|56||History of Hingham.|
and entered upon his pastorate at that time. A more detailed account of Mr. Billings and his settlement over the two parishes has been given in the history of the Second Parish.
The "New North" meeting-house was erected, as has been stated, in 1807. No material change in the exterior of the building has been made. New pews were placed in the galleries about 1833, at the time of the purchase of an organ. March 18, 1883, John Baker, Jairus B. Lincoln, Martin Lincoln, and Jairus Lincoln were chosen a committee "to purchase a church organ for the society the expense of which shall not exceed the sum of twelve hundred dollars." This organ was formerly the property of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. In 1849 a contract was made with George Stevens for a new organ, to cost twelve hundred dollars. This latter instrument is the one in use at the present time.
In 1852 the appearance of the interior was much changed by the removal of the draperies back of the pulpit, and the painting of the walls and ceilings in fresco, which included upon the wall over the pulpit a tablet bearing the inscription, "Sanctify them through thy truth." A commemorative sermon was preached by Rev. Oliver Stearns, Dec. 12, 1852, on reopening the meeting-house after these expensive repairs and alterations.
In the spring of 1890 still further changes were made in the interior of the meeting-house. The fresco painting gave way to tinted walls and ceiling of a less ornate character, some of the front pews were removed to give additional open space in front of the pulpit, new pulpit stairs were built, a background of drapery was put upon the wall behind the pulpit, and the organ was thoroughly repaired and improved by the addition of new pipes and stops.
The clock, procured by private subscription, was placed in the tower in 1845.
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