« AnteriorContinuar »
aud, if I might offer one suggestion to his “ Be ye followers of them who through now sorrowing family, it would be not faith and patience inherit the promises." to slacken in the race of virtue, to have His parents, "Benjamin and" Elizabeth a father's example ever present to their Marten, were respectable, and resided contemplation, and to be fully assured at Canterbury. The son, born at Chilthat the most grateful incense they can ham, at an early age left his home, and offer to his memory, will be to surpass devoted himself to agricultural pursuits, him in the unostentatious and substantial under the care of some relatives in the usefuluess of his life; like him, endea. Weald of Kent. Ofa serious and thought. vouring, with all their strength, to render ful disposition, he was fond of reading, glory to God in the highest, to promote especially the Bible, the only rule of peace upon earth, and good will towards faith, the alone regulator of practice.
It is the fountain of all true theology. “• To conclude:-although the death From a child he was partial to the exerof such a man as John Hancock must cises of social worship, according, as they always be felt as a severe loss to society, do, with our best feelings, and being aud particularly to us who have known eminently calculated to promote the spirit him and experienced his worth, yet let of Christianity. It was soon discerned us be devoutly grateful to the Giver of that he had talents for public instruction, every good gift, who has lent him to us Indeed, he was no ordinary man. Withso lovg as a shining light in the world, out the usual education for the pulpit, he and that he was not prematurely cut off excelled in the sacred profession. Stady in the midst of his course, but, though was his delight. From the few books he not arrived at extreme old age, is come possessed, he derived coostant improveto the grave mature in years, and full of meat. The communication of religious days and honour; and 'may God, of his knowledge yielded him an indescribable bounty to mankind, grant many such satisfaction. men to arise, like him, to stem the tide April the 7th, 1793, he preached his of corruption, to advocate the cause of first sermon, at Headcorn, from John i. justice, to be the bulwarks of their coun. 46: And Nathanael said unto him, Can try's independence, and the enlightened there any good thing come out of Naza. friends of the human race !""
reth ? Philip saith unto him, Come and
About this time he left the Weald
of Kent, and lived with that excellent Noveniber 14, aged 54 years, the Rev. man, the late Rev. Sampson Kingsford, of BENJAMIN MArten, pastor of the General Sturry, near Canterbury, who encouraged Baptist Church, Dover, Kent. Having him in the work of the ministry. He, uudergone an operation in the metropolis indeed, wished him to go to the Acafor one of the severest maladies to which demy, and preparation was made for it. the bodily frame is subject, he surrived But the late pious and liberal William it only a few days, leaving behind him a Kingsford, Esq., of Barton Mills, frusmournful relict, with twelve sorrowing trated his intentions, by rendering him children. May they bear the gracious more immediately useful in the connexion. voice of revelation-" Leave thy father- This circumstance the deceased always less children, I will preserve them alive, regretted, for he was a warm friend to and let thy widow trust in me." It is an education for the Christian ministry. altogether a most afflictive providence, He preached at first occasionally, but exercising the fuith and patience of frail soon settled at Dover, with an old and mortality.
respectable General Baptist Congregation. He was interred at the General Baptist Here he continued for near thirty years, Chapel, Dover, on Sunday, November 23, conducting himself with the utmost proby the Rev. James Gilchrist, who deli- priety. His preaching, generally twice vered a suitable and pathetic address on a day, was most acceptable, and latterly the occasion, from that very appropriate he was assisted by the Rev. George Pound, passage, Matt. xxvi. 39: “O my Father, who was trained for the ministry upon if it be possible, let this cup pass from the General Baptist Education Society. me : nevertheless, not as I will, but as Judicious in the choice, and happy in the thou wilt." The chapel was crowded to elucidation of his subject, his discourses excess, and all classes of persons, both were subservient to improvement. His Churchmen and Dissenters, seemed anxi- delivery, placid and deliberate, attracted ous to pay this last tribute of respect to attention. He had no charms for the his memory. The writer of this article multitude. His aim was, by enlightening also, who held him in high estimation, the head, essentially to amend the heart. paid a tribute of regard to his talents Having seriously inquired after truth, and virtues, on the subsequent Sabbath, he knew the value of truth. Aware of at Worship Street, from Heb. vi. 12: the difficulties of every system of faith,
671 he acquiesced in his own views with mo- Worship Street, London, he was seldom desty. He was an Unitarian General or ever absent. At our last Meeting he Baptist, upon deliberate conviction. The took a very active part respecting the Unity of God, and the doctrine of Uni. choice of Niessengers, of which order he versal Redemption, in connexion with the was one; and previous to his leaving baptismal immersion of the body in wa town, he called upon me to converse upon ter, he conceived to be in strict accord the subject. Such was his ardour to ance with the New Testament. Airs of promote the interest of the denomination infallibility formed no parts of his charac. io which he conscientiously belonged. ter. But having fixed his creed from a Along with the late Mr. Robert Pyall, diligent perusal of the Scriptures, he stea- aud the writer of this article, he was dily adhered to it. Not driven about by ordained to the office of Messenger, June every wind of doctrine, he unfolded his 1, 1803, at Deptford, by the late Messrs. own conceptions of the dispensations of Sampson Kingsford and Benjamin DoGod to man, through his Son Jesus bel, whose pruise is in all our churches. Christ, with a manly intrepidity. You Indeed, his zeal was warm : he was equally were never at a loss for his meaning. reinote from criminal lukewarmness and He was lucid and impressive. He gloried repulsive bigotry. Few knew better how in the inculcation of practical religion. to apportion their ardour, in the great
He resided at Barfrestone, the distance and glorious cause of our common Chris. of eight miles from the scene of his mi. tianity. His was a diffusive beuevolence, nisterial labours, engaged in agricultural blended with a rational piety. Nor was pursuits, to which he had been early it by his own denomination alone he was accustomed. But though thus remote beloved and respected. His Dissenting from his flock, he was always at his post brethren, who differed widely from him on the Sabbath-day, and at all other in. in scme points of faith and practice, tervals when his presence was needed. knew his worth, while they bore testiIn season and out of season, he laboured mony to his iutegrity. He lived in harfaithfully in the vineyard of his Lord and mony with the minister and members of Master. Throughout all weathers, sum- the Established Church; for he loved mer and winter, he was prosecuting his good men of every description. The offiduty, ardently wishing to promote the ciating clergyman of the parish in which best interests of his people. When he resided, on the Sabbath of his interamongst his people, he was social and ment, had the service of the Church cheerful in the whole of his deportment. earlier that he might accoinpany the fuTo him all classes were equally accessible, neral, and be present in Dover at the and his ambition was to do good. The interment, proud of paying this final toyoung he cautioned, and the aged he con- ken of regard to the memory of the desoled. The prosperous he warned, and ceased. A circumstance this, indicative the distressed he upheld. His instruction of an enlightened mind and a truly both from the pulpit and in the parlour Christian liberality! he diffused amongst all. His flock loved After his returu homc, he sent me an and respected him. They recognized him interesting account of our mutual friend as a parent, interested in their welfare. the Rev. William Moon, just deceased, He was, indeed, the good shepherd, lead. and who for serious impressions was ing them in green paths and beside still much indebted to his ministry. He made waters to a haven of eternal rest. Of an allusion to his own grievous bodily his desire to advance the welfare of the affliction, hinting at the operation he Church of Christ over which he presided, intended to uodergo, and his resignation it may be mentioned that the last com- to the will of heaven! And there is no munication I ever received' from him, donbt that had a wise and kind Proviwas on the liquidation of the remainder dence been pleased to restore him to his of the debt incurred by the erection of accustomed ease and vigour, he would a very neat and commodious chapel. have persevered in the active, useful and This was not long previous to his disso- honourable course for which his whole Jution. He urged the plea with that life had been distinguished. But the good sense and moderation, which cha. Supreme Being hath otherwise ordained racterised him on all occasions. He it. In his dying moments, had his exmentioned the generous contributions treme debility permitted, he would have already made by his congregation, toge- exclaimed : « I have fought the good ther with the liberal aids received from fight, I have finished my course, I have other quarters, adding, that the economy kept the faith ; henceforth there is laid observed in the building of the chapel up for me a crown of righteousness, entitled it to the patronage of the re- which shall be given unto me, and not ligious world. From the General As- to me only, but to all who love his apsembly of the General Baptists, held pearance." annually on the Whitsun Tuesday, at Latterly, this good man had his full share of the cares and troubles of more tery, that “ Men may lire Unitarians, tality. But at his lot he never repined. but Unitarians they canpot die." His faith was too well founded to be shaken, and his hope too well fixed to
On the 15th ult., at Kennissword, Kin. he obscured. Persuaded that the conduct of the Supreme Being towards man is rosshire, the Rev. John Dunn. In the both wise and benignant, he could with year 1771, he was ordained at Maryport, the Psalmist
declare, “ Clouds and dark- Minister of the Scots Church, where for ness are round about him; but justice 39 years he exercised his ministry. He and judgment are the habitation of his possessed a mind naturally vigorous and throne !" Merciful dispensation under comprehensive, disciplined by a liberal whose discipline we, like our Divine education, and richly stored with general Master Jesus Christ, are made “per- knowledge. He was a diligent, faithful, fect through suffering." Blissful regions ! and, it is believed, useful minister of
He retired a few years where there “ shall be no more death, divine truth. neither sorrow nor crying, neither shalí ago, alnost superannuated, to a small there be any more pain ; for the former patrimonial estate on the banks of Lock things are passed away."
Leven. He now rests from his labours, Be ye followers of them who through and has entered on his reward. faith and patience inherit the promises. Islington.
J. EVANS. Lately, at Florence, Jonn KING, Esq.,
well kvown in the metropolis by the
name of Jew King, on account of money. In our obituary for Feb.last, we recorded transactions which were questioned in the death of Mr. STREET, of Chichester; the courts of law. He was born of poor we have now the melancholy task of parents, and educated in the Jews' Chanoticing that of his son, who, at the rity School. But with few early advanage of 31, was, on the 12th ult., removed tages, he made his way in society by the from this transient state, after having force of his talents. He is said to have borne, with true Christian resignation, taken an active part in a Debating So. a distressing illness for sereral months. ciety, about the year 1782, of which Mr. STREET's religious faith was not
some persons were members who have that which leads to worldly honour or since risen into fame and honours. Soon emolument : which, with a feeling of after, he commenced anthor, and pobspiritual pride, badly concealed under lished “ Thoughts on the Difficulties and accents of pity towards those who dissent Distresses in which the Peace of 1783 from it, would confine salvation to its has inrolved the People of England, adown pale; which impels its votaries to dressed to the Right Hon. Charles James give up intercourse with those who have Fox." In relation to his owu legal troudifferent religious feelings, as though bles, he put out a pamphlet, entitled, they were infested with moral pollution ; « Oppression deemed no Injustice tobut his was a faith, under the influence wards some Individuals." Another work of which he was inclined to love all man. shews the activity of his mind : “ An kind as brethren ; which taught him to Essay, intended to shew an Universal believe that salvation did not exclusively System of Arithmetic." In 1817, he pubbelong to one party, but that in every lished a new edition of the late David nation, and in every religious community, Levi's “ Dissertations on the Prophecies he that feareth God and worketh righte of the Old Testament," in 2 rols. 8vo. ousness is accepted with him. His faith, with a “ Dedication" of 15 pages to Dr. resting on the bosom of a compassionate Meldola, Chief Rabbi of the Great SynaDeity, divested death of its sting, from gogue of the Spanish and Portuguese the overwhelming conviction he had, that, Jews in England, and an Introduction of however mysterious may be the proceed- upwards of 60 pages. On a visit to ings of Providence, in taking from us Paris, some years ago, he became acuseful lives, as in his own case, in the quainted with, and married, tbe Dowager prime of life, still every thing is ordained Lady Lanesborough, sister of the late in wisdom and in mercy; and afforded an Earl of Belvidere, who at the age of 87 ' unanswerable rebuke to those who, igno- survives him. By the death of her brorant of the excellence of the Unitarian ther, this lady came into possession of creed, proclaim with unblushing effrou. the family estate.
( 673 )
E.reter, Nov. 17, 1823. The following is a list of the subjects relating to free inquiry and Christian doctrine, comprising a course of Sunday-Evening Lectures now delivering by Mr. Acton at the Unitarian Church in this place. 1. Oct. 26. Introductory Lecture. On the exercise of private judgment upon the
subjects of religion. 2. Nov. 2. Errors of judgment in religious belief not criminal. 3. 9. The disputes and difficulties connected with religion form no solid ob.
jection to its truth and excellence. 4. 16. On the inspiration of the Scripture Writers, and on the general autho
rity and character of the books of the New Testament. 5. 23. On mysteries in religion. 6. 30. On certain strong presumptions in favour of Unitarian views of the
Gospel. 7. Dec. 7. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the only God of Christians, and
the only proper object of religious worship. 8. 14. On the Scriptural names and titles of the Messiah. 9. 21. That our Lord sustains all his sacred relations towards us as a man,
not as God, and the advantages of always regarding him in this
light. 10. 28. On the oneness or union of Christ with the Father, and of all true be
lievers with both. 11. Jan. 4. Ou the new Creation by Jesus Christ. 12. 11, The Love and Honour due to Christ from his followers. 13. 18. The worship of the Holy Spirit as a divine person, not warranted by
the Scriptures. 14. 25. Man not corrupt by nature, but able to do the will of God.' 15. Feb. 1. Men reconciled to God by the mediation of Christ. 16. 8. The necessity of good works to ensure our final acceptance with God,
consistent with the scripture doctrine of salvation by faith. 17. 15. The connexion between belief in the strict personal unity of the God.
head, and just views of the merciful and parental character of God. 18. 22. Unitarian Christianity an adequate supply for all the spiritual wants of 19. 29. The kingdom of Christ a kingdom of truth and righteousness, and its
final triumph over error, sin and death. 20. Mar. 7. Concluding Lecture. Historical view of the corruption, revival and
progress of genuine Christian truth. I also send the following paragraph their private judgincnt upon the subjects extracted from “ Besley's Exeter News of religion. Instead of listening to the and Devon County Chronicle,” dated unintelligible jargon, of receiving the Nov. 2, by an occasional attendant. absurd dogmas, of embracing the incomOthers, likewise, not belonging to our prehensible creeds of fallible, interested, Society, I have reason to believe were or ignorant men, he earnestly pressed impressed with similar sentiments. upon his hearers the reasonableness and
* The course of Lectures to be de- advantage of searching the Scriptures livered by the Rer. H. Acton, during the and examining for themselves ; that the ensuing winter months, commenced last Bible and the Bible only ought to be Sunday evening at George's Meeting in the religion of Protestants, and that by this city, and was attended by a very that standard alone they ought to regunumerous and respectable audience. The late both their faith and practice. The Lecturer in a bold, impressive strain of writer of this remarked with peculiar extemporaneous eloquence, in a discourse pleasnre the spirit of urbauity and Chris. from ihe words of Christ, Luke xii. 57, tian candour which pervaded the dis• Yea and why even of yourselves judge ye course, and the dignified manner with not what is right ? urged the necessity which it was delivered; and auticipates and importance to all men of exercising from the well-known abilities of the VOL. XVIII.
Lecturer, a more than ordinary degree of known among their Calvinistic brethren, gratification and improvement from those they were disowned by the Particular Lectures which are to succeed it." Baptist churches, and cut off from all
I would merely add to the above faith- intercourse with them. Thus they were ful aud just tribute to our pastor, that left under a very heavy debt, without the the three Lectures given since the above least prospect of its being reduced. Soon was written, have likewise been extem- after this, Mr. Vidler received and acporaneously delivered, to like numerous cepted an invitation from the Parliamentand respectable audiences, deeply at- Court Congregation to succeed Mr. Wintentive, and impressed with admiration chester. of the rare abilities of the preacher, and Being deprived of the valuable services acknowledging the justness of his con
of their minister, and unable to procure clusions.
another, two of the members were chosen A MEMBER OF THE CONGREGATION, to preach alternately. Their new senti
ments tended in no small degree to stiOpening of New Unitarian Chapel, mulate them to inquiry on religious subHanley.
jects; and, in the year 1807, several of
the members discovered that they still The new Chapel at Hanley, in the maintained opinions which were unscripPotteries, Staffordshire, of which the tural. About this time Mr. Vidler, their Rev. Thomas Cooper is the minister, was former pastor, being sent by the Unitaopened for religious worship on Wednes. riau Fund Society on a Missionary tour, day the 19th inst. The Rev. R. Aspland visited Battle, and preached the Unitarian preached the Morning, and the Rev. doctrine with much acceptance. Several James Yates, the Evening Sermon. The of the old members, however, still cling. attendance was very respectable; the ing to the mysterious doctrine of the collection liberal; and the prospects here Trinity, withdrew from the church ; but are highly encouraging.
those who remained were firmly attached [Further particulars in the next Number.] to the doctrine of the Divine Unity.
Having now joined the Unitarian body, Manchester College, York. They were enabled by the liberal assistWe have much pleasure in noticing a ance of their friends to clear off a conresiduary bequest to this institution, un
siderable part of their debt. The Uuitader the will of the late Mrs. Hannah rian doctrine was preached with much Webb, of Barrington, in the county of success till the year 1817, when the sysSomerset, widow of the late Francis tem of the Freethinking Christians was Webb, Esq., amounting to the sum of embraced by many who had been active 1657. 128. Ild. This sum has been lately and useful members in the Society. la paid over to the Treasurer of the College the following year, the mioister of the by Samuel Sparkes, Esq., the executor congregation also adopted that system, of Mrs. Webb's will.
and for some time public preaching,
prayer and praise, were totally neglected. Case of the Unitarian Congregation majority of the church, that public wor
At last, however, it was resolved by a at Battle, Susser.
ship should be regularly practised in the The Unitarian congregation at Battle chapel, and the persons who bad embeg to call the attention of their Chris- braced the opinions of the Freethinking tian brethren to the following statement: Christians withdrew. In consequence of
The Chapel in which they now assem- this division, the congregation was reble was built by Calvinist Baptists, in dneed to a very small number, and the the year 1789, and cost 9601. Soon after persons composiug it consisted chiefly of the building was completed, Mr. Vidler, the poorer classes in society. at that time minister of the congregation, In the year 1822, Mr. Taplan, of embraced the views of Mr. Winchester, Lewes, visited Battle, and thinking it as the fearless advocate of the doctrine of important situation for the spread of Universal Restoration. Mr. Vidler having Voitarianism, recommended their case to publicly avowed his change of sentiment, the Uvitarian Fund Committee, who wery much debate arose amongst the members generously came forward to assist them respecting the propriety of his continuing in procuring more efficient ministerial with them, and it was resolved that services. They immediately sent an inhe should state this new doctrine at a vitation to Mr. Taplin to settle among church meeting held for that purpose. them, which he willingly accepted; and He did this with so much mildness and they have the satistaction of saying that ability, as to gain a large majority in his his labours have been crowned with sre favour. When this became generally cess. As their cause is revived, and in