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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 conCodman 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 Contentinent, 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 workınan 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
Metcalf, are the only productions of his pen, which are now extant. He was beyond dispute a man of great powers and commanding influence and fervent piety. He was educated at Harvard College and had a good reputation in the churches. His descendants have inherited much of his talent, and stood in the high places of our Commonwealth.
Without unreasonable delay, the Rev. Jason Haven was next chosen to fill the pastoral office in this church, Feb. 5, 1756, and continued in the ministry till his death, May 17, 1803, in the seventy-third year of his age and the forty-seventh of his ministry. His health was slender many years, and he experienced severe and dangerous attacks of sickness; but by patient industry, by an easy and felicitous command of language, and by a graceful elocution, he was an intelligent and popular preacher during his long ministry. His social character and affectionate pastoral intercourse are retained in lively remembrance by many. The press has done him greater honor than to his predecessors, having preserved to us eleven of his sermons, delivered chiefly at the ordination of ministers and on other public occasions. He was not only the shepherd of his own flock, but he trained up the youthful shepherds of other flocks. His house was a Divinity School, in which several students were educated for the pastoral office. A high character is drawn of him, by his worthy and faithful friend, the late Dr. Prentiss of Medfield, in a sermon at his funeral.*
* Mr. Haven's final Address to his people is worthy to be preserved.
To the Members of the first Church and Society in Dedham.
Dearly Beloved,-The following is from your minister, who looking on himself very near the close of life, leaves it as his last solemn counsel and advice, to be communicated to you after his death: I entreat you, as far as possible, to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; that you may continue to know how good and pleasant it is, for brethren to dwell together in love and harmony. Let this be your care, particularly, in your endeavors to obtain an able and faithful minister of the New Testament, to take the pastoral care and charge of you. Let there be no strife and contention in this important affair of settling a minister of the gospel of peace. Seek one, so far as you can judge, possessed of the following qualifications:-A good moral character, and undissembled piety and religion; ability to explain the doctrines and duties of the Gospel, in a clear, consistent, instructive manner; and a disposition to enforce them on the hearts and consciences of his hearers, with a zeal and earnestness, in some measure proportionate to their weight and importance.-Having obtained such an one, to be set over you in the Lord, diligently and devoutly attend his ministrations, and give him not occasion to complain, that he labors among you in vain I earnestly press on you, as a matter of very great importance, a very strict sanctification of the Lord's Day -take not your rules for the performance of this duty, from the customs and practices of the present degenerate day, but from the word of God. I seriously urge on all heads of families, daily devotions in their respective families, morning and evening, with reading a portion of God's holy word: also, strict family government, and frequent religious instructions, to all under their care. I would most earnestly entreat all, who are nominal and professed Christians, to see to it, above all things, that they be real ones; that they rest not in a name to live, without being experimentally acquainted with the new and divine life; that they content not themselves with a general, loose, unexamined hope of being in a gracious
The Rev. Joshua Bates, now President of Middlebury College, Vt., was ordained as colleague with Mr. Haven, March 16, 1803, and resigned his office after a ministry of fifteen years to accept the appointment to his present useful and honorable station, Feb. 20, 1818. He needs not the writer's commendation. His record is in the hearts of an affectionate people, and in the prosperity of the College under his Presidency.*
state, but look well to the foundation on which they build. I earnestly exhort and warn you all, of every age and in every condition, to take heed that you be not injured, and perhaps ruined, by the snares and temptations of the world; whether its riches, honors, or sensual pleasures; and to consider how momentary and very imperfect the satisfactions are, which arise from these sources. I warmly recommend to you a daily, devout performance of the duty of secret prayer, according to Christ's direction, in Matt. vi. 6.-If you, who have known the grace of God in truth, grow careless and negligent in this duty, you will find the graces and comforts of religion languish and decline in your souls-If you, who are strangers to real piety and devotion, neglect this duty, you put yourselves out of the way in which God usually sends his Holy Spirit to operate on the hearts of sinners, for their conversion and salvation-and I recommend this duty particularly to you, who are youth and children.
My dear young Friends!-You have some special advantages and encourage. ments to seek the Lord-He says, I love them that love me; and those that seek me early, shall find me-These encouragements neglected in youth, can never be recalled. I also entreat you to be cautious of a great fondness for light and trifling amusements, and spending too much time in them-Let them have no share of your time and attention on Sabbath days.-Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.-Improve this best season to seek the Lord, and to engage heartily in his service. I warn persons of every age and condition, carefully to avoid that heinous, God-provoking sin, of taking his sacred name in vain, or using any impious and profane language. As to a religious and proper conduct towards your fellow men, let me entreat you, to get that one perfect rule of our Saviour fixed in your memory, and, as it were, written on the table of your hearts, to be called to mind on all occasions, to guide and govern your conduct, As ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them. Matt. vii. 12.-This would be of more service to you, than to seek acquaintance with many curious rules, designed minutely to state the boundary line between justice and injustice, right and wrong. Finally. Consider, my dear friends, That the great business of life, is to prepare for a peaceful and happy death, and for a blessed immortality beyond it.-Pray attend to this, as the one thing needful; and attend to it agreeably to the method which the Gospel prescribes; in which alone sinners of mankind can obtain pardon, justification, and eternal life, viz. by sincere repentance towards God, and faith unfeigned towards our Lord Jesus Christ-a faith, which works by love, purifies the heart, overcomes the world, and is a living, abiding principle of holy obedience. Beware of temptations to delay this great and necessary work. Think much of the shortness and uncertainty of human life, and of the daily approaches of death, judgment, and eternity.-Oh! that ye may be wise, and understand these things, so as to consider your latter end, and effectually prepare for it! These are the dying counsels, which an affectionate concern for the welfare of your precious and immortal souls, hath induced your languishing Pastor to leave behind him, for your perusal, when he is gone into the world of spirits.
It is desired, that the Rev. Mr. Prentiss may communicate the foregoing, the first time he shall preach in the first Parish in Dedham, after the death of his affectionate Friend and Brother in the Gospel.
Some of the friends of President Bates have expressed a strong desire that some of his Discourses should be included in this volume. But these would make a volume by themselves, which may hereafter be collected and published. A selec