« AnteriorContinuar »
HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES
Salters'-Hall, long esteemed one of the most celebrated places of worship among the Dissenters, is situated in Salters’-Hall-Court, Cannon-street. It was erected in the former part of the reign of King William III. but before the Revolution, the congregation assembled at Buckinghamhouse, College-hill. The present meeting-house is a large, substantial brick-building, of a square form, with four deep galleries; and capable of seating a considerable congregation. The church was gathered in the reign of Charles II. but by whom is uncertain. The earliest account that can be obtained, carries us back to the Revolution. in 1688, when the Rev. Richard Mayo, ejected from Kingston-upon Thames, was pastor ; and Mr. Nathaniel Taylor, his assistant. The congregation was then large and respectable, and continued so many years, making the largest annual collection for the fund of any Presbyterian church in London. The Society, though not equal to its former state, is, at pre
sent, one of the most considerable of that denomination. From its earliest state, the services of the sabbath have been divided between two ministers, who have either been copastors, or pastor and assistant. But of late years, one of these ministers has been denominated morning-preacher, and has no connexion whatever with the church, but preaches to a different Society. In point of religious sentiment, the ministers of this Society have not, till of late years, deviated materially, from those doctrines which distinguished the preaching and writings of the early nonconformists. The former pastors were strict Calvinists; the latter ones may be denominated Baxterians ; and the present one is reckoned an Arian.
The meeting-house at Salters'-Hall, being conveniently situated, lias been fixed upon from time to time for several lectures of considerable importance among the Dissenters. The first of these was the Merchants' Lecture, upon a Tuesday morning, established in 1694, upon the division in the Pinners'-Hall Lecture. The occasion of this breach is well known to many of our readers. Disputes had 'existed for some time among the lecturers upon points of high Calvinism, and the re-publication of Dr. Crisp's works fanned the spark into a flame. The celebrated Dr. Daniel Williams having written against that author, gave such offence, that an attempt was made to exclude him the lecture, This was resisted for some time, but at length, the heats ran so high, that a separation became unavoidable. Dr. Bates, Mr. Howe, Mr. Alsop, and Mr. Williams, four of the old lecturers, went off to a new lecture, get up at Salters'-Hall, at the same hour, and two other ministers were chosen to complete their number. These were Dr. Anuesley, and Mr. Mayo. The vacancies that occurred from time to time, were filled up invariably by ministers selected from the Presbrterian denomination. Though the lecture continued for many years to be supported with great respectability, yet the number of attendants gradually declined, till, at length,