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8f>MBTiME ]«8t summer, Mrs Emilt Richardbok re- 
quested to be admitted to the communion in the Second 
Congregational Church in this place. She stated that 
she had been the subject of some ecclesiastical proceed- 
ings as a member of the second church in Reading, a 
copy of the record of which, though she had repeatedly 
and earnestly requested it, she had never been able to ob- 
tain. At her instance, th^ fhllAwlng )fiii£r was written : 

Charlestotmy July lai, 1831. 
Dear Sir, — Mrs Emily Richardson^ who has resided 
in this town about three years, and sustained, I believe, 
during that time, a good character, has expressed a wish 
to become a communicant in the church of which I am 
Pastor. She informs me that she has been the subject 
of some ecclesiastical proceedings in your church, which 
originated in her being understood to deny the supreme 
divinity of Jesus Christ. The result of these proceed- 
ings, she says, has not been communicated to her in 
toriting ; but she informs me that you gave her to un- 
derstand, that she was not excommunicated, but only that 
your particular church had withdrawn from her its chris- 
tian watch and fellowship. Of this, hpwever, she al- 
lows that she has no evidence, no person being present 
when you informed her of the decision of the church ; 
and the nature of the decision has, I understand, been 
differently represented. In a sincere desire to avoid 
all mistakes and misapprehensions, and not to violate 
the order of the churches, I take the liberty to request 
you to advise me by the earliest opportunity, whether 

the ecclesiastical proceedings against Mrs Richardson 
originated in her denial of the supreme divinity of Jesus 
Christ ; whether any charges against her moral or re- 
ligious character were mdde and sustained, excepting as 
regards what may have been thought to be implied in 
her peculiar faith^ or in her refusing or neglecting to 
appear before the church to answer for the same ; 
whether she has, or has not, in fact, been excommuni- 
cated from the church of which you are Pastor, and if 
she has not been excommunicated, what is the precise 
nature of the censures which have been passed upon 
her, and what is supposed by you to be the precise na- 
ture of the relation which she now sustains towards 
your church, or towards tlie church in general. 

Information on thP53« points, given either in the words 
of your votes, or otherwise, as you may see fit, will en- 
able our church to proceed understandingly on the ap- 
plication that has been made to us by Mrs Richardson ; 
and also to observe as we wish to do, the rules of Con- 
gregational order. 

By attending to this request and answering this note, 
as soon as your convenience will possibly permit, you 
will n%uch oblige our church and myself. 

Though personally a stranger, permit me to subscribe 
myself yours, in Christian love, 

Rev Jared Reid, 

Reading, Mass, 

To this letter the following answer was received^ 
which is here copied entire : 

Reading 6 July^ 1831. 

This church has withdrawn all christian watt^h 

and fellowship from Mrs Emily Richardson. Of this 

she has been duly and ofScially notified. The offencQ 

was her violation of her own cov.cnq^nt vows^ and Uckt 

departure from what we consider the faith once deliver- 
ed to the saints. 


Rev James Walker. 

This answer^ it will be perceived, did not give the in- 
formation that had been asked. It did not state wheth- 
er the church in Reading regarded Mrs Richardson as 
an excommunicated person, nor whether they had any 
charges against her character except those which they 
might think were implied in the change of her opinions, 
or in her conduct towards the church respecting this 

She then submitted to this church a written account 
of the proceedings of which she had been the subject, 
so far as those proceedings had come to her knowledge. 
The paper was read at a regular meeting of the breth- 
ren of the church, and a wish was expressed unanimous- 
ly that the same might be printed, if her consent could 
be obtained. This wish being communicated to her, she 
replied as follows : 

Rev Sir— 

In regard to the request of your church concerning 
my book, I have consulted Mr Richardson's wishes, 
and he seems reluctant to my being exposed to the ar- 
rows of a malicious foe that may be aimed at me on all 
sides, and sometimes perhaps from an unknown hand, 
that it would be impossible to stay ; and I think it would 
he unadvisable, unless your church have something in 
their own hands to defend me with. Mr Richardson 
has authorised me to say, that, on condition that your 
church will be at the trouble to ascertain from good au- 
thority, what my cha.racter was while I resided in Read- 
ily, and if they can gain satisfactory evidence that it 


was good, they have his full and free consent, together 
with my own, io publish it. In regard to the truth of 
my statement of Mr Reid^s proceedings, if your church 
desire it, I am ready at any time, before any Justice 
that they will bring to me, to say on oath, that I have 
lot exaggerated or misrepresented the story in the least. 
I have given it in the exact language in which it was 
spoken, as near as I can possibly recollect. Some of it 
was written as soon as j\Ir Reid was gone from the 
house, and all of it while it was fresh in my memory. — 
I was born in obscurity, and brought up in retirement, 
and for three years past, I have been almost entirely 
excluded from society. But it is not because I wish to 
make a greater noise, and bring myself into notice, that. 
I consent to have my book published : but I wish to 
come forward and tell mv storv for a number of reasons, 
and then I shall very gladly step back to my former re- 
tirement and sink into oblivion. I wish this story to be 
published because your church have requested that it 
should be, and I should be happy to oblige them. 1 wish 
it to be published that all of Mr Reid^s church may 
know how I have been treated, and how they have been 
treated \ I wish them to know that two letters have been 
prepared by me expressly for them, one of which I 
know that Mr Reid refused to communicate to them, 
and I cannot learn that the other has shared a better 
iate. I wish it to bepublisfaed because I believe it to 
be a duty that I owe to the public and myseTf ; — to the 
public, because I think such wicked works of darkness 
ought to be brought to tight, that people may preparor 
to use suitable measures against them, — to myself, be- 
cause Mr Reid has furnished the means to destroy my 
reputation, and has driven me out into the world without 
giving me the means to defend it. He has by violence 
wrested from me my right to the christian ordinances 
that I ought to hoU in common with all sincere belie v-* 

ers in the christian religion, and I never should have re- 
gained it, if I had set down quietly and said nothing. 
I think Mr Reid may hlame himself and not me, if my 
account of his proceedings should be published, for if he 
had answered my first, second, or third letter, it is not 
probable that this account would ever have come before 
jour church, and of course would not have been pub- 
lished. # » * * » 

If you will be so kind as to communicate to your 
church such parts of this letter, and only such, as you 
•ee fit, you will oblige your humble friend, 


Septembers, 1831. 

Abundant and perfectly satisfactory testimonials were 
easily obtained of Mrs Richardson's unimpeachable mor- 
al and religious character. The follewing passages are 
taken from a letter, written by a gentleman of great re- 
spectability in answer to some inquiries on this subject. 

'* Your letter has been duly received, and I have delay- 
ed writing a few days in order to make some further 
enquiries in relation to the character of Mrs Richardson. 
Her maiden name was Emily Farrington. Her parents, 
as I have been informed, died when she was quite 
young. Having some relations in Reading, she came 
v^,. 10 this place while, a child, or when very young, and 
'^Hved in one place and another till she married Mr Rich- 
ardson. Her character, as far as 1 can learn from those 
well acquainted with her, was vety good. Indeed 1 
have not been able to find any one who has cast the 
least reproach upon her. In the year J809, 10, or 11, 
there was in Mr Sanborn's Parish an excitement, called 
a religious revival. She was then about 14 or 15 yean 
of age, and among others became a convert to the reli- 
gion of the time, and joined Mr Sanborn's Church, and 

remained a member thereof till dealt with by the Church 
and the Rev Mr Reid, as she has related to you. With 
regard to the steps or means by which she became a 
convert to her present views of religion, I know nothing. 
I believe, however, it was effected by her own intelli- 
gence and a candid enquiry into the real meaning of the 

" You ask me whether I * know any thing either per- 
sonally or by hearsay, which would make it unadvisable 
to print Mrs Richardson's statement ever, or at this 
particular time.' I can truly s^y that I know not any 
thing personally or by hearsay, which would render it 
unnecessary to print it. The common opinion here is,, 
that her character for veracity is unimpeachable, and her 
moral character irreproachable. I apprehend that if 
her statement was published with some suitable com- 
ments on the unkind treatment she has received, written 
in a christian spirit, it would prove very salutary in this 
place, s^nd there are many who would rejoice to have it 

Her circumstances, as she intimates herself, are, 
^nd have been from the beginning adverse, and were 
for a time, owing to the sickness of Mr Richardson, 
almost desperate. The success with which, under 
these circuqastances, she has cultivated her mind, 
and the seriousness and assiduity with which she has 
read her Bible, will appear from her narrative, which 
i;s printed without the alteration of a word or letter 
8LS it came from her mind and pen. Her constitution, 
always feeble, has for some yea,rs been a prey to pul- 
monary complaints, which at this moment confine her to 
the house, and« make it not improbable that she will nev- 
^r leave it again. 

As Mrs Richardson has slated her reai<ons for consent- 
ing to, the publicaUoA of her account,, it may be well 


h^re briefly to intimate some of those which indaced this 
church to request it. They wished that every member 
of the church ia Reading might know what had< been 
done in their name and under their authority to a feeble, 
unoffending and helpless woman. They wished that the 
public might know, when thoy are told that the members 
of exclusive orthodox churches are considered by their 
fellow communicants as morally free to change their re- 
ligions opinions, that they are told what is not true. 
They wished that the members of exclusive orthodox 
societies might know, that if in a moment of excitement 
they join the church, and assent to a creed-covenant, 
and afterwards from a further examination of the Scrip- 
tures, see cause to alter their religious opinions, they will 
be likely, if poor and unprofecUd like Mrs Richardson, to 
be charged in the coarsest language with terjury, and 
be treated in most respects as if ihey had really committed 
that crime. They could not, moreover, repress their in- 
dignation at the outrage, as they conceived it, committed 
on the feelings and rights of a female, whose character 
is the opposite of obtrusiveness or officiousness,--commit- 
tedtoo in the darkest hour of her adversity, when her hus- 
band was slowly recovering from a paralytic affection 
that had prostrated both body and mind, and her chil- 
dren were almost literally crying for bread, she, mean- 
while, having no near relation or friend on earth to 
whom she could look for countenance or protection. Un- 
der these circumstances, even if her Christian hreihren 
had succeeded in breaking down her spirit, and converting 
her to their purposes, it would have been an inglorious 
triumph. That they attempted it and failed, is a fact 
which ought to be known, especially as in this case a 
careful record, made at the time, has been kept of what 
was done, and not a shadow of doubt can be entertained 
of the accuracy of the statenwnls. 


This church have heen actuated by no personal feel- 
ings or considerations against the individuals who are 
named in the following statement. Perhaps it is no more 
than what is often done in orthodox churches ; or than 
what they think is right. Let the public judge. 

Published by a Committee of the Second Congrega* 
tional Church in Charlestown. 

Charieatown, Dec. 28, 1831. 


JRetpected Friend, 

As I have promised to give you a correct statement 
of the proceedings of the Second Church in Reading, in 
order to convince me of ray supposed errors in my reli- 
gious opinions, I will now perform my painful task. 
Tou will not be surprised that I say painful, when you 
read what is to follow. 

I think that it was sometime in September, 1827, that 
Mr Edmund Nichols called on me the first time. I was 
not much acquainted with him. I thought him to be a 
well meaning, though not well informed man, and was 
willing to pardon what I thought amiss. He said some- 
thing to me about my being so long absent from the com- 
munion table. I told him I had been feeble a long time, 
and the services were so long that I did not feel able to 
go. This is all of the conversation between us at that 
time, that I can recollect. I did not once think of it a« 
a serious affair ; it was not my wish to injure the feel- 
ings of any one, I therefore intended to be present at 
the next communion. 

Mr Nichols called soon after and requested to speak 
with me alone. His request was granted. 

^< Well, sister Richardson," said he, '< I have called 
to converse with you on the subject of religion again, 
and to ask you if you are willing to make an acknowl-^ 
edgement to the Church, and sit down with us next 
Lord's Day ?" 

" Mr Nichols, I do not know that T have given any 
offence^ and am not prepared to do that." 


^' I understand you have forsaken our house of woc<^ 

'^ I was there the sabbath before last." 

'^ Have you not been to the Unitarian meeting ?*' 

" Yes, a few times." 

*' Do you believe the gospel is preached there ?" 

^^ I have heard some very good discourses in that 
meeting house." 

" Do you believe Christ is a created being ?" 

^* Tes, for my Bible tells me he was ' the beginning 
of the creation of God.'" 

*' Are you willing to trust the salvation of your soul 
on a created being ?" 

*' I am willing to trust in whatever way God has ap- 
pointed for salvation." 

'Hf Christ is a created being, he is no Saviour for 
me ; but I do not believe he is, I believe he is God." 

*' Do you believe God died .^" 

*' No ; it was his human nature." 

*^ Do you believe God has human nature ?" 

*^ He is both God and man." 

'^ I (Jo not see how that can be." 

Mr Nichols said, " it is easy enough," and tried to 
prove it by a comparison too absurd, ridiculous, and in- 
delicate, to be inserted here. In the course of conver- 
sation he compared me to Simon the Sorcerer, but did 
not tell how that applied to me. He said I had broken 
my covenant engagements, and then read the covenant 
of the church which was as follows : 

^' You do now in the presence of the Omnicient Crod, 
yout Judge, before this assembly as your witnesses, 
Solemnly avouch the Lord Jehovah, the everlasting God, 
to be your God and portion forever. In particular, you 
take God the Father to be your father, cordially acqui- 
escing in his authority, law and government. You take 
God the Son for your only mediator, surety and in* 


tercessor, receiving him as a prophet to instruct, a priest 
to atone, and a king to rule in and to reign over you. 
You take the Holy Ghost to be your sanctifier, guide 
and comforter, always avoiding everything which will 
provoke him to withdraw from you. You do give up 
yourself and all you have unto this one God in three 
persons forever, to be his, without any exception, re- 
serve, or limitation. You believe the holy scriptures to 
be the infallible word of God, and do take them for your 
only rule of faith and practice, and by the aid of divine 
grace promise not to be turned about by jBvery wind of 

" With contrition of heart, you profess repentance of 
all your sins, sincerely turning from them, with all 
your heart, loathing and abhorring them for their own 
vile nature. You profess faith unfeigned in the rich 
grace of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, depending wholly 
upon his obedience and suffering, for pardon and sancti- 
fication, and eternal life. You profess a love to, and 
delight in God, his word, house, sabbaths, and heavenly 
kingdom. You profess good will to all men, more es- 
pecially to the household of faith, ever cultivating a for- 
giving temper toward all offenders, even personal ene- 
mies, always carefully avoiding all sinful occasions of 
offence, towards those within and those without. You 
profess to watch and pray against all sins in yourself, se- 
cret and open, and to abstain from all appearances of 
evil, aiming at the glory of God in all things, and press- 
ing on towards perfection in holiness. You believe t^is 
church to be a true, visible church of Jesus Christ, 
wherein bis word, ordinances, and discipline, are truly 
and regularly administered. You promise to submit to 
the ordinance and discipline of the same, agreeably to 
the word of God. In a word, you promise to walk in a 
constant obedience to all God's commands and ordinan- 
ces, blameless, so long as you shall continue your abode 




i^tth U8, and until your lif^ shall end. All this you sol- 
emnly promise to perform, with entire dependance on 
the grace and strength of the Lord Jesus Christ, to en« 
able you." 

" Mrs Richardson," said Mr Nichols, " do you assent 
* io this covenant ?" 

" To some parts of it I certainly do not." 

hy this time Mr Richardson had taken a seat with us. 
'^ Well, brother Richardson, are you willing to say yon 
have taken a false oath? Sister Richardson says she has.'' 

" What do you say, Mr Nichols ?" 

'^I say you have taken a false oath by signing the 
covenant. I do not think you would have gone so far 
astray if you had been attended to, but do not wish you to 
think yourself excusable on that account. I hope you 
will forgive me for so long neglecting you, I have 
come in a kind, friendly, brotherly mannei, and hope 
you will believe my visit was so intended." 

^' If you have anything more to say to me, T will thank 
you to communicate it to me in writing, and I will an- 
swer you in the same way." 

Sometime afler, he called again, accompanied by 
Deacon Wakefield and Deacon Parfeer. 

'^ I have called again. Sister Richardson, to converse 
with you on the subject of religion." 

<^ Did I not request you to write, if you had anything 
more to say ?" 

*^ I have asked some of the brethren about it, and they 
think it will be contrary to the scripture rule." 

I asked the Deacons if they thought it would be im- 
proper for this business to be done in writing ? They 
said, " No ; if both parties are agreed." I had heard 
enough of Mr Nichols's arguments and comparisons^ 
when he last visited me, and therefore said very little to 
him, and the Deacons said very little to me. Deacon 


Wakefield asked me if I believed Christ to be God. I 
•aid '^ No ; I do not." There was something said abont 
my absenting myself from the communion table. I men> 
tioned my ill health as a reason. To which the Deacons 
replied, *' If you say you were unable to attend, we hare 
nothing to say ; you are accountable to none but your 
God.*' At my request, Deacon Wakefield offered a 
•hort prayer, and we parted. 

Soon after, Mr Nichols presented me with the follow- 
ing charge and summons. 

^' Having taken the first and second steps with you, in 
order to convince you of your error, and bring you to a 
better state of mind, and having utterly failed to accom- 
plish an end so important to yourself and to the church 
of Christ in this place, I am under the painful necesaitj 
of telling the matter to the Church. I therefore present 
you with the following charge, viz. 

'^ The direct and unqualified denial of the supream di- 
i^inity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

'^ I here notify you to appear and answer to this 
charge before the Church, on Thursday next, on the 
2Qth instant of Dec. at twoo*clock in the adernoon, at 

A town or parish hall I though! to be a very improper 
place for me to appear at, on such an occasion. I ex- 
pected that I should be called on to speak ; and to hear 
a woman speak before so many gentlemen, in so public 
a place, would have been to me~ truly disgusting. Be- 
sides, some of the church advised me not to go, and said, 
they did not think it was generally expected that I 

Soon after the meeting I heard that many of the 
church were greatly dissatisfied, because I did not at- 
tend, as they were desirous of hearing from me, what my 


Mief of Christ was. I was perfectly willing) and should 
have been pleased to have given them all the information 
and satisfaction I reasonably couid. I therefore prepared 
a letter for the Church, in which I made a statement of mr 
belief. I was informed that Mr Reid, with Deacon Tem- 
ple and Deacon Wakefield, were appointed a committee 
to visit me, and it was ray intention to present my letter 
to Mr Reid, to be communicated to the church by him y 
for I did not once think of its being refused, neither did I 
' think he bad a right to withhold it from the church ;. 
bat he soon let me know he had rights that I had never 
thought .of. 

In about four weeks the committee called on me, ae-^ 
companied by Deacon Parker. I believe that I receiv- 
ed them with all due respect. Mr Reid mentioned th» 
charge brought against me by Mr Nichols, and added^ 
'^ you have imbibed, and in some measure propagated 
pernicious sentiments." I was beginning to speak, li> 
ask where I had propagated pernicious sentiments ; but 
Mr Reid interrupted me by saying, " We will, before 
we proceed, look for direction by prayer, with your 
leave." To this I did not object. The prayer was oC^ 
fered by the Rev Mr Reid. 

An uninformed spectator of this scene might very rea- 
sonably have supposed that these grave gentlemen on 
their knees, apparently in fervent prayer for the crim- 
inal before them, were greatly interested in her welfare^ 
and that she had committed murder, and was just goin^ 
to be executed. 

As soon as we were seated, I asked Mr Reid wherA 
I had propagated pernicious sentiments ? 
" I did not say you had." 
*' You certainly did." 

^' I did not. I will leave it to these gentlemen. Did 
I say Mrs Richardson had propagated pernicious senti* 
mentt ?" 



The answer was, ^' no, I think not. She must hav« 
received this impression from the prayer.'* I was si- 
lenced by numbers, but not satisfied. 

Mr Reid said, ^^ I have come to converse freely with 
you, and what I say, I would wish to say with reference 
to the judgment, and in the fear of God, and I wish you 
to do the same." This he repeated a number of timet, 
in the most solemn and terrific tone. He then went on 
to tell me with how much neglect I had treated the 
church, by not attending the church meeting. 

" I did not," was my reply, '' do it, thinking to treat 
the chuich with neglect." 

*^ I am surprised, Mrs Richardson, that you should 
say, you did not think of treating the church with ne- 
glect, when a meeting was appointed for you, and you 
had suitable notice, and did not atteird." 

These meetings were' stated, > and held once in four- 
teen days, unless something special prevented. They 
were called church prayer meetings, and if there is any 
church business to be attended to, it is done at lhes« 

^^ I expected the church would send a committee to 
converse with me^ and what F say to you is the same, I 
suppose, as if I said it to the church. Besides, I have 
written a letter to them, that I should like to have you 
take. It will be the same as if I was there." 

** I do not wish to see it.'^' 

'^ I should like to have you look at it." 

** No, I do not wish to see it." 

But seeing I intended to produce the letter, he re* 
peated his words a number of times, and finally said, 
^ I will not look at it, if you do get it." 

'' It is possible some of the gentlemen will like to 
look at it," 

I offered itto Deacon Temple. ** No, I have no notion 

of entering into a paper war with you." I offered it to 



the other two. They both refused it. I then sat down 
very peaceably. One of them I believe thought it dis- 
graceful to treat me as they did. He said to me, " If 
you can read what you have to say better than you cac 
speak it, you can read it yourself." It is evident he 
was willing to hear it, but did not dare to read it, after 
his minister had refused. * 

" It may be Mr Reid will object to hearing it read.^*' 
" I will hear it on condition that I may interrupt yocr 
when I please,' and ask you the meaning of what yoii 
read. I will hear it on no other terms." 

To this I made n^o reply, but proceeded to read my 
letter. The following is a copy of it. 

Reading, Dec 22, 1827. 
To the Church in Reading, under the pastoral carer 
of the Rev. JaredReid, I present my best wishes. Be- 
lieving it to be important that you should have a correct 
statement of my belief, I send you the following lines. 
I believe there is one God, and only one, who is self- 
existent, and is the ruler and upholder of ail things. I 
believe there is one mediator between God and men, tho 
man Ghrist Jesus. I believe him to be the Son of God', 
the true Messiah, of whom Moses and the prophets did 
write. I believe him to be a man approved of God, by 
miracles, and signs, and wonders, which God did by 
him, and that God gave unto him his spirit without 
measure. I believe that he is appointed of God to be & 
Saviour to as many as believe his word. I believe hii» 
to be one in his Father, in the same ^ense he wished 
his disciples to be one rn him ; which I think can be no 
more than one in design, both aiming at the same, the- 
glory of God the Father, and the good of men, I be- 
lieve that God will judge the world by Christ, and that 
he will reign until all things sftall be subdued unto him^ 
and that he will then deliver up the kingdom to God ikm 


Father, and the Son will be subject unto God, that Qod 
may be all and all. This is my firm belief respecting 
God and his son Jesus Christ. 

I wauld now wish to ask you if you can, agreeably to 
the word of God, deprive me of the privileges of the 
church ? Have I not, in the above lines, acknowledged 
all that Christ or his Apostles exacted of their converts ? 
When our Lord asked his disciples, " Whom say ye 
that I am ?" Peter said, ** Thou art the Christ, tho 
son of the living God. And Jesus said, blessed art 
thou, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto yoa, 
but my Father which is in heaven." When Philip had 
explained the scripture to the eunuch, he wished to be 
baptised," Philip said to him, if thou believest with all 
thine heart, thou mayest. He answered, I believe that 
Jesus Christ is the Son of God." We have no intima- 
tion that he said anything more. Philip baptised him. 

Now after having made this statement of my belief, I 
will endeavor to submit patiently, to what you may think 
fit to do with me, hoping., and praying, that you may b« 
directed by the word of God. 
Yours affectionately, 


When I read, '* I believe that Christ is the Son of 
God," Mr Reid said, '* What do you mean by gon ?*' 

** I mean son." 

** What do you mean by son ?" 

** I mean the Messiah." 

" What do you mean by Messiah ?" 

** I mean the anointed." 

** What do you mean by the anointed t" 

•* I mean the chosen of the Lord." 

" What do you mean by the chosen of the Lord V* 

*^ I have given you all the explanation of the word 
that is necessary, and shall say nothing more." 


'^ You have begun at boo, and gone all around and 
made out nothing." 

This was well calculated to intimidate, and damp the 
feelings of a female, situated as I was with these four 
men, and no one to speak a word for me.- However^ I 
read my letter without being interrupted again. 

<< Mrs Richardson, it is very strange that you should 
think of this business being done by writing, it is an un* 
heard of thing. You ought to have attended the church 
meeting. If you did not know what you ought to do, 
you should have asked me, or some one capable of giv* 
ing you advice." 

^^ I did ask, and was advised not to go." 

*' Who advised you not to go ?" 

** I do not like to tell. It was one of the church.'* 

'^ If one of the brethren have advised you so, I have 
a right to know." 

^^ If it had been one of the brethren, it is possible 
that I should tell you ; but it was one of the sisters, and 
I *do not like to tell." 

'^ Have you made it a subject of much prayer, to 
know if you ^should attend the church meeting ?" 

^' No ; I did not think any one would expect me 
there. How do you think I could, a lone female, stand 
before that assembly and answer questions to any or all 
that should be disposed to ask, knowing they were all 
against me ?" 

** I should think by what I have seen of you this ev- 
ening, that you could go there and say anything neqes-^ 
sary to be said." 

'' Have you seen anything in me like unbecoming 
boldness ?" 

<< No, I do not mean so, I only mean what I say« Ae 
you have taken the liberty to think differently from us, 
and from what you once thought, I have a right tode- 
mand, and shall expect, an answer to the questions I 



shall ask you. Have you conversed with any Unitari- 
ans, in this or any other place, respecting the divinity 
of Christ ? Have you conversed with any Unitarian 
minister ? Have you read their books, or publications, 
or been conversant with those who have read them r" 

" I know there are many reports circulating that are 
calculated to prejudice your mind against me ; but I 
will answer your questions candidly, and I wish }ou to 
believe what I am going to say." 

** I have never detected you in a falsehood, and ara 
bound to believe you." 

" I have never conversed with any Unitarian on this 
subject. I have never spoken with a Unitarian minis- 
ter, knowingly, in my life. I never read one of their 
books till since I lived in this house, (eighteen months,) 
and my belief was fixed long before. I have not know- 
ingly conversed with any who have read their books. 
The first I ever saw was three or four of Mr Norton's 
sermons, (of Weymouth.) I have since read Mr Whit- 
man's discourse, (^ On denying the Lord Jesus,') and 
do not recollect any other. I have carefully studied my 
Bible, for some years, and have taken my belief from 


" If you have taken this your belief from the Bible, I 
have a right to demand of you the meaning of any text 
I please, and give you this to begin with. ' The word 
was with Grod, and the word was God, and the word 
was made flesh," and dwelt among us.' When you have 
explained this, I have more ready for you.*' 

*' I can explain this to my own satisfaction ; but I do 
not expect to satisfy you." 

'^ I have a right to demand, and shall expect an ex- 
planation from you." 

This he repeated a number of times. Being deter- 
mined that I would not explain to, or reason with, a 
man that I thought had acted so unreasonable a part, 


believing also, that i^ll I said would be turned into ridi* 
eule, as my letter had been, I at last said, ** Mr Reid, 
I am surprised ; I really thought you had come here to 
explain the Bible to me, and free my mind from doubts, 
if there were any existing. I did not know I was to 
explain the Bible to my minister/' 

In the course of conversation he said, '^ Christ had 
two natures." 

'^ Please to point out to me a place in the Bible wher« 
I can read this." 

'' What if I do not give you the exact language of 
scripture ? I give you the meaning, and that is suffi- 
cient. I did not come here to quibble. You are cavil* 
ling. You make me think of a lawyer. You are act» 
ing the part^of a philosopher." 

Once he attempted to prove that Christ is God, bj 
saying, ^* He took upon him our nature." 

<^ Poes the Bible say he had any other nature ?*' 

Then 1 was compared to a lawyer and a philosopher 

*< Mr Reid, do you think, that if I can love God with 
all ray heart, and my neighbor as myself, the question 
will be asked me in the day of judgment, if I believo 
that Christ had two natures ?" 

^^ Mrs Richardson, I am surprised to see with how 
much levity you treat the subject. You talk of loving 
God, with all your heart, that have no just views of 

For two hours he went on in this way, and in telliag 
me with how much neglect I had treated the church, 
and what he had a right to demand. He would occa- 
sionally say to the deacons, ^' I do not wish to engross 
the whole time." They said, " we are willing you 
should on this occasion." They said but little to me 
more than to tell me occasionally, that their pastor had 
spoken their feelings.. 



'^ Mrs Richardson/' said Mr Rcid, ''you are in a 
very critical situation. I h^ve never witnessed any 
case so alarming since my connection with this church. 
Tou will say you are not to be dismissed for immoral 
conduct j and so say I ; but you are in a fearful situ- 
ation. To dismiss one of our members without any 
charge against her moral character, would be very 
sensibly felt by the church as a body." 
'^ I should think it a hard case." 
'^ If you are dismissed^ I shall not be surprised to 
hear, before five years, that you have gone any lengths, 
that you have become a confirmed infidel, and denied 
the whole Bible. You have taken infidel ground alrea* 
dy. You have forsworn yourself. You come at one 
time, and tell us you believe one thing, you now say 
you believe something else, and it is likely enough you 
will, by and by, tell us you believe something different 
from this ; and how do we know where to find 
you ?" 

Before he led me he said, '*I am willing to do any thing 
for you I can. Inhere is no labor that I am not willing 
to bestow upon you. if you were my own sister, my 
own dear fiesh and blood, I could do no more for you, 
than I am willing to do now." To all this I said 
nothing, though I believe I understood this manner of 
address, and any one might if he would compare the 
former part of Mr Reid's discourse with the latter. At 
first, T believe he was trying to terrify me by his ques- 
tions, and haughty unauthorized demands. He then 
attempted to work on my feelings in a milder way. I 
was not terrified by the former ; neither was I affected 
by the latter. They were with me from seven o'clock 
until ten. One of the Deacons said, he thought it best 
to adjourn the meeting, as it was late. They looked at 
me, as if they would like to hear what I would say, but 
I was silent. 


" Should you like," said Mr Reid, ** to have us wait 
oh you longer and call again ?" 

*' I will leave it for you to say." 

With this answer I believe he was not well pleased. 
He looked on me with a stern countenaDce, and said, 
'' I think it would have been becoming in you, to have 
requested us to wait on you longer, and call again. 
Instead of that I should say you were willing to be dia- 
missed ; — nay, I should think you desired it" 

" If you have any arguments that you think are cal- 
culated to convince me, and have not time to bring them 
forward now, I should like to have you call again." 

We had prayers and parted. 

Some of the church informed me that Mr Reid had 
requested all of them to visit me as they had an oppor- 
tunity, and I really began to think that his request wat 
to be granted to the letter, for I never knew when I 
could call my time my own, I had so many calls. I am 
fond of company, but do not like always to be accosted 
with, '* Well, sister, are your views and feelings th« 
same as they have been .'^" and then a long lamentation, 
as if I had done some dreadful thing. I could have no 
peace, unless I turned hypocrite, and that I did not 
choose to do, I therefore made up my mind to leave th« 
place, and on the 10th of April 1828, I removed with 
my family to Charlestown. Here I had rest, until some 
time in May, when I received the following note. 

Reading, ICth May, 1828. 
Mrs Richardson, 

The church will proceed to consider your case ob 
Thursday, the twenty second day of May, and notwith- 
standing yeu have hitherto treated all their calls with 
entire neglect, they are disposed to extend to you an 
invitation to be present on the above named twenty 
second of the current month, and either satisfy them bj 

your confessiQn, or show reason, if any you have, why 
they should not withdraw from you their Christian watch 
and fellowship. 

In behalf of the church. 

JARED REID, P^$tor and Clerk. 

Mrs Emilt Righaadson." 

Sometime in June, Deacon Parker called on me to 
let me know, that Deacon Wakefield and himself had 
been appointed a committee to visit me, and inform me 
that they had taken a wrong step. He said, ^' The sum- 
mons for you to attend the church meeting ought to 
have been from the church, and not from an individual. 
The church have directed me to request you to attend 
a church meeting next Thursday, and they will bear 
your expenses." 

I supposed that they intended to give all up that they 
had done, and begin again. In July I received the 
following note. 

" Mrs Richardson, 

As brother Nichols was not present at our last church 
meeting, your case was not considered. The church 
voted to attend tg it on Thursday, the 17th of the pres- 
ent month ; the meeting will be at Union Hall, to com- 
mence at two o'clock, in the aflernoon. I am directed 
to signify to you, that it is both the choice and pleasure 
of the church, that you should then and there attend, to 
answer to the charge brought against you by the above 
mentioned brother. The charge I need not specify, as 
jou have already been furnished with a copy of it. 

Yours &c. &c. 

JARED REID, Chh. Clerk. 
Mrs Emily Richardson. 

Reading, 8th July, 1828." 

I did not feel at all disposed to go^ after the cruel and 



unmerciful treatment I had received from them. Th« 
8th of October, Mr Reid and Mr Daniel Nichols xsalled 
on me, and said that they with Deacon Pratt, were ap- 
pointed a committee to visit me. Mr Reid said to me, 
** What we say, I wish you to understand as the voice of 
the church. I wish you likewise to understand it as the 
first admonition." 

" What shall I call all before this ?" 

'^ Call it what you please. This is the first admoni- 
tion, and the last letter you received from me, the first 
summons from the church. Are your views the same 
as they have been ?" 

" I know of no particular alteration." 

'^ Do you not think yourself under covenant obliga- 
tions to us, and to your God ? When you took the 
covenant upon you, you had arrived at years of discre- 
tion ; you was, I think, fourteen." 

'' That was my age. But I do not think a child of 
fourteen can possibly understand such a covenant ; and 
now I am older, if my Bible and my conscience tell me 
I was wrong, I have an undoubted right to alter my 

'^ You plead conscience, but that is not always a sure 
guide. Do you not think that you have made great 
trouble for the church ?" 

*^ No, I have made trouble for no one, they have taken 
it on themselves, and made trouble for me." 

'^ Iff should ask you to give me an explanation of 
some texts such as ^ the word was with God, and th« 
word was God,' would you answer me as you did before, 
by telling me you did not know you was to explain the 
Bible to your minister, when I gave you my opinion 
and requested yours?" He should have said ^^demanded 

^^ I do not know what I could say besides. I really 
think you ought to explain the Bible to me, and free mj 
nind from doubts^ if there be any." 


*' You are not willing to be convinced." 

" I believe I am willing, if it can be done in a reason- 
able and right way." 

" Wliat do you mean by right ?" 

" I mean right ; that there should be nothing wrong." 

" You evade answering my question. You have ne- 
glected to hear the church, and you must know that 
they must withdraw from you their fellowship, for obsti- 
nacy, if there was nothing more." 

" I have always heard them attentively, whenever 
they have called, and am I to be dismissed for ob'- 
stinacy ?" 

** Do not say dismissed." 

^' I will take it back and say excommunicated." 

'^ It can be nothing better. I cannot wish God speed 
to danmable heresy." 

" Do you call my ofience * damnable heresy ?' " 

" I do." 

*^ Does not the chapter you allude to, speak of their 
consciences accusing them ?" 

" I allude to no particular place, but the whole Bible." 

*' Am I to be excommunicated for obstinacy ?" 

" It will be soon enough for you to know, when the 
church see fit to tell you. Mrs Richardson, I do feat 
for you, when I think of the lives of excommunicated 
persons. Your case is a very alarming one." 

" It is a very singular one. I have heard of persons 
being excommunicated, and on account of their'religious 
opinions, too ; but never heard of a case being managed 
exactly like this." 

"It is of no use to talk with you, you manifest the 
same disposition you did, when I last visited you." 

" Did I manifest a bad disposition ?" 

" Yes, you treated the subject with levity. I must 
say as I did before, you make me think of a lawyer. I 
wish you to make this business the subject of daily 


^' There is no one thing that occupies my mind so 

^' You say there is no one thing that occupies your 
mind so much ; but do you pray ?" 

*^ I cannot say I do not." 

" Do you enter your closet and pray daily ?" 

^^ I do not like to hear people boast of their prayers^ 
and never allow myself to do it.*' 

'* You are at liberty to answer my question, or 

'^ If delicacy did not forbid my answering such a ques- 
tion, surely my Bible does ; for anything we are to do 
so privately as to enter our closet and shut the door, is 
not to be told of as soon as we get out." 

" You may be sure," continued Mr Reid, *^ you have 
my prayers. You have the prayers and tears of the 
church. Their hearts bleed for you. There is nothing 
that would give them so much joy as your conversion. 
There is nothing that would so much rejoice my heart, 
beside the conversion of my father, as to see you return 
to the bosom of the church. Were you my mother, or 
my sister, I could do no more for you than I am willing 
to do now. There is no labor I would not bestow on 
you, if it was of any use. Brother Nichols, there is an 
opportunity for you to speak if you wish to add any- 

*' I do not know that I can add anything to what Mr 
Reid ha^ said, nu>re than to tell you how much the 
church is grieved on your account, and it would greatly 
rejoice their hearts to hear of your conversion." 

The 5th of November Mr Reid called again, accom- 
panied by Mr Charles Temple. Mr Reid said, " We 
are sent by the church, as a committee to visit you. 
Do you hold the same mind you did when I was last 
here ?" 

« I believe I do." 


'* How is it possible^ Mrs Richardson, educated as you 
have been, that you can believe what you say you do ?" 

This he said no doubt, because he knew I was brought 
up with the most rigid Orthodox people, and my whole 
circle of acquaintance were either Baptists, Methodists, 
or Congregational Calvinists. 

" How can you explain this text, *The word was with 
God, and the word was God.' " 

^^ When I read a passage that is dark and obscure, I 
explain it by those that can be more easily under- 

" And is this the way you interpret scripture 1 Must 
the Bible be made to bow to your understanding ? Must 
dark and obscure passages, as you call them, be explain- 
ed by those more easily^nderstood ?" 

" I believe this to be the only sure way of interpreting 

*' And so the Bible must be all explained away." 

" O no ; there is no nedd of that." 

** Mrs Richardson, we shall see, before ten yeans, 
where you will land. We shall see, within ten years, 
where Unitarians will all land. We see where they are 
landing already. They ate taking from the Bible one 
doctrine after another, until there will be nothing left, 
and we shall have no Bible. Mrs Richardson, I do 
pity you, how can you lie down or rise up with your 
perjured conscience. O that my head were waters, and 
mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I could weep for you. 
When I signed for you your papers I had never seen 
you, though I pitied you. As soon as I saw you, I was 
interested in your welfare. When you was sick, I did 
tenderly sympathise with you, and since this sad busi- 
ness, I have had no feelings towards you but pity. I 
have not been angry with you, not at all." 

" You have been very kind, and I sincerely thank 

you for it." 



The papers alluded to above by Mr Reid, were a 
recommendation and subscription paper, drawn up and 
signed by Daniel Chute Esq. Signed likewise by the 
Rev. Mr Sanborn, Rev. Mr Reid, all of Reading, 
and Rev. Mr Green of Boston, From the lime that I 
was thirteen years old, until I was twenty six, Reading 
had been my place of residence with the exception of a 
few months. The last five years of that time I had re- 
sided in the same house with Esq. Chute. In that 
time Mr Sanborn was dismissed from his pastoral labors 
in Reading, and Mr Green settled in his present place. 
Not long before Mr Green's settlement in Boston, I re^ 
moved from Reading, and was absent some time after 
Mr Reid was orde^ined in that place. This is the reasoft 
why Mr Reid was not personally acquainted with me, 
at the time he was so kind as to sign my papers. 

'' This," said Mr Reid, «' is the last visit that we shall 
make you." 

'' If this is the last visit that I am to expect, I hope 
that you will do me justice." 

*' We shall. We have gone on with you according ta 
the scripture rule. Our path is now plain before us. 
You have neglected to hear the church, and we can do 
no otherwise than to withdraw from you our christian 
watch and fellowship. As a citizen of the world you 
may depend on my friendship, but as a minister of the 
gospel of Christ, I can do no otherwise than I do." 

Mr Temple next addressed me. This was peculiarly 
trying to me. He is a gentleman that I very much re- 
spect, and his lady has been an intimate friend of mine, 
** I hope, cousin, that you do not think I have come here 
because I wish to reprove and censure you. I have" 
been chosen by the church once before, and declined 
coming because my embarrassment was such. Had 
you formed your belief when Mrs Temple visited you, 
and found you reading some books that you said you 


was reading only to hear what the author had to 

" I will answer you candidly, and I hope men will 
believe what I am going to say." This I said, because 
I knew that it was generally believed that I had em- 
braced Unitarianism, in consequence of reading Unita- 
rian books, and this is certainly false. 

'* Your veracity is not doubted in the least." 

" I was not reading those books to form my belief, it 
was fixed long before. Besides, these books had 
nothing to do with tJnitarianism. They were Mr Bal- 
four's Inquiry, Mr Sabine's Lectures, and Mr Balfour's 
Reply. I had not then even read any Unitarian's writ- 

"I have heard that you said, you did not think the 
covenant binding upon you at all, because you was so 
young that you did not understand it." 

*' It is true. I have said it, and do believe it." 

" You were old enough to be allowed your oath, and 
to choose a guardian. You did take a covenant upon 
you next in importance and solemnity to the church 
covenant." He alluded to the marriage covenant. 

" I was not married when I was fourteen, I was near 

*^ You were probably engaged to Mr Richardson, 
when you joined the church ; and I believe that when 
we make such an engagement, we are bound in th9 
sight of God, as much as we are when the ceremony is 

" I had made no such engagement at that time." 

Mr Temple gave me very good advice ; and remind- 
ed me of the responsibility resting on me, in bringing 
up my children, in consequence of my husband's infir- 
mity. ■* 

The twenty-fourth of December, Mr Reid called on 
rae unaccompanied, and said, << I suppose you have 


heard the result of our meetiDg, I do not know but you 
was in town." 

" If you are speaking of the meeting, Thursday after 
Thanksgiving, I was in Reading." 

" That is the one. I suppose you have heard what 
was done." 

" I have heard that I was excommunicated." 
** Not exactly so. As you have gone out from us, 
and neglected to hear the church, we thought best to 
withdraw from you our christian watch and fellowship." 
*^ Mr Reid, I think I have been cruelly treated." 
" That is your assertion. People think differently.'' 
This I thought was as much as to say, I had no proof 
of it, and it would not be believed. Do you not think 
this a little aggravating, after they had so carefully 
avoided writing, although I had desired them to write, 
because I thought it would prevent all misunderstanding 
and misrepresentation. Mr Reid and his Deacons did 
so far condescend, when they made me their first visit, 
as to say, that if Mr Richardson wished to be present, 
they would not object. What a privilege ! that my own 
husband, in his own hired house, should be permitted to 
sit in the room and hear me questioned, accused of false 
swearing, compared to a lawyer and a philosopher, by 
way of derision ? But would this wonderful privilege 
have been granted, if my husband had been what he 
once was ? They very well knew that I could have no 
help from him, for Mr Reid had visited him a number of 
times in his sickness, and saw that at that time he could 
not possibly convey his ideas. 

What I have written, is a correct, though concise 
statement of their proceedings, so far as I have been 
informed. I have written three letters to Mr Reid, and 
one to the church, requesting them to send me a copy 
of all their proceedings, but they have not complied with 
my request. The following are copies of these letters^ 


" Charhstowny Dec. 30, 1830. 
<* Rev. Sir, 

I believe it is customary in all churcheB, at least in 
all that I am acquainted with, to inform in writing the 
person they have excommunicated, or dismissed in any 
way, of what they have done. I have received jio such 
writing, and am at a loss to know in what relation to 
your church I stand. You will therefore greatly oblige 
me by sending me a copy of the church vote. As Pas- 
tor of the church, I suppose you are authorized to do 
this. Otherwise I must beg you to submit my request 
to the church, that they may act on it. — Yours, 


'' Rev. Sir, 

I forwarded a letter to you dated Dec. 30, 1830, the 
object of which was to request you to send me a copy 
of the church vote for my dismission. As 1 have le- 
ceived no answer, it is possible my letter may not have 
reached you. I therefore trust ypu will pardon me for 
writing a second time. It is not to satisfy an idle curi- 
osity that I have made this request, but because J be- 
lieve and respect the christian religion. I believe like- 
wise that it is the duty as well as privilege of all who 
possess the same views of the christian religion that I 
do, to manifest their respect for it, by uniting with some 
christian church. This I wish to do, but am at a loss 
to know how to proceed, until I know in what relation 
to your church I stand. One of your church members 
told me I was excommunicated. If I understood you 
right the last lime you called on me, you said it was not 
exactly so. You will greatly oblige me therefore, by 
sending me a copy of the church vote, that I may judge 
for myself. Your friend, 

Charleatown, Feb. 9, 1831." 


*^ Charhstoion, March 10, 183 1. 
««Rev. Sir, 

I forwarded a letter to you last December, and anoth- 
er in February. In both of them I requested you to 
send me a copy of the church vote for my excommuni- 
cation or dismission, and in the last, I gave you my 
reason for wishinor it. I have received no answer to 
either of them, although I think you must have received 
one, if not both, before this time. It is- certainly very 
cruel in you not to comply with my reasonable request, 
when I have condescended almost to beg of you what I 
believe I had a right to expect without asking for it, and 
what I believe to be absolutely necessary in prder to 
ascertain what my present church relations are, and by 
what steps I am to gain admission again to the christian 
ordinances, and likewise to defend my reputation against 
the many slanders that may be circulated in consequence 
of my connection with your church being dissolved. 
'^ But to allow me any kind of defence, seems to be no 
part of you plan. Yet I do once more respectfully re- 
quest you, to send me a copy of the church vote for my 
dismission, and likewise to send me a copy from the 
church records of all your proceedings in regard to me. 
From what you have said to me, and from what I have 
heard from others^ I have reason to believe you have 
been instrumental in depriving me of the society and 
confidence of my friends. You have said to me, " if 
you are dismissed from the church, I shall not be sur- 
prised to hear, before five years, that you have gone 
any lengths ; that you have become a confirmed infidel 
and denied the whole Bible ; you have taken infidel 
ground already." Such insinuations from you are well 
calculated to deprive me of the esteem and confidence 
of all with whom you have any influence. If I have not 
been misinformed, you have intimated in explaining the 
twelfth chapter of Matthew to your Bible class, that the 


persons there spoken of that can never be forgiven^ ar« 
those whom the churches see fit to excommunicate. I 
did not understand that you made any distinction be* 
tween those excommunicated for the greatest immorali- 
ty, and those excommunicated for an honest belief which 
they could not possibly avoid. I have reason to believe 
this report from what you have said to me^ and from 
what I have heard some of your church say. You have 
iaid to me, *' I fear for you, when I think of the lives of 
excommunicated persons." You have said likewise, 
that '* what the apostles bound on earth was bound in 
heaven ; that what they loosed on earth was loosed in 
heaven ; and we have reason to believe it is much the 
same at the present day." If by this you wished me 
to believe, that if you shut me out from the privileges 
of the church, I must be shut out of heaven, I can tell 
you in reply, respectfully but firmly, that I believe no 
such. thing. Yous power to afflict me is limited, and 
must end with this life ; and may I ever praise my 
Maker and my Redeemer, that you are not to be my 
final judge. Some of your church members have told 
me, that they did not think it possible for a Unitarian 
to go to heaven ; and have said that they should never 
think of being intimate with, or even visiting one, 
though they would not withhold from him the customa* 
ry compliments of the day. 

'* I do not wish you to suppose I have treasured up 
in my memory your cruel treatment of me, because I 
am your enemy, or wish you any ill. Far be such a 
thought from my heart. I remember your ill treatment 
of me, because it has grieved me, and because I feel the 
effect of it daily. How can you enjoy the society of 
your friends, when you have deprived me of mine f 
How can you rest on your pillow, when by your means 
my repose is disturbed ? t should suppose my misfor- 
tunes would entitle me to your sympathy and kindness^ 



instead of insult and cruelty. At the time I was so un^ 
fortunate as to fall under your displeasure, I was, and 
had been for a long time in a feeble state of health. I 
had been deprived of the society of my husband by his 
illness ; I was poor and in want of many of the comforts 
of life. My children were forced from me by my inabili- 
ty to provide for them, and were placed with strangers, 
that I had never seen ; though I found them to be very 
good people, and I shall ever remember them with re- 
spect and gratitude for their kindness to me and mine. I 
do not write this because I suppose you were unacquaint- 
ed with my circumstances, but because I wish you to look 
back^ and see the impropriety of your conduct towards 
me. That you may profit by the retrospect, is the ardent 
desire of your sincere friend and well wisher, 


The following letter, inclosing that to the church, 
was addressed by me to the eldest deacon. 

" Charlestowny April 14, 1831. 

Please to pardon me for the liberty I have taken in 
addressing you ; the object of which is, respectfully to 
request you to communicate the following lines to the 
church, that they may act thereon. 


'' Charlestowny April 14, 1831. 
^< To the second Church in Reading I present my best 
wishes, and respectfully request you to favor me with a 
copy of all your proceedings in regard to me.. I believe 
I have a right to a copy of these* proceedings according 
td the custom in such cases and the reason of things. 
Besides I am very desirous of once more being united 
to some christian church, thereby to manifest my lore 


and respect for the christian ordinances. I believe this 
to be the duty of every sincere believer in the christian 
religion. You will, I think, see that it is absjlutely 
necessary that my request should be granted, as I can- 
not reasonably expect to gain admittance to any chris- 
tian church, until I can shew satisfactory evidence why 
I have been shut out from yours. You will greatly 
oblige me by complying with my request, as soon as 
may be convenient. As my health is gradually declin- 
ing, this season may be the last opportunity of being 
out that I shall have. 

Affectionately yours, 


" P. S. I take the liberty of addressing you through 
your oldest Deacon, because though I have written three 
several times to your Pastor, I have not as yet been so 
happy as to receive from him the charity of an answer. 
Perhaps he has not received my letters, or jSerhaps he 
has not thought it worth his while to communicate, or 
notice in any way whatever, the letters of a poor, af- 
flicted and dying woman. E. R." 

I here end the narrative of my sufferings. 
Yours respectfully, 



Charlestown, June 1, 1831. 


Mrs Richardson, for sufficient reasons as staled in her let- 
ter, declined giving Mr Reid a unitarian exposition of the pas- 
sage iii John, **In the beginning was the word, and the word 
was with God, and the word was God.'* As these reasons, 
however, do not operate on us, and as we happen to have left 
the necessary space, we shall favor him with two or three. — 
By the word, in this place, we undorsta-nd the divine power 


considered as in action ; — ^^By the t^ord of the Lord, the 
hearvens were made** (Psalm xxxiii. 6.); **He spake and it 
was done** (v. 9.). This power was "in the beginning^**; i. e. 
in the beginning of creation. It was *Svith God**; i. e. belonged 
to him. And it **was God**; i. o. whatet'er was done by this 
power, was done by God. **All things were made by** this 
power. This "word was made flesh,** when the divine [Jowet 
for which it stands, was communicated to Jcsas Christ,— ^that 
divine power by which he wrought his miracles, and became 
in other respects miraculously endowed. **The father 
that dwelleth in me** — not the Son, the second person in the 
trinity, as in the trinilarian belief, , hut — '*ihe Father that dwel- 
leth in me. He doeth the works'* (John xiv. 10.) ; **For I have 
not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, he 
gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should 
speak** (lb. xii. 49.). — Others give a different translation to the 
first verse, and one which the original will warrant : "The word 
was in the beginningv and the word was with God, and the word 
was a god.*' Jesus Christ was called 'Hhe word,*' just as in 
other places, "the way, the truth and the light.'* Ho was "in 
the beginning**; i. e. from the commencement of the gospel 
dispensation, as in John vi. 64. xv. 27, and in many other pla- 
ces. He was "with God**; i. e. in communion with him ; and' 
is called "a god,'* because they were "called gods to whom the 
ward of God came.*' "All things were made, or done, by 
him**; i. e. all things pertaining to the new dispensation. — 
Others, again, understand by the wori>, in this place, a preex'- 
istent being, the "angel of the Lord," so ofien mentioned in 
the Old Testament, and God's agent in all his dispensations, 
and sometimes, therefore, called God, or a god : but, neverthe- 
less, a distinct being from God, and a derived and dependent 

On the Irinitarian hypothesis, how can God be said to be 
"with God,** unless there are two Gods? How can "all things*' 
be said to have been made or done by one person of the trinity, 
unless we suppose that nothing, absolutely nothing, was made 
or done by either of the other two ? Does this accord with our 
Saviour*s declaration, who says of his Father, or tiie first 
person in the trinity, "He doeth the works.** If the three 
persons in the trinity were, nevertheless, but one being, how 
could one of these persons be "made flesh,** unless the whole 
bcjng was "made flesh"? Answer us,- who can. 



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