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ship erected by this society, was dedicated, on 7
May, 1730.

Many and interesting are the associations con-
nected with this venerable structure. The first
building to the North, on what is now South row,
is the site of Governor Winthrop's house, afterwards
a parsonage of the Old South Church, till, during
the memorable siege of Boston by the troops of Great
Britain, it was demolished with the Old North
Church, and other buildings, as fuel for the soldiery.

This was a favorite resort for public religious and
patriotic meetings. The exercises of the General
Election have been attended in this house, also the
orations, on 5 March, to commemorate the Boston
massacre ; as well as, on 4 July, to celebrate Ameri-
can Independence; so that it is denominated by
Snow, in his history of Boston, the Sanctuary of
freedom.* Here the people often assembled to de-
liberate upon the concerns of their country; and
here resolves were often passed, which gradually pre-
pared the way for American Independence. Here
the intrepid Warren, but a few weeks before his

* Snow's History of Boston, p. 313.


lamented fall, delivered his second oration, com-
memorative of the Boston massacre, though his life
had heen threatened, should he make the attempt ;
though British officers were in the aisles, and even
on the Pulpit stairs, during the delivery of the ora-
tion, who had previously declared, that such senti-
ments should not be uttered without opposition. He
nevertheless proceeded to give a fearless and graphic
description of the horrors of the fifth of March, not
only without apprehension, but with impunity.

But the most memorable circumstance connected
with this sacred Temple was its desecration, during
the siege of Boston, as a riding school, by the British
cavalry. To prepare it for this unhallowed purpose,
the pulpit, pews, and Western gallery were demol-
ished. The ground floor was covered with dirt and
gravel. A bar was fixed, West of the front door,
for the. horses to leap over. The Eastern galleries
were suffered to remain for the accommodation of
spectators, and, strange to relate, spirituous liquors
were there provided for such, as resorted here to
witness feats of horsemanship.

During the Winter season, a stove was placed in
the Church, in which books and pamphlets from
Mr. Prince's Library, which was kept in the tower
of the Church, were used for kindlings. But a kind
providence preserved from this dire catastrophe one
manuscript, in the opinion of antiquaries, more val-


uablc, than all the rest ; which was the third manu-
script volume of Governor Winthrop's Journal, that
had long been lost, which the Kev. Dr. Holmes, of
Cambridge, a renowned antiquary, succeeded in
bringing to light, in the Spring of 1816, from the
dust and rubbish of Prince's scattered library. Since
this precious discovery, the manuscripts of Win-
throp's Journal have been deciphered by the Hon.
. James Savage, President of the Massachusetts His-
torical Society, and published in two volumes, 8vo.
with such copious additions, emendations, and cor-
rections, as render it somewhat problematical, w r hich
are of the most value, the original compositions of
the author, or the various improvements of his
learned commentator.

Though the British troops evacuated the Capital,
on 17 March, 1776; yet it was not till seven years
after, that the scattered members of this Church and
society reassembled in this house. In the mean
tune, they accepted an invitation to worship in
King's Chapel, then destitute of a pastor.

"In July, 1782, the proprietors of King's Chapel
expecting soon to resume its occupancy for their
own use, the Old South Church and Society voted
to repair their meetinghouse."*

To this period it had remained in ruins. Such

* Wisner's Historical Discourse, p. 33.


was its dilapidated state, that it was not till, 2 March,
1783, that this Church was prepared for the return
of its proprietors.

On that day it was solemnly rededicated by the
Rev. Joseph Eckley, who had been ordained the
pastor of this flock, on 27 October, 1779.

This good man took the spiritual oversight of his
people, in troublous times, in the midst of a calam-
itous war with the mother country; in an embar-
rassing state of public affairs ; and with their house
of worship in ruins. But so earnestly were they
devoted to the worship of their Maker, that " they
took joyfully the spoiling of their goods" ; and, in
the spirit of their pilgrim fathers, they thought no
privations and sacrifices too great to be cheerfully
endured, in devotedness to their country, and in the
cause of their Lord and Master ; till the grateful
return of peace, turned their mourning into joy, and
brought with it, in due tune, a far greater measure
of worldly prosperity, than they had ever experienced

In process of time, after a long season of peace,
when the churches also had rest, a spirit of party in
religious concerns arose among us, and evinced the
need of some friend of peace, as well as of truth, to
calm the troubled waves. At this critical juncture,
the then pastor of this church, the venerated and
beloved Dr. Eckley seemed to be the very man, whom


the necessities of the times required. Like the good
Baxter of our mother country, he enjoyed the confi-
dence of all parties, and was never weary in follow-
ing after the things, which make for peace. Amid
frequent calls for his friendly interposition, it pleased
his Maker to take him away to " the rest, which
remaineth for the people of God," and leave his
friends to mourn the loss of one so well fitted to
" quench the coals of growing strife," and constrain
them to pray, hi the language of ancient devotion,
" Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth ; for the
faithful fail from among the children of men."

Whatever unjustifiable restraints on liberty of
conscience may have been imposed by our zealous,
yet erring fathers, it is the glory of our Common-
wealth, that no such impositions have been, for a
long time, tolerated. All are free to worship God,
as they choose, provided they demean themselves
peaceably, and infringe not the equal rights of oth-
ers. In the present state of society unity of faith
and of worship is neither possible, nor desirable.
Diversities of belief and of practice honestly enter-
tained have a direct tendency to elicit truth, to ex-
pose and condemn error. Let it then be the resolute
purpose of all to " stand fast in the liberty, where-
with Christ has made us free, and never suffer our-
selves to be entangled in a yoke of" civil or eccle-
siastical " bondage."


The leading sentiments thus advanced are respect-
fully commended to the consideration of our civil
fathers, convened from all parts of the state to devise
measures for the general good, and to see, that the
Commonwealth sustain no injury. It is a ground
of confidence, that the two highest offices, in the gift
of the people, are still likely to be sustained by men,
whom the people have delighted to honor ; by men,
whose large experience in our national, as well as
state governments gives them peculiar facilities for
wisely and faithfully discharging the duties of their
high and responsible station ; by men, who have
taken the lead in the temperance reformation, the
glory of modern times, as well as in other projects
for doing good, and preventing evil ; and who, we
feel confident, are ready to suggest and to favor all
such measures, as, in their judgment, shall conduce
to the public welfare.

With equal confidence, we trust, that the members
of the Honorable Council, and both branches of our
state legislature, will contribute all in their power,
" that glory may dwell in our land."

It is your privilege, honored rulers, to meet in
this city of our solemnities, under circumstances of
encouragement and of hope, to witness its ever grow-
ing improvements, and to devise measures for the
public good. In imitation of our venerable fore-
fathers, you commence your official duties, in this


ancient temple, sacred to religion and patriotism,
with supplicating the blessing of Almighty God on
your labors and counsels. Within a few weeks, our
Capital has experienced one of the greatest among
temporal blessings, in the introduction of pure water
to satisfy the wants and meet the convenience of all
its citizens, thus fulfilling the prediction of the sa-
cred bard. " There is a river, the streams whereof
shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of
the tabernacles of the Most High."*

Since the last anniversary, the war with a sister
Republic, deprecated by so many people, has been
terminated ; so that the friends of peace may again
" beat their swords into ploughshares, and their
spears into pruning hooks." Whatever differences
of opinion may have arisen respecting the commence-
ment, the progress, or the termination of this con-
test, it is confidently trusted, that no alienations
have arisen, which will obstruct harmonious co-
operation in prosecuting the concerns of the public.
What thanks are not due to the Author of peace,
and Lover of concord, that, notwithstanding the agi-
tations, throughout our land, occasioned by the elec-
tion of our Chief Magistrate and subordinate officers,

* The waters of the Cochituate, in Framingham, through the princi-
pal reservoir, in Brookline, of 22 acres' extent were introduced into Bos-
ton by immense gatherings and appropriate solemnities, on 25 October,

the struggles have terminated so pacifically ! How
different, in this respect, are our condition and pros-
pects from those of the leading powers in Europe,
subject to perpetual agitations, and threatened with
mighty revolutions!

Respected legislators, since your last anniversary,
the providence of God has addressed you, in a
solemn and impressive manner, by the sudden re-
moval of a former President of the United States ;
but, at the time of his death, of a highly valued
Representative to Congress from a neighboring Dis-
trict. Though at an advanced period of life, he was
arrested in the midst of active and laborious efforts
for the public good. Never, except at the demise of
Washington, has there been so general a mourning,
throughout our land, as was occasioned by his dis-
solution. Through successive generations, with his
father of blessed memory, has he contributed most
effectually to the glory of his country. Repeatedly
has his voice been heard in this sanctuary of free-
dom, first, while a young man, on the anniversary of
American Independence ; and, in two instances, in
a tribute to the memory of two former Presidents of
the United States. His example may well be pro-
posed for universal imitation, in his fearless defence
of the rights of the people, in untiring application
to business, and in an undeviating respect to the
religious institutions of his fathers.


With due regard to the means of national pros-
perity, which have been mentioned, others will nat-
urally follow in their train. We shall be careful,
in the election of rulers, to choose such only, as are
" men of truth, who fear God, and work righteous-
ness ; wise in the times to know, what the people
ought to do." We shall not only have good laws ;
but they will be fkithfully executed. We shall
strive by all feasible means to be rid of slavery, that
darkest blot on the escutcheon of a nation glorying
in their independence and freedom. We shall cher-
ish a proper sympathy with the aboriginals of the
country, the original occupants of the soil, where
God placed them, whose ancestors, with a generous
confidence in the justice of the first European set-
tlers of this continent, made way for their establish-
ment ; with whom we have professed to maintain
friendly relations ; and have, in successive periods,
entered into the most solemn treaties, guarantying
their privileges and possessions against aggression.
While they cry aloud for the enjoyment of their just
rights, we shall not turn a deaf ear to their suppli-
cations ; but shall faithfully observe toward them
laws of our own enacting ; and shall strive to civil-
ize and christianize, instead of extirpating them.

In fine, " that glory may dwell in our land," it is
not only indispensable, that we elect good rulers,
and that they enact wholesome laws ; but also that


we yield a ready obedience to all, which have the
sanction of constitutional authority. It is not for
individuals, nor even for single states, to oppose the
statutes of the government, because they appear to
favor some portions of the community more than
others. The ultimate decision is wisely lodged with
our learned, independent, and impartial Judiciary.
The constitution was originally formed, and after-
wards amended, on the principle of mutual conces-
sions. In no other way can it be continued, as the
safeguard of our union and of our individual rights.
Let us then fear God, honor the constituted authori-
ties, and contribute to the utmost of our power,
" that glory may dwell in our land." By the gen-
eral diffusion of such a spirit, " the Lord our God
will be with us, as he was with our fathers ; he will
never leave us, nor forsake us." Amen.



THE author of the foregoing discourse has been desired by
members of the General Court and others to append a con-
densed account of Election sermons, such as has been already
annexed to Dr. Osgood's, in 1809, and to Dr. Bigelow's, in
1836, with such additional notices, as may be interesting.

It has been my desire, for many years, to prepare a com-
plete history of Election sermons from the first settlement of
this country, as well as to collect such, as have been publish-
ed. I have succeeded in obtaining but 13 of the 17th cen-
tury. I have however secured all but 4 of the 18th century,
and the 49 already delivered in the 19th century. I get
them bound in decades ; so that I have already 13 volumes
thus brought together. My leading motive and hope, in pub-
lishing the subjoined list, is, that antiquaries may correct
whatever mistakes it may contain, and supply its defects, so
as to enable me to complete some more decades. They may
be the more inclined to do this, when assured, that all my
volumes of this description will be sent, after my decease, to
the Library of the Massachusetts Historical Society, a pre-
cious depository for such documents.

The first Election sermon noticed in Governor Winthrop's


Journal is by John Cotton, in 1634. He mentions six oth-
ers. Why no account is given by him of the other twelve,
probably delivered, during the period embraced by his history,
it is difficult to explain.

The first printed Election sermon, which has come to my
knowledge, is, in 1661, by John Norton, of Boston. This is
in the Library of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In the 17th century, seventy Election sermons may have
been preached. Of these I possess 13.

In the 18th century, there were two years, 1752 and 1764,
in which no Election sermons were preached, on account of
the small pox, in Boston. These vacuities may be supplied
by two sermons before the General Court, and published by
their order ; the first by William Gordon, at Watertown, dur-
ing the siege of Boston, 31 May, 1775 ; the other by Dr.
Cooper, 25 October, 1780, being the day of the commence-
ment of the Constitution, and the inauguration of the new

By the above estimate my deficiency of Election sermons
is 57+4=61

My supply is 13+96+49=158

Total, 219

It is observable, that, with the exceptions already men-
tioned, there is no recorded failure of an Election sermon.
One indeed was addressed to the convention, on the deposition
of Andros, in 1689. Nor have we an account of any Elec-
tion sermon delivered, which was not subsequently published.
Owing to the paucity of ministers, during the early history
of the State, preachers were repeatedly chosen more than
once to deliver the Election sermon. Richard'Mather de-


livered two ; his son Increase Mather, four ; and his son
Cotton Mather, four. Samuel Torrey delivered three ; John
Norton, two ; Jonathan Mitchel, two ; Thomas Cobbett, two ;
Samuel Willard, two ; Joshua Moody, two ; Benjamin Col-
man, two, the last in 1723.

By the subjoined list it will appear, that the preacher, this
year, had been graduated two years longer, than any, whose
College standing has been ascertained. The next in Colle-
giate age to him was Samuel Cheever, the preacher, in 1712,
who had been graduated 53 years. With these exceptions,
but 16 preachers are mentioned, who had been out of Col-
lege, when they officiated, for 40 years and upwards ; name-
ly, 1711, Peter Thacher, 40 ; 1755, Samuel Checkley, 40 ;
1777, Samuel Webster, 40 ; 1799, Paul Coffin, 40 ; 1703,
Solomon Stoddard, 41 ; 1705, Joseph Estabrook, 41 ; 1748,
Daniel Lewis, 41 ; 1750, Samuel Phillips, 42 ; 1743, Na-
thaniel Belles, 43 ; 1753, John Cotton, 43 ; 1713, Samuel
Treat, 44; 1702, Increase Mather, 46; 1715, Jeremiah
Shepard, 46; 1808, Thomas Allen, 47; 1707, Samuel
Belcher, 48 ; 1837, Daniel Dana, 49.

The youngest in College graduation, who have preached
the Election sermon, are, 1658, Jonathan Mitchel, 11 ; 1689 r
Cotton Mather, 11 ; 1701, Joseph Belcher, 11 ; 1754, Jona-
than Mayhew, 10 ; 1825, William B. Sprague, 10 ; 1834.
J. W. Yeomans, 10.

Of 162 cases, which have been examined, the average
period, after graduation, of the preachers, was 28| years.

The 195 names on the following list comprise 187 Congre-
gationalists, 3 Baptists, 2 Episcopalians, 2 Universalists,
1 Methodist.

Of the sermons specified, 144 were by graduates of Har-


vard University; 22 were by preachers educated abroad;
9 were of Yale College, 7 of Dartmouth College, 4 of Wil-
liams College, 1 of Brown University, 1 of Middlebury Col-
lege, 1 of Union College, and 6 without a Collegiate edu-

The names of preachers, whose sermons are possessed by
the writer of this article, will be in Roman characters ; others,
in Italics. What is included in brackets is conjectural.

Year. Preacher.




1634 *John Cotton,



1637 * Thomas Shepard,




1641 *Nath. Ward,


1643 *Ezek. Rogers,



1646 *Edtc. Norrls,


1648 *Zach. Symmes,

1649 * Thomas Cobbett.


1656 *Chs. Cliauncy,

1657 *John Norton,

1658 *Jona. Mitchel,







[Haggai ii. 4.]


President H. U.



H. U. 1647


Year. Preacher.




1659 *John Eliot,


1660 *Rich. Mather,


Ps. Ixxvii. 20.

1661 *John Norton,


Jer. xxx. 17.


1663 *John Higginson,


I Kings viii. 57, 58, 59.

1664 *Ricfi. Mather,


Haggai ii. 4.

1665 *[Johri] Russell,


Ps. cxxii. 6.

H. U. 1645

1666 "[Thomas'} Cobbett,


II Chron. xv. 2.

1667 *Jona. Mitchel,


Neh. ii. 10.

H. U. 1647

1668 "William Stoughton,


Isa. Ixiii. 8.

H. U. 1650

1669 *John Davenport,


II Sam. xxiii. 3.

1670 *Sam. Danforth,


Mat. xi. 7, 8, 9.

H. U. 1643

1671 "John Oxenbridge,


Hosea viii. 4.

1672 *Thomas Shepard,


Jer. ii. 31.

H. U. 1653

1673 *Urian Oakes,

President H. U.

Deut. xxxii. 29.

H. U. 1649

1674 "Samuel Torrey,


Rev. ii. 5.

1675 "Joshua Moody,

Judges ii. 12.

H. U. 1653

1676 "William Hubbard,


I Chron. xii. 32.

H. U. 1642

1677 "Increase Mather,


I Chron. xxviii. 9.

H. U. 1656

1678 *Samuel Phillips,


1 Tim. ii. 2.

H. U. 1650

1679 "James Allen,


I Kings viii. 57.

1680 * Bulkley,

I Sam. ii. 30.

1681 * Wm. Brimsmead,


Jer. vi. 8.

1682 *Sam. Willard,


Jer. xxvi. 12, 13.

H. U. 1659

1683 *Sam. Torrey,


Deut. xxxii. 47.

1684 *[Johri\ Hale,


Haggai ii. 4.

H. U. 1657

1685 "William Adams,


Isa. Ixvi. 2.

H. U. 1671

1686 *Mich. Wigglesworth,


Rev. ii. 4.

H. U. 1651




1689 'Cotton Mather,\


II Chron. xv. 2.

H. U. 1678

1690 "Cotton Mather,


Neh. v. 19.

H. U: 1678


1692 "[Joshua] Moody,


H. U. 1653

1693 "Increase Mather,


Isa. 1. 26.

H. U. 1656

1694 "Samuel Willard,


II Sam. xxiii. 3.

H. U. 1659

1695 "Samuel Torrey,


Hosea i. 7.

t To the Conyention, when Andres wa* depoted.


\"ear. Preacher.




1696 "Cotton Mather,


I Sam. vii. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. H. U. 1678

1697 "[John] Dcmforth,


H. U. 1677

1698 'Nicholas Noyes,


Jeremiah xxxi. 23.

H. U. 1667

1699 * Increase Mather,


I Samuel ii. 30.

H. U. 1656

1700 "Cotton Mather,


Psalm o.\l vii. 2.

H. U. 1678

1701 "Joseph Belcher,


Job xxix. 25.

H. U. 1690

1702 "Increase Mather,


Esther x. 3.

H. U. 1656

1703 "Solomon Stoddard,


Exodus xx. 12.

H. U. 1662

1704 "Jonathan Russell,


Nehemiah ix. 33.

H. U. 1675

1705 "Joseph Estabrook,


Genesis xii. 2.

H. U. 1664

1706 "John Rogers,


I Kings viii. 57, 58.

H. U. 1684

1707 "Samuel Belcher,


Matthew vi. 10.

H. U. 1659

1708 "John Norton,


Numbers xiv. 11.

H. U. 1671

1709 "Grindal Rawson,


Jeremiah xiii. 16.

H. U. 1678

1710 "Ebenezer Pemberton,


Psalm Ixxxii. 6, 7.

H. U. 1691

1711 * Peter Thacher,


Isaiah Iviii. 18.

H. U. 1671

1712 "Samuel Cheever,


Psalm xxii. 27, 28.

H. U. 1659

1713 *Samuel Treat,


Psalm ii. 8.

H. U. 1669

1714 "Samuel Danforth,


Psalm Ixxx. 14.

H. U. 1683

1715 * Jeremiah Shepard,


Isaiah Ixiii. 12.

H. U. 1669

1716 "Benjamin Wadsworth,


Psalm Ixxviii. 72.

H. U. 1690

1717 "Roland Cotton,


Ecclesiastes xii. 13.

H. U. 1685

1718 "Benjamin Colman,


Nehemiah v. 19.

H. U. 1692

1719 "William Williams,


Judges ii. 2.

H. U. 1683

1720 "Nathaniel Stone,


Romans xiii. 3.

H. U. 1690

1721 "Samuel Moody,


Luke iv. 14, 15.

H. U. 1697

1722 "John Hancock,


Luke xxii. 25.

H. U. 1689

1723 "Benjamin Colman,


I Chron. xxviii. 8.

H. U. 1692

1724 "Joseph Sewall,


II Samuel xxiii. 3, 4.

H. U. 1707

1725 "Ebenezer Thayer,


Jeremiah vi. 8.

H. U. 1708

1726 "Peter Thacher,


Psalm Ixxvii. 20.

H. U. 1696

1727 "Joseph Baxter,


I Timothy ii. 1,2.

H. U. 1693

1728 "Robert Breck,


Deuteronomy v. 29.

H. U. 1700

1729 "Jeremiah Wise,


Romans xiii. 4.

H. U. 1700

1730 *Thomas Prince,


I Samuel ii. 6, 7.

H. U. 1707

1731 "Samuel Fiske,


Psalm ci. 6.

H. U. 1708

1732 "John Swift,


Luke xiii. 9.

H. U. 1697

1733 "Samuel Wigglesworth,


Revelation iii. 1, 2.

H. U. 1707

1734 "John Barnard,


Proverbs xvi. 12.

H. U. 1700


Year. Preacher. Place. Text.

1735 *John Prentice, Lancaster, nChron.xvii.3,4,5,6

1736 *Edward Holyoke, Marblehead, Nehemiah vii. 2.

1737 "Israel Loring, Sudbury, Revelation ii. 5.

1738 *John Webb, Boston, Isaiah ix. 6.

1739 *Peter Clark, Salem, Hosea xi. 12.

1740 "William Cooper, Boston, Psalm ii. 10, 11, 12.

1741 "William Williams, Weston, Zechariah xii. 5.

1742 "Nathaniel Appleton, Cambridge, Psalm Ixxii. 1, 2, 3.

1743 'Nathaniel Eelles, Scituate, Deut. xxxii. 47.

1744 "James Allen, Brookline, Isaiah vi. 1.

1745 *Ebenezer Gay, Hingham, II Samuel xxi. 17.

1746 *John Barnard. Andover, Psalm Ixxxii. 1.

1747 *Charles Chauncy, Boston, II Samuel xxiii. 3.

1748 "Daniel Lewis, Pembroke, Isaiah xxii. 21.

1749 * William Balch, Bradford, Psalm cxxii. 6, 7, 8, 9.

1750 *Samuel Phillips, Andover, Proverbs viii. 15, 16.

1751 "William Welsteed, Boston, Psalm xlvii. 9.

1752 Small pox in Boston. No sermon.

1753 *John Cotton, Newton, Isaiah xxxiii. 6.

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