were rude, the preachers were scholars of dignity and learning.
The first meeting house in Boston
lad mud walls and a thatched roof, but there John Cotton preached who had come from St. Botolph's in old Boston
, one of the most stately churches in England
and large enough to hold five thousand people.
There was a difference in the two houses, but it was the same minister, only he was larger grown by coming into this wilderness.
Probably the first meeting house here in Newtowne — for that was the original and appropriate name,--was built of logs.
There was an order that no man should build his chimney of wood nor cover his house with thatch.
This was for protection against fire.
Afterwards there was an order that the meeting house should be repaired “with a four square roofe, and covered with shingle.”
The name “meeting” house was appropriate, for the house was used for the general gathering of the people.
An early writer who visited the Colony says, “The public worship is in as fair a meeting house as they can provide, wherein, in most places, they have been at great charges.”
If we should go into the first meeting house here we should find rather a rough room, divided by a central passage and furnished with benches.
The men would be on one side and the women on the other.
Perhaps we should notice that some of the men had muskets, and that they sat at the end of the bench — a custom which has been kept up though the carnal weapons have disappeared.
A plain desk, a stand, within a railing, was the pulpit.
Afterwards, when the people were able to arrange things as they wished, the pulpit was a high, elaborate structure, with a sounding board.
The ruling elders sat below the pulpit, and the