members of the first parish in Medford for the present year, do hereby agree to pay to the collector of said parish the sum of money which is set against our names, towards the support of public worship in said parish the present year.
This temporary and precarious provision for the support of God's worship and the spread of Christianity does not sound much like those iron-bound resolves of our pious ancestors, wherein life and property were for ever
dedicated to God and to his church.
Whether “the voluntary system,” as adopted in New England
, is or is not a failure, is with some no longer a question.
April 9, 1849: “Voted, unanimously, to give Rev. George W. Briggs
, of Plymouth
, an invitation to settle with us as our minister in the gospel.”
$1,200 salary. April 15, Mr. Briggs
communicated his refusal in a short and satisfactory letter.
“June 11, 1849: Voted that the parish vote by yeas and nays on the motion to extend an invitation to the Rev. John Pierpont
to settle with them in the ministry for one year, with a salary of one thousand dollars,--provided the connection be dissolved on either side by giving a previous notice of six months. Yeas, 25; nays, 24.”
June 25, 1849: The above vote was amended so as to read as follows:--
That this parish do extend to the Rev. John Pierpont an invitation to become its pastor on a salary of one thousand dollars a year,--payable by quarterly yearly payments,--and with the understanding and agreement that either of said parties may put an end to the connection by giving to the other party six months notice, in writing, of his or their intention so to do.
July 9, 1849: At a meeting of the parish this day, the following was introduced and voted:--
Resolved, that, in view of the history of this parish, its present condition, and its future prospects, it is regarded as inexpedient, and hazardous to our best interests as a Christian church, for our pastor to preach any political abolition sermons or discourses in our pulpit on the sabbath.
This vote was interpreted by some as “limiting the topics upon which the pastor is to be at liberty to treat in the pulpit.”
This, however, was disclaimed by the friends of the resolution.
On the 23d of July, the vote was unanimously