Matthew Ellis to the Society.
To the Honourable the Society for the Propogation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. The humble Petition of Matthew Ellis of New England, Husbandman, a Member of the Church of England, as by Law EstablishedSheweth That your Petitioner being informed that this Honorable Society was desirous to have the power of the Independents in New England, which they used to oblige the Members of the Church of England to contribute to the maintenance of dissenting teachers or preachers lawfully examined into it, being apprehended to the contrary to the intent of the New England Charter, your petitioner upon whom a small sum of 40s N. England money was levied for the maintenace of a dissenting teacher, did bring his action in N. England, against one Sprague who levyed such sum in order to try the right and having no benefit by that Action in New England, your petrs there demanded an Appeal to his Majesty in Council, but was there refused it. That an Application being made on your Petitioner's behalf to this Honourable Society some time since, that you would be pleased to take the said case under your care as the same might procure a judicial determination & tend to settle that great point. The Society as your Petitioner is informed verbally declares taking the same upon you in the situation it then was, or until application to his Majesty, an Appeal should be actually allowed here so that the mere point of right might come in question But declared as your Petitioner humbly apprehends that when your Petitr should have obtained liberty to appeal your Petitr might then hope for assistance of this Society. That thereupon your Petitioner hath at considerable expense to himself (far more than his own particular right is concerned) obtained Liberty to appeal to his Majesty in Council, but is unable to bear the further expense of prosecuting the same, and the rather so since the Province of the Massachusetts Bay have made the Cause of the Respondent Sprague their own and have undertaken the defence thereof for him portending to be a matter of high concern to their Province Your Petitioner therefore submits his Case to this Honorable Society, and humbly prays such relief to himself and therein to the Members of the Church of England in general as this Society shall think proper And as in Duty bound shall Pray.