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[251] Gloucester, Mass.; from which last place he married Miss Amelia Sargent Stanwood.

Coming with reputation and experience to the work of the ministry in Medford, he did all that could be done for making the divided waters mingle in peace; but, as irreconcilable differences of opinion were developed in the congregation, it was best that the dissentients should quietly withdraw, and provide for themselves a separate and satisfactory ministration of the word. The first step in such a movement was taken by seventeen members of the church in writing and sending the following letter:--

Medford, Aug. 25, 1823.
Reverend and Beloved,--It becomes our painful duty, in the providence of God, differing as we do in our views of the essential doctrines of the gospel from what we believe to be the views and preaching of the Rev. Mr. Bigelow, to separate ourselves from the fellowship and communion of the church with which we now stand connected. Under these impressions, dear brethren, we, conscientiously and in the fear of God, ask letters, or a letter, of dismission, for the purpose of forming ourselves, in a regular manner, into a new and separate church.

And, while we deeply lament the necessity which we think exists for such a measure, we wish to adopt it from the sole desire of enjoying religious instructions which accord with our views of the system of truth laid down in the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Asking your prayers, brethren, that we may be guided into all truth, we subscribe ourselves yours in the gospel,

The church received this short and respectful letter in the spirit in which it was written, and chose a committee of three to prepare a reply. The reply is long, argumentative, and affectionate; and concludes, under deepest regret, to accede to the wishes of the petitioners, if they continue to desire separation. They renew their wish, and are accordingly released from all connection with the primitive church of Medford. So far as the records speak, we find nothing to condemn in this dismemberment of the ancient parish. Both

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