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“ [206] this manner, there will be a foundation laid for endless confusion and contention in this languishing town: for these and other such considerations, the town do declare themselves highly dissatisfied at Mr. Woodbridge's late irregular attempts and actions about gathering a church, and do protest against his going on in the offensive way he is in, and do forbid his preaching any more in their public meeting-house.”

Mr. Woodbridge now appealed to the “General Sessions of Peace” at Charlestown. Their reply was, that “Mr. Woodbridge is not a settled minister in Medford.” Fourteen citizens immediately entered their protest against this decision. He next appealed to Governor Dudley and his Council; and the result there was expressed in these words: “That Mr. Woodbridge should not preach till he had made acknowledgments to the aggrieved parties.”

July, 1705: A council of six churches was called, “to convince of, and testify against, those evils which have obstructed the quiet and regular settlement and enjoyment of all gospel ordinances in Medford.” Rev. Joseph Easterbrook, of Concord, was Moderator. The Council censured both Mr. Woodbridge and the town of Medford. One of the censures of Mr. Woodbridge was, that “the steps which he took towards gathering a church, as to the time and under the circumstances, were very unadvised, and obstructive to the regular settlement and enjoyment of all gospel ordinances in that town.”

We can imagine how much fireside conversation and deep feeling there must have been in the scattered farm-houses of Medford, while these unhappy differences had risen so high as to require the attention of the clergy, and even the inter-position of the highest executive authority. Sadness and gloom settled upon the minds of our fathers. At such a time, they obeyed the dictates of a Christian prudence and a pious heart. They believed in prayer; and therefore, on the 6th December, 1706, the Selectmen appointed a town fast, that all the inhabitants, with one heart and one mind, should unite in asking God to heal these divisions, and restore to them a true gospel peace.

Cool and right-hearted, as full of valor as of wisdom, the town was still tolerant, and referred their case to the “Court of Sessions at Cambridge,” who appointed four persons to hear all the complaints on both sides, and then to recommend some mode of reconciliation, or to advise a peaceable separation.

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