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[7] deacons a little lower still, facing the congregation. The boys had a place by themselves in the gallery, with a tithing man with a long pole to keep them in order. In 1668 Thomas Fox was “ordered to look to the youth in time of public worship.”

The meeting house which was built here in 1632 had a bell, but there is a town record in 1646 of “fifty shillings paid unto Thomas Langhorne for his service to the town in beating the drum these two years past.” Perhaps the sound of the bell did not reach far enough, and the drummer was sent through the settlement to summon the people. The congregation came together as early as nine o'clock on Sunday morning, and about two in the afternoon. They came on foot or on horseback, for the most part. The town provided “a convenient horseblock at the meeting-house, and causeway to the door.”

The service in the church consisted of prayer, singing, reading and the expounding of the Scriptures. It was generally thought improper to read the Scriptures without an exposition; they called it “dumb reading.” There was also a sermon by the pastor or teacher. A minister's authority did not extend beyond his own congregation, so that when one was in another man's pulpit it was common for the ruling elders to say to him, “If this present brother hath any word of exhortation for the people at this time, in the name of God let him say on.” This “saying on” was called “prophesying.” It was thought that an hour was the proper length for the sermon, and an hour-glass stood on the pulpit to make sure of good measure; but sometimes the preacher would turn this at the end of his hour. They facetiously called this “taking another glass.”

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