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ORANGE CONG. CHURCH 37
Miss Emilie C. Prudden.
IT is a precious privilege to be present on this occasion ; to rejoice with this church at the close of its first century, and the beginning of a new century of progress. The beauty and charm of this renovated building, the gladness and hope in all faces, the greetings of old friends, the greatness of the event we celebrate, the rounding out of a hundred years of church life-make this, a day to be ever remembered. To those of us who return after long absence, what loving memories rise, of gatherings in this dear church home, of the Sabbath worship, of the faces of saints long vanished from earth; what grateful feelings for the blessed influences that surrounded us here. Words cannot tell the debt we owe, we owe ourselves, to the holy teachings of this Church of God As I stand here today, I have the advantage of most of those present, in that I can look farther down the century. I could call the names of many of the original members, the gray-haired fathers, as they sat in the high-backed pews. And knowing the first members of this church seventy years ago, it seems but a step farther down, and I could grasp the hands of the real Pilgrims, who settled along our lovely shore. How beautiful to them seemed this far-stretching coast with its bays and inlets and its broad-mouthed rivers setting back between green meadows. How often their hearts sang 'sweet land of liberty.' How well their sons wrought during the early days of our church, building homes that are still pictures of beauty and strength. With what devout purpose, with what sacrifice and