« AnteriorContinuar »
ARMOURERS'-HALL, COLEMAN-STREET.-Presbyterian, Extinct.
to send their sons to board with him. The persecution that preceded, and the barbarous cruelties that followed the rebellion of the Duke of Monmouth, drove him from Taunton to London; where he became joint-pastor with Mr. Richard Steel, and succeeded him at his death, as pastor of a congregation at Armourers'-Hall, Coleman-street. In this situation he continued till his own death, in October, 1705, at the advanced age of 85.
Mr. Hamond was a Divine of excellent abilities, and very faithful and diligent in his work. His sermons were plain, solid, and judicious; but on account of a certain heaviness in his delivery, they were not valued, by the common sort of hearers, according to their merit. He possessed an excellent faculty at clearing difficulties, and resolving cases of conscience. His discourses on private days of prayer and conference, on various texts of scripture, with little or no previous meditation, found general acceptance, and convinced the more intelligent part of his auditors, of his solid judgınent and great abilities. · He was an excellent scholar, a good critic, and mighty in the scriptures; of a clear head, a faithful memory, of eminent humility and meekness, of a very even temper, and of a most peaceable healing spirit. When the fears of Popery increased, upon the suppression of the Popish plot, and the pretended discovery of one trumped up by the government, to ruin the Presbyterians, Mr. Hamond endeavoured to arm his people against the attempts of seducers, and to prepare them for a day of trial. To this end he went every Monday evening to their houses, and read part of Mr. Poole's “ Dialogues against Popery;" after which he farther explained the Popish tenets, and confuted them with great strength of argument, in a very plain and familiar style ; frequently citing, the very words of the most celebrated champions of the church of Rome, to the admiration, satisfaction, and advantage of those who frequented the exercise.*
Calamy's Account, p. 458.--Contin. p. 409.
ARMOURERS'-HALL, COLEMAN-STREET.-Presbyterian, Extinct.
Mr. Hamond published an excellent Discourse on the death of the Rev. Richard Steel, 1692.- A Discourse on Family Worship; drawn up at the Request of the united Ministers of London. 1694.-A Sermon in the last volume of the Morning Exercise on this question : How may private Christians be most helpful to promote the entertainment of the gospel ? Also a Preface to Mr, Richard Saunders's Discourse on Angels. His funeral sermon for Mr. Steel is thus characterized by Mr. Bulkley, “ It is a book written with the greatest plainness imaginable, of style and language, but yet with so much power of truth, and force of conviction, as have rendered it extremely entertaining, acceptable, and, I hope, useful to myself. And I venture to recommend it, not only to the perusal, but intimate familiarity of every minister. It would be worth his while to get it by heart.”*
DANIEL ALEXANDER.-Of this gentleman very little information can be obtained. He was born about the time of the Restoration, in 1660 ; and pursued his studies for the ministry in a private academy, in the vicinity of London ; Mr. Samuel Palmer, in his “ Defence of Dissenters' Academies," mentions him among other ministers of reputation, who received their education under Mr. Charles Morton, and Mr. Edward Veal; but which of these gentlemen directed the studies of Mr. Alexander is not specified. His first settlement in the ininistry, as far as we are acquainted, was in Crosby-square, as assistant to the venerable Mr. Samuel Slater, into which situation he was chosen in the year 1693. For nearly eleven years, this proved to him a very pleasing and advantageous connexion. Mr. Slater behaved to him, upon all occasions, with the greatest condescension, kindness, and friendship, which rendered his work pleasant, and drew from him the most respectful and affec
• Bulkley's Christian Minister, p. 113,
LONDON WALL.-Scotch Presbyterian.
tionate attention. But the death of that excellent minister, which took place in the month of May, 1704, caused an unpleasant turn to Mr. Alexander's situation, and issued in his separation from the church in Crosby-square. He then retired to Armourers'-Hall, followed by a few of his friends, who formed themselves into a church, and he continued their pastor till the day of his death, which took place on the 3d of September, 1709, when he was 49 years of age. His remains were interred in Bunhill-fields, near to the wall of the Artillery-ground, where a small stone is erected over his grave, with the following inscription, which is nearly obliterated.
The Rev. DANIEL ALEXANDER.
Died Sept. 3, 1709,
Aged 49 Years.
The Scots church formerly meeting at Founders'-Hall, Lothbury, but now at London Wall, Coleman-street, is the oldest church belonging to that nation, in London. The precise date of its origin cannot be ascertained, but it can be traced very nearly to the Restoration of Charles the Second. All the information that the society itself possesses relating to its early state, is contained in a printed memorial, drawn up by Mr. Lawson, one of the former pastors, at the time of building the present meeting-house. It com
LONDON WALL._Scotch Presbyterian.
mences by saying, “ That the said congregation hath subsisted ever since there were a sufficient number of people from Scotland, of the Presbyterian persuasion, to form a public religious society. And, if tradition may be depended on, the place above-mentioned (Founders'-Hall) was originally the place of worship, or chapel, where the Scots ambassadors attended divine service ; but not to lay any stress on this unauthenticated circumstance, it is certain, that the Scots congregation at Founders’-Hall, was the only one in this part of the kingdom for a great number of years, and was in being before Charles II. erected by his royal charter, the Scottish Hospital, (N) or charitable corporation, of which so many Scots noblemen and gentlemen have most honourably distinguished themselves as patrons and benefactors.”
The records of this church reach no farther back than 1716, the year of Mr. Fleming's death; but with the assistance of other documents we shall be enabled to trace its history to a much earlier period, and nearly, if not quite, to its origin. An authentic manuscript, now before us, mentions a Mr. Blakie as the predecessor of Mr. Fleming. This gentleman is supposed to have undertaken the pastoral charge towards the latter end of the reign of Charles II. There is certain evidence of his being in London in 1681. Mr. Jeremiah Marsden, who died a prisoner in Newgate, in 1684, is mentioned by Dr. Calamny, as the minister at Founders'-Hall.* The same writer informs us, that he succeeded a Mr. Alexander Carmichael, who, it is not improbable, was the first minister of the Scots church now meeting at London Wall. (0) In the time of Mr. Marsden,
(N) The Royal charter for the Scottish Hospital was obtained in the
Calamy's Contin. p. 945. (o) Dr. Calamy mentions a Mr. Elias Pledger as having a meeting in Lothbury. He was ejected from St. Antholins. Watling-strect, and died
LONDON WALL. --Scotch Presbyterian.
the congregation met sometimes at Founders'-Hall, and afterwards, by Mr. Lye's permission, at Dyers'-Hall. But they must have returned to Founders'-Hall in the time of Mr. Blakie. By consulting the records belonging to the company, we find that their hall was first let as a preaching-place to the Nonconformnists, in 1672, the year of King Charles's indulgence. A fresh lease was granted during the time of King James's liberty, in 1687. The present meeting-house at Founders' Hall, was built for Mr. Fleming, and opened, Sept. 29, 1700. At that place the Scots church continued to assemble till the summer of 1764, when, in consequence of its being too small to accommodate the congregation, they erected a new meeting-house upon London Wall, at the corner of Coleman-street. It was opened on the second of July, 1764, by the Rev. Robert Lawson; and the building, including the fitting up, cost nearly seventeen hundred pounds. In order to raise this sum, Mr. Lawson circulated a printed address to his countrymen, exciting them, by a variety of arguments, to a liberal contribution. This had the desired effect; for within a very short tiine he raised the whole of the sum required. The meeting-house is a large, square, brick edifice, substantially built ; contains three large galleries, and will seat about a thousand people. The congregation has always been respectable, both on account of numbers and property, and at present is not at all inferior to its former state.
The ministers of the Scots church in London Wall, from the earliest and most authentic accounts, have been as follows:
suddenly in 1676. His farewell sermon, on Rev. ii. 9, 10. is in print; as also a sermon in the Morning Exercise, at Cripplegate, “ Of the Cause of inward Trouble ; and how a Christian should behave himself when inward and outward Troubles meet.” It is uncertain whether Mr. Pledger preached at Founders'-Hall; and if so, whether he was minister of the Scots church that afterwards met there. On this acco we have not included him in our list.