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291 – October 18 – This Day in Baptist History Past

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Taxing or Coveting? pt. 2

Then the Baptists pleaded the ingratitude of such conduct; for they had built a fort there at their own expense, and had maintained it for two years, and so had protected the interior Presbyterians, as well as their neighbors, who now rose up against them; that the Baptists to the westward had raised money to relieve Presbyterians who had like them suffered by the Indians and that it was cruel to take from them what the Indians had left! But nothing touched the hearts of these cruel people. Then the Baptists urged the law of the province; but were soon told that that law extended to no new parish till the meeting house and minister were paid for. Then the Baptists petitioned the general court. Proceedings were stopped till further orders, and the poor people went home rejoicing, thinking their property safe; but had not all got home before said order came; and it was an order for the Presbyterians to proceed. Accordingly, in the month of April, they fell foul on their plantations; and not on skirts and corners, but on the cleared and improved spots; and so have mangled their estates and left them hardly any but a wilderness. They sold the house and garden of one man, and the young orchards, meadows, and corn-fields of others; nay, they sold their dead, for they sold their graveyard. The orthodox minister was one of the purchasers. These spots amounted to three hundred and ninety-five acres, and have since been valued at 363pounds 8shillings., but were sold for 35pounds 10shillings. This was the first payment. Two more are coming, which will not leave them an inch of land at this rate. The Baptists waited on the assembly five times this year for relief, but were not heard, under pretence they did no business; but their enemies were heard, and had their business done. At last the Baptists got together about a score of the members at Cambridge, and made their complaints known; but in general, they were treated very superciliously. One of them spoke to this effect, ‘The general assembly have a right to do what they did, and if you don’t like it you may quit the place!‘ But, alas, they must leave their all behind! These Presbyterians are not only supercilious in power, but mean and cruel in mastery. When they came together to mangle the estates of the Baptists, they diverted themselves with the tears and lamentations of the oppressed. One of them, whose name is Wells, stood up to preach a mock sermon on the occasion; and, among other things, used words to this effect: ‘The Baptists, for refusing to pay an orthodox minister, shall be cut in pound pieces, and boiled for their fat to grease the devil’s carriage, &c.'”

Dr. Dale R. Hart From: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins pp. 608 – 610

 

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