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houses, raze our foundations, imprison our persons, and finally deny us justice to our relief? As if they then acted most like Christian men, when they were most barbarous, in ruining such as are really so; and that no facrifice could be so acceptable to God, as the destruction of those that most fear him.
In short, that the conscientious should only be obnoxious, and the just demand of our religious liberty the reason why we should be denied our civil freedom (as if to be a Christian and an Englishman were inconfiftent); and that so much folicitude and deep contrivance should be employed only to ensnare and ruin so many ten thousand conscientious families (fo eminently industrious, serviceable, and exemplary; whilst murders can so easily obtain pardon, rapes be remitted, publick uncleanness pass unpunished, and all manner of levity, prodigality, excess, profaneness, and atheism, universally connived at, if not in fome respect manifestly encouraged) cannot but be deteftibly abhorrent to every serious and honest mind.
Yet that this lamentable state is true, and the present project in hand, let London's recorder, and Canterbury's chaplain, be heard.
The first, in his publick panegyrick upon the Spanish Inquisition, highly admiring the prudence of « the Romish church in the erection of it, as an ex• cellent way to prevent schism.” Which unhappy expression at once passeth sentence, both against our fundamental laws, and Protestant reforrnation.
The second, in his printed mercenary discourse against toleration, asserting for a main principle, That it would be less injurious to the government
to dispense with profane and loose persons, than to " allow a toleration to religious diffenters.'-It were to overdo the business to say any more, where there is so much said already.
And therefore to conclude, we cannot chuse but admonilh all, as well persecutors to relinquish their heady, parcial, and inhuman persecutions (as what will certainly issue in disgrace here, and inevitable condign punishment hereafter); as those who yet dare express their moderation (however out of fashion, or made the brand of fanaticism) not to be huffed, or menaced out of that excellent temper, to make their parts and persons subject to the base humours and sinister designs of the biggest mortal upon earth; but reverence and obey the eternal just God, before whose great tribunal all must render their accounts, and where he will recompense to every person according to his works.
Τ Η Ε
S there can be no observation, where there is no
action; so it is impossible there shall be a judicious intelligence, without due observation.
And since there can be nothing more reasonable than a right information, especially of publick acts ; and well knowing how industrious some will be to misrepresent this trial, to the disadvantage of the cause and prisoners; it was thought requisite, in defence of both, and for the satisfaction of the people, to make it more publick. Nor can there be any business wherein the people of England are more concerned, than in that which relates to their civil and religious liberties, questioned in the persons before named at the Old Bailey, the first, third, fourth and fifth of September 1670.
There being present on the bench, as justices, Sam. Starling, mayor.
John Robinson, alderm. John Howell, recorder. Joseph Shelden, alderm. Tho. Bludworth, alderm. Richard Brown, William Peak, alderm. John Smith, sheriffs. Richard Ford, alderm. James Edwards,
The citizens of London that were summoned for jurors, appearing, were impanelled; viz.
Cle. Call over the jury.
Cry. Oyes, Thomas Veer, Ed. Bushel, John Hammond, Charles Milson, Gregory Walklet, John Brightman, Will. Plumstead, Henry Henley, James Damalk, Henry Michel, Will. Lever, John Baily.
The form of the OATH.
You shall well and truly try, and true deliverance
make betwixt our sovereign lord the king, and
the prisoners at the bar, according to your evi«dence. So help you God. '
That William Penn, 'gent, and William Mead, • late of London, linen-draper, with divers other persons to the jurors unknown, (to the number of three hundred, the 15th day of August, in the 22d year of the king, about eleven of the
clock in the forenoon of the same day, with · force and arms, &c. in the parish of St. Bennet • Grace-church, in Bridge-ward, London, in the < street called Gracechurch-ftreet, unlawfully and ( tumultuously did assemble and congregate them
selves together, to the disturbance of the peace of " the said lord the king: and the aforesaid William
Penn and William Mead, together with other persons to the jurors aforesaid unknown, then and there so affembled and congregated toge
ther'; the aforesaid William Penn, by agreei ment between him and William Mead before
made, and by abetment of the aforesaid Wil« liam Mead, then and there, in the open street, I did take upon himself to preach and speak, and
then and there did preach and speak, unto the aforesaid William Mead, and other persons there in the street aforesaid, being assembled and congregated together; by reason whereof a great concourse and tumult of people in the street
aforesaid, then and there, a long time did re( main and continue, in contempt of the said
lord the king, and of his law; to the great dis• turbance of his peace, to the great terror and
disturbance of many of his liege people and subjects, to the ill example of all others in the Q2
" like case offenders, and against the peace of the " said lord the king, his crown and dignity.'
What say you William Penn, and William Mead? Are you guilty, as you stand indicted, in manner and form as aforesaid, or not guilty ?
Penn. It is impossible that we should be able to remember the indictment verbatim, and therefore we desire a copy of it, as is customary on the like occafions.
Rec. You must first plead to the indictment, before you can have a copy of it.
Penn. I am unacquainted with the formality of the law, and therefore before I shall answer directly, I request two things of the court. First, That no advantage may be taken against me, nor I deprived of any benefit, which I might otherwise have received. Secondly, That you will promise me a fair hearing, and liberty of making my defence.
Court. No advantage shall be taken against you: you shall have liberty; you shall be heard.
Penn. Then I plead Not guilty, in manner and form.
Cle. What sayest thou, William Mead? Art thou guilty in manner and form, as thou standest indicted, or not guilty ?
Mead. I shall desire the same liberty as is promised to William Penn.
Court. You shall have it.
Mead. Then I plead Not guilty, in manner and form.
The court adjourned until the afternoon.
Cry. Oyes, &c.
Cle. Bring William Penn and William Mead to the bar. Obfer. The said prisoners were brought, but were set aside, and other business prosecuted. Where we cannot chuse but observe, that it was the con