Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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SANFORD, David, clergyman, born in New Milford, Connecticut, 11 December, 1737" died in Medway, Massachusetts, 7 April, 1810. He was graduated at Yale in 1755 and studied theology, but, instead of entering the ministry, removed to Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where he settled on a farm. Subsequently, through his brother-in-law, Samuel Itopkins, a clergyman, his attention being again turned to the pulpit, he resumed his studies, and on 14 April, 1773, was ordained pastor of the Congregational church at Medway, Massachusetts, where he passed the remainder of his life, with the exception of a brief period, during which he served as a chaplain in the Revolutionary army. As an orator Mr. Sanford possessed unusual gifts. As a preacher he especially excelled in "tracing the windings of the human heart, in tearing from the hypocrite his mask, in rousing the slumbering conscience, and in quickening the sluggish affections." He early resisted the oppression of Great Britain, and relinquished his salary for a time. He was occasionally blunt and severe, especially when he met with those that came short of his own high standard of clerical dignity and devotion. Thus, when a licentiate with clownish manners and a rustic garb asked what system of divinity he would recommend, he replied:" Lord Chesterfield's divinity to you!" On another occasion, on hearing that a young preacher had refused a call on the ground that there was an extensive pine-swamp in the place, he exclaimed:" Young man, it is none of your business where God has put his pine-s}yamps." Mr. Sanford never wrote his sermons, and the only publications bearing his name are two "Dissertations" issued in 1810, one "On the Nature and Constitution of the Law given to Adam in Paradise," and the other "On the Scene of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane."
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