December 7, 1757

1757 December 7 (Wednesday).  Dined at Mr. Speaker Hubbards.  The Company with him besides were Judge Russell, Justice Boardman, Coll. Worthington, Josiah Quincy Esq. and Coll. Lawrence.  At Eve at Mr. Pembertons.  Lodged at Cousen Winters.  N.B. There has been another Council at Leominster called by Mr. Rogers and his adhering Brethren consisting of [blank] Churches — viz. Mr. Gays, Dr. Chauncys, Dr. Mayhews, Mr. Rands, Mr. John Browns, Mr. Shutes [blank] and it is a loud Complaint they make against the proceedings of the agrieved Brethren of the Church in Leominster and our Councils in abetting them and condemning Mr. Rogers.  Them, because they were so precipitant in calling a Council — whereas they not only endeavored to try among themselves by a previous Church Meeting, When Mr. R. would give them no satisfaction and tryed again at another Church Meeting to have him join with them in Calling a mutual Council, without success, but they had been waiting upon him, at times ever since last March, when their Dissatisfaction with him was greatly increased by reason of his Publishing his sermon on the Nature of Spiritual Conversion: Us, because First, we judged on one side only, not having ever heard the other: Whereas if we had done so, it may be enquired whether This last Council has done any better?  For have they not judged and Condemned our Council without ever hearing or knowing the Grounds upon which We proceeded?  Neither have [they] at all Sought to hear us or be acquainted with what has induced us to Judge as we have done; any further than is expressed in our Results.  But as to us, it is well known what pains We took to inform Mr. Rogers of our Coming and to desire him to give us what Light he could in what would come before us; and to have Mr. Rogers join with his Brethren in calling a mutual Council: which he refused.  Neither did we form our Judgment from hearing one side only, however; for we had Mr. R’s Works from the press; had his own Hand Writing, in sundry performances of his; besides what Several Men had taken from his Mouth and wrote down, and were ready to give Oath to.  Secondly, they Say it was a Minor part of the Church which called us — the Platform not knowing any Such way — nor the Acts of such a Council Valid according to our Constitutions.  To which it may be replyed, That it has always constantly been the Custom in these Churches to do thus, notwithstanding the third way of Communion mentioned in the Platform: Nay if but one Single Member is under Grievance, and applys for a Council, he is gratifyed; and it is thought very hard if he can’t be.  And I understand that that great and wise Man Judge Remington gave it as his Opinion that this being the Common Custom of these Churches, it was Valid in Law.  For he said, My Lord Chief Justice Hale declared that Common Custom was Common Law.  But be this as it will, with respect to our first coming together in Council, Yet in Calling us together the Second Time, There was a Major Part of the Church that requested it.  So that inasmuch as in the Congregational Scheme of the Church Government the Power is Supposed to be in the Church; if then a Major part of the Brethren be the Church particularly in the Affair of constituting or removing an Officer; and if it be by the advice of an Ecclesiastical Council whom Such Major part of the Church have requested to meet for that End, that the said Majority vote the Dissolution of the Pastoral Relation, it must needs be Valid.