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DEPARTURE OF THE BEY. J. 0. WOODS, B. A.

The Rev. ?. O. Woods, who is so widely mown m the minister of the Unitarian Church In this city, has retired irom the ministry of the Church, and in company with

us wife he will to-day leave for London in the Parramatta on a visit. The rev. gentle man has been minister of the Unitarian Church in Adelaide for nearly thirty-four years. He is the son of a Presbyterian miniater, and waa born near Belfast, Ireland. Graduating at Edinburgh in 1843 he was licensed by the Presbytery of Antrim in 1845, and subsequently officiated at the Uni tarian Chapels in JJevenport, Northamp ton, Edinburgh, and the IbIo of Wight. n 1855, at the request of several residents in South Australia of the Unitarian persuasion, who guaranted him his stipend for some years, Mr. Woods waB sent to this colony by the British and Foreign Unitarian Associa tion, landing here from the ship Quito in the same year. Among those who were the means of bringing the rev. gentleman to thia colony were Mr. John Howard Clark, the Hon. John Baker, Dr. Everard, and Mr. W. Kay, who are now dead. For twelve months after his arrival Mr. Woods conducted reli gious service in Green's Old Exchange, and a regular congregation being established about the end of that period the Church in Wakefield-street waa built, and Mr. Woods haa held the curacy of it up to the present time. The foundation-stone of that Church waB laid by the late Hon. J, Baker. About fifteen years ago Mr. Woods visited England on a holiday, being absent, two years, and in- August, 1887, resigned his pastorate, as it was his intention then to leave or tbe old country. The rev. gentleman has long, {been . associated with several charitable movements in this colony, and was elected with the Chief Justice by tbe Adelaide University aB the first Governors of the South Australian Institute. Mr. Woods baa been thrice married, his present wife being a slater to the Hon. A. M. Simpson, M.L.C. Mr. A. M. Woods, Accountant at the ELS. and A.C Bank, Is a sen of the rev. gentleman. On Sunday morning Mr. Woods occupied the pulpit for the last time prior to hia departure. He took for his text Paul's arewell addreca to the Elders of the Chuioh at Ephesus (Acts xx., 32), and in the couree of hia discourse remarked:— 'We have not a great deal to lejoice in as to numerical success. We have the consolation of knowing that many of our opinions, especially our views as to the limited duration of future punishment, are being advo cated and adopted in other denominations'. The attainment of a noble oharaoter ia of more value than the dissemination of a creed. I know that our religion haa been a source of strength and joy and comfort and consolation to many saintly women and manly men in this province, who have passed away during the last thirty-three years. Although not :ond of controversy, when our principles have been attacked I have defended them, so to speak, with ungloved hands. If at any time I have used language more severe than the occasion demanded, I here publicly declare that I am sorry for it I have received much kindness from members of various denominations, and lived on terma of friendship with members of the Jewish faith, the Church of Rome, and the Churoh of England, and with Presbyterians, Baptists, Independents, Wesleyans, Bible Christiana, and others. Every opportunity has been taken during the last thirty-three years to interest the public mind in our views of religion, nor have large audiences been wanting. We have had to contend against more than arguments on the other side. Our religion has been called the halfway-house to infidelity, More truly in this relation might it be denominated a temple of refuge for those who have renounced unreasonable opinions, As a matter of fact, we find that people who have held very unreasonable views about religion, and have come to reject them, rush into an opposite extreme, and they fly from the torrid zone of fanaticism to the frigid one of atheism, and sometimes rush from the old religion back to the hot one again ; so that it ccmea to pass that the temperate district of reasonable religion has sometimes a thin popu lation. One thing that we have to congratulate oureelveB upon in thia Church ia that we have dwelt and worshipped together not only in peace but I hope and trust in affectionate unity and love. We value this fact the more because in our Churches in the Bister colonies ?this has not always been found possible.' The rev. gentleman bespoke sympathy and helpfulness for his successor, and ex pressed his thankfulness to the ladies and gentlemen who had at various times given valuable services in the Son day-Bchool and in the Church, adding— ' When I came to South Australia we had no Churoh. I am pleased to think that in resigning my office this building ia tree from debt. I wish 1 could say the same for the Sunday-BchoolandLecturaHallnexfcdoor, but I trust under the ministry of a younger and more energetic pastor than myself that before long it too will be free of encumbrance. There are advantages and disadvantages in a long pastorate, but nothing but disad vantage fa one that la too prolonged, so that I

am sure 1 am doing the right thing in retiring from this pulpit before making it painfully manifest that my natural force is abating and my faculties are on the wane. I hope 1 have not laboured in vain. I hope I have been able to teaoh my hearers some things that are valuable. Some of them have taught me both by their words and by their characters.' In the evening a farewell gathering was held in the Churoh Schoolroom, the objects being twofold, namely, to give' members of the Church and friends an opportunity of biding good-by to the pastor, and to present him with a testimonial The room waB full, and much enthusiasm Bhown. Mr. Walter Howard presided, and in opening the proceedings he said it was a matter of the deepest regret to every one present that the late Mr. W. Kay abould have been called away so unexpectedly, and bo soon after evincicg such interest as he did in the object of their gathering. They also regretted that Mr. W. Everard, another prominent worker, was unable to attend on account of a severe illness. It was thought that Mr. Woods should not be allowed to go away from Ade laide and to retire from the ministry of the Church without something being done to mark the very high esteem, and indeed the pure affection, with which he was held by every member and friend of the Church. The late Mr. Kay was to be credited with haying first thought of the matter, and at his instigation and wish a small com mittee was formed to announce the fact that a [testimonial waa to be presented to Mr. Woods. He was pleased to say that the an nouncement was responded to most heartily. Everybody to whom tbe matter waa men tioned responded aecording to ability, in cluding people who did cot regularly attend tbe Church. It was most gratifying, and on behalf of the congregation he had great plea sure in presenting the address and accom panying cheque. The address, which waa neatly bound and ornamented, read as follows :— ' The Rev. J. C. Woods, B.A.— Rev. and Dear Sir— The congregation of the Adelaide Unitarian Christian Church have empowered ua to address you on the oocasion of your retirement from the ministry of the Church and intended visit to England, and to Eay on their behalf that they feel very deeply tbe Iobs which they suffer in the severance of the connection which has so happily existed for nearly thirty-four years. During thia long period you have discharged the duties which belong to your high office with faithfulness and great ability, and have fully maintained the charaoter of the Uni tarian Christian Churoh in the province of South Australia. They recognise that those duties have been especially onerous, because the Adelaide Church has been almost the only : representative of the Unitarian Christian Church In the province. They hope that it will only be for a short time that year visit to England wilt deprive them of the presence of one who ia not only their highly esteemed minister, bat also their much loved Mend, and that after your return you will be for many yean to oome a member of the Icongregation. Happily friendship is eternal, not depending npon time or place, so they feel that you will ever be one with them in that life 'which your teaching has very much helped to develop and sustain. They trust that Mrs. Woods and yourself may have a very pleasant visit to the old heme countries, and may return to Adelaide much refreshed In body and mind. They! also beg your acceptance of the cheque here with for £222, which ia the result of voluntary gifts form almost every member; of the congre gation.*: We remain.dear Sir, yours very truly, A. S. Clark, E. M. Martin (founders of the Church), W. Howard (Chairman), A. M. Simpson (Treasurer), E. Eay (Secretary), Mr S. Clark, (J. T. Cowle, Win. Everard, U H. Franklin, P. C. Greayer, S. G. Hiibbe, R. H. Kay, W. Sandover, C. L. Whitham, and A. D. Witt (members of the committee). Mr. 'Write Bald he could not let Mr. Woods leave without first expressing on behalf of his fellow-countrymen the deep sense of their love- for him. They loved, esteemed, and respected him to the utmost extent. They had always found Mr. Woods not only a minister but a friend odeed when he was wanted. When any of them were afflicted with illness or death in their families, Mr. Wooda waa always ready to help or console them, and therefore they owed a deep debt of gratitude. That morning Mr. Wooda said he hoped hia successor, rning a younger man. would succeed in bringing a larger number, of people, to. tbe Church. Tha' was his hope too, but still he was afraic It would not be the case, because i would be many years before any one could

Bodear himwlf tea people ai Mr. Woods had lone. On behalf oi the Germans he bade ilr. and Mn. Woods a hearty farewell, hop* ng that they would toon return healthy and happy. The Rev. J. C. Woosa said he could not axpreas the eelings of his heart on thai occa sion. He waa extremely obliged to them all For their very great kindness, and felt that their appreciation was greater than hia merits. At the same time he had endea voured as faithfully as possible to discharge bhe duties of his position, but he also felt in looking back on the past thirty-three years that on many occasions he had not been as energetic as he might have been. Hia excuse waa that sometimes the climate was bo very trying that it made one feel more inclined to remain in the armchair than walk about and visit the people. He had endeavoured to express in the pulpit as far as possible the reasons why the views of the denomination should be supported. Hia desire bad been to make people truly re ligious, and to place before them strengthen ing and consoling thinga of pure and unde filed religion. It was his sincere hope that the time was coining when sectarianism would be considered of less importance than it was at present, and when there would be a great union of all religionists in supporting the cause of the Catholic religion, and the formation of pure, noble, and useful characters in the world. He thought be was quite right in retiring from the pulpit for a time and from the office of pastor of any particular Church. It was, however, not hiB intention to retire altogether from preaching, because he might be of con siderable dee to hia successor (the Rev. Mr. Dtndy), of whom he had heard the best accounts as to his charaoter, ability, and general tone of mind. Through the Inquirer he learnt that there had been ameetrngof the membera of Mr. Dendy'a Church, at which be was presented with an address and some money, which would make him come out to Australia with more pleasure than he might have had. Mr. Dendy was also an accom plished musician, whoconduoted an orchestra, and he was presented with a gold-mounted ivory baton before leaving for Adelaide. It waa his (Mr. Woods) intention after seeing a considerable portion of the old world, to return to Sooth Australia and make it his home. A great many of his friendB in the old country had died, but he trusted all his South Australian friends would be living happy and prosperous lives when he returned. It was a pleasing thing in leaving this country to think than better times in & material point of view were in store for the people. A change in the ministry was a good thing, and he was hopeful that nsw interest would be opened up in the congregation by the coming of a new minister, for the support of whom he most earnestly appealed. It would be to their own advantage to make hia position as comfortable aa possible. It had been his principle, as be had often advocated In the pulpit, to make provision for old age, instead of living as Borne people did from hand to mouth. In retiring from the pulpit there was tbe satisfaction of knowing that he had made suoh provision as to enable him to live in humble independence, which was a happy position. Mr, Kay said as Secretary of the Congre gation he wished to tell them of their indebtedness to Mr. Woods in one or two ways which did not come under the notice of the congregation. First they had to thank Mr. Woods warmly for the fact that his departure had been postponed, on several occasions to meet their wishes. Whenever he had had to meet Mr. Wooda with the dis couraging newB that they could not find a successor he was most cordially and kindly met. Some years ago when things were far from prosperous Mr. Woods voluntarily suggested a reduction in bis stipend, and the committee were thuB enabled by the generosity of their pastor to present a fairly satisfactory state ment at the meetings of the Church. Mr. WcodB referred in the morning to the Church and schoolroom, and he had some cheerful news for them. The whole of the land inside the Church fence did not belong to the Church. About 40 feet front age waa the property of Mr. W. Everard, who had requested him (Mr. Kay) to express his regTet ut being unable to attend, and to state further that be had given instructions for the transference of that property for the benefit of the Church. It had been Mr. Everard's intention for a long time that the land should become the property of the Church, and he wished to have it transfexred during his lifetime. Accordingly in the course of two or three days they would own the block of which he had spoken. The frontage was 40 feet, and to Bhow the munificence of the gift it might be mentioned that the land tax aeeflsement on the land wsa £75 a foot. Mr. C. T. Cowls was extremely sorry that Mr. Everard waa not present to receive their thanks for hia munificent gift, which would no donbt be a surprise to nearly every one present. He moved that the very hearty thanks of the congregation should be tendered to Mr. Everard. Mr. W. Saototkb seconded the motion with the greatest pleasure, as it behoved them to show their gratitude to the generous donor. The motion was carried enthusiasti cally. It waB decided to make arrangements for the reception of the new pastor on his arrival from England.

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