Stoddard, Solomon

Stoddard, Solomon, a Congregational minister, was born in Boston, Mass., in 1643, and was graduated at Harvard College in 1662. He was afterwards appointed a fellow. His health being impaired, he went to Barbados as Chaplain to governor Serle, and preached to the Dissenters on that island near two years. After his return, he began to preach at Northampton in 1669, received a call to become their minister March 4, 1670, and was constituted such Sept. 11, 1672. He continued in that place till his death, Feb. 11, 1729. His colleague, Mr. Edwards, succeeded him. Mr. Stoddard was a learned man, well versed in religious controversies, and himself an acute disputant. He engaged in a controversy with Increase Mather respecting the Lord's supper, unfortunately maintaining that the sacrament was a converting ordinance, and that all baptized persons not scandalous in life may lawfully approach the table, though they know themselves to be unconverted or destitute of true religion. As a preacher his discourses were plain, experimental, searching, and argumentative. He was blessed with great success. He used to say that he had five harvests; and in these revivals there was a general cry, "What must I do to be saved?" He was so diligent in his studies that he left a considerable number of written sermons which he had never preached. From 1667 to 1674 he held the office of librarian to Cambridge (being the first who ever held it). He published, besides several sermons, The Doctrine of Instituted Churches (London, 1700, 4to): — A Guide to Christ, or the Way of Directing Souls in the Way to Conversion (1714), compiled for young ministers: — A Treatise concerning Conversion: — The Way to Know Sincerity and Hypocrisy (1719): — Answer to Cases of Conscience (1722) : — Whether God is not Angry with the Country for Doing so Little towards the Conversion of the Indians (1723): — Safety of Appearing at the Judgment in the Righteousness of Christ. This last work was republished at Edinburgh (1792, 8vo). See Biblioth. Sacra, July, 1853; Meth. Quar. Rev. Jan. 1859; New-Englander, Nov, 1858; North Amer. Rev. Jan. 1859.

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