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A Narative of New-Englands
P E R S E CU TI O N.
WHERIN IS DECLARED
That while old England is becoming new,
New-England is become Old. Also four Proposals to the Honoured Parliament and Councel of State, touching the way to Propagate the Gospel of Christ (with small charge and great safety) both in Old
England and New. Also four conclusions touching the faith and order of the Gospel of Christ out of his last Will and
Testament, confirmed and justified.
By JOHN CLARK Physician of Rode Island in America.
and Crown, in the year 1652.
THE manuscript from which the following reprint is made was transcribed from a copy of this rare tract in the exceedingly valuable collection of works on America belonging to John Carter Brown, Esq., of Providence, R. I. ; which copy was kindly loaned to the Society by the owner for the purpose for which it is now used.
To the Right Honorable the House of PARLIAMENT, and
COUNCEL of STATE for the Commonwealth of ENGLAND, The author humbly craves of that mighty Counseller, that Prince of peace, a large donation of the spirit of Counsell, and of the spirit of courage, with a suitable and happy success for the Peace, Liberty, and enlargement of these three Nations.
May it please you right Honorable, in some of those few vacant hours which it pleaseth the most high (whose rod and staff you are) to afford unto you, from those many, weighty, difficult, and distractfull incombrances, and affairs, that do flow in, and press upon you daily, to cast your eye (at least for recreations sake) upon this Treatise, and the rather, because it contains in it matter of no small concernment, as in it self, so especially to your honoured selves; for in the first part, which is the narrative, you may please to read a tragicall story, wherein I hope your eye will not a litle affect your tender hearts, to see such a discurteous entertainment of strangers, and wayfaringmen that were passing by, and tarried but for a night or two, and that by their neighbours, men professing the fear of the Lord as they also do; who together for liberty of their consciences, and worship of their God, as their hearts were perswaded, long since fled from the persecuting hands of the Lordly Bishops, your adversaries and ours, unto those utmost parts of the World, to the extreme hazard of their lives, the wasting of their estates, and upon the point, to the totall loss and deprivation of their neer and deer relations, and the comforts thereof in this their native land; and the rather to see this acted by that sword, that hand, which from your honoured arm they are betrusted
with, and so to see your sword, your power, your hand misused therein. In the second part, which is the confirmation of my testimony by the word of God, and testimony of Christ Jesus the Lord, and especially in the later part thereof: you that count it your greatest honour, and highest preferment in this world to be servants of Christ (who is indeed the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings, whose Sword-bearers you are, as was also that Cæsar although he knew it not) you (I say I hope) shall find that he hath not required such things at your hands, as generally they that have been his Sword-bearers before your selves have been apt to conceive; and thereupon have been too deeply engaged in the shedding of much innocent bloud in this Land; being also perswaded thereunto by their teachers, who to maintain their superstitious, humane, invented religion and worship, for filthy lucres sake, it being the only curious art, and craft by which they had their wealth and livings as those of old; not having the two-edged sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, to defend themselves, and to maintain their craft, against the poor illiterate and despised servants and witnesses of Jesus Christ, have been forced to call for the sword of steel, the power of the Magistrate, to help to stop their mouthes, to cut them off, and so to take them out of their way, and by casting a mist before their Rulers eyes they have still perswaded them, That this is their office, and duty to do, and that hereby they did God best service with that sword with which they were betrusted, whereas indeed they did but make their sword guilty of the blood of the innocent; and thus were they taken off from attending upon the very thing for which this sword was put into their hands, to attend upon their private, and carnall interests, and so were brought into a double transgression. By whose errataes, Right Honourable, I hope the Lord will teach you to beware, and by giving you a clear discerning of his mind, and will in these more bright sunneshining daies (wherein the Earth begins to be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the Sea) will give you to understand that as all power in earth is given to him, so he to the glory of God his Father, whose power, and wisdome he is, doth wisely manage the same
by a two fold administration of power suitable to the two föld state or being of man, whom in the earth, and in the things thereof he hath appointed Lord; that one may be called an earthly, and outward administration, which suits the outward man, and all those outward, and visible things (in reference unto man) that do belong thereto, as he is Lord thereof, and is managed by an outward visible sword of steel, and by a carnall or audible voyce, or word of him, or them that holds it in their hand, and to an outward and carnal end, (yet righteous, just, and good, which being diligently attended to tends to the peace, liberty, and prosperity of a civil State, Nation and Kingdom so far as it concerns the outward man and visible state thereof;) which end is the preservation of it self, the whole, and every particular part, and person, belonging thereunto, safe in their person, name, and estate from him, or them that would rise up visibly to oppress, or wrong them in the same; Thus in the general; and to instance more particularly, in case by the caution of a wholesome Law, and just penalty annexed thereunto, which by a carnall hand or way, is presented to a carnall and visible eye, or ear, the Oppressour takes not warning, and will not be deterred from offering violence to the person, name, or estate of his neighbour, then by this power shall he be made responsible, and be forced nolens volens, so far as he is able to make it good, and to restore ; in case any be impoverished, or faln to decay in their outward man, and estates by age, sickness, fire, or by some other way, or hand of GOD; so far as their present strength extends, by this power they are to be employed, and where it fails, to be relieved, and that by an equall, and just levy of their neighbours estates to be taken also by force in case there be not so much love, and charity in them towards their
poor distressed neighbours to constrain them thereunto, and by the same way also to maintain it self, and all other just undertakings that may be presented for the preservation of the whole. And this in brief is the sum of that administration of Christs power in earth so far as it meerly concerns the outward man with respect to others that may uphold it, or molest it, and is managed by that sword of steel which in reference unto him is called in