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many besides, in their years of ripened manhood, fifty or sixty years ago? Others of little less intellectual power and literary accomplishments, dispersed among the retired towns and villages of New England, where they wrought unknown to "the great world," and where now sleep their treasured remains, won the respect of the wise and good, and left in all the region around the fragrance of precious memories. Others still were scholarly in their habits and acquisitions, were well versed in Hebrew, better in Greek, and thoroughly read on all critical subjects connected with their profession, whose earnest and manly piety, suffusing and vitalizing their learning, constituted a pulpit power which subdued their hearers with the solemnities of scriptural truth ; and which still vibrates in the hearts of multitudes redeemed unto God both among the living and the dead.
In their theological system God held not only the highest place, but infinitely the highest place. God's throne must stand ; his glory must shine; and man find his place as a dependent, voluntary, and responsible being on his footstool. These two points in Pauline theology — God's sovereignty, and man in his hands a free, accountable being, under infinite obligation to obey, and, notwithstanding the depth of his depravity, with adequate ability to obey — were received in their fulness; two points, if clearly held and in just equipoise, all other doctrines and precepts of the gospel will assume, in an intelligent and logical mind, their just and relative position. Salvation is all of grace; and yet lost man, if he avails himself of its gratuitous deliverance, is the willing
recipient. Christ is the all-sufficient Saviour and allprevailing Intercessor, worthy of highest adoration both on earth and in heaven; and yet, notwithstanding he is so great and glorious, man is saved through his almighty interposition only by faith and repentance and self-dedication, which are his own acts; and yet in such a sense his own, that all the glory of their incipiency, growth, and maturity will be ascribed forever to the " Author and Finisher of faith." Man, prostrate in ruin, must be born again, “ not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God;" and when born of God he will be habitually consecrated to him, and at once rise into the dignity of an earnest and prayerful co-worker.
We do not say that Dr. Woodbridge was in all respects like this class of divines, or that any one of them was in all respects like his compeers. They were independent thinkers. Each had and manifested his own individuality. But Dr. Woodbridge stood with them on the same platform of theological truth, occupied the same plane of religious experience and of revivalistic aims and labors. We trust this generation of pastors will not soon fade from the recollection of their ecclesiastical descendants. Their history may well be made
A clergyman of much Christian experience and ample opportunities to gain comprehensive views of the peculiar type of piety now prevalent in our churches and the theological drift of the times, has expressed the desire that a book might be written contrasting the present spiritual state of our churches with their spirit
ual state half a century ago. The ensuing biography will supply, in part, such a volume.
The author would gratefully acknowledge the kindness of several clergymen and others in furnishing materials for his work. The reader is especially indebted to Miss S. A. Woodbridge for many of the most important facts and most pleasing incidents which enrich the following pages. Some quite lengthy communications from her pen are inserted entire.
P. S. This memoir was written some three years since. But unavoidable circumstances of a private nature have hitherto prevented its publication. In the meantime the family have had ample opportunity to examine and correct the manuscript. The author gratefully acknowledges his renewed obligation, especially to Miss S. A. W. for her unwearied effort to perfect the work. It now goes forth with many prayers for the divine blessing to attend it. Shall it not bring some ripened sheaves into the heavenly garner ?
SOMERVILLE, (Winter Hill,) Mass.,
BIRTH. — ANCESTRY. — CHILDHOOD.
UNQUALIFIED eulogy, by betraying the hand of partial friendship, betrays him it applauds to the suspicions alike of the candid and the captious. In this world there is no pure gold of character. The Son of Man, “the brightness of his " Father's " glory," has alone walked the earth, radiant and stainless without alloy. The Christian graces, however bright, never expel from probationary life all that tarnishes its lustre. The true Christian biographer will endeavor to paint his subject to the life ; he will so draw the varied lines of form and feature, so skilfully touch with light and shade the brow, the eye, the lips, the general lineaments, as to fasten upon the canvas the distinctive expression of the living man. This is the scriptural method. It aims, by truthfulness of delineation, not to extol the subject, but to magnify restoring grace. The characters of the most accomplished saints portrayed by the pen of Inspiration, are so sketched as to redound to the glory of Ilim who fashioned them. The doctrines, religious experience, and sturdy spirit of Dr. Woodbridge, demand of his delineator the same inflexible regard to truth and to the honor of sovereign grace. Were he himself, now radiant with the humility of heaven, consulted, who can doubt that he would