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May 2, 1704.
The differences between Mr. Woodbridge and several of the good people of Medford have been laid before our consideration, and they appear unto us to be of a very uncomfortable aspect.

Our advice having been asked, whether it be proper to proceed unto an immediate settlement of a church state, whilst the present uneasiness and alienation of minds remain uncured, we cannot but declare that it seems to us not desirable. We could rejoice if we had a more hopeful prospect of a right understanding and good establishment in Medford.

If it appears hopeless to the discerning Christians in the place (whereof we at this distance make not ourselves the judges), it seems better for them to study the best methods of parting as lovingly and speedily as they can, than, by continuing longer together, and carrying on a controversy, to produce exasperations that may defeat all other attempts to come at a desirable settlement.


The advice of these gentlemen, so full of wisdom and love, did not suit Mr. Woodbridge. Difficulties thickened, and the church seemed to have fallen into a “place where two seas met.”

June 19, 1704, the town voted that what they had done about Mr. Woodbridge's settlement be null and void. This does not seem to have altered materially the relations of the parties; for, Dec. 19, 1704, the town directed the Selectmen to make “a rate of forty pounds, and thirteen cords of wood, for Mr. Woodbridge's salary.” What constituted a legal call of a minister, seems not to have been definitely understood. Some strenuously maintained that “it was not in the power of a town to dismiss their minister.”

March 5, 1705, the town “voted that they would not proceed to settle Mr. Woodbridge as their minister.” After this, the reverend gentleman resorted to a new mode of operation, aided, no doubt, by his few earnest friends. The explanation of all may be found in the following vote of the town at the time:--

Voted, “Whereas Mr. Woodbridge hath lately attempted the gathering a church in Medford, contrary to the respected advice of the elders in the neighborhood, though the whole procedure hath been highly irregular, and done without advice or respect of the inhabitants of the town, and without the countenance and concurrence of the neighbor churches; and, if he continues among us after ”

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