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BAPTIST MEETING-HOUSE, BELL-ALLEY, COLEMAN-STREET.

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that should be brought against him, or maintain the points he pretended to defend, against the opposition that should be made against them, he would frankly acknowledge it before them. He desired the same of Mr. Oates, who also agreed. The dispute continued three hours, and was managed with great fairness and temper. At length, Mr. Oates was gravelled with an argument, and yet loudly called on by the people present, either to answer, or according to his promise, to confess he could not. Whereupon, he frankly confessed that he could not at present answer it. The justices at the breaking up of the meeting, obliged Mr. Oates to give his promise, that he would no more disturb the congregations in that county."

After the Restoration, Mr. Oates had a considerable place offered him by the Duke of York. This temptation prevailed with him to conform; and he was presented to the living of Hastings, in the county of Sussex. But sometime afterwards, says Crosby, his conscience smote him, and he left his living. Coming again among the Dissenters, he returned to Mr. Lamb's congregation, where he continued about tive or six years, till his death.+

There was another minister at this time, of some eniinence among the Baptists, who was colleague with Mr. Lamb, preaching occasionally in London, and sometimes itinerating about the country. This was the learned Mr. Henry Denne, of whom it may not be amiss to present the reader with some brief particulars.

HENRY Denne, a minister of eminence among the Baptists in the seventeenth century, received his education in the University of Cambridge, and about the year 1630, took orders in the church of England from the hands of the Bishop of St. David's. The first living he obtained was that of Pyrton, in Hertfordshire, which he held about ten

• Calamy's Account, p. 421.

+ Crosby, vol. iii. p. 61.

BAPTIST MEETING-HOUSE, BELL-ALLEY, COLEMAN-STREET.

years; and being a more frequent and lively preacher than most of the clergy in his neighbourhood, was greatly beloved and respected by his parishioners. A visitation being held at Baldock, in the above county, in the year 1641, Mr. Denne was the person selected to preach upon the occasion. In this sermon he freely exposed the sin of persecution, and took occasion to lash the vices of the clergy with so much freedom as gave great offence, and occasioned many false reports, which obliged him to print it in his own defence. From this time he was taken great notice of as a man of extraordinary parts, and a proper person to help forward the designed reformation. The revolution which took place in the state soon afterwards, occasioning a material alteration in religious affairs, many learned men were led to a closer study of the sacred scriptures, as well as a more accurate investigation of some doctrines, then generally received as true. Of this number was Mr. Denne, who judging that the baptism of infants had no foundation either in scripture, or in the purest ages of the church,, publicly professed himself a Baptist, and about the year 1743, was baptized by immersion, in London. He immediately joined himself to the church in Bell-alley, of which Mr. Lamb was pastor; and still continued his ministry, both there, and in different parts of the country.

This change in Mr. Denne's sentiments exposed him to the resentment of the ruling powers, who put frequent obstructions in the way of his preaching. In the year 1644, he was apprehended in Cambridgeshire, by the committee of that county, and sent to prison for preaching against infant-baptism. After he had been confined some time, his case, through the intercession of some friends, was referred to a committee of parliament; and he was sent up to London, where he was kept prisoner in Lord Peter's house, in

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Crosby's English Baptists, vol. i. p. 297–302. VOL. II.

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BAPTIST MEETING HOUSE, BELL-ALLEY, COLEMAN-STREET.

Aldersgate-street, till the committee heard his case and released him.* At this time there was confined in the same prison, the learned Dr. Daniel Featly, famous for his opposition to the Baptists. The Doctor having published a book, called “ The Dippers Dipt, &c.” it was laid in the way of Mr. Denne, who having read it, thought himself called upon to defend his principles. He, therefore, challenged the Doctor to a disputation, which being accepted, Mr. Denne is reported to have had the best of the argument, and that the Doctor declined proceeding further, under pretence that it was dangerous to do so without a licence from the government. Mr. Denne immediately set about answering the Doctor's book, and in the course of a few weeks produced a very learned and ingenious reply.

After his release, notwithstanding the obnoxious nature of his opinions, Mr. Denne obtained, by some means, the parish of Elsly, in Cambridgeshire, where he preached publicly in the church, and was much followed. But this excited the jealousy of the Presbyterian party. Being, upon an occasion, to preach a lecture at St. Ives, the committee of the county issued an order to prevent him; upon which he went into a neighbouring church-yard, and preached under a tree, to a number of people, and to the great mortification of his opponents. In June, 1646, he was again apprehended by two justices of the peace, at Spalding, in Lincolnshire, and committed to prison, for baptizing some persons in the river. Being thus pursued by the ruling clergy, Mr. Denne was obliged to quit his living; and seeing no prospect of usefulness in the church, he went into the army. As he was a man of great courage, and zeal for the liberties of his country, he behaved himself so well in the character of a soldier, as to gain a reputation not inferior to many who had made it the profession of their lives. At the conclusion of the war he returned to his former course of

Crosby, vol. i. p. 221.

BAPTIST MEETING-HOUSE, BELL-ALLEY, COLEMAN-STREET.

preaching, and took every opportunity of defending his principles. In the year 1658, he was engaged in a dispute concerning baptism, with Dr. Gunning, at St. Clement's church, which lasted two days; and he is said to have afforded strong proofs of his abilities and learning, as a good scholar, and complete disputant. In his judgment concerning some doctrines of the gospel, he took the middle way, along with Bishop Usher, Bishop Davenant, Mr. Baxter, and others. On this account, some accused him of being a great Antinomian, and others, a desperate Arminian !* His death is supposed to have taken place soon after the restoration of King Charles the Second. (K)

We have not been able to discover the name of Mr. Lamb's successor ; but the Baptist church, in Bell-alley, continued to meet there several years after his death. It must have been dissolved, however, before the year 1705. A memorandum in a manuscript we have seen, under that date, speaks of the Baptist church “ formerly meeting in Coleman-street." It had almost escaped us to inform the reader that this church was of the particular denomination; which is the more necessary to mention, as Mr. Edwards, the author of the “ Gangræna,” has misrepresented Mr. Lamb, the elder of it, as a preacher of Arminianism.

Crosby, vol. i. p. 303—306.

(K) WORKS.-Mr. Denne published the following pieces : 1. The Doctrine and Conversation of John the Baptist : a Visitation Sermon. 8vo. 1642,-2. The Foundation of Children's Baptisın discovered and rased; an Answer to Dr. Featly, and Mr. Marshall. 410. 1645.-3. The Man of Sin discovered, whom the Lord will destroy with the Brightness of his coming. 410. 1045.-4. The Drag-Net of the Kingdom of Heaven ; or Christ's drawing all Men. 8vo. 1046.-5. The Levellers Design discovered ; a Sheet. 1649.-6. A Contention for the Truth ; in two public Disputations at St. Clement's Church, between Dr. Gunning and Henry Denne, concerning Infant-Baptism. 4to. 1658.

BAPTIST MEETING-HOUSE, IN THE OLD JEWRY.

BAPTIST CONGREGATION, IN THE OLD JEWRY.

The existence of a Baptist meeting-house in the Old Jewry, is known to but few persons, nor would the knowledge of it exist excepting from a passage in Crosby's History of the English Baptists. That writer says, “ Mr. Ives was pastor of a baptized congregation in the Old Jewry, between thirty and forty years. The exact spot where it was situated cannot be ascertained ; nor any other particulars connected with its history. Of Mr. Ives, Crosby has preserved the following account.

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JEREMIAH Ives, a worthy minister of great natural abilities, and competent learning, which he attained by his own industry, and diligent application. As he was a great disputant (a quality that grew very prolific in those times), he frequently measured his strength in public, with some renowned champion among the Pædo-baptists, or the Quakers. The latter he is said to have handled so smartly that they never forgave him. Upon the subject of baptism he had a dispute with Mr. Benjamin Woodbridge, a Presbyterian minister of Newbury. His prowess in this harmless kind of warfare became so famous, that he was sent for by King Charles II. to dispute with a Romish priest. Ives appeared before the King habited like a clergyman ; and so they fell to the debate. The priest, according to custom, began to vaunt upon the antiquity of his church ; but upon this point Mr. Ives pressed him very closely, shewing, that whatever antiquity they pretended to, their docuine and practice could by no means be proved apostolical, since they are not to be found in any writings which remain of the apostolical age. The priest, after much wrangling, in the

* Crosby, vol. iv. p. 248.

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