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                                     1678                             171   (105


     The Council having read these grounds of or proceeding withdrew to Mr Nelsons house & ye

    next day came to ye meeting house wher we attended alsoe: & they read the following result wch

    The Scribes were to give us copyes off


        Wee the Elder & Messengers off the several Churches of Christ who chose & sent us

    on ye motion of Mr Philip Nelson of Rowley intreating to afford him some help to Enquire into

    some particular actings of the Church of Christ at Rowley, wherby he apprehends himself to be

    as much pressed to his great greif, by a Sentance of Excommunication passed against him by ye

    Reverend Teacher Mr Samuel Phillips & the brethren there: Having with a true desire Im

    =partially Endevoured to Enquire into the actions of both partyes, & desiring the assistance &

    presence of God to direct us what determination shall be sutable & effectuall, doe solemnly &

    in ye presence of God (Earnestly desireing the peace & Edification of the Church) declare this

    upon ye hearing of the case, as our result, determination & advise.

    First we cannot but seriously bewayle, that frame of Spirit wch we fear is too apparent

    in long continued distasts, which seemes to have been fomented & therby heightened, & not

    being throwly watched against, have occasionally broaken out to the breach of that Peace

    and union which ought to be maintayned in the members of ye church, who are the mem

    bers of the body of Christ, & are to Edify themselves in love.

    2dly ffor Mr Nelson our advise is, that he watch over his own spirit, That he doth

    not provoak his Teacher & brethren, by an overhasty spirit, which we fear he may have

    been offensive in, & soe much the more because he seemes to be of a temper inclyning

    that way, wch may give occasion unthought off to his opposers.

    3dly wherin he hath given occasion of offence, that by an humble & serious confession

    he labour to satisfy his offended Brethren; Such as these That we have taken notice off

    That wheras he seemed to charg the Deacon with Roguery, Though we cannot desire

    him to confess what he doth not find himself guilty off, yet ingeniously to acknowledg what

    =soer he knowes himself faulty in, Testifying his iust disowneing & dislike of such Speeches

    which he hath done already openly; Knowing that Railers are Excluded the kingdome of

    Heaven & the comunion of the Church:

    Likewise of such bold Speeches as his overvehement asseveration, unsutable to such ordi

    =nary occasions, though we cannot by what is declared judg it to be blasphemy: The fear of

    God must præceed swearing by his name

    And alsoe for overbold Expressions in prayer, wch must be presented with all humility

    meekness, love, & forgiveing one another . To take heed of a presumptious spirit in

    giveing way too much to his private Imaginations.

    4ly ffor the Teacher & brethren of the church, Though we are willing to be tender, in a case

    wherin we cannot be soe well informed as themselves, yet our Earnest desire & advise is

    That they would lay aside all prejudice against a Brother, who though not soe acceptable

    to them, yet in charity to lay aside all Vaine Suspitions & Surmises as concerning ye

    deaf lad,[87] & his participation in ye sacramt in an other church, & things of like nature:

    And we doe heerby profess the greif of our hearts to take notice of such infirmityes wch

    with a charitable construction may be looked on & censured as comon faylings & soe fitter

    to be healed, then over heightned & elevated, by any misconstruction as iust cause of Ex

    comunication, which without uncharitable comments Implying that wch was never inten

    ded, & it maybe drawen farr beyound the merrit of the offence, hath produced too

    much distance in affection, & severity in dealing.

    And lastly wheras ther doth not appear to us that due care, love & meekness, nor

    that due order by previous admonition, such should have bin observed in dealing with

    such a person: Our advise is that the church would readily testify their readiness and

    willingness on his submission according to advise, to receive, Entertain & imbrace him in

    ye bowells of christ; And as one testimony of their love & reconciliation to be willing,

    according as is meet to bear the charges which have bin Expended in this business

    together with Mr Nelson.

     This is a true copye of ye result of the council          Daniel Denison

      soe farr as was read publickly in Decemb 11 78.          John Ward[88] {modr

       As atest Jeremiah Hubbard[89] Scribes to the                by order of ye council

                John Richardson [90]  Councill.


    [87] Conjectural reading.

    [88] Minister of Haverhill, moderator of the council.

    [89] Sic; if this was not the name of a lay messenger, then perhaps this was supposed to read William Hubbard, pastor of Ipswich, .

    [90] Pastor of Newbury.