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AN ORIGINAL LETTER FROM DR. INCREASE MATHER, TO GOVER
that since your arrival to the government, my charitable expectations have been greatly disappointed, I may not deny. Without any further preface or compliments, I think it my duty freely and faithfully to let you understand what my sad fears concerning you are.
Ist. I am afraid you cannot clear yourself from the guilt of bribery and unrighteousness : For you to declare to Mr. Newton, that he should not do what his office as judge in the admiralty obliged him unto, unless he would give you an hundred pounds, was surely a sin of that nature. And for you not to consent that some, whose titles to their land the General Assembly had confirmed, should enjoy their right, except they would give you a sum of money, is unrighteousness. To deny men their right, except they will by. some gift purchase it, is certainly the sin of bribery, let who will be guilty of it. These and other things Mr. Newton and Mr. Partridge have given their affidavits of; and I hear that many things of this nature will shortly be discovered : There is a scripture that makes me think it will be so. Numb. xxxii. 23.
2d. I am afraid that you have not been true to the interest of your country, as God (considering his marvellous dispensations towards you) and his people have expected from you.
Sir H. Ashurst writes to me, that it would fill a quire of paper for him to give a full account of your contrivances to ruin your country, both this and the neighbour colony. Your son Paul's letter, dated January 12, 1703-4, to W. Wharton, seems to those that have read it, to be nothing short of a demonstration, that both of you have been contriving to destroy the charter privileges of the province ; and to obtain a commission for a court of chancery, alias, a court of bribery. A gentleman in London gave ten pounds for that letter, that so his friends in New England might see what was plotting against them.
3d. I am afraid that you cannot clear yourself from the guilt of much hypocrisy and falseness in the affair of the college. In 1686, when you accepted of an illegal arbitrary commission from the late K. James, you said, that the cow was dead, and therefore the calf in her belly ; meaning the charter of the college and colony. You said (and truly
* In this class are included the nameless diseases of children.
enough) that it was not in the power of that government to constitute a corporation, it being contrary to a maxim in law, for a corporation to make a corporation. And all writers who handle the subject, say, that a college cannot be erected without sovereign authority. But how much have you of late, to serve a design, said and done contrary to your former assertions! What an happiness would it have been to the country and a glory to the college, to have had what was by the General Assembly in my Lord Bellamont's time, sent to and confirmed by royal author. ity. It is your fault, Sir, that it has not been done. For both Mr. Blathwait and Mr. Phips wrote, that if you desired it, the thing would be immediately despatched. You promised me, you would endeavour it :
: yet some of the representatives told me at the same time, that you promised them the contrary. And I have been informed, that you have discouraged the matter from proceeding by letters home. Alas! Sir, your friends are not faithful as they ought to be. Some whom you have promoted will backbite you, and say you are the falsest man in the world. But which of them have attended the divine precept? Lev. xix. 17.
4th. I am afraid that the guilt of innocent blood is still crying in the ears of the Lord against you. I mean the blood of Léister and Milburn. My Lord Bellamont said to me, that he was one of the committee of Parliament who examined the matter; and that those men were not only murdered, but barbarously murdered. However, the murdered men have been cleared by the King, Lords, and Commons. It is out of my province to be a judge in things of this nature. Nevertheless, considering what the proper judges, who have had an impartial hearing of the case, have said, and what the gentleman who drew up a bill for taking off the attainder from those poor men, have written to me about it, I think you ought, for your family's sake, as well as your own, to lay that matter to heart, and consider whether you ought not to pray as Psalms, li. 14.
5th. I am afraid that the Lord is offended with you, in that you ordinarily forsake the worship of God in the holy church to which you are related, in the afternoon on the Lord's day, and after the publick exercise, spend the whole time with some persons reputed very ungodly men. I am sure your father did not so. Can you sanctify the Sabbath in a conversation with such men ? Would you choose to be with them or such as they are in another world, unto which you are hastening? 2 Chron. xix. 2. I had like to have said, my heart mourns for you, because I believe greater troubles are very near unto you, than any that have befallen you from your youth unto this day ; but I forbear, and
; may not at present acquaint you with.
But, Sir, there are at present two reasons which induced me to discharge my conscience in laying before you my fears. One is, in that you have sometimes said, that if ever you had a spiritual father, I was the man. And there was a time when I encourageil the church, with whom I have been labouring in the work of the Lord these forty-six
years and more, to call you to be my assistant in the ministry. The other is, that a letter thought to have been written by me, induced the late K. William to give you a commission for the government here. Sir H. Ashurst, in a letter dated the 25th of Juiy last, says, that the day before a Right Honourable person, one of her Majesty's Privy Council, assured him, that it was a letter of my son's which you read to the King, that inclined him to give you a commission, and that the King thought the letter had been mine.
How glad should I be, if I could receive satisfaction that my fears of your being faulty, in the matters I have faithfully mentioned to you, are groundless; but if otherwise considering such scriptures as these, Isai. Iviii. 1. Jer. xxiii. 28. Math. xiv. 4, 5. 1 Tim, v. 21. I am under pressures of conscience to bear a publick testimony without respect of persons; and I shall rejoice if it may be my dying testimony. I am now aged, expecting and longing for my departure out of the world every day. I trust in Christ that when I am gone, I shall obtain a good report of my having been faithful before him. To his mercy I commend you, and remain in him,
Yours to serve,
I. MATHER. Boston, January 20, 1707-8.
To the Governour.
AN ORIGINAL LETTER FROM DR. C. MATHER, TO GOVERNOUR
Boston, Jan. 20, 1707-8.
concern for the welfare of your Excellency seems to render it necessary,
you should be faithfully advised of them. It was not without a design to introduce and exercise this faithfulness, that I have in divers letiers to your Excellency, sought out acceptable words, and acknowledged every thing in the world, that might at all dispose you to give me the hearing. In some of those letters, I have indeed, with the language of the tribe of Naphtali, insinuated unto you, what those points were, wherein I earnestly desired that we might observe and confess you laudable. And I still imagined that you would at the same time understand my apprehension of there being points, wherein you were too defective. But your Excellency compels me to see that the schemes of speaking and modes of addressing used among persons of the most polite education, will not answer the expectation I have had of them. You will give me leave to write nothing, but in a style, whereof an ignorant mob, to whom (as well as the General Assembly) you think fit to communicate what fragments you please of my letters, must be competent judges. I must proceed accordingly. And though I may complain of it, that the letters, which I have written formerly to your Excellency, have been improved unto my damage ;
yet I will now venture another, which if it may be for your service, I care not, though it be as much for my detriment as any of the rest, and exposed as an appendix unto them. A letter of mine, the reading whereof to K. William was (as I have heard) of some small service to you in obtaining his royal determination, that you should have his commission for the government, brought upon me an extreme displeasure in the country. I proposed therein to return good for evil, to conquer evil with good, and retaliate (in my own way) the venoms which you poured upon me, in your last conference with my father, at your leaving New England. And if I never saw after this an expression of your gratitude, yet I saw all that I proposed. However, to hand such a gross untruth about the country, as a report(which I hear some of your counsellors do. as from you) that at the time of my writing that letter, I wrote another quite the contrary, to do you a disservice, is but a very mean requital.
When that letter was written, I weakly believed that the wicked and horrid things done before the righteous revolution, had been heartily repented of; and that the rueful business at New York, which many illustrious persons of both houses of parliament often called a barbarous murder, and which the king, lords, and commons, by an act of parliament invited all persons to think so, had been considered with such a repentance, as might save you and your family from any further storms of heaven for the revenging of it. I flattered myself with a belief, that you would know no interests but those of a glorious Christ, and of his people and kingdom, and study what you should render to him for his wonderful dispensations towards you, in restoring you to your family, with the government of a people, with whom you had been in such evil circumstances. The whole country were witnesses to some of my poor and plain endeavours, to do the part of a faithful monitor unto you, in the por. traiture of a good man, at your arrival. Sir, had you then received your government with serious and thankful considerations, perpetually carried on, how to discharge it as a stewardship for the glorious Lord, and how to make this an holy and an happy people ; and resolution to do nothing in it but what should be just and good ; how honourably, how comfortably would your government have at last expired! Your late epitaph would have been, Them that honour me, I will honour. And in the mean time, you would not have known the meaning of a troubled sea. You might have maintained a very inoffensive conduct towards the gentlemen of whom most of all you have stood in fear : or if they had been uneasy, the great God would have accomplished for you the word which the Emperor Maximilian wrote upon his tables : whereas now, they are the very persons by whose means most of all your fear is like to come upon you. It seems as if the glorious Lord had a controversy with you. He has raised you up very powerful enemies. The best office of love that can be done for you, is, to assist you that your ways may please the glorious Lord, and remind you wherein you have not pleased him. VOL. III.