View Facsimile


                                    1677                   159      93


    you with these accusations charged on me by Mr Phillips, wherby you may

    be somewhat sensible of my suffering condition.

    1 I am charged with ye breech of ye 5th comandmt - disobedience to superiors

    whom I desier to ascribe all due honour unto

    2 I am likewise charged by Mr Phillips with ye breech of ye 8th comandemt

    robbing & stealing &c.

    3. I am charged with ye breech of ye 9th comandemt bearing falls wittness

    4 I am charged to be ye principal cause of those unhappy devisions that

    are amongst us, I am likewise charged with ye rest of my freinds & neigh=

    =bours with yt horrid sin of cheating

    Several other greviances I might alleadg but being tender of Mr Phillips

    his reputation I thought meet onely to hint of those scandells that render

    me uncomfortable in ye discharg of yt office that God & ye country have

    placed me in : Solomon in his divine sentences tells us that a good name

    is to be desired above great riches,[67] & those that were guided onely by the

    dim light of nature could tell us that it is as great a virtue to keep as to get

    a good name, non minor est virtus quàm quærere, parta tueri;[68] if it be

    a sin to discredit another man, then much more is it a sin to discredit our

    selves by not vindicating our good name, soe farr as we can with a good

    Conscience, If we be charged to promot ye good name of our neighbour

    then are we straitly comanded to help forward our own.

     The world might think yt I did cast of ye care of my own credit if I

    Should Sufer such reproaches to be layd on me & never labour to take

    them off, I doe yrfore humbly present my Shattered condition to your ho=

    =nourable protection, Esteeming your honours noe others then fathers in

    our common wealth, not doubting but that justice will take place without

    respect of persons

                              Philip Nelson.


     S P being summoned to answer this complaint I told the honoured

    Court that it seemd to me (considering what we find in ye scriptures in ye

    platform[69] & lawes Ecclesti[asti]cal of ye Country) soe strang & unheard of an

    Example as I conceived silence was a suffitiant answer


     The major Generell[70] answerd he did beleev my meaning was that members

    of churches might not seek for redress of wrongs to yr name estate &c. to

    a court in case they were wronged : I answerd I hoped his worship

    would not gather that inference from my Silence for I own that every soul

    is to be subject to ye higher powers to answer to the breech of ye wholsom

    lawes of ye country . But the complainer could alleadg nothing wherin he

    was wronged The Church had onely a quarter of a year since layd before

    Mr Nelson Severel Evills wch yei desired him seriously to consider off

    and yt their soe long patience in waighting for satisfaction should be

    requited with summoning ye officer of ye Church to ye court & charging

    him before Civil Authority, with wronging him by laying to his charg

    unjust reproaches, is a practise yt can scarsly if at all he para[l]elled in ye


      [-] As to his preface 1 he Hopes his Innocency will challeng a vindication

    wherby he reflects upon Officer & church as if we had imputed blame

    to an Inocent man;

    Those yt think he has passed the bound of Xstian modesty in presenting a com

    plaint against his officer who had done him noe wrong but sought his



    [67] Prov. 22:1.

    [68] “It is less an achievement to keep possession than to acquire it.” Calvin quotes and translates this saying in his commentary on Ps. 135:8-12, without identifying the person who coined it, as does John Trapp in his comment on Prov. 23:1.

    [69] I.e., the Cambridge Platform.

    [70] I.e., Daniel Gookin, major general of Massachusetts Bay militia and magistrate.