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Death of Mr. Hooker. 149'

He had a remarkable talent of solving cases of conscience, and for this purpose he set apart one day in a week for any of his people to come, ancj propose their scruples and difficulties. Though his own preaching was generally very prafilical and experimental, he wifely advifed young ministers] when first settled, .to preach the whole system oL divinity for their own benefit, as well as that of their people. He had a most happy method of governing his church. He would propound nothing to them till it had been previously considered by some of the principal brethren; if at any time he saw an altercation -beginning in the chur?\ h<j would'delay the vote till another opportunity, beJ fore which he would visit, and generally gain ovejj those,, who had objected to the measure. He| would say, "the elders must have a church in a church,.if they would preserve the peace of the ehurch." It was his desire to live no longer, than he could perform the work of. his place.. His last, sickness was short,, during* which he said little. Being asked his opinion on some important things, he replied, "I have not that work now to perform; I haw declared the counsel of. the Lord.-" One o£his friends observed to him, that he was going; to receive his reward. "Brother," said he, "I am going'to receive mercy ^ When the awful moment arrived, he closed his own eyes, and gently stroking his forehead, with a smile in his counte2iance,he gave a little groan and expired July 7*1647»

CHAP. XII.

Bistort/ of Connecticut continued, Quakers.

A HE colony of Connecticut expressed their disapprobation of the use of tobacco, in an aft of their general assembly at Hartford, in 1647, wherein it was ordered, "That no person under the age of twenty years, nor any other that hath already accustomed himself to the use thereof, shall take any tobacco,, until he shall have brought a certificate from under the hand of some who are approved for knowledge and skill in phys,ic, that it is useful for him; and also that he hath received a licence from the court, for the same. All others who had addifted themselves to the use of tobacco were, by the same court,, prohibited taking it in any company, or at their labours, or on their travels, unless they were ten miles %t least from any house, or more than once a any, though not in company, on pain of a fine of ■$ix pence for each time; to be proved by one substantial evidence. The constable in each town,to make presentment of such transgressions to the particular court, and upon conviction, the fine to be paid without gainsaying."

Massachusetts and New Haven colonies wrere more* severe with the Quakers, than Connecticut or Plymouth. Of the four, Connecticut was the mos\ moderate. The general court of New Ifer Act against Quakers* 151

ven, 1658, passed a severe law against the Quakers. They introduced their law, which- was copied from the a£t of the commissioners of the cola«j nies, with this preamble:

"Whereas there is a cursed se& of heretics late-* ly sprung up in the world, commonly called Quak{ ers, who take upon them that they are immediate^ sent from God,.and infallibly assisted by the Spirit^ who yet speak and write blasphemous opinions, despise government, and the order of God in church and commonwealth, speaking evil of dig

nities, &.c.

Ordered, That whosoever shall brings or cau&f to be brought, any known Quaker or Quakers, a other blasphemous heretics,,shall forfeit the sui^ of £50. .Also,, I

If a Quaker come into this jurisdiction on civi business,, the time of his stay shall be limited by the civil authority, and he shall not.use any means to corrupt or seduce others., Qa his first, arrival, he shall appear before a magistrate, and from him receive licence to pass on his business: and (for the better prevention of hurt to the people) .have one or more to attend upon them ;at their charge*. &c. The penalties incase of disobedience, were whipping, imprisonment, labour, and a deprivation of all converse with any person.":

For the second offence, the person w&s to be branded in the hand with the letter H, to buffer imprisonment, and be put to labour, For tho. 152 Laws against Quakers*

third, to be branded in the other hand, imprison

, ed, &c. as before. For the fourth,, the offender

V >was to have his tongue bored through with a red

hot iron, imprisoned, and kept to labour, until sent

away at their own charge.

Any person who shall attempt to defend the sentiments of die Quakers, was, for the third offence, , to be sentenced to banishment.* f Had the pious framers of these laws paid a due attention to the excellent advice of that sagacious doftor of the law, Gamaliel, they would, perhaps, have been prevented from the adoption of such severe,and unjustifiable measures. This wise man, when his countrymen were about to be out.rageous in persecuting the apostles, addressed them in the following words, which merit to be engraved in letters of gold: Refrain from these men, and let them alone ;for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrown; lest haply yebe found even to fight against God."\ This cli-1 vine maxim was but little attended to in times of persecution. Our ancestors seem to have left it

*•« This law continued but two years, and was annulled at th* l*storation, in 1660. Virginia had this Jaw, and that also against witchcraft. In New Haven I find a trial or two, and no more, on witches, but never a condemnation to any kind of punishment. There never was a single judgment or execution of the law upon a: Quaker. Neither witches nor Quakers were ever condemned, 0* -SB the least punished in the colony of New Haven," j)r, $;/^,

Connecticut Charter granted* 153

to posterity to make the important discovery, that persecution is thedireft method to multiply its objects.

But these people, who have been so much censured and ridiculed had, perhaps, as many virtues as their posterity. And it would be wise in the moderns, who stand elevated upon the shoulders of their ancestors, with the book of their experience spread before them, to institute their virtues and to veil their faults.

The colonies of Conne&icut and New Haven, from their first settlement, increased rapidly; trafts of land were purchased of the Indians, and new towns settled from Stamford to Stonington, and far back into the country, when, in 1661, Major John Mason, as agent for the colony, bought of the natives all lands, which had not before been purchased by particular towns, and made a public surrendry of them to the colony, in the presence of the general assembly. Having done these things, the colonists petitioned king Charles II. for a charter, and their petition was granted. His Majesty, on the 23d of April, 1662, issued his letters patent under the great seal, or-, daining that the colony of Conne&icut should, forever hereafter, be one body corporate and politic, in fad and in name, confirming to them their ancient grant and purchase, and fixing their boundaries as follows, viz. "All that part of his Maj^ esty's dominions in New England, in America^

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