That ever I should speak or write a title,
that tends to such an infinite liberty of conscience,
is a mistake,
and which I have ever
disclaimed and abhorred.
To prevent such mistakes,
I shall at present only propose this case:
There goes many a ship to sea,
with many hundred souls in one ship,
whose weal and woe is common,
and is a true picture of a commonwealth,
or a human combination of society.
It hath fallen out sometimes,
that both papists and protestants,
Jews and Turks,
may be embarked in one ship;
upon which supposal I affirm,
that all the liberty of conscience,
that ever I pleaded for,
turns upon these two hinges-
that none of the papists, protestants,
Jews, or Turks,
be forced to come
to the ship’s prayers or worship,
nor compelled from their own
particular prayers or worship,
if they practice any.
I further add, that I never denied,
that notwithstanding this liberty,
the commander of this ship
out to command the ship’s course, yea,
and also command that justice, peace and sobriety,
be kept and practiced,
both among the seamen
and all the passengers.
/ / /
This poem was formed in response to Miz Quickly’s prompt for day sixteen. The source of this poem is Letter to Providence written by Roger Williams in 1655.