Old age wears a crown of glory, when found in the ways of righteousness. We bow down before the gray-haired veterans, and honor our ancestry which has borne so many octogenarians, men and women who have lived long and well, know how to die well.
RESPONSE BY REV. F. P. CHAPIN,
Pastor Congregational Church, North Weymouth.
MR. PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF TME FAMILY:
There is a saying that it becomes a Scotchman to look well how he makes up his mind, for when he once puts his foot down, it is hard for him to take it up again. This saying has reference to the well known trait of the Scotch generally for consistency and persistency. I thought after listening awhile to the admirable portraits of character drawn of several of your ancestors, before I knew where the Bicknell family originated, that surely you must be of Scotch descent. I was taken aback when I learned that you were originally Scandinavian. But respect for my opinion returned when one of your speakers said that the family, after leaving Scandinavia, actually spent some time in Scotland, before going to England, so your ancestors gained the best traits of those nations before coming to America.
I think your ancestor John must have put his foot down right when he became prominent in church and parish matters in 1651. I am glad to find by the Parish Records that so many of his descendants followed in his footsteps. This appears quite evident from the fact that none of them have been committed for crime.
I am glad to meet so many descendants of one of the early members of the First Church of Weymouth. The old church salutes you, and feels a material joy and pride in your gathering. In response to the sentiment which you gave me to reply to, and which your ancestors have so remarkably illustrated, let me say in the words of wisdom: "Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her; and happy is every one that retaineth her."
I thank you for the very kind invitation which I received and for what I have enjoyed at your gathering, and for this opportunity to add my mite to the record of this day.