Prest. J. Smith rose, read the 14th Chap. of Ezekiel— said the Lord had declar’d by the prophet that the people should each one stand for himself and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church— that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls— app[l]ied it to the present state of the — said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall— that they were depending on the prophet hence were darkened in their minds from neglect of themselves— envious toward the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy.
There is another error which opens a door for the adversary to enter. As females possess refin’d feelings and sensitivenes[s], they are also subject to an overmuch zeal which must ever prove dangerous, and cause them to be rigid in a religious capacity— should be arm’d with mercy notwithstanding the iniquity among us. Said he had been instrumental in bringing it to light— melancholy and awful that so many are under the condemnation of the devil & going to perdition.
With deep feeling said that they are our fellows— we lov’d them once. Shall we not encourage them to reformation?
We have not forgivn them seventy times— perhaps we have not forgiven them once. There is now a day of salvation to such as repent and reform— they should be cast out from this , yet we should woo them to return to God lest they escape not the damnation of hell!
When there is a mountain top there also is a vally— we should act in all things an a proper medium— to every immortal spirit. Notwithstanding the unworthy are among us, the virtuous should not from self-importance grieve and oppress needlessly those unfortunate ones, even [p. ]