On the 9th of July and the 29th of October, 1826, the Rev. Andrew Bigelow preached sermons containing his reasons for giving the sixth months' notice previous to his dissolving his pastoral relations. Nov. 6 of the same year, he wrote a letter to his parish, repeating,--
That it was from no decay of attachment to the people of my pastoral charge, or of earnestness of desire to be instrumental in promoting the interests of piety and vital religion among them. . . . Being about to leave this country on a distant voyage, in the hope of fully re-establishing my health, I should be pleased to know the mind of the parish in respect to the mode of supplying the pulpit, and to obtain their concurrence to my proposed absence, prior to the expiration of the time of my connection with them as pastor. . . . And, should they come together, I beg you to present them the renewed assurances of my most grateful recollection of their past favors to me, along with my fervent aspirations that grace, mercy, and peace may be multiplied to them all.His request was immediately granted; whereupon a reply was sent to Mr. Bigelow by the unanimous vote of the parish, in which they regret, for reasons stated, his relinquishment of office, and say,--
“We bear you witness, that, with true Christian forbearance and professional integrity, you have had your walk and conversation among us from the beginning, and that you have been the minister of much good to this people.... In taking leave of you, Rev. Sir, we would most heartily reciprocate the sentiments expressed in your farewell discourse for our future prosperity and happiness.” “Voted, that the Committee be directed to request of Mr. Bigelow a copy of the two discourses mentioned in his communication, as delivered on the 9th of July and 29th of October last, to be deposited among the parish records.”Mr. Bigelow's connection with the parish legally ceased Jan. 9, 1827. Returning from Europe with recovered health, he became the minister of the Unitarian Society in Taunton, Mass., April 10, 1833, where he labored for many years. He is now filling a most useful clerical office in the city of Boston. The time, therefore, to speak of his character is not yet; but we may quote the words of his successor in Medford, whose opportunities for learning the facts were peculiarly great. He writes thus :--
My regard to his feelings need not prevent my bearing testimony to the deep regret of his people that any circumstances should, in his opinion, have made a separation from them desirable.