Reverand James Keith

His home        The site of his first sermon        His church        His burial site

All Photos taken by Terry Keith October, 1999


Extracts from a sermon of Cotton Mather
 on the death of Rev. James Keith:
(held on pulpit rock)

Alas, The Angel of the Church of Bridgewater, has this week heard that voice from Heaven unto him, Come up hither; And he's flown; A desirable man, if any among us were worthy to be Esteemed so; Yea, you now know, whom I had in my Eye, while I was describing. A Man Greatly Beloved; The Desirable and very venerable James Keith who preached his first sermon in the place where I am now standing more than fifty years ago, is this last week expired. That silver Trumpet has done the sounding.  And it were a fault in me, if I should not in this place take notice of a man who had in Everlasting Remembrance Discharging both publicly and privately work of his Ministry even to the last and for seven years after he had passed thro' a jubilee. A Town that stood in a land of unwalled villages, when there were armies of bloody Indians, destroying round about them, not very long after this Keith was to come to be, A glory and a defense unto them.  It was remarkable that tho' the town was after assaulted by formidable troops of savages, yet in all the sharp assaults it never lost as much as one inhabitant.  They wanted not for solicitation to desert their dwellings; but having a Keith to animate them they resolved, that they would keep their stations and stand still to see the salvation of God; once the Indians began to fire the town; but, they had a Keith, with his faith, to turn the flight the armies of the aliens. The people with a noble courage issued forth from their garrisons, to fight the enemy. But God at the same time fought for them, with a storm of thunder and lightening and rain, whereby a considerable part of the houses were preserved. O man greatly beloved; After that memorable time, the town went went on, prospering and flourishing under the care of this faithful shepherd; until anon they became two bands; their Pastor did generously approve and assist, the peaceable swarming of a new assembly from him; and on that day when they first met in their new edifice, he preached unto them that savoury sermon, which afterwards published under the title of, "A Case of Prayer, handled on a day of prayer." A sermon worthy to be their perpetual monitor.  And, which two years before his death he concluded with minding them, this exhortation is given you, by your aged Pastor, who has served you in the gospel now full fifty-four years, and I hope, by the grace God in some measure of sincerity, tho' attended with much weakness, great infirmities, and manifold temptations.

(Sermon compliments of The Old Bridgewater Historical Society)

Inscription reads (superimposed):

The tomb of Rev. James Keith
in the Old Grave Yard, West Bridgewater, Mass. as it appears today.