street at the Fellsway, Park street, Mystic park and Tufts College. One and a quarter miles would reach the old Powder House in Somerville
, and one and a half the so-called Cradock House.
With the latter exception, the spot selected for its building was central then.
‘Ye olde meeting-house of Meadford,’ occupies a peculiar place in the history of the peculiar town, in the fact that the town, by taxation, supported public worship within its walls for seventeen years before the gathering of a church.
For almost the average length of a human life it served its purpose, convening the sovereign people in their civil capacity in the town meeting, and the exercise of religious freedom of worship.
No matter how acrimonious the debates may have been, or what the difference of opinion was on the town's business affairs, the Sabbath worship was observed.
If this could be before
the church was organized, how much more must the meeting-house have stood for afterward.
And when the time came to leave it for the new and larger, we may well think that in the hearts of some, especially of the older people, arose the remembrance of former days.
It has come to be a custom to inveigh against the Puritans, and to consider them as cold and austere.
We do well to remember the circumstances under which they came to these shores; the persecutions they endured and finally fled from; to remember that they established the civil and religious liberty we enjoy and not to allow the present time to degenerate into civil and religious license.
I find no record of theological differences in the old meeting-house.
may have been there, but that time was long before the Universalist, Unitarian
, or Methodist-Episcopal.
The churches of England
and of Rome
, the ancient Medfordites
would have none of. This is evident in the fact that, in the acts of worship and observation of times, everything was diametrically opposite.
Even the Holy Scriptures
were unread in the meeting-house, and not until 1755 was