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OLD JEWRY-English Presbyteriin.
of natural and revealed religion. It was designed only for the winter half year, and the first preachers were Mr. Lardner, and Mr. Chandler, then in the vigour of their ministry; but, after some time, Mr. Chandler conducted it alone. In the year 1728, a Wednesday evening lecture was opened at the Old Jewry, for the celebrated Dr. Foster, who had then acquired considerable popularity as a preacher; and continued it with great reputation, till nearly the time of his death. Upon his being laid aside, the late Mr. Charles Bulkley, a minister likewise of the General Baptist denomination, was chosen to conduct the lecture in his stead. It is within the recollection of many of our readers, that some years ago, Mr. Joseph Fawcett, minister of a Dissenting congregation at Walthamstow, and famous for his pulpit oratory, exhibited on a Lord's-day evening at the Old Jewry, where he altracted a large crowd of admirers. In more recent times, the late learned Mr. John Fell commenced a series of discourses at the Old Jewry, upon the evidences of Christianity; but being removed by death when he had delivered only the fourth lecture, the remainder were undertaken by the late Dr. Henry Hunter, at his own meeting-house, London Wall.
The meeting-house in the Old Jewry, is a large, sub stantial brick-building, neatly fitted up with pews, and contains three galleries of considerable size. The church and congregation, till the death of Dr. Chandler, were very large and wealthy : under Dr. Amory they declined considerably, but have been revived by the present pastor ; and are at present, for numbers and influence, among the most respectable of the Presbyterian denomination. As the lease of this meeting-house is upon the point of expiring, and the people have not been able to obtain a renewal upon terms any way to their advantage, they have taken a piece of ground in Jewin-street, where they are building a new meeting-house, nearly opposite to the spot where, upwards of a century ago, their forefathers assembled for divine worship. This
circumstance has been considered to be not a little remarkable. The old place, we understand, is to be shut up in the month of June, and, the new one opened in the course of the ensuing autumn. The foundation-stone of the latter place was laid by Dr. Rees, on the 5th of September, 1808, being Bartholomew-day, old style—a day of peculiar interest to Protestant Dissenters, and of affecting notoriety to the whole Protestant church. At the time of laying the first stone, Dr. Rees delivered a very suitable address, which was printed in the Monthly Repository, for November, 1808.
In the subsequent list of ministers who have officiated in this church, the reader will find the names of some zealous and faithful men ; as also of some considerable Divines, who, by the learning and talents which they displayed in defending their principles, did honour, not only to the cause of Dissenters, but to that of our common Christianity. In point of religious sentiment, there has been considerable variation between the former and present state of this church, both among ministers and people. The first five ministers upon our list were decided Calvinists; the four next, of somewhat a lower standard; and the subsequent ones acknowledged Arians. (F) The lives of some of these worthies will be read with interest; and we shall endeavour to record them with faithfulness and impartiality.
(F) As it is possible some readers may put a misconstruction upon the author's candour in using names of party distinction, he wishes it to be distinctly understood, that he totally disclaims any thing that might lead to it. The words Calvinist and Arian, he uses as terms neither of honour nor reproach; but for the sake of convenience, and in order to give the reader an idea, as nearly as possible, what was the real fact.
OLD JEWRY. - English Presbyterian.
As Pastors. As Assistants.
Edmund Calamy, Jun.
Richard Price, D.D..
1708 1726 1716 1723 1723 1737 1729 1766 1726 1709
1744 17.. 1759 1774 1774 1783 1766 1774 1784/18.
EDMUND CALAMY, M. A. was son to Mr. Edmund Calamy, a famous Puritan Divine, and many years minister of Aldermanbury, from whence he was ejected soon after the restoration. This his eldest son was born about the year 1635, at St. Edmund's-bury, in Suffolk. In his early years he was carefully instructed by his father, and when he had acquired a, sufficient fund of learning, was transferred to the University of Cambridge, where he was entered of Sidney-College, March 28, 1651. In 1654-5, he took the degree of Bachelor of Arts; and removing to Pembroke-Hall, proceeded Master of Arts, in 1658. Afterwards he became Fellow of the College, and on the 20th of April, 1659, was presented to the living of Moreton, in Essex, which he held till the Act of Uni
formity ejected him in 1662. He then retired to London, and kept a meeting privately in his own house in Aldermanbury. · Upon the declaration issued for indulgence, in 1672, Mr. Calamy set up a public meeting in Curriers'-Hall, near Cripplegate. But when the Dissenters were again presented, he had recourse to his former method of private preaching ; and though he was very assiduous in his labours, yet he escaped imprisonment, notwithstanding warrants were frequently out against him. But he had the misfortune, with several others of his brethren, to fall under a Crown-office prosecution, which put him to a great deal of trouble and expence.
As Mr. Calamy was a person of much learning and unaffected piety, so he was very careful to avoid whatever might draw upon him the imputation of party. In the earlier part of life he declined taking the covenant, and through the whole course of it, shewed a spirit of moderation and charity agreeable to his calling. His nonconformity did not proceed from any ill-humour, or from the hope of gain; but was grounded on motives thoroughly conscientious. He was in judgment for a conprehension, much rather than for a perpetual separation. But though steadfast to his principles, he never pretended to confine the church of Christ within the bounds of any particular party. He had a great contempt for the goods of this world, and was willing to pass through it with as little observation as possible. Such was his love of obscurity and retirement, that though a very able, as well as faithful preacher, and known to have done much good in the space of three and twenty years that he exercised the ministry in London, yet he would never be prevailed on to appear in print, but satisfied himself with the consciousness of having performed his duty. Having thus led a private and peaceable, though not a quiet life, he exchanged it for a better in the month of May, 1685, being
taken off by a consumption. He left behind him a son and four daughters.
SAMUEL BORFET, sometime Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, where he was contemporary with Mr. John Janeway, to whose life he prefixed an epistle, by way of attestation. He was ordained at Moreton, in Esses, November 10, 1653, at the same time with Mr. Edmund Calamy, above-mentioned. Shortly after, he was presented to the living of High-Laver, in the same county, where he continued till the Bartholomew Act, in 1662, ejected him for nonconformity. He then settled at Maidstone, in Kent, where he was very useful, and much beloved. Being driven thence by the rigours exercised against nonconformists, in the reign of Charles the Second, he came to London, and upon the death of Mr. Calamy, in 1685, succeeded him in his congregation at Curriers'-Hall.
Mr. Borfet was a person of exemplary conversation, and a very useful preacher. During several of the latter years of his life, he was disabled from preaching by various infirmities, and confined very much to his chamber. At this season he was much exercised in his mind, and greatly depressed with fears as to his future state. At one time, he was upon the borders of despair ; a delirium having seized his senses, through the want of his accustomed sleep. But this being restored, his peace returned, and he continued in peaceful hope, with the enjoyment of much comfort, till it pleased God to remove him to a better world.+
JOHN SHOWER. This eminent Divine was born of respectable parents in the city of Exeter, and baptized May 18, 1657. His father dying when he was only four years
Calamy's Account, p. 319.-Contin. p. 461.–Biog. Brit. vol. iii. Art, CALAMY.
+ Calamy's Account, p. 302.