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    72      138                    1675


    Several others of or Brethren have Expressed themselves unsatisfied thems.

    unsatisfied with Mr Shepards being being[41] hindered from preaching a-

    mongst us & think there is need of the help of a councill that the

    grounds of actions concerning him may be cleared, & love & accord

    amongst us maybe attayined if it be the lords will –––

                             The Answer

     Beloved Brethren

    In your preface to your Quæreyes you tell us you remayne unsatisfied

    concerning the carriage to Mr Shepard, we know not what that car

    riage is nor those that you are soe dissatisfied with, & therefore can

    offer nothing at present for your Satisfaction, till we know particularly

    what that offensive carriage is you remayne unsatisfied with


    Your paper seemes in great part if not wholy to avoyd the churches

    desire of propounding your grounds of dissatisfaction, or what it is

    that you conceive was a breach of Rule in the churches actings with

    reference to Mr Shepard; That soe we might indeavour (The whole

    Church meeting together for that End) mutuall satisfaction, & if that

    be not attayned then to call in the help of a Concill: But yourselves

    seem to wave that method of profeeding propounded by the church, & to desire

    forthwith a councill : But neither Reason nor Religion doe suggest any ground

    to us to joyne in calling a councill, till we know what are the Irregularities

    we are to answer for, & untill due means has bin used amongst our selves for

    the composing of differences


      ffor your first Query we answer: That a whole church may not refuse

      (much less a small party of a church) to admitt any that desire to joyne wth

    her without alleadging suffitient ground for their refusing : But ther were

    Suffitient grounds alleadged (wch we suppose you remember), though you menti

    on them not, & therefore say nothing towards their removall, nor the dis

    covery of their Invalidity . –


     To your 2d Inquiry whether a voat soe obtained as that voat was &c. was

    according to Rule or not

    Answer the church did soe judg that her voat was according to Rule when

    she voated for Mr Shepards desisting to preach Januarÿ 1674 and is of the

    same mind still as appeared by her last act (June 18 1675) in owneing &

    confirming that sayd voat . : It remayneth with your selves to show us how

    that voat was soe attained as it ought not to be, that is Irregularly as you

    seem to Intimate, though you tell us not wherin –


    To your Third Query: If you were Satisfied concerning the voat (soe

    or upon such grounde attained that it was regular (which we think not

    difficult to Evince) ther would be noe need of the 3d Quærey, yet in a

    few words we Answer : That a church that calls a minister upon tryall

    to preach ye word, may after times of tryall Expired Express that she desires

    not to Imploy him any farther in that work, with out convincing him of

    any notorious sin or Evill or without calling in a councill : as a church

    may call a minister upon tryall, without a councill, soe if after tryall she

    judg him not Sutable for them, they may dismiss him without a councill: And

    the church with her Elders are judges that God hath firstly allowed to deter


    [41] MS sic.