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[374] and the instinct of liberty led him again to the sugges-
Chap. IX.} 1635.
tion of a proper remedy. In conjunction with the church, he wrote ‘letters of admonition unto all the churches whereof any of the magistrates were members, that they might admonish the magistrates of their injustice.’ The church members alone were freemnen; Williams, in modern language, appealed to the people, and invited them to instruct their representatives to do Justice to the citizens of Salem.

This last act seemed flagrant treason;1 and at the next general court, Salem was disfranchised till an ample apology for the letter should be made. The town acquiesced in its wrongs, and submitted; not an individual remained willing to justify the letter of remonstrance; the church of Williams would not avow his great principle of the sanctity of conscience; even his wife, under a delusive idea of duty, was for a season influenced to disturb the tranquillity of his home by her reproaches.2 Williams was left alone, absolutely alone. Anticipating the censures of the colonial churches, he declared himself no longer subjected to their spiritual jurisdiction. ‘My own voluntary withdrawing from all these churches, resolved to continue in persecuting the witnesses of the Lord, presenting light unto them, I confess it was mine own voluntary act; yea, I hope the act of the Lord Jesus, sounding forth in me the blast, which shall in his own holy season cast down the strength and confidence of those inventions of men.’3 When summoned to ap-

pear before the general court, he avowed his conviction in the presence of the representatives of the state. ‘maintained the rocky strength of his grounds,’ and

1 Cotton calls it crimen majestais laesae.

2 Master John Cotton's Reply, 9.

3 Cotton's Letter Examined, 3.

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