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not very satisfactory. It is no more, said he, than what I can confess, or any body else. But, said I, if my confession in this respect is not satisfactory, I can offer something more, perhaps, which is. Altho I have been by turns sensible of great coldness and indifference, yet, I have been sensible, also, by turns, of the interest I have taken in the work. At home when the work was going on, I frequently wished to be there, my heart was with it, I was glad to hear of the return of sinners—that they would
cease to do evil, learn to do well, and look unto the Savior of their souls. This in addition to what I have just observed, is the most I, can offer with regard to the first article of the charge.
We come next to the second article. This charges me with the iniquity of vindicating in others the coldness and indifference which I have manifested myself; with the iniquity of going out of the church ;-of encouraging what is wrong ;-of criminating the church, for doing their duty ;- and for persisting in the iniquin ty of all these things. As it were five allegations in,
But in regard to that of going out of the church, you are, sensible, my brethren, that I have repeatedly made my confession and expressed my desire to return. This is all I can do. In regard to all the others, except the last, their wrong is to be found, if found any where, in what Mr. Manning is pleased to call mý exhibition, viz. my defence in favor of brother, Boynton,
The last, i.e. my persisting in the wrong, is meant my continuing to say I think I did right. In regard to this, if continuing to say I think I did right is actually persisting in wrong, then I must be convicted of my own mouth. This I acknowledge, for I say now as I have said before, I think I did right. However, I might do wrong. And if I did ;-if I vindicated ; if I encouraged wrong in any one, or in any way ;- if I criminated the church for doing their duty if I of fered any thing overbearing, or unreasonably severe; ---any thing false or unfair ;-only let it be pointed out,
and here I am before all present to make satisfaction. To make satisfaction I am now ready. But no one attempted to point out where any of these wrongs was to be found on the defence ;-no che so much as wished to hear the defence, whether wrong or right. True, they labored, I thought, to make me say, I charged them with breaking their covenant. But I said no-I think not. True, I offered it as my opin'ion, that we should, in case we proceeded upon those two charges to discipline, break the covenant, and become ourselves the guilty party, as in the marriage covenant then stated. This I did to dissuade my brethren from proceeding. And this is the substance of all I can acknowledge with regard to the second artiele. The Moderator then signified that my
acknow. ledgement was not satisfactory, supposing I so understood it. I told him I did, and then wished to understand what would be satisfactory. He said if I could acknowledge that my defence in favor of Esq. Boynton 'was wrong; and that their proceedings with him were right, they should be satisfied. I then asked him if nothing less would be satisfactory. And he said, nothing less. I then told him I could not make the satisfaction demanded. Altho I might be wrong,
I cannot acknowledge the wrong, before I can see it. And altho your proceedings may have been right, I cannot acknowledge thetu right, while they appear to be wrong. After this,' to be fully satisfied that the church as a body demanded such a satisfaction and could accept of nothing less, I requested them to signify by a vote. Mr. Manning the moderator was willing ; but Dea. Davison rather declined, and the - ivote was not then taken. But after I retired, 'towards "the elose of the meeting, the vote, I was told, was actu
ally taken, and was unanimous that nothing less than. such an acknowledgement would be satisfactory.
This, with the concluding vote, is all I have understood of the meeting after I retired. The vote was taken in these words :
«Voted unanimously, that if no member of the church
including Mr. Brown, manifest any dissatisfaction or disposition to call a church meeting within the term of eight weeks, that we withdraw our fellowship from him ; having pursued the course pointed out in the gospel of Christ.”
A church meeting was appointed to be on Thursday the twenty-seventh of September, and I was informed by one of the members that my case was then to come on. I depended upon attending. But Mr. Davis, another of the members, called upon me the day before the meeting, and was directed, he said, by Mr. Manning, to inquire if my views of the church were the same, as they were at the last meeting. I informed him they were. I knew of no material alteration. Then he said I might act my pleasure as to attending. I had doubtless a right; but it would do no good. Do no good, said I. Why? Will they not consent to join in council? He said they would not. He moreover observed, that Mr. Manning had thought to come himself to do the errand; but concluded, as he was coming, it would do to send by him. From this I concluded that Mr. Manning and probably others, chose rather that I should be absent than present. I was therefore for a small space in doubt whether I had better attend or not. Upon the whole, I thought I had better attend-I went-and after waiting, perhaps half an hour, Mr. Manning came with the two deacons, and two other young members. He sat a few minutes, and then looking upon me he inquired for my health, and the health of my family. After this he read a chapter in the scriptures, and opened the meeting by prayer. In this time, or a little after there came in two other members, and two boys, perhaps, members, sons of Dea. Davison. These, excepting myself, I think were all the males present. Mr. Manning the moderator arose and observed ; that the only question before us, was whether
my views of the church and their views of me were the same, as they were at the last meeting, As to mine, I said they were the same. So signified
the church. But not satisfied with such a close of the business, I asked the church if they could not consent to join in council. They thought they could not. I asked, why? Please to give me the reasons. After a small space, Dea. Davison arose ; and not knowing but something might be expected of him, observed, if he could see any good, he should be willing; but he could see no good. A council it is true might think we have done wrong in excommunicating Esq. Boynton; still we should think we have done rightand to extort a confession of wrong, when we think we have done right, would be of no use. After all, our views and feelings would remain the same. So, a council might think, Mr. Brown had done wrong; still he would think he had done right. Consequently a council would be of no use.
Mr. Manning also thought that no good could be expected from a mutual council, nor any other; and added, that the neighboring ministers, and many others, were of the same opinion. He had been a journey of an 150 miles, and none of the ministers, after being acquainted with the case, could see any good. He also mentioned an instance in Guilford. The church had occasion to deal with a female member; and she was dissatisfied. She called a council ex parte. The minister cautioned the council as to what they did with that member. However, they proceeded, and after attending to her case, required more of her than the church themselves. And he had no apprehensions, that I should come off any better.
Dea. Clarke signified that the reasons which had been given were his reasons, and did not think it necessary to repeat them.
I then rose and said, I did not wish to detain the church any longer, in giving their reasons; but would have them proceed. The moderator observed that the business on the part of the church was already settled, and this he had signified to me before. I asked him if the church considered the vote passed, at our last meeting, a vote which refused me a trial by a mutual council, and at the same time excommunicated me. But no one answered. I then supposed they disliked the form of the question, and altered it thus : Does this church, in consequence of the vote passed at our last meeting, now look upon me as an excommunicated member ; observing that all I wanted was to know my standing, and to know this, I must know how the church look upon me.
If the church look upon me as a member, I shall look upon myself as a member. But if they look upon me as an excommunicated member, so I shall consider myself; and wished they would take a vote and settle this one point. But they declined. I then undertook to ask them individual. ly. I asked Mr. Manning, Do you now look upon me as an excommunicated member! and he said he did. I then asked Dea. Davison-He did not know how to consider me any otherwise. Dea. Clarke also, and then his son. But before his son answered, Mr. Manning the moderator said, No—this is the proper question. Is this church satisfied with the vote of their last meeting? I answered, supposing they should affirm, This would not settle the question, whether that vote excommunicated me or not; still I should be left in doubt. But notwithstanding, the moderator thought proper to take the vote, and the vote was actually taken in these words. “If this church are satisfied with the vote of their bast meeting, let them sig. nify it by holding up their hands.”- And they held up their hands, I do not know but all. I then asked the moderator this plain question, Is it the meaning of this vote that I am now an excommunicated member? And after all this labor, he said, yes. I then observed, as this church now look upon me an excommunicated member, I now look upon myself an excommunicated member you all assent to this ? I looked around upon them and thought that their countenances and their silence declared their assent. I then made a Low bow and came out.