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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
January 15th, 1893 AD (search for this): chapter 16
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 has never been afflicted with. Humanity is dearer to it than sect, a
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
each of the present members of the church will refute the declaration now made, that such a course is to be regarded as inexpedient and hazardous to our best interests as a Christian church. This meeting of the church unanimously passed Mr. Bartlett's counter resolution, and on the 23d of July, at a parish meeting called for that purpose, the original resolution restricting the freedom of the pulpit was unanimously rescinded. Mr. Pierpont's ministry began August 1, 1849, and continued till 1856, much broken into by his frequent absences on lecturing tours, and the parish did not improve under his care. He is too well known to make fitting any description of him. He holds some rank in our literature as a poet, but will be long remembered for his character as a prophet. But the prophet never has a comfortable time. Neither individuals nor nations altogether enjoy having their sins pointed out. It was a long war he had with the Hollis Street Church, in which he won the victory. As
ophet never has a comfortable time. Neither individuals nor nations altogether enjoy having their sins pointed out. It was a long war he had with the Hollis Street Church, in which he won the victory. As a preacher he was a man of commanding presence, with gifts of oratory that made him widely known. His voice was rich, and finely modulated, and there are those still living who in their youth remember his reading of hymns and scripture as something that uplifted them. He was followed in 1857 by Rev. Theodore Tebbetts, under whose care the church and parish seemed entering upon brighter prospects. But ill-health, which had forced him to resign his work at Lowell, returned after about two years of his ministry here, though he continued as minister till July, 1860. His was a name I often heard when I first came to the parish. He was deeply and tenderly beloved. The parish was very kind and generous to him, supplying the pulpit at its own charge during his long illness. Indeed
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