July 5

The account of the whipping of Obadiah Holmes is well-known to most Baptists. John Spur was a witness to the event. He testified that John Cotton was the Puritan preacher and prosecuting attorney in the case. Prior to the sentencing Cotton declared that “denying infant’s baptism would overthrow all; and this was a capital offense; and therefore (Holmes and John Clarke from Rhode Island) were soul murderers.” He requested the death sentence for both men. For Holmes, the beating was so bad that Cotton almost got his wish.
After the whipping, Spur and another man named John Hazel went to Holmes and expressed sympathy and concern. Spur shook Holmes’ hand and said “Blessed be God for thee, brother.”
For this, Spur and Hazel had warrants issued for their arrest “dated 5th of the 7th month, 1651. As they stood before their persecutors, they declared that they were denied the privileges of Englishmen to have legal counsel, to be tried by a jury, and to know what law they had transgressed. To this last point Governor Endicott replied, “You have denied infant baptism and deserve to die; I will have no such trash brought to our jurisdiction.”
Christians ought to be forgiving people, and I’m sure that Holmes, Spur and Hazel probably did forgive their persecutors, but if Cotton and Endicott were Christians at all, their deeds will be brought up by the Lord Himself at His bema – the judgment seat.