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“ [208] preach three months on a free contribution.” This must have been nearly a tie vote, since thirteen members immediately enter their protest against it. This probably ended Mr. Woodbridge's connection with the church as its preacher; for, in the next year, Mr. John Tufts is a favorite, and commended for settlement.

During the long and increasing dissension, which was now closed, it is apparent that the town took counsel of wisdom and charity. They wished to give Mr. Woodbridge every opportunity of righting himself before the community, the churches, and the government; they apprehended the worldly and spiritual equity of the case; and it is refreshing to read their vote upon it, in the following beautiful words:--

The difference hath been as tenderly, carefully, and well managed as we could.

It is observable also with what serpent-like wisdom and dove-like harmlessness their advisers managed the case. They did not consider the contending parties as acids and alkalies, but as friends who desired reconciliation. After such a religious dissension, a parish would not be likely to unite very soon in the choice of another minister, unless there was that enlarged spirit of Christian compromise which requires more profound thought and a more expansive tolerance than the education of our ancestors had led them to attain or to cherish.

Mr. Woodbridge died in Medford, Jan. 15, 1710, after a residence of nearly ten years, aged sixty-five; and, on the same day, with commendable promptitude and just liberality, the town voted ten pounds to defray the expenses of his funeral,--an act which proves that they would not let the sun go down upon their animosity.

Thursday, 19th, Mr. Woodbridge was buried. Mr. Parsons, of Maiden, preached the funeral sermon. Bearers: President (of College); Mr. Hobart, of Newton; Mr. Brattle; Mr. Bradstreet; Mr. Parsons; Mr. Ruggles, of Billericay. By reason that it was lecture-day, and Mr. Colman preached, and the wind very high and blustering, not one Boston minister was there.

Mr. Woodbridge seems not to have lost his ministerial standing during his troubles in Medford; and we must leave to future disclosures some points which now appear equivocal.

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