e of sins, blastings, mildews, drought, grasshoppers, caterpillars, small pox," "loss of cattle by cold and frowns of Providence." Perhaps a mouse and a snake had a battle in the neighborhood, and the minister must expound it as "symbolizing the conflict betwixt Satan and God's poor people," the latter being the mouse triumphant. Then if there were a military expedition, the minister might think it needful to accompany it. If there were even a muster, he must open and close it with prayer, or, in his absence, the captain must officiate instead.
One would naturally add to this record of labors the attendance on weddings and funerals. It is strange how few years are required to make a usage seem ancestral, or to reunite a traditional broken one. Who now remembers that our progenitors for more than a century disused religious services on both these solemn occasions? Magistrates alone could perform the marriage ceremony; though it was thought to be carrying the monopoly quite too far, when Governor Bellingham,