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     39.   1672                                              105


    which looseing on Earth will avail nothing Except to your hurt. The Church

    Expresses ymss desirous to extend charity to ye uttmost that the Rule allowes, yet we

    cannot but judg that besides what you have expresst the lord calls you to make far

    -ther progress in ye work of repentance and Fruits meet for it then yet we can perceive

    you have attayned to; ffor your help wherin we cannot (as we would be fayth

    full to the honour of Gods name, & ye sound peace of your own Soul) but informe

    you that we observe several things very material wanting in your acknowledg

    ments As

    1. That you mention nothing concerning any returne by repentance since that

    solemn ordinance past upon you but cheifly if not onely of what was before

    even when you were in chaines in ye prison, of which we nevre heard anything

    in your Two lettres you sent to us (to express some repentance) before you were

    cast out. The chains you were in & expectation you had of greatre punishmt

    might occasion some relentings & trouble of mind, which when you were at liber

    ty you were off and grew harder in heart as your Xstian neighbours did observe

    we doe not deny but those convictions & incouragemts you had in prison may

    (after a season of security & hard heartedness) be set on of later time by gods spirit

    upon your heart, if it be soe it is well,[108] yet its safe for you to consider whether

    this will Evidence that you have attayned Xsts End in such a solemn ordinance as

    for soe many years you have bin under: has the flesh bin destroyed & your

    heart deeply humbled under it; soe great & awfull a means of your good dos

    call for some sutable fruits, we could be glad therfore to hear what fruit god

    has granted you of his ordinance in that space of repentance you had had since it

    passed upon you, & we the rather thus speak because it seems to us as has bin

    already hinted, that the cheif if not ye whole of your convictions & incorragemts were

    before the censure passed upon you, but little if anything of either Since

    2 you speak little if anything in way of sence of the evill of a corrupt

    nature & heart; David you know when god lead him to Repentance for his

    fall he did not onely acknowledg his actual sins, but bewayles bitterly his ori

    ginal sin in which he was conceived & brought forth,[109] out of which unclean

    fountain those heinous actual sins did proceed, Gods eye is principally upon

    the heart when he beholds sin & soe should ours: outward acts many but he seeth

                                                            Adultery in the heart

    3 you speak nothing of your breaking away from the Church against Coun

    sell, which foremerly we have mentioned to you as an Evill & its strang yt

    it should not be soe in your eyes by this time you know what Solomon sayth

    27 prov. 8. As a bird that wandereth from her nest soe is a man that wan

    dereth from his place, that is he is in danger as the wandering bird is to be

    caught in some dangerous Snare or other: ther was a sad instance at Came-

    bridg here in N E of a member of that Church that would needs be gone tho

    the church could se noe ground he had to goe, & when he would goe Mr Shep

    ard told him that he uterly feared he was going from Gods blessing not long

    after he was left to ye sin you have bin left to yea though he had expresst

    some zeal against that sin & against young men & women being together at

    unseasonable times

    4 though the Church has told you foremerly that they judged you were guilty

    of the breach of the 6th command by shortning your formar wives life throw greif

    at your unclean doings yet you past it by in your last lettre with a very short men

    tion as not much convinced or sencible of your Evill carriage towards her


    fformerly as your neighbours testifyed you did rather blame your wife then your


    self & in your letter to us 1677 Septemb 10 you question whether your un

    clean carriage did hasten her end & yet you say in the same lettre

    [108] MS: “it its well.”

    [109] Ps. 51:5.