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ion from the old to the new church to continue his former business of acting as a spy upon his fellows, does not yet appear. It must have been principally through the instrumentality of this man that these proceedings were had. Judge ye, whether a spy and a hypocrite is a fit man to sit in judgment on the character and religious sentiments of his minister.
On a day subsequent to the seventeenth of February, a member of this new church called at the house of Mr Parker, with a paper, which was supposed to be a part of the record of the council, in which it was stated, as nearly as can be recollected, that a council had been called, a new church formed, and that due notice had been given to Mr Parker. A meeting of Members of Mr Parker's Society was afterwards called, who chose a committee of inquiry; and when this committee made application to several members of the new church, they were uniformly referred to Capt. W. Johnson as the keeper of the records. To himn they applied as the person who could give record evidence of the proceedings of the council. After taking advice, as it was understood of one of the inembers of the council, he promised to give a copy; but when application was again made, he refused to furnish a copy of the record. If any mistake therefore has been made in any previous statement, as to the immaterial point, who it was that acted as secretary of the council, it is owing to deception, practiced by members of the new church. And as the record evidence was refused, resort was had to the next best evidence. If Mr Pearson takes pleasure in setting down inaccuracies as to nonessentials, as "forged stories,' we feel perfectly willing to make the necessary correction; and also to state who falsified his word by witholding the promised record.
You may determine for yourself, the propriety of the conduct of the council towards Mr Parker, from what we have stated. That there was something improper in their sending to call him before them, and their proceeding as if notice had been given him, is fully evident from the fact, that these ministers admitted there was a responsibility, and that they would assume it. The council has been called self constituted. So far as they undertook to judge the character and sentiments of Mr Parker and his church; so far as they took the responsibility on themselves to meddle with other people's business ; so far as they dare to vilify and asperse and condemn others, so far they travelled out of their jurisdiction, and were a self constituted tribunal, having no authority from either Christ or his Father, or from their fellow mortals.
We will not detain you with a recital of the conduct and conversation of certain weak and deluded men and women in this place, who have been induced by those who should have taught them better things, to commence and wage a warfare against their minister and the peace and harmony of this town. A multitude of scenes could be mentioned, but they are only such as are witnessed in every place where the weak minded are taken in the toils of those more cunning and aspiring than themselves.
We send you herewith a copy of the church covenant as used in Mr Parker's church, marked A. We also send you a copy of that used in Westborough, marked B, and which you perceive is precisely similar to the former, with the exception of an additional introductory paragraph. We likewise send that of the new church in this place, marked C. All these you may publish if you have room. Now determine for yourself what must be in the heart of that man who is governed by the second of these covenants, if he can join in the condemnation of those who are governed by the first. Strange, as it may seem, this has been done. But before doing this, did they so much as ask Mr Parker whether he had given up the church covenant of his predecessors the faith of neighboring churches ? No. Did they call his church together to know whether they too had left the faith of their Pilgrim Fathers? Never. Were they informed of any unchristian conduct on the part of Mr Parker or his church ? None at all ; unless it was the information communicated by him who had so long played the spy at the communion table. then, suppose representations had been ever so bad, was he a person to be trusted on this serious subject? Does not every Christian know there was a Judas among the twelve, and that he betrayed the founder of Christianity with a hypocritical kiss! Yet even Pontius Pilate would not condemn the supposed criminal without the form of a trial. Decency was not saved even by
the form of a trial in the case of Mr Parker. We make no further comments, but only observe that the evidence is conclusive to our minds that these proceedings have been had principally, if not solely, because Mr Parker has not refused to exchange with Unitarians. This point is put beyond controversy, by the declaration made on the day of council, and there made by neighboring ministers and laymen. We have stated above that and that only, which we believe on good evidence to be strictly true We hold ourselves responsible to establish the truth of the same, should there be a denial of our statements.”
Signed by nine of the leading men of Southboro'.
Now, Sir, have these Orthodox individuals in Southboro’ and the council of which you was a member, done unto others as they would wish to have others do unto them? Suppose one or two of your small number of males should become dissatisfied, and call a council of Universalists, and act over the same scenes above described, would you call this doing as they would wish to be done unto. If you say it would not, then you admit that your proceedings were outrageous and unprincipled.
I have now noticed all your statements which deserve the least attention. Throughout your letter, you have occasionally alluded to truth and honesty, peace and harmony.
Are you, Deacon Pearson, the most proper person to preach truth and honesty to the inhabitants of this village? Is it not a fact, that when Mr Harding's Review of my sermon, on denying the Lord Jesus was published, you declared to one of my society that you knew not who wrote the pamphlet? Is it not a fact, that when it was rumored that I intended to answer the Review, you affirmed that you knew Mr Harding was the author, for you saw the proofsheets at the time it was printing? And is it not a fact, that when you was reminded of the contradiction between this statement and your former assertion, you acknowledged that you stated this falsehood, because you feared that people would not read the work if its author was known ?. If for so small a consideration you could deliberately utter so great an untruth, what security have we that you have not been actuated by similar motives in your
present publication ? Not only so. When you was married to your last wife, did you not give her a note for the money you receiv. ed at her hand, and promise to pay her lawful interest on the same ? And have you not neglected to fulfil this obligation ? And has she not uttered many and bitter complaints on account of this dishonesty ? Still further. Did you not ask one of your neighbors to put his name to a note of two hundred dollars, given by your son and yourself? And when you had paid one hundred of the same,
did you not refuse to pay the remainder, and direct the creditor to call upon your neighbor for the other hundred ? Once
Did you not retail ardent spirits without a licence, even after you were appointed an agent for a temperance paper ? Were you not indicted and fined for this offence? And of what value is your zeal in the temperance cause, since to the world it
appears to be the result of necessity? All these things are generally known and believed by the inhabitants of this village. Will they be likely to pay much regard to a man's precept when it is violated by his own example ? But this is not all. Are
church the most suitable persons to preach peace and harmony to the citizens of Waltham ? Is it not a fact, that your wife, yourself and two daughters belong to the Orthodox church in this place? Is it not a fact, that you have been unable to live peaceably under the same roof? Is it not a fact, that you have been obliged to assemble the church to settle your family quarrels, before you could commune at the same table ? Would it not have more influence on others to exhibit an example of peace in your own family than to exhort others to the performance of this duty ? Not only so ; did not your minişter enter into a written agreement to leave this place when two thirds of his society should so determine at a regular parish meeting ? Did he not so understand the contract when it was made, and was it not so understood by all interested ? Had he fulfilled this engageinent according to the spirit of the obligation, would not the harmony of the village have been greatly promoted ? Instead of this, did he not endeavor to excite all possible prejudice against Unitarians in his farewell discourse? Was not the same course pursued in private conversation ? Since my settlement, has he not visited individuals and families of my society, and adopted the most indelicate and ungentlemanly means to entice them to his meeting ? Have not some of your church members attacked my hearers repeatedly, and at every turn and corner, and assured them that hell must be their portion if they continued to hear me preach, and offered them seats in your church without pay, if they would attend upon Mr Harding's ministry? And have you not all, minister and church, denounced me, and my opinions, and my church, as no Christians? Does this, Sir, look like promoting the harmony of the village ? No. If you wish for peace and harmony, you must obey the plain command of Jesus; you must be Christians, 'manward,' as well as 'Godward.' You must do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Does your minister wish me to creep into the families which belong to his society, and urge them to leave his meeting? If not, let him cease from so doing towards me. Does he wish me to condemn him for his honest opinions, and sentence him to endless burnings for his sincere belief ? If not, let him no longer be guilty of this conduct towards any who dissent from his creed. Do his church members wish my hearers to attack them, every opportunity, and urge them to come to my meeting, and threaten them with eternal damnation if they continue in the Orthodox society ? If not, let them no longer pursue this shameful course towards those who choose to hear Unitarian preaching. Do they wish my people to originate reports to their disadvantage, assert that those who die happy become Unitarians in the hour of death, and misrepresent their opinions? If not, let them cease from such conduct in future and avoid the very appearance of evil. If you wish to have your sentiments prevail in this place, you must show that they make you better and happier Christians than are made by Unitarian sentiments; better as husbands and wives, as parents and children, as friends and neighbors; and happy at all times and under all circumstances; happy in your dispositions and families. This is the only way in which you can expect much increase ; and in order to effect this, you have a great work before you, and no small share of the labor will devolve on the families of the minister and deacon, and on the church members generally.