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[259] who will labor for temperance, liberty, and peace; and who will not allow heaven-born, free inquiry to degenerate into licentiousness, nor Christian devotion to freeze into formalism.

According to the New England usage, the pews were sold at auction, after a committee had apportioned upon them a relative value, sufficient to cover the cost of the house, vestry, &c. Those pews which were leased by the parish paid seven per cent on their apprized value. On the sale of the pews, a premium was given for the right of choice. The amount accruing from the sale of seventy-one pews was $12,397. There were several small items not here noticed. The final balance against the parish was $2,024.47. In the last report of the committee are these words: “Your committee have much pleasure in being able to congratulate the parish on the entire success with which this enterprise has been accomplished, and the good effects that have resulted from it.”

The church has long enjoyed the counsel and services of John Symmes and Nathan Adams, Esqrs., as deacons.

March 4, 1840: “Voted to exchange the hymn-book now in use for Rev. Mr. Greenwood's selection.”

There are few parishes in New England which have had no trouble with their Sunday choir. Singers are dangerously sensitive, and not always blamable, as some imagine. Their popularity and success depend very often upon popular taste and fickle fashion; therefore all their feelers are out to discover what people think of them. The poet and painter, depending measurably on the same principles of taste and fashion, are subjected to similar influences. The conflict between rival singers is peculiarly fierce; and what committee-man, who has “had the care of the singing,” has not found that he must sometimes deal with the parish choir very much as he must with sick children? That Medford has had some of these jarring experiences, is most true; and it is as true that it has enjoyed a general exemption. The first parish has owned generous hearts and sweet voices, who have given their services freely; and the organ has been played gratuitously for years by a gentleman of taste and education.

It was customary with our early ancestors to appoint an individual from the church to read the psalm, two lines at a time; after which reading, the whole congregation sang the two lines. The reading was so commonly done by a deacon, that this mode of announcing the psalm was called “deaconing”

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