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AH SXP2 b 





34^ Copy*. 




Prof . J . H . liopes, 
2 October, 1899. 


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, Ptttor of the Tkbernade Church. 





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Sdem, Dec. 8, 1854. 
Rev. S. M. Worcester, D. D.,— 

Dear Sir. — I have the pleasure of communicating to you 
the following vote of the Proprietors of the Tabernacle, 
passed at a meeting held on Monday evening last, viz : 

^^ Voted unanimously, That the Proprietors ask of the Pastor 
copies for publication, of the very appropriate and excellent 
Discourse delivered by him at the dedication of the new 
Tabernacle, on Friday the Ist instant; and of the last Ser- 
mon delivered in the old house, on Sabbath afternoon, 
March 5th. And if he complies with their request, that 
they be published under the direction of the Standing Com- 


Clerk of the Proprietors. 

Sdemy March 21, 1855. 
George D. Phippen, Esq., — 

Dear Sir, — After receiving your note of the 8th of De- 
cember last, I hoped to be able, in a few weeks, to make a 
copy of the Discourses, which the Proprietors of the Taber- 
nacle have done me the honor to request for publication. 
But unavoidable avocations, with very unexpected absences 
from home, have prevented an earlier attention to the sub- 
ject. With a grateful sense of the kind regards of the Pro- 
prietors, I am now ready to place the manuscripts at their 

It affords me much pleasure to be assured of their entire 
concurrence in the proposal, to add such historical state- 
ments and illustrations, as will render it proper to entitle 
the work a '^ Memorial of the Old and the New Taber- 

With most sincere respect and esteem, 



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Preliminary Notices, 5 

The Farewell to the Old Tabernacle, .... 13 

Celebration of the Laying of the Corner- Stone of the 

New Tabernacle, 41 

Discourse at the Dedication of the New Tabernacle, 45 

Supplementary Notices, 77 

Appendix, 81 


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The Records of the Tabernacle Church begin in 1743, as 
a continuation of those of the First Church, which was 
formed, 6th of Aug. 1629. They are so written, until May, 
1 762, when the long controversy, which had occasioned a 
violent division or disruption of the Church, in 1735, was 
honorably terminated. (See '^ Discourse at the First Centen- 
nial Anniversary of the Tabernacle Church, April 26, 1835.") 
From April 18, 1735, to Feb. 20, 1743-4, the Records were 
kept by the pastor. Rev. John Fisk. They were withheld by 
him, and are supposed to have been destroyed, or to be lost. 

The Book of Records of the First Church, previous to 1660, 
is also lost, or was destroyed. Some portions were copied 
and are still preserved. It is not known when the Records 
actually began. As in respect to the affairs of the city, it is 
probable, that the early transactions of the First Church 
were not properly recorded. In the circumstances, this is 
not unaccountable, however much to be regretted. 

We have, for instance, no accredited and no professed 
copy of the original " confession of faith," which, with a 
" covenant in Scripture language," was prepared by Rev. 
Francis Higginson. (See Morton's "New England's Memo- 
rial," Mather's " Magnalia," Hubbard's " History of New 
England," etc.) According to Hubbard, there were copies 
" retained by some " as late as 1680 or 1681. A printed copy 
of the confession of faith and covenant, " the same for 9ub^ 
stancej^^ is in the Boston Atheneeum. (B. 76. Sermons.) 
It is entitled "Direction for a Public Profession in the 
Church Assembly, after giving examination by the elders, 
which direction is taken out of the Scripture, and points 
unto that faith and covenant in the Scripture ; being the 


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same for substance, which was proposed to and agreed upon 
by the Church of Salem, at their beginning, the 6th of 6th 
month, 1629." This was prepared by Rev. John Higginson, 
of the First Church, and was ready for the members, in Oct. 
1665. (See Records, First Church. A copy may be seen in 
Morton's " Memorial," etc , by the Congregational Board of 
Publication, 1855. pp. 459-64. Also, with the covenants of 
1636 and 1680, in the Salem Gazette, March 31, etc. 1854.) 

The original form of tJie covenant of 1629, very nearly, if 
not exactly, is inserted in the preamble of the Covenant of 
1636. It is this : '^ We covenant with the Lord and one with 
another, and do bind ourselves in the presence of God, to 
walk together in all his ways, according as he is pleased to 
reveal himself unto us in his blessed word of truth." With 
the same brevity and beauty of expression, the First Church 
in Chariestown, which was the foundation of the First Church 
in Boston, entered into " covenant with the Lord and one with 
another." (See Morton's Mem.; Cong. Board Pub. p. 464.) 

From the imperfect or incomplete mode of transcription 
upon a/^a/, the oldest of the known manuscripts or papers, 
of the First Church, it would seem most likely, that the. 
Covenant of 1636 has been mistaken for that of 1629, and 
thus has been undesignedly but unfortunately misrepresent- 
ed, in most of the publications respecting the Church. That 
il is not the Covenant of 162% appears from an explicit 
statement in a copy of the Covenants of 1636 and 1680, a» 
issued by the First Church, in 1680, and still preserved in a 
little book, prefixed to the Records of the Tabernacle Church. 
There is other proof also, abundant and unanswerable. 

The present Covenant of the Tabernacle Church is very 
nearly the same as, with the " Articles " of discipline and 
government, was adopted in 1786. It is very similar to that 
given by Cotton Mather, (<< Ratio Disciplinee/' etc. 1726,) as 
an example of the form of Covenant in the N. E. Churches. 

^'Apprehending ourselves called of God into a gospel 
church state, yet deeply sensible how unworthy we are of 
so high a privilege, we cannot but admire that rich and free 


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grace which triumphs over so great un worthiness. But with 
humble reliance on the aids of that grace, which is promised 
to all, who, with a true sense of their guilt and ruin, return 
to God for pardon and help, we thankfully lay hold on his 
covenant. Avouching, this day, the Lord Jehovah, Fa- 
ther, Son, and Holt Ghost, to be our God, our Father^ 
our Saviour, and our Leader, we humbly give up ourselves 
to him, and receive him as our portion forever. We give up 
ourselves and our all to the blessed Jesus, whom, in his un- 
derived and original nature, we acknowledge as Almighty 
God, and, in the covenant of Grace, engage to adhere to 
him, as Head over all things to his church and people, rely- 
ing upon him as our Prophet, Priest, and King, to biing us 
to eternal blessedness. We acknowledge our everlasting 
and indispensable obligations to glorify our God, in all the 
duties of a holy, sober and religious life. Depending, there- 
fore, on his powerful grace, we engage to walk together, 
particularly in a church state, in the faith and order of the 
gospel, as far as we shall have the same revealed to us by 
the Word and Spirit of God ; conscientiously attending the 
worship of God in all its parts, in secret, in the family, and 
in public ; upon the sacraments of the New Testament — 
baptism and the Lord's supper ; upon the discipline of his 
kingdom ; and upon all his holy instittitions. Declaring our 
firm belief of the Christian religion, as revealed in the 
Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and of such a 
view of it, substantially, as the Westminster Catechism ex- 
hibits, we heartily resolve to conform ourselves to it, as long 
as we shall live in the world. Affectionately giving up our- 
selves to one another in the Lord, we solemnly covenant 
faithfully to watch over each other, to seek the promotion of 
each other's spiritual good, to submit ourselves to the disci- 
pline and government of Christ in his Church, and watch- 
fully to avoid all sinful stumbling blocks and contentions, 
as become a people, whom the Lord hath bound up together 
in the same bundle of life. At the same time, we also dedi- 
cate our offspring with us to the Lord, purposing with his 


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help faithfully to perform our duty to them in the methods 
of a religious education, that the Lord may be their God. — 
All this we do, relying on the blood of the everlasting cove- 
nant for the pardon of our many transgressions, and praying 
that the glorious Lord, who is the great Shepherd, would 
prepare and strengthen us in every good work to do his will, 
working in us that which is well pleasing in his sight ; to 
whom be glory, forever and ever. Amen." 

After surrendering the name and style of the First Church, 
in 1762, the Church took the name of ^^the Church of which 
the Rev, Mr, Dudley Leavitt was late Pastor P In May, 1763, 
it was " voted, that, this Church be called the Third Church 
of Christ in Salem, from this time forward?^ When the name 
of the house of worship, recently taken down, was recog- 
nized as the name of the Church, is not known. 

From Dr. Whitaker's settlement in 1769, to 1784, the gov- 
ernment of the Church was Presbyterian; and hence the 
Church itself was sometimes so called. By a singular coin- 
cidence, the Branch Church, more recently called Howard 
Street, — ^formed by a secession from the Tabernacle, in 1803,— 
was Prebbyteriauj from 1815 to 1828. (See Appendix B.) 

Pastors of the Tabernacle Church, 

1. Rev. John Fisk, 1735. Relation dissolved 1744. 
There appears to be no good authority to say, as has been 
published, that he was ^^ installed in 1736." The statement, 
like some others in the ecclesiastical documents and annals 
of Salem, may have been first made, in the exercise of a 
kind of license, which is hardly excusable in what assumes 
to be true history. Mr. Fisk could not have needed any 
"installation." (See Appendix A.) 

^ 2. Rev. Dudley Leavitt, ordained Oct. 23, 1745. Died, 
Lord's day evening, Feb. 7, 1762. 

3. Rev. John Huntington, ordained Sept 28, 1763. Died, 
May 30, 1766. 

4. Rev. Nathaniel Whitaker, D. D., installed, July 28, 
1769. Relation dissolved, Feb. 26, 1784. 


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5. Rev. Joshua Spaulding, ordained, Oct 26, 1T85. Dis- 
missed, April 23, 1802. 

6. Rev. Samuel Worcester, D. D., installed, April 20, 
1803. Died, June 7, 1821. 

7. Rev. £lias Cornelius, installed, July 21, 1819. Dis- 
missed, Sept. 29, 1826. 

8. Rev. John P. Cleaveland, D. D., ordained, Feb. 14, 
1827. Dismissed, April 23, 1834. 

9. Rev« Samuel M. Worcester, D. D., installed, Dec. 3, 

In 1846, when the old Tabernacle was approaching its 
70th year, the inquiry began to be made, will it not be an 
injury to the Church and Society, if their house of worship 
shall much longer be left, without being re-modelled in the 
interior, or essentially re-built ? Some were opposed to any 
large outlay, except for a new house ; and for this the time 
seemed not to have come. With slight repairs and a small 
measure of garnishing, the old house remained until the an- 
nual meeting of the Proprietors, April 30, 1853. May 2d, 
" A Committee was appointed to consider and report on the 
expediency of making substantial repairs on the old house^ 
or of re-modelling the same, or of erecting a new house; 
and to ascertain as far as practicable the views and wishes 
of the proprietors in the premises." June 6th, Hoil Mr. 
Huntington, from the Committee, reported that it "was ex- 
pedient to build a new house, provided there should be 
found to exist a general concurrence in such a measure on 
the part of the proprietors, and provided also means could 
be obtained to such an extent, as to render it reasonably cer- 
tain, that the enterprise would not involve the Society in 
any burdensome debt." 

No one of the Committee proposed a less sum, than 
$15,000, as the cost of a new house. It was thought, that 
$13,000 ought to be pledged, but as yet $7^000 only had 
been subscribed. While the final action of the proprietors 
was deferred, and further progress very doubtful, the pastor 
preached a discourse, — Sabbath, A. M., June 12th,. — ^fromthe 


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words spoken by the prophets Haggai, (i : 7, 8,) and Zecha- 
riah, (iv : 6) : " Thus saitk the Lord of hosts ; consider your 
ways. Go up to the mountain, and Mng wood, and buHd the 
house ; aihd I wHl take pleasure in it, and I wUl be glorified, 
saith the LordP — " Not by might, nor by power," etc. 

In a few days, the subscription for a new house reached 
the desired amount 3 and at meetings, July 5th, and 9th, 
measures were adopted accordingly. Messrs. Huntington, 
Kinsman, Russell, T. S. Jewett, and P. Hale were appointed 
a Conmiittee, with full powers to act in the premises. 

Contracts for the new house were made, to be fulfilled in 
1854. The enterprise went forward with great harmony. 
If the actual state of the old house could have been seen, as 
it was revealed in the process of demolition, it is probable 
that there woul<!l not have been a dissenting voice. 

The square and high pews were so well adapted to Sab- 
bath-schools, that they were much the more patiently en- 
dured. And so many were the associations of the '^ venera- 
ble" with the whole structure,— that not a few were at times 
ready for expressions, as if it were a kind of sacrilege to 
"break " it " down at once with axes and hammers." And 
with sensations to be remembered, rather than described, the 
advertisement was read, offering the Tabernacle for sale ! 

The site was wanted for the new house. And the specta- 
cle of the old building, as a currier^s slhop, or a carpet factory , 
like what may be seen not far distant, could not possibly 
have been tolerated. The tragic and the comic, however, 
often strangely meet. A jeu d'esprit ended with, 
Nota bene. I will add, we dont intend to sell 
The sexton, nor the minister, the organ, nor the bell. 

In the Salem Observer and the Register, were very cred- 
itable effusions, like the following in the Gazette, from a 
young la()y who has since united with the Church. 

Ah ! hallowed memories entwine 
Around this sacred fane. 


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Which, though removed from outward gaze. 

Will in the heart remain ; 
For oft, in fancy's fairy clime 

This temple loved we'll rear, 
And view again these aged walls, 

Sacred to praise and prayer. 

Long years have pass'd since first it stood 

A " temple of our God," — 
And many who now sleep in dust, 

These sacred aisles have trod ; 
But some among them may, perchance, 

From yon bright home above, 
Watch o'er this dedicated spot 

With fond and tender love. 

For oft, the " shepherd of our flock," 

Hath led, with watchful care. 
Beside the waters, calm and still, 

Through pastures green and fair ; 
And many have, beneath this dome. 

Approached the mercy-seat, 
And fallen humble. supplicants, 

At the Redeemer's feet 

Yes ! sacred memories entwine 

These aisles and pews, among, — 
And scenes, at which, with gladsome joy, 

Bright angel choirs have sung ; 
A little band of << faithful ones " 

Were consecrated here. 
To heathen lands, o'er lonely seas, 

A Saviour's love to bear. 

And very dear to me thou art. 

How can I say farewell ;»- 
For while I gaze upon thee now. 

As by some magic spell 
Comes up the hour when first these aisles 

In childbh awe I trod, 


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And listened to the voice of prayer, 
And to the word of God. 

But go ! thy work is nobly done, — 

Thy mission here is o'er,— 
And registered in God's own book, 

Thou 'It be forevermore*; 
Yet, as thine altar and thy walls 

Recede into the past, 
Deep in our hearts thou 'It be, enshrined, 

While memory shall last. 

The 6th of Feb. 1854, was the 42d anniversary of the ordi- 
nation of the first American missionaries to the heathen of 
other continents. (See Life of Dr, Worcester j IL pp, 128-135, 
and Amer, Miss, Memorial.) The occasion was commemo- 
rated in the evening, and a discourse preached by the Pas- 
tor, from 1 Tim. ii : 5, 6. This was the last evening meet- 
ing in the old Tabernacle ! 

Sabbath, A. M., March 5th, the discourse was designed to 
exhibit the historic foundation and the prospective security 
of the Church of God, in the perfections, providence, and 
promises of the Divine Redeemer. The text was Heb. iii : 4. 
The conclusion was : the Church is upheld by the power, 
that upholds the universe. God is in the midst of her. She 
shall never be moved.— Xooik upon Zion^ the city of our 
solemnities ; thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitationj a 
tabernacle that shaU not be taken down ; not one of the stakes 
thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords 
thereof be broken, (Isa. xxxiii : 20.) 

The Scriptures read, A. M. were Gen. i : 1-5. John i : 1-5. 
Heb. i : 1-8. Hymns sung, B. 1. 2. Sel. 29. Scriptures, P. M., 
Heb. viii : 1-5, 10-13. Rev. i : 4-6. xxii : 16, 17. Hymns, 
Sel 26. B. XL 13. 

The Communion was also celebrated, in the forenoon, and 
the 406th Select Hymn was sung. Previous to this very af- 
fecting service, three young persons were received to the 
church, by a profession of their faith in the Lord Jesus. 


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The Farewell to the Old Tabernacle; — 
OR THE Discourse delivered, Sabbath after- 
noon, March 5, 1854. 

Now that which decayeth and waxeth old, is ready 
to vanish away. — Heb. viii : 13. 

A few days only before our Divine Redeemer 
accomplished his decease at Jerusalem, one of his 
disciples called his particular attention to the 
buildings of the temple. << Master, see what man- 
ner of stones, and what buildings !" The magni- 
tude of the stones in the foundation, and the gen- 
eral aspect of strength and beauty, throughout the 
"many mansions" of the grand and imposing 
structure, celebrated so far away among the hea- 
then, as the temple of Jehovah,-— evidently inspired 
the Galilean fishermen with no common emotions 
of admiration, if not of national pride and hope. 
Not so with their Master, who knew both the past 
and the future of all things. In full view before 
him, he saw the destruction of the city and the 
temple, which were then so hallowed and so dear 
to the remnant of the chosen seed of Abraham. 
" Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not 
be left one stone upon another, that shall not he 
thrown down !" 


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This terrible overthrow was foretold to be by 
hands of violence and blood, and not by the cor- 
roding and dilapidating influences of the elements. 
Yet the natural effects of time were doubtless al- 
ready visible. Still more visible, it may be sup- 
posed from the condition of the Hebrews, were 
the signs of decay, -wh#n,- thirty years later, the 
apostle was preparing for them in particular, his 
mighty demonstration 6f the infinite preeminencie 
of JesusChirist, above all angels as well as all 
men ; and the immeasurable ^superiority of, his 
personal revelation in the glorious Grospel, over all 
which had before been spoken and witnessed by 
patriarchs or prophets. \ ' : "[ 

About ten years, probably, after Paul wrote the 
words of our text this morning,- — ^^ Every bouse is 
builded by some man ; but he that built all things 
is God," — the temple of the Hebrews was in ruins. 
And if at the time of writing his Epistle, he could 
not, with any marked significance, have said of 
the temple itself, that it was " decaying and wax- 
ing old," he certainly could have thus spoken of 
the reverential and gorgeous ritual of the law 
which came by Moses. Its purpose was well nigh 
fulfilled, and, in the sovereign pleasure of the 
Founder of both the Old and the New Covenant, 
it was " ready to vanish away." And according 
to the argument of Paul, the evidences of the ap- 
proaching dissolution of the Hebrew polity, were 
the same as could be seen in an old and venerable 
edifice, which, however much it had been loved 


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and honored, must reasonably give place to a new 
structure, which would now be better adapted to 
its own original design. 

To the whole Mosaic economy, therefore, in its 
existing form and substance, might be applied a 
practical axiom^ or proverbial truth, which none 
would be inclined to dispute. As God had spoken 
of ** a new covenant," which he intended to make, 
the apostile argued, that, as a matter of course, the 
time would be, if it was not already, when, what- 
ever " the new " was to supersede must relatively 
be " old." And as every one would admit, " that 
which decayeth and waxeth old, is ready to vanish 

We may take the words of the text, as a gen- 
eral truth in respect to all perishable things. The 
dwellings in which parents and their children's 
children have lived, with the trees also which have 
borne fruit, season after season, all decay, wax 
old, and are ready to disappear ; — like the aged 
and gray-headed men, and the garments which 
they may have long cherished for their former, far 
more than their present value. The simple fact of 
growing old is a sign and a proof, that they will 
i50on be gone. Such is the law of decay, univer^ 

Why then should we not all, in our time and 
pl^ce, yield obedience to tbJs law? Would you, 
if you could, always wear the old garment, be- 
cause it is older and older? Would you cherish 
the old tree, if it be rotten at the trunk, and bears 


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less and less fruit, or none ; and when you have 
no room for another, unless the axe shall first do 
its office ? And would you keep the old paternal 
mansion itself, with all its inconveniences and 
discomforts, because your sires dwelt there before 
you? — If such had been the course of all who 
have preceded us on the earth, what improvements 
would ever have been made, like those which we 
DOW so rejoice to see in the wonderful arts of 
civilized and christianized society ? What depth 
of the Dark Ages would have been deep enough 
for a nineteenth century ? No century like ours 
could ever have been known among men. 

In the particular case to which Paul applied the 
truth of our text, he would exhort his brethren not 
to mourn but rejoice. The new covenant was far 
better for them than the old. And as it was the 
will of Him, who is never himself changed by the 
changes of earth and time, they should be well 
content to leave the old ; and with grateful hope 
accommodate themselves to the opening scenes 
and the illuminated promises of their Maker's 
new dispensation of covenant love. 

He thus distinctly reminds them of the law of 
re-production, by which the law of decay becomes 
so joyous, instead of being always and unmiti* 
gably grievous. And who needs to be informed, 
that, in the beneficent constitution of our terrestrial 
state of things, the law of re-production is not 
only co-extensive with the law of decay, but ad- 
mits also of such manifold and marvellous devel- 


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opment and improvement in its appropriate sub- 
jects, that the new may be incomparably superior 
to the old ? 

Throughout all nature, you may see the union 
and communion of these laws of decay and re- 
production. And it will not> be doubted, that the 
law of re-produetion has far more than supplied 
IhiB losses which are incidtot to the law of decay. 
Thus will it contitiue to be, it is our privilege to 
-assure ourselves, so long as the spring shall follow 
after winter, and harvest after seed-time ; and so 
long also as the mournful hearse shall leave be- 
hind it the groups of infancy and childhood, that 
can smile and gambol at the very gates of the 
cemetery, or even on the fresh graves of the dear 
departed ! 

Yielding obedience, therefore, to the universal 
law of decay, we, my beloved friends, have assem- 
bled, to take our leave of this sanctuary of holy 
convocation, — this house of our God, which here 
has been standing so firmly, these last seventy- 
seven years. It is too large for us to keep as a 
precious relic, or we would part with it only with 
our life. 

We do as others have done, and well done be- 
fore us. That beautiful tabernacle in the wilder- 
ness of Sinai, — planned by Him who spread out 
the heavens as a tent to dwell in, — ^waxed old, 
and could no longer give "rest to the ark of the 
Lord." Another took its place, long before the 
son of David built the Lord an house, which all 


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the earth could not rival in the riches and renown 
of its consummate perfection of architecture. By 
the silent voice of the law of decay, the old had 
been declared to have ended its mission ; and with 
the salutations of " all hail," the law of reproduc- 
tion heralded the new. 

It is, then, let me now remind you, an occasion 
of gratitude and gratulation, that we leave this 
venerable old sanctuary, not only in obedience to 
the law of decay, but also the law of re-produc- 

We have not been obliged to provide a new 
sanctuary, because "devouring fire" had burned 
this to the ground. Such might have been our 
necessity, as was theirs who laid the foundations 
and raised these very walls and pillars. On the 
night of Oct. 6, 1774, — ^an unsparing conflagration 
left nothing of the former house, — save the pulpit- 
cushion, and these two identical time-worn vol- 
umes of the Holy Word. These, at the peril of 
life, were rescued from the sacred desk. 

That first house of this people had been erected, 
less than forty years. It was dear to many. The 
clarion voice of Whitefield had there been heard. 
And there Leavitt and Huntington, to say nothing 
of Fisk and Whitaker, had ably and undisguisedly 
preached the Law and the Gospel, when the 
trumpet elsewhere too often gave a feeble or an 
" uncertain sound." 

Neither have we been obliged to leave this our 
hallowed sanctuary, because driven out by the 


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constraint of strife and ecclesiastical divisions. 
Our predecessors who built the former house, were 
thus compelled by a power, equal to that of the 
bayonet, to leave the place which they greatly 
loved, and to which they deeply, if not justly, felt, 
that they had all the rights of a majority to retain. 
I waive the merits of their unsuccessful strife with 
those, who, when church and state in Massachu- 
setts were practically united, were enabled by law 
to hold the house of worship, to the exclusion of 
the pastor and the majority of the First Church in 
the Bay Colony. In the " Discourse delivered on 
the first Centennial Anniversary of the Tabernacle 
Church," the subject received a careful attention. 
And although some new light has since appeared, 
we need not its shining, at this present hour. 
(See Appendix A.) 

Our dissatisfied and inconsolable predecessors 
evinced a sincere persuasion of suffering wrong- 
fully. And there were those among them, who 
had both wealth and will enough, to take very de- 
termined measures, as if neither disposed to crave 
forbearance from their opponents, nor solicit as- 
sistance firom their firiends. But however they 
may have regarded their trial, it is undoubtedly 
true, that, when they planted the foundations of 
their new house, their condition was in no re- 
spect enviable or desirable. And devoutly grate- 
ful should we be, — ^that not in embittered strife 
among ourselves, or with others, but in peace and 
harmony so great, and with so much of the genial 


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sympathy and approval of our fellow-citizens and 
fellow-Christians, we have yielded, in good time, 
as it became us, to the irresistible law of decay, 
that we may the earlier enjoy the ripe and rich 
fruit of obedience to the higher and the ascending 
law of re-production. 

It is, secondly, an occasion of gratitude and of 
gratulation, that we can obey the law of re-pro^ 
duction, without any such burdens in experience 
or in prospect, as for many years afflicted those, 
who commenced the erection of this our Taber*^ 

A part of the church, and that the wealthiest, 
had separated from Dr. Whitakerand the majority 
of their brethren and sisters, in a violent contro- 
versy, as early as 1772. (See Appendix B.) Al- 
though the congregation was still very large, not 
less probably than 1,400 souls, — in 1771, by actual 
census, over 1,900, — yet they were generally poor, 
or in quite moderate pecuniary circumstances. It 
was mainly because of the great number, who 
were reckoned of the congregation, — more, proba- 
bly, in the autumn of 1774, than in any other so- 
ciety in Salem, — that the present house was made 
so large. 

Dr. Whitaker's personal reputation was not 
now favorable to the growth of the society or the 
church. By unanimous vote, the church had 
agreed to adopt the presbyterian form of govern- 
ment, at the time he was settled as the pastor, in 
1769 ; but they had delayed to fulfil another part 


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of their contract with him, and did not formally 
express their willingness to become connected 
with a presbytery, until November, 1773. The 
connection was strenuously opposed, and was not 
completed until the following June. 

A meeting of the Boston Presbytery was held 
in the former house, only a few weeks before it 
was burned down. This could hardly have been 
agreeable to the congregational churches in Sa- 
lem and vicinity. And from various causes. Dr. 
Whitaker had many difficulties to overcome, be- 
fore he could expect to officiate in a new house of 
God. With gigantic energy and determination, 
however, he set about his plan for the Tabernacle. 
The building was to be constructed, in the form 
of a tent, a rectangular parallelogram, and pyra- 
midal in the roof, like Whitefield's in London, 
and in honor of that unrivalled modern evange- 
list Less than five years previous, he had preach- 
ed the last time in Salem ; and for Dr. Whitaker, 
a few days only before he fell asleep at Newbury- 

Application was made for help to some presby- 
terian churches, chiefly in New York and New 
Jersey. Of £536, subscribed for the new house, 
£238, or about two fifths appear to have been re- 
ceived from donors abroad. But the whole sum 
was not a quarter part of the amount which was 

Dr. Whitaker was a general agent for the col- 
lection of money, and the requisite materials for 


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building. After some delay in securing a site,^ 
the work of construction was begun* So far as 
appears from authentic evidence, the frame must 
have been raised in the autumn of 1776 ; which, 
you will perceive, was just after the Declaration 
of Independence. The figures 1777, on the wall 
behind me, unc^uestionably denote the year, when 
the house was entered for public worship. Wheth- 
er there was a dedication, in any other exercises, 
tJian those of a Sabbath-day, has not been ascer- 
tained. It is supposed, that there was no other ; 
for the house was but a boarded frame. 

The congregation had so long been obliged to 
crowd together within the walls of a school-house, 
or to stand without, — that the earliest day appears 
to have been taken for entrance into the new 
structure, for public worship. On Saturday after- 
noon, the floor would be cleared up, as well as 
practicable, so as to give room for the planks or 
boards, placed on blocks, and arranged for seats. 
With no better accommodations, the first worship* 
pers in the Tabernacle assembled together, for a 
considerable time. 

There were no pews, until the latter part of 
1778. There was no plastering, for some years 
later. The galleries, except that for the singers, 
were yet to be,— save only in the connecting lira* 
bers of these pillars of masts, rough indeed, but 
not, I think, as has sometimes been said, from the 
privateers of the Revolution. The roof was all 
open, and not even a screen of furring and lathing 


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concealed the forest of timber, which gave such 
ample strength of support to a heavy dome, at the 
summit of the pyramid above. There in the dome 
was the appointed place for a bell, — ^which, if it 
had even been raised and located, would probably 
have been rung, from one of the middle aisles, or 
jQrom a pew, near the centre of the house ! 

The land purchased for the new building, and 
that to be obtained subsequently, was then a part 
of a large field. There was no such street as 
Mariboro, and in the whole distance west to the 
"old Boston road," in what is now called Federal 
Street, there were but very few houses. The loca- 
tioi^it is supposed, was chosen in part for. econ- 
omy, the old ground being more valuable, and the 
new equally advantageous at less expense. It 
has proved to be a wise choice, by which none 
have been more profited than we ourselves. (See 
Appendix C.) 

From the time of the burning of the former 
house, Dr. Whitaker had no fixed salary. He at 
first held the new house as his own property, in 
trust for his successors ; and was to rely upon the 
income of the pews for his maintenance. Votes 
were passed, from time to time, to aid him in his 
need. At one period, he would have had a very 
liberal allowance, if there had been as much sub- 
stance as sound in the appropriation. In 1780, 
he was to receive twelve thousand pounds, — 
which, however, was equal to only about $540. 
Collections were also taken every Sabbath ; and 


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money ** unmarked" was the pastor's own per- 

After the war had fairly begun, the cry was in- 
cessant for money to hire soldiers and arm priva- 
teers. Every person that had a dollar to give, 
found no want of solicitors or agents to receive. 
And at some times, the scarcity of bread was 
such, that the municipal authorities imposed re- 
strictions upon the sale, limiting the quantity to 
purchasers, so that a part of the people should not 
be wholly unsupplied. What a contrast to our 
present means of subsistence, in the inexhaustible 
granaries of the West ! 

Dr. Whitaker entered into the war with all his 
great talents and energies, but his course, however 
honorable to his patriotism, neither edified his 
church, nor promoted his own christian graces. 
As he became more unpopular, his hearers were 
less and less willing to provide for his support ; 
and also were slower and slower to advance to- 
wards the completion and finishing of their house 
of worship. 

After Rev. Mr. Spaulding's settlement, in 1785, 
measures were successfully taken to put the house 
in better condition, — himself generously leading 
in the work. For eight years the congregation 
had heard the walls echo in very natural, but un- 
welcome chorus to every loud wind that blew. 
Each returning winter, they had breathed each 
other's frozen breaths, while the children were 
scarce restrained from very clamorous sympathy 


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with their freezing feet. On one tempestuous day, 
the preacher, the late Dr. Spring, of Newburyport, 
could only make himself heard, by coming down 
into the " Deacons' Seat," and gathering his few 
auditors into the nearest front pews. 

The old pulpit, as we have called it, for these 
more than twenty years, seems to have been con- 
structed, in answer to Mr. Spaulding's desires and 
efforts. It must have been completed, before the 
middle of 1787; with the seat for the deacons, 
after the old custom ; with the "sounding-board" 
also over head, on the summit of which the dove 
that became so dusty was so long an object for the 
speculating gaze of the children, both older and 
younger. Two years later, the galleries were par- 
tially fitted up; leaving, however, much of the 
space to be possessed. Not until 1794, or twenty 
years after it was undertaken, could the Taberna- 
cle be said to be decently or tolerably finished. 
As the house was, when it had stood for one third 
part of its whole seventy-seven years, it was yet 
in a condition, which none could now bear, un- 
less they had learned far better than is common, 
to be content in any state whatsoever. 

In 1804, an incident occurred, which greatly af- 
fected the exterior, and gave occasion to a series 
of important changes. During a gale, with the 
wind from the north-east, the dome of the roof 
started off in its entire body ; and without any 
harm to life or neighboring property, was found 
erect in yonder garden. It could not have de- 


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scended with more felicity, for all concerned. It 
is yet to be seen in our city, as a small dwelling. 

The steeple was raised in 1805, and by this 
operation, it became necessary to alter the roof in 
its es^stern slope. The original symmetry of model 
was thus sacrificed to the sufficient reason of con- 
venience and comfort. And full many a gibe or 
pleasantry was the consequence. 

For the first time, the tones of a harmoniously 
pounding bell of the Tabernacle were heard, the 
following year* The first Sabbath day, I was 
myself all eye to look, and ear to listen, — though 
not perhaps as much as was our venerable friend, 
[Deacon Punchard,] who still sits with us, — and 
who then, as also at a later day in behalf of its 
successor, had the chief agency in procuring it for 
its high position and honorable calling. And it is 
not unworthy of record, that it was the first bell 
in Salem, that was rung for an evening lecture ! 

But no stoves were yet, save those which the 
hand could bring. And cold enough it sometimes 
was,— as many of us now alive can bear witness. 

And here may I turn aside for indulgence of 
reminiscences, which I could not easily repress, if 
I would. 

This Tabernacle of my maturest manhood, is 
the Tabernacle of my childhood and youth. And 
now how changed, — since those days, when I used' 
to see the fathers and mothers,— so punctually 
every Sabbath in their places,— with their reveren- 
tial attitudes in prayer and sermon, — and the aged 


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women who sat there^ and the aged men, who sat 
there^ — ^not excepting the old sexton, Mr. Beckford, 
nor the sightless eye-balls of George MuUett, who 
had such unequalled powers of vision in his ears 
and his feet! 

And from yonder orchestra, ^th a full choir, as 
" the more excellent way " then was, " young men 
and maidens, old men and children," and surely 
not least from the double-bass viol of one that 
could "play well" upon the instrument, — how 
many times have these ears of mine been regaled 
with strains, not indeed of the artistic oratorio, 
but of melody and soul, that touched my young 
nerves and veins, with the power of the electric 
mysteries. While memory lasts, never can I forget 
" Trishagion," which, in its solemn and jubilant 
grandeur, so often sounded forth, as the doxology 
after sermon, on Communion Sabbaths ; after the 
" Christian Psalmody," both in hymns and tunes, 
had come to be in the ascendant with those, who 
**^were set over the service of song" in this " house 
of the Lord!" (See Appendix D.) 

When the former " players on instruments " all 
became silent before the organ, of which we were 
at last so weary, I was not one among you ; nor 
did I ever expect to hold the position which I oc- 
cupied, when we so rejoiced at the coming of its 
successor. This will go out with us. And gladly 
shall we hear its thrilling welcome, when the 
doors of the new Tabernacle shall be open for 
us to enter in, — with our hearts all awake, and 


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in tune for a chorus of Thanksgiving and Al- 

It may seem strange to some, but even I can 
well remember, when, for the first time in this 
house, a prayer of invocation preceded the sacred 
song ; and a chapter of the Holy Scriptures was 
also read, in the morning exercises of worship. 
There was an expression in many countenances, 
as if a marked innovation had been introduced. — 
The present custom of allowing God to speak hint' 
selfy for once at least in each public service, did 
not begin, until the voice now addressing you was 
recognized as your pastor's voice. 

And what might I not say of the feelings, which 
at this moment move within me, as I seem to hear 
again from the old consecrated desk, that mild and 
gentle, but distinct and earnest elocution, which 
in my childhood and youth was to me, as no other 
utterance ever was ; and to others also, — some 
still lingering with us, but far more, I trust, are in 
that city, the Jerusalem that is above, where pas- 
tors and people that have lived and died in the 
ever-living Jesus, worship together, without weari^ 
ness or worldliness, and 

Where the assembly ne'er breaks up, 
The Sabbath ne'er shall end. 

Of other changes, whether in the house itself, or 
in the mode of service, which has now been much 
the same for twenty years, I need not speak for 
information. Neither is any more of suggestion 


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or proof needful, that, in our long Farewell to-day, 
we can give praise, to the God of our fathers, and 
can congratulate ourselves, for the absence of such- 
burdens and privations, as for so protracted a pe- 
riod embarrassed our predecessors, who were so 
glad and grateful to be permitted to sit upon the 
rudest benches, beneath the uncovered beams and 
rafters ! 

How different the prospect, at this hour, when 
before us is the fast coming reality of our new 
Tabernacle; its beautiful and lofty spire, lifting 
our eyes, if not our hearts so high towards heaven; 
crowning so fitly all the goodly arrangements of 
the commodious interior, — where the eye of taste 
and the love of goodness may have mutual de- 
light, in finding neither extravagance to censure, 
nor deficiency to lament! 

But whatever our hopes for the future, and 
whatever the joys that gild and enliven our fond 
anticipations, the new Tabernacle wiU never be 
as the old to not a few, who to-day are parting 
forever with the old. To them this is a sad hour, 
indeed ! 

We naturally feel an attachment to things to 
which we have long been accustomed, and in 
which we have had much personal satisfaction 
^nd delight, through successive years of very di- 
verse experiences, 

" It is with a painful reluctance, that an aged 
man quits a decayed and tottering house, for one 
in itself much more comfortable and elegant It 


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is with deep-felt regret, that he leaves an apart- 
ment, where for years he has sweetly slept, or a 
;5eat by his fire-side, where he has been wont to sit 
in social converse with his family and friends. 
Those marks of decay in buildings and furniture, 
which excite disgust in the young, are from fa- 
miliarity become pleasing to him. The sight of 
them assists his meditations, and recais to his 
mind past agreeable scenes." 

Such was the witness of the aged pastor. Dr. 
Lathrop, of West Springfield, — when standing in 
a similar position, to that of myself to-day. And 
I too can add, as did he, — ^that " many here pre- 
sent have similar feelings in the thought of aban- 
doning this temple, sacred in its design, venerable 
by its antiquity, familiar by long use, and pre- 
cious by the benefits, which have resulted from it. 
Their judgment favors the contemplated" change 
" for another sanctuary ; but their feelings reluct. 
While they rejoice in the preparation for assem- 
bling in another place, it still seems good to be 

To all such especially, and to all others, who 
cannot but have tender participation in such 
natural and christian emotions, I would address 
the inquiry, whether it would not be ungrateful 
and unfitting, — if the grief of this parting hour 
were suffered to swallow up the joys of the re- 
membered mercies of our covenant God, in this 
our dear old sanctuary ? 

Is it in your hearts to exclaim, " We have 
thought of thy loving-kindness, O God, in the 


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midst of thy temple?" Then can you respond 
to me, as once more, I call upon you^ as I call 
upon the others, one and all, — to rejoice and be 

Yes, beloved friends and brethren, let us all con- 
gratulate one another with devoutest thanks to 
God, for what he has permitted this church and 
people to enjoy, and enabled them to accomplish 
for his glory, at home and abroad. 

The past at least is now safe. Whatever may 
be revealed in future days, the recording angel 
can this day seal up a record of one uniform, 
unbroken testimony of this house of God, — for 
seventy-seven years of most important, most inter- 
esting, most remarkable time, since the Saviour 
ascended from the Mount of Olives. 

From the first Sabbath that here witnessed a 
congregation of worshippers, to this the last of the 
series, four thousand in all, — yes^ four thousand 
Sabbath-days^ — the Living God has here been 
adored; and in some mode of "doctrine, reproof, 
correction, or instruction in righteousness," the 
Word of his grace has been preached. And on 
how many other days also, in annual observances, 
or on special occasions ? 

That system of faith, which the earliest, the 
godliest, and the ablest of the fathers of New 
England accounted " the truth as it is in Jesus," 
and the richest inheritance which they could 
transmit to their children's children, has been up- 
held, may I not be allowed to say, by each of the 


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six ministers of the Tabernacle, from 1777 to 
1854 ! Has there been one who did not show 
himself ready, to contend earnestly for " the faith 
ONCE delivered to the saints," — once for all, de- 
livered by the Lord and his apostles ; — and " con- 
tend earnestly " not with friends only, but against 
foes, whether within or without, seen or unseen ? 
And besides, how many pastors of other churches, 
or other ministers of the New Testament, have 
also here preached Christ and him crucified ? 

Blessed be the name of the Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, that my predecessors in the Taber- 
nacle were all men of undisputed independence 
and fearlessness in declaring the divine counsels, 
for conviction and conversion, for sanctification, 
consolation, and glorification ! Recreant indeed 
to their example, would their present successor 
have been, if, according to his humble ability and 
manifold opportunity, he had not endeavored, 
through "evil report," as well as " good report," to 
preach the same word, which they also preached ; 
and to vindicate as they also vindicated, both the 
doctrine of Christ and the order of his house. 

Blessed, also, be the name of God, ov/r Father 
through the Son and by the Spirit, that the faith- 
ful preaching of the Word has been so uniformly 
and steadfastly supported and encouraged. Where 
has there been a more harmonious congregation ? 
In neither of the eleven sevens of years — the 
children must remember the eleven sevens — ^most 
of them golden periods, and all now to be sealed 


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up forever; in neither one has the church or 
congregation had any special disquiet or solici- 
tude, from manifestations or signs of favor for 
" another Gospel, which is not another." What 
power of influence for the cause of truth and 
righteousness has thus silently accumulated ? 

And blessed, also, be the name of our God, the 
Father, the Son, and the Spirit, that, from the 
earliest indications of an awakened missionary 
spirit in our American Zion, the Tabernacle has 
been so signally honored. If the Tabernacle in 
London is entitled to be called " the cradle of the 
London Missionary Society," — the Tabernacle in 
Salem is entitled to be called " the cradle " both 
of the Massachusetts Missionary Society and the 
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 
Missions. Who can estimate or imagine what 
God hath wrought, by the missionary sermons 
here preached, the many appeals of charity and 
philanthropy here made, the contributions here 
collected, and the prayers here prompted and 
offered, — that the Redeemer's dying love, and liv- 
ing, everlasting power to save, may be published 
in all the world, to every creature ! That single 
ordination scene, Feb. 6, 1812, — -to say not a word 
of others of kindred purpose,— is alone enough to 
hallow the memory of this revered and endeared 
old sanctuary, until time shall be no longer. In 
all this western world there is no house, — there 
never has been, — a house of God more honored in 
all the earth ! 


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And never has there been a house of God in 
this land, it may be confidently affirmed, the an- 
ticipated farewell solemnities of which have pro- 
duced such a wide and deep sensation ! We did 
not ourselves imagine the half that others feel 
around ; and much less than this did we know of 
what we should feel ourselves, in the parting 
hour.-^At this moment, there is scarcely a State 
in the Union, if one, in which there are not some, 
who with deep emotion are meditating upon this 
our last service in the Tabernacle. 

It may be as new to most, as it was to me, that 
on the memorable " dark day "of 1780, when the 
whole town was filled, as never before or since, 
with terrors, — a sound went out into the streets, 
just as the darkness was beginning to abate, — 
and the people flocked from every quarter to hear 
in this house of prayer, what this pulpit should 
counsel and supplicate from God's majesty or 
mercy. A far different, and far greater assembly 
it was in 1807, when the Rev. Gideon Blackburn, 
from Tennessee, with a Whitefield's thunder and 
a Whitefield's melody of persuasiveness, poured 
out his soul for the children of the wilderness, — 
the Aborigines of the South. Very similar in 
numbers and in interest, was the assembly in 
1830, when Boudinott and Ridge, from those same 
Aborigines,' — ^with your loved and almost idolized 
Cornelius, — others also assisting them, — ^aroused 
every heart of all the thronged multitude to throb 
with unwonted pulsations of responding sympathy 
and ennobling magnanimity. 


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But after all that is to be remembered on earth, 
of signalized occasions or seasons, may it not be 
that there has been more "joy among the angels 
of God," when far, far less was here witnessed and 
felt of the grand and the thrilling ? Yes,"on many 
a quiet Sabbath-day, — ^when God's Spirit has 
come down in the still small voice,^ — ^there has 
been the beginning of a new creation to the glory 
of " Love-divine — all love excelling," 

" While endless years 
Their everlasting circles run !" 

What a company it would be, could we se^ 
them all, who have here first confessed Christ be* 
fore men, in solemn covenant with his people! 
How many a precious season has here been en- 
joyed, in the communion of the saints with their 
common Lord and with one another, in bonds 
that death sunders never! How many, — ^would 
that there had been far more, — yet how many in 
all have here received the consecrated water in 
the baptismal seal of the Abrahamic and the 
Christian covenant, — ^from one of the first of all, 
who is still among ns, to the little one, that must 
now be last ? (See Appendix E.) 

And what volumes could contain the memorial, 
which might be written, if we could but know the 
individual history or the unpublished conscious- 
ness of all the thousands, of quick and dead, who 
here have heard the messages of life and peace ! 
While God's people have been edified, admonish- 


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ed and comforted, — many, many times met by a 
good word in season, like an angel's visit on mer- 
cy's chosen errand, — how often has some other 
word found a right way, when sent forth either 
with purposed aim, or like the arrow from the 
"bow drawn at a venture;" and has been effect- 
ually lodged in a vital spot of the body of sin and 
death, so that the spirit has become life unto the 
Lord our Righteousness ! Whether in revivals or 
at other times, of how many might it, and will it 
be said, — although they were never numbered with 
us as members of this church, — " This and that 
man was born there !" And how many more have 
gone out, some far off upon the sea, and to the 
ends of the earth, — with an undying remembrance 
of hours or days, when here God's holy truth and 
Spirit bore witness to their heart and conscience, 
for wisdom and for blessedness ! 

Ye mariners upon the seas, or in distant regions 
of the earth, ye may on this very day have thought 
tenderly of this holy place, and felt more safe, be- 
cause of the supplications that have ascended for 
you ! Were ye present with us, would not your 
eyes be as if your head were waters! And all ye 
absent ones, — all that have ever been of us, — 
wherever now ye are in the land we all do love, 
or in other lands, — ^would your tears be dry ! 

My aged friends, it may well be supposed, that 
no one of you could come to this parting hour, 
without feeling that it is -almost too much for me 
and my co-evals to ask of you to bear the burden. 


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that we lay upon you, as you leave your seats, 
this afternoon, to return to them no more! But, 
in your early days, were you hot greatly blessed 
by the enterprising labors- and the generous sacri- 
fices of those who went before? Will yoti not, 
then, while you weep, rejoice also, no less than 
those, who stand between the aged and the 
young,— that the God of our fathers hath disposed 
and erjaWed them to. show th^jr gratitude for his 
loving favor to us all, by erecting a new holy, and 
a more beautiful house for th!3 honor of his adora- 
ble Name, and a rich blessing to thousands yet 

And can the youth and children ever forget this 
dear old house, where first they heard God's min- 
isters preach, and where first they met in Sabbath 
School ? Will you not preserve, as more precious 
than rubies and all diamonds, the memories of 
the instruction that maketh wise for earth and 
heaven ? Assuredly you will, if you would not 
be like some, alas, who at this very hour may be 
lamenting in the world of woe, that ^ they hated 
instruction and despised reproof I'* Among all 
that have ever been of us, none more than they 
who were once scholars or teachers of the Sabbath 
School, will find their hearts gushing forth in 
melting tenderness, — ^when they shall come to 
know, that the old pews where they so often sat, 
and the old pillars, and the old walls of the Old 
Tabernacle are no more ! 



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O ye seats, ye pews, ye aisles, ye doors, ye win- 
dows, ye chandeliers, ye pillars, ye galleries, ye 
walls; and thou, communion-table, — ^this bible 
and that bible,— this pulpit, to my heart so dear, — 
could. ye all speak out with tongues, what utter- 
ances would ye mingle with our tears, in this our 
last, last farewell ! Your work is done ! We must 
go ; and ye all must go ! But whatever changes 
may pass over you, ye all shall be engraven in 
memory's choicest tablet, and while life and being 
last, we shall never forget the sacred, sweet hours 
of our presence here ! 

One more prayer, one more song, one more 
doxology, one more benediction, — and then, fare- 
well, venerable sanctuary ! Consecrated, endeared 
Tabernacle of our fathers and their children, fare- 
well! farewell! FAREWELL! 

But O God of our fathers and our own God, it 
is not farewell to the Word of thy boundless love, 
to the ordinances of thine everlasting Gospel, and 
to the priceless joys of communion and fellowship 
in the bonds of Christ, — ^with exalting hope of 
purer, nobler, and immortal service in the heaven 
of heavens ! 

And O ye departed, ye spirits once with us, — 
some of you so lately with us, — ^but now in glo- 
rious rest, — are ye hovering over us, — unseen but 
not unseeing? My sainted father, art thou too 
with them, — thou that didst so linger here, when 
last thy trembling feet did tread these hallowed 
courts ? All hail to you — ^to all of you — ye glori- 


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fied ! All hail to you, for all time and all eternity, 
all hail ! — Strike, then, strike for us, even us, your 
harps of redemption and rapture; strike^ and sing 
—Salvation to him that sitteth upon the 
THRONE AND UNTO THE Lamb ! — And we wiU say. 
Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and 
thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, 


After prayer, the following hjonn was sung. ( See " White's 
Church Melodist," p. 271.) 

" Here to the High and Holy One, 

Our fathers early reared 
A house of prayer, a lowly one, 

Yet long to them endeared 
By hours of sweet communion, 

Held with their covenant God, 
As oft, in sacred union, 

His hallowed courts they trod. 

Gone are the pious multitudes, 

That here kept holy time, 
In other courts assembled now, 

For worship more sublime. 
Their children, we are waiting 

In meekness, Lord, thy call ; 
Thy love still celebrating, 

Our hope, our trust, our all. 

These time-worn walls, the resting-place, 

So oft from earthly cares, 
To righteous souls now perfected, 

We leave with thanks and prayers \ 


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With thanks, for every blessing 
Vouchsafed through all the past ; 

With prayers, thjr throne addreiasing 
For guidance |o the last* : 

Though from, this house, so long beloved, 

We part with sadness now. 
Yet here, we trust, in gladness ^ooQ 

In fairer courts to bpw r 
So when our souls forsaking 

These bodies, fallen and pale, 
In blighter forms awaking. 

With joy the change shall hail." 

The numerous congregation, intensely affected, then 
joined in singing the Doxology, " Praise God from whom 
all blessings flow," etc. And when the benediction, with 
the last Amen was pronounced, the attitudes and the coun- 
tenances of that last assembly in the old Tabernacle, pre- 
sented a spectacle of emotion, such as is rarely witnessed 
in any place, or in any circumstances. 

For public worship on the next Sabbath and onward, the 
Essex County Commissioners had kindly granted the use of 
the pleasant and commodious Court- Room, in the granite 
building, which, by its nearness and its elegance of model, 
had perhaps contributed to hasten the end of the old Taber- 
nacle. In the forenoon of March 12th, the pastor preached 
from 2 Cor. v : 1 : " For we know that if our earthly house of 
this tabernacle were dissolved," etc. ; and in the afternoon, 
from Acts xvii : 30, 31. 

By sitting compactly, not far from six hundred persons 
could be accommodated. The new circumstances of the 
hearers were very social, and quite favorable to attentiveness j 
while all greatly enjoyed the excellent singing by a volun- 
teer choir of the Society. ^Andthe Jkssembly seemed often 
ready to say : Nowj therefore, are we ail here present before 
Godj to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. The 
surest and most grateful signs of the presence, of the Spirit 
were graciously afforded. 


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Celebration of the Laying of the Comer- Stone of the New 
Tabernacle, April 26, 1854. 

The following account of this celebration first appeared in 
the Daily Evening Traveller. 

**The distinguishing Comer- Stone of the new edifice for 
the Tabernacle Church and Society, having been previously 
fixed in its place, with the other goodly stones of the foun- 
dation, religious services were held yesterday afternoon, for 
a devout and grateful recognition of the event. They were 
conducted by the pastor, who introduced the selections of 
Scripture and the other exercises of the occasion, by allud- 
ing to the memorable scene, at Jerusalem, where some of 
" the ancient men," who remembered the glory of the first 
temple, could not refrain from " weeping with a loud voice," 
while " many shouted aloud for joy." These last were the 
younger men, who rejoiced with hope and exultation in the 
prospect before them. It was remarked, that if any of " the 
ancient men " of the Tabernacle were now to weep, at the 
sight of the foundations of this new house of the Grod of 
the fathers, the very stones of the old house, which had 
been taken away, would cry out "for shame to you," and 
the goodly stones now here in their place would respond 
Amen ! 

It was intimated by the speaker, that there was really 
but little which he needed to say — since the occasion itself 
might be left to make its own impression upon so many 
interested hearts. This goodly foundation might speak, as 
he said, and the comer-stone should be " the chief speaker." 
But, added he, as we are about to sing, our hearts may 
be attuned to a sweeter melody, and our supplications and 
thanksgivings may be inspired with a purer fervency, if 
we should receive instruction from the blessed Word of 
Grod, both in the Old and New Testaments. And if there 
was a single person of the numerous assembly, who had 
any question of the propriety of recognizing, as we now 


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do, the gracious providence of God, let him listen to what 
will be read — ^first, from the 38th chapter of the Book of 

Dr. W. then read from this chapter, verses 4 — 7, and 
ver8eg^ 34—361. He next read ffrom the dOth Psalm, verses 
l-.3d, 10th, 12th, 16th, and J7th. Passing into Oie New 
Testaaneiit^ he. read firom Matt xxi : 42, 43d y and from the 
Epistle to. the EphesianSj U :^li-Tl3th,,andihe l^th to tl» 
-22d veflie inohisiv^. V . 

• These Scriptures formed a series^ in perfect unity, and 
^ were listened to with marked [att^ie% a&, if the-, uttoianee 
was indeed the Word of the Living :€tod, and the Redeemer 
of the world* - 

A choir composed of tn^mbeea of the ofm^^sgai^on^ then 
sang in b. most anmmtedrmanaer,: an4 with thHUing eff^ 
the 118th Psalm of Watts^ 3d Part, C. M^ with the last three 
stanzas of the 4th Part . It was truly affecting to ^ee a ven- 
erable deacon^ who has just entered his ninety ^second yeiMr^ 
as he rose up from his place to join in the iuG^iring song, 
which was so admirably suited to the occasion. 

A prayer was then offered. A list was then read, of the 
documents and other deposits which we e to be committed 
in trust to the comer-stone, as a memorial of the celebration, 
for those who may succeed the present members of the 
Church and Society of the Tabernacle, with their fellow- 
citizens of Salem. 

Among these deposits were city documents of the most 
recent date, newspapers of Salem, the Daily Evening Trav- 
eller of March 6th, containing an account of the farewell 
services in the old house, March 5th,— etc. A copy of the 
Articles and Covenant of the Church, an engraved likeness 
of the former Dr. Worcester, and several published dis- 
courses of the present pastor, were also deposited in the 
copper box, which is to be sealed, ^nd covered with cement 
in the cavity of the comer-stone prepared for the trust 
Among them was the discourse at the.ffist centennial anni- 
versary, April 26th, 1835; "New England's Glory and 


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Crown," a discourse at Plymouth, 1848 ; and " The Prospec- 
tive Condition of our Country, with a Tribute to the memory 
of President Taylor, Aug. 1850." 

These and others have appropriate inscriptions, addressed 
to difllerent classes in the generations to come. Not th^ 
least in interest, probably, at a future day, may be the An- 
nual Report of the Americaii Board of Commissioners for 
Fofe^ Missions, with its endorsement, accompanied by 
the autograph signatures of the inemberB of the Prudential 
Committer Secretaries of Correspondence^ Treasurer, Re- 
cording Secretary^ etc. 

A lithograph of the exterjipr and interior oi the former 
Tabernacle, finely executed from a drawing of Mr. S. P. 
Hodgdon, a promising young artist of Salem,^ was also ex- 
hibited, as one of the deposits. Several coins of the latest 
issue, with a few other axticleSy^ are to be added, before the 
sealing up of the box in the cavity in the comer-stone. The 
stone thus honored is at the north-east comer of the build- 
ing^ and will undoubtedly be regarded henceforth with 
emotions of deep interest by all the members of the Taber- 
nacle congregation, and by numerous others of the crowded 
and very attentive assembly, on this truly memorable oc- 

The services closed with a benediction, previous to which 
the whole assembly appeared to be moved, as the Doxology 
was sung fiom the 117th Psalm, L. M., with the addition of 
the words, beginning : 

" Praise God, from whom all blessings flow." 

As the 26th of April, 1835, was observed as the Centen- 
nial Anniversary of the Tabernacle Church, and as the 
Sabbath School was commenced, in a separate organization, 
on the 26th of April, 1830, — ^the undesigned coincidence of 
the day of the Comer- Stone celebration is worthy of notice 
in this Memorial. ( See Appendix F.) 


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The Juvenile Sewing Circle, numbering from sixty to 
geventy, prepared articles for a " Fair," which yielded more 
than $300. This sum they appropriated for the furniture, 
fixtures, etc. of the pulpit On Thursday afternoon. Thanks- 
giving day, Nov. 30th, they had the. pleasure of meeting 
together in the new Tabernacle, for a presentation of the 
new bibles and hymn-books, of the pulpit, and the Minis- 
ter's pew. They also delivered into the pastor's hands a 
beautiful box, made of the oaken timber of the old house, 
and fitted to contain the beautiful silver goblet, designed 
for use in the pulpit. A short address was made to the in- 
teresting group, as they filled the area before the pulpit ; 
and the occasion will be vividly and very pleasantly re- 
membered by all who were present 

The Dedication of the new Tabernacle took place, in the 
forenoon of the day following. The weather which had not 
seemed likely to be propitious, proved to be favorable in the 
highest degree. The expectations of a lively interest in the 
occasion were entirely fulfilled, by the gathering of a very 
large and attentive assembly. 

The services were introduced by an Anthem : " Lord, 
thou crownest the year with thy goodness and all thy paths 
drop fatness," etc. Selections from the Scriptures were read 
by Rev. James M. Hoppin, of the Crombie Street Church, 
Salem; Rev. Brown Emerson, D. D , of the South Church, 
Salem, offered an appropriate and fervent prayer. The au- 
dience then united in singing the 48th Psalm, '' Great is the 
Lord our God," etc. which was read by Prof. George B. 
Jewett, of Amherst College. The Discourse and the Prayer 
of Dedication were by the Pastor. The " Dedication An- 
them," chiefly in the words of the 1st, 4th, and 5th verses 
of the 141st Select Hymn, (Watts and Select,) was then 
sung, with the Doxology, " Praise God," etc. Rev. B. F. 
Allen, of Marblehead, pronounced the Benediction. 


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Discourse delivered at the Dedication of the 
New Tabernacle, Dec. 1, 1854. 

But will God in very deed dwell with men on the 
earth ? Behold^ heaven and the heaven of heavens 
cannot contain thee; how mtich less this house which 
I have built ?—2 Chron. vi : 18. 

The idea of God, as a pure Spirit, pervading 
the universe of matter and mind, by visible and 
invisible demonstrations of "eternal power and 
godhead," can neither be innate nor intuitive. 
Fallen man is so much a creature of sense, that, 
left to himself, he worships the sun, moon, and 
stars, and 

" Bows down to wood and stone," 

with an utter blindness to the impiety and the ab- 
surdity of such reverence. History, with her gen- 
uine and authentic documents, witnesses against 
the ability of the natural reason and conscience to 
discover, or rightly to interpret, the existence and 
the essential attributea of the one only living and 
Irae God. 

There are indeed, in all parts of the globe, 
traces of the religion, which Noah must have 
brought with hini over the waters of the deluge, 
from "the sons of God " and the garden of Eden. 


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But there is no evidence, that any of the wisest of 
Pagan philosophers, who so anxiously " felt after 
God, if haply " in their darkness, they could " find 
him," ever reached the conception and the personal 
adoration of God, as a " Spirit, infinite, eter- 

Such also is human nature, that, where God is 
known according to the word of his inspired reve- 
lation, men do not like to retain him in their 
knowledge. Instead of walking in the "beauty 
of holiness," they have " changed the truth of God 
into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature 
more than the Creator." 

From the intrinsic difficulty of apprehending the 
true spiritual nature of God, and from the aver- 
sion of the heart to the requirements of his will, 
we may easily explain the corruption and violence 
of the antediluvians, and also the origination and 
rapid extension of idol-worship among the de- 
scendants of Noah. They who said unto God, — 
"Depart from us," — ^were not willing to glorify and 
enjoy any other supreme Divinity, than a tran- 
script of their own moral likeness. And, perhaps, 
all the false religions of the world, with all the 
corruptions of the true, may be attributed to the 
desire of man, ever since the fall, to make God in 
his image, and to think of God as such an one as 

By a sovereign interposition, the God of Abra- 
ham*secured a race, among whom his Name was 


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recorded, and his " holy oracles " preserved, until, 
in the fulness of time, he was <^ manifest in the 
flesh." If it had not been for this interposition, 
so "wonderful in counsel and excellent in work- 
ing," the "true God," in all probability, would 
have been the " Unknown," or the " Anonpmom " 
God, not only of Athens, but of every city and 
every dwelling of the earth. 

The altar, which by its inscription suggested to 
the great apostle, the opening, if not the subject- 
matter of his discourse on Mars Hill, was, perhaps, 
the strongest of all proofs, that "the city was 
wholly given to idolatry." And in the midst o. 
those world-renowned structures of classic Mythol 
ogy> how sublime the utterance, — " Whom ye 
ignorantly worship, him declare 1 unto you ! God 
that made the world, and all things therein, seeing 
that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not 
in temples made with hands ; neither is worship- 
ped with men's hands, as though he needed any 
thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and 
all things." 

The great cardinal doctrine of revealed religion, 
which was made so prominent by this chief of the 
apostles, was precisely that which, when " a young 
man," he unquestionably heard from the lips of 
the first of Christian martyrs, — ^whose "face," as 
he refuted the charge of "blasphemous words 
against Moses and against God," was "as it had 
been the face of an angel." 


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" Our fathers," said Stephen, — " had the taber- 
nacle of witness in the wilderness, as God had 
appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should 
make it according to the fashion that he had seen. 
Which also our fathers, that came after, brought 
in with Jesus [Joshua] into the possession of the 
Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of 
<)ur fathers, unto the days of David ; wha found 
favor before God, and desired to find a tabernacle 
for the God of Jacob.— But Solomon built him an 
house. — Howbeitjthe Most High dwelleth not in 
iemples made with hand$, as saith ihe prophet. 
Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool ; 
what house will ye build me ? saith the Lord ; or 
what is the place of my rest ? Hath not my hand 
made all these things ? 

If now we add what, perhaps, was omitted, in 
consequence of the tumult and fury of Stephen's 
accusers, — viz. " but to this man will I look, even to 
him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trem* 
bleth at my word^^ — we may see that, in saying, — 
" God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must 
worship him in spirit and in truth," — the Lord 
from heaven did but re-announce the doctrine of 
the passage cited from Isaiah. (Ch. Ixvi : 1, 2.) 
And as the prophet was preeminently one of those, 
in whom was " the Spirit of Christ," the words 
which he uttered, as God's anticipating expostu- 
lation with carnally-minded worshippers in the 
second temple, — ^that in which Christ had appeared, 
and which he had called his " Father's house," — 
we may regard the words spoken by the prophet 
as the words of Christ, when in the glory which 
he had with the Father before the world was. 


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The doctrine of God's spirituality could not 
have been a new revelation or a new conception 
to those, wlio had been devoutly " waiting for the 
consolation of Israel." It could not have been un- 
known, or as a dead letter, to Isaiah, or to David, 
or to Moses, or to Abraham, or to Noah, or to 
Enoch, or to Abel. 

Through the whole of the Old Testament, the 
running title on every page might be, — ^" God is a 
Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship 
him in spirit and in truth," And where now can 
be found on earth, any purer or sublimer spiritual- 
ities of conception and adoration than, a thousand 
years before the Messiah's appearing, were pub- 
lished and sung in those unequalled songs of the 
tabernacle on Mount Zion ! The gifted son of 
David must have often joined in these. And it 
may have been no unworthy or powerless element 
of his emotions, that his own royal father had in- 
dited such ennobling, such imperishable melodies 
of the city of God. 

The fondly cherished desire of that father, it 
was the son's distinguished honor to fulfil, in the 
completion of such a sanctuary, as had never be- 
fore been seen among the chosen people. As a 
work of man it might claim to be the very highest 
achievement of the world's power of genius, taste 
and wealth. But its glory was in its purpose, as 
a house of God. And reason enough there was, 
that from Carmel and the shores of the Great 
Sea, — ^from Lebanon, and the mountains of Gil- 


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ead, far beyond the Jordan, towards the Eu- 
phrates, — ^the people should hasten to Jerusalem, 
in their goodliest apparel ; — with all the imposing 
splendors of their princea and the mighty men of 
war, — ^with priests and Levites, without number ; 
and with singers by many hundreds, — ^to be "ar- 
rayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalte^ 
Ties and harps,"-— to participate with one heart 
and voice in the jubilant solemnities of the ap*- 
pointed dedication. 

" And king Solomon and all the cbngregatiori 
of Israel that were assembled unto him before the 
ark, [which they had brought out from the taber- 
nacle, now superseded,] sacrificed sheep and oxen, 
which could not be told nor numbered for multi- 
tude. And the priests brought in the ark of the 
covenent of the Lord unto his place, to the oracle 
of the house, into the holy place, even under the 
wings of the cherubim. * * And it came to pass, 
when the priests were come out of the holy place, 
* * as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to 
make one sound to be heard in praising and 
thanking the Lord ; and when they lifted up their 
voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instru- 
ments of music, and praised the Lord, sayings 
For he is good ; for his mercy endureth forever ; 
that then the house was filled with a cloud, cveri 
the house of the Lord ; so that the priests could 
not stand to minister by reason of the cloud ; for 
the glory of the Lord had filled the house of 

At the sight, so iinexpected and mysterious, the 
priests and tbe people would seem to have been 
profoundly moved; not knowing whether tainterr 


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pret the darkness as a token of tlie Holy One's 
displeasure, or of his approbation and his paternal 
presence in covenant mercy. Not a few of the 
best instructed and the firmest, both in natural 
and spiritual fortitude, may have quaked, as did 
Moses, when the darkness and the rolling thun- 
ders of Sinai proclaimed both the majesty and 
the law of the living God to the amazed multi- 
tudes of Israel. 

As if fully endowed for every emergency of the 
solemnities, Solomon was able to compose and 
re-assure those agitated hearts and trembling 
frames, throughout that vast assemblage. And 
may not the Searcher of hearts have seen, that 
there was need of the terrors of his Holiness and 
Almightiness, in just that place, and time, and 
mode of manifestation? May there not have 
been among them far too little of reverence and 
godly fear, and far too much of the exhilarations 
and ecstasies of exultation and enthusiasm ? 

At Mount Sinai, their fathers, who "saw the 
thunderingSy and the lightnings, and the noise of 
the trumpetj and the mountain smoking, — remaved 
and stood afar off." Moses, although himself 
trembling, at once tranquillized their alarms. 
"Fear not; for God is come to prove you, and 
that his fear may be before, your faces, that ye sin 

" And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew 
near unto the thick darkness where God was. 
And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus shalt thou 


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say unto the children of Israel ; Ye have seen that 
I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall 
not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye 
make unto you gods of gold. An altar of earth 
thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice 
thereon thy burnt-offerings and thy peace-offer- 
ings, thy sheep and thy oxen ; in all places 


The terror of the "darkness" was designed to 
produce that solemn awe and reverence, which 
the people of Israel and all others should feel, in 
their approach to God. But within "the cloud" 
in which "the glory of the Lord" miraculously 
"appeared," in all the journeyings of the wilder- 
ness, there was li^ht for the upright, and joy and 
peace to the humble, the filial, and confiding. 

When the tabernacle had been finished, Moses 
could not enter, " because .the cloud abode thereon, 
and the glory of the Lord," in the likeness of fire, 
or as an overpowing effulgence, " filled the taber- 
nacle." But wherever the tabernacle was, "the 
cloud," and " the glory " which broke forth out of 
'the cloud," were the infallible tokens of the pe- 
culiar presence of Israel's covenant God. Of all 
this and of much more in the subsequent history, 
to which reference might be made, Solomon could 
not have been unaware. 

By his direction there had been placed in the 
midst of the court of the temple, a " brazen scaf- 
fold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and 
three cubits high." Upon this, doubtless, he was 


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standing, when the appalling manifestation of the 
" cloud " filled the house of the Lord. His face 
was towards the " cloud." The whole congrega- 
tion may be imagined, lying prostrate with their 
faces to the earth. And what utterance of mortal 
iips couid have been, at that moment, more ex- 
pressive of humble and confiding adoration, than 
that which was now heard ! The Lord hath said 
that he would dwell in the thick darkness. But I 
have built a house of habUatian for thee, and a place 
for thy dwelling forever. 

The darkness was thus interpreted and hailed 
as God's own chosen symbol of presence, in ra- 
diant mercy no less than in terrible majesty; and 
as if now the sure harbinger of his coming in very 
deed to the dwelling-place, which had been built 
at his command and for his service. After this, 
Solomon turned his face, and "the congregation of 
Israel all stood," — having risen up, as is intimated, 
or having been re-assured and re-animated, — ^to 
receive the address which he then delivered, intro- 
ductory to the prayer of dedication. 

When he had closed, he "kneeled down upon 
his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and 
spread forth his hands toward heaven. And said, 
O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee in 
the heaven, nor in the earth ; which keepest cove- 
nant and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that 
walk before thee with all their hearts ; Thou 
which hast kept with thy servant David my father 
that which thou hast promised him ; and spakest 
with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thy 


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hand, as it is this day. Now, therefore, O Lord 
God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my 
father that which thou hast promised him, saying, 
There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit 
upon the throne of Israel ; yet so that thy children 
take heed to their way, to walk in my law, as 
thou hast walked before me. Now then, O Lord 
God of Israel: let thy word be verified, which thou 
hast spoken unto thy servant David." 

Having acknowledged the faithfulness of God 
to all his promises, and implored a continuance of 
his rich mercies, the grateful monarch, whose glory 
was never greater than in that hour when thus on 
the bended knee, — was apparently arrested in his 
thoughts, and rendered well nigh speechless. Con- 
ceive of a pause, accompanied by the breathless 
silence and suspense of the whole immense con- 
gregation. Then listen ! But will God in very 

DEED dwell with MAN UPON THE EATTH ? Be- 

If there were any worshippers of idols within 
sight and hearing, they were thus admonished, 
that the sanctuary before them was not for a 
graven image, or the embodiment of any device of 
a superstitious imagination. There was no thought 
of the infinite Jehovah, as if he could be there in 
such a local and limited presence or inhabitation, 
as the heathen conceived of their " vanities." It 
was not for human hands to build for the King 
eternal and invisible a house or mansion capa- 


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cious or magnificent enough ; since even the very 
earth itself, in all its grandeur and goodliness, is 
but as the footstool of his feet. 

In another view, we may here see the over- 
whelming effect of the conscious immensity, and 
excellency, and glory of the Divine Being. — Is it 
possible, that the High and Holy One, who inhab- 
iteth eternity, can stoop so low, as in any con- 
ceivable manner to commune, and to dwell with 
men ? — How can God dwell with such creatures ? — 
O amazing condescension ! 

In yet another, and perhaps, the largest view, 
we perceive the deepest humility blended with un- 
utterable rapture of gratitude. The God of David 
had not only performed his promise, in respect to 
the building of the temple, but had actually come 
to take possession by his glorious presence, and 
to record his name, as he had dwelt, and had re- 
corded his name, in the venerated tabernacle of 
the days of old. The cloud was already filling the 
whole house within ; and out of it was to break 
the Shekinah, the abiding resplendence above the 
cherubim over the mercy-seat. And in token of 
God's acceptance of the work, and his real pre- 
sence, in his holiness and his love, there was no 
need in that hour of intense and sublime devotion, 
that a voice should be heard from "the excellent 
glory," saying, "I have chosen this place to my- 
self, for a house of sacrifice." — The heart of the 
royal suppliant must have felt beyond all power of 
expression, what would have been indicated, if he 
had said, Our God has come ! Jehovah is here ! 


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I thus interpret the words, — ^^ Will God in very 
deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, 
heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain 
thee; how much less this house which I have 
built?" — This interpretation is in evident harmony 
with the whole of the prayer, as it was continued. 
What is first in order may be taken as an example 
for the whole. 

" Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy 
servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, 
to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy 
servant prayeth before thee : That thine eyes may 
,be open upon this house day and night, upon the 
place whereof thou hast said, that thou wouldest 
put thy name there ; to hearken unto the prayer 
which thy servant prayeth toward this place. 
Hearken, therefore, unto the supplications of thy 
servant and of thy people Israel, which they shall 
make toward this place: hear thou from thy 
dwelling-place, even from heaven ; and when thou 
hearest, forgive." (2 Chr. vi : 19—21.) 

" When he had made an end of his supplica- 
tion, he arose from before the altar, and from 
kneeling on his knees, with his hands spread up 
to heaven, and stood and blessed all the congre- 
gation with a loud voice." He recognized the 
truth and mercy of that covenant God, of all 
whose good promises not one word had failed ; 
and invoking anew his blessing upon all the peo- 
ple, he exhorted them to be "perfect with the 
Lord their God, — ^to walk in his statutes, and to 
keep his commandments." 


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" Fire catn€ down from heaven, and consumed 
the burnt-offering and the sacrifices, and the glory 
of the Lord filled the house. * * And the Lord 
appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto 
him, I have chosen this place to myself for a 
house of sacrifice. * * Mine eyes shall be open, 
and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made 
in this place. For now have 1 chosen and sancti- 
fied this house, that my name may be there for- 
ever ; and mine eyes and my heart shall be there 

Important conditions were annexed to these 
promises. If these should not be fulfilled by the 
kings, the priests, the prophets, and the people, 
then no power on earth, and no compassion in 
heaven above, would preserve that house from 
utter demolition and desolation. 

" If ye turn away and forsake my statutes and 
my commandments, which I have set before you, 
and shall go and serve other gods, and worship 
them; Then will I pluck them up by theYoots 
out of my land, which 1 have given them ; and 
this house, which I have sanctified for my name, 
will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be 
a proverb and a by-word among nations. And 
this house which is high, shall be an astonishment 
to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall 
say. Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, 
and unto this house ? And it shall be answered, 
Because they forsook the Lord God of their 
fathers, which brought them forth out of the land 
of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and wor- 
shipped them, and served them ; therefore hath he 
brought all this evil upon them." (2 Chr. vii.) 


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To the temple of Solomon, where the visible 
glory, the Shekinah, appeared above the mercy- 
seat, the tribes went up ; and as they went, "old 
men and children, young men and maidens," — 
singing the songs of Zion. Mount Moriah, like 
Mount Zion, was " beautiful for situation," and 
unspeakably dear to the hearts of the thousands, 
who from generation to generation worshipped 
their fathers' God in spirit and in truth. 

Long did Jehovah of hosts dwell between the 
cherubim, and commune with his people Israel, 
and with strangers that came from a far land. 
But in the lapse of ages of eventful and most in- 
structive history for all coming time, the measure 
of iniquity was filled ; the destroyer came from 
beyond " the great river, the river Euphrates ;" and 
" the holy and beautiful house," where the children's 
children of the ancient " fathers worshipped, was 
burned up with fire, and all their pleasant things 
laid waste." And there was fulfilled the saying of 
the Lord, so solemnly uttered four hundred years 
before ; — for that house did become an " astonish- 
ment " to the " passing " traveller. 

Upon the return from the captivity in Babylon, 
where their harps hung for seventy years upon the 
willows by the river, — the first object of attention 
with Ezra, Zerubbabel, and their associates, was 
the rebuilding of the house of God. Its dedica- 
tion was a festival of joy and thanksgiving. While 
in exile, as is supposed, the devout captives had 
of necessity provided for themselves those places 


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of prayer, known to ns by the name of synagogues. 
It is certain, that not long after the return, such 
buildings were erected even in different parts of 
the holy land;— a natural consequence of the 
habit and the pleasure of worshipping socially 
and regularly every Sabbath-day. 
^ God had fulfilled his word of prophecy and of 
promise: "Although I have cast them far off 
among the heathen, and although I have scattered 
them among the countries, yet will I be to theni 
as a little sanctuary in the countries where they 
shall come. * * I will even gather you from the 
people, and assemble you out of the countries 
where ye have been scattered, and I will give you 
the land of Israel." (Bze. xi : 16, 17.) 

It is probable, that their houses of worship in 
difl'erent places of their exile, greatly promoted 
personal piety among the captive Hebrews; and 
were of invaluable service in aiding them to main? 
tain the institutions of true religion against the 
seductive encroachments arid abominations of idol- 
atry. After the return from Babylon, the Hebrews 
of the land of promise, no more worshipped, as a 
community or a nation, any of the gods of the 

In the synagogues, our adorable Lord and Sa- 
vior preached, in his own person, " the grace and 
truth," which he was preparuig to seal with " the 
blood of the everlasting covenant." It was his 
custom to go into them, every Sabbath. Wherever 
his apostles found Jews, they found also these 


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houses of worship, of which it could then be said, 
" Moses of old time hath in every city them that 
preach him, being read in the synagogues every 
Sabbath-day." And it cannot be doubted, that 
they were always set apart for religious purposes, 
by some form of solemn consecration. 

Those who were first called Christians at An- 
tioch, amidst the countless temples and altars of 
that splendid Syrian capital, probably had not a 
synagogue, or any kind of public building for 
prayer and praise, hearing of the word, and the 
celebration of the ordinances of " the glorious 
Grospel of the blessed God." Every where spoken 
against and persecuted, they and their kindred in 
the bonds of Christ Jesus worshipped as they 
could in private houses, or in the open air, per- 
haps at midnight; and often "in dens and caves 
of the earth," to which they would resort, both in 
summer's heat, and winter's cold. 

At the beginning of the third century, there 
were some houses of Christian worship, in certain 
parts of the Roman empire. There could not 
have been many. Such as there were would have 
poorly compared with the temple of Solomon, or 
even this new Tabernacle, in which we are now 
assembled. In brief periods of toleration, or rather 
of sufferance, Christians were allowed to have 
public services, until the fourth century. The 
emperor Dioclesian, A. D. 303, ordered all their 
sacred buildings to be razed to the earth. 

Under Constantine, who soon after ascended 


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the throne of the Caesars, ihe demolished churches 
were rebuilt, and such as had been closed, were 
again opened. In some instances, it appears, but 
not many. Pagan temples were purified and dedi- 
cated to the true and the triune God. 

Justinian, in the sixth century, far exceeded all 
his predecessors in his zeal for the erection of 
magnificent and colossal churches. Of these, the 
Church of St. Sophia, at Constantinople, was the 
most remarkable and renowned. It was erected 
at an expenditure of $5,000,000. The perpendic- 
ular height, from the summit of the grand arch to 
the pavement was one hundred and eighty feet,^- 
just the height of the spire which stands in front 
of this building. " Such was the splendor of this 
work that, at the consecration of it^ Justinian ex- 
claimed, * I have exceeded thee, O Solomon V '* 

In Christian countries, both Papal and Protes- 
tant^ there are, at this day, some edifices of great 
magnitude and splendor ; — capable of contaiifiing 
from 5,000 to 10,000 worshippers. Formerly, there 
was no provision of seats for the congregation ; 
and in some cases, the preacher »at, while the as-» 
s^mbly stood to hear. Thus did CHrysostom, 
" the golden-mouthed," sometimes preach. 

In general, however, the buildings for Christian 
worship, have been constructed at very moderate 
cost, and have been designed for hearers of the 
word, who might without disrespect or irreverence 
keep their seats, during the sermon ;*— ^ea^5, which 
I am inclined to think, would not have been pro- 


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vided, in any age before ours, if it had been imag- 
ined, that ever such a custom would arise, as that 
of an assembly of professed worshippers of God 
sitting in prayer! 

Our present usage in the dedication of churches, 
or as we often rightly say, meeting-houses^ has been 
ascribed to Constantine. But if the buildings for 
worship, among the Redeemer's disciples, had 
previously been occupied without any public so- 
lemnities of dedication, it is to be accounted for, 
chiefly if not solely, by the circumstances of the 
periods of martyrdom. 

In conformity, then, with ancient and sacred,— 
and at present, almost universal usage, in such 
cases, — ^we, of the Tabernacle Church and Society 
in Salem, have met together, with our friends and 
neighbors — whom we rejoice to see with us— that 
we may dedicate, most cordially and truly, this 
new and beautifal house. It has been erected for 
the honor, and in hope of the gracious, add the 
glorious presence of the same God, who, during so 
many generations, dwelt in the sanctuary, which 
Solomon built, and so memorably dedicated. The 
service is fitting in itself, irrespective of time-hou- 
ored usage. 

A dedication imports a solemn appropriation of 
an edifice to the purposes for which it is erected, 
or to which it is to be devoted. And this house 
we have built, that it may be to us " none other 
but the house of God and the gate of heaven?' 
As, tb^efore^ we have built this house, and are to 


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dedicate it to the service of the same (}od, have 
we any less reason to expect that he will dwell in 
it, with a real presence, than Solomon had to ex- 
pect that presence, which was vouchsafed to th^ 
temple, as it had before been to the tabernacle? 

In the sense of the Scriptures, God is present, 
when by his agency or influence he makes any 
peculiar maaifestations of himself, to the eyes of 
the body or of the soul ; or when such objects of 
sight or contemplation are brought into view, as 
impart to us vivid and impressive conceptions of 
his being and of his perfections. 

God's essence is every-where. Absolutely con- 
sidered, he is in all space and in all existence. 
He is in the cottage as in the palace, — in the 
open field as in the temple. But in places set 
apart for his service, and consecrated to his praise,^, 
we are accustomed, and we believe, with the high- 
est reason, to say, that he is both really and pecu- 
liariy present 

The Shekinah, sometimes called ^ the cloud,'* 
^ the pillar of fire," " the glory of the Lord," and 
^ the excellent glory," was not God's presence ; but 
merely the visible sign of that presence, by the 
Holy Spirit's agency and influence. Some have 
thought it a prefiguration of the personal appear- 
ance of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Brightness of 
the Father's glory, in the second temple. Others, 
and I judge more correctly, have interpreted it as 
a symbol of the Holy Spirit, through whom the 
godly become living temples of God, in their own 


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persons, and the church universal is a habitation 
of God. 

The purpose of Solomon in building thre temple 
was no better expressed, than in his message to 
the king of Tyre : " Behold I build an house to 
the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to 
him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and 
for the continual sbew-bread, and for the burnt- 
offerings, morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, 
and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts 
of the Lord our God." As Christians, we, in our 
advanced condition of spiritual knowledge, have 
built this house for purposes, to ail intents corres- 
ponding with those of Solomon, as described by 

In Christ, we are Abraham's seed, and heirs ac- 
cording to promise^ heirs of salvation through the 
blood of '^ the Lamb slain from the foundation of 
the world." And on the gates of the New Jenisa^ 
lem, the emblematic city of the visions of Fatmos, 
were the names of the twelve tribes of Israel ; and 
on the foundations the names of the twelve apes* 
ties of the Lamb ; — ^thus signifying, that the t^ue 
members of the Jewish and the Christian churches 
are one,— ^nd are built together ^on the founda- 
tion of the prophets and apostles, Jesus Christ 
himself being the chief corner-stone." 

In place of the seventh day for a Sabbath, w^e 
have the Lord's day,i — ^the first day of the week. 
For circumcision, which was before Moses, and 
was to Abraham a seal of the righteousness that is 


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l>y faith, we have the ordinance of baptism. For 
the Passover, commemorative of the triumphant 
deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, we have 
the Sacrament of the Sapper, in which his foliowr 
ers are enjoined to show ocir Lord's atoning death, 
and his victory over death and hell, until he shall 
come '^ to be glori&ed in his saints and admired 
in all them that believe." 

In place of burnt-offerings and sin-offerings, we 
have the Lamb of God, who offered himself, with- 
out spot or blemish, once for all. We need not a 
succession of priests to burn incense ; for we have 
access to the Holy of holies, through the Mediator 
of a new and better covenant. And if we have 
the New and the Old Testament, — the grace of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and the communion of the 
Holy Comforter, with the love of God, even the 
everlasting Father,— what need have we of any of 
those appliances of worship, those typical or ritual 
ordinances and ceremonies, which were all super- 
seded or abolished, when Christ — ^thb bnd of the 
liAW FOR RiQHTEOUsNESs-^accomplished his de- 
cease at Jerusalem ? 

Of the distinguishing articles of our doctrinal 
belief, who here is ignorant ? Who does not know, 
if he knows anything of this city, and of history, 
that, as the doctrine of Christ, we hold the faith 
of the founders of the First Church in Salem, 
and of all the venerated churches of New Eng- 
land ; the faith of the martyrs in our father-land, — 
of the Reformers of the sixteenth century, and pre* 


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eminently of John Calvin, — of the Waldenses and 
Albigenses,-— of Athanasias and Aagnstine^ and 
the hundreds of thousands, who in the first three 
centuries ^ loved not their lives unto the death T^ 
(See Appendix G.) And this faith, or the doc- 
trines so admirably defined in the Westminster 
Confession, we hold, not because we have received 
them by tradition, or in virtue of any human au- 
thority ; — ^bat because in our sincere and honest 
judgment and persuasion, the Bible teaches them 
unequivocally and infallibly. With us, there lies 
no appeal from God's testimony. 

We believe, that whatever the Gospel once was, 
it is now and ever will be. We believe, that what- 
ever discoveries may be made among the stars, or 
in the depths of the earth, and whatever may come 
forth from the speculations or the researches of the 
wisest of the wise of this world, — ^there will never 
be any other way to be saved, than that which by 
the Gospel is here to be preached. The faith 
ONCB delivered to the saints, can no more be 
changed, or be modified by any human power or 
device, than the sun can become the moon, and 
the earth become both the moon and the sun. 
Truthfully and eloquently has it been said,— 
.'' Remember that as the stars, shining over us, are 
the same that let down their light upon Adam ; 
so the great star-like truths in the firmament of 
Revelation, must remain the same; and Jesus 
Christ, the great Truth of all revelation, the one 
Decree of heaven, and the one Hope of earth, 


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mast remain in our theology, as in that of bur 
fathers, unchanged and unchangeable, the same 
yesterday, to-day, and forever. Far in this matter 
of the soul's salvation, be from us and our church- 
es, the spirit of restlessness and 'self-sufficient in- 
novation, that seeks something vaster than heaven, 
newer than Truth, and better than God !" 

We desire not to be as those, who set up a 
golden calf, even at Bethel, where Jacob saw the 
gate of heaven ; — and of whom it was said, — 
" Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth 
temples." Whether it may be thought to be our 
honor or our reproach, we seek to walk in "the 
old paths," and "the good way," — ^in which a 
countless multitude have walked and " found rest 
to tJieir souls." Whoever in our Massachusetts 
or New England, may be accounted innovators^ 
and whoever may glory in a progress beyond " the 
simplicity that is in Christ," — be it our humble 
and holy joy, that we have no aspirations for such 
progress, and no ambition for such glory. If any 
assert the liberty of following in the line of their 
present convictions, — ^we accord it to them most 
fully. But we ask that in their turn, they will ac- 
cord to us the liberty of following in the line of 
both our present and our past convictions ; and by 
the grace of God, we trust, our future convictions, 
even to the hour when we hope to depart and to 
be with Christ, and to dwell with him, forever- 

With the truth as it is in our Lord Jesus Christ 


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and him crucified, and the faith which through 
his blood is imputed to us for righteousness unto 
life eternal, we may well be content It is written 
that " the Angel of the Lord," — ^in whom we rer 
cognize the Angel-Jehovah,— -the Angel of the 
covenant, Christ Jesus,—" appeared unto Moses in 
a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush ; and he 
^ looked and behold the bush burned with fire, and 
the bush was not consumed/' In that emblem of 
the bush and the flame of fire, we read the inde- 
etructibleness of " the Church of God, which he 
purchased with his own blood." And ^the ashes 
vf that Jire^^ we never expeet and never desire to 

We have built this house, neither from divisions 
among ourselves, nor in envy or in jealousy of our 
neighbors. As we have done nothing in ^'sWfe," 
so we trust, we have done nothing "in vain glory," 
Should a people dwell in better houses, than theiy 
build for their God ? We'hi^ve built this house^ 
with " strength and beauty,"— because the God of 
heaven and earth is worthy of all that we can do 
to impart dignity to our worship ; and because we 
would have the impressions of taste rendered sub- 
sidiary to the promotion of the highest of all 
beauty, the beauty of holiness. Why are the 
heavens so garnished? Why the inimitable col- 
oring of the flowers of the field ? Why the rich 
and gorgeous plumage of the birds of the air? 
Why such plans and models of surpassing beauty 
and grandeur in the tabernacle and the temple? 


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Why did God furnish these, — but for his owii 
praise, in the true moral effect upon the heart of 
the beholder? There is no waste, no extravagance 
in what is honorable and acceptable to God. 

We had no pattern for this structure, revealed 
from heaven to the architect, as Moses had for 
the first tabernacle, and Solomon for the first tem- 
ple. But we believe that He, who furnished those 
patterns, and so endowed with extraordinary and 
wonderful skill and taste such as were needful for 
the work, will not be displeased with «*,— if by 
his favor upon us, and out of that which he hath 
given us, we have built for him a house, which in 
the eyes of all is beautiful ; and which we would 
dedicate to him, with one heart and voice, that it 
may be Holiness to his Name ! 

Our God did not rebuke his ancient people, 
when they poured in their treasures for the taber- 
nacle and the temple, far beyond the necessity, 
great as was the expenditure from the richness of 
the material and the workmanship. We shall 
worship here with none the less of heavenly 
thought and aspiration, because we make no con- 
cealment of our pleasure and satisfaction in a 
house so much more comely, than might easily 
have been erected and furnished. And if any shall 
think, that the small pecuniary valuation of the 
seats here, below or above, is too great, — let me 
inquire of them, whether it be not a noble charity 
for others, as well as for themselves, to have a 
liberal part in providing such a house of God?— * 


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If you were soon to die, could you, ye heads of 
families, bequeath a better legacy, than a family 
pew in sach a delightful sanctuary ? 

If we had not enjoyed so much in the former 
bouse, and so many priceless blessings had not been 
there received by the living and by our departed 
ones,— whose spirits may be now hovering over 
us, — we should never have adventured to take 
down the old sanctuary, or to have laid the first 
stone of this building. With those hallowed 
memories of the old Tabernacle, we have garnered 
up many precious hopes for this our new Taber- 
nacle. Ye blessed spirits, that have gone from us, 
to be where Christ is,— are ye not now here to re- 
joice with us, as we are giving to our God these 
walls, these seats, this pulpit, and all that apper- 
tains to this goodly structure ? — Is there one 
among you, who would have said " forbear !" 

And let me say to the children and the youth 
who are with us, on this occasion, that if it had 
not been for you^ for you far more than for them- 
selves, parents and grand-parents would not have 
built this house. The venerable old sanctuary 
might have answered every personal need of your 
fathers ; and much more the need of the aged 
men and women, who parted from the old house 
with many tears. 

The days will come, when they who have given 
of their substance, and those who will al^o give of 
theirs, will all be in the grave and in eternityr 
If you shall live to take their places, — ^remember, 


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I charge you, all the solemnities of this solemn 
Qnd joyful hour. Remember that this house was 
dedicated to the worship of Jehovah, the Father, 
the Son, and the Holy Ghost Remember, when 
I am dead, that it was for the everlasting Gospel, 
and in hope of God's covenant mercies to children 
and to children's children, that so much of expense 
has been incurred by many of this church and 
congregation. Remember that you all have souls 
to be saved or lost forever! Give your hearts and 
your all to the Saviour. Here let your " young 
bosannas sound his praise !" And when it shall 
be said, '' instead of the fathers are the children,'* 
may it be to your honor, — ^as being all of you the 
true children of God, and humble followers of 
God's dear Son ! 

It is recorded of Solomon, that all which came 
into his '^ heart to make in the house of the Lordj 
he prosperously effected." My respected and be- 
loved friends of the old Tabernacle, which we so 
loved, and of this new Tabernacle, which we 
have already begun to love, — have you not all 
occasion this day, to record with your liveliest 
gratitude, Hitherto tbte Lord hath helped us ! 
These walls are the witness, that it is even so. 
And from the foundations to the summit of the 
lofty and graceful spire, let the whole be a 
memorial of the good hand of our God upon 
tis, and a monument of our gratitude and thanks- 
giving, for the year eighteen hundred and fifty* 


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When we celebrated the laying of the corner- 
stone, we prayed to God, that they who laid the 
foundations might live to see the work completed 
and finished. They are all alive this day. We 
prayed for all that might be engaged in the work, 
so perilous in many places, and for many days 
together, that God would keep all their bones, that 
none of them might be broken. It has been our 
great joy, not boastfully have we spoken of it, 
that the perilous labor was all done ; — ^the house 
built in every part; and there had been not the 
slightest harm to life or limb in any exposure. 

On Tuesday morning, a leading paper of our 
city, characteristically candid and magnanimous^— 
in an article, as sincere, and as honorable to the 
writer, as it was commendatory of ourselves and 
those who have preceded us, — published to the 
. country and the world, as a striking and extraor- 
dinary circumstance, that " no accident, or misad-* 
venture^ or miscalculation of the slightest sort, 
had occurred to interrupt the process of construc- 
tion, or mar the satisfaction with which it has 
been watched by the parties immediately concern- 
ed, and by the public generally." — [Salem Gazette, 
Nov. 28, 1854.] 

Scarcely had this gratifying statement been read 
in our dwellings, before we were startled by the 
tidings, that a workman had fallen from the roof, 
and had probably received a fatal injury ! Why 
was it, that our sympathizing emotions were so 
prompt, and that we all were so keenly affected ?— • 


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We might have felt deeply, if the same casualty 
had befallen one, who had ascended any other 
building. But should we have felt, as on Tues* 
day? And would our joy be as now, that the in- 
jury is but as nothing, in comparison with what 
from the first rumor we had feared ? 

Some of us had known of casualties, like one 
in an interior town of our New England, where in 
raising the roof of a house for God, the frame fell, 
and left beneath the ruins eight men dead^ and 
many more sorely wounded! And when this roof 
above our heads was all safe ; when those heavy 
timbers of the tower were all right, — -when the 
lofty spire that so trembled, had settled fast into 
its own place, and the last ladder had come down, 
which was expected to be lifted up, — ^who of us 
was not able to breath more freely, and did not 
feel that the good hand of our God had indeed 
been with us ? 

The good hand of our God has been with u^, 
my brethren. In our regret for the occurrence of 
Tuesday morning, we have in our gratitude a 
new element. We have "joy of griefs for bimi 
who has received the harm, joy inexpressible, that 
his life was spared. And now if we lose anything 
from the height to which our joy would have risen^ 
we may gain more in the greater depth of our grati- 
tude, — that in removing the former and in erect- 
ing the present house, we have bad such a marked 
and signal succession of experiences of the pro- 
tecting and preserving providence of God. Aiid 


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it will do no one of us any injury, — ^to be admon- 
ished to "rejoice with trembling" in all cases, un- 
less we are sure that we rejoice in God. The ad- 
monition may have been just what we all needed, 
that we should this day the more humbly acknowl- 
edge God, and think much the less complaeenfly of 
ourselves, as if the work which we dedicate, were 
the work of our own hands, and for our own glory. 
(See Appendix H.) 

We take, we accept the admonition. "With a 
deeper humility as we trust, and a more fervent 
and chastened gratitude for those mercies, which 
have so abounded towards us, we can pray, — 
** Now, therefore, arise, O Lord God, into thy rest- 
ing-place, thou, and the ark of the strength ; let 
thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salva- 
tion, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness !" 

Here may the Father of lights ever afford his 
presence which is life, and his loving-kindness 
which is better than life. Here may the Redeemer 
of perishing sinners ever be honored, as we honor 
the Father! Here may the blood of his atoning 
sacrifice cleanse many souls from all sin ! Here 
may the Holy Ghost, the Enlightener, Sanctifier, 
and Comforter, impart plenteously his awakening, 
converting, and quickening influences to accom- 
pany our prayers and praises, our meditations 
upon the word of truth, and the administration of 
the ordinances. Here may the poor be remem- 
bered, and the widow and the fatherless never be 
forgotten, in our charities. May the Macedonian 


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cry of perishing millions never be unheeded! 
O that there may be many, that shall be minis- 
ters of Christ at home, and heralds of his salva- 
tion in other regions of the earth! And when 
the Lord writeth up the people of his ehoice and 
his praise, may it be said of a great multitude, 
that they were born here ! 

We know not the destiny of our new Taber- 
nacle. It may stand, when we are all dead, and 
when the youngest child here, that shall live to 
be the oldest of all, shall long have been buried. 
To those now unborn, it may become even more 
venerable and dear, than was the old Tabernacle 
to ourselves. — But its period may be very short. 
Our elevated and rejoicing hopes may soon be 
turned into mourning and lamentation. Thy will 
be done^ O God ! Spare us, we pray thee ! " Let 
thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory 
unto their children. And let the beauty of the 
Lord our God be upon us ; and establish thou the 
work of our hands upon us ; yea, the work of our 
hands, establish thou it !" 

Are there not many, who will unite with us, 
in these oar supplications ? Are there not many 
in other cities and towns, and some in distant 
lands, who, as our work has been advancing to 
this happy completion, have had in their hearts to 
pray, that the glory of this house maybe greater 
thoM the former^ — as the venerable servant of Christ 
prayed, while fervently imploring the Divine bles- 
sing upon our solemnities. 


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May it please our God that the glory shall be 
as great, — aud we will call upon our souls and 
all that is within us, to bless his holy Name. 
And if it be far greater, we will say, — ^^ Not unto 
us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name give 
the glory for thy mercy and thy truth's sake!" 
Amen ! 

Note. — Since the first part of this Discourse was in type, 
it has occurred to the author, that a statement in the intro- 
duction respecting the ^' ability of the natural reason and 
conscience,'^ may seem to be inconsistent with Rom. i : 19, 20. 
Fiom the context, however, the reader may perceive the 
meaning to be, that, according to the witness of history, 
mankind have never come to a right knowledge of the being 
and perfections of God, unless they have been taught by the 
Spirit of God, through the Word of his revealed will. But 
they may learn enough of God, by the light of nature, to 
make them inexcusable for the deeds, which they do against 
their own consciences. And it may be true of all the hea- 
then, who have the use of the ''natural reason and con- 
science," that while " holding the truth in unrighteousness," 
80 far as it is known by them from whatever source, — they 
literally "resist the Holy Ghost," as do many thousands 
who have been taught ^'the knowliedge <tf God" from the 
Holy Scriptures. 


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In the Salem Observer and Daily Evening Traveller, 
Dec. 2, and in other papers, extended notices of the dedica- 
tion were published The Salem Gazette of Nov. 28th, and 
the Observer of Dec. 2, contain an elaborate description of 
the house, by the architect, Richard Bond, of Boston. 
A small part only can here be inserted. 

" The size of the body of the house is 68 by 90 feet, with 
an apsis 25 feet wide, and projected 6 feet from the reiar 
wall of the house. The tower is projected from the front 
wall 19 feet, and is twenty-three feet wide on the front, and 
is finished with buttresses projecting 18 inches at the an- 
gles, with offsets at several different heights, thus reducing 
the size to 18 feet, at the height of about 66 feet from the 
ground, where the buttresses are merged into the square 
form of the tower, and the space between them filled with 
little arches resting on corbel Is. The tower to the height of 
70 feet assumes an octagonal form, at the base of the bell- 
tower which is finished with pilasters at the angles, with a 
plain but full entablature. The openings of the bell tower 
are 4 by 10 feet, with a ballustrade at the bottom of each, 
and an arched bracket at the top resting on corbel Is. Above 
the bell tower is a story, 10 feet high, a continuation of the 
form of the story below, but with plain piers on 4 sides, pro- 
jected 8 inches. In each pier is a small circular window 
finished with heavy, beaded mouldings resting on brackets. 
This last story forms the pedestal of the spire which is oc- 
tagon in plan, 8 feet three inches diameter above its base, 
and rises to the height of 77 feet, including the spindle, 
thus making the whole height of the tower and spire, 
180 feet." 



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After detailing the different parts of the structure, exterior 
and interior, Mr. Bond says : — " The style of the exterior 
maybe characterized Romanesque. The interior is finished 
in a style corresponding to the exterior. The architecture 
may be considered, in general, a mixture of Romanesque, 
and Italian of the French type." 

Mr. Bond makes no allusion to the ''Minister's room," 
which the Building Committee added to the house, and 
connected with the pulpit. While out of sight, in the com- 
mon views of the edifice, it is so prepared and furnished, 
as to be much admired for its obvious convenience and 

The whole house, exclusive of the large orchestra, will 
seat nearly or quite 1,050 persons. The pews below are 
lined, stuffed, and cushioned ; and with the aisles and pul- 
pit, are uniformly carpeted. 

The work of upholstery and the iron-fence occasioned an 
expenditure of more than $2,700. And the entire cost of the 
building, as furnished, is $21,400. 

The 136 pews below were appraised, from $40, to $250 ; 
and the 44 in the galleries, from $25, to $60. At the sale 
in the afternoon of the day of dedication, and subsequently, 
" the choice money " amounted to $2,254 58. The aggre- 
gate for 75 pews on the floor and a few in the galleries, was 
$16,119 48. 

By receiving in addition $1,000, from the late Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Kinj(, for the " Minister's pew," and $500, for the pul- 
pit, from a former member of the church, not now resident 
in Salem, — ^with some other contributions in the same lib- 
eral spirit, together' with the avails of the old house and a 
small piece of land, — the Building Committee have been 
able to pay all the bills of the new Tabernacle, without ren- 
dering the Proprietors liable for loans, beyond one tenth part 
of the expense. The loans should be regarded as little else 
than a nominal indebtedness ; the income of the house be- 
ing ample to meet current expenses, and also to diminish 
the principal of the indebtedness, even if this should not all 


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be cancelled, by future sales of pews now rented. Quite a 
number of pews are thus occupied, as was the fact in the 
old house ; while the number of proprietors is consideiably 
larger. And the pews which may yet be sold, in more fa- 
vorable times, would much more than liquidate all claims 
against the Society, although sold at much less than half 
the valuation. 

December 3d, was the first Sabbath of worship in the 
new Tabernacle. The first hymn sung w^ls the 142d 
Select :— 

" Tn sweet exalted strains, 

The King of glory praise ; 

O'er heaven and earth he reigns, 

Through everlasting days : 
He, with a nod, the world controls. 
Sustains, or sinks, the distant poles. 

To earth he bends his throne^- 

His throne of grace divine ; 

Wide is his bounty known, 

And wide his glories shine : 
Fair Salem, still his chosen rest, 
Is with his smiles and presence blest. 

Great King of glory, come, 

And with thy favor crown 

This temple as thy dome — 

This people as thy own : 
Beneath this roof, oh deign to show. 
How God can dwell with men below, etc. 

The discourse in the morning was from John iv : 24. "God 
IS A Spirit," etc. The Lord's Supper was administered, at 
which, without purposed coincidence, the 40ittiSelect Hymn 
was sung, — the same as at the last communion in the old 
house. It was a grateful season. And while the anticipa- 
tions were so animating, it was not forgotten that seven 


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times the service bad been enjoyed in the vestry ; and with 
no ordinary consciousness of fellowship one with another, 
and, as is believed, with the atoning and all-sufiicient Re- 

This day was also the 20th Anniversary of the Installation 
of the present pastor, whose ministerial connection has been 
longer than that of either of his predecessors, from 1739. 
The discourse in the afternoon was from the words, — Thus 
have I been twenty years in thy house. Gen. xxxi : 41. 

Sabbath evening, Dec. 31, the Unked Concert of Prayer 
for Foreign Missions was held in the new Tabernacle. Thus 
as the last evening meeting in the old house was a mis- 
sionary meeting, so was the first in the new. 

But the first Sabbath of the new year was the "great day 
of the feast." Twenty-one persons were received to the 
church, on a profession of their faith ; a majority of whom, 
in the year just closed, had come to cherish a hope in 
Christ, as those receiving him from the heart. Others from 
a similar expeiience, it is believed, will ere long join them 
by a similar profession. — Ps. cxv : 1. 

The number of church members, January, 1855, was 411. 
Three-fourths of the whole have united with the church, 
during the last twenty years, — two-thirds of them by pro- 
fession. But so many have been the changes by death and 
removal, that the present total of the Church is but about 
the same, as in Jan. 1835. Very large additions had been 
made in 1831-2, from the results of the " Great Awakening " 
of that period. 

The Deacons of the Church, with the date of their ap- 
pointment, are 

1818. John Punchard. 

^ lg37. Jonathan Perley. 

1839. Nathaniel Appleton. 

1846. Ira A. Brewster. 

1849. George H. Smith. 

Clerk. George C. Hodgdon. 


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A. p. 19. In some brief " Historical Notices" prefixed, in 
1851, to a new edition of the "Articles and Covenant of the 
Tabernacle Church," it is said, that " for twenty-seven years 
there were nominally two First Churches in Salem." By 
a recent examination of the First Church Records, it is found 
that this statement is erroneous. For twenty yearSj the present 
Tabernacle Church alone was called the First Church, The 
minority of the First Church, by the aid of a Council and 
the Legislature, ^^ dismissed ^^ Mr. Fisk, the pastor, on the 
18th of April, (O. S.) 1735. Having held together and hired 
preaching, for about a year, they were duly organized as a 
church in 1736, under the style of ^^the Church and Parish of 
the Confederate Society in Salem,^^ More briefly, they were 
called the " Confederate Church ;" while their brethren who 
had been separated from them, by an ecclesiastical pro- 
cedure which would not have been possible, since the Revo- 
lution, called themselves and were called by others, " the 
First Church of Christ in Salem." Their organization was 
the same as had been transmitted from 6th of Aug. 1629. 

In course of twenty years, some of the former friends of 
Mr. Fisk returned to the Church and Society of those who 
had procured his forced and violent dismissal from his origi- 
nal pastorate. Perhaps, the thorough evangelical spirit of 
Rev. Mr. Leavitt's preaching disaffected them. However 
this was, their return gave the Confederate Church a " ma- 
jority of those who were members of the First Church, at 
the time of Mr. Fisk's dismission ;" and it was therefore 
voted, that, fiom July 28, 1755, the Chmch. '^ take on them 
in all public trar^actions the title of the First Church in 
Salem P' 


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There were now " two First Churches m Salem," in name ; 
but with what propriety? Seven years afterwards, the 
Church that would now seem to be justly and really the 
First Church surrendered the title, and put an end to a long 
and embittered controversy. — See First Church and Tahema* 
cle Church Records ; also FeWs Annals of Salens vol. 2. pp. 

B. p. 20. Previous to the installation of Dr. Whitaker, in 
1769, the Church voted unanimously to adopt '^his plan of 
Church government," which was Presbyterian, and which he 
had made a condition of his settlement. It was provided, 
however, that " if any member of the Church should appear 
to have scruples of conscience respecting being judged by 
the Eldership,— on their manifesting the same to the Ses- 
sion, he or she may for the present have the liberty of a trial 
by the Brotherhood." (Church Records, p. 51.) It was also 
provided, that, until ** a stated Judicature," (as that of a Pres- 
bytery) should " be fixed on by the Church," an appeal from 
" the j udgment of the Session " might be made to a Council, 
convened according to the usual practice of Congregational 

Soon after Dr. Whitaker's installation, (or Sept. 11, 1769,) 
five elders were chosen, and until 1784, the government of 
the Church was administered by the Eldership, or Session, 
of which the Pastor was Moderator, and ex officio, a member. 

"1772, April 27. A letter gives information that 'an of- 
fended party, have determined to withdraw from Dr. Whita- 
ker, and gather another Church,' etc. It says that forty or 
fifty families make up such intended seceders." — FeWs An* 
nalsj 11. p, 602. 

Nov. 27, 1773, a majority of the Church requested the 
pastor to join with them in applying to the Boston Presby- 
tery "to take the Church under their watch and care." This 
action was in accordance with the conditions of Dr. W.'s 
settlement. Application was made in May following, ( 1 774) ; 
and the Church was accordingly received. The Church was 
afterwards connected with the " Salem Presbytery," so called. 


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Feb. 11, 1784, the Church voted to '^ re-assume the Con- 
gregational mode of Church Government, having renounced 
the Presbyterian Judicature and all subjection thereto." 

During all the period of Dr. Whitaker's ministry, from 
July 28, 1769, to Feb. 26, 1784, the original Covenant of the 
Church was continued; and the Church, as before, was 
styled the Third Church of Christ in Salem. 

From the name given to the house of worship, the Church 
soon became generally known, as the Tabernacle Church. 
This designation formally appears in the Church Records, 
in 1786. It had been gradually adopted, without any act or 
vote of the Church. 

C. p. 23. Since this Discourse was preached, the name 
'^ Marlboro" has been dropped, with the name also of 
" County *' Street, and both have given place to " Federal." 

D. p. 27. The full title of this work was " Christian 
Psalmody in Four Parts; Dr. Watts's Psalms Abridged; 
Dr. Watts^s Hymns Abridged ; Select Hymns from other 
Authors ; and Select* Harmony ; together with Directions 
for Musical Expression. By Samuel Worcester, D. D., Pas- 
tor of the Tabernacle Church, Salem." In a few years, 
"Watts Entire and Select Hymns" came into use. An 
edition, enlarged and improved, was adopted in 1835. 

E. p. 35. Capt. Hardy Phippen was one of the very first, 
who were baptized in the old house. At the opening of the 
services, P. M. March 5, 1854, was baptized "the little one," 
James Augustus, son of James F. and Rachel H. Smith. 

F. p. 43. For " inscriptions " and other particulars, see 
Salem Observer, April 29, 1854. The "box" was not ac- 
tually deposited and sealed up, until June 3d. Meanwhile, 
beside City and State Documents, Salem Directory, etc. 
from Messrs. A. Huntington, T. S. Jewett, H. Whipple, and 
others, the likenesses of Rev. E. Cornelius, Rev. J. P. Cleave- 
land, D D., and a Memoir of Rev. John' Prince, D. D. LL. D., 


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with a likeness, etc., were added. George D. Phippen, Esq. 
also deposited a " List of the Pastors and Church Officers 
from the beginning ;" — of the " Subscribers to the new 
House of worship j" of the " Proprietors of the Tabernacle 
as they were, Sept. 1, 1780 ;" of the " Architect, Contractors, 
and Building Committee, of the new Tabernacle, the Stand- 
ing Committee, and other Officers of the Society ;" and of 
" the pew-holders, before the taking down of the old house,— 
with a plan also of the same." 

G. p. 66. The note is omitted. 

H. p. 74. On the 9th of March, the work of demolishing 
the old house began at the top of the tower. There was 
much fear of some disaster. The attempt being made to re- 
move the tower, below the bell-deck, in one body, the whole 
fell in an oblique direction ; but did no injury except that of 
crushing a large elm tree. — The raising of the new building 
commenced on the 9th of May. The frame was of great 
magnitude and admirably prepared. The operation of ele- 
vating the different sections, and especially the tower and 
spire, was, for successive days, an object of mingled admira« 
tion and anxiety. By a slight mistake in adjusting the ropes, 
the spire, when suspended at the highest point, appeared, 
for a few seconds, as if it might be precipitated, either upon 
the roof of the building, or that of a neighboring house. 
The effect, at the instant, surpasses all description. 

Three days before the Dedication, Mr. John Copant, a ma- 
son, went upon the roof of the " apsis " or recess, to remove 
the cap of the south chimney. When about to leturn to the 
window of the " attic," his ladder slipped. Providentially, 
he so gave a direction to his fall, as first to strike the roof of 
the vestry, which is but a few feet west of the recess, and 
was taken up from the steps, leading to the Minister's Room, 
having broken a leg, but otherwise receiving no material 
harm Great was the joy and gratitude for his signal deliv- 
erance from an untimely death ! 


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