The governor was moved to set apart the twenti-
eth of July to be a solemn day of humiliation, for the choyce of a pastor and teacher at Salem
.‘After prayer and preaching,’ the persons thought on, ‘presenting no claim founded on their ordination in England
, acknowledged a twofold calling; the inward, which is of God, who moves the heart and bestows fit gifts; the outward, which is from a company of believers joined in covenant, and allowing to every member a free voice in the election of its officers.
The vote was then taken by each one's writing in a note the name of his choice.
Such is the origin of the use of the ballot on this continent; in this manner Skelton
was chosen pastor and Higginson
Three or four of the gravest members of the church then laid their hands on Skelton
with prayer, and in like manner on Higginson
; so that these two blessed servants of the Lord
came in at the door and not at the window;’ by the act of the congregation and not by the authority of a prelate.
A day in August was appointed for the election of ruling elders and deacons.
Thus the church, like that of Plymouth
, was self-constituted, on the principle of the independence of each religious community.
It did not ask the assent of the king, or recognize him as its head; its officers were set apart and ordained among themselves; it used no liturgy; it rejected unnecessary ceremonies, and reduced the simplicity of Calvin
to a still plainer standard.
The motives which controlled its decisions were so deeply seated, that its practices were repeated spontaneously by Puritan New England
There were a few at Salem
by whom the new system was disapproved; and in John and Samuel Browne
they found able leaders.
Both were members