Boston: Printed by Tho. Fleet in Pudding-Lane, near the Town-House, where all sorts of Printing may be had well done and cheap... [1723 or 1724]. 56pp. Bound in 19th century marbled boards and quarter calf [rebacked]. Trimmed a bit closely from time to time, but without affecting any text. Very Good.
This rare pamphlet is a demonstration of grass-roots democracy in early New England churches. The South Church explains "how untruly and unfairly we have been represented to the World." In 1718 the South Church hired Reverend Osborn. Justice John Doane of Billingsgate, along with "three Male and fourteen Female Members," filed a written Protest. The Protest, says the South Church, "was somewhat surprising to all, that a Company of Women should rise up at this juncture of Time...It's not usual for Candidates for the Ministry, to go to Women either for Approbation or Recommendation to that great Work."
Most of the Protest's signers recanted "and made their Peace with the Church." In fact, the Protest was a stealthy attempt, "in an occult private manner," to establish a rival Church at Billingsgate. By such deceit "these poor Members were stumbled." Of the Protest's signers, only four women failed to recant. The Church asked them to explain their "disorderly walking." The Meeting occurred "with all Moderation and Gentleness." Mrs. Hannah Doane failed to appear. Instead, she spread lies [reflecting her "unchristian Behaviour"] and called for the convening of an Ecclesiastical Council. The South Church opposed a Council, calling it an infringement on self-government. The Church charges that the biased Council membership "exceedingly wrong'd us." This pamphlet was "published after the meeting of the Ecclesiastical Council at Eastham in 1723" [NAIP].
Evans 2528. ESTC W5843 and NAIP w005843 . Sabin 21668. Item #28555