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made no such answer to Mr Harding. You even insinuate that he never related to me the conversation I have published. Will you take his own word ? Here you have it.
“Boston, Oct. 17th, 1831. My Dear Sir,
In reply to your letter of the 7th inst., I will state, that I have read the account given in your Reply to the reviewers of your Letters to Professor Stuart, page 41, of what passed in a conversation between the Rev. S. Harding and myself, respecting the disposition of the communion plate; and I do not hesitate to say that your account is substantially true. I should say literally true, but I am not sure I used the word “quibbles" to Mr. Harding, though it is very likely I used this expression in relating the conversation to you.
I have also read a pamphlet of Eliphalet Pearson, in which is an extract of a letter of mine to the Rev. Mr Harding. As Mr Harding has chosen to publish my letter at this time, without consulting me, I feel at liberty to say, that were I to have occasion to write him now on the subject, I should express very different feelings and opinions from those which influenced me when that letter was written.
Yours very sincerely,
P. T. Jackson. Rev. B. Whitman.”
Here then you have my statement confirmed by the name of Mr Jackson, a name which has never been associated with prevarication or falsehood, and a name which will carry conviction to all honorable minds. He has not seen proper to give the evidence which supports his assertions, because he well knew Mr Harding would not dare to contradict his statement; but that he has evidence satisfactory to any jury on earth, I do believe. And now, Sir, how could you deny so boldly my statements ? Were you present when the conversation took place between Mr Harding and Mr Jackson? No. How then could you affirm that you should state only such facts as had come under your personal knowledge ? I am sorry to place you in this unhappy dilemma, but the truth must be spoken in self defence. Thus you perceive that my original statement in relation to this whole subject is proved to be correct.
II. Your second subject of remark is the great bible. In answer to your false assertions and unworthy quibbles, I will submit seven observations.
1. You allow that the bible was purchased by members of the Second Religious Society, before any orthodox church was organized in Waltham. You admit that one of your male members took the bible from the pulpit of the Second Society in an illegal manner; and that for so doing he might have been prosecuted and punished. You acknowledged that a few of those who seceded and formed a new Society still retain the property. By what authority ?
2. I asserted that the church members, who took the bible from the pulpit, obtained the key of the church from an apprentice of the sexton. This you did not deny, but contend there was nothing underhanded in so doing. My answer is this, Mr Emerson was then the parish sexton. He was from home when the key was obtained. When he returned, he reproved the apprentice for giving it up for such a purpose, and said, that if he had been present the key would have been retained. Why then do you assert that there was no art used in this business? Were you with Mr Wight when he asked for the key? How then could you declare that you should state only such facts as have come within your personal knowledge.
3. I stated that the bible was taken from the church at the hour of dusk. This you deny, and assert that it was taken in broad day light. Your assertion is proved false by competent witnesses and corroborating circumstances. The factories are lighted up for the purpose of working evenings on the twentieth of September. The water was so scanty, the autumn the bible was taken, that they were not lighted until several weeks after the usual time. They were however kept in operation as long as the people could possibly see to work. After the gate was shut and the counting room closed, Mr Gorham went to the store of W. Adams. He was standing at the door with Mr Adams, when
Mr Wight came directly round the corner with the bible. Mr Gorham said to Mr Adams, 'Mr Wight has got the bible.' It was not so dark but that he could distinguish the person when so near to him; and it was not light enough to keep the factories in operation. It was therefore as I stated-at the hour of dusk.
We hereby certify, that the above statement of Mr Whitman, respecting ourselves is true.
4. I stated that the second paper, to see if the original subscribers would give the bible to the seceders, was not presented to all who then remained in Waltham. You assert that it was carried to all the original subscribers residing in Waltham.' This is false. You acknowledged to Mr Bond, that it was never carried to Lucinda Miller. "And I can now give you the names of several more to whom it was not offered. But as I shall have occasion to refer to some of these under the next article, I will here omit their insertion. It astonished me that you should have publicly contradicted what you said to Mr Bond. I can account for this, only by applying what your son said respecting you in
end of Mr Harding's articles in the Recorder, your son said that people ought not to blame you; for he supposed you had put your name to statements which you had never read. I should infer that you never read very attentively several pages of your letter.
5. 1 stated that the twentyseven who signed the second paper to give the bible to the seceders, did not include ail the original subscribers then residing in Waltham. You assert that the names of all who remained in Waltham were obtained.' On the very page preceding, you admit 'one exception. But all this is false. I have a true copy of both papers before me; and I affirm that there were one dozen individuals at least, then in in Waltham, whose names you did not obtain on your second paper. Now, Sir, had you not access to the papers when you penned such a glaring falsehood ? How then would you declare
that you should state only such facts as had come under your personal knowledge.
“I hereby certify that I have examined a true copy of both the subscription papers, and that Mr Whitman's statements res. pecting the names is true, according to my examination.
6. I asserted that the second subscription paper was not presented to some until after the bible was taken. In your usual mild manner, you pronounce this a falsehood. In proof of my position I present you the following certificate, which will be sufficient to satisfy all candid persons in this place.
“I hereby certify, that soon after Mr Harding and his followers left the meeting house of the Second Society, it was commonly reported that the seceders had taken the great bible with them. I then believed the report. Some days after, it was currently reported, that the seceders had put in circulation a paper to see if the original subscribers would give the bible to them. I likewise believed this report. And on this ground, I feel confident that this second paper was not circulated until after the bible was taken.
“We hereby certify, that Rev. S. IIarding asserted in our hearing, some time during the last summer, that he put in circulation a paper to see if the original donors of the great bible would give it to the seceders, and that this was not done until the seceders had taken the bible, and a noise was made about the transaction by members of the Second Society.
7. I have thus proved the truth of those statements which you called in question. I argued that the bible was designed to be used for the benefit of the Second Society, because the word desk was inserted in the subscription paper. In answer to this, you have furnished a specimen of the most contemptible quibbling I ever witnessed; a specimen which has excited the laughter and pity of all disinterested readers. You say the word desk does not mean pulpit, and must refer to the school house desk! To offer one word of reply to such talk would be foolishness. I will however put one question to your conscience. Do you believe the person who wrote that subscription paper thought of the school house when he penned the word desk? It is therefore settled, that the bible was purchased before your church was organized, and designed to be used for the benefit of the Second Society; that the Second Society was then in existence, and engaged in erecting a chirch ; that one of your seceders took the bible in an illegal manner from the pulpit, and you have retained it to the present time; thaty our second paper was not presented to near all the original subscribers in Waltham, and that in attempting to defend your unlawful conduct, you have published several gross falsehoods.
III. Your third subject of remark is the dismission of Mr Harding. Ilow you could contrive to crowd together so many falsehoods as you have published on the six pages devoted to this topic, is more than I can comprehend. I will refute them in the order of your arrangement.
1. On your twentieth page you use this language. Sometime in March 1825, a large number of men, some from the old Unitarian parish, and some from Universalist societies, signed the parish book of which Mr Harding was minister. This sentence contains two falsehoods and one misrepresentation. First, there were but five persons who signed the parish books from the old Unitarian parish. Is this a large number? Second, not an individual signed the parish books from Universalist societies. Is this a large number? Third, those who came from the old parish had belonged to Mr Harding's Society, and had been driven away by his uncharitable preaching and exclusive practice in regard to exchanges. Many more had been thus driven to the old parish who returned after my settlement. The whole number who signed the parish books in 1825 was much less than had signed the preceding Springs, or than have signed the succeeding ones. Now, Sir, how could you deliberately publish such a statement, when