December 30, 1774

1774 December 30 (Friday).  Town-Meeting to See whether the Town will accept of the Association of the Continental Congress; and how far they would comply with the Resolves, Address etc. of the Provincial — and choose one or more persons to represent them at the Congress proposed to meet at Cambridge next February.  I took this Opportunity to Send a Paper to the Town (Since I could not bear the Cold so well as to attend there my Self, as I wanted to), Signifying my Concurrence etc. and endeavouring thereby to remove mis-understandings concerning Me, who am heartily Set against Despotism and Oppression etc.  N.B. Mr. Daniel Forbes is here, and is smooth; is Satisfyed with what I do about the Church Meeting.  But at Evening Messrs. Eli Whitney and Jos[ep?]h Harrington were here contesting and disputing with me, though Such an Evening as I could not Spare, and I told them I was not willing to maintain any Controversie with them about Church Government.  They insisted to know whether I held that the Pastor had a Negative upon the Brethren.  Upon which I told them I never had exercised, for I never had Occasion in all these Years to exercise that Power.  They Said they Should be offended with me if I held that a minister had it. Upon which I Shewed them Dr. Cotton Mathers Magnalia — the 30 Cases by 17 Ministers at College Library, Venerable Higginson and Hubbards Testimony; Mr. Wise’s Book on Church Government etc. besides these, the Platform.  They acknowleged the old Books — for I handed down Mr. Cotton of the Keyes, old Dr. Mathers First PrinciplesOrder of the Gospel etc. etc. etc.  But say these Brethren, “mayn’t they Err?”  Why, yes (I answered): but they might see what Strength we had for our Defence etc. etc.  May the Lord sanctifie these altercations, and prepare me for His holy will!