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3 1833 01103 5539 



Two = Httndredth Amtiversary 


First CongTegational CliLircli 





To v/hieh an Appendix is added. 


westfield, mass.: 

Clark &, Story, Printers. 



Copy of Correspondence. 

Westfield, October 6, 1879. 
Rev. J. H. Lockwood— Dear Sir:— We, on behalf of the 
Society of the First Congregational Church of Westfield, 
respectfully request of you a copy of your Bi-Centennial His- 
Q.^ torical Sermon for publication. 

^ H^^^^ ^^- ^^^^^' ] Prudential 

V Junius A. Talmadge, |- ^^^^^^.^^^^_ 

,5* Lyman M. Smith, j 

Westfield, October 6, 1879. 
Messrs. Henry W. Bates, Junius A. TalmapCxE, and Lyman 
M. Smith,— (?en^/emen;— Since the Bi-Ceutennial Historical 
Sermon, delivered yesterday in the First Church, is, in your esti- 
mation, worthy of publication in a permanent form, I cheerfully 
place it at your disposal, with such additions as seem worthy of 
preservation with it ; but which, incorporated into it, would have 
made it too long for delivery at a single Sabbath service. 

Respectfully Yours, 

John H. Lockwood. 


Many difficulties beset the preparation of such a sketch as 
is here attempted. The task has been not simply to collect 
annals of the old church, and not simply to prepare an address 
upon it ; but it includes both, and more besides. As it would 
probably become a document of some historical value to future 
generations, it was important to include in it many interesting 
reminiscences with exact dates, and as it was to be delivered on 
the occasion of a regular church service, it needed to be restricted 
in extent and partake somewhat of the character of a sermon. 
Many items of interest to antiquarians, or to those whose families 
have lived here for many generations, and many others that are 
simply amusing and curious, were therefore excluded as outside 
the scope of the task. Some of them are accorded a place in the 
Appendix, which I would be glad to enlarge indefinitely were it 
not for the fear that it might thereby make too voluminous what 
is intended to be merely a brief sketch, and not an exhaustive 
treatise. It is also to be remembered that the discourse was 
prepared with the Town Bi-Centennial volume before me, in 
which are many deeply interesting facts relating to the early 
days of the town and the church, not only in the address, but 
also in the letters from former residents and reminiscences in the 
appendix, some of which would be included here were they not 
preserved there in permanent form. A few copies of that inval- 


liable volume romnin unsold, and may be secured at the news- 
room of Mr. W. P. Meacbam. 

The many persons who have kindly proffered assistance, with- 
out which this task would have been utterly hopeless to one who 
has been a resident of the town only six months, will please ac- 
cept thanks therefor. Among them special mention should be 
made of Mr. Henry Holland, who having made a special study 
of local antiquities, has been of great service in determining 
sites of historic interest, and in giving other valuable information ; 
and Mr. David M. Chace, the Town Clerk, who has aff'orded the 
fullest facilities for examining the town records. 



I. Kings, viii., S7.— The Lord our God be with us as he was 
with our fathers. 

This year marks a noteworthy epoch in the history of our 
church. Time has rolled on with steady flow till two hundred 
years have passed since it was organized by a handful of faithful 
disciples. The future for which they provided, so much of which 
is now past with its checkered record of human experience, was 
hidden from sight, but they laid foundations in faith and others 
have builded thereupon. Taking twenty years as the measure 
of a generation, this church has been the earthh^ home of ten gen- 
erations of believers, where they have heard the everlasting gos- 
pel ; where they have raised to the throne of grace praises and 
supplications ; where they have brought sacrifices of themselves 
and their possessions. In this new world, whose remotest history 
is so recent, the churches that have passed through the vicissi- 
tudes of two centuries are comparativeh'^ few. 

Among those of our own order, which are naturally the oldest 
in New England, there are forty-seven that exceed this church 
in age, of which one is in York, Me., organized in 1672, seven- 
teen are in Connecticut, and twenty-nine are in Massachusetts. 
Several of them are but a few 3'ears older, and there are several 
also but a few years 3'ouuger. No surer criterion of the rapidity 
with which the fathers entered into possession of this land of 
Canaan can be found than that suggested b^' the dates of the 
organization of the first churches of New England. In recogni- 
tion of their Christian heroism, as well as God's long-continued 
blessing upon their labors, we should commemorate this remark- 
able anniversary. The formal exercises of organization occurred 


Augiisl 27th, 1079; and, though the corresponding date of this 
year is passed, yet for the sake of convenience a formal observ- 
ance of the occasion has been dela^'ed till now. 

The task of preparing a brief and interesting sketch of the 
church's histor3^ is beset b}' some difficulties besides those com- 
mon to all historians. The available materials are very limited ; 
many of them have been carefully investigated and ably displaj'ed 
by different persons within a few years, and are therefore some- 
what familiar to most of those who are interested in the church ; 
and in a stable and conservative communitj^ like this, local tra- 
ditions are carefully perpetuated. Families that have lived here 
for man}' generations naturally gather up facts relating to their 
ancestors for their own gratification, and to impart in turn to 
their children. Many family trees planted herein the early days 
of the settlement still flourish like monarchs of the forest. But 
though I may not discover in the records of the past many facts 
unfamiliar to those who were privileged to hear the carefully- 
prepared sketch of the town's history incorporated into the ad- 
dress of a member of this congregation, Hon. William G. Bates, 
delivered ten years ago when its bi-centennial was celebrated ; or 
to those who listened before that time to the various historical 
sermons of my predecessor, Rev. Dr. Emerson Davis, whose 
memor}- is still so sweetl}^ fragrant wherever he was known ; yet 
it may be pleasant even to them to be stirred up by way of re- 
membrance. Many strangers have also come among us within 
the last decade, and many children have matured from infancy to 
capacity to understand and enjoy stories of the past. While 
studying all original sources of information available, I shall use, 
freely and gratefully, the results of those who have preceded me 
in the field to be traversed at this time, hoping, not to excel 
them, but only to follow closely in their footsteps, and perhaps to 
beat two paths into one that ma}' be more easily traversed by 
others who shall follow. In order that no available material 
might be lost I have carefully searched anew the town and church 
records from the beginning, and shall quote from them freely, 
believing that their quaint language and plain statements are 
more interesting than they would be if clothed in modern dress, 
and that they may never again be annotated. It has been so in- 
teresting to me to study the course of events making up our 
church history, as recorded in original documents, yellow with 


age and often in almost illegible chirography, though involving 
weeks of patient study, that I desire to share the pleasure, as far 
as possible, by giving you a literal transcript of what may never 
fall under your eyes in original form. The task in hand differs 
in scope from that of Mr. Bates ; in extent from that of Dr. Davis 
already referred to ; — the former having pre[)arod a sketch of the 
town, and the latter in various published documents, of which I 
have copies, delineating briefer periods ;.but now my effort is to 
trace the history and affairs of this church for two centuries. 
This attempt includes within its scope matters relating to the 
origin, growth and changes of the church, and facts of importance 
in the lives of its officers and members. Until a comi)aratively 
recent period the church has been so fully identified with the 
town that the records of the latter contain much relating to the 
former, — all the secular affairs of the church having been at- 
tended to at town meetings, as part of their prescribed business, 
where it was decided even to call every minister who preceded 
the Rev. Dr. Davis, settled in 1836. 

The first reference in the town records to ecclesiastical affairs 
bears date of March 19, 1666, when a lot of twelve acres was set 
apart for the minister, " if he should like it ; " intimating that the 
act was done in anticipation of his arrival. According to the 
detailed account of Mr. Taylor of the origin of this clnu-ch, no 
one dame to occupy the land till a little later. He says : 

" Westfield, then Warronnokee, coming to be an English plan- 
tation, had at first Mr. John Holyoake, son to that Godly Cai)t. 
Elizur Holyoake of Springfield, to dispense y^ word of life amongst 
them, An" D"", 1667, about half a year ; but in y*" beginning of 
winter following, he as finding y*" ministry of the word too lieavie 
for him desisted; from which time till y'' beginning of winter 
1668 they had no minister." 

In August, 1668, the town acted as follows, after deciding to 
allow a minister the sum of £40 a year, to be derived by taxes 
on the lands : 

"It is voted that we look at ourselves as free & at lil)erty to 
seek out according as God shall guide us for a minister to carry 
on the work of Christ here." 

Their first laborer in the spiritual vineyard must have given 
satisfaction, for they voted " that George Phelps & James 
Cornish shall go to Springfield to trade with Mr. Hollyoke & 


receive his answer." The spirit of thrift and prudence seems by 
the term thus used to have pervaded thus early even church 
business. Mr. Ilolyoke not consenting, it was voted soon after- 
ward " that Capt. Cook shall go into the Bay to procure a min- 
ister, such a one as he shall be advised to by the elders in or 
about the bay if the Committee at Springfield do approve of our 
acts herein." He was ordered to take his journey '' so soon as 
to be in the bay the .first Sabbath in October," about a week 
later. James Cornish was to go the next day to Springfield to 
consult the committee under whose auspices the town was settled, 
" & to speak to Capt. Pynchoa & desire him to promote the 
design in the ba3\" Proof of the interest taken by these neigh- 
bors in the eff~orts of the infant colony to procure a minister is 
shown by the fact that during the next month, October, 1668, a 
farther grant of land to Westfield was made on condition that a 
minister should be procured within two years. There is no ac- 
count of the result of the errand to the Bay, but the Rev. Moses 
Fisk, son of a minister of the church at Chelmsford, was gotten 
there, probably by Capt. Cook, who served the people three 
years, and then left them. They then tried to get the Rev. Mr. 
Adams of Dedham, and " finding y' said Mr. Adams not as yet 
movable from y* collidge," Mr. Taylor says : 

"Their messenger was advised to myself (y* meanest of those 
that labour in Christ's vineyard) who upon advice did adventure 
to go with him home, and upon y'^ Lord's day following, being 
y'' 3d of y^ 10'" A.n° D"" 1672, preached my first sermon amongst 
them from Matt. 3 : 2, — ' Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven 
is at hand.' " 

He did not determine for some time to stay ; but, there being a 
prospect of organizing a church, he began to incline to settle 
with the people, and after serving them two years, he says : 
" We set up conference meetings at w*^'' 1 went over all the 
Heads of Divinity unto y*" means of y*" application of Redemption 
before we did enter the church state." Their plans were delayed 
by the desolations and distractions of King Philip's war, which 
nearly destro3'ed the settlements at this end of the province. 
Two houses and barns were burned here, and several men were 
killed. The terror of the inhabitants was so great that several 
moved away, among them four of the nine church members of 
the place ; and the record says pathetically : "A sore tempta- 


tion was thrust in upon ns by the Adversary that seemed to 
threaten the overtlu-ou- of all proceedings unto a chh state by 
those by whom tliat interest was before most apparently de- 
volved." But in the spring of 1679 they decided to call a coun- 
cil, to convene in August.* Five years before this, in 1674, Air. 
Taylor married Elizabeth Fitch, daughter of the first clergyman 
of Norwich, Ct., a ''highly educated & accomplished lady." 
One of his letters preliminary to that event, copied from the 
original among the archives of the Connecticut Historical Soci- 
ety, may be found in the appendix of the Town Bi-Centennial 
volume.t The provision for his support, even before his formal 
settlement, seems to have been generous. He received from £60 
to £80 in those early years, besides large tracts of land. In ad- 
dition to which the town voted in 1G78 : 

" That Lieut. Mosely & Isaac Phelps they are to take care 
about Mr. Taylor's hay & corn in ha}' time and harvest for the 
gathering of it in and the town are to spin Mrs. Taylor a day's 
work apiece in hay time & harvest & they are to have a day or 
two to said warning." 

The account of the Council is so quaintly and strikingly told 
that I shall quote Mr. Taylor's language quite extensively. F'ive 
churches were invited by letters missive. He proceeds : " These 
then being sent our work came on apace, for temptations having 
attended our work one time after time before, I for my part was 
unhearted until now to prepare, and therefore now I had both 
hands full & must go down into the bay before the time. 
Wherefore having often in private sought God together in order 
unto this matter now upon the 20"' day of August, that day 
fo'night unto the day of assemblage we set apart for a fast to be 
kept by our whole town in order to y*" great work of y* day of 
imbodying. on which day I preached from that 1 Kin. 8 : 57 — 
' y'' Lord our God be with us as he was with our fathers ; ' " — words 
I have myself chosen as not inappropriate for our consideration 
to-day. He showed from it that parents, when about to erect 
God's ordinances, ought to pray hard to God to be with them, 
and adds : " And as for the duty of prayer two of the brethren 
did help carry it on." In those early times it seems to have 

*See Appendix A. 
fSee Appendix C. 


been admissible for laymen to take part in the public service, at 
least on a Fast Day. 

Of the five churches invited to the Council, four were repre- 
sented. The church at Norwich did not respond ; that at Wind- 
sor sent delegates, its pastor being detained at home b}' a do- 
mestic emergency. The three ministers who came were Rev. 
Peletiah Glover of Springfield, or "Cousin Glover," as Mr. 
Taylor calls him ; with whom came also " y^ worshipful Maj. 
John Pynchon," Rev. John Russel of Hadley, and the Rev. Solo- 
mon Stoddard of Northampton, who afterward became a leader 
among the advocates of the " half-way covenant." The members 
of the Council arrived on the evening preceding the day ap- 
pointed, and began at once to examine into the aflfairs engaging 
them, and were greatly disturbed by discovering two serious ob- 
stacles in the way of accomplishing what the brethren desired. 
One was that Mr. Taylor, upon whom, as the candidate, de- 
volved the delivery of the ordination sermon, proposed to preach 
in the afternoon, instead of beginning the work of the day with it. 
The other and more serious one was, that the statement of doc- 
trine on which the church was to be recognized consisted onl}' of 
the Confession of Faith of the Westminster Assembly and the 
Cambridge Platform, which the Council deemed insufficient ; this, 
however, was also in some way removed. We can but note a 
contrast between the prudence of that time and the laxity of 
the present, when churches are admitted to Congregational fel- 
lowship simply offering the Bible to be interpreted by a majority 
vote of its members at any time. In his statement before the 
Council, Mr. Taylor reviewed the history of the enterprise, pre- 
sented letters of dismissal of those who were to be organized 
from their respective churches, and a formal commission to the 
christian people of Westfield in general, and seven men named 
in particular, to enter into a church state, signed by John 
Leverett, Governor, and six assistants.* 

I cannot forbear quoting at some length Mr. Taylor's account 
of the concluding transactions of that ancient Council : 

" After the confession of our faith was made we were called 
out to give some account of the workings of the Spirit upon our 
hearts that might be as a foundation for the charity of God's 

♦See AppencUx B. 


people to act upon in order to y" approval of us in their souls as 
suitable matter for such a structure in hand. An account of 
which, so far as time would admit, was then personally given in 
these relations (here abbreviated) following, y'^ which had at 
least some been read (and doubtless it would have been to more 
edification) had not y'' elders and messengers of Northampton 
and Hadley drove on to y* contrary." 

Then follow his and the Relations of the other six, written out 
at great length, being extravagant delineations of their conver- 
sion and subsequent experience. The sermon he delivered is 
copied out in full, making twelve pages folio of microscopic 
writing, which must have required at least three hours to preach 
it. This was before the days of sermonettes fifteen minutes long, 
which make some men popular. The sermon being ended, 
"y^ Moderator stood up & gave a brief account of what was 
done and propounded y* brethren to y^ Elders and Messengers 
for their approbation unto their proceeding if they desired 
further satisfaction in y® matter or judged anything yet further to 
be attended to in this case before the covenant was entered into, 
they were desired to manifest the same ; if otherwise let tlieir 
silence manifest it. Whereupon nothing appearing y® Moderator 
called us forth to enter covenant, which being done in y® words 
of y® covenant by and by recited he pronounced us a church of 
Christ orderl}' gathered according to y" rules of Christ in y"' gos- 
pell." Mr. Stoddard gave the right hand of fellowship to the 
church. " This being done the Moderator demanded of y* church 
whom they chose their officer and into what office. Whereupon 
y* brethren of the church laid my unworthy self under a call unto 
y® office of Pastor unto them." Rev. Messrs. Russel, Glover and 
Stoddard, with Samuel Loomis, one of the brethren of the church, 
laid on hands. " Mr. Russel prayed before ordination, Mr. 
Glover ordained, and Mr. Stoddard ended the work with [)rayer." 

The church covenant into which the original seven members en- \ 
tered, is long, explicit, and solemn, and in the old church record (^ 
book is signed in large letters by Edward Taylor, John Maudesly,^ 
Samuel Loomis, Josiah Dewy, John Root, Isaac Phelps, and 
John Ingerson (now Ingersoll). The common number of seven 
foundation-men was soon increased by one, as we learn from the 
following explanation : 

" Brother Th Gun being nominated for a foundation man de- 


sired to be omitted and was admitted y^ 21 y* 7 ra without Rela- 
tion, in that he was so much decayed by age that it would be a 
bard thing to gather it, and he was a man of approved piety and 
was recommended to us by Windsor church." 

The method of receiving subsequent members was to consider 
them in conference meeting, then propound them "in y** Assem- 
bly that if any can give in any just ground against their Behaviour 
they have liberty." They were then voted on at a meeting prepar- 
atory to the Lord's Supper. After giving " an account of some 
of those experiences of God's work upon their hearts, y* w^ if 
they thro fearful ness and bashfulness do desire y* same may be 
read, y* chh complying to their desires therein the same as also 
it is on y® admitting of Women." After an afHrmative vote the 
following covenant was read : 

" We here in obedience unto Almighty God, in Christ receiving 
members into full communion in this chh of Christ amongst us 
and admitting you unto all Gospell privileges therein, according 
unto y'^ several capacities thereunto, Do promise solemnly in 
y'' presence of God to perform unto you. as unto ourselves all those 
mutuall Duties of helpfulness unto w'^'' we have mutuall}' obliged 
ourselves, and do pronounce you Members of this chh of Christ 
orderly admitted." 

The infant chui*ch thus constituted had no other officer than 
the pastor for many years. The account says: "No ruling 
elder nor Deacon was elected, only Brother Loomis was de- 
sired to look after the preparing wine and bread and to furnish 
y® Lord's table." He was afterward elected Deacon, but hesitat- 
ing about accepting the office and waiting for the election of a 
colleague, he died without being ordained. It was not until 1692 
that Josiah Dewey and Nathanael Weller were ordained the first 
of a long line of holy men who have served in that capacity ; so 
that the church was for thirteen years in that anomalous condi- 
tion, having no officer but the pastor. 

Where the people met for service during the early years is mat- 
ter of conjecture, as no record that I can find refers to it. The 
exact time of the erection of the first meeting-house is also un- 
certain, the votes respecting it not being dated in the town 
records ; but it was probably about the time of organization. 
The first vote is as follows : 


" That the town will go on with building a meeting house with 
all convenient speed as naay be, the dimentions are as follows : 
About 36 feet square and for form like Hatfield meeting house, 
as the comitey chosen shall advise and agree." 

The next, and only other recorded vote respecting it, is strange- 
ly muddled, but indicates that there had been some difficulty re- 
garding the site, and that " after debating in the town, came to 
vote of the town to lott that the friend one of God should deter- 
mine it, and after solemn looking of God the lots were drawn 
the lot came forth for the place before goodman Phelps or Good- 
man Gunns if Mr. Taylor se cause." The town voted to build 
" gallereys on each side of y* meeting house" Ma}' 10th, 1703, indi- 
cating that the congregation was too large for the building. In 
those primitive times strict order was enforced by duly consti- 
tuted authority, as is indicated by a town vote in 1689 : 

"■' Walter Lee, Samuel Fowler and the Sergeant of the guard 
are appointed to take care of children on the Sabbath to see that 
they atend and keep their places both before and in the time of 

As the town increased in population the church building, even 
with the " gallereys," became too small to accommodate the wor- 
shipers, and in 1717 the first recorded action was taken respect- 
ing a new house of- worship. Twice during the next year the 
subject came up again before the town for consideration, and No- 
vember 17, 1719, " the town took into consideration the neces- 
sity that we are in to put ourselves into some way to find out a 
place to set and to build a new meeting house." In order to se- 
cure a peaceable settlement of difficulties about the site, they de- 
cided to leave the matter to arbitration, and a committee from 
Springfield was invited to decide it, consisting of Dea. John 
Munn, Lieut. John Merick and Benjamin Lennard, who soon 
afterward presented a characteristic report: ''Gentlemen — 
seeing God in his providence hath called us according to your 
desire" (an instance of vox populi, vox (lei,) " to consider your 
surcomstances and where may be y^ convenientest place for you 
to set your meeting house our result is on the northwest corner 
of Cap'n Maudesleys lot by the meadow gate." There being dis- 
satisfaction, however, with this decision, it was voted to leave 
the matter with Cap'n Samuel Partridge, and abide by the result 


he should re.ach. His report must have been formal and explicit 
enough to satisfy the most exacting : 

" Whereas th'e town of Westfield at a legal town meeting on 
y* 21 day of this instant December 1719 past an act in said 
meeting they being at a difficulty in concluding the place to set 
their new meeting house at and voated to leave the full desition 
of that matter unto me undersigned upon which 1 together with 
Cap'n John Ashley and Lieutenant Abijah Dewe^' went up to 
y^ place of the cyder press their standing which I judged too fur 
toward the West end of y" town for conveniency of the peoples 
meeting at y^ present allso I vewed y® norwest corner of Deacon 
Root deseased his lot I judged that place too near y® dwelling 
houses against and as to Mr Gunns paster and y*^ lot where old 
John Sacket lived too much to the South end of the town and 
y" old meeting house much more I allso vewed Cap'n Maudesleys 
paster on y*^ south side of the way and that I judge will be too 
near Cap'n Roots barn therefore having maturely vewed the 
knowl on Cap'n Maudesleys lot on the north side of y® way 
behind his housing I hereby determine to bee the place for erect- 
ing and setting up the new meeting house this I deliver as ray 
positive opinion upon the premises. Samuell Partridge." 

The form of the new building is somewhat more fully sug- 
gested than that of the old one. It was to be built " barn fation 
with a bell coney upon the middle of it fifty two foots in length 
and forty one foots in breadth."* It was probabl}^ remembered 
by many aged people who have gone to rest within a few years, 
as it stood until the early part of this century. Mr. Frederick 
Fowler, now living, remembers it and the fire that destroyed it. 
The bell, which was afterward procured, is said to have hung at 
the centre of the roof, and to have been rung by one standing in 
the middle of the ground floor. It was purchased in 1728 of 
Jacob W^indel, in Boston, for one hundred acres of land in the 
south part of the town. Before it was procured the people were 
called together by a more primitive method, as is indicated by 
the following statement : 

" The selectmen have agreed with Natli. Ponder to sweep the 
meeting house the year ensuing and have promised him thirty 
five shillings for said service, and with John Negro to beat 
y*^ drum on the Sabbath days and others as ocation may serve, 
and have promised him twenty three shillings for said service, 

*See Appendix D. 


and the first drum is to be beat against the Widow Moseleys 
bouse in good weather." 

It is uncertain whether or not we are to infer from the last 
clause that they w^ere habitually " fair weather christians." The 
building was paid for by the town, and a committee was ap- 
pointed to assign sittings according to their dignity, those near 
the pulpit being considered most honorable, a custom that pre- 
vailed as long as the building stood. 

The arrangement for Mr. Taylor's support was always liberal. 
His salary was at first £50, raised in 1678 to £70, and in 1686 to 
£80 ; in addition to which he had a generous allowance of land 
both in, and outside of, the settlement. The people seem also 
to have been considerate of his wants in man}" waj's. In 1692, 
whether from bad crops or some other cause, the people seem to 
have felt poorer than usual, for they voted him £80, with the 
desire that he would abate £10 thereof. The estimation in which 
he was held is indicated in various ways. He was consulted in 
all matters relating to the temporal and spiritual interests of the 
church ; as, for instance, it was voted to consult with him and 
see whether he were willing that some timber from the old meet- 
ing-house should be used in the new one. 

Early in 1722 he began to show signs of advancing age, being 
then eighty-one years old ; and Deacon Noble* and Capt. Ashley 
were appointed " to go and discourse with" liim concerning the 
selection of a colleague. " At the same meeting Dea. Th. Noble 
was chosen as a messenger to go in the towns behalf to give Mr. 
Brown" (of New Haven) ''a call, and also voated to give Th. 
Ashley five or six shillings to encourage him to go and accom- 
pany Deacon Noble in his journey." Mr. Brown did not come, 
and the following year Mr. Isaac Stiles, who had been teaching 
here, received and declined a call. He was Mr. Taylor's son-in- 
law, and his son afterward became President of Yale College. 

This must have been a rather trying time for the people in 
church affairs ; — their minister failing in health, their efforts to 
secure an assistant proving unsuccessful, and their new house of 
worship being uncompleted. They tried for several months to 
make an arrangement with Mr. Bull, who was teaching here, 
and " Nehemiah Loomis, John Root and Jonathan Ashley were 

*See Appendix I. 


chosen to go and stir up the meeting house comitey to see that 
the meeting house be finished speedily." The next year, 1726, 
a house and lot were provided for tlie new minister, and " it was 
voted that the town will give Mr. Bull £50 for a year ensuing 
for preaching one half day each Sabbath, and to rise proportion- 
ally according to his preaching;" a vote, as has been said, of 
rather doubtful construction. Finally, in May, 1726, a commit- 
tee was appointed to see whether Mr. Taylor " would lay down 
preaching." In September following, a committee was ap- 
pointed to arrange for Mr. Bull's ordination at the town's charge. 
I cannot ascertain whether the venerable pastor continued to 
preach occasionally afterward, but it is probable that he did ; for 
the people, among whom he had labored for more than half a 
century, would have been glad to see him in his accustomed 
place and hear his familiar voice. He never fully recovered 
from a severe fit of sickness that prostrated him a few years 
before his death, which occurred June 24th, 1729, in his eighty- 
seventh year, after he had served this church, before and after 
its organization, nearly fifty-seven years. His is an enviable 
record, and he has transmitted to a large number of descendants, 
some of whom still hold land here that he owned, his unimpeach- 
able character. There is said to have never been a scoundrel 
among them. Three of his daughters married ministers. Anna 
was the wife of the Rev, Benjamin Lord, D. D., of Norwich, Ct. ; 
Naomi, of the Rev. Ebenezer Devotion of Suffield, Ct. ; and 
Keziah, of the Rev. Isaac Stiles of North Haven, Ct. He was 
buried in the old cemetery, where his tombstone may still be 
seen, bearing the following quaint but expressive epitaph : 

" Here rests the body of y* Rev'd Mr Edward Taylor y® aged, 
Venerable, Learned & Pious Pastor of y" church of Christ in this 
town, who after he had served God & his generation faithfully 
for many years fell asleep June 24 1729 in y*" 87 year of his 


The events of this first pastorate have been thus explicitly 
detailed because it is in many respects the most remarkable of 
the church's history. They were days of anxiety and hardship, 
but also of labors cheerfully undertaken and sacrifices patiently 
endured. The foundations were then beina; laid for a structure 

*See Appendix C. 


that has honored the Divine Architect and its human builders. 
Had those earl}^ settlers proved indifferent to the interests of 
Christ's kingdom, while seeking to build homes and establish a 
town, subsequent generations would not have had the reason 
they now have to rise up and call them blessed, and we would 
not have had such a record of successful work for God as we now 

As has been intimated alread}', efforts were made several 3'ears 
before Mr. Taylor's death to secure a colleague. In the hitter 
part of 1724 the church sent to Mr. Nehemiah Bull, who had 
been teaching on Long Island, to serve them in that capacity. 
According to his own record in the church book, he first preached 
here on the 17th of January, 1725, from the text — I. Corintli- 
ians, viii., 4 — " For there is none other God but one." For a 
year and a half he assisted Mr. Taylor and taught school. Ne- 
gotiations with him having been finally concluded, he was or- 
dained October 26th, 1726, one hundred and fifty-three years 
ago this month. Six churches were invited to take part in the 
Council, the three in Springfield, and those from Hatfield, 
Enfield, and Suffleld, respectively. 

Mr. Bull has left a detailed account of the exercises. All the 
ministers and delegates came on the evening preceding tiie day 
appointed, as was customary in those times of primitive methods 
of traveling, except Mr. Devotion of Suffleld : 

" And being gathered together it was thought by them a good 
thing to do what business they could that night y' they might 
not be hindered next day and thereupon they thought convenient 
to examine into what opposition there was (for there had been 
as the ordination drew on a great stir) therefore they sent for 
the principal man who was so confident y' he could liavc a great 
party on his side if there was a Town-meeting if the elders de- 
sired there might be a Town-meeting next morning And the 
Town were asked if they desired y' Mr Bull should be ordained 
or that the ordination should go on that day to vote for it and 
the vote was so clear y' y^ Rev. Elders judged y' the barr was 
clearly taken out of the way, wherefore they proceeded to sol- 
emnize that affair and those that managed the work were the 
Rev. Mr. Taylor &c in this order viz. The Rev. Mr. D. Brewer 
began the solemnities with prayer, the Rev. Mr. W. Williams 
preacht and then they proceeded to set me apart by laying on 
of hands the Rev. Mr. E. Taylor, Mr. T. Woodbridge^ and Mr. 
W. Williams laying on hands and then the Rev. Mr. T. Wood- 


bridge made the first prayer and gave charge & then the Rev. 
Mr. W. Williams made the last prayer and then the Rev. Mr. E. 
Devotion did that which stood in the room of the right hand of 
fellowship and they were done. I was directed to name a Psalm 
to be snng after w'' I was (according to the custom in these 
parts) directed to bless the congregation in the Father Son and 
Holy Ghost and so the solemnities were finished." 

Soon after this event, and before the death of Mr. Taylor, ev- 
idence is given in the church record that the beginnings of that 
movement which resulted in what has been known as the Half- 
Way Covenant, and so seriously disturbed the churches of New 
England, were felt here ; and Mr. Bull had become securely 
enough established to take the lead in presenting to the church 
the following questions : 

" 1 . Whether such persons as come to enter into full com- 
munion may not be left at their liberty as to the giving the chh. 
an account of the work of saving conversion i. e., whether Rela- 
tions shall not be looked upon as a matter of indifferency, and 
the chh desired some time of consideration, so the matter was 
deferred till the next Lord's Day, when it was voted in the affirm- 
ative. 2. Whether a confession of faith drawn up in shorter and 
more general terms should be used instead of the Assembly's 
Catechism. 3. Whether all Baptized Persons who were come to 
years of understanding and were capable of discipline belonging 
to this congregation should be lookt upon subjects of discipline, 
and voted in the affirmative. 4. Whether 5 men should not be 
chosen by the chh to meet and consult with me about the issuing 
cases of difficulty upon immergent occasions, this voted in the 

Thus, in 1728, we have the first mention of what corresponds 
with our church committee. Fifty years later, more definite action 
was taken to secure greater efl^icienc}' of discipline. The new 
confession of faith that was adopted was explicit enough as a 
matter of intellectual belief, but contains no reference to personal 
regeneration ; and while much longer than it, is in this respect 
far more objectionable than the Half- Way Covenant of the First 
Church of Springfield.* 

During the pastorate of Mr. Bull, some of his flock became 
hostile to him, and carried their opposition far enough to threaten 
a serious breach in the church. The town passed a mild vote to 
the effect that there was cause of grievance against him ; but 

*See Appendix F. 

bi-ce:n-te]s-nial seemott. 21 

what it was, is stated neither there nor in the clmrch recoi d. Tlie 
latter gives an extended account of the Avise and christian way 
in which the ditliculty was finally settled. He met the people in 
a church meeting, that continued two afternoons and nearly a 
whole night ; and, after friendly conference, they arrived at " an 
accommodation," and voted that all complaints against him 
should be dismissed. This was not entirely satisfactory to the 
disaffected ones, who shortly afterward raised a tumult and ab- 
sented themselves from the sacrament. Having again called the 
church together, he gave a quotation from " Hooker on Church 
Discipline," to the effect that " men may complain of y' Elders if 
y^ consider 'mselves wrong*^, but (says he) if y® complaint prove 
unjust and unreasonable be it at y'' peril of him that complains, 
for he is to be censur*^ sharplj' & severely." Mr. Bull then 
added a fearful scriptural example : " We all know how dread- 
fully God testified his anger against Corah Dathan & Abiram 
for complaining & murmuring against Moses and Aaron & 
raising a tumult against them without any sufl^cient cause, & 
there is great Reason why a due testimony sho'^ be born all 
groundless Assaults made against y® ministers of Christ, be- 
cause such things tend to wound and destroy their good names, 
&c." He was, perhaps, somewhat improvident ; for the town 
record shows that, though his salary was steadily increased, 3'et 
he fell into financial embarrassments, as indicated by the fol- 
lowing action : " November, 1735, £150 voted for salary ; Febru- 
ary 5, 1736, £125 voted to pay his debts." In 1738 and the year 
following, his salary was £240. His pastoi'ate was cut short by 
death, April 14th, 1740, in the thirty-ninth year of his age, and 
the fourteenth year of his ministry. His family afterward moved 
to SheflSeld, where his oldest son became a respected ph3'sician.* 
Mr. David Parsons preached a short time as supply ; and in 
August, 1740, four months after Mr. Bull's death, the Rev. John 
Ballantine was called to fill his place. The provision for his sup- 
port is shown by the record. The house of the former pastor 
was to be bought for £700, of which a £500 interest was to be 
oflfered Mr. Ballantine to encourage him to settle. 

" Also voted to give Mr. John Ballantine £200 in bills of 
credit of the old tenor or £200 in silver money at 28s and 

*See Appendix E. 


4d per ounce as the bills now go and his firewood for his 
sallary from year to year annually as long as the said Mr. Bal- 
lantine carries on the work of the ministr}- with us." 

This is the first time a particular sum was agreed upon for 
more than one year. Mr. Ballautine was a native of Boston, and 
descended from Scotch ancestors. He was graduated in 1735 at 
Harvard. The vote to call him to this church was passed unani- 
mously, after a season of " solemn fasting & prayer," and his 
letter of acceptance shows that he took a spiritual view of the 
work before him, and was deeply impressed by its responsibilities. 
The Committee selected to sign the letters missive, inviting 
neighboring churches to the Council that should ordain him, con- 
sisted of Deacon John Shepard, Capt. John Gunne and Thomas 
Ingersole, Esq., and each letter contained the following request : 
" You are desired to meet at the house of Lieut. Ashley, at nine 
of the clock in the morning." The Council was called for the 
17th day of June, 1741 ; and before that time, answers having 
been received from two churches in Boston, declining their invi- 
tations, four churches in addition to those originally agreed upon 
were invited. This irregular proceeding, together with a dif- 
ficulty in regard to the First Church of Springfield, came very 
near preventing the Council from performing its work. Mr. 
Breck, the fourth pastor at Springfield, had been ordained a few 
years before in the face of opposition, on account of grave sus- 
picions cherished by some of the brethren that he was not strictly 
orthodox, and some of the ministry would not consent to sit in 
council with him and his church. The Council finally consisted 
of only three churches, Sunderland, Brimfield, and Springfield 
First. Mr. Breck made the opening prayer ; Mr. Rand preached 
and gave the charge ; Mr. Bridgham prayed and gave the right 
hand of fellowship ; they sang the one hundredth Psalm, and 
were dismissed with a blessing. 

The year of his ordination seems to have been a very pros- 
perous one for the church, sixty-nine members having been re- 
ceived on confession of faith ; a number unequaled in any previous 
year, and in any succeeding one until 1819, when one hundred 
and twenty-seven were received. The other years in our church 
history made memorable on account of large accessions, are 1842 
and 1843, when one hundred and fifteen were added, and 1850, 
when the additions numbered sixty. 


Mr. Ballantine seems to have been a man well suited to his 
place as pastor in a small town, keeping track of all matters of 
interest to the people, and exercising a kind of fatherly super- 
vision over their affairs. For many years he kept a journal, in 
which were noted the results of his observation of current events 
relating to himself, his family, the church, the town, and the 
nation. The original manuscripts were fortunately discovered, 
after moulding in some obscure corner for more than half a 
century, and are now preserved, with other old documents of 
local interest, in that useful and beneficent local institution, the 
Atheneum. Extracts from them were published in successive 
numbers of the " Westfield Journal," in 1834, which show not 
only much of the man's character, but also give an interesting 
view of town life in those remote days. They are well worthy of 
perusal by any who have a taste for local antiquities. Aa they 
fuvnish about the onh' material from which to gain an idea of his 
life and ministry, I shall make such selections from them as seem 
most interesting on various subjects.* 

During his ministry the church suffered much annoyance and 
perplexity by the action of the Separatists, who were a small 
body that withdrew from the services on account of grievances 
occasioned by the " half-way covenant." Some of them seem to 
have been sincere reformers, who were outraged by the reception 
of persons who did not give satisfactory evidence of regenera- 
tion, by the authority granted to the regular ministry, and by the 
method of taxing all citizens for the support of the church, 
whether or not they attended its services. About this nucleus 
of sincere and evangelical pi'otesters against abuses, there gatii- 
ered many others, tinctured with all sorts of wild notions, hold- 
ing divers absurd religious views. Mr. Ballantine was firmly 
convinced of the error of their ways ; for, though the church char- 
itably decided to consider such of their number as joined them 
simply no longer members of the church, instead of formally and 
publicly excommunicating them, yet he considered it wrong for 
the faithful ones who remained to run after them, as shown by 
the following entry : 

" MsLj 2""*, 1775. A query was proposed by a member of the 
church to day occasioned by one of our members attending the 

*See Appendix G. 


separate meeting last Sabbath, whether it was not disorderly to 
attend a meeting of Separates. It was observed that we are to 
mark those that cause divisions and avoid them and that since 
the church had withdrawn communion from the preacher it 
seemed absurd to receive one as a teacher whom we cannot fel- 
lowship as a brother," 

Yet he was extremely liberal toward all whom he considered 
true christians. Having attended a meeting at Agawam, where 
" the pedobaptists & auti-pedobaptists brought forward terms of 
coalescence previously prepared," he says : 

" It was a rare instance of Catholicism. I was well pleased 
with it. It appears to me quite reasonable that we should hold 
communion with those with whom we hope to live in heaven 
though they differ with us in some non-essentials, as the subjects 
& mode of baptism. All true christians are members of Christ ; 
if one of the members of our body should be imagined by us to 
be out of order, or should be really so, should we neglect it, or 
cast it away? should we not try to recover it? or if we had no 
hopes of that we should make ourselves easy with it. So should 
christians deal with each other. It is arrogance in any man to 
set himself up as the standard & condemn or approve others ac- 
cording as they appear when measured by this standard. I dis- 
claim infallibility in myself, and will not allow it in others." 

He was either in advance of his church at this time in liberal- 
ity, or else thej backslid from the high ground then occupied ; 
tor, in 1788, twenty-seven years later, they refused to grant the 
request of Anna Phelps for a letter to the Baptist Church. 

The plainness of his preaching, and his patience under injuries, 
are illustrated by the following entries : "I was insulted to-day 
b}^ a principal man in town for a plain sermon delivered last 
Sabbath against idleness. May none of these things move me ; 
may I not be left to render reviling for reviling ; " — with more in 
the same strain. 

''May 20"^, 1762. Married David Mosely. I asked none of 
the guests though the wedding was at m}^ house. I preferred not 
to do much. Esq. Mosely made a supper and judged it better to 
invite the guests himself. May 24. Some pretend that we not 
only did not invite them but hindered their being invited to the 
wedding. What need of prudence has a minister ! It is a most 
seasonable caution, ' Be ye wise as serpents & harmless as 
doves.' " 



His heart Avas pained by the decline of religion in his day, 
though we are apt to think the old times were so niucli better 
than the new. When English recruits started to attack the 
French in Canada, he says: "May 16, 1759. The men who 
were enlisted marched to-day. There used to be a sermon or 
prayers with them, but nothing of the nature now ; as if they iiad 
come to the conclusion that it is vain to seek God." His anxiety 
must have diminished soon afterward, for, on the 28th of the 
next month, he notes: " Fast thror.ghout the Province to seek 
God's blessing on the expedition against Canada." And the 
public spirit of the day was sufficiently virtuous to uphold con- 
viction and punishment for profanity; for, in 17G0 : "James 
Wilson sentenced to sit in the stocks for profane swearing paid 
his fine." He did not hesitate to reprove popular sins, though 
lightly considered by offenders : "In consequence of finding in 
the contribution box the other day a pewter dollar and some 
other iDCwter coins I preached from Acts 5: 1-11," — which is 
the account of Ananias and Sapphira. 

Some of his comments are exceedingly pithy and bright, as 
note Die following: " Aug. 17, 1762. Many law suits, the con- 
sequence of extravagance, imprudence, idleness, fraud & covet- 
ousness." " June 31, 1766. Attended the funeral of Deliverance 
Hanchett, aged 72. She was never married, maintained by the 
town, unhappy in her temper, provoking in her language, lived 
undesired, & died unlamented." This is perhaps more truthful 
than many epitaphs of the time ; though " the truth is not always 
to be spoken." 

Mr. Ballantine must have been able to perforin an immense 
amount of work ; for, on a day when detained from church by 
sickness, he says : " Have not been kept away but one day and 
a half for twenty years." The Rev. Mr. Atwater, his successor, 
had an experience almost as remarkable in this respect. In 
twenty years he was prevented from preaching one Sunday on 
account of illness, and tvvo Sundays because of lameness. It 
was not then, as now, necessary for ministers to spend three 
months of the year in Europe to recuperate their wasted energies. 
During the latter part of Mr. Ballantine's term of service, a 
long-continued case of discipline perplexed the church. It was 
finally suggested to call a mutual council, but each i):uty w.-mted 
the other to bear its expense. Neither yielding, it was proposed 


that, if the offending brother should be adjudged guilty by the 
council, he should pay the cost; but, if he should be acquitted, 
the church sbould pay it. The matter was finally compromised 
by each agreeing to pay one-half. Seven churches met, and 
spent three days trying to effect harmony ; but their work was 
done in vain, since he was afterward debarred from the Lord's 

Mr. Ballantine died February 12th, 1776, aged sixty, after 
having served the church faithfully for thirty-five years. In the 
" Hampden Pulpit," compiled by the Rev. Dr. Davis, it is stated 
that three of his sons received a collegiate education ; that one 
of them, Ebenezer, became a ph^^sician, and was the father of 
Rev. Henry Ballantine, missionary to India, and Rev. Elisha, 
Professor in Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, and after- 
wards pastor of a church in the city of Washington.* The Rev. 
John Ashley was called after Mr. Ballantine's death, but was not 

The Rev. Noah Atwater was called from the position of Tutor 
in Yale College, (which he had held three years,) after preach- 
ing here as a supply ; and, after some hesitancy, accepted, and 
was ordained November 21st, 1781. He was a student of more 
than ordinary ability, as is evidenced by the fact that he was 
graduated from Yale College with the first honors of his class of 
1774. After a pastorate of twenty years, he died quite sud- 
denly, his twentieth anniversary sermon having been the last he 
ever preached. It was published at the town expense, together 
with his funeral sermon delivered by Dr. Lathrop, who was 
pastor of the church at West Springfield sixty-five years. A 
copy (probabl}' the only one now in existence) of the two sermons 
has been kindly loaned me for perusal by his grandson, Mr. 
William L. Atwater, of New York. Dr. Lathrop gives quite an 
extensive sketch of him. He says : 

"He was blessed with superior aljilities, a clear understand- 
ing, a capacious mind, and a solid judgement. He loved good 
men whatever name they might bear. He was a wise and 
pacific counsellor in the churches and studied the things which 
made for peace among his own people. He was remarkabl}^ 
tender of character, inclined to speak well of all when he could, 
and cautious not to speak evil of any but when he ought. His 

*See Appendix G. 


discourses were replete with sentiment, composed with perspicu- 
ity & adapted to the promotion of godliness. His prayers 
were solemn and devout, and his delivery was grave and com- 
manding. Whatever he spoke appeared to come from a feeling 
heart and it reached the heart which could feel. He had many 
friends & I believe no enemies. If he had enemies, either they 
did not know him or did not love good men. There were none 
whom he treated as enemies or seemed to suspect as such. In 
a woi'd his ministerial life was a useful pattern to his brethren, 
and his christian life was an instructive copy to his people." 

He was interested in practical science, kept a rain gauge and 
thermometer, and received a premium for an essay on the canker- 

Did time permit, I would be glad to give a synopsis of, and 
extracts from, his last sermon already referred to. The title 
page, as published, reads as follows : " A sermon on the preser- 
vation and changes of human life, by Rev. Noah Atwater A. M., 
late Pastor of the church at Westfield, delivered to his people on 
the 22°"^ of November 1801 at the close of the 20"^ year of his 
ministry and under a distressing and threatening disorder of 
body, which soon after terminated his life." The text is Acts 
xxvi., 22 : — " Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue 
unto this day." The same words from which Dr. Davis preached 
on the last Sunday of his life. He states that there were then in 
the town two thousand one hundred and eighty-five souls, and 
continues : " When I was ordained the number of communicants 
was 135. Of these, two thirds are gone from us ; 70, more 
than one half, are dead, and 20 have removed to other places; 
but 45 remain." He received into the church one hundred and 
twenty-one members. During the first year of his ministry he 
visited every family in town, and during the twentieth he almost 
repeated the task. His advice to his oidy son, printed with the 
sermons, shows shrewd observation of men and things, great 
practical wisdom, sound sense, and ardent piety. In places it is 
not unworthy of Polonius, in the well-known parting advice to 
Laertes. I cannot forbear giving a few of its most striking 
injunctions : 

"Be above little things & despise them wherever they ap- 
pear. Be as frugal in your expenses as you can consistently 
with a decent reputation. Learn the art of being esteeme.l 
manly and generous by spending but a little. Always speak and 


walk and act naturally. Be always wise, kind, mild, and conde- 
scending ; and yet keep at a proper distance from all improper 

As a token of the estimation in which Mr, Atwater was held, 
we have the town's action, voting that his family should have 
free use of the parsonage and ministr}^ land for one year after 
his death, and that a printed copy of his last sermon should be 
given to each family in town. 

The first evidence of a movement to secure another meeting- 
house appears on the record of the town under date of April 6th, 
1801. when a committee of seventeen was chosen, one from each 
school district, to select a site for it. As on previous occasions, 
there was considerable controversy respecting it. Part of the 
people even thought it expedient to enlarge the building then 
occupied ; an idea that was earnestl}^ supported during the fol- 
lowing two years, till the edifice was burned to the ground, as has 
always been supposed, at the instigation of the opposing party ; 
but, though the town offered a reward of S300 for the conviction 
of the incendiary, he was never discovered. The crowded condi- 
tion of the old building is indicated by the fact that, while it 
contained thirty-three pews on the ground floor, most of which 
were six feet square, capable of seating fifteen persons each, or 
altogether four hundred and ninety-five, the last official seating 
provided for six hundred and fifty adults, many of whom were 
heads of families. The report of the seating committee of that 
year, the original of which is preserved at the Atheneum, con- 
cludes as follows : 

" Your Committee would farther observe, that they find it im- 
possible to accommodate the inhabitants with seats in the Pews 
of the House should they all attend meeting they would there- 
fore recommend that precedence or priority cannot, nor ought 
not to take place, by reason of any one being named or read off 
as first in any Pew, but that all have equal right to a seat in the 
i'ews to which they are assign'd indiscriminately, & that a Spirit 
of accommodation onl}^ can alleviate the embarrassment & be a 
substitute for our present cram'd situation & condition. 

William Shephard, per order." 

The new meeting-house was located, after considerable discus- 
sion, where the present building stands, on ground bought by the 
town for $236. Most of the pews were sold in advance, thereby 


realizing the sum of 86,019 as a building fund, with which, in con- 
sideration of a right to fifteen pews, the town agreed to finish it 
and keep it in repair. It was decided by town vote to have two 
flights of stairs leading up to the pulpit, and subsequently, that 
they should be winding, in case any one could be found who 
would pay the difl[erence in cost between that and the straight 
form. Some people afterward brought into town-meeting a 
grievance based on the needless sacrifice of space and obstruc- 
tion to view of the double flight. An ornamental pillar from the 
front of the old pulpit is on exhibition here to-day. The pew 
next the pulpit stairs was assigned to the use of the minister for- 
ever. The building was dedicated January 1st, 1806, the Rev. 
Mr. Knapp preaching the sermon ; and it was used nearly fifty- 
five years, then sold for $1000, and moved back, where it still 
stands, to make way for the present structure. During the time 
of its use one thousand one hundred and eighty-eight members 
were received into the church, while during the previous one 
hundred and twenty-seven 3'ears the number reached only nine 
hundred and fiftj'-seven. 

The first mention of special sacramental utensils for use of the 
church, is a statement in its record, that " about the year 1785, 
Mr. Joshua Green of Boston made a present to the church of a 
Bason to be used at Baptism and the church voted their thanks 
to him for his kindness." Mr. Atwater afterward left $20 by 
will to fui'nish the table, and the church voted to raise an equal 
sum by subscription ; but the Hon. Samuel Fowler rendered that 
eSbrt unnecessary b}" a gift, indicated in an accompanying note 
as follows : " I with pleasure herewith present to the churcli in 
this town two silver plated Flagons (the first cost in London 
being forty-five dollars) which I hope will be acceptable to the 
church." These were received with thanks, and his name was 
engraven on them, with the date of presentation. They are liere 
for inspection to-day. In 1824, the church received by will from 
the same generous donor, two more flagons and a baptismal 
basin, the former of which are still in use at communion seasons. 
After the erection of the marble font by an unknown friend some 
years ago, the basin was presented to IMymouth Congregational 
Church of Minneapolis, Minn. 

The Rev. Isaac Knapp was ordained to the ministry in this 
church November 16th, 18iJ3. He was a graduate of Williams 


College in the class of 1800, and served there two years as Tutor 
before settling here. He died in 1847, in the seventy-fourth 
year of his age, and the forty- fourth year of his pastorate. 
After 1835, because of failing health, he was able to preach but 
little, and was assisted by a colleague. 

Though distinctly remembered by many now living, little doc- 
umentary material available for a biographical sketch remains. 
Dr. Davis, in the " Hampden Pulpit," characterizes him as 
" a man of uncommon prudence, of great kindness of disposition, 
conservative, sound in faith, and who lived agreeable to his pro- 
fession." He was exceedingly affable, scrupulous for the finer 
points of etiquette, courtly in his manners. He is said to have 
bowed always three times on meeting an acquaintance. His pas- 
torate was marked by peace and harmony among his own people, 
and he was ever ready to afford wise counsel for the settlement 
of any disputes brought to him for arbitration. Mr. Bates, in 
the town bi-centennial address, says : " He knew the wants of 
his people ; he appreciated the interests of the community ; and 
few men were more ready to afford more valuable suggestions." 

During the latter years of Mr. Knapp's active service, two 
trifling innovations, one in the service of the church, the other re- 
lating to the comfort of the worshipers, disturbed some of the 
people. About 1820 small sums began to be paid for sacred 
music ; and in 1824 the town voted $75 for sacred music, "to be 
assessed on Mr. Knapp's salary." If this means, as it seems 
to, that it was to be deducted therefrom, it must have been an 
expensive luxury for him, however the people may have enjoyed 
it, since his salary was only a little above $400, although larger 
than when first settled. The people had become so accustomed 
to long pastorates that, when he came, they " voted to add £15 
to £100 voted as salary to Mr. Knapp, to commence five years 
from ordination." The other innovation was in heating the meet- 
ing-house. In December, 1823, the matter was brought up in 
town-meeting, when it was decided not to procure stoves and 
window-blinds, but a committee was appointed to ascertain the 
cost of the former. For four winters more the people shivered 
through the services ; but in December, 1827, it was voted, " that 
the selectmen procure at the expense of the Congregational 
Society of this town, two stoves together with the pipes not to 
exceed in amount $80." 


Here I would gladly conclude this discourse, and resume it at 
another time, iu order to have a better opportunity than is now 
attbrded to do justice to the life-work among you of the Rev. 
Emerson Davis, D. D. My only consolation is in the fact that 
the memories of so many of you are well stored with facts re- 
specting him, tenderly and gratefully cherished. No one can 
become thoroughly acquainted with the present life of this church 
and this town without recognizing the broad and deep results of 
his long and faithful ministry. His life here was the out- 
working of a principle which he selected as the subject of his 
valedictory oration on graduating from college : "To be useful, 
the duty and happiness of man." His was a useful life in the 
broadest sense, bringing to bear upon this community at so 
many points an elevating and impulsive force, which is still in 
operation. In the spheres of education, morals and religion, he 
was ever zealous and efficient ; and in each of them this town 
owes him a debt of gratitude, which demands that many genera- 
tions yet to appear should rise up aud call him blessed. 

It is a matter of profound satisfaction to all who knew him and 
have learned to honor him, that she, who was such a worthy help- 
meet for him, is with us to-day. 

Dr. Davis was born iu Ware, July 15th, 1798, and was gradu- 
ated from Williams College in 1S21. After having been Precep- 
tor of the Westfield Academy for fourteen years, he was ordained 
as colleague of the Rev, Mr. Knapp. His theological training 
was received under Dr. Griffin, President of Williams, with the 
interests of which institution he was closely identified, serving as 
Tutor one year, as Trustee thirty-three years, and as Vice-Presi- 
dent seven j^ears. 

His pastorate here was eminently successful in the best sense 
of the term. From its commencement, June 1st, 1836, to its close, 
the church had reason to thank God for it. During its earlier 
years it was marked by special religious interest ; for many years 
there were additions to the church at every communion season, 
and no year of the long period passed, that was not marked by 

The thirtieth anniversary of his settlement, on which he 
preached a sermon reviewing his ministry, was his last Sunday 
on earth. The following Friday, June 8th, 1866, sickness sud- 
suddenly attacked him at teachers' meeting, and he died within 


a short time. President Hopkins says of him in his funeral 
sermon : 

" His qualities of mind were not brilliant ; but he was consci- 
entious, industrious, punctual, judicious, kind, faithful ; and 
through these qualities, he gradually won the confidence and 
affections of the whole community, as well as the devoted love 
and reverence of his people. * * * He came up in his in- 
fluence imperceptibly, as one of your grand elms. No man per- 
ceived the moment of its increase ; but at length it stood with its 
top in the heavens, and with its branches wide spread for beauty 
and for shade." 

The only colony formally organized from this church is that 
which was started in 1856. A. little band of sixty-three persons 
left their old home, bearing a parent's blessing, and were organ- 
ized into a church by a council that convened May 22d of that 
year. They soon afterward erected the commodious and hand- 
some building in which they still worship, at a cost of about 
$25,000 ; to which a convenient chapel has since been added. 
The child has grown to vigorous and stalwart maturity, and now 
stands and works side by side with the parent. Organized in a 
true missionary spirit to meet the growing needs of the town, the 
Second Church has always lived on terms of the utmost harmony 
with those in the old household ; the utmost kindness and affec- 
tion mark all their relations with each other, and the}' cordially 
unite to carry on the common work of the Lord, After having 
been served one year by the Rev. Francis Homes, the church 
settled the Rev. J. S. Bingham as its first pastor in 1857, who 
was followed, after six 3'ears of labor, by the Rev. George 
Bowler. He was succeeded in June, 1866, by the Rev. Henry 
Hopkins, whose able and faithful service has been rendered ever 
since with a tenderness and kindness of heart that have won for 
him affectionate and grateful friends throughout the community. 
It is hoped that he will so far imbibe the spirit of the old church 
as to follow the example of her long line of ministers who con- 
sidered their settlement a life tenure. 

The house of worship which the j^oung organization soon 
erected, incited the people of the old society to build this struct- 
ure, at an expense of about S25,000. It was dedicated in 1860, 
and, I understand, is practically free from indebtedness. 

The Rev. E. H. Richardson succeeded Dr. Davis in the pas- 


torate after a year had intervened, and was installed May 1st, 
1867, coming here from Providence, R, I. He accepted a call to 
Hartford, Ct., in 1872, and is now in New Bi-itain, of that state. 

He was followed by the Rev. A. J. Titsworth, called from the 
Seminary in 1873, who resigned in 1878, to accept the pastorate 
of the First Church at Chelsea. 

The departure of these two respected and beloved pastors, 
who had labored earnestly and efficiently, after five years of ser- 
vice, occasioned the people great grief and disappointment ; and 
the expressions of mutual regret and regard that were called forth 
by the separation, show that both they and the people suttered 
from it. 

It is a remarkable fact in these days of short pastorates and 
unsettled supplies, that the first six pastors of this church be- 
gan find ended their ministerial work here, and were laid to rest 
by their grateful and loving people. Their average term of ser- 
vice is thirty -two years. 

Your present pastor was called from Brooklyn, N. Y., and in- 
stalled May 14th of the current year, beginning the third century 
of the church's history as its ninth pastor. 

The church has been served by thirty deacons, among whom 
are four Deweys, three Fowlers, three Roots, two Ashleys, three 
Shepards, two Searles, and two Smiths. 

Gen. William Shepard, who has secured an honored place in 
history through his heroic services in the French and Indian and 
Revolutionary wars, a friend of Washington and Lafayette, after 
laying aside his sword, was chosen to the office in 1789, and 
served twenty-eight years, till his death in 1817, aged eighty. 
He was one of the most remarkable men ever connected with 
this church. A copy of the sermon preached at his funeral l)y 
Mr. Knapp, is carefully preserved by his great-granddaughter, 
one of our members, and an extended sketch of his character and 
career is given in the town bi-contennial address. 

The whole number of members who have been connected with 
this church from its foundation till now, if my count of their 
names on the church record be correct, is two thousand five hun- 
dred and seventy- six, received as follows: By Mr. Taylor, two 
hundred and thirty-one; by Mr. Bull, two hundred and twenty ; 
by Mr. Ballantine, four hundred and twenty-two ; by Mv. 
Atwater, one hundred and twenty-one ; by Mr. Knapp, six hun- 


dred and seventy ; by Dr. Davis, six hundred and fifty-one ; by 
Mr. Richardson, one hundred and thirty-nine ; by Mr. Titsworth, 
one hundred and eight ; by others, fourteen. They would malie 
a vast company could all be gathered together. 

The early history of the Sunday-school is not preserved in any 
existing records ; but at least two of the scholars first collected 
still live among us, Mrs. Samuel Horton and Mrs. Frederick 
Fowler. The latter remembers quite clearly her experience in 
that capacity, and has in possession an " Evangelical Primer," 
containing several catechisms, given her for good behavior, and 
a book of quaint hymns for children. Both these, with the Bible, 
were studied by the scholars. The school is supposed to have 
been organized in the spring of 1817, and met in the old Acad- 
emy Hall for several years. An invitation to act as teachers, 
addressed to Mr. Zabina Fowler, afterward a deacon, and ^liss 
Nancy, his sister, signed by six directors, is still preserved by 
one of our people. Mrs. Fowler remembers a visit to the school 
of Dr. Osgood, of Springfield, who spoke of the work of Robert 
Raikes in England. The superintendents, so far as I can learn, 
have consisted of the following brethren, in about the order in 
which they are here given : Deacons Stearns and Stowe, Mr. 
Chapman, Deacons Chadwick and Smith, Dr. Goodrich, Mr. 
Greenough, Rev. Mr. Titsworth, Mr. Todd, and Deacon Frank 
P. Searle, the present incumbent. 

It will doubtless be interesting to know what are the localities 
of historic interest to this church, and they should be kept clearly 
in memory. The first meeting-house stood a few rods northwest 
of the west end of the iron bridge that now crosses Little River, 
on land afterward used for the town pound, and now owned by 
Mr. William Todd. The second building stood on the corner of 
Main and Meadow streets, in what is now Mr. George H. Mosley's 
garden. The I'oad, now Meadow street, forked, and ran on the 
east and west side of it. The third house occupied the site of 
the building we are in, which is the fourth provided by the 
church. Mr. Taylor lived not far from his meeting-house, on a 
road running north, a short distance west of it, and died in his 
son's house, an old red one, that stood till a few years ago on 
the corner made by the road just mentioned and Main street. 
Mr. Bull and Mr. Ballantine lived on the south side of Main 
street, on land running west from the corner of what is now 



Cross street, on land since owned by the late Mr. Caleb Fowler, 
whose first wife was Mr. Ballantine's granddaughter. Mr. 
Atwater's house was just west of where the Atheneum now 
stands. Mr. Knapp's house, since moved to another site, stood 
just west of Mr. E. R. Van Deusen's house on Franklin street. 
Dr. Davis lived on Elm street, just north of Arnold, about where 
Loomis's hardware store now stands. The First and Second 
Churches each built a commodious and comfortable parsonage 
several years since. The first four pastors were buried in the old 
burying-ground, and Mr. Knapp and Dr. Davis in the Pine Hill 
cemetery. A tablet was placed in the church in memory of Mr. 
Taylor by Homer and Henry T. Morgan, of New York, two of 
his descendants, and one to the memory of Dr. Davis was placed 
here by his people. 

The support of the ministry of this church has been partly 
provided for by sundr}^ gifts to a ministerial fund, amounting 
now to about §6,500 in the hands of trustees.* It has been de- 
rived in part by sale of the ministry land, and in part by legacies ; 
the first of which, in the church books, is that of Samuel Root, 
probabl}- a son of the third deacon of the church. His will was 
drawn in 1711. 

Many other details of historic interest might be added to this 
sketch did time permit, but your patience was long since over- 

Two hundred years of the church's life are gone bej'ond our 
power to recall or influence them. The lessons learned by re- 
viewing them are to be applied to present duties, through whose 
performance the future may be affected. With devout gratitude 
for God's mercies, so bountifullj' vouchsafed during all these 
years, let us determine to be more faithful in requiting tliem ; and 
in glad recognition of the christian usefulness of generations that 
have been gathered to their fathers, let us follow in their steps, 
as they have followed Christ; ever lifting heavenward, from 
zealous hearts, loyal to Him and loyal to this our beloved church, 
the prayer suggesting that Fast Day sermon two hundred years 
ago : " The Lord be with us as He was with our Fathers." 

*See Appendix H. 



The copy of the letter missive, inviting the five churches of 
Norwich, Windsor,. Springfield, Northampton and Hadley to 
the council that organized the church here, is partly illegible, 
through the ravages of time. As an interesting historical docu- 
ment, it is herewith given as fully as possible : 

" Hon^'^ & Rev"*! S' : together with y« Much Respected chh of 
Christ at Norwich in which you serve. 

After y" manifold Temptations & experienced Difficulties of 
one nature & another that we y*' Professed servants of Christ in 
this place have met withall, & been delayed thereby, with respect 
unto y" Interest of Christ in a Gospell instituted Order : it hath 
graciously pleased y* Divine Omnipresent Preserver, y*" father of 
Spirits & y" God of all Mercy in Christ, so far to shine forth 
upon us, as to lead us by y'^ hand, so, through y*" same as to 
bring us to a conclusion among o' selves to fix upon y* last fourth 
day of y* sixth month next ensuing, for y* managem"' of that 
solemn & holy work of entrance into a city fframe, a chh Insti- 
tuted State. And thereupon in sense of our own Insuffisionsie for 
it, need of Advice, Directions & Assistance, as also y*" Right 
Hand of Fellowship in, & about y* same : as also considering 
y* Result of civill Authority in this matter, y' it behooveth us as 
o'' Master to fulfill all Righteousness : & also the custom of the 
chh of Christ (w'^ in all commendable things is greatly to be ad- 
hered unto) harmonizing herein, we have fixt on certain churches 
to request them to allow unto us their Aide, Help & tfellowship 
in this business * * * * also desire that you would accept 
of such a burden of Christ in y" Gospell put upon you by us in 
this desire, as y' you would send y' Rev"*^ Elders & Messengers 
to help & incourage us in this worke y' is to be carried on by us 
upon y^ day above mentioned. 

Thus earnestly desiring y'' Everlasting ffather, y" Prince of 
Peace & y* Eternall Spirit of love that sitts between y" Clioru- 
bims, yMs in y« midst of y'' Golden Candlesticks & y* speakes 
unto y^ churches, to prevent all impediments, obstructions to 


o'' motion, to stir you up to a,ll readiness of mind to accept 
thereof: to give his gratious presence to you, & by & with you 
unto us, we reniaine, subscribing ©"'selves 

y Neighbors ffriends, Companions & Brethren in 
y^ common Interest of Christ 
Westfield ( Er>WARD Taylor ) r Ser. Dewy 

T 1 ir79 \ 'ToHN Maddesley > < IsAAK Phelps 
^ ( Ensign Sam^ Loomis j ( John Root 

These for y^ Rev"*^. Mr. J. F. pastor of, together with 
y* chh of Christ at Norwich." 


In his sketch of the first Council, Mr. Taylor records the 
formal commission from the authorities of the Colony for the task 
of organizing the church : 

" l^°I then gave an account of the work of the day and in- 
quired into the order of our motions hitherto and our liberty 
for the same from 

t Civill Authority 
( Church dismission of members. 
As for the answer unto the first this following order which was 
granted the foregoing year was presented and read. 
August 9"^, 1678. 

These doe signifie that we approve y^ christian people in 
y' colony of Massachusetts to enter into a church state according 
to y* rules of Christ and y® laws of y® country in that case pro- 
vided and in particular the persons hereunder named viz. Mr. 
Edward Taylor minister, John Maudesly, Samuel Loomis, Isaak 
Phelps, Thomas Gun, Josiah Dewy and John Root, who have 
made application to us, who together with such others living 
in that place whom God hath fitted as living stones for that 
spiritual building (having testimony of their professed subjection 
unto y^ gospell of Christ) we do allow to enter church state and 
commend them to y* Lord's gracious blessing. Signed y^ day 
and year above written. John Leverett, Gov'. 

Simeon Broadstreet 
Daniel Goodwin Sr 
Thomas Danforth ! . . . 
John Pynchon ( 

Edward Ting 
Joseph Dudly j i 

Thomas Gun, John Maudesley, Samuel Loomis and Isaak 
Phelps were recommended by letters " writ to myself," as Mr. 


Taylor sa5's, from Windsor. John Root brought a letter from 
Farmington, Josiah Dewj- and John Ingerson from Northampton. 


From a letter received by the Hon. William G. Bates at the 
time of celebrating the town bi-centennial, from Mr. Henry W. 
Taylor, of Canandaigua, N. Y., a few brief extracts may prop- 
erly be made to heighten our estimate and enlarge our conception 
of the first pastor. The whole sketch, as given in the Bi-Cen- 
tennial volume, is well worthy of perusal: 

" He was born in England, educated for the ministry, studied 
seven years in one of their universities ; but the ejection of two 
thousand dissenting clergymen in 1662, and the persecutions 
which that class of christians suffered, induced him to a voluntary 
exile. He was, through his whole life, a most voluminous writer, 
keeping a diary of the running events of his life, and recording 
things of passing interest. He left a large number of written 
folio volumes, and he was in the habit of transcribing, with his 
own hand, the books which were loaned to him by his friend 
Judge Sewall of Boston. * * * Mr. Taylor also studied 
medicine ; and during his life was accustomed to minister as 
well to the diseases of the bod^', as of the soul. He also gave 
attention to natural history, and some of his compositions were 
published in the scientific literature of the day." 

The writer of the above, his great-grandson, has a small book 
of his, inscribed on the title-page : 

" Such things as are herein contained are the Principalis of 
Physick, as to the practical part thereof, being extracts of that 
famous Physician, Riverius." 

In the same book President Stiles, Mr. Edward Taylor's grand- 
son, bears witness to his attainments as a literary man: 

" He was an excellent classical scholar, being master of the 
three learned languages, a great historian, and every way a very 
learned man. He was an incessant student, but used no specta- 
cle glasses to his death. I have a manuscript folio of six hun- 
dred pages, his commentary upon the Evai. relists. ♦ * * * 

A man of small stature," but firm ; of quick passions, yet seri- 
ous and grave," 



The following is a copy of the original letter among the col- 
lections in the Connecticut Historical Society, written by the 
Rev. Edward Taylor, of Westfield, Massachusetts, July, 1674, to 
Miss Elizabeth Fitch, daughter of the Rev. James Fitch, one of 
the original proprietors, and the first clergyman settled in the 
town of Norwich. 

This letter was written by the Rev. Mr. Taylor to Miss Fitch 
— reputed to have been a beautiful and accomplished lady — 
during his courtship, and was to have been read, if opportunity 
offered, at the bi-centeunial dinner, by Colonel George L. Perkins, 
a great-great-grandson of the Rev. Mr. Fitch : 

Westfikld, Mass., 8th day of the 7th month, 1674. 
My Dove : — I send you not my heart, for that I hope is sent 
to Heaven long since, and unless it has awfully deceived me it 
hath not taken up its lodgings in any one's bosom on this side 
the ro3'al city of the Great King ; but yet the most of it that is 
allowed to be layed out upon any creature doth safely and singly 
fall to your share. So much my post pigeon presents you with 
here in these lines. Look not (I entreat 3'ou) on it as one of 
love's hyperboles. If I borrow the beams of some sparkling met- 
aphor to illustrate my respects unto thyself by, for you having 
made my breast the cabinet of your affections as I yours mine, 
I know not how to offer a fitter comparison to set out my love 
by, than to compare it unto a golden ball of pure fire rolling up 
and down my breast, from which there tiies now and then a spark 
like a glorious beam from the body of the flaming sun. But 
alas ! striving to catch these sparks into a love letter unto your- 
self, and to gild it with them as with a sun beam, find, that by 
what time they have fallen through ray pen upon my paper, the}"- 
have lost their shine and fall only like a little smoke thereon in- 
stead of gilding them. Wherefore, finding myself so much de- 
ceived, I am ready to begrudge m}'^ instruments, for though my 
love within my breast is so large that my heart is not sufficient 
to contain it, yet they can make it no more room to ride into, 
than to squeeze it up betwixt my black ink and white paper. 
But know that it is the coarsest part that is couchant there, for 
the finest is too fine to clothe in any linguist and huswifry, or to 
be expressed in words, and though this letter bears but the 
coarsest part to you, yet the purest is improved for you. But 
now, my dear love, lest my letter should be judged the lavish 
language of a lover's pen, I shall endeavor to show that conjugal 
love ought to exceed all other love. 1st, appears from that 
which it represents, viz. : The respect there is betwixt Christ 


and his church, Eph. 5th, 25th, although it differs from that in 
kind ; for that is spiritual and this human, and in degree, that is 
boundless and transcendent, this limited and subordinate ; yet it 
holds out that this should be cordial and with respect to all other 
transcendent. 2d, Because conjugal love is the ground of con- 
jugal union, or conjugal sharing the effects of this love, is also a 
ground of this union. 3d, From those Christian duties which 
are incumbent on persons in this state as not only a serving God 
together, a praying together, a joining in the ruling and instruct- 
ing their family together, which could not be carried on as it 
should be without a great degree of true love, and also a mutual 
giving each other to each other, a mutual succoring each other in 
all states, ails, grievances ; and how can this be when there is 
not a love exceeding all other love to any creatuie? And 
hereby if persons in this state have not love exceeding all iove, 
it's with them for the most part as with the strings of an instru- 
ment not tuned up, when struck upon makes but a jarring, harsh 
sound. But when we get the wires of an instrument equally 
drawn up, and rightly struck upon, sound together, make sweet 
music whose harmony doth enravish the ear; so when the golden 
strings of true affection are struck up into a right conjugal love, 
thus sweetly doth this state then harmonize to the comfort of 
each other and to the glory of God when sanctilied. But yet, 
the conjugal love must exceed all other, 3'et it must be kept 
within bounds, for it must be subordinate to God's glory ; the 
which that mine may be so, it having got you in its heart, doth 
offer my heart with you in it as a more rich sacrifice into God 
through Christ, and so it subscribeth me. 

Your true love till death, 

This for my friend and only beloved 
Miss Elizabeth Fitch, 
at her father's house in Norwich. 

The reader of this letter does not fully appreciate it, and can 
not do so, without seeing the facsimile of it. An imperfect de- 
scription can not do justice to it. The reverend gentleman 
brought the fine arts to his aid ; and riglitly so, for love itself is 
one of the fine arts, and is so denominated by one of the old 
Roman poets. 

Our types do not allow us to copy the pictorial illustrations ; 
but our readers may fancy a " pen and ink sketch" of wliat he 
calls a dove, in the lower corner of tlie letter, of the size of an 
old-fashioned ninepence, witiiout feathers, and looking like a 
plucked chicken. It was necessary to denude it of its feathers, 


to have room to inscribe upon the side of its bod}' the following 
couplet : 

This dove and olive branch to you 
Is both u post and emblem too. 




Hampshire Westfield, Oct. 14"\ 1729 Deacon David Ashlej^ & 
C James Dewey & Nehemiah Loomis were appointed 
I & sworn to apprize the estate of the Rev'^ Mr. 
Mr. Edw" j EdwMrd Taylor Lately Deceased in Westfield 
Taylor. "] afores*^. John Ashley Just. Peace. An Inventory 
I of the Estate of the Rev""!. Mr. Edward Taylor De- 
(^ ceased this done Aug. 29*'\ 1729 
No. 1. — A Great coat 20s. A lined Jacket 20s. A shirt 6s, 
a shirt 3s, a pair of breeches 2s. Two pair of breeches Is. A 
Hat 13s. Gloves Is. 2 Bonds Is. 6d. An old Gown 3s. A 
Jacket 3s. Two brown under Jackets 2s. A white woolen under 
Jacket 6d. To a Bed and Bolster in the Parlour Chamber 
£3. lo : 0. A set of brown stamped brown curtains & Valliants 
15s. Bedsted Rope & Rods 20s. Hair Cloth 20s. An old 
flower'd Rag at 5s. A white Blanket at 8s. A Good Flower'd 
Rug at 25s. A white Rng 10s. A Flag Matt, Is. 6d. A 
Streaked Pillow 5s. A Red Rug 5s. An old Feather Bed in the 
Parlour 40s. A Bolster 9s. A Pillow 6s. A Blanket with 
black streaks Gs. A Set of Red Curtains & Valliants 30s. An 
old under Bed 2s. Bedstead & Rop. 20s^. A new Bed in the 
outward chamber £3. An underbed 2s. another old underbed 
3s. Old streaked curtains Valle*^' & Bedstead Gs. An old Bol- 
ster some feathers in it 3s. A Bed in the outw"* room Bolster & 
Pillows £4. 15s. Two Rugs in the outward room 30s. the Bed- 
stead Ropes & Matt, 5s. An old white lilanket 3S. An old 
piece of Green Broad Cloth 3s. A pnir of sheets 18s. A good 
sheet 9s. 3 old sheets lis. A sheet 8s. An old sheet 3s. Two 
sheets 20s. Two old sheets 3s. An old sheet 2s. 6d. An old 
Gotten sheet 4s. A good sheet 8s. Another good sheet 8s. A 
pair of Good sheets 25s. Six Gotten Nai)kiiis 18s. An old 
Holland Tal)le cloth 3s. Another Table Cloth 2s. 5 Towells 
wove with a wale 7s. Gd. Two old Towells Ls. Two Towells 
2s. A Holland Pillow Bier 33. 2 Pillow biers 2s. Gd. A Table 
Cloth Is. Gd. A Napkin Is. A strainer Is. A Great Pie Plate 
10s. A Great Platter I4s. A Platter 13s. Another Platter 
13s. 3 Platters 36s. 3 more Platters 30s. One Platter 10s. 
one Platter 12s. two Platters 18s. A little Platter 3s. 5 plates 
15s. Two old plates 4s. A Bason 4s. Gd. 2 basons 4s. Gd. 2 
little basons 2s. Gd. A pint cup, 4s. Gd. Old Pewter Gs. A 


Tankard 6s. 6d. Part & wheels 10s. Cups & Tin 2s. 6d. A 
Coller 6s. 

No. 2.— Traces 18s. A Slead 6s. Small Caps & pin 2s. 1 
Hoe OS. An ax 4s. 2 Wedges 4s. Beetle rings 2s 6d. Yoak 
& Irons 5s. Several Old Rings & pieces of fetters 3s. An ax 
6s. Another pail 2s. Another pail Is. 2 pottles 2s. A churn 
2s. 6d. Dishes & Trenchers 3s. A Great wheel ^s. A little 
wheel 5s. A wrcal 2s. 6d. A cheese fat & straining dish Is. 6d. 
An old Book Is. Cards 2s. 6d. Old Iron 2s. 2 old Barrels 33. 
Scales & Waits Is. 6d. Knives & forks 6s. A pair of shears & 
2 little bottles Is. 6d. A Sow & two pigs 36s. Another sow 
30s. 9 swarms of bees £4. lOs. Od. Two forks 3s. A Plow & 
Irons 20s. Plow chain 14s. A Rug in tlie Garret 15s. A ham- 
mer Is. 6d. A Heifer £3. 5s. Od. A little heifer 17s. Another 
heifer £1. 14s. Od. A Young horse £7. Os. Od. A Colt oOs. A 
Malt Trough lOs. 

No. 3.— A Great Kettle £5. Os. Od. A Midling Kettle 
£2. 15s. Od. A Less Kettle, £1. 15s. Od. A little Skillit 6s. A 
Three leged Brass pan 18s. A Brass Pan 20s. A Great Skillit 
10s. A Pie pan 4s. A brass Scumnier & Ladle 7s. 6d. A 
Brass Candlestick 4s. A flat candlestick 2s. Hand Irons Brass 
Plates 16s. Hand Iron Tops 8s. A warming Pan 25s. An 
Iron Dish Kettle 17s. An Iron Pot 20s. one Trammel 6s. 
Another Trammel 4s. Pothooks 3s. A pair of Tongs 6s. An- 
other pair 4s. A slice 4s. Great Hand Irons 20s. Grid Irons 
12s. Great Flat Hand Irons 6s. Little Slim Hand Irons, 4s. 
Grid Iron 5s. frying pan 9s. A spit 5s. A Brass Chopping 
Dish & little piece of Bass 4s. A Burning Iron Is. A Fender 
Is. A Branding Iron 2s. A turn Gouge Is. A Swivle Is. 6d. 
A Box Iron & Heaters 6s. An Iron Candlestick Is. Hetchels 
OS. Musket 10 s. A Pistol 4s. A Hewing Ax 2s. 6d. A Par- 
cel of old Iron 2s. 6d. Collerhooks Is. A Plain Iron 6s. ham- 
mer Is. A chamber pot Is. A Tunnel UKl. paper box 4d. 
A Paper Morter & Pestle 3s. 6d. Earthen Pans Is. 4d. Great 
Table in j" Parlour 25s. A Great Table in theOutw*' Room 203. 
A Silver Tankard £15. 5s. Od. A two ear'd CHp, one Pottinger 
a salt seller & 4 spoons & a drain cup Total wt. 37 oz. 
£34 : Os. Od. A Black Cow £5. 10s. Od. The Gallows cow 
£5. 10. Od. The Lined Cow £5. 5s. Od. A little Table 83. 5 
chairs 15s. 3 chairs 7s. 6d. 2 Great chairs 6s. one 2. Two 
high chairs 7s. 2 Old chairs Is. A Chest of Drawers 30s. A 
Narrow chest 2s. 6d. A long form 7s. A Cupboard Cushion 
10s. A Looking Glass 2s. A staff Is. 61I. A chair table lis. 
A Looking Glass 16s. A carved chest 16s, A new chest 63. 
A Trunk 6s. An Indian bark Is. A little square trunk is. A 
joint stool 3s. A compass is. Aflaskit5s. The Studdy Table 
10s. The little old bellows 4s. An old hour glass is. A Box 
in the Studdy 4s. Wooden Steelyards Is. 2 old chests os. A 


Half bush" 2s. 6d. A two pound weight Is. 3 Sievs Is. 6d. 2 
old barrels 2s. A Pork barrel 2s. 6d. A Cider barrel 2s. A 
cider barrel 3s. A small Cask Is. 6d. A Beer barrel 2s. A 
Powdering Tub 2s. 2 old Casks in the Celler 2s. An old lye tub 
Is. A Mashing Tub, 2s. A half tub Is. Funnel 2s. 

The total valuation of his property thus inventoried amounts 
to £182, Os., 6d. That of his library, which is also inventoried 
in the same record, is £54, 4s., 7d. 


After receiving the impressive deliverance of Samuell Par- 
tridge, who was Judge of Probate of Hampshire County, respect- 
ing the site of the second meeting-house, it was voted that his re- 
port should be the " finall ishew " of the matter. 

" At the same meeting it was voated by the town that they 
would begin to raise the new meeting house on Wednesday morn- 
ing at 2 hours by sun in the morning the 8"" day of this instant 
June, assembling to work at the beat of drum every morning 
until it is over. 

At the same meeting it was voated y* all men belonging to the 
town shall assist in the work of raising the meeting house from 
17 years of age & upwards on pain & penalty of 3 shillings pr. 
day for every days neglect duering the time of raising ex all 
such as shall make a satisfactory excuse to the Comitey y' have 
the chairge of y* mater. 

At the same meeting it was voated that the comitey shall have 
libert}' to prepare four or five barels of beer at the town charge 
for that consern above mentioned. 

At the same meeting it was voated that Captain Phelps, 
Deacon Noble & "Deacon Ashley should go & desier Mr. Taylor 
to come to the place of raising the meeting house then & their at 
the time appointed to seek to God for his guide & protection in 
the work of raising." 


The Rev. Nehemiah Bull was descended from an ancient and 
honorable family of that name in Hartford. His great-grand- 
father, Capt. Thomas Bull, one of the early settlers of that city, 
was honorably and usefully connected with the bloody battle 


against the Pequot Indians in May, 1637, when, as a historian of 
the period has said : 

" More liravery was displayed and greater good achieved to 
New England, than by any battle which has since been fought, 
not excepting the battle of Bunker Hill. The Pequots were^the 
most warlike and blood-thirsty Indian nation in New England. 
By this action they were defeated and mined as a nation, as their 
fort was destroyed, seventy wigwams burned, about six hundred 
Indians killed in the action by fire and sword, with only about 
seventy active white men in the field ; by which action Connecti- 
cut was saved." 

Rev. Mr. Bull's oldest son, "William, a physician, married Jane, 
daughter of Colonel John Ashley, of Sheffield. Tliey had a son 
William, who entered the profession of his father. 


The " Half- Way Covenant," to which reference has been made, 
is here given in full : 

" I believe (we) y' there is one only living & true God In- 
finite Eternal & Unchangeable in his being, wisdom. Power, 
Holiness, Justice, Goodness & Truth, Distinguished into & sub- 
sisting in 3 Persons, who are y^ same in substance essence ifc at- 
tributes Equal in Authorit}-, Glory & Majesty but distinguished 

by their & personal propertys, y® father being y*' first in 

order begetting y'' 8on, y® Son y*^ 2'^ begotten of y* father, y*^ Holy 
Ghost y® 3*^ proceeding from y** father & y^ Sou. I (we) believe 
y* this God is y* Almighty Creator y" wise & Good upholder, 
y* Just Sovereign Governour & disposer of all his creatures & 
all their actions. I (we) believe y' man created in his image in 
a state of integrity was placed under a covenant of life upon con- 
dition of perfect obedience but by his disobedience lost both his 
uprightness & title to life & is by nature in a state of weakness 
enmity, pollution. Guilt, unrighteousness & wrath. I (we) be- 
lieve y' when y" fullness of time was come God sent forth his 
only begotten Son to take upon him y'' nature of man y' so sub- 
sisting in 2 distinct natures (divine & human in one Person) he 
might be a fit Mediator between God & man suitably qualified 
to Redeem man by price & power & effectively Reconcile him to 
God, for which end God appointed (gave permission to) his Son, 
to be a Prophet, Priest & King to his church, who did in y" days 
of his flesh execute these offices by obeying y° Law, Revealing 
y* Gospell & suffering death, & when he had continued under 


y" power of death for a time he arose from y" dead, ascended into 
heaven & sat down on y" Right hand of God where he now con- 
tinues to execute y® several offices of a Mediator, Pleading his 
own iiierits on y*^ behalf of y^ elect, interceding for era, sending 
y^ Holy Sp' to inlighten, convince, effectually call & sanctify 
those that are given to him, who being innabled to believe in his 
name to y" justification of their persons shall be openly acquitted, 
pronounced blessed & invited by y® Supreme judge to take pos- 
session of y*^ Kingdom of glory prepared for em, at that day when 

God shall weigh y** both just & unjust, & shall judge 

y® berets of men by J : Christ who also will condemn all that 
obey not y*^ gospel to everlasting panishm' according to y" script- 
ures of wrath w""'^ I believe to be y* word of God & y^ only rule 
of faith & manners." 


The wife of Mr. Ballantine was Mary Gay, niece of the Rev. 
Ebenezer Gay, who was pastor of the First Church at Hingham 
for sixty-nine years ; called by Savage, " the honored patri- 
arch of the New England pulpit of that age." The excellent 
traits and remarkable talents of Mrs. Ballantine are matters of 

The intellectual gifts of the Gay family have descended to her 
f)0sterity, some of whom have been lights to the heathen in 
foreign lands. The interesting woi'k recently published, en- 
titled, " Midnight Marches through Persia," was written by one 
of her descendants. A book in our own Sunday-school library, 
showing how desirable it is to be " shod with peace," was written 
by another descendant, residing here. 

Lydia Gay, a niece of Mrs. Ballantine, rode to Westfield from 
Dedham on a pillion behind the parson. She came to be an 
inmate of his family, and married Col. David Mosely, a great- 
grandson of John Maudesley, one of the " foundation-men." She 
lived to the age of ninety-four years, a gentle and lovable old 
lady ; who, as she sat and knit at that remarkable age, enter- 
tained her great-grandchildren with many reminiscences of Sir. 
Ballantine's family. To one of them I am indebted for these 

The following additional citations from Mr. Ballantine's diary, 
quoted from in the sermon, are not without interest : 


"Jan. 21st, 1764. Attended the funeral of Nath. Pynchon at 
Springfield, whom I fitted for college. They gave me and my 
Tvife a pair of gloves." 

This seems to have been his first observation of a custom that 
has continued to some extent to the present day, at least so far 
as to provide the officiating clergyman with them. 

"Jan. 17, 1768. I preached. Sang twice in the forenoon. 
The singers stood up in the gallery and sang new tunes. Some 
disgusted and left the house." 

Nearly twenty years before this, according to the church 
record, " it was proposed that Dr. Watts' version of the Psalms 
should be used at the administration of the Lord's Supper. No 
objections." But the new-fangled tunes seem to have caused 
righteous indignation in those who had courage to express it. 

Mr, Ballantine took special pains to record what was unusual, 
mysterious, or grotesque, as the following entries indicate: 

" "Went to Granville. In the night the house of Mr. Jonathan 
Rose took fire and was consumed. Mr. R. was burnt in it, a 
man 90 years old. All the remains of the body might have been 
put in a half- peck measure." 

" Attended Capt. Clapp's funeral. As they were letting the 
coffin down, the head string broke ; it fell and broke off the lid 
and split the head ; it was taken up and mended." 

(Query. — Does the last clause refer to the coffin or the head ?) 
The following is suggestive of the generous doses of medicine 
prescribed to patients before the disciples of Hahnemann discov- 
ered the efficacy of sugar pellets : Mr. Israel Noble was sick of 
a fever, and Dr. Pynchon of Springfield having been called, 
thought the case hopeless, " but prescribed rhubarb, liquorice, 
cream of tartar and some other smaller matters, together with a 
decoction of the Cortex (P. bark) and claret wine, pap of wheat 
bread and rice." Surely, if not hopeless before, it must have 
been after taking such a remedy ! He goes on to say, showing 
the prevalence of superstition in that day : " Mr. Noble and 
wife heard last fall an unusual knocking at the door, which 
began about daybreak and continued till sunrise. They could 
hear no voice, nor see any one, though Ihcy got up." Perhaps 
it was an ominous premonition of the Doctor's knock. 


One more entry is added, illustrative of the generosity of his 
people, and the sentiment of the times on what is now a subject 
of practical morality : On the eve of his daughter's wedding, 
October 16th, 1768, the following articles were sent to the par- 
sonage, which would be hardly duplicated now, degenerate as the 
times are : 

" Mrs. Parks, 1 gallon of rum. Capt. Mosely, 2 qts. Dea. 
Shcpard, a leg of mutton. " Mrs. Clapp, 1 qt. rum. Thos. Root. 
2 qts. of brandy. Matt. Noble, flour and suet. Ensign Noble, 
some butter. Clark King, pig. Ensign IngersoU, 2 qts. rum. 
Mrs. Ashley, a loyn of mutto'n and butter. Mrs. Kellogg, some 
cranberries. David Mosely, a pig and 3 fowls. N. Weller, a 
piece of veal and suet. Ensign Weller, apples. Mrs. Ford, 
cabbage and potatoes. S. Noble, 2 fowls. D. Root, 2 qts. 

Reference is made in the sermon to two grandsons of Mr. Bal- 
lantine who entered the ministry. The six children of Henry, 
who was missionary in India, are now in that country ; one son 
a minister, another a physician, the three daughters are wives of 
missionaries — Mrs. Harding, Mrs. Fairbanks, and Mrs. Parks, 
Two sons of Elisha are ministers. Henry W. is at Bloomfield, 
N. J., and William Gay is Professor in Ripon College, Wiscon- 
sin. Henry and Elisha were sons of a physician, but he had a 
brother, William Gay, who was a clergyman. Thus the ministry 
has secured representatives from four successive generations of 
that family. 


Through the courtesy of Dr. H. W. Clapp, of this town, I have 
been allowed to see a copy of the will of one of his remote 
ancestors, which provides for what was probably the first legacy 
ever made for the support of the ministry in Westfield. The 
donor was Capt. Roger Clapp, who was a very remarkable man. 
From 1665 to 1686 he was the redoubtable commander of the 
Castle in Boston Harbor, now Fort Independence. He would 
not permit a soldier to serve under him who was not a professing 
christian. He died in 1691, at a good old age, leaving in his 
will the following clause : 

" I giue out of my farme at pachasack in westfield fifty acors 


unto the inhabitance of that towne towards the maintenance of 
an able minister in tliat towne with this prowiso : that they paye 
or cause to be pay two busshels of good wheat unto my dear wife 
in boston year!}' during her naturall life." 


Deacon Thomas Noble, of whom mention is made in the ser- 
mon, was the second of the name in the church. Thomas Noble, 
Sr., his father, was one of the early settlers of Springfield, reach- 
ing there in 1653. He moved to Westfield probably in the 
autumn of 1668, and immediately became prominent in town 
affairs, serving in various responsible positions. He was for a 
time constable, and afterward county surveyor. The Hampshire 
County records indicate that he once got into difficulty for not 
obeying the stringent laws of the time respecting the observance 
of Fast Day : 

"At a County Corte held at Northampton, March 27"\ 1683. 
Thomas Noble of Westfield being p''sented by the Grniul jur^' for 
Travelling on a day of Humiliation, publiquel}^ appointed l)y the 
Gen" Corte, which he owned, pleading his necessity for Comeing 
home, and yet this Co'''* Considering said offense, being a grow- 
ing evil amongst us, many Persons too much disregarding such 
Extraordinary Dutys & Seasons, have adjudged sd. Noble to pay 
as a fine to the County treasurer five shillings." 

Mr. Noble was the emigrant ancestor of the largest family 
bearing the name in the United States. 


50 . 






You are invited to attend the Bi- Centennial Celebration of the First 
Congregational Church of Westfeld, on 

SU:^DAY, October 5, 1879, 

Consisting of a Memorial Sermon by the Pastor at the morning service, 
and a Service of Praise in the evening. 

A copy of the Sermon, when published, will be sent you gratuitously 
on the receipt of a request for it. 

Yours in behalf of the Committee, 

Westfeld, Mass., September 17, 1879. 

Responses to Letters of Invitation. 

Mrs. E. Williams, Fall Rivei-. Mass. 

Mr. & Mrs. J. U. Taylor, Mianeapo- 
lis. Minn. 

Miss Hattie C. Merwin, Vinton, la. 

Fred. King, Austin, Minn. 

S. MUNSON, Allaany, N. Y. 

Mrs. Lewis Parsons, Northampton, 

J. Fowler. Castalia, O. 

Mrs. George B. Clark, Cambridge- 
port. Mass. 

Mrs. Turner S. Cleveland, Salem, 
N. Y. 

Charles Hutchins, Boston, Mass. 

Mrs. C. W. Farnam, Brooklyn, Cal. 

Selah Merrill, Andover, Mass. 

G. C. Landon, Frenehtown, N. J. 

John M. Ballantine, Taunton, Mass. 

M S. HUEKD, Wilbvaham, Mass. 

Mr<. Robert Whitney, Peterboro, 

Rev. E. J. HURLBOT, Mittineague, 

Rf.v. a . J. Titsworth. Chelsea, Mass. 

Mrs. a. S. FTale, Minneapolis, Minn. 

L. C. Shepakd, Menasba, Wis. 

.J. B. Eldredge, navtforrl. Conn. 

D. S. Rowe, Tarrytovvn, N. Y. 

J. C. Atwater, New York City. 

D. A. Fitch, strawn, Kan. 

Mrs. C. W. Shepard, Litchfiekl, Conn. 

Rev. B, M. Fullerton, Palmer, Mass. 

.Jos. W. King, Jacksonville, 111. 
Samuel C. Lewis. Tarrytown, N. T. 
Mrs. D. W. Ingersoll, Constantia, 

N. Y. 
Edward Taylor, Andover, Mass. 
Rev. Daniel Butler, Waverly, Mass. 
John Ed.mans, Pliiladelphia, Pa. 
H. K. Simmons, New York City. 
Wm. L. Atwater, New York City. 
H. T. Morgan, New York City. 
M. T. Gleason, Newton, Mass. 
Geo. E. Knapp, Bloomington. 111. 
Hiram Smith, Hillsdale, Mich. 
Rev. L. D. Calkins, West Springfield. 
Daniel Munson, Binghamton, N. Y. 
Mrs. Ira G. Whitney, New York City. 
Roland Mather, Hartford. Conn. 
Martin N. Day, New York City. 
A. P. Cari', Gloucester. Mass. 
Miss E. C Hallid.w, Brooklyn, N.Y. 
Miss Nancy Marsh, Providence, R. I. 
Mrs. H. B.Stockwell, Providence, R.I. 
G. Munson, Huntington, Mass. 
W. B. C. Pearsons. Holyoke, Mass. 
Samuel a. Green, Boston. Mass. 
Rev. S. G. Buckingham, Springfield, 

Rev. W. Gladden. Sprinafield. Mass. 
Mr.<. G. W. Campbell, Pittsfield, Mass. 
Rev. Wm.E. Dickinson, Chicopee, Mass. 
A. T. Edson, Feeding Hills, Mass, 


[From The Western Hampden Times and News-Letter of Oct. 8, 1879.] 


avood's sermon in full. 

A large assembly gathered at the First Church last Sabbath 
morning to listen to the services commemorating the two-hun- 
dredth anniversary of the Society's natal day. The church 
was tastefully and elaborately decorated with flowers and ever- 
greens, handsomely and artistically arranged in bouquets, fes- 
toons, garlands, and other exquisite formations and impressive 
devices. Shields, bearing the names of the eight " foundation- 
men" of the church, were arranged along the front of the gal- 
leries, four on each side of the house, hung between festoons of 
evergreens, and decorated with flowers, cereals, and '' the full 
corn in the ear." The tablets of Rev. Edward Taylor and Rev. 
Dr. Davis were appropriately garlanded, the one with leaves of 
the oak, and the other with roses ; — the latter speaking of a later 
bereavement, though both equally proclaiming that " the memory 
of the just is blessed." An arch built over the pulpit bore on its 
crest the dates " 1679 — 1879," while a scroll winding gracefully 
around the two pillars, intertwined with leaf and flower, bore the 
names of the eight pastors of the church who preceded Mr. Lock- 
wood. Portraits of the pastors of the Second Church were prettily 
grouped and decorated on the front of the west gallery. Two 
large autumn bouquets, placed in front of Mr. Lockwood's desk, 
were universally admired for the artistic combination of their 
colors and the harmonious blending of their soft autumnal tints. 
Great praise is due to George Houghton, carpenter, and R. T. 
King, artist, for executing so faithfully and efficiently the chaste 
and elegant designs of the committee of ladies and gentlemen 
who had the matter in charge. To say that the ladies deserve a 
share of credit for the meritorious display would be almost su- 
perfluous ; their taste and judgment and skill were discernible in 
it all. 

A quartette, composed of Mrs. Mary Mullen, Miss Mary E. 
Kingsley, H. B. Stevens, Esq., and Prof. Le Clair of Holyoke, 
began the exercises by singing Kotzschman's " Te Deum, in F." 
Rev. Henry Hopkins read passages from Scripture appropriate 


to the occasion, and offered pra3'er. Singing b}^ the congrega- 
tion of "All hail the power of 'Jesus' name," followed. After 
which, Rev. Mr. Lockwood delivered an able and comprehen- 
sive historical discourse, which we give to our readers in full. 
Though a comparative stranger to our town, it can be said, with 
as much surprise as justice, that Mr. Lockwood, by diligent 
study and hard work among the iTiusty records of the last two 
centuries, not only did complete justice to the occasion histori- 
cally, but he caught the inspiration of the hour, and seemed to 
stand, and to make his hearers stand, in the august and almost 
divine presence of his great and venerated predecessors as he 
graphically unrolled the history of the First Church of Westfield 
for the last two hundred years. For lack of time, Mr. Lockwood 
could not use all the wealth of antique lore that he had mined for 
the occasion ; but we are requested to announce that the pam- 
phlet edition of the sermon, soon to be issued, will contain, in 
an ample appendix, much of the deferred material. 

A praise service in the evening worthily closed the anniversary 
exercises. Several fine selections were well rendered by the 
quartette of the morning, assisted by Mrs. R. W. Parks and 
Miss Mattie Loomis ; selections of Scripture were read by Rev. 
Mr. Lockwood ; and a brief, but able, discourse, eulogistic of the 
First Church and its founders, was given by Rev. Mr. Hopkins. 
Congregational singing also added to the enjoyment of the occa- 
sion. Mr. Hopkins spoke of the impressiveness of the occasion 
and of the tender and persuasive influences of the hour, calling all 
to cast in their lot with the people of God. After expressing the 
obligation of the churches to Mr. Lockwood, for the patient re- 
search and exacting toil which the writing of his sermon had de- 
manded, he said : 

" It is proper for nie to thank you especially for your kind 
mention of us in the Second Church, and also to recognize grate- 
fully the cordial christian courtesy of our reception here to-da3% 
In the name of the church, I most heartily assure you that we 
join you in the wish — and we will make the wish an endeavor — 
that the same harmony which has characterized the past may 
continue always. Next to the spiritual growth and power of our 
own, we desire that of this one, that stands side by side and 
shoulder to shoulder with her. It is perfectly certain that any 
thing which injures one hurts the other, and that any thing that 
gives new life to the one is a blessing to the other. The circum- 


stances attending the separation in 1856 were calculated to pro- 
duce a spirit of true fellowship. We went out because the old 
home was crowded. Some one must go, and you gave us your 
blessing. Dr. Davis counseled and carried out the colonization. 
His two sermons, entitled, ' Church Extension,' published at the 
request of the Second Church and Society, are a true settino- 
forth of the whole case. The first sermon was preached the Sal> 
bath before the commencement of public worship by the colony 
in Music Hall, and the second on the occasion of the organizino- 
of the church. There was no quarreling about it, no party 
strife, no schism in the body of Christ, It was only organizing 
another regiment in the same holy service. That movement, so 
inaugurated, was not a mistake. God has blessed it. Of the 
sixty members who, many of them with tears, cut loose from the 
old organization, thirty-three are still members of the Second 
Church. These are here with hearts aglow to-day. They are 
like naturalized citizens of our Republic, to whom every thing in 
the national life and history in the fatherland belongs fully up to 
the time of the new relation, and who, in the new-found ties, do 
not forget to feel love and pride for the old. But the fact is, we 
all feel so. Just as American citizens have a right to share in 
all the glory and renown of old England on land and on sea, in 
every great name in her literature or war, statesmanship or phi- 
lanthropy, up to July 4th, 1776, so we lay claim to the old cliurch 
history as a part of our heritage, and to every revered and hon- 
ored name, down to May, 1856." 

Mr. Hopkins briefly sketched the original settlement, by the 
site of the iron bridge, with its fort over a cellar and its two 
miles of palisades, as pictured by Mr. Bates in his bi-centennial 
address, and called attention to the fact recorded 1)3' him, that, 
in 1677, the General Court provided for "the consolidation of 
the people into a more compact community," and that then, as 
appears from the records of Massachusetts, " the proprietors of 
town lots in Westfield near their ' meeting house,' " made certain 
agreements. They had, then, in 1677, before the organization of 
their church, " a meeting house," provision for the worship of 
God, and for the church that was to be. This seems to answer 
the question asked in the sermon as to the original church 
building, and reveals the fact that, at the very start, central in 
the settlement, as essential a part of it as the fort or the dwell- 
ings, stood the house of God. Were those brave, hartl-workod 
men and women right in this thing? Yes, thank God, they were 
right. They had little thought of symbolism in religion ; l)ut in 
this they unconsciously made use of a true symbolism. The 


rude church stood central among their rude homes, as the re- 
ligious principle is central in man, and as it must be made cen- 
tral in every enduring form of society. The love of God's house, 
not of the rough log building " thirty-six feet square," not of the 
house made with hands, but of that living temple, the church of 
God, was characterized as the deep, tender, life-giving, divine 
principle that dwelt in the fathers. This, more than their rigid, 
puritanic sense of duty, was that which distinguishes them. This 
has been the potential, the moulding influence that has come 
down from them. They put first that which is first forever more. 
They made central in their hearts and homes and in their com- 
mon life, that which in all rightly-organized life is central for- 
ever more. The lesson of all this history is a plain one, not to 
be forgotten by us. Those whom we commemorate honored the 
church of God ; and God honored them according to His ever- 
lasting ordinance and in the fulfillment of His faithful promise. 
On Monday evening, the ladies prepared a banquet in the 
church parlors, which was appreciatingly indulged in by both 
churches — progenitor and offspring. 





+ -l J. ^ 

I ^hc ^ir^t Ct*ngrcgattonal Churchy 



In Commemoration of the Two-Hundredth Anniversary of its Foundation. 


I. Organ Voluntary. 
II. Old Hundred. {Congregation.) 

" Be Thou, O God, exalted high." 

III. Invocation. 

IV. Anthem: " Let the people praise Thee." (Choir.) 

From Costa's ''Eli." 
V. Scripture Sentences. 

VI. Amsterdam. (Congregation.) 

'• Rise, my soul, and stretch thy wings." 

VII. Scripture : Deut., 26 Chap. 
VIII. Ariel. (Congregation.) 

" O could I speak the matchless worth." 

IX. Prater, (closing with Lord's Prayer, in concert.) 
X. Anthem: " Jerusalem, my glorious home." (Choir.) 
XI. Anthem: Denmark. (Congregation.) 

"Before Jehovah's awful throne." 

XII. Address, by Rev. Henry Hopkins. 

XIII. Anthem : " How lovely are the Messengers." (Choir.) 

From Mendelssohn's ''St. Paul." 

XIV. Lyons. (Congregation.) 

"Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim." 

XV. Scripture : Ps. 95 and 96. 
XVI. Lenox. ( Congregation.) 

" Ye boundless realms of joy." 

XVII. Anthem: " Praise be unto God." (Choir.) 

From Spohr's "Last Judgment." 
XVIII. Prayer. 
XIX. Shining Shore. (Congregation) 

" My days are gliding swiftly by." 

XX. Benediction.