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church regards it as equally binding upon the members of Christ's house, that they shall bear their just proportion to the support of the gospel.
“8. This church regards slaveholding, the traffic in and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, gambling, and such like things, as inconsistent with Christian character.
“9. This church affectionately, yet earnestly, entreats its members to avoid all connection with dancing assemblies, theatrical exhibitions, secret societies, and similar associations, as tending practically to weaken the bond of Christian brotherhood, and to bring a reproach upon the cause of their Master.
The present house of worship was dedicated Feb. 14, 1849. Rev. A. B. Warner died May 26, 1853. Rev. Jacob M. Manning was ordained pastor Jan. 5, 1854.
The liturgy of the Protestant Episcopal church was first used in public worship, in Medford, on Christmas Eve, A.D. 1847. About the same time, a hall was procured, and the services of a clergyman were engaged for a limited time, in the hope that it might be found expedient to form a parish. It soon became manifest that a sufficient number of persons were interested in the enterprise to justify this step, and a meeting was accordingly called ; and, on the 15th day of February, A.D. 1848, a parish was legally organized, under the name of Grace Church. In March following, the Rev. David Greene Haskins was chosen rector. In September, 1849, measures were taken for building a church. A convenient location was chosen, and a small but neat and beautiful edifice was erected, and, on the 11th of May, 1850, consecrated to the worship of God.
Mr. Haskins retained the charge of the parish until February, 1852; when he resigned, and was succeeded by the Rev. Justin Field, the present rector.
RELIGION, and love of liberty, brought our pilgrim ancestors to Medford; and as these principles sprang in them from intelligence and virtue, so they revealed to them the need of intelligence and virtue in their offspring. To educate, therefore, was to legislate for the future. The establishment of schools, during the first years of their residence, was an impossibility; and, consequently, domestic instruction was the only alternative. The Bible and Primer were the reading-books. In those towns or plantations where a clergyman could be supported, he usually occupied much of his time in teaching the young; and it was common for boys to be received into the minister's family to be prepared for college. Those pastors who had been silenced in England, and who came here to minister to the scattered flocks in the wilderness, were men of strong thought and sound scholarship; and they kept up the standard of education. From the necessities of their condition, however, it is apparent that the children of our ancestors must have been scantily taught, and their grandchildren still greater sufferers; for learning follows wealth.
The first movement for the establishment of schools took place under the administration of Governor Prence; and, at his suggestion, the following order was passed in the Colony Court, 1663: –
“ It is proposed by the Court unto the several townships in this jurisdiction, as a thing they ought to take into their serious consideration, that some course may be taken, that in every town there may be a schoolmaster set up, to train up children in reading and writing.
“In 1670, the Court did freely give and grant all such profits as might or should accrue annually to the Colony for fishing with a net or seines at Cape Cod for mackerel, bass, or herrings, to be im- ' proved for and towards a free school, in some town in this jurisdiction, for the training up of youth in literature, for the good and benefit of posterity, - provided a beginning be made within one year after said grant.”
The occupants of the Medford plantation, being few and poor, secured instruction to their children by domestic teaching, and by using the schools of the neighboring towns. Towards the support of those schools, they were required by law to contribute; and that they were benefited by them, is apparent from the fact, that all the persons who appear, through a series of years, as officers in the town, were well educated. The leading idea of emigration to this country, and the spirit of the age, would not allow them to neglect education. They provided for it in a way that did not require public record at the time.
In 1701, the penalty imposed by the Legislature upon towns for neglecting to provide grammar schools was twenty pounds. It was required that “the schoolmaster should be. appointed by the ministers of the town and the ministers of the two next adjacent towns, or any two of them, by certificates under their hands."
These early resolves concerning schools and education indubitably prove two things : first, that our Puritan Fathers believed that the establishment of schools was a duty they owed to justice and humanity, to freedom and religion ; and, second, that they had resolved that these schools should be FREE. Here, then, was a new idea introduced to the world, - free schools ! And, from free schools and congregational churches, what could result but republicanism? They held our republic as the acorn holds the oak. It is important to state that free schools originated in Massachusetts.
In 1671, Sir William Berkeley, first Governor of Virginia, writes to the king thus:
“I thank God there are no free schools nor printing-presses here, and I trust there will not be this hundred years; for learning breeds up heresies and sects and all abominations. God save us from both!”
Now look at Massachusetts. The Rev. John Robinson, before the Pilgrims left Leyden, charged them to build churches, establish schools, and read the Bible without sectarian prejudice. He said, “I am convinced that God has more light yet to break forth out of his holy word. Receive such light gladly.” Our fathers acted on this wise, Christian, and republican advice, and engaged Philemon Purmount“ to teach the children; for which he was to be paid thirty acres of ground by the public authorities.” How
and oppose schools and priuniversal culture is to
accordant this with that noble resolve of New England, to establish a college, “to the end that good learning may not be buried in the graves of our fathers”! It is cheering to read in the early records of Medford, when a special townmeeting was called for this only purpose, – viz., “ to see if the town will have a school kept for three months,” — to find every voter in favor of it, and, at the end of this vote, appending these immortal words, — " and THIS SCHOOL SHALL BE FREE.”
Here we have, in short compass, the different beginnings and opposite policies of two settlements : the one anatheinatizing free schools and printing-presses; the other doing all it can for free inquiry, universal culture, and progressive truth. The natural result of one system is to overrun a state with slavery, darken it with ignorance, pinch it with poverty, and curse it with irreligion ; the natural result of the other is to fill a state with freemen, to enlighten it with knowledge, to expand it with wealth, and to bless with Christianity. . We should never cease to thank God that our ancestors, though surrounded by savage foes and doomed to poverty and self-denial, laid deep the foundations of that system of common schools which is now the nursery of intelligence, the basis of virtue, the pledge of freedom, and the hope of the world.
The course of instruction was narrow and partial. Each hungry child got a crust; but no one had a full meal. The New England Primer was the first book, the Spelling-book the second, and the Psalter the last. Arithmetic and writing found special attention ; grammar and geography were thought less needful. The school was opened and closed with reading the Scriptures and the offerings of prayer. The hours were from nine to twelve o'clock, and from one to four. Thursday and Saturday afternoons were vacations.
For the next fifty years, the inhabitants of Medford supported their schools at as cheap a rate as they could, because their means were not abundant. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. The Rev. Mr. Porter acted as private teacher, and doubtless rendered great help to the cause of education.
1700: Neal says, “ Hardly a child of nine or ten years old, throughout the whole country, but can read and write, and say his catechism."
Nov. 30, 1719, a special meeting was held, " to see if a school shall be established for four months. Voted in the affirmative. Also voted that the town will allow Mr. Davison three pounds money for keeping the school the time above said, and also to diet him for the town.” Heretofore, schools had been kept in private houses; but, Feb. 22, 1720, it was voted to build a schoolhouse.
Dec. 12, 1720: Two schools proposed and organized for the first time; one for the west end, and the other for the east. Mr. Caleb Brooks was engaged to keep the west school for three months, at two pounds per month ; Mr. Henry Davison the east, at the same price.
In these ways, primary instruction was provided for. Although, in their votes, they used the word “established,” it could not be strictly true; for there was no school established, as we understand the term. Money raised for schools was not at first put among the town charges, but raised as a separate tax. Schools were any thing but perennial ; they could hardly be dignified with the title of semi-annual, and sometimes almost deserved the sobriquet of ephemeral. At first they were kept in a central “ angle,” or “squadron," which meant district; the next improvement was to keep a third of the time in one extremity, a third in the opposite, and a third in the centre. Sometimes the money raised for the support of the school was divided according to the number of polls, and sometimes according to the number of children. The church and the school were, with our fathers, the alpha and omega of town policy.
“Oct. 5, 1730: Voted to build a new schoolhouse.” Same day : “Voted to set up a reading and writing school for six months.”
March 11, 1771: “ Voted to build the schoolhouse upon the land behind the meeting-house, on the north-west corner of the land.”
1776: Voted that the master instruct girls two hours after the boys are dismissed.
By a traditional blindness, we charitably presume it must have been, our early fathers did not see that females required and deserved instruction equally with males; we therefore find the first provisions for primary schools confined to boys. As light broke in, they allowed girls to attend the public school two hours per day; and it was not until April 5, 1790, that the question was formally considered. On that day, a
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