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CARTER-LANE, DOCTORS'-COMMONS.- English Presbyterian.
JOHN TAILOR:--This gentleman was son to the Rev. Samuel Tailor, a Dissenting minister, first at Potter's-perry, in Northamptonshire, and afterwards at Long-Melford, in Suffolk. After pursuing a course of classical studies, he was placed for academical learning under the care of Dr. Philip Doddridge, at Northampton. He entered that seminary in 1737, and after continuing there the usual time, settled with à Dissenting congregation at Rochford, in Essex. From thence, in 1748, he removed to Stow-Market, in Suffolk, where he succeeded the Rev. Benjamin Sowden, who was invited to become one of the pastors of the English church, on the Dutch establishment, at Rotterdam. Mr. Tailor having been previously ordained, settled at Stow-Market, without any of the solennities usual on those occasions. In the year 1760, he removed to London, upou an invitation to assist the Rev. Edward Pickard, at Carter-lane. Here his ministeriat services were not so popular as they had been at Stow-Market, in which neighbourhood lie had been called à Tillotson, and went by the name of the Suffolk Orator. His presence in the pulpit was graceful; and his discourses judicious. He was the intimate acquaintance and cordial friend of Dr. Priestley, who, in his younger days, was settled at Needham, three miles from Stow-Market. Of the Doctor's abilities, and extensive knowledge, Mr. Tailor had the highest opinion ; and afterwards maintained with him a free communication of thought and sentiment, on various topics of inquiry. Mr. Tailor died in London, in the midst of his days, in the year 1766. He published one sermon, preached on a fast-day; and is supposed to have taken a part in the publication, entitled, “ The Library.'
THOMAS TAYLER.–This venerable minister, who has been settled at Carter-lane meeting upwards of forty years, was born in the neighbourhood of Kidderminster, in Wor
• Prot. Diss. Mag. vol. v. p. 323, note, and MS.
cestershire, and a great grandson of the Rev. Richard Serjeant, who was ejected by the Bartholomew Act, in 1662, froin the living of Stone, in the county just mentioned. Of Mr. Serjeant, the famous Mr. Richard Baxter, to whom he was many years an assistant, has left behind him this testimony : “ That he was a man of such extraordinary prudence, humility, sincerity, and self-devial, and of such an
unblameable life, that during all the years he was his assist, ant, no one person was against him, or even accused him of
saying or doing any thing amiss."* Mr. Tayler, who inherits the distinguishing virtues of his ancestor, in early life, attended frequently at the Old Meeting in Kidderminster, where he had the benefit of sitting under the zealous and faithful ministry of the pious and excellent Mr. Benjamin Fawcett. With his pastor, Mr. Tayler contracted an early and intimate friendship, which continued to the last unabated, notwithstanding their separation, and the distance to which the latter, in the course of Providence, was necessarily called. Both Mr. Fawcett, and the congregation at Kidderminster, had a high esteem for Mr. Tayler, insomuch that, at his entrance on the ministry, he had a pressing invitation to accept the office of assistant, and it was proposed to raise a handsome salary for his support. But a want of cordiality in two or three individuals, and some other reasons induced Mr. Tayler to decline this connexion. Upon the death of Mr. Fawcett, which happened in the month of October, 1780, Mr. Tayler was naturally looked up to for his assistance in the improvement of the melancholy event. But though he highly gratified the congregation by preaching upon the occasion, he disappointed their expectations in deferring, and at length declining the publication of his sermon. It has, however, lately been printed, annexed to Mr.
* Nonconformist's Memorial, vol. iii. p. 404.
Fawcett's “ Grand Inquiry," and a few separately taken off for the benefit of his friends.
Mr. Tayler being intended for the ministry among Protestant Dissenters, was sent at a proper age, to the academy at Daventry, under the superintendance of the learned Dr. Caleb Ashworth, the successor of Dr. Doddridge. After he had completed the course of his education, he was chosen to assist his tutor in teaching the languages, and other branches of science, in the academy. From this situation he was called to reside in the family of Mrs. Elizabeth Abney, at Stoke-Newington, in quality of her chaplain, and he frequently preached in her country-house at Tilford. From the circumstance of his residing under this hospitable roof, as well as from the amiable features of his character, he has been frequently styled, “ a second Dr. Watts." The situation of afternoon preacher, at Little Carter-lane, becoming vacant in 1766, by the death of Mr. John Tailor, a person no way related to the subject of this biographical sketch, Mr. Tayler was appointed to fill up that service; and, not many years afterwards, was elected into the Merchants' Lecture on; a Tuesday morning, at Salters'-Hall. Upon the death of Mr. Pickard, in 1778, Mr. Tayler was chosen to succeed him as pastor of the congregation in Carter-lane; and in this situation has continued ever since. The Charge at his ordination was delivered by the celebrated Mr. Hugh Farmer, who, though much solicited, could not be prevailed upon to print it.
Mr. Tayler preaches at his own meeting only on the morning of the Lord's-day ; besides which he takes bis turn in the evening lecture at Salters'-Hall. For many years past the congregation has been in a declining state, which has been matter of surprise to some persons, considering the serious and affectionate strain of Mr. Tayler's preaching. But the matter may be satisfactorily accounted for upon other grounds. For, besides the odium attached to the place, amongst that class of persons who form the bulk of
CARTER-LANE, DOCTORS'-COMMONS.—English Presbyterian.
hearers, the method of disjoining the morning and afternoon services, practised in those places called Presbyterian, will always operate to keep the interest low. If instead of this, a proper assistant, or rather a second pastor, was chosen, according to the practice of the purest ages of the church,* it would often have the effect of raising a congregation, especially if he be a man of lively talents, and much zeal ; and in such cases, these qualifications should always be attended to. It deserves to be recorded as a remarkable fact in the history of Carter-lane meeting, that the ministers of the society were in the constant habit of repeating the Apostle's Creed, on every Lord's-day, after reading the scriptures. Mr. Pickard adhered closely to the practice; and it was first discontinued by Mr. Tayler. A few years ago, Mr. Tayler favoured the public with a volume of sermons, upon subjects that are particularly calculated for general utility in the present day.t
John FULLER.—This gentleman is a native of London, and received his education in the academy at Mile-End, under Doctors Conder, Walker, and Gibbons. In 1772, he settled with the Independent congregation at Kettering, but the people being dissatisfied with his preaching, he resigned his charge, August 14, 1774, and removed to Daventry, to'be sub-tutor in the academy, then under the superintendance of the Rev. Thomas Robins. At Christmas, 1775, he accepted a call from the congregation at Enfield, where he continued only a short time. He then removed to London ; and after a little while, went over to the Continent in quality of tutor to a young gentleman. After his return to London, he accepted the office of afternoon preacher, at Little Carter-lane. In this situation he continued about five years, from 1778 to 1783, when he resigned. He after
• See Dr. Campbell's Lectures on Ecclesiastical History.
+ Private Information,
CARTER-LANE, DOCTORS'-COMMONS.—English Presbyterian.
wards retired to Chesham, Bucks, where he now resides, preaching only occasionally. Though a man of ability, he was never popular. *
GEORGE Lewis.--He was born in the neighbourhood of Kingswood, near Birmingham, at the former of which places, his father was a Dissenting minister. After completing a course of studies in the academy at Daventry, he was chosen assistant to his father at Kingswood, from whence he removed to London, in 1785, to be afternoon preacher at Carter-lane. After continuing in this connexion about eleven years, he resigned his situation, and with it the ministry, in the year 1796.
GEORGE Watson, was born at Kettering, in Northamptonshire, and pursued his studies for the ininistry, under Mr. Robins, at Daventry. His first settlement was at Horwich, in Lancashire, from whence, in 1797, he removed to London, to be afternoon preacher at Carter-lane. Here he continued but little more than two years, when he resigned his situation at Michaelmas, 1799, and removed to Daventry, where he is now pastor of a congregation.
JOSEPH BARRETT.-This gentleman was educated at Warrington academy, under Dr. Enfield, and at the close of his studies, settled with a congregation at Orinskirk, in Lancashire. He afterwards kept an academy in the same county, but in the course of a few years removed to London, and is the present afternoon preacher at Carter-lane. Mr. Barrett also preaches in the morning at Leather-lane. Though a correct preacher, he is unpopular, and at both places the interest is extremely low.