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94 Character of Mr. Woodbridge.
a teacher of the church with Mr. Parker, his uncle, his mother being Mr. Parker's sister. Mr. Woodbridge was born in 1613, the son of a pious clergyman of Wiltshire. John was " trained up in the way he should go," and when prepared, sent to Oxford to receive an education. But not choosing to take the oath of conformity, he left college, and pursued his studies in a more private way. The ceremonies of the church, being rigorously enforced, young Woodbridge, in 1634, came over to New England with Mr. Parker. With the rest he took up lands in Newbury, and continued his studies, till, by reason of his father's death, he was called to England; having accomplished his business and married a daughter of governor Dudley's, he returned to New England, in the infancy of Andover, where he was ordained, Sept. 16, 1644. Here he continued with reputation, till by the invitation of friends, in 1647, he once more crossed the Atlantic to the pleasant isle of his nativity. There he continued, useful and happy, till the Bartholomew a£t, in 1663, banished hira once more to America. Soon after his arrival on these shores, the church in Newbury invit ed him to be an assistant of his aged uncle, and to them he devoted his labours. But after sometime, a difficulty concerning church discipline rose between him and his people, he was dismissed. Sooft after, he was remarkably blessed "in his private estate," which supplied the loss of his salary. His reputation was good, and he wasap
Union of the Colonies. 95
pointed a Justice of the Peace, and Magistrate of the colony. He had twelve children; eleven of whom lived to be men and women. He had the comfort of seeing three sons, and two sons in law, employed in the gospel ministry, and four grandsons candidates for the same work. He was a man of an excellent spirit, and gave good evidence that he " had been san&ified from his infancy." He was of a remarkably patient, pleasant temper, noted for his readiness to forgive injuries, rarely or never disturbed by worldly disappointments. A messenger once brought him word of great loss of property; his reply was, a what a mercy it is that this is the first time that I ever met with such a disaster." On a sabbath day in March, 1695, after a distressing disease, he went to everlasting rest, aged 82 years. To him succeeded the Rev* John Richardson, who was ordained teacher of the first church in Newbury, with Mr. Parker, Oa, 20, 1675. He died April 27, 1696, in the 50th year of his age, and 21st of his ministry. Since that time the church have had three Pastors,the Rev. Mr. Tappan, the Rev. Dr. Tucker, and the R£V* Mr, Moor, and are now destitute.
The Massachusetts colony w^s threatened by the surrounding Indians. In (these circumstances prudence dictated that union should be established between the two infant colonies. To bring about a measure so necessary to their safety, the Governor, with the Rev. Mr. Wilson and others pr©~ 36 Complaint against the Colonies.
ceeded to Plymouth, forty miles through the wilderness on foot. They were kindly and respectfully received by governor Bradford, and the principal gentlemen at Plymouth; and the result of this embassy was a lasting friendship between the colonies*
C H A-P. VIII.
Complaint against the colonists, character of Rev. Mr. Higginson, Ipswich settled, further immigrations, representative government, code of laws enacted.
L HE colonists, in their zeal to preserve the unity and purity of the faith, had expelled from among them some, whose principles and conduct they disapproved. These persons complained to the king of the wrongs they had suffered. Their complaint was referred to the privy council for colonies, Jan. 1632; but most of the charges being denied, and " to avoid discouragement to the adventurers, and in hopes that the colony which then had a promising appearance would prove beneficial to the kingdom," the complaint was dismissed.*"
On the 15th of March, 1630, died the Rev. FranCis Higginson, first pastor of Salem church. Character of Mr. Higginson. 97
He was educated at Emanuel college, Cambridge, in England, and had been Pastor of a church in Leicester. His preaching was truly evangelical, his great object being to produce that change of heart, and holy rectitude of condu£t, without which no man can see the kingdom of God» The effe6t was such as might be expected, a remarkable revival of religion was the reward of his labours, and many were effectually turned from sin to holiness; but like many other good men, for his npnconformity, he was deprived of his pulpit. At this time burst forth the weight of his influence; the arm of ecclesiastical power could not obscure the lustre of his talents. Such was the pathos and enchanting persuasiveness of his eloquence, that the people could not be denied the pleasure of his instructions, '' He was unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument" The people obtained liberty for him to preach a lecture on one part of the sabbath, and on the other to aid an aged clergyman, who needed his assistance. The people supported him by a free contribution; while it was safe all the conforming ministers in the town invited him into their pulpits, He preached to another congregation a mile out of town; thus did the field of his labours expand. But as it often happens in similar cases, while one part of the community was delighted and encouraged in their public and private religion, another part, feeling
§8 Character of Mr. Higginson.
themselves rebuked and condemned, became more violent opposers and more cruel persecutors.
Mr. Higginson openly avowed his opinion, that ignorant and immoral people ought not to be admitted to the table of the Lord. Accordingly, after preaching a sermon from this text, "Give not that which is holy to dogs," and being about to administer the sacrament, he saw a known swearer and drunkard before him, to whom he publicly said u he was not willing to give the Lord's Supper to him, unless he professed his repentance to the satisfaction of the brethren, and desired him to withdraw." The man went out in a rage against Mr. Higginson, and with horror in his own conscience, he was immediately taken sick, and in a few days expired, crying out, " / am damned." Another profane person being offended with his wife, for attending Mr. Higginson's preaching, vowed revenge upon him. Accordingly, he resolved on a journey to London to complain to the high commission court against him. All things being made ready for his journey, and he mounting his horse, an insupportable pain of body seized him; his conscience was terrified; he was agitated with horror: being led into his house, he died in a few hours.
A number of respectable and wealthy merchants having obtained a charter of Charles the first, and being incorporated by the name of the governor and company of Massachusetts Bay, in New England, determined, in 1629, to send §ver some