previous next

[333] high as its predecessor, and about twice as large. The steeple, rising from the centre of the four-faced roof, gave to the structure an appearance like that of the old meeting-house now standing in Hingham, Mass., which was built in 1680. Some of us remember the old meeting-house in Lynn, built about the same time, after the same model.

Aug. 24, 1727 : “Voted to meet in the new meeting-house sabbath-day after next.” Accordingly, on Sunday, Sept. 3, 1727, the inhabitants of Medford met for the first time in their new house; and Rev. Mr. Turell preached an appropriate sermon from Psalm LXXXIV. 1: “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!” Any special dedicatory services would have been distasteful to a people who had not forgotten the superstitions of Popery, or the persecutions of the English church.

Here was a new fortress for keeping the truth, and also for assailing the “ten idols:” 1. The surplice and Popish wardrobe. 2. The sign of the cross in baptism. 3. Kneeling at the Lord's Supper. 4. Setting the communion-table altar-wise. 5. Bowing at the name of Jesus. 6. Popish holidays. 7. Consecrating churches. 8. Organs and cathedral-music. 9. The Book of Common Prayer. 10. A church government by bishops.

Our Puritan forefathers having procured their second house for public worship of a size commensurate with their numbers, and at a cost proportionate to their wealth, their first care was for their pastor's family; and they passed the following vote: “That the town will build a ministerial pew in the meeting-house, in the place where the Rev. Mr. Turell shall choose.”

As no pews were built, the people were to sit on long, uncushioned seats, wherever the “seating committee” should designate. This custom became less and less agreeable; and, by degrees, the just, pacific, and convenient fashion of separated pews crept in. Various expedients were devised, and many of them abandoned; but, Oct. 23, 1727, it was voted “that certain lots for pews should be sold, but that each person must build his pew at his own cost; and if he moved out of town, his pew became the town's, the town paying therefor.” Subsequently it was voted to build twenty-seven pews, and then let the committee determine who should have a right to build. The requisites were age, dignity, parentage, usefulness, and the charges which persons had paid to the

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Ebenezer Turell (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
October 23rd, 1727 AD (1)
September 3rd, 1727 AD (1)
August 24th, 1727 AD (1)
1680 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: