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Pastoral visits and parochial duties must have been peculiar when a clergyman had to find his way from one family to another by marked trees! The connection between the minister and people was deemed as indissoluble as the marriage-tie. To the intelligence, self-sacrifice, and piety of these men of God, we owe that church, that school, and that family altar, which have made New England what we now behold it. Fides probata coronat.

The Rev. Mr. Porter, after a peaceful and valuable ministry of nearly nine years, died at his post of duty, Jan. 23, 1722, aged thirty-three.

Mr. Porter had some property from his father. There is a “deed of fifty or sixty acres of land, with a wharf and warehouse thereon, adjoining the river in Medford, conveyed by him, Jan. 7, 1716, to Benjamin Wyman, of Obum, maltster, for seventy-five pounds, New England currency.” It was acknowledged before Stephen Sewall, Esq., of Salem, his father-in-law; and on the back is this-note: “Sold to Stephen Hall, on the 7th of June, 1739.”

We regret that so little is on record concerning this beloved minister of Christ. With respect to his decease, we have the two following records:--

1722, Jan. 23: “The reverend minister of Meadford dies, Mr. Porter, which married Unkle Sewall's daughter.” --S. Sewall's Ms.

1722, midweek, Jan. 24: “Just about sunset, Mr. Brattle told me that Mr. Aaron Porter, the desirable pastor of the church in Meadford, was dead of a fever, which much grieved me.” --Judge Sewall's Journal.

In the burying-ground is a marble slab, with this inscription: “Sacred to the memory of Rev. Aaron Porter, the first settled minister of Medford.”

June 18, 1722: By the advice of the President and Fellows of Harvard College, the town held a fast, to seek divine guidance in procuring a minister; and Rev. Messrs. Colman, Fox, Hancock, Brown, and Appleton were invited to conduct the religious exercises. Thus, after the death of their first minister, the inhabitants of Medford took steps to supply their pulpit with candidates; and, after hearing a few, they voted (May 25, 1724) “to hear Mr. Turell two sabbaths, and Mr. Lowell one sabbath, and then make a choice.” It was usual for the church to nominate the candidate, and for the town to elect him. On one occasion, the Medford church nominated three candidates at the same time. Mr. Nathaniel

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