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[339] It is not difficult to imagine the appearance of a congregation in 1650,--the men on one side, and the women on the other, sitting on wooden benches, in January, under a thatched roof, with one or two open window-places, without stoves, singing Sternhold and Hopkins and the New England Psalms, and then listening to a two-hours' service with devotion!

On Sunday, March 11, 1770, our fathers and mothers, with their entire families, entered, for the first time, their new meeting-house. Unfortunately, their beloved pastor was ill; and the services of the day were performed by Mr. Andrew Elliot, jun., a tutor in Harvard College. The celebrated George Whitefield preached a dedicatory discourse in this house, Aug. 26, 1770, fron 2 Chron. v. 14. Our fathers had no special services for the dedication of a new house of worship, because they could not tolerate any imitation of the English church; and we have always had to regret their further indiscretion in banishing, for the same poor reason, the sacred observance of Christmas and Good Friday.

June 11, 1770: ā€œVoted not to grant seats for singers.ā€

July 28, 1771, Sunday: On this day was used, for the first time, the new pulpit-cushion given by William Pepperell, Esq., who imported it from England, at a cost of eleven guineas.

March 5, 1787: Some inhabitants of taste and public spirit propose to plant ornamental trees in front of the meeting-house. The town voted not to have them!

May 10, 1802: Voted to buy a new bell.

Oct. 5, 1812: Voted not to have a stove in the meeting-house!

Never was there a house that received fewer repairs. In 1814, they who are first to discover needs, and quickest to relieve them, subscribed one hundred and fifty dollars; and soon the pulpit wore a new color, showed a new cushion, and rejoiced in new curtains. One gentleman was admitted to participation in this pious offering of the ladies, by presenting a copy of the Sacred Scriptures in two volumes.

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