The uncharacteristic spire and bell were at the insistence of the donor who underwrote the costs of constructing the meetinghouse. Change was in the air, not just for Friends.
The Seabrook meetinghouse was moved to Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, where it became a private residence. The central chimney is a later addition.
My dear friend, never follow a bad example, but keep following a good one; whoever does what is right is from God, but no one who does what is wrong has ever seen God. – 3 John: 11
Once again, we are pointed toward the Source and reminded of our need to walk it that Light.
Listen to Elizabeth Bathurst:
- Thus having written my Experience of the Quakers Principle, I shall write something to detect the erroneous and false Opinion, that is got up in the Minds of many, concerning the Way and Means by which People come to believe therein.
- But since I find it was more by Education and Tradition, than any certain Evidence I could have of the Truth of that Religion, I find myself obliged to detect those Errors in publick, which I have heard, divers of them, cast upon the People called Quakers in private, charitably judging they speak not so much against them out of Ill-will, as Ignorance of, and Unacquaintance with.
- For if a Man abide not in me (saith Christ) he is cast forth as a Branch, and is withered, John xv. 6. and in Vers. 10. he tells them, If ye keep my Commandments, ye shall abide in my Love, even as I have kept my Father’s Commandments, and abide in his Love. Thereby signifying, that if we keep not his Commandments, neither shall we abide in his Love; so then if we abide not in that which keeps us in the Love of God, we cannot abide in God, for God is Love.
- For that in the Conscience which checks for Sin, and excites to Holiness, is the Voice of the Son of God, by whom in these last Days, the Father speaketh unto us: O! be ye persuaded to hearken diligently unto him; Hear, and your Souls shall live; and I will make an everlasting Covenant with you (saith the Lord) even the sure Mercies of David.
Dover Meeting resulted from the turbulent visiting ministry of three women in 1662. Despite severe persecution and banishment, they nevertheless returned to the community — soon abetted by more vocal Quakers — and convinced about a third of the population to join with the Society of Friends in spite of the political and social consequences to themselves and their families.
For the first decades, the local Quakers worshiped in members’ homes and farms.
The first meetinghouse was built about 1680 on Dover Neck, just south of the present St. Thomas Aquinas high school and probably just north of the Pinkham family cemetery. The burial ground contains a number of Quaker-style gravestones, some in a thicket behind the maintained section.
A second meetinghouse was erected in 1712 near the present corner of Locust and Silver streets, and Dover Friends worshiped in both buildings as a matter of convenience until a third meetinghouse was constructed in 1768. That large structure was likely raised in a single day, the way Amish barns are today, and the two smaller houses were then sold. The first went to Eliot, Maine, where it continued use for Friends worship.
As I said at the time:
As a technical matter, all churches are “denominational,” even if it’s only unto themselves.
Apart from that, I’m glad thee has responded to the invitations – some Friends to the contrary, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying fellowship, even fun and games. (Don’t tell thy father, but the Mennonites up here round me up and drag me along to the Orioles baseball games. Frank says they’ll never get him to go, but I wouldn’t put any money on that – even if it weren’t against our OYM Discipline.) Games kept in perspective can help keep our minds and hearts lively (and we’ve said that in our responses to the queries, too!) and at Winona in the wintertime, when we have our Meetings for Business in members’ homes, we always end the evening with board games. Imagine being a newspaper editor and getting skunked at word games by a bunch of otherwise quiet farmers! Uh . . . no, Becky, please don’t get the Scrabble out in preparation for my next visit . . . no, Becky . . . Becky? Oh, well . . . My cousins used to do pretty well in the Bible Bowls, too – different churches would pit teams against each other, to see who could most promptly and correctly identify certain passages, characters, places, etc. Sarah could wipe them all out, if Rockingham Monthly Meeting should decide to take on all comers. I nominate Faye to coach.