Sab: 18 Nov.—The said brother came in the afternoon; and, after sermon, he was asked the reasons for his withdrawing: whereupon he produced a paper, which he was urged to deliver to the pastor to communicate to the church; but he refused it, asking who was the church’s mouth. To which, when he was answered, “The pastor,” he replied, Not in this case, because his offence was with him. The pastor demanded whether he had offence against any of the church besides the pastor. He answered, “No.” So at length we suffered a non-member, Mr. Jos: Hutchinson, to read it. After which the pastor read openly before the whole congregation his overtures for peace and reconciliation. After which said Tarbell, seemingly (at least) much affected, said, that, if half so much had been said formerly, it had never come to this. But he added that others also were dissatisfied besides himself: and therefore he desired opportunity that they might come also, which was immediately granted; viz., the 26 instant, at two o’clock.
26 Nov.—At the public meeting above appointed at the meeting-house, after the pastor had first sought the grace of God with us in prayer, he then summed up to the church and congregation (among which were several strangers) the occasion of our present assembling, as is hinted the last meeting. Then seeing, together with Brother Tarbell, two more of our dissenting brethren, viz., Sam: Nurse, and Thomas Wilkins (who had, to suit their designs, placed themselves in a seat conveniently together), the church immediately, to save further sending for them, voted that said Brother Wilkins and Brother Nurse should now, together with Brother Tarbell, give in their reasons of withdrawing from the church. Then the pastor applied himself to all these three dissenters, pressing the church’s desire upon them. So they produced a paper, which they much opposed the coming into the pastor’s hands, and his reading of it; but at length they yielded to it. Whilst the paper was reading, Brother Nurse looked upon another (which he said was the original): and, after it was read throughout, he said it was the same with what he had. Their paper was as followeth:—
“The reasons why we withdraw from communion with the church of Salem Village, both as to hearing the word preached, and from partaking with them at the Lord’s Table, are as followeth:—
“1. Why we attend not on public prayer and preaching the word, these are, (1.) The distracting and disturbing tumults and noises made by the persons under diabolical power and delusions, preventing sometimes our hearing and understanding and profiting of the word preached; we having, after many trials and experiences, found no redress in this case, accounted ourselves under a necessity to go where we might hear the word in quiet. (2.) The apprehensions of danger of ourselves being accused as the Devil’s instruments to molest and afflict the persons complaining, we seeing