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    66)  132               1674


    And to put an End to my life, onely the lord has helpt me to seek to him to help

    me against such temptations: I doe Earnestly beg the prayers of Gods pp yt

    the lord would deliver me from ye power of Sathan, & ye corruptions of my own

    heart, that I may both hate & be delivered from vayne thoughts: I have

    thought ther is none that hath soe vile a heart as I wch is soe continually

    Sining against God: I have thought it wonderfull mercy, that though I have

    Soe forsaken God, he should be pleased to use any mercy with me to bring me back

    And that though I Slighted the ordinance wch passed upon me that yet ye lord

    Should be pleased to make me Sensible of the waight of it, & to doe me good by

    it I hope in some measure

    Hearing that Scripture mentioned in ye ministry 3 Jer 12 13 turn ye backslid

    ing children & I will not cause mine anger to fall upon thee for I am gracious,

    & mercifull sayth the lord &c. onely acknowledg your transgressions. The lord

    Therby gave me some hope that if I would turn unto him, he would not cause his an

    =ger to fall upon me; & ye lord stird up my heart to beg of him to turne me who

    could not turn myself: And being in much fear of mine own heart least I

    should goe back again to my own ways, God brought that 32 Jer 40 to mind

    I will put my fear in your heart, that you shall not depart from me: alsoe 14

    Hoseah 1. 2 this place did much affect my heart, that though I had fallen by

    my iniquity from God, that yet he should be pleased to call upon me to return


    I have seen & doe se cause to justify God & the church in ye censure that has

    passed upon me, & alsoe have found it in some measure needful for me that

    the church did desire to receive me in again upon my first essay: And doe hum

    bly desire the prayers of Gods pp that ye lord would be pleased to pardon my sins &

    cause ym to be [?] before me to humble me; & would be pleased to keep me from the

    evill of my own heart for the time to come & that yr might appear fruits meet for



    At the same time we had conference about Mr Shepard whether to call him in order

    to settlement a 3d year, not only the 4 brethren that dissented in ye call for a 2d year but

    8 or 9 men appeared dissenting yet near half ye church being absent by reason of the

    badness of ye whether we came to noe issue but deferred the matter to another oppor

    tunity to ye 15 Jan on fryday 2 a clock afternoon Then the brethren were desired to

    speak their minds about renewing Mr Shepards Call, many spake earnestly for his stay

    upon further tryall but against takeing office, those brethren who dissented from calling him

    were very loath to speak Especially to give all ye grounds why they could not call him

    any longer when they mentioned yt reason their inability to maintain 2 honourably as the

    case required some made light of that objection who yet have appeared backward enough to

    allow 70£ per annum to S. P. wch in their way of paying is not worth above 40 in mony

    when they were very urgent from for reasons why of he might not be called still to con

    tinue in ye work I did show ym that soe many brethren dissenting we could not

    proceed to incorrage him to stay amongst us for it might hinder his settling Els where

    besides ther was noe such custom in ye churches to call a minister in order to settlemt

    when (after 2 yeares tryall) ther appeerd soe many dissenting & that such a thing ought

    not to be issued by a major vote we should therby swallow up the liberty of many

    brethren who had like liberty wth ye major part in ye choise of a minister besides as

    the practise of those churches was otherwise to their principles & doctrine – Mr Cottens

    way of the churches page 40[33] besides ye Example provided in scripture in ye choosing


    of deacons 6 Acts 5 ye whole multitude (not a part as were alledged) agreed in chusing

    out from amongst ymselves deacons, when this was made little of & still they called

    for further grounds I looked yt I was bound in faythfulness to ye nature of Christ &

    the good of ye flock to declare the 2 grounds why I could not consent in Encourraging

    his call though ye last year I did joyn in ye vote of ye major part in hope wee

    should find him more fitted for soe great a work & therby those that dissented might

    be won to concurr with ye reste that desired his Continuance) but finding

    [33] John Cotton, The way of the churches of Christ in New-England, or, The way of churches walking in brotherly equalitie, or co-ordination, without subjection of one church to another measured and examined bythe golden reed of the sanctuary, containing a full declaration of the church-way in all particulars (London, 1645), ch. 2, sec. 4. Phillips seems to mean the passage beginning on p. 39 and continuing on p. 40, where Cotton describes how, when a New England church has identified someone to supply an office in a congregation, “they take some time of tryall of them, partly by their owne observation and communion with them, partly by consultation with the Elders of other Churches . . . For every man of good gifts is not alwayes endowed with an honest and good heart; and every good heart is not fitted to close (so fully as were meet) with every good people: Every key is not fit to open every Lock; nor every good mans gift fit to edifie every people: But when upon tryall, the Church doth finde every mans spirit among them desirous of the fellowship of the man, and gifts; then they agree amongst themselves upon a certain day, wherein in a solemne manner they intend to Elect him to office amongst themselves.”