereupon miscarried, and lost her child. And he, having got a swifter beast than his own heels, followed his pursuit, but left the man with the loss of his child, and his wife thereby in danger of her life; which Edmund Butter hath yet to answer for, the blood of the one, and the suffering of the other, which by the time he hath answered for, he will find that his treasurership of wickedness in Salem was bought dear; and that his hunting after blood was accomplished at a hard rate, which may give him matter of consideration, that he may reflect upon his wickedness, and be ready against his judgment comes, to bear it quietly, for he must certainly expect it, from a hand that can reach him.
I had not put the reader to this relation, but that he may see, as by other unmerciful and unheard-of cruelties, what exercise the people of the Lord in New England have received from the hands of you and your churches, and the members thereof, and how you have marshals, treasurers, hangmen, and hunters as bloody as yourselves, to accomplish your butcheries upon the innocent.
Yet a touch at Hampton, and so to Boston again. Seaborn Cotton, priest aforesaid, understanding that Eliakim Wardel, aforementioned, had entertained Wenlock Christison again; he, like a sturdy herdsman, got to him some of the fiercest of his swine, and himself at the head of them, with a leader's truncheon in his hand, led the way to Eliakim's house, which was near two miles from his, whom Wenlock Christison seeing, asked him, “What he did with that club in his hand ?" He answered, “He came to keep the wolves from his sheep," a strange inversion from Paul's weapons of warfare, which were not carnal, but spiritual, mighty through God, to the casting down of strongholds, &c., to the weapons of the world, which showed himself to be a wolf, and the other a lamb, on whom he and his crew laid hands like men in a rage, and having him, one by one arm, and another by the other, they haled him away, Seaborn, like a valiant champion, leading the way: of whom Wenlock, when in their heat and madness, demanded, “Whether these were his sheep?" But this was no time to have an answer; hard they wrought to carry him, and being weary, left him at a house a quarter of a mile from Eliakim's, though they said, “They would carry him to the town;" wherein they lied; for so they did not. Afterwards he was brought to Salisbury, but the constable there being out of the way, he had his liberty.
Now to Boston again, where I find Seaborn Cotton, who, having little to do, would needs go to the prison, and he, taking another priest with him, in the first place, would seem to condole with their condition as prisoners, saying, “He was sorry to see them there;" but withal told them, “That they were such as denied the Scriptures to be their rule of life." Jane Millard demanded of him, “If the Scriptures were the saints' rule of life, and that only by which they were to be led and guided, then what was the rule and guide of the saints of old, who lived and died so long before the Scriptures were written ?" Seaborn answered, “ They had Scripture.” “What Scripture had they?" was demanded of him. Seaborn replied, “Scripture written on the bark of trees.” Edward Wharton standing by, said, “Seaborn, on bark of what trees?" He answered, “On bark of birch-trees." And so with a thing that he could not prove, with a lie in his mouth, he went away.
The same Seaborn Cotton hearing that Major Slapleigh was turned Quaker, declared his pity for him; and that he would travel to him ere long, and turn him again. It fell out on a time, that Seaborn being in a house drinking, on the great island in Piscataqua river, and hearing that Major Slapleigh was at a warehouse there, he went thither to see if he could turn him, as he said. As he went thereunto, his heels turned up, great fall, when Major Slapleigh, lest he should be spoiled, helped him up again. And this was the turning this priest made of Major Slapleigh.
And now that I am mentioning Major Slapleigh and this priest again, it will not be inconvenient if I give a farther touch of some passages that happened at the said Slapleigh's, when the women called Quakers, aforesaid, first came unto his house, which hath relation to Thomas Millet, then his priest.
On a First day of the week, Mary Tomkins and Alice Ambrose, having a dispute with Priest Millet, in Major Slapleigh's house,
aforesaid, concerning his worship, in his place of worship; some of his unruly hearers, the fruits of his ministry, threw Mary headlong down a pair of stairs, which reasonably might have broke her neck, and which themselves confessed, had she not been a witch, as they said of her, who was the servant of the living God, yet she had only a little hurt on the elbow, but through the power of the Lord, was preserved from a greater mischief; yet, coming up again, they threw her down the second time, which did her not much hurt.
The said Mary and Alice, and the said Priest Millet, being at another time at Nicholas Slapleigh's at breakfast, a certain person coming in, called him Master Millet; whereupon the said Mary asked him, “Whether he was a minister of Christ? If so, he would not own that title.” At which the priest was so offended, that though there were good provisions before him, yet he rose up in a fret, and went his way.
Another time, the said women reasoning with the said priest, about the fruits of his ministry, and bidding him show them, he said, “That if he were at Cape Ann," a place by the sea-side, near four miles distance," he could show some fruits of his ministry;" which it is like might be the same as at Piscataqua, which produced the effects aforementioned at Major Slapleigh's.
And, now I am about the priests, I shall give an example of one or two more of them, ere I return to Boston again, where I shall find something to do with them also.
Edward Wharton coming from Rhode Island to Taunton, and George Shove, the priest, hearing of it, his deacon, with whom he tabled, came up to the inn where Edward was, and demanded his name, which Edward told him; whereupon, in a great heat, he told Edward, “ It was known what he was;' and so desired him to depart out of town. “Friend," said Edward, “what hast thou to lay to my charge? Whose ox have I stolen? Or, whose ass have I taken away? Or, whom have I wronged? And as for my being in town, I purpose to stay here until I have accomplished my business wherefore I came." “ If you will not go,!' said he, "I will go and call the constable," which he did.