for us.

They submitted to poverty and seclusion from love to their children. They endured a voluntary exile from their country and kindred, that we might enjoy freedom of conscience, and a rational mode of worship. They fought battles to defend our rights, and interposed their own persons between the rod of oppression and their posterity. If they had been less wise, or less patient in suffering, or less bold in danger, or less willing to exercise self denial, our state had been widely different. Filial impiety alone can wish to forget their services.

They are worthy. They possessed much intrinsic excellence of character. They exhibited noble traits. No base sensuality, no narrow selfishness, no mutual oppression, no self-indulgent delicacy, no false views of honor and shame, are evinced in their history. They displayed a large share of benevolence toward each other, and much practical wisdom in their plans for the good of a distant posterity.

A remembrance of them will be useful to ourselves. Good example is always salutary. We may safely adopt their moral principles and habits. Can we fail to consult the welfare of our children, when the fathers did so much for us? Can we consent to political division, when they did so much to cement us together in the strictest bonds? Can we indulge in luxury and pride, or degenerate into ignorance and barbarism, when we have such a model before us? With our superior means and facilities for benevolent action, what might we not accomplish, if we exercised their self-denial and expansive philanthropy?

We are under obligation to our children to perpetuate the memory of the Fathers. We are a connecting link in the chain. They are entitled to the legacy which was bequeathed to us. We could do something to impair the just reputation of the Fathers, to blot out the memory of their courage and trust in God, and to lessen the influence of their example. Would not this be injustice to our children ?

Besides, it is honorable to God to perpetuate their memory. They were his servants, and he employed them in a momentous enterprise. If the founding of this Republic was not a matter of prophecy, it will doubtless be commemorated in all future history. At a distance of two hundred years from the time of the event, we are competent in some measure to estimate its importance. When we see thousands of churches established in this land and hundreds of thousands of spiritual converts gathered into the visible kingdom of Christ, and a Christian nation of fifteen millions within our borders,-and when we glance forward to a population dense as the Chinese, and abroad on a territory extensive as the Russian,-no one can say that this Republic is not to have a prominent position in the future history of the world, and that the

eye of Infinite Benevolence did not note down the event of its establishment. What joy has been diffused among the angels above, and how has the song been repeated below, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men!" The spirit of civil liberty is kindled up in Europe, and the Gospel of mercy begins to be published from this land in the isles of the sea and on distant shores.

IV. It is my wish to give some historical sketch of this church from the time of its establishment.

This church is, and has ever claimed to be, in regular succession, the First Church in Dedham; and in testimony of it we have this day renewed our covenant in the same form of words, which was adopted at the organization of this church two hundred years ago. This rank has been uniformly and cordially granted to it by all the evangelical churches, with whom we have fellowship and correspondence.† The secession from the Parish on its

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In the summer and autumn of 1838, a special meeting of the Church was held every week for prayer and Christian conference in anticipation of its second Centennial Anniversary. Frequent reference was made to past interpositions of Providence in days of weakness and trial. Many devout prayers were offered, that social virtue and domestic worship may be cultivated among all the people,—that Christ may be acknowledged and honored, that this church may be established, preserved and enlarged, and that the special work of the Spirit may be revived among us and among our children of every generation down to the next century. When the day arrived, (Nov. 8, 1838,) all secular business was laid aside, and the whole day was devoted to religious services. Much tenderness and solemnity of feeling were exhibited. The covenant was renewed by all the members of the church standing, and Doddridge's appropriate hymn was sung,

"O happy day, that fixed my choice," &c.

The Council, which ordained the present Pastor, March 14, 1821, was composed of the Pastors and Delegates of 28 churches, viz. Boston, Old South Church, Rev. Benjamin B. Wisner and Dea. Edward Phillips,-Park Street Church, Rev. Sereno E. Dwight and Br. Nathaniel Willis,-Essex Street Church, Rev. James Sabine and Dea. Nathan Parker,-Cambridge, Rev. Abiel Holmes, D. D. and Br. Thomas Foster, Charlestown, 1st Church, Rev. Warren Fay and Dea. Isaac Warren,— Andover Theological Seminary, Rev. James Murdock, D. D. and Br. L. Ives Hoadley,-Newton, 1st Church, Rev. Jonathan Homer, D. D. and Dea. Ebenezer White,-Dorchester, 2d Church, Rev. John Codman, D. D. and Br. John Capen, Jr.-Milton, Rev. Samuel Gile and Dea William Wadsworth,-Dedham, South Church, Rev. William Cogswell and Br. David Andrews,--Braintree, Rev. Richard S. Storrs and Br. Levi Thayer,-Braintree and Weymouth, Union Church, Rev. Jonas Perkins,-Weymouth, South Church, Rev. William Tyler and Br. Eliphalet Loud,-Randolph, 2d Church, Rev. David Brigham and Br. Caleb White, Bridgewater, 4th Church, Rev. Daniel Huntington and Br. Mark Perkins, Stoughton, Rev. Ebenezer Gay and Dea. Nathan Drake,-Foxborough, Rev. Thomas Williams and Dea. Ebenezer Forrest,-Wrentham, Rev. Elisha Fisk and Dea. Robert Saunders,-Franklin, Dea. Joseph Bacon,-Medway, 1st Church, Dea. Josiah Blake,-2d Church, Rev. Jacob Ide and Dea. John Metcalf,-Holliston, Rev. Josephus Wheaton and Br. Timothy Rockwood,-Natick, Rev. Martin Moore and Br. George Whitney,-Sherburne, Rev. Shearjashub B. Townsend and Dea. Aaron Leland,-Needham, 2d Church, Rev. Thomas Noyes and Br. Calvin Shepard, Easton, Rev. Luther Sheldon and Br. David Wheaton,-Waltham, Rev. Sewall Harding and Abel B. Richardson,-Rochester, Rev. Oliver Cobb.Dr. Homer presided, offered the Consecrating Prayer and gave the Charge. Dr.

settlement of a Teacher of morality and religion, does not affect its identity: Examples of such secession are common. A change of location from the old house of worship to a new one does not touch its identity: Moral existence does not depend on walls of wood or stone. Nor has the renewal of covenant, which has been often repeated in this and other churches, any bearing on the question of its identity: Nor has any change in the words of the covenant or in the more explicit declaration of its creed. Nor has the assignment of its funds to the Parish by the decision of the Court annihilated the church or changed its identity. That decision simply gave the funds and furniture of the church, in trust, to the majority of legal voters within the territory of the Parish for their use. If there had not been one church-member in that majority of voters, the decision had been precisely the same. The question of the identity of the church stands on the same ground, so far as this point is concerned, as if its house and records had been destroyed by fire, or its funds lost by fraud or mismanagement.* It is a primary principle in Congregationalism, that the majority of male voters in the church constitute the Church; and this majority we have always claimed.

In the revolution of years, Fathers and Brethren, the second century is completed since the institution of a church of Christ in this place. We are arrived to an important crisis. If the day of our birth is entitled to remembrance, how much more a centennial day in the existence of a church. It is wise and proper to check the current of business, to suspend the wheel of worldly machinery, and make a solemn pause for reflection. It falls to our lot to see this day and participate in these services. Others have looked forward to it with emotion and hope, who now cease to have any share in the employments of the church below. We may con

Codman made the Introductory Prayer. The Rev. Gardiner Spring, D. D., Pastor of Brick Church. New York, preached the Sermon Mr. Cogswell presented the Right Hand of Fellowship. Mr. Noyes read the Result of the Council, which contains these memorable words in the hand-writing of the Moderator, "Before a numerous, serious and very attentive assembly, they ordained and declared the Rev. Ebenezer Burgess to be the Pastor of the ANCIENT FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST IN DEDHAM."

* The Records of the Church were assigned by the decision of the Court to the Parish, together with the furniture and funds. It was expected, however, as a matter of civility and propriety, that permission would be given by the Parish to transcribe a copy of the Records for the use of the Church. Respectful application was made, once and again, and the request was denied. Thus the members of the Church have not the opportunity even to weep over the pages, which register their parents' names or their own baptism or marriage. When this fact was once stated in the presence of a literary gentleman of distinction, he exclaimed, "Is this an illustration of the boasted liberality of Unitarians? Records are public documents, open to the inspection of all men." Publish it to the world, as a relic of Vandalism, worthy of the dark ages."

Samuel Fales, Jonathan Richards, Jonathan Avery, Solomon Richards, Benjamin Farrington, Timothy Stow, Eliakim Morrill, Ebenezer Newell, Nathaniel Talbot, Jacob Clark, Frederick A. Taft, Joseph Warren Swan, and a lovely band of female members, both aged and youthful, "whose names are written in the book of life," have died within a few years.

template our fathers and mothers as among that cloud of witnesses, who encompass our path and wish to animate us in the Christian race by their presence and acclamation. Well may we intermingle the duties of religion with a retrospection of the past and an anticipation of the future.

The tract of land, south of Charles River and west of the Neponset, inclusive of five miles square north of Charles river, began to be settled by families from Watertown and Roxbury in 1635, and was called Contentment, but was incorporated in 1636 by the name of Dedham, doubtless in honor of Dedham, England, from which some of its principal citizens probably came. This town had not the honor to be settled by a colony, already organized into a church, as were Plymouth, Charlestown and Watertown by companies from England, and subsequently Hartford, Windsor, Wethersfield and Springfield, on the Connecticut river, by detachments from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It is sufficient honor that when there were about thirty families located here, they began to make arrangements to institute a church. This work was conducted with great deliberation, kindness and prayer. They assembled at each other's houses once a week to discuss appropriate questions, to enkindle mutual love, to give an account of the work of grace in their hearts, and to enjoy the exercise of each other's gifts. They did not all enter into Christian fellowship, who professed to be communicants of churches in England. This might have endangered their harmony at once. With the explicit approbation of all, a few individuals were designated to constitute the church, who in a course of time prepared a form of covenant, into which they entered with fasting and prayer, in the presence of the magistrates and the elders of the churches, Nov. 8, 1638. This was the fourteenth church instituted in New England. The original members were John Allin, Ralph Wheelock, Edward Allyne, John Leuson, John Frayre, John Hunting, Eleazer Lusher, and Robert Hinsdale. Others, male and female, were soon added to their number. John Allin was chosen pastor, John Hunting ruling elder, Henry Chickering and Nathan Aldis deacons.

The Rev. John Allin was born in England, in 1596,-was liberally educated, became a faithful and skilful preacher of the gospel, and fled in disguise to this country to escape persecution. He was a diligent student, possessed of a sweet temper, and sustained a high reputation among his cotemporaries. He preached before the Synod at Cambridge, wrote a pamphlet in its defence, and in company with the celebrated Thomas Shepard of Cambridge, published another volume on the same subjects.* But the best

The two pamphlets of the Rev. John Allin, entitled, "A Defence of Nine Positions," and "Animadversions on the Anti-Synodalia Americana," may be seen in the library of the Old South Church, Boston, which doubtless made a part of the library of the historian, Rev. Dr. Prince, a former pastor.

testimony to his personal and professional character may be found in the harmony and spiritual edification of the church under his pastoral care during the thirty-two years of his ministry from April 24, 1639, to Aug. 26, 1671,-to which may be added the two years that he preached to them before his formal induction into office, having arrived in the place, July, 1637. There was, so far as it appears, no instance of public admonition or excommunication during his ministry, and no council was called to adjust any controversy. He continued to preach without an assistant till the time of his death, when he was seventy-five years of age. As he was much beloved in life, so he was sincerely lamented in death. And as a token of affectionate remembrance, his people published his two last sermons, which were preached thirteen days before that event.

The Rev. William Adams, the second pastor of this church, was ordained Dec. 3, 1673, and died Aug. 17, 1685, after a ministry of less than twelve years. He was a graduate of Harvard College in 1671. A discourse on the "Necessity of the Outpouring of the Spirit," delivered on a general Fast observed through the Colonies of New England, Oct. 21, 1678, and published with a preface by Samuel Torrey and Josiah Flint, is a powerful and elaborate performance, and shows that he was a workman who needed not to be ashamed. Another sermon, delivered on Election day, May 27, 1685, is preserved. It is a high testimony to his public reputation that he was called to preach on such an occasion at so early an age. He was a modest, zealous and successful preacher, and he died in his youth.

After a long interval of eight years, the Rev. Joseph Belcher was chosen pastor, Nov. 29, 1693, and was an acceptable and useful minister till April 27, 1723, when he died suddenly, much beloved and lamented, in the fifty-third year of his age, and in the thirtieth of his pastoral work. He was educated at Harvard College and belonged to the class of 1690. The Rev. John Danforth of Roxbury wrote an Elegy to his memory, in which he celebrates his "vast learning, prudent conduct, dextrous skill in preaching and signal success in the conversion of sinners." A funeral sermon was preached at the Thursday Lecture in Boston, which speaks of his praise in all the churches, his excellence as a preacher and his deep piety as a Christian, and of the general lamentation at his death. His sermons, which are extant, evince talent, diligence and moral power.

The next year after his death, the Rev. Samuel Dexter was ordained, May 6, 1724, and discharged his official work till the close of life, Jan. 9, 1755,-nearly thirty-one years. He was well remembered by some of the late officers and members of this church. His Centennial Discourse and one in memory of Timothy

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