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1761 Octavo First Edition Pamphlet Sermon Preached At The Ordination Of Reverend Mr. Eliab Stone To The Pastoral Care Of The Second Church By Matthew Bridge-The Reverend Who Resembled George Washington

1761 Octavo First Edition Pamphlet Sermon Preached At The Ordination Of Reverend Mr. Eliab Stone To The Pastoral Care Of The Second Church By Matthew Bridge-The Reverend Who Resembled George Washington

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Importance: The Rev. Matthew Bridge was born in Lexington, July 18, 1721, and was the son of Matthew and Abigail Bridge, of that town. He descended from John Bridge, who settled early in Cambridge, and from his son Matthew, who married Anna Danforth, sister of Lt. Gov. Danforth, the original grantee of the territory of Framingham. Mr. Bridge was educated at Harvard College, where he graduated in 1741. He was at one time engaged as a teacher in Worcester. He was ordained minister of the First Parish in Framingham, Feb. 19, 1745 - 6, and married, soon after, Anne, daughter of the Rev. Daniel Perkins, of Bridgewater, by whom he had seven children, three of whom were sons. His ministry in this town, though disturbed at its commencement by serious dissensions, embarrassing to a young man, was marked by uniform firmness, and a spirit of conciliation, which ultimately reinstated, in a good measure, the peace and harmony of the church. Though not distinguished as a preacher, he is uniformly represented as a man of benevolent feelings and attractive manners ; and by a faithful service of his people, he secured a general and lasting attachment. At the breaking out of the war of the Revolution, Mr. Bridge, in common with other clergymen, volunteered his services as chaplain to the American army, which was then stationed at Cambridge. While in the discharge of this duty, he was seized with an epidemic disease, which prevailed in the camp ; to which he fell a sacrifice a week or two after his return home, on the day above named [September 2, 1775].

The only Sermon published by Mr. Bridge, was a Discourse delivered at the Ordination of Mr. Eliab Stone, over the Second Church in Reading, May 20, 1761 ; and printed by Thomas and John Fleet, Boston, 1761.

[In] Oct. 18, 1779. A committee was chosen by the town to build a monument over the grave of the Rev. Mr. Bridge. Probably by reason of the Revolutionary distresses, this purpose was postponed ; and though again brought before the town in 1801, it has remained to this day unexecuted.

We have been favored with a memorandum of an interview with the late Mr. Ebenezer Eaton, in 1832, who described Mr. Bridge's personal appearance as dignified and imposing. He was more than six feet high; his hair very black, which he wore in curls over the cape of his coat; his eyes black, his figure erect and 'boney,' resembling that of General Washington, by whose side he had seen him stand, when the army was stationed at Cambridge. Mr. Eaton stated that he was much beloved by his people, and esteemed by those of other towns. He was extremely benevolent in his feelings. "He was good himself, and wished to make every body else so.”

Mr. Bridge's widow was remarried, after his decease, to the Rev. Timothy Harrington, of Lancaster, April 11, 1780, whom she survived. She deceased at Framingham, May 12, 1805., ae. about 81 years. The Boston Gazette, of Sept. 11, 1775, contains a notice of Mr. Bridge's decease, confirming the general impression of the amiableness of his character, and the affectionate esteem in which he was held by his people.

The only manuscript writing of Mr. Bridge, in preservation, is a
“Diary,” kept in his early years. A granddaughter, in placing it in the author's hand, remarked, "that it gives a specimen of the extreme simplicity of his early life and manners." We may add, that it affords full evidence of his early habits of piety, and of an inquisitive interest in theological reading.

**Barry, William. “The Settlement of Rev. Matthew Bridge.” A History of Framingham, Massachusetts, Including the Plantation, from 1640 to the Present Time, with an Appendix, Containing a Notice of Sudbury and Its First Proprietors., Boston, J. Munroe and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1847, pp. 113–121. 

**Nichols, Janet. “Highlights in Our 316 Year History.” First Parish in Framingham Unitarian Universalist.

Binding: Disbound Octavo Pamphlet.

Provenance: None.

Collation & Notes: A4 ([A1r] H.T. & [A2r] G.T.P.) B4, C4, D4 (ends D4r). [16] ff. 31, [1] p. (32 pages).

Complete, with an original half title & title page. Vertical chain lines. WorldCat & OCLC records 29 copies.

Condition: Leaves (7.625” x 5.125”). A1 H.T. gutter minor tears. Edges slightly chipped in places.

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