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acting, without any peculiar restraint from the civil power. He was then a young man, singular in his notions, and fond of manifesting his singularities, He arrived at Boston, Feb. 1631, and from this place went to Plymouth, where he resided two years, and spake freely his sentiments upon religion, without offending the brethren of that church. He was peculiarly gifted as a preacher, and was willing that they should speak at publick and private meetings; hence they were always attached to him, and were ready to help him in the time of his greatest necessities. He was not willing to settle with the church at Plymouth, but went to Salem, while Mr. Skelton was living, in whose pulpit he prophecied, according to the language of the times, when a man preached who had not been inducted into the office of pastor or teacher. The church of Salem invited him to be their pastor when Mr. Skelton died. This gave offence to the government of the colony. It was the opinion of the ministers of the bay, that if Mr. W. was allowed to propagate his opinions, the churches might run into heresy and apostacy, and the people defy the civil magistrate. The church of Salem was censured, as well as their teacher. When the court met, he was ordered to appear before them. He was charged with writing two letters. One to the churches, complaining of the magistrates for injustice and extreme oppression, &c. the other to his own church, persuading them to renounce communion with all the churches in the bay, because they were filled with antichristian pollution, &c. He justified these letters, maintained his opinions, and offered to defend them in a publick dispute. Mr. Hooker was chosen to confer with him, but could not convince him of his errors. He was ordered to depart from the jurisdiction in six weeks. The church at Salem acknowledged their fault in joining their voice with Mr. W. in the letter he sent to the churches. The banishment of Mr. W. was in 1635. He went to Secunke, now called Rehoboth.

He afterwards fixed upon Mooshausick, which he named Providence, which is now one of the most flourishing places in New England. Strangers often seek the spot where Roger Williams fixed his humble dwelling, and drink at the spring, which ran before his door, where he slacked his thirst during his weariness and perils. A very odd way of shewing respect to the memory of this uncommon man, who was poor, and altogether spiritual in his views, is now discovered by the people of that town. One of the Providence banks is named " Roger Williams' bank.” In 1637, Mr. Williams was em. ployed by the government of Massachusetts to be their agent in the business they transacted with the Indian tribes. His conduct was marked with fidelity, disinterestedness and wisdom.* Gov. Winthrop was a friend to him after this. His former åssociates respected his talents and integrity, though they still blamed him for his bigotry, pride and singularity. He had the entire confidence of the Indian sachems.

From this time we are to view Mr. W. as a dif ferent character from what he was when teacher of a particular congregation in Salem; or would have been, had he continued in Massachusetts among the pastors of the churches. His sphere of usefulness was very extensive, and, where religious opinions had no influence, he conducted wisely, and beyond what could be expected from a man, who had shown such strange prejudices, and whose education gave him but little knowledge of the world. We are to view him, as the father of one of the pro. vinces, and a writer in favour of civil and religious freedom, more bold, just, and liberal, than any other, who appeared in that generation.

Many would smile at seeing the name of Roger Williams enrolled with the legislators of ancient times, or with the statesmen of modern Europe, or

For the details of Mr. Williams's life, see historical collec.tions, vol. x. pages 17, 18, 19, 20, &c.

with such a man as Penn, the proprietor of Penn. sylvania, whose steps were more majestick upon the theatre of the great world. But this man was equal to conducting the affairs of this infant colony as well as if a complete system of legislation was formed; and, as a mediator between the aboriginals and the English inhabitants, if he were the instrument of preserving peace, of teaching the Indians some of the arts of life, and of illuminating the minds of the heathen with the light of christianity, he is certainly worthy of more credit, than some mighty hunters of the earth, or those sages, whose maxims have made men fierce and revengeful, and caused human blood to flow in streams.

He was very instrumental in settling RhodeIsland, or procuring the grant of land, which Mr. Coddington and others had chosen for their plantation, when they left Boston. The historian of that colony has favoured us with a ms. of his, which he says is in perpetuam rei memoriam.

In 1643, Mr. Williams went to England as agent, and it was there, by the assistance of Vane, he obtained "a charter of civil incorporation by the name of Providence plantations in the Narraganset bay of New England." It was dated 7th of March; which form of government subsisted till 1651. Then upon differences, they sent their former agent, and joined Mr. Clarke with him, who transacted the business to the advantage of the colony, and the satisfaction of a large majority of the people.

Roger Williams lived to a great age. He died, 1682, 48 years after his banishment. The various scenes of his life did not make him alter his sentiments on religious freedom; and his latitudinarian principles had no ill effect in plantations where there was no church rule or authority.*

The first of Mr. Williams's publications was a dialogue between Truth and Peace, a book of 247 pages, printed in London,


It required great boldness of thinking, and uncommon abilities,

WILLIAMS JOHN, pastor of the church at Deerfield, was the son of Mr. Samuel Williams of Roxbury. He was born 1664, was graduated 1683, and ordained in 1686. The town being among the frontier settlements, was continually exposed to the incursions of the French and Indians. In 1704 a party of savages destroyed the place, and carried Mr. Williams and his family through a wilderness of 300 miles. They killed

to write this work. Here are disclosed sentiments which have been admired in the writings of Milton and Furneaux. His ideas of toleration he carried further than Mr. Locke, but not beyond the generality of dissenters in England. The book was answered by Mr. Cotton, whose zeal and knowledge would give him a name among christian worthies in any age of the church, and who was the most distinguished of the clergy in Massachusetts. But so far from supposing himself confuted, Mr. Williams replied with great spirit and argument, which reply has been since published, together with Mr. Cotton's attack upon him, which he called the Bloody Tenent, washed in the blood of the Lamb, in allusion to the first writing of Mr. Williams, which he styled The Bloody Tenent, or Dialogue between Truth and Peace, meaning that the idea of the interference of the magistracy, in matters of religion, is a bloody te.


The title of another book is, George Fox digged out of his bur rows, &c. by Roger Williams. The answer, a New England -fire-brand quenched, being an answer to a lying, slanderous bock, &c. by one Roger Williams, confuting his blasphemous asser tions, by George Fox and John Burnyeat. These controversial pieces were printed about the years 1676-1678, and the contents of a large volume are similar to the title pages.

Many tracts are ascribed to Mr. Williams as a writer. He wrote letters to individuals of his acquaintance, and to gentlemen in office, which are among the most valuable antiquarian stores ; some of them very curious and rare.

It is a desirable object to collect the mss. of Mr. Williams. He mentions receiving scores of letters from his excellent friend gov. Winthrop. Doubtless there are many letters of his writing, as well as his correspondents, which would be accounted precious by those who desire to know the history of their own country.

A most valuable book was published by the subject of this memoir, upon the language of sauvage America. It is called a Key to the language of the Indians of New England. It was printed in 1643, in a small duodecimo volume. The original is in the library of the historical society; and most of the contents have been published in their collections.

his wife, two children, and two servants. He was sent first to Montreal, then to Quebec, and in 1706, returned home, with other captives, to the number of 57. Mr. Williams was again settled at Deerfield, where he lived till the year 1729. He died suddenly of the apoplexy, in the month of June, aged 65. He was a pious and worthy man. His natural vivacity of temper, his vigourous mind, and firm constitution, fitted him for his situation, where he had to endure trials of the heart, as well as those trials which are common to men, and ministers. One of his children was brought up among the Indians, and never could be persuaded to leave her wandering life. She married and passed her days in Canada. He left 3 sons who were favoured with a college education, and settled in the ministry. His wife, who was killed by the Indians, was the daughter of E. Mather, the first minister of Northampton, and grand-daughter of the famous John Warham, who came to Dorchester in 1630.

WILLIAMS NATHANIEL, preceptor of the south grammar school, Boston, was the son of very respectable parents, who gave him a college education with a view of his becoming a minister of the gospel; and to this he was early inclined. He was graduated at Harvard College, 1693; and, in July, 1698, was ordained an evangelist for one of the West India Islands. The climate was unfriendly to his constitution, and he soon returned to his native town. Being an excellent classical scholar, he was chosen successor to the celebrated master Cheever in the publick and free grammar school, “the principal school," says Mr. Prince," of the British colonies, if not of all America." He continued from the year 1703 to 1734 a very useful instructor, when

His publications were, the redeemed captive returning to Zion, as a history of his captivity, 1706; also a sermon preached the same year at the Boston lecture, Psalm cvii. 13, 14, 15; of these, the fourth edition was printed, 1793; the convention sermon, 1728.

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