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[225] idea of a “hand-vote” in the church on each case. This was discussed in a special meeting; and the record says:--
April 8, 1743: Benjamin Tufts's petition considered, and his request denied for a handy-vote.

Nov. 30, 1744, the subject was again discussed, and a different result reached. The vote of July 20, 1714, abolishing the hand-vote, was modified thus: Voted “that the reverend pastor be desired to call for an handy-vote at the admission of members for the future, excepting when the persons to be admitted plead that they are in opinion or judgment for a silential vote.” This step backwards in church discipline seemed nullified by the adroit introduction of the concluding proviso.

May 9, 1755: Brothers Samuel Brooks and Jonathan Bradshaw were chosen deacons, unanimously. Samuel Brooks, Esq., declined; Brother Bradshaw accepted.

Aug. 31, 1755: Received a folio Bible from the Hon. T. Royal, and voted thanks.

1759: Voted to read the Scriptures in the congregation.

What reason our ancestors could give for not reading the word of God in the sabbath services, we cannot imagine. In 1720, Mr. Holmes says:--

“Why this practice should be discontinued by any of the disciples of Jesus, I see no reason. I am persuaded it cannot be alleged to be any part of our reformation from Popish superstition.”

1759: Chose Brother Ebenezer Brooks a deacon, unanimously.

March 24, 1767: Brothers Isaac Warren and Samuel Kidder were chosen deacons.

March 7, 1763: Deacon Benjamin Willis, Deacon Jonathan Bradshaw, Deacon Ebenezer Brooks, Dr. Simon Tufts, Captain Caleb Brooks, Stephen Hall, Esq., Samuel Brooks, Esq., Mr. Samuel Angier, and Mr. Hugh Floyd, were chosen a Committee to treat with Rev. Mr. Turell, relating to the singing of Tate and Brady's Version of the Psalms in the congregation, instead of the common version now sung, and are to make report at the next May meeting.

This Committee report to resign Dunster's version, and to adopt Tate and Brady's.

At the above meeting, a Committee was chosen to prepare a place for all the singers to sit together in the meetinghouse; the chorister choosing the singers, and “the Selectmen approbating them.”

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