1764 ELI FORBES. Rare Excommunication for Drunkenness Doc by David Brainerd Successor!

1764 ELI FORBES. Rare Excommunication for Drunkenness Doc by David Brainerd Successor!

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A really fascinating little historically connected piece of pastoral ministry and Americana.

Penned by Reverend Eli Forbes 1726-1804] to Reverend Joseph Parsons, of the 1st and 2nd Churches of Brookfield. 

Eli Forbes was for some time the pastor of the Second Church at Brookfield, Massachusetts. He there married the daughter of Rev. Ebenezer Parkman, who was a close friend of the Pierponts and of Sarah Edwards[nee Pierpont] and Jonathan Edwards. Jonathan Edwards is mentioned over 70 times in Parkman's diary, and at times in connection with the young pastor here mentioned.

Even more fascinatingly, after the death of David Brainerd, the work among the Native Americans of the Hudson, Delaware, and Susquehanna River Valleys needed a successor. It was found in David's younger brother, John Brainerd. He could not maintain all the ground covered by his brother, and Eli Forbes at first [during the period of our document] attempted to do both, i.e. Pastor at Brookfield and serve the Native Americans. He eventually resigned Brookfield, feeling the Native Americans had a greater spiritual need and leaving Brookfield to the wise spiritual leadership of Joseph Parsons, an important pro-Revolution divine.


Brookfield, January 30, 1764.

The 2d Chc of Christ in Brookfield to the First Chh of Christ in Brookfield sendeth greeting.

Revd hond and Beloved.

We are very sorry that we have to inform you that Jenny the wife of Corlis Hinds who is as she says a member in full communion with you has for a number of years past, and continues still to behave in a very unchristian manner. Notwithstanding our repeated and unheeded endeavours to reclaim her - living in ye detestible sin of intemperance often appearing to be disguised with Liquor to such a sordid degree as that those who behold her cannot but judge her to be guilty of drunkenness. - to ye great reproach of religion and the scandal of the Chrsitian name - we have pity'd her wretched case and used her with Christian tenderness; but to no good effect as we fear; and upon her refusing to give us any Christian satisfaction or any tokens of repentance and reformation or even to be accountable to us. As her federal relation has never been transfered from you to us - we think ourselves bound to inform you of her conduct. We wish you divine widom to direct you into such salutary and successful Discipline as may be effectual to reclaim ye unhappy delinquent and so save a soul from Death and cvoer a multitude of sins. We wish grace mercy and peace form God our Heavenly Father may be multiplied to you. We ask your prayers for us. And rest most affectionately yours in ye Faith an Fellowship of the Gospel.

Eli Forbes Pastor
In Ye Name of Ye Brethren

To Revd Persons to be communicated.


The Revd Jos. Parsons
Pastor of the First Chh

To be communicated. 

Very good, legible state overall as shown. 2 leaves, 4 pages. Last leaf lacks bottom fold and remains; not affecting text.