« VorigeDoorgaan »
pools and reservoirs, where, from their latter gentleman, indeed, the sensestagnant state, they acquire feculence less cry of heresy was most unjustly and pollution !"
and wickedly raised, whilst his pupils With respect to “ the holy and bore an irrefragable testimony to his devout" Doddridge being involved, candour and fidelity. In the same along with Messrs. Ashworth and Ro- admirable inander, the venerable Dr. bins, in the impeachment of their Abraham Rees, and the late Dr. Anjudgment as tutors, the following tes. drew Kippis, himself a pupil of Dodtimony is at once full and decisive: dridge, conducted their academical it shews the folly of the charge, whilst institution at Hoxton. Neither their it ought for ever to set the clamours heads nor their hearts could foster a of bigotry at rest. must be re- narrow spirit within the breasts of membered that the pious and sensible young ministers, nor did they dare to Job Orton was, for several years, an betray the cause of their Divine Masassistant of Dr. Doddridge in his ter by
an odious and intolerant bigoAcademy, so that he possessed every try. DR. DODDRIDGE was calunnipossible means of forming an accu- ated for his liberality during his liferate opinion on the subject. “He time, but the more intelligent of the never expected nor desired, (says Mr. Independents, to which denomination Orton, in his Memoirs of Doddridge,) he belonged, held his labours in due that his pupils should blindly follow estination. In his last illness a most his sentiments, but permitted and affecting letter was addressed to him, encouraged them to judge for them. where his distinguished merits as a selves. To assist them herein, he tutor are thus happily recognized : laid before them what he apprehended “ Stay, DODDRIDGE! Ostay, and to be the truth, with all perspicuity, strengthen our hands, whose shadows and impartially stated all objections to grow long. Fifty is but the height it. He never concealed the difficul- of vigour, usefulness and honour. ties which affected any question, but Don't take leave abruptly. Provireferred them to writers on both sides, dence hath not directed thee yet on without hiding any from their inspec- whom to drop thy mantle. Who tion. He frequently and warmly ur- shall instruct our youth, fill our vaged thein not to take their system of cant churches, animate our associadivinity from any man or body of tions, and diffuse a spirit of piety, momen, but from the word of God: The deration, candour and charity, through Bible was always referred and ap- our villages and churches, and a pealed to upon every point in question, spirit of prayer and supplication into to which it could be supposed to give our towns and cities,
when thou art any light. Of his honesty and can removed from us? Especially, who dour in this respect, the world has shall unfold the Sacred Oracles, teach had a sufficient proof in his Theological us the meaning and use of our Bibles, Lectures. He resolutely checked any rescue us from the bondage of sysappearances of bigotry and unchari- tems, party opinions, empty, useless tableness, and endeavoured to cure speculations and fashionable phrases, them by shewing the guilty persons and point out to us the simple, intellithe weakness of their understandings, gible, consistent, uniform religion of and what might be said in defence of our Lord and Saviour » Well might those principles which they disliked, Dr. Kippis remark, that with this letreminding them, at the same time, of ter Dr. Doddridge was so affected, the great learning and excellent cha- that there was reason to be apprehenracter of many who had espoused sive that his tender frame would have them."
sunk under the emotions of his gratis This upright mode of tuition was
tude and joy.* adopted by Dr. Ashworth, and his successor, Mr. Robins, as well as by their successors, the Rev. Thomas Bel.
* The author of this incomparable sham, who, on his change of senti. letter was his beloved friend the Rev.
John Barker, then a popular minister at ment, honourably relinquished the
Salters' Hall. He left behind him two theological chair, and also by the excellent volumes of Sermous, and was Rev. John Horsey, who has presided usually styled the silver tongued Barker, over the beloved flock of Doddridge from his fascinating delivery. In his for near half a century. Against this correspondence with Doddridge, eulogiz
Such a tutor was Dr. Philip Dod. Baptist Academy at Bristol. Under dridge, revered by all denominations him I had the felicity to be educated, for his erudition, candour and piety. As theological tutor, he trod in the With bigots, his truly Christian libe- footsteps of Doddridge, whose liberality is the stumbling-stone and the rality was the theme of commendation rock of offence. However high their to all his students in divinity. I well pretensions to Orthodoxy, these reli- recollect his checking some pupils in gionists forfeit all claiin to the name whom he discerned symptoms of unof Protestant Dissenters. Their con- charitableness and bigotry. When a duct is glaringly offensive. Catholics worthy brother minister published an and Churchmen look down upon them Hudibrastic Poem, entitled, The So. with contempt. More odious thau cinian Champion, which was aduired legitimate Popery, away with this bas. by many in his connexion, he disaptard Protestantism from off the face proved both of its design and tenof the earth! Give me back Popes dency, wisely reprobating the infidel and Councils, Bulls and Anathemas, maxiın of Shaftsbury, that ridicule with all the paraphernalia of proud was the test of truth! Indeed, the Infallibility! They have, at least, the best controversial piece Dr. Evans praise of consistency! But we who ever wrote, was a Reply to Dr. Priestpride ourselves on free inquiry, on ley's Address to the Professors of candour and on liberality, when we Christianity; yet he never failed to, contend with our adversaries either speak of his talents and virtues in of the Church of Rome or of the terms of the warmest admiration. And Church of England, ought never to in his last publication, on the Doctrine turn our backs upon the first princi- of the Atonement, he has these words ples of our profession. Shame, shame in the Dedicatory Address to his Con. on such professors of Christianity! gregation : The name of Protestant Dissenier • It has never been my custom, as should be resplendent in the annals of you well know, to give hard names the Cross, never for a moment suffer to those that differ from me even on ing its lustre to be tarnished by the subjects of the highest importance, foul breath of intolerance and bigotry. and you will not, therefore, expect Pre-eminent, indeed, are the obliga. any thing of the kind in this publications to gospel charity! Even that tion. The wrath of man will never haughty prelate Samuel Horsley, work the righteousness of God, and I though reclining upon the downy hope I have learned to treinble at the couch of preferment, yet knowing word of my Divine Master. Who art that he had sinned grievously against thou that judgest another man's serher claims in his controversy with the vant? Railing accusations may be formidable heresiarch Priestley, paci- as easily applied to the support of fied his perturbed conscience at the error as of truth, and can only tend close of the contest with this memo- in either case to inflame, never to rable declaration : " Whatever of convince or persuade. We ought as intemperate wrath and carnal anger sincerely and cheerfully to admire the hath mixed itself on either side with virtues of those that may differ from the zeal with which we have pursued us the most widely, as we would wislı our fierce contention, may it be for. to detect and avoid their errors.” given to us both, is a prayer which I Upon these enlarged principles, Dr. breathe from the bottom of my soul, Caleb Evans conducted the Particular and to which my antagonist, if he Baptist Academy at Bristol, which, hath any part in the spirit of a Chris. under him, in conjunctiou with the tian, upon his bended knees will say, Rev. James Newton and the Rev. Amen."
Robert Hall, attained to an unexamThe reader will excuse my taking pled prosperity. leave of this subject, by mentioning Sincerely do I hope and trust that the my much-respected relative, the late theological tutors of our academical Dr. Caleb Evans, President of the institutions may imitate the illustrious
Doddridge in his career of candour ing the exercise of candour, moderation, and impartiality, which formed the and free inquiry among Protestant Dis- glory of his character and rendered senters, he adds, “ We must come to him a blessing to the religious world. This or come to nothing po
He kept pure and translucent the
up by him to the Christian ministry. I whichdesirous to correct a inistake
streams which make glad the city of into different roads, it is our hope our God. If aught of good hath ac- and belief that if they add to their crued from the humble labours of faith, charity, they will ineet in heathe writer of this article, either as
J. EVANS. minister or as tutor, especially of those whom, during a period of up- SIR, Bolton, March 16, 1824. wards of twenty years, were trained
which has crept into the last numit is under the blessing of heaven as- ber of the Monthly Repository, (p. cribed to his having been early smit- 120,) respecting the congregation asten with the admiration of this excel. sembling in Bank
Street, Bolton, which lent man, distinguished as he was for is there called Presbyterian. Whatunwearied diligence, diffusive benevo- ever was the import of the word in lence and ardent piety. His bust, the last century, it denotes, in the recently executed by his great-grand present day, the profession of sentison, he esteems the choicest orna- inents very nearly allied to the uninment of his habitation. Endeared by telligible opinions of Calvin. So far the transcendant worth of the origi- from such tenets being now entertainnal, and emanating from the skill of ed by the Society, they have pleasure an immediate descendant excelling in in the recollection, that they were that departinent of the arts, he not among the first congregations in Lanunfrequently contemplates it with an cashire who declared themselves in fa. affectionate veneration. Indeed, he* vour of the Unitarian doctrine; and bequeaths it to his children and to in such belief they have continued ever his children's children, and, should since. As long as nearly a century the frail memorial endure, to his la- ago they were favoured with the sertest posterity! Righteousness alone vices of an excellent preacher, whose is immortal!
name and opinions have been long I conclude with the avowal of that known to the Unitarian public, by his truly Christian prelate, the late Dr. admirable little treatise on “ The SoRichard Watson, Bishop of Llandaff: vereignty of the Divine Administra“ An intolerant spirit has abated much tion.” I allude to the Rev. Thomas of its ence amongst ourselves. Dixon. He was succeeded by the We pray God that it may be utterly Rev. Philip Holland, whose two voextinguished in every part of Chris- lumes of Discourses sutficiently shew tendom, and that the true spirit of that his sentiments were the same as Christianity, which is the spirit of those of his predecessor : and those meekness, peace and love, may be also of his colleague, in the latter two introduced in its stead! If different years of his ministry, the late Mr. inen in carefully and conscientiously Hawkes, of Manchester. After this examining the Scriptures, should ar- period, for more than thirty years the rive at different conclusions, even on Rev. John Holland, unceasingly conpoints of the last importance, we tinued to advocate and enforce the trust that God who alone knows what doctrines of Unitarianism. A
precaevery man is capable of, will be mer- rious state of health, from which he ciful to him that is in error. We has now, in a great measure, happily trust that he will pardon the Unita. recovered, induced him to resign the rian if he be in an error, because he pastoral office, under a conviction that has fallen into it from the dread of he could no longer attend satisfactobecoming an idolator, of giving that rily to its various duties ; and his glory to another which he conceives place was filled, during a short period, to be due to God alone. If the wor- by iny iminediate predecessor, the shiper of Jesus Christ be in an Rev. Noah Jones. error, we trust that God will pardon It is only necessary to wention his mistake, because he has fallen these circumstances to remove an iminto it from a dread of disobeying pression which has lately become what he conceives to be revealed somewhat prevalent, from circumconcerning the nature of the Son or stances to which it will be needless to commanded concerniug the honour to allude, and to shew that the Society be given him. Both are actuated by is still the same as it has been, for the same principle, the fear of God, almost a century, decidedly Unitarian. and though that principle impels them
A Memoir of the Rev. T. N. Toller. the subsequent sketch of Mr. Toller's
By Robert Hall, A.M. London, life. As he seldom travelled, or ninPublished by Holdsworth. 8vo. gled in the scenes of public business, Pp. 71. 18:24
as his habits were domestic, and his THIS Memoir is prefixed to a
disposition retired, years glided away posthumous volume of Mr. Tol- without presenting an occurrence of ler's Sermons, which we hope to no
sufficient inagnitude to entitle it to a tice in some future number. A bio. permanent record. Through a long graphical narrative, having such a
series of years, he persevered in the subject, and proceeding froin such an exemplary discharge of his spiritual author, may well be considered as
functions, among a people, who, in meriting a distinct review.
proportion as his talents unfolded Thomas Northcote, son of John themselves, regarded him with inand Mary, Toller, was born at South creasing love and veneration, as well Petherton, in Somersetshire, in the on account of his ininisterial qualifiyear 1756. Both his parents were
cations, as his amiable, prudent and eminently pious: and, like
many Christians, and Christian ministers, of
In the year 1793, he entered into high attainments, he always thought
the married state with Miss Elizabeth himself indebted, under God, for his Gale, of Cranford, in the neighbourfirst religious impressions, to the ten- hood of Kettering. By this lady he first religious impressions, to the ten- had two children, John, who died in promotion of his eternal welfare. At his infancy, and Thomas, who still the early age of fifteen, he was sent survives hiin, and, under the most to the academy at Daventry, in Nor. pleasing auspices, succeeds his father thamptonshire: here he passed five
in the pastoral office. This happy
union was of short duration. Not years; four of them, under the tuition of Dr. Ashworth—the last, under long, after the birth of her second that of Mr. Robins. He began to child, Mrs. Toller betrayed symptoms supply on October 1, 1775, à Dis. of consumption, and, after a lingering senting congregation at Kettering :
illness, expired on the 15th of Sepand his services proved so acceptable,
tember, 1796. after repeated visits, that he was in
For some time previously to this vited to take up his permanent resi event, the health of Mr. Toller him'dence with them; with which invita: self had been much impaired : and tion he complied in June of the en
serious apprehensions were entertained suing year, and was ordained pastor,
of his being far advanced in a decline. May 28, 1778. On this office, the By an excursion to Cambridge, howweight and responsibility of which ever, in the course of which he met were not a little increased by some
with the most flattering attentions dissensions ainong the people for a
from all quarters, his spirits were short time before his visits to Ketter revived, and from that tiine the indiing, he entered with fear and trem- He continued a widower till the year
cations of disease gradually vanished. bling, and with that unfeigned dis- 1903, when he took for his second trust of his own suficiency, and heart- wife'Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of felt conviction of the importance of
Mr. William Wilkinson, of Northamphis charge, which are the surest omen of success.
ton: by her he had five sons, all of Little variety must be looked for in whom, together with their mother,
In the year 1799, the congregation Mon. Repos. Vol. XVII. 196, 198. assembling in Carter Lane, Doctors' XVIII. 605. Mr. Robins was successor
Commons, London, under the pastoral to Dr. Ashworth, as theological tutor at
care of the Rev. Thomas Tayler, wantDaveutry; not his “ assistant.” Mon. ing a supply for one part of the day, Kepos. V. 362, &c.
applied to Mr. Toller, and offered him, for one service only, a salary vision for his family. As soon as considerably beyond what he then en- he had intelligence of the design, he joyed. To this invitation he gave a naturally and freely suggested some decided negative. In the beginning objections to the measure. The apof the following year, the congrega- prehensions and scruples, however, tion at Clapham gave hiin a similar which arose from bis extreme deliinvitation, which he also declined. cacy, were overruled; and a sum The two congregations then united amounting to nearly a thousand their invitations, offering a large salary, pounds was contributed, with a on condition of his undertaking a sin- promptitude and alacrity, which did gle service at each place. This joint equal honour to those who conferred application he refused. The people and to him who received, the favour. of Kettering, hearing of these repeated Through the larger portion of his attempts to remove hiin, became justly life he was occasionally liable to great alarmed : a few of them waited upon depression of spirits ; but about seven him, informing himn of the uneasiness yeais previously to its close, in con they felt at these atteinpts to effect a sequence of a sudden interruption of separation. They assured him of his the profuse perspiration which had entire possession of the hearts of his constantly, attended his public exer: people, and declared that, though cises, and which was thrown back their situation did not permit their upon the system, he sunk into such making such proposals as the other a state of despondency as disqualified partics, they would do all in their him, for soine time, for the discharge power, and most gladly rectify any of his ministerial functions. He surcircumstance which gave him uneasi- vived this affliction several years : but ness. His reply was, that if he found from that time the circulation of his his services still acceptable, no pecu- blood appears to have been less reguniary advantages should ever temptlar, and the depression of his spirits him to relinquish his charge. At the more frequent than before. Symptoms same time, he intimated that, as the of a tendency to apoplexy, made their two congregations still persisted in appearance. Near the close of the their application, he wished his people year 1920, one attack of this nature publicly to express their sentiments . left him so weak and shattered conon the subject, that he might be armed stitution as to convince him he should with conclusive reasons for declining never be able to resume his full pasinvitations so earnestly and repeatedly toral duties again : and his son was, urged. This gave occasion to three accordingly, chosen as his assistant. separate addresses, from the young On Sunday, February 25, 1821, Mr. people, from the members of the Be Toller preached in the morning, with nevolent Society, and from the con- all his usual animation, from Isaiah, gregation at large, each expressive of lxiii. 7-13, and remarked, at the the high esteem they entertained for end of the sermon, what encouragehis character, their sense of the bene- ment this passage affords the widow fit derived from his ministry, and and the fatherless to put their trust in their extreme reluctance to resign ad- Gud; finishing his last public disvantages which they so highly prized. course with these words : To these addresses a most affectionate
“ To thee our infant race we leave, and appropriate reply was made by
Them may their father's God receive; their pastor, in which he assured them That ages yet unborn may raise of his unalterable attachment, toge- Successive hymns of humble praise." ther with his final determination to accede to their wishes; and thus ended by
his family, and conversing with his
He spent the evening surrounded the last attempt to remove Mr. Toller children in a strain of cheerful piety, from his station.
and after a night of sound repose, It was during the year 1813, that
arose as well as usual the next mornhis friends determined to carry into ing. About noon, leaving the parlour, effect an idea which had before been he was found a few minutes after in suggested, that of raising a sum of
an apopletic fit, or a seizure resemmoney to be presented as a testimony of their esteem, as well as with a view to lay the basis of a permanent pro
. Mon. Rep. XVII, p. 196.