and the muster-field was about three miles from the village.
He took me, then a lad of hardly seven years, with him, and we walked to the muster.
He pointed out to me the governor as he galloped across the field at full speed—alone—to rectify some irregularity, upon a black horse, wearing a three-cornered cocked hat, and a powdered cue hanging down his back.
So much for the military history of Medford
The next matter of special interest in the history of the first half of the century relates to theological and parochial affairs.
All religious and parochial matters were the affair of the State
and the town.
Until 1833 the law required every citizen to pay his portion of the expense of maintaining public worship according to his ability.
So long as there was but one religious society in the town, the town and the parish were one—there was no distinction.
The town at its annual meetings voted the appropriations for the minister's salary and the other expenses for support of public worship, and every man was taxed for this purpose according to his means.
Religion was an affair of the State
The prevailing doctrine of the churches was the old orthodox Calvinistic creed, but in the early part of the century, perhaps about 1815, this doctrine began to be held with a certain laxity of interpretation by many of the people and not a few of the ministers.
Those who wavered were frequently styled Arminians
, which seemed to indicate a rejection of the stricter doctrines of predestination.
The change was gradual, and at first almost imperceptible.
Some of the older ministers were observed to dwell less in their sermons upon the five points of Calvinism and more upon religion as a life
rather than a mode of belief, and a greater liberality of thought was allowed.
The stricter orthodox became uneasy, and in many of the older churches the division began.
Dr. David Osgood
was settled in 1774 over what was then the only church in Medford
, and continued to be