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The Heresy Trial of
Mrs. Anne Hutchinson

November 8, 1637 — General Court, Newtown, Massachusetts Bay Colony

 

When I was in old England, I was much troubled at the constitution of the Churches there, so far as I was ready to have joined to the Separation, whereupon I set apart a day for humiliation by myself, to seek direction from God, and then did God discover until me the unfaithfulness of the Churches, and the danger of them, and that none of those Ministers could preach the Lord Jesus aright, for he had brought to my mind that in the [words of] John 4:3 — Every spirit that confesseth not, that Jesus Chris is come in the flesh, is the spirit of Antichrist. I marveled what this should mean, for I knew that neither Protestants nor Papists did deny that Christ was come in the flesh; and are the Turks then the only Antichrists?

Now I had none to open the Scripture to me but the Lord; he must be the Prophet. Then he brought to my mind another Scripture — He that denies the Testament, denies the death of the Testator. — from when the Lord did let me see that everyone that did not preach the New Covenant denies the death of the Testator. Then it was revealed to me that the ministers of England were these Antichrists, but I knew not how to bear this. I did in my heart rise up against it; then I begged of the Lord that this atheism might not be in my heart; after I had begged this light, a twelve month together, at last he let me see how I did oppose Christ Jesus, and he revealed to me that place in [Isaiah] 46:12, 13, and from thence showed me the atheism of my own heart, and how I did turn in upon a covenant of works, and did oppose Christ Jesus, from which time the Lord did discover to me all sorts of ministers, and how they taught, and to know what voice I heard — which was the voice of Moses, which of John Baptist, and which of Christ, the voice of my beloved, from the voice of strangers — and thenceforth I was the more careful whom I heard, for after our teacher, Mr. Cotton, and my brother Wheelwright were put down, there was none in England that I durst hear. Then it pleased God to reveal himself to me in that of [Isaiah] 30:20 — Though the Lord give thee the bread of adversity, etc., yet thine eyes shall see thy teachers. — after this the Lord carrying Mr. Cotton to New England (at which I was much troubled), it was revealed to me that I must go thither also and that there I should be persecuted and suffer much trouble.

I will give you another Scripture, Jeremiah 46[:28] — Fear not, Jacob, my servant, for I am with thee. I will make a full end of all the Nations, etc. Then the Lord did reveal himself to me, sitting upon a Throne of Justice, and all the world appearing before him, and though I must come to New England, yet I must not fear nor be dismayed.

The Lord brought another Scripture to me, [Isaiah] 8:9 — The Lord spake this to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, etc. I will give you one place more which the Lord brought to me by immediate revelations, and that doth concern you all: it is in Daniel 6[4] — When the Presidents and Princes could find nothing against him, because he was faithful, they sought matter against him concerning the Law of his God, to cast him into the Lion’s den; so it was revealed to me that they should plot against me, but the Lord bid me not to fear, for he that delivered Daniel, and the three children, his hand was not shortened.

And see this Scripture fulfilled this day in mind eyes; therefore take heed what ye go about to do unto me, for you have no power over my body, neither can you do me any harm for I am in the hands of the eternal Jehovah, my Savior, I am at his appointment; the bounds of my habitation are cast in Heaven. No further do I esteem of any mortal man than creatures in his hand. I fear none but the great Jehovah, which hath foretold me of these things, and I do verily believe that he will deliver me out of your hands. Therefore take heed how you proceed against me, for I know that for this you go about to do to me, God will ruin you and your posterity, and this whole State.

 

 

Source: “The Examination of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson at the Court at Newtown,” November 1637, an appendix to the second volume of Hutchinson, Thomas. History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay, (Boston: Thomas and John Fleet) 1767, pp. 366-391.