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[p. 100] court in its opinion, and in March, 1703-4, they voted not to settle him ‘until some things be better composed’ relating to him, and voted ‘to refer the difficulty to the elders at Boston.’ They were the Revs. Increase Mather and Samuel Willard, who said, ‘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. 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 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.’ This decision of the elders of Boston was given May 2, 1704, and on May 29, at a meeting adjourned from May 15, the town voted that ‘Ensign Francis and John Francis should inform Mr. Woodbridge that the meeting was adjourned to June the 19th ensuing that he might have a further opportunity to give satisfaction to the town and the other dissatisfied persons in the town, that the town might proceed either to a more full and complete settlement or a dismission.’ Whether Mr. Woodbridge appeared at this adjourned meeting, ‘to give satisfaction to the town and the other dissatisfied persons in the town,’ does not appear in the records of the meeting, but at this time the town voted that ‘the call to Mr. Woodbridge in March, 1698, was conditional upon his performing the whole work of an ordained minister, and though we invited Mr. Woodbridge to preach the word of God amongst us as abovesaid, the time that he hath continued with us since said invitation hath been the season of his probation amongst us, in which time of probation Mr. Woodbridge hath given such offence to the carpenters that erected his house, and to several of ’
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