Imágenes de páginas


siderable number both of the church and congregation, agreed to withdraw peaceably, and to adopt the Independent mode of worship and discipline. Pinners'-Hall meeting becoming at that time vacant, a lease of it was taken by this respectable society, which, united in the strictest bonds of Christian love, continued to meet there for many years. But the lease expiring in 1797, and Pinners'-Hall being about to be taken down, Mr. Crole's church removed to Founders'-Hall, lately occupied by Mr. Barber's congregation. In this situation he continued till his death. But few ministers were more entirely beloved by their people than Mr. Crole, and few congregations were happier in the pastoral relation. Upon this subject his heart overflowed with joy and gratitude to the day of his death. By a clause in bis will, he expressly desired that the officiating minister at his interment, should present his cordial thanks to the church and congregation for their steady attachment, affectionate sympathy, and unwearied patience under the disappointments and inconveniences arising from the frequent interruption of his ministerial services; and, above all, for the many prayers they had offered on his account.

For many years Mr. Crole was favoured with an uncommon share of health ; and notwithstanding his other engagements, used to preach constantly thrice, and occasionally four times on the Lord's-day, besides a lecture on Wednesday evening. Being, from an experience of its usefulness, a strenuous advocate for the catechising of children, he constantly appropriated one evening in the week to that important and profitable employment. As he was remarkably fond of children, so none could feel more strongly the importance of the rising generation. His happy facility, and engaging manner of illustrating and enforcing the great subjects of religious instruction, so entirely engaged the affections of his catecheumeus, that these weekly exercises were always anticipated with pleasure, and remembered with gratitude.


During the last five years of his life, Mr. Crole was exercised with great bodily affliction ; which he bore with that manly fortitude and Christian resignation to the Divine will, which nothing but real religion could inspire. So far was he from repining, even when the symptoms of his disorder were most alarming, and the pain most excrụciating, that he always spoke with evident satisfaction of the honour that was conferred on him, in being thụs called to experience and exemplify the power of divine grace. From the first attack to the termination of his disorder, he was repeatedly given over by the most skilful physicians ; but contrary to the expectations of his friends, was several times raised from the borders of the grave, and each time appeared to resụme his work with greater zeal and affection. On some of these occasions, his conversation appeared like that of an inhabitant of the celestial world. Though Mr. Crole's illness was of long continuance, and bis dissolution had been often expected, yet, in the event, his departure was sudden; but it was tranquil an: easy. He departed thiş life on the 3d of July, 1803, in the 64th year of his age. His remains were interred in Bunhill-fields, before a large concourse of spectators, when the Rev. A. Waugh delivered an address at the grave; and on the following Lord's-day, the Rev. M. Wilks preached his funeral sermon at Foụnders'-Hall, from 2 Sam. iii. 38.

The character of Mr. Crole was of that exemplary nature as to secure him a large portion of respect, and render him an object worthy of imitation. “ As a husband and father, , he was prudent, affectionate, and faithful in the discharge of every duty resulting from these interesting relations. As an instructor of youth, his ability and integrity were generally confessed and admired. As a member of civil society, he was not only remarkably inoffensive, but always ready to do good to the souls and bodies of his fellow-creatures of every denomination. As a Christian, he exemplified the meekness, the dignity, and the purity of Christianity. In


him, religion appeared at once venerable, dignified, and engaging. . As a minister of the gospel, he was not less diligent in the study than animated in the pulpit. He despised the meanness, and abhorred the dishonesty of delivering crude and indigested discourses to those whose improvement in knowledge and establishment in faith, whose comfort, growth in grace, and salvation, were not only the professed objects of his ministry, but objects dearer to him than life itself. He was unwearied in his endeavours to get at the mind of the Spirit in the oracles of truth; and unreserved and undaunted in communicating the result of his inquiries. It was his constant study to shew himself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Not walking in craftiness, or handling the word of God deceitfully; but, by manifestation of the truth, commending himself to every man's conscience as in the sight of God."*

Mr. Crole's abilities were respectable; he published, however, but little : the following are the only pieces that have come to our knowledge. 1. Theotekton: or, Meditations on Mark vi. 3.-2. Practical Remarks on Religious Profession in general, and on the Nature and Advantages of evangelical Churches.--3. A Sermon, preached at the opening of Cheshunt College.

John THOMAS.-Mr. Crole was succeeded, after a vacancy of nine months, by Mr. John Thomas, a student in the academy at Hoxton, of which Mr. Simpson is tutor. He was set apart to the pastoral office in Founders’-Hall, March 28, 1804. Mr. Clayton prayed and read the scriptures ; Mr. Thorpe delivered an introductory discourse; Mr, Simpson offered the ordination prayer; Mr. Nicol delivered the charge from Acts xx. 28. Mr. Wilks offered the general prayer; Mr. Burder preached to the people from Heb. xii, 17. and Mr. Atkinson concluded with prayer.

* Evang. Mag. for October, 1803.

OLD JEWRY.--English Presbyterim.



The Old Jewry takes its name from the Jews, who formerly inhabited, in great numbers, this quarter of the city. It is also remarkable from another circumstance : King Henry VI. is said to have had his principal palace in the Old Jewry. From a passage in Crosby's History of the Baptists, it should seem that this denomination had formerly a meeting-house in this street. “Mr. Jeremiah Ives (says that author) was pastor of a baptized congregation in the Old Jewry, between thirty and forty years.”* The precise spot upon which it was situated is not now to be discovered, nor any other particulars relating to the society. Of Mr. Ives, we shall make further mention under the article Coleman-street.

The present meeting-house in the Old Jewry, was built about the year 1701, for the Presbyterian congregation under the care of the eminent Mr. John Shower. The church, however, was of much earlier date. By comparing some facts recorded by Dr. Calanıy, in his account of the ejected ministers, the congregation in the Old Jewry appears to have been gathered by the Doctor's father, Mr. Edmund Calamy, who was ejected by the Bartholomew Act, in 1662, from the living of Moreton, in Essex. Coming afterwards to London, he preached for some years at his own house, in Aldermanbury; but upon King Charles Indulgence, in 1672, he hired the use of Curriers'Hall, and converting it into a meeting-house, preached

• Crosby's Hist. English Baptists, vol. iv. p. 248.

OLD JEW Y.-English Presbyterian.

there till his death, in 1685. The congregation continued to assemble there several years after his death ; and after occupying the place about twenty years, removed, about 1692, on account of its being too small, to a larger meeting-house in Jewin-street. As the congregation increased rapidly under the ministry of Mr. Shower, the same difficulty continued to operate, and the new place soon proved as inconvenient as the former one. This rendered another removal necessary. Accordingly, a large and substantial meetinghouse was erected in the Old Jewry, to which place Mr. Shower and his congregation removed some time in the year 1701. Though the act of Toleration had then been passed some years, and the Dissenters enjoyed legal security, it was nevertheless considered of so precarious a nature, that concealment was still thought to be necessary. Some private houses were, therefore, erected between the meeting-house and the street, that the former might be sheltered from public notice, and the more effectually secured from danger.

The meeting-house in the Old Jewry being conveniently situated, it has been used at various times for conducting public lectures among the Dissenters. The first service of this nature was a Lord's-day evening lecture, set on foot in the year 1762, and conducted jointly for some time by Mr. Samuel Rosewell, and Mr. Benjamin Grosvenor. It was raised and supported by some young citizens of considerable rank, and met with great success, particularly among young people, for whom it was chiefly designed. Mr. Grosvenor declining after some years, Mr. Rosewell conducted it alone till 1719, when he removed the lecture to Founders'-Hall. After this, Dr. Ridgley, Mr. Billingsley, and Mr. Wood, were concerned in a catechetical lecture at the Old Jewry. But this useful exercise was dropped in 1723, to make way for a lecture of a different kind. In the course of the same year, a new lecture was set on foot on a Tuesday evening, for the purpose of stating and defending the evidences

« AnteriorContinuar »