View Facsimile


    110.           176               1678


    quãm linguæ severiorem esse, illa Enim corpus hæc animam vulnerat: pithagor:[96]

    soœ menander androV karakthV ekto logo gnorizetoi [97]

    soe as to matter of worship & dishonouring gods name therin it is not unknown

    how cato & others have spoaken si deus Est nobis animus &c.[98]


    In a word The scripture 1 Cor 5 11 The platform cap 14 sect 3. The consent of

    Divines vide Dr Ames cases of conscience lib 4 cap 20 Qu. 8. Dr Owen Qu 44

    & page [-] 206 of his catechisme Mr Cotton Way cap 5 sect 2. doe suffitiently vindi

    cate this cause[99]

    As for the confession appointed Mr Nelson by the Council we have several

    grounds why our consciences suffer us not to rest satisfied with it. As.

    1 In that yr is not in it any acknowledgmt of several gross breaches of Rule

    which the church hath bin & still is offended by, but of this before

    2 In that we are appointed to take a written confession from him (of the councils

    drawing up) as well as a partiall, Mr Nelson as he has hin able to Express

    himself to God’s dishonour & the offence of his church, soe when gods Spirit in

       any such

    =dite good matter in him as to confess his sin & give glory to god, his tongue


    we doubt not will be as the pen of a ready writer 15 luke I will goe & say[100]

    neither have we any such custome nor the churches of Xst.

    3 In that he doth not own indeed what is expressed in his appointed confession

    but calls god to wittness touching his Innocency as about his speech to Br Lea

    =ver If I be deceived &c.

    4 His Impenitent carriage since the council to say nothing of what fell out yt

    very evening after his confession was publickly read & owned by him : Since yt

    he hath by many Expressions shoun strang Impenitency as apprears by his

    speeches to his minister when he laboured with him by the churches desire he

    told me (& I wrote down his speeches that houre he spake ym) that his

    name was now as good as Ever it was, and that the council did not look up

    on him as an Excomunicate person though the church did, & if we would not

    receive him in, ther was them that would, & he would not speak a word to ye

    church for yt were dangerous, but onely to Express his owning what ye council ap

    =pointed him to acknowledg

     ffor the unworthy watchman over this flock, though he doth acknowledge yt

    he desireth nothing but shame & confusion of face from ye lord, yet he hopes he

    hath not deserved from ye neighbour churches for his poor labours accasionally

    amongst them such a requital as to be reflected upon (together with my br) as

    a vain surmiser, an uncharitable comentator, a notably faculted Exagera

    =tor besides a paper of reproaches publickly read as is before Expressed wherin

    both he & the church are charged for partiality in dealing with offendors, for

    admitting a member into the church against the mind of the major part of ye

    church, he alsoe openly affirmed viz Mr Nelson that the testimonyes & Evidences

    he offered to the church, would not be received but were rejected

     You were pleased to conveen to affoard help to a distressed wronged man

    as he tearmes himself, we hope alsoe you will indeavour to help a distressed

    wronged church, whose edification & peac have bin much interrupted by yor

    offendors sinfull carriage & unbridled tongue, & we have bin hindred from

    injoying the holy ordinance of the lords supper well towards a year & a half

    in the space of about two years, and that by means of his unruly & offensive

    carriage                           S Phillips  with ye consent of the major

                                                    part of ye church.

    [96] Phillips cites Aristotle, 4th-century BCE Greek philospher; Seneca, 1st-century CE Roman philosopher; and possibly Pythagoras, 6th-century BCE Greek philosopher.

    [97] Menander was a Greek playwright of the 4th century BCE, only a small portion of whose works have survived. The phrase Phillips cites transliterates as, andros karaktes ektou logo gnorizetoi.

    [98] Dionysius Cato, an anonymous author of the 3rd or 4th century CE, who sayings and proverbs are gathered in The Distichs. SP seems to refer to Bk. I, verse 1:


    Si deus est animus, nobis ut carmina dicunt,

    Hic tibi praecipue sit pura mente colendus.

    (If God is a spirit as poets sing,

    With mind kept pure make thou thy offering.)


    [99] Cambridge Platform, ch. XIV, sec. III: “But if the offense be more public at first, and of a more heinous and criminal nature, to wit, such as are condemned by the light of nature; then the church, without such gradual proceeding, is to cast out the offender from their holy communion, for the further mortifying of his sin, and the healing of his soul in the Day of the Lord Jesus.”

        William Ames, Conscience with the power and cases thereof. Phillips’ reference is uncertain, since bk. 4, ch. 20, “Of Petition,” contains only five questions, suggesting he had a later edition.

        John Owen, A Brief Instruction in the Worship of God (1667). Q. 44 is, “May the church cast any person out of its communion without previous admonition?” To which Owen answers, “It may in some cases, where the offence is notorious and the scandal grievous, so that nothing be done against other general rules. 1 Cor. v.”

        John Cotton, The way of the churches of Christ in New-England, Ch. V, sec. II, “Church-censures how dispensed”: in the case of public scandals, including blasphemy, Cotton advocates proceeding “more roundly against such” in an expeditious manner, in order to keep the church pure.

    [100] Luke 15 contains in part the parable of the prodigal son; in v. 18, at which point he has realized his folly, he says to himself, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee.”