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214 Gov. Winthrop's Speech; its Effect.
tions, which have troubled the country of late, have been respecting the authority of the magistrate, and the liberty of the people. Magistracy is certainly an appointment of God, and I entreat you to consider that you choose your rulers from among yourselves, and that we take an oath to govern you according to God's laws, and the laws of our country, to the best of our skill: if we commit errors not willingly, but for want of ability, you ought to bear with us; nor would I have you mistake your own liberty. There is a liberty of doing what-we will, without regard to law or justice; this liberty is indeed inconsistent with authority; but civil, moral, federal liberty, consists in every one's enjoying his property, and having the benefit of the laws of his country: this is what you ought to contend for with the hazard of your lives; but this is very consistent with a due subjection to the civil magistrate, and paying him that respeCt, which his character requires."
This admirable address had the most happy effeCt. It fixed Mr. Winthrop in the affections and esteem of the people and court. By this well timed condescension he became more powerful than ever.* This good man descended from a respeCtable family, who were attached to the religion of the reformation, His grandfather, Adam Win-, throp, was an emiment lawyer and lover of the gospel His father was of the same profession and, Life of Governor JVintbrop. 215
* Hannah Adams*.
character. Governor Winthrop was born, June 12, 1587, and was bred to the law, though he had t a strong inclination for divinity. So conspicuous were his merits, that he was made a justice of the peace at the age of eighteen. He was distinguished for his hospitality, his piety, and his integrity* Being chosen governor before the colony embarked for America, he sold an estate of six or seven hundred pounds sterling per annum; and in the 43d year of his age, he arrived at Salem, June 12, 1630, and within five days, travelled through the trackless woods to Charlestown. The same fall he passed over the river to Boston, which bacame his permanent residence. He was an example to the people, not only of temperance and piety, but of frugality, denying himself those indigencies and elegancies to which his fortune and office entitled him, that he might be an example to others, and have more liberal means of relieving the needy. He would often send his servants on some errand at meal times, to see how his neighbours were provided, and if there was a deficiency, he would supply them from his own table. He sent for a neighbour, who had stolen wood from his pile, and bid him come and welcome through the winter; and then pleasantly asked his friends, if he had not put a stop to the man's stealing.
A democratic influence prevailing, he was left out of office, in 1634, and the two following years. In the administration of justice, he was consider216 Character and Death of Gov. IVijithrop.
ed by some as too mild. He once returned an > angry, provoking letter he had received, saying, "I am not willing to keep by me such a matter of provocation." Soon after, in time of scarcity, the letter writer sent to buy one of his cattle; he begged him to accept it as a gift* But with all this gentleness of nature, he was firm and valiant for the truths of the gospel, exposing himself to abuse and disgrace in their support.*
He had not so high an opinion of democratical government as some other gentlemen, f When the people of Connecticut were forming their constitution, he warned them of this danger, and wisely remarked in his letter, that " the best part of a community is always the 'least, and of that best part, the wiser is still less, wherefore the old canon was, choose ye out judges, and thou shalt bring the matter before the judge."
Having expended a large portion of his great estate for the advantage of the colony, having exhausted his strength in cares and labours in their service, he felt the decays of a premature old ago, years before his decease. A cold, succeeded by a fever, put an end to his life and eminent services, March 26, 1649, in the 63d year of his age. He anticipated the serious event with calm resignation to the will of God. He left five sons; one of them was afterwards governor of Connecticut, and his posterity are still respectable.
* See Chap, ai, of Synods, First Part, | Belknap.
Character of the natives, who inhabited Ne%v England.
X HE Indians were polytheists, or believed in a plurality of Gods.* Some they considered as local deities: yet they believed there was one supreme God, the creator of the rest, and of all creatures, and things. Him they called Kichtan. They believed that once there was no sachem nor king, but Kichtan, who was the selfexistent creator of the heavens, and governor of mankind. One man and woman they supposed were first created, who were the parents of all men* They believed that good men, at death, ascended to Kichtan, above the heavens, where they enjoyed their departed friends, and all good things ; that bad men also went and knocked at the gate of glory, but Kichtan bid them depart, for there was no place for such; whence they wandered in restless penury. Never man saw Kichtan, but old men told them, and told them to tell their children, and to tell them to teach their posterity the same, and lay the like charge upon them. This supreme being they held to be good, and prayed to him when they desired any very great favour, sometimes meeting together to cry to him for plenty and victory, at the same time singing, giving thanks,
218 Of the Indian gods.
feasting, dancing, and hanging up garlands, as memorials of favours received. , Another power they worshipped, whom they called Hobbamock or Hobbamoqui.* This being resembles the devil, mentioned in scripture. To him they prayed to heal their wounds and diseases. When found curable, he was supposed the author of the complaints ; when they were mortal, they were ascribed to Kichtan, whose diseases none are able to remove; therefore, they never pray to him in sickness. Their priests and chief warriors, Powahs and Panieses, pretended often to see Hobbamock in the shape of a man, fawn, or eagle, but generally of a snake, who gave them advice in their difficult undertakings. The duty and office of the Powah, was to pray to Hobbamock for the removal of evils; the common people join or say amen; sometimes breaking out with them in a musical tone. In his prayer, the Powah promised skins, kettles, hatchets, beads, and other valuable things, as sacrifices, if his request be granted. Sometimes they sacrificed their own children to hina. Women, in remarkably hard travail, which seldom happened, sent for the Powah. When the English arrived, their religion was declining. The natives said, that within their remembrance, Kichtan had been much more addressed. - The Narragansets were distinguished for their ^sacrifices. They had a spacious temple, and stat*
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