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Lydia Maria Child (search for this): chapter 16
fluence on the liberal side of the old Congregational order, as it was then known and spoken of. They are President Kirkland of Harvard College, Dr. Abiel Holmes, of Cambridge, the father of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Dr. Charles Lowell, of Boston, father of James Russell Lowell, and himself a man of note in his day as pastor of the West Church, Rev. Francis Parkman, Rev. James Walker of Charlestown, afterward President of Harvard College, and Rev. Convers Francis, of Watertown, brother of Lydia Maria Child, subsequently a professor in the Divinity School of Harvard College. His first Sunday as a legal minister of the town was July 13, 1823. But the narrow majority of 25 was a clear indication of much dissatisfaction at his choice, like the rote of the sea which foretells a storm. Mr. Bigelow was known to belong to the school of thought in Congregationalism which was called Liberal, and by this time, owing to Channing's outspoken word at Baltimore, and to the drift of events in many a
Andrew Bigelow (search for this): chapter 16
y of forty-eight years. In March, 1823, Rev. Andrew Bigelow was engaged to preach as a candidate, ag for him to three against him. On June 14, Mr. Bigelow accepted the call, approving of the clause ited by the church and town, met to install Mr. Bigelow as pastor. Some names of clergymen composie rote of the sea which foretells a storm. Mr. Bigelow was known to belong to the school of thoughsmall communities have a special aptitude. Mr. Bigelow was cognizant of this; the diminished atten sea. With a quaintness peculiar to him, Mr. Bigelow forecasts what soon happened, for the next believe to be the views and preaching of Rev. Mr. Bigelow, it becomes our painful duty to separate wn support. From July, 1823, to May, 1824, Mr. Bigelow was paid by the town, after that date Unitahe division of the parish at the opening of Mr. Bigelow's ministry was wholly independent of him. Ihis brief ministry of less than four years. Mr. Bigelow was well known, having spent his later yout
Timothy Bigelow (search for this): chapter 16
n of the parish at the opening of Mr. Bigelow's ministry was wholly independent of him. It may have had much to do with his brief ministry of less than four years. Mr. Bigelow was well known, having spent his later youth here. His father, Hon. Timothy Bigelow, a lawyer of eminence, came to Medford in 1808, and as his son Andrew afterward became the minister of the town, it was an instance of a prophet having honor in his own country. He was graduated from Harvard College in 1814, studied theolton 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
Caleb Stetson (search for this): chapter 16
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 and the prevailing social customs as to the use of intoxicating drink, and into these causes Mr. Stetson threw himself with full heart. On both of them public sentiment here was much divided, probably the majority of his parish would have preferred that they should be let alone. But Mr. Stetson could not let them alone. He preached upon them, he prayed about them, and as a result there were y people in his church who did not find his ministrations altogether edifying. As a preacher Mr. Stetson was probably at his best in discourses that touched upon the great sentiments of religion, thed their regard and affection. It was a little strange that since the prophet-character of Mr. Stetson had been the cause of his resigning from the parish, that such a hero as John Pierpont, scarr
y. The division of the parish at the opening of Mr. Bigelow's ministry was wholly independent of him. It may have had much to do with his brief ministry of less than four years. Mr. Bigelow was well known, having spent his later youth here. His father, Hon. Timothy Bigelow, a lawyer of eminence, came to Medford in 1808, and as his son Andrew afterward became the minister of the town, it was an instance of a prophet having honor in his own country. He was graduated from Harvard College in 1814, studied theology there, and subsequently in Edinburgh. Two previous ministries were in Eastport, Maine, and in Gloucester, Mass. He was a man of scholarly tastes and pursuits, rather fond of classical quotations in his sermons. His library, inherited in part from his father, contained books in many languages, showing especially his fondness for classical learning. His reputation as a preacher could not have been great, as after a brief ministry in Washington and Taunton, he became associa
shment of righteousness in the earth. I could recite names connected with this church during this period which have not only honored it but honored human nature,—men and women eager for the truth, as eager to turn it into life, who being dead yet speak, and urge us to the best which they reverently followed. During the period of this history the most important outward events have been the building of the meetinghouse in 1839, at a cost of about $14,000, the re-modeling of the interior in 1882 at an expense of $4,000, the destruction of it by fire on January 15, 1893, and the building of a new church, dedicated in June, 1894, at a cost of about $40,000. The church is known as Unitarian, but the name nowhere appears in its legal organization. It is simply the First Parish in Medford. Not that it is in the least indifferent to the name Unitarian, rather it honors it, but the fact of its absence marks the unsectarian character which our fathers gave it. Sectarian propagandism it
July 9th, 1849 AD (search for this): chapter 16
appointed to communicate with Mr. Pierpont, but before doing so a paper was presented to the legal voters in the parish who were not present at the meeting when the call was extended to him, with the result that 71 were in his favor to 21 opposed, and at a parish meeting, held June 25, 1849, the call was renewed by a large vote. Mr. Pierpont accepted the call, but before he had taken up his residence here the minority in the parish had gathered their 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
ly called doctrinal, which have of late prevailed. Aside too from dangers that menace from without, there are others that must be looked to, within. Symptoms of disaffection to my authority have already been detected. What measures will be adopted I am unable to say; if they will stop short of open mutiny, it will be more than I can anticipate. They talk, indeed, of constructing a launch and putting off for themselves,—a measure which I would gladly aid them in executing, for a company of 1500 is too numerous to sail with advantage in any single hull; and I greatly fear that this it is which gives crankiness to mine and disables her trim. The letter concludes with an account of the instructions he gave to his crew upon the rights of the commander, and their duties, ending by saying that he hopes to reach the Cape of Good Hope, whence he will sail over a smooth and pacific sea. With a quaintness peculiar to him, Mr. Bigelow forecasts what soon happened, for the next month aft
January, 1827 AD (search for this): chapter 16
his fondness for classical learning. His reputation as a preacher could not 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 whit
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
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