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repeated by Hubbard in an aggravated form, and more recently by Dr. Belknap and others, as late as 1831. It must therefore be examined in this paper.
How much is meant by the term “ dalliance" in the language of the strict Puritans of that age, we know not. But we do know that a minister of Christ should be above reproach and suspicion, and that there are several circumstances which render the truth of this whole accusation very doubtful, not to say incredible. In the first place, it rests altogether upon the testimony of prejudiced parties, who regarded him, in the language of Dr. Belknap, as "an Anabaptist of the Antinomian sort." Even Winthrop, with all his general candor, is not free from this prejudice, and his knowledge of the case was wholly second hand, perhaps from the Massachusetts Commissioners, perhaps only from the vague and one-sided reports of Mr. Knollys' enemies, glad of an opportunity to put down the dreaded Baptists, against whom, only three years later, a most barbarous law was enacted in Boston, and not only enacted, but enforced to blood, in two instances at least, at the public whipping-post. But in the second place, I have had access to the Judicial Records of New Hampshire for the year 1641, and there found the name of Hanserd Knollys entered as plaintiff in an action of slander; which, though never prosecuted in consequence of his return to England, at least implies that he regarded himself as an injured man. Thirdly, in the “Account of his own Life,” written in 1672, he gives this as the immediate cause of his return from America. “Being sent for back to England by my aged father, I returned with my wife, and one child about three years old.” Fourthly, Cotton Mather, cotemporary with Knollys for near forty years, and who wrote his Magnolia at Boston, about the time that Knollys died, with free access to Winthrop's journal, where the story first appears, and after the first reports had been more thoroughly sifted, expressly excepts Hanserd Knollys from the class of "scandalous” ministers. Among the illustrious men of New England, he describes a class, “whose names," he says, 66 deserve to live in our book for their
piety, although their particular opinions are such as to be disserviceable unto the declared and supposed interests of our churches. Of these were some godly Anabaptists, as namelý, 'Mr. Hanserd Knollys, of Dover, and Mr. Miles, of Swansey. “Both of these,” he adds, “have a respectful character in the churches of this wilderness.” And to Grown all, Mather, referring to the recent decease of Mr. Knollys in London, says, he died “a good man, in a good
"* These various testimonies are not easily reconciled with the supposition that Mr. Knollys had forfeited his good character in Dover. We know that the sun has his spots, and that even great and good men have sometimes fallen, in an evil hour; but he who duly weighs the evidence now. before us, and compares it with all the antecedent and subsequent life of Hanserd Knollys, will be slow to credit any injurious imputation on his character during the time of his residence in America. “ This is not the place to follow Mr. Knollys back to England, and trace his eventful career for the next half century, through the most agitated period of English history. The theme is most inviting, and at some future time may
be pursued with pleasure and profit. We shall see in him one of the brightest lights of his age, one of the ablest preachers of the Gospel, one of the most accomplished teachers of youth, one of the boldest pioneers of religious liberty, une of the meekest yet most heroic sufferers for the truth, one of the purest and best of men. We have the testimony of Neal in his History of New England, that “he suffered deeply in the cause of Nonconformity, being universally esteemed and beloved by all his brethren,'' † among whom he died, with holy joy, September 19, 1691, at the advanced age of ninety-three. : From a sermon preached on occasion of his death, by Rev. Mr. Harrison, at London, we may be permitted to make an extract, which establishes the eminent purity and loveliness of his character-a character which fifty years of manifold trial, after his return from America, had elevated above all suspicion.
* Magnolia. i. 221.
† Hist. N. E., i. 216.
“I do not say,” says Mr. Harrison, “that he was wholly free from sin; sinless perfection is unattainable in a mortal state; but yet he was one who carefully endeavored to avoid it. He, with the apostle Paul, did herein exercise himself to have always a conscience void of offence, towards God and towards man. He walked with that caution that his greatest enemies had nothing against him, save only in the matters of his God. That holy life which he lived did command reverence, even from those who were enemies to the holy doctrine which he preached. He was a preacher out of the pulpit, as well as in it: not like those who possess the form of godliness on a Lord's day, and as openly deny the power of it the remainder of the week, who pluck down that in their conversations, which they build up in their pulpits.”. As to his charity, “ he loved the image of God wherever he saw it. He was not a man of a narrow and private, but of a large and public spirit The difference of his fellow-Christians' opinions from his, did not alienate his affections from them.
He embraced those in the arms of his love on earth, with whom he thought he should join in singing the song of the Lamb in heaven. It would be well,” continues Mr. Harrison, “if not only private Christians, but also ministers, did imitate him therein ; there would not then be that suurness of spirit, which is too often, with grief be it spoken, found among them.
He was willing to bear with, and forbear others; to stoop and condescend to others, and to pass by those injuries which he received from them.” *
Such was Hanserd Knollys. Is it wonderful that God blessed him ? Short as was his residence in America, his labors brought forth fruit, and the fruit remains to this day. The church which he planted in Dover, though divided, did not perish. The Pedobaptist branch now flourishes in the large Congregational church of Dover, the fruitful mother of many others, with Baptist sisters side by side. The Baptist branch, composed, as Winthrop says, of the “more religious,” adhered to Mr. Knollys; and to avoid the oppressive Church and State jurisdiction of Massachusetts, removed to Long Island in 1641. After Long Island fell under the power of the English in 1664, and the persecuting tyranny of the Episcopal establishment succeeded that of the Dutch under Stuyvesant, they, as soon as possible, sold out their property there, and settled in the vicinity of New Brunswick, New Jersey, on the east side of the Raritan river, where they enjoyed religious liberty under Lord Carteret. To the town which they here planted they transferred the dear old name of Dover, that is, Piscataway, (according to the original orthography,) in memory of their
* Crosby. i. 340.
first home in the wilderness, where they had enjoyed for three years and more the ministrations of their first, loved pastor, HANSERD KNOLLYS. The church, when fully reorganized, and favored again with pastoral care, under Mr. Drake, in 1689, flourished anew, bearing much and blessed fruit. So deeply did it strike its roots into the new soil, that to this day no kind of Christians but Baptists grow in Piscataway; and not only do they fill the town, but in the towns around it new churches are continually springing up as shoots from the parent tree, first planted by the hands, and watered by the tears and prayers of Hanserd Knollys in America.
ARTICLE VII.—THE PLAGUE OF BLOOD.
VARIETY in unity is a prominent feature of the Divine government. Exhibitions of the wisdom and benevolence of Deity are seen in the production of many results from a single cause. How numerous are the effects produced by the sun, the wind, water, fire, electricity, attraction, chemical affinity, and the various other forces of nature; and how greatly do they administer to the instruction, the elevation and the happiness of man. Similar is it in what are termed, more specifically, the operations of Divine Providence. How diversified are the consequences which often flow from the death of an infant, from a change of dynasty in a government, from a commercial panic, or from a single battle. It is the same in respect to the variety of results arising from God's method of revealing truth to men.
The plagues which befell Egypt through the instrumentality of Moses, besides being disciplinary, were a revelation from Jehovah. Through them God addressed the Egyptians, and the Hebrews whom they held in bondage, and since their day, the history of those remarkable events has been a Divine communication to the human family, where
ever they have become known. It is impossible at this late period to discover all the relations which those wonderful and peculiar developments of Deity sustained to the opinions and institutions of the Egyptians and surrounding nations; but we can perceive enough to convince us that all of them were heavy blows against the bulwarks of some form of established mythology. In them Jehovah, the God of Israel, marshals his vast armies of frogs and flies, locusts and lice, and arraying himself in the drapery of darkness, fire and blood, he passes through the nation like a "man of war,'' trampling with supreme contempt upon the
pretended authority and power of all the gods of Egypt. The monarch is amazed; the priests are confounded; the people are filled with consternation, and all are at a loss where to turn for relief from the heavy pressure of the plague, except to the servants of Him by whom it was produced. To any reflecting mind among the Egyptians or the Hebrews, what could have been the inference from all this, concerning the power of the deities of Egypt, as compared with that of the God of the Hebrews? In other words, what was the bearing of those plagues upon the mythological system prevalent at that time in Egypt, and what their influence then and subsequently upon the Egyptians, Hebrews and surrounding nations ?
The answer to these questions would be approximated by an examination of each plague separately. In the present article our attention will be confined to the first-the turning of the Nile into blood.
That this plague was produced by miraculous power is evident, first, from the great change which all the water in Egypt underwent. This was so entire, that the people could not drink of it, nor fish live in it. Second, from its suddenness. From the narrative of Moses it appears, that the change was instantaneous. Ex. vii. 19, 20,-“ And the Lord spake unto Moses, say unto Aaron, take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood, and that there may be blood throughout all the land of