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trode the tides of four successive generations. Woodbridge and Porter, and Turell and Osgood have each at intervals commanded her,—the last a navigator of preeminent experience. Since his recall, this gallant bark was suffered to lie for a season amid conflicting currents, the sport of winds and waves, and the injuries she sustained, there is reason to fear will never be effectually repaired. After a partial refitting she was commissioned anew and entrusted to my charge. Wednesday, the 9th inst. was appointed for the issuing of instructions. Two or three veteran pilots attended by as many more younger assistants came on board to aid her in passing the channel. The vessel under their conduct moved majestically from her moorings and floated to the offing, where she continued to ride without accident for the three following days. Precisely at half past 2 of yesterday, the signal was given, the anchor weighed, and with a fair breeze she stood out into the blue main. It is difficul
have been great, as after a brief ministry in Washington and Taunton, he became associated with the Boston Benevolent Fraternity of Churches, living in Boston afterward on the comfortable property inherited from his father. He was a wide traveller and published two volumes of his travels in the East. Mr. Caleb Stetson, a graduate of Harvard College, was unanimously chosen as the successor of Mr. Bigelow, in January, 1827, and was ordained to the ministry over this church and parish in February. His service covered a period of twenty-one years, ending in 1848. Personally he was a delightful man, easy in conversation, friendly in spirit, and of ready humor which flashed on all appropriate occasions. His brethren in the ministry were wont to say he was the life of every social hour, but events were happening during his ministry that were very disturbing. The agitation against slavery was growing to whiter heat; the temperance reform was stirring community against the indifferenc
oved. The parish was very kind and generous to him, supplying the pulpit at its own charge during his long illness. Indeed there is nothing in the history I have been reviewing which has impressed me more profoundly than that of the friendly relations between Mr. Tebbetts and this parish. He became its minister with a considerable minority against him, but in the brief period of his active pastorate he so won their respect and affection that they were to him the kindest of friends. In April of the following year, 1861, Mr. Edward C. Towne was installed. Educated at Yale College, he brought to his ministry a competent education and gifts of mind of an exceptional order. To these were added fervor and force, combined with a power of presenting truth that should have made him one of the leading minds of the church he had elected to serve. But controversies vitally affecting the Unitarian Church were then foremost, and deeply interested him. He was not sufficiently reverent of o
ift of events in many an ancient parish, the word was known to be a mild way of saying he was a Unitarian. It was because this was understood that there was so strong a minority against him in the vote that elected him as pastor. Of this he was fully informed, which leads him to say in his acceptance of the call in a letter to the town, After a painful view of the subject, and a strong internal conflict my conclusion is to accept the invitation. In the time that elapsed between his call in May and his installation in July, there was sufficient opportunity in a small community, which Medford then was, for a pretty full expression of opinion, for which small communities have a special aptitude. Mr. Bigelow was cognizant of this; the diminished attendance at church after his call clearly indicating that something would happen. How well he knew it is evidenced by a quaint letter written Monday, July 14, 1823, after his first Sunday as pastor. A copy of this letter is preserved by th
The first Parish in Medford. by Rev. Henry C. Delong. [Address read to the Medford Historical Society, February 17, 1909.] THE First Parish in Medford, the first religious society in the town, was the direct and legal successor of the town church. Rev. David Osgood, D. D., died in 1822, after a ministry of forty-eight years. In March, 1823, Rev. Andrew Bigelow was engaged to preach as a candidate, and on May 5 the town invited him to become its minister at a salary of $800 per annum. The vote by which he was chosen was 95 in favor to 70 against him. It is interesting to note that in the vote of the church there was more unanimity, 20 voting for him to three against him. On June 14, Mr. Bigelow accepted the call, approving of the clause the town had inserted in it, and never before existing, that the connection could be dissolved by either party by giving six months notice, a rule which has since continued whenever a minister was chosen. July 9, the ecclesiastical council, i
which there was no precedent. Until 1826 the town, as formerly, had used the meetinghouse for town meetings, but in this year the committee of the parish addressed a letter to the selectmen, stating that since the division of the town into parishes the meeting-house could not be used for town meetings without an arrangement for that purpose with the First Parish. The selectmen maintained their right to the use of the meeting-house, and informed the committee of the parish that on the 17th of May a town meeting would be held in the meeting-house, pursuant to a warrant for that purpose, to choose representatives to the General Court. The meeting-house was closed by the order of the parish committee, and one Thomas Pratt opened and entered it for the transaction of the business of the meeting. The parish committee then brought suit against him for trespass, and on trial the chief-justice maintained the right in law of the parish to the undivided control of its property. The div
own, was the direct and legal successor of the town church. Rev. David Osgood, D. D., died in 1822, after a ministry of forty-eight years. In March, 1823, Rev. Andrew Bigelow was engaged to preach as a candidate, and on May 5 the town invited him to become its minister at a salary of $800 per annum. The vote by which he was chosen was 95 in favor to 70 against him. It is interesting to note that in the vote of the church there was more unanimity, 20 voting for him to three against him. On June 14, Mr. Bigelow accepted the call, approving of the clause the town had inserted in it, and never before existing, that the connection could be dissolved by either party by giving six months notice, a rule which has since continued whenever a minister was chosen. July 9, the ecclesiastical council, invited by the church and town, met to install Mr. Bigelow as pastor. Some names of clergymen composing the council are worthy of remembrance as indicating the weight of influence on the liberal s
ient parish, the word was known to be a mild way of saying he was a Unitarian. It was because this was understood that there was so strong a minority against him in the vote that elected him as pastor. Of this he was fully informed, which leads him to say in his acceptance of the call in a letter to the town, After a painful view of the subject, and a strong internal conflict my conclusion is to accept the invitation. In the time that elapsed between his call in May and his installation in July, there was sufficient opportunity in a small community, which Medford then was, for a pretty full expression of opinion, for which small communities have a special aptitude. Mr. Bigelow was cognizant of this; the diminished attendance at church after his call clearly indicating that something would happen. How well he knew it is evidenced by a quaint letter written Monday, July 14, 1823, after his first Sunday as pastor. A copy of this letter is preserved by the church, but to whom written
cepted the call, approving of the clause the town had inserted in it, and never before existing, that the connection could be dissolved by either party by giving six months notice, a rule which has since continued whenever a minister was chosen. July 9, the ecclesiastical council, invited by the church and town, met to install Mr. Bigelow as pastor. Some names of clergymen composing the council are worthy of remembrance as indicating the weight of influence on the liberal side of the old Congrs resolution was deferred a week, when the church again met for its consideration. There is still preserved a letter written by Misses Mary and Lucy Osgood, daughters of Rev. David Osgood, in protest against the act of the parish at its meeting July 9th, in which they say that they wish to express the astonishment and concern with which that resolution has inspired them. After defending the memory of their father who was distinguished through his long ministry for the freedom and fearlessness
forces, and at a subsequent meeting, July 9, 1849, passed the following resolution: Resolved, that in view of the history of this parish, its present condition and its future prospects, it is regarded as inexpedient and hazardous to our best interests as a Christian church, for our pastor to preach any political abolition sermons or discourses in the pulpit on the Sabbath. There were then two distinct organizations of church and parish, and as the church could be sooner called together, on July 15 a meeting was held, when Abner Bartlett, one of the most respected members of the church and parish, presented this counter resolution, Resolved, as the sense of this church, that its truest welfare will be best secured by leaving the pulpit under the control of the pastor for the time being, without the interference of the parish in any way, other than as may be stipulated in the terms of his settlement. This resolution was deferred a week, when the church again met for its consideration.
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