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“ [261] for the supply of his pulpit during his confinement, without trouble or expense to him.”

The parish expenses were as follows: In 1825, $1,208.16; in 1830, $1,235.35; in 1840, $1,701.24 ; in 1845, $2,348.01; in 1850, $1,523.21.

The change of the law in Massachusetts respecting the support of ministers, and the consequent change of action in some parishes, had produced fatal results. One statute provides thus: “No person shall hereafter be made a member of any parish or religious society without his consent in writing.” The inhabitants of Medford were not exempt from the operation of these and similar causes. The Committee of the first parish saw their activity; and when Mr. Stetson resigned his office of pastor, March 24, 1848, they say, in reply to his short and touching letter, that the parish, “under this state of things, must very soon become impotent for the fulfilment of its original contract by any legal form of taxation.” They do not separate from their beloved minister without expressing their deep gratitude for his long and acceptable services. Their letter to him ends with these words:

With such impressions of the character of your great ministry, accept, dear sir, assurances of our affectionate regard and sincere wishes for the happiness and prosperity of yourself and family.

During his ministry of twenty-one years, Mr. Stetson baptized 210 persons; married 143 couples; admitted to the church 106 communicants; and officiated at 304 funerals.

He was very soon invited to settle as the minister of the Unitarian Society in South Scituate, near Kingston, his native town in the Old Colony; and as he is there now laboring, with his warm heart and ready hand, the time to speak of his character has not yet come. May it be far distant! But, when society shall lose him, there will not be wanting pens to note his various learning, to describe his brilliant conversation, to honor his large philanthropy, and record his ministerial faithfulness.

The time had now come, as it was thought, to abandon the former mode of raising parish taxes by assessments on polls and property. After much conference and reflection, the parish resort to the system of voluntary contributions! A paper, therefore, is offered to each individual, annually, with the following preamble and obligation:--

We, the subscribers, in order to testify our wish to be considered

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