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History of the Presbyterian Congregation in Lincoln. THE principal person who laid a person of considerable note amongst

the ground of Protestant Dissent the Puritan clergy, and who on the at Lincoln, was Edward Reyner, breaking out of the war retired into M. A., who was ejected from the the associated coupties, and at last Church of St. Peter's at Arches, in fixed himself in Suffolk. this city, on the passing of the Act of Palmer, in his Nonconformists' Me. Uniforniity in 1662. He had been morial, (11. 428,) says of Mr. Drake, long settled at Lincoln, was a popular that “ he was a truly excellent and preacher, and a man of considerable amiable person. In his friendship he learning and talents.*

was most hearty, sincere and conAfter the rigorous treatment of the stant; in his preaching and praying Nonconformists had abated, at the exceedingly affectionate and fervent; latter end of the reign of Charles II., in his life very holy and unblameable; Mr. Michael Drake, who had been in his whole conduct he manifested ejected from the living of Pickworth, more than ordivary simplicity and near Polkingham, and had retired to integrity. He was a man of great a mean habitation at Fulbeck, came

meekness and moderation, affability every Sunday to preach to a few peo- and courteousness, humility and selfple at the house of Mr. Daniel Disney, denial. He was remarkable for his at Lincoln, in the parish of St. Peter's carefulness to abstain from the apat Goats, now (May, 1818) Mr. Hett's. pearance of evil, and patiently laboIn the following reign, when the rious in the gospel; an excellent HeDissenters had more liberty, Mr. brician and scripture preacher. lle Drake removed with his family to was so unexceptionable, upon all acLincoln, and superintended a congre- counts, that they who used to inveigh gation which was very inconsiderable, most freely against Dissenters, had and raised him, even with the patro- not a word to say against him." nage of the Disneys, but the small He seems to have quite deserved sum of £15. per year. However, his this character, for, on his retiring to preaching seems to have been effec. Fulbeck in the year 1662, he was tual in strengthening the cause of Dis. treated with great respect by Sir sent at Lincoln, as the society some

Francis Fane, who was an old cavalier years after the Revolution became and as steady a supporter of the hiermore numerous and respectable. archy and ceremonies as any man

Mr. Drake was born at Bradford living. Yet Sir Francis conversed in Yorkshire, and was a member of very freely with him, and once told St. John's College, Cambridge. In him that the clergy of the Church of the year 1645, Sir William Årmyn, England had the worst lack of any a gentleman who favoured the re- in the world, for in all other countries forming party, presented him to the and religions they were held in estirectory of Pickworth, near Folking- mation, but here they were under ham, on the resignation of Mr. Weld, contempt.

Mr. Drake continued a Dissenter

to his death; but his son Joshua * See Palmer's Noncon. Mem. 2nd Ed. Drake conformed, and accepted the II. 421-427.

vicarage of Swinderby in 1699, on the VOL. XIV.

2 G


presentation of Daniel Disney. This house for the minister. All this seems Joshua died in 1727, and was suc- to have been done from the common ceeded by his son, who died vicar contributions of the members of the thereof, 1765.

society, nothing appearing as a bene. The congregation most probably faction or bequest from any particular increased after the passing of the To. member. How long their affairs conleration Act; at least all the sectariaus tinued thus prosperous, and when were encouraged by this measure to they began to decline, does not exmake a more open show of their pro- actly appear. But sometime about fession, and in the year 1725 Mr. the year 1766 we find them encumDaniel Disney, assisted by a few sub- bered with debt, and a few years after stantial yeomen out of the country, unable to support a resident minister. and some respectable tradesmen of Their pastor, the Rev. S. Hodson, Lincoln, making ten in all, purchased resigned on the payment of a small a piece of ground and built the present pension from the trustees, which be chapel in the parish of St. Peter's at enjoyed till his death. To do all they Goats. The property was vested by could, the trustees agreed with the deed in these ien, and their successors, minister of the extra-episcopal chapel in trust, for the benefit of the society, of Kirkstead, (the Rev. S. Duokley.)

“ Church of Christ," as it was then under the patronage of the Discalled, of which Mr. Thomas Cooper neys, to preach at Lincoln six Sunwas the late, and Mr. Joseph Cappe days in the year, at the stipend of six the then pastor. When the ten trus. guineas: this also enabled him to retees are reduced to four, they are to ceive two annual benefactions, payable fill up, by a new appointment, to the to the minister doing actual duty at original number of ten. It would the chapel under the appointment almost appear by the provisions of this of the trustees : one a rent-charge deed, that religious liberty was not out of the Kirkstead estate of £6., and even then considered as on a stable the other a moiety of the rent of a foundation. For it contemplated the close at Morton, near Gainsborough. possibility of a repeal of the Tolera- The same gradual change had taken tion Act, by providing that, on this place in the doctrives preached by event, the chapel and estate should the ministers at Lincolo, from the become the private property of the period of building the chapel, as was trustees for the time being, their heirs, general with respect to the whole &c. It cannot be precisely ascer- Presbyterian sect, which had thrown tained whether the society at Lincoln off, one by one, all the more distinwas at this time Presbyterian or In- guishing points of Calvinism, and the dependent, as it is merely designated ministers of this body had many of as the “ separate congregation or them become avowed Arians, and Church of Christ," and the trustees some of them at this time Socinians. are not limited in their admission of Mr. Dunkley was a decided Arian; ministers by any particular creed or but the congregation did not all of doctrine. But it is inost probable them follow the new creed of their that it was of the former sect, as the minister. Some, more warmly atsociety has come down to our times tached to the old doctrines, joined the under that name.

The doctrine was Whitfieldian Methodists, which was no doubt Calvinistical, though soft- probably the principle cause of the ened of the asperities which charac. decline of the old congregation. terized the faith of the early Puritans. Sometime about this period a so

After this period the society seem to ciety, which was a mixture of Partihave flourished considerably, at least cular Baptists and Whitfieldian Mein their temporal concerns; for in no thodists, obtained leave of the trustees less than eight years after the building to hold their worship in the chapel of the chapel, they were, by savings on the Sundays, when it was not occuout of their fund, enabled to realize pied by their own minister. Whilst the sum of £150. in the purchase of these people kept together, a vestrya small estate at Caythorpe; and at room was built, in which they were the end of twelve years more they assisted by a donation from the truslaid out £200. in the purchase of a tees. Soon after this they divided, History of the Presbyterian Congregation in Lincoln.

215 the Baptists going to another place of way from the door-keeper, by the worship; the Methodists remained and exercise of a little stratagem, they still continued to occupy the chapel shut them out of the chapel. Finding on the terms before-mentioned. the attack thus unexpectedly turned

About the year 1789, Mr. Dunkley against them, the Methodists were died, and the trustees neglecting to puzzled how to proceed. But after appoint a successor, the Methodists a little delay the matter was brought froin this time to the year 1803 en- on again by them, in the shape of an joyed the exclusive use of the chapel information before the magistrates, as a place of worship. During the stating that they had been forcibly time they had the possession, they kept out of their chapel, &c. This remained in connexion with the suc- mode of proceeding is founded on an cessors of Whitfield, and preached ancient statute inade in the times of Calvinism in all its purity; except in turbulence and disorder, providing a one instance or two at the latter part summary remedy for persons forcibly of this period, when the minister had dispossessed of their property. But been procured from the Independents, when the hearing came on, the maat the instance of one of the trustees. 'gistrates quashed the information on But they afterwards returned to their the ground of the informants not beold connexion. For the last fourteen ing able to swear that any force had or fifteen years donations had been been exercised. It is curious to ob. frequently given to some of the mi- serve, that this Calvinistic Church, nisters by the trustees, and sometimes had their information been regular in pretty large sums. This was a and admitted by the magistrates, inspecies of support of which the affairs tended to establish their right to the of this people seem to have stood in chapel by proving themselves Pres. need, and which they probably might byterians; for which purpose they had have long continued to receive, could mustered from their body three Scotsthey have stooped to a little conde- men, who were prepared to make scension. But unfortunately for them, oath to that effect. Finally, they they were, some time in the year 1803, made a third attempt by appealing seized with ambitious notions. Some to the Board of Deputies in London, zealous men, and wise calculators, to have the least chance of any assistamongst them, to whom the laws of ance from whom, it is necessary that meum and tuum seemed familiar, in- they should belong to some one of sisted that their long occupancy by the great Dissenting bodies of Pressufferance, gave them a full claim to byterians, Baptists or Independents. the chapel and all that belonged to They chose now, for some reason or it, and it became no longer necessary other, to state theinselves to be of the to receive as a gratuity what they

last denonsination. But as the trustees might claim as a right. In conformity were able to shew, very readily, that to this opinion they, calling themselves the Rev. Mr. Griffiths, their pastor, the “ Calvinistic Church at Lincolo," who was one of the appellants, and a sent a notice to the acting trustee to long line of his predecessors, came produce to them his account of the from Lady Huntingdon's Academy, receipts and expenditure of the funds this application was without effect, belonging to the chapel. This was and the trustees have been ever since not taken any notice of, and they in the peaceable possession of the were preparing to follow this step by chapel and estate. a more vigorous proceeding, when an event of an unexpected nature hap- In 1804, the few that remained of pened to them, and forced them to the Presbyterian society, together alter the nature of the attack.

with several others who had recently The trustees, after this refractory adopted Unitarian views, applied to spirit had appeared amongst their tė. Mr. Belsham and Mr. Wellbeloved, nants, were waiting for the most fa. Divinity Tutor of the Manchester vourable opportunity for getting rid College, removed to York, to recomof them. They soon found this, and mend a minister to them. A gentleou procuring the keys in a peaceable man of the name of Howson, a student

at York at that time, was recom- justly holding in his own hands a very mended to them upou trial, and Mr. pretty estate of more than a hundred Wellbeloved, at the request of the acres, which was left by the family of society, re-opened the chapel on the the Disneys, of whom Mr. Ellison 19th of August, with a very appro- purchased the whole of Kirkstead, for priate sermon, in the morning, from the support of the Dissenting cause in Philip. ii. 2: “Fulfil ye my joy, that that village. See some interesting ye be like-minded, having the same particulars on this subject, Mon. love, being of one accord, of one Repos. VIII. 81. mind." In the afternoon, he preached Mr. Worsley laid the foundation of from Luke iv. 18: “ The spirit of the a chapel library by a present of nineLord is upon me, because he hath teen volumes, which were gradually apointed me to preach the gospel to increased by presents from others, the poor," &c. On the next Sunday, and annual subscriptions, partly durAugust 26, Mr. Howson preached, ing bis time, and partly since his and the society engaged him to preach departure, to more than one hundred for them one year, at a salary of £60. and thirty volumes. At the termination of the year he left On the morning of April 11th, Lincoln, and on the 28th of October, 1813, Mr. Worsley, in consequence 1805, about two months after Mr. of his acceptance of an invitation from Howson's departure, Mr. Israel Wors- the Unitarian Society in Plymouth, ley, through the recommendation of preached his farewell sermon, and in Mr. Belsham, preached twice, and the afternoon, Mr. Hawkes preached the society meeting in the evening of his first sermon as his successor. In the same day, gave him an unani- August the same year a Sunday school mous invitation to become their mi- was instituted, which has averaged, nister.

from that time to the present,

from Mr. Worsley was not prepared to seventy to eighty scholars. These reside with them immediately, but are taught gratuitously, partly by the came with his wife and family on the young people of the congregation, and first of January, 1806, Mr. Wright, partly by teachers who were formerly the Unitarian Missionary, having scholars. Since the institution of the preached the Sunday before, three Sunday school, a Sunday school litimes.

brary has been established, which In the course of Mr. Worsley's first now consists of more than a hundred year of residence at Lincoln, he was volumes. Near the close of the year informed that a stated minister had a 1817, a Fellowship Fund and Religious claim upon the Kirkstead estate, then Tract Society were commenced, and and now in the possession of Richard also a meeting on the Wednesday Ellison, Esq., to the amount of £6. evening at the Vestry, commencing annually, which had never been de with a short prayer, then a portion manded since the death of Mr. Dunk- of some work, connected with the ley, of Kirkstead, in, 1789. Mr. Unitarian views, is read, and every Worsley therefore claimed it, and it one present is at liberty to make any was afterwards granted annually with remarks he may think proper: a short out demur. To an active mind like prayer concludes the exercise. All Mr. Worsley's it was natural to in- ' these are kept up with growing spirit, quire into the source of this annual and will, it is hoped, lead to benefiallowance from Kirkstead, and this cial effects. inquiry gradually led to the important

S, and H. discovery that Mr. Ellison was un

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The Correspondence between Locke and will communicate to me all his me

Limborch, 1685–1704. thod of argument on this subject. I (Continued from p. 149.)

think, however, that he will wait till

he has seen your arguments, that he No. 40.

may compare your reasonings, which Philip à Limborch to John Locke. he is now considering, with his own.

But who can pursue this subject withAmsterdam, May 16, 1698.

out changing the order of these proMY WORTHY FRIEND,

positions, and placing the second of TOU will now learn that your last them in the third, and the third in the mediately read it to that emiuent proved that there exists a Being, person ; who, being then particularly eternal, independent, self-sufficient, engaged, proposed another time more from thence it may be farther shewn convenient for a long conference, that such a Being must comprehend which the importance of the subject in himself all perfections; because it justly deserved. In a few days he is impossible ihat any perfection can invited me to renew my visit, when be wanting to an eternal, independent I again read to him your letter. He and self-sufficient Being. Thus having approves of your arguments, if the proved that such a Being must comdefinition of God, which you propose, prehend in himself all perfections, it be admitted, for it is manifest that a may hence be inferred, that such a BeBeing absolutely perfect, or, which ing can be only one. But in such'a meamounts to the same thing, containing thod this difficulty occurs: we regard in himself all perfections, can be only thought and extension, as totally disone. But he wishes for an argument tinct in their nature and properties (I not drawn from the definition of God, adopt the terms of those wbo start this but merely from natural reason, and difficulty). But admitting thought to from which may be deduced a defini- be eternal and independent, which I tion of God. He would thus form his dispute, can we also regard extension demonstration :

or matter as eternal, self-sufficient and 1. Admit an eternal Being, inde. independent on eternal thought? Thus pendent, existing by the necessity of would be established the notion of his nature and self-sufficient.

two eternal Beings. Yet describing 2. Such a Being is only one, and matter as eternal and independent, it there cannot be several such Beings. would by no means follow that it in

3. That Being who is one, contains cluded all perfections. Wherefore it in himself all perfections, and that seerns necessary, first to prove that a Being is God.

Being, eternal and independent, is That eminent person says, that the only one, before it can be proved that first proposition is admirably esta- he comprehends, in himself, all perblished in your Essay of Human Un- fections. derstanding, [B. iv. Ch. x.] and by For if the second proposition, that the same arguments which he has em- an independent Being is only one, ployed in his Demonstration, so that were incapable of proof, it does not he has found his own thoughts ex- appear that religion or the necessity pressed in your train of reasoning. of worshiping that|Being alone, would But he anxiously desires to have your be done away, because I entirely deproof of the second proposition ; pend on that one Being who created which heing clearly proved, the third To him alone, therefore, I am may be easily deduced from the two obliged; bim I am bound to love, former. He says again, that all di. with my whole heart and mind, and vines and philosophers, even Descartes to obey all his commands. himself

, assumed, rather than proved, If besides that Being there exist the second. I have no doubt but he another on whom I have no depeu- ,


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