Who can describe, even comprehend, the results of revivals conducted on such scriptural, and we may truthfully add, philosophical, grounds ? Under God they could not be otherwise than enduring, quickening to the church, and elevating to the community ; not only giving present joy to God's people, but sending influences down the line of coming generations ; becoming themselves sources of other revivals, and starting unnumbered streams of blessing on earth, and awakening myriads on myriads of sweetest anthems forever.

The whole number added to the church during these twenty years was four hundred and five a fraction over twenty a year.” The Doctor was slow and cautious in admitting new converts to the church.




Dr. Woodbridge WAS STRICT IN CHURCH DISCIPLINE. He believed the covenant into which the members entered on joining the church, was a most solemn transaction with God, implying both an unalterable obligation of fidelity to him as their chosen Lord, and to the brethren in mutual covenant; an engagement on the one hand, to watch over them in Christian love, and on the other, cheerfully to submit to their Christian watch and discipline.

This, in his view, was one of the most important advantages of church relations. Ile considered it his special responsibility as a pastor to see this vow carried into effect. Ile read his authority in the Pauline injunction : "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor.” He was also




persuaded of the importance of church discipline to the full eiliciency of the body, even to its very existence as a divine organization of spiritual power. In his estimation, the church must be kept pure, not only from the stains of Christian immoralities, but from deformities of gross scriptural error as well.

Gangrened members must be lopped away

Before the nobler parts are tainted to decay." On the last point named he has publicly expressed his views. We will quote. “Evangelical men, in general, have regarded an intelligent and cordial reception of the discriminating doctrines of the gospel by those who have an opportunity to understand its contents, as involved in the very nature of that holy faith which unites the soul to Christ, and insures a title to endless happiness. Laxness on this point has been considered as an indication of unsettled views in religion, or proclivity to error.

It were easy to multiply quotations from orthodox writers in support of this statement. Many treatises of great value liave been published in opposition to what has been styled false charity, or spurious liberality, with respect to the importance of a right religious belief. A single quotation from Griffin's Park Street Lectures may be sufficient to exhibit in strong language the common apprehensions of Calvinists and Trinitarians on this subject : 'Out comes the dreadful dogma,' says that eloquent defender of the faith, steeped in infidelity to the very core, that it is no matter what a man believes, provided that his life be good.' It is in accordance with general observation, that when an individual begins to be an apologist for erroneous speculation, he is either unsettled himself in his creed, or inclined to some peculiarities of a doubtful, if not positively dangerous tendency."

As a relentless advocate of right Dr. Woodbridge meant to gauge his own conduct by its inflexible rules ; and he had little patience with professing Christians who neglected to follow their guidance. In view of such failures the

severity of his nature came forth in full strength. He could have no acknowledged fellowship with darkness; Christ forbade it; and should he, an appointed leader in God's elect host, prove recreant ? Hence the work of discipline aroused all the sternness of his decisive spirit, gave full scope to the Dudlean element within him ; while the gentleness and kindliness of his mother were kept in partial abeyance, were indeed so overlaid in the depths of his being, that their voice was scarcely heard. Sometimes the old Puritan governor seemed actually to live again. On such occasions he rather bore himself with the determination and sternness of the judge, than with the affectionate gentleness of the shepherd. He was, consequently, liable to carry too high a hand in ecclesiastical affairs. Ilis people felt that there was a power over them which they could not easily resist, and therefore sometimes yielded their judgments to his. Remarks one of his late parishioners: “The Doctor did like to have his own way in church affairs, and by an almost invincible determination he usually overcame all barriers. In cases of church discipline he was strict even to severity. That charity which 'suffereth long' was sometimes wellnigh lost sight of. Yet who, that loves a salutary discipline, will not say that even such strictness is not preferable to the present laxity in this respect?” He may have made this impression on some, and more or less upon all on some occasions. But it by no means indicates the general spirit with which he conducted cases of discipline. The more discerning, wbo kept in view bis habitual Christian deportment and looked into the depths of his heart, saw the conscientious pastor aiming at fidelity; determined in the fear of God not to “suffer sin" upon his brother. Indeed, we are told that he did not always carry this high hand in discipline. His people were usually persuaded of the rectitude of his course by his apparent candor, and, what seemed to them, conclusive arguments.

There were instances in which all the tender sympathies of his mother's spirit asserted its

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Droppeth as the gentle dew from heaven
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It blesses him that gives and him that takes." Ilis opposition to Unitarianism has been intimated. He would allow none of that belief to enter his church, or professing the error, to remain in it. The church withdrawing fellowship from one such, occasioned many unkind criticisms. Dr. Woodbridge himself was severely censured in certain quarters. IIe has left a record of the whole proceeding in No. XIV. of his “ Reminiscences of an Old Man.” We will give it entire in the Appendix,* that the reader may judge for himself of the reasons which influenced both pastor and church. Dr. WOODBRIDGE WAS PUBLIC-SPIRITED.

With his unselfishness, his large and generous sympathies, he could not be otherwise. He valued man as man, a rational and immortal being. He had grand views of the worth of the individual soul, and solemn convictions that its character formed in time determines its condition in eternity. He entered heartily into all enterprises for the development, purification, and exaltation of this deathless existence. Man's best interest at home and abroad, found a ready response in his deepest sensibilities. He loved his country and every section of her broad domain. He was in the truest sense a Christian patriot. He felt the liveliest concern in her government. He kept himself thoroughly informed of all political movements and political characters. Ilis patriotic spirit was first imbibed at the paternal fireside; and his early study of the law increased its flame. He not only read the doings and speeches of Congress and of the state legislature, but inspired his children with interest in the same. Says one of them: “My eldest sister had a clear voice, and was a fine reader. She often read aloud the

* See Appendix, No. VI.

great political speeches to the assembled family, when we all wept, laughed, or kindled together.” But his philanthropy was not limited to his country; the citizens of all nations were his brethren; and his heart throbbed with generous desires for their material and social advancement. Hence his zeal in the missionary cause, both domestic and foreign ; in all benevolent undertakings and reformatory organizations whose design was the elevation of man, especially his soul's salvation. IIis daughter writes : “Ile was greatly interested in the benevolent enterprises of the day, and regular and systematic in his contributions to them. When peculiarly straitened, he gave up other things rather than his charities, and sometimes gave his last dollar, when some unexpected demand was made upon his sympathies."

He rejoiced in sincere piety and self-sacrificing devotion to the Master, and in the labors and success of all good men. Ilence his admiration of Luther, of Swartz, of Brainerd, of Martyn, of Howard, of Clarkson, of Wilberforce, of Whitefield, of Nettleton; in a word, of all workers for Christ and humanity. Nor was he interested in those alone who are ranked among the great, but in those as well who occupy the lowliest spheres in the vineyard.

Rev. Henry Seymour reports : “IIe had a high regard for sincere piety wherever he found it. It mattered not how poor, or how unlearned a person might be, if he saw in him the image of the Saviour, he esteemed and honored him. I was once telling him of a poor, pious widow of my church, whose four sons all became good ministers of Jesus Christ. He was deeply interested, and in the midst of the narrative checked me, saying, “Stop, stop! Let me call Mrs. Woodbridge;' and when she came in, he had me go over the whole story again.”

Dr. Woodbridge manfully met his public duties as they arose, and thoroughly prepared himself for them.

lle was neither a sluggard nor a laggard. Consecrated to his pro

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