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now offering fliould have that effect, I would wilh that I and • my proteft should be buried under a mountain. There are • many in this assembly whom I never saw in the face before, ( nor know ; but such of them as I know, and differ from me • in this matter, I not only have the utmost charity for them • notwithstanding, but I could willingly sit at their feet and • learn Christ. However, I cannot see there should be any · danger of a breach in this church on this occasion to perinit "one member who is grieved and gravelled by this decision, to • enter his protest against it.' Reply : ‘Second thoughts, Sir,
are always belt : May not Mr Boston, before he insists on • this, lay the matter before the throne of grace, and consult • praying ministers and Christians, and attend to their countel • and advice, before you come to a positive determination as • to this your protest?' Had the Moderator thought ever so long on something that would weigh with Mr Boston in such a case, he could not have fallen on any thing that would fooner have done it than this : for he immediately, in a submillive manner, said, he would take it under further consideration, providing the matter was left open to him to enter his protest at any subsequent meeting of the assembly : and so the matter ended at that sederunt. I was present that fame evening, where there were several ministers and elders, members of the assembly, who met with Mr Boston; who all advised his not insisting of his protest at that time, providing it was left open for him to do it at any future occasion, if this decision of the assembly was attended with such consequences as he was afraid of. And when the minutes of the assembly were read next sederunt, this was declared, and acquiesced in; and so the matter ended.
This I can well remember was reckoned at that time one of the strongest bars in the way of Mr Simson's ever being restored to the privilege of teaching and preaching any more : and even his warmeit friends never attempted it; because he was hereby secured in his salary, which the sentence of depofition would have deprived him of. Thus what was then called mercy to the man, mixed perhaps with a little worldly policy, put an end to the most important point, in respect of doctrine and discipline, that ever came before any judicatory of the church of Scotland, or I hope ever will come again. I am, my very dear Sir, your affectionate friend, and bro
ther in the work and bonds of the gospel, &c.