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[201] as well as ecclesiastical trouble. Vane headed the Antinomians, and Winthrop the Legalists. The synod at Newton, Aug. 30, 1637, condemned the Antinomians; and they were banished.

The first inhabitants of Medford belonged to that class of hardy, intelligent, Christian adventurers called Puritans, who left their native England that they might here worship God and govern themselves according to the dictates of their own consciences, and here spread the truths of Christianity among the heathen. Nobler blood never flowed in human veins; and we may rejoice that we are descended from warrior-saints, who dared to lead where any dared to follow, whose souls were sanctified by Christian faith, whose union illustrated the natural rights of man, and whose characters were made invincible by a spiritual heroism. That such a people would faithfully provide for the worship which they had sacrificed their native homes to enjoy, is most natural. That our forefathers so felt and so acted, is undoubtedly true; as it is also true that their scanty means and divided condition postponed the settlement of a minister,--a failure of duty which drew upon them prosecutions and fines. We therefore find additional cause for lamentation over the loss of our early records, which would have explained the facts of their condition, and also proved to us how devotedly they attended public worship in the neighboring towns when they were not able to support a minister within their own borders. So soon as they could pay a clergyman,--yes, long before they could do it without extreme anxiety,--they made provision for their spiritual nurture and their growth in grace.

Johnson, in his “Wonder-working Providence,” says:--

It is as unnatural for a right New England man to live without an able ministry, as for a smith to work his iron without fire.

Their wakefulness and zeal are proved, in the surviving records, by their unanimity in causing each person to contribute his share; and their intelligence and justice appear in harmonizing differences which unhappily arose between them and one of their temporary teachers.

June 2, 1641: The General Court say:--

It is desired that the elders would make a catechism for the instruction of youth in the grounds of religion.

This catechism found its way into every family of our

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