For the last man that ye put to
death, here are five come in his room.
If ye have power to take my life, God can raise up ten of his servants in my stead.’
The voice of the people had always been averse to bloodshed; the magistrates, infatuated for a season, became convinced of their error; Wenlock, with twenty-seven of his friends, was discharged from prison; and the doctrine of toleration, with the pledges of peace, hovered like the dove at the window of the ark, waiting to be received into its rightful refuge.
The victims of intolerance met death bravely; they would be entitled to perpetual honor, were it not that their own extravagances occasioned the foul enactment, to repeal which they laid down their lives.
Far from introducing religious charity, their conduct irritated the government to pass the laws of which they, were the victims.
But for them the country had been guiltless of blood; and causes were already in action which were fast substituting the firmness and the charity of intelligence for the severity of religious
bigotry. It was ever the custom, and it soon became the law, in Puritan New England
, that ‘none of the brethren shall suffer so much barbarism in their families, as not to teach their children and apprentices so much learning as may enable them perfectly to read the English
‘To the end that learning may not be buried in the graves of our forefathers,’ it was ordered in all the Puritan
colonies, ‘that every town,
ship, after the Lord
hath increased them to the number of fifty householders, shall appoint one to teach all children to write and read; and where any town shall increase to the number of one hundred families, they shall set up a grammar school; the masters thereof ’