« PreviousContinue »
and, if I might offer one suggestion to hisBe ye followers of them who through now sorrowing family, it would be not faith and patience inherit the promises." to slacken in the race of virtae, to have His parents, Benjamin and Elizabeth a father's example ever present to their Marten, were respectable, and resided contemplation, and to be fully' assured at Canterbury. The son, born at Chil. that the most grateful incense they can ham, at an early age left his home, and offer to his memory, will be to surpass devoted himself to agricultural pursuits, him in the unostentatious and substantial under the care of some relatives in the usefulness of his life; like him, evdea. Weald of Kent. Ofa serious and thoughtvouring, with all their strength, to render ful disposition, he was fond of reading, glory to God in the highest, to promote especially the Bible, the only rule of peace upon earth, and good will towards faith, the alone regulator of practice.
It is the fountain of all true theology. “* To conclude :--although the death From a child he was partial to the exerof such a man as John Hancock must cises of social worship, according, as they alvays be felt as a severe loss to society, do, with our best feelings, and being aud particularly to us who have known eminently calculated to promote the spirit him and experienced his worth, yet let of Christianity. It was soon discerned us be devoutly grateful to the Giver of that he had talents for public instruction. every good gitt, who has lent him to us Indeed, he was no ordinary man. Withso long as a shining light in the world, out the usual education for the pulpit, he and that he was not prematurely cut off excelled in the sacred profession. Study in the midst of his course, but, though was his delight. From the few books be not arrived at extreme old age, is come possessed, he derired constant improveto the grave mature in years, and full of ment. The communication of religions days and honour; and 'may God, of his knowledge yielded him an indescribable bounty to mankind, grant many such satisfaction. men to arise, like him, to stem the tide. April the 7th, 1793, he preached his of corruption, to advocate the cause of first serinon, at Headcorn, from John i. justice, to be the bulwarks of their coun- 46: And Nathanael said unto him, Can try's independence, and the evlightened there any good thing come out of Naza. friends of the human race !""
reth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see." About this time he left the Weald
of Kent, and lived with that excellent November 14, aged 54 years, the Rev. man, the late Rev. Sampson Kingsford, of BENJAMIN MARTEN, pastor of the General Sturry, near Canterbury, who encouraged Baptist Church, Dover, Kent. Having him in the work of the ministry. He, undergone an operation in the metropolis iudeed, wished him to go to the Aca. for one of the severest maladies to which demy, and preparation was made for it. the hodily frame is subject, he surrired But the late pious and liberal William it only a few days, leaving behind him a Kingsford, Esq., of Barton Mills, frus. mournful relict, with twelve sorrowing trated his intentions, by rendering him children. May they hear the gracious more immediately useful in the connexion, voice of revelation-" Leave thy father. This circumstance the deceased always less children, I will preserve them alive, regretted, for he was a warm friend to and let thy widow trust in me." It is an education for the Christian ministry. altogether a most afflictive providence, He preached at first occasionally, but exercising the fuith and patience of frail soon settled at Dover, with an old and mortality.
respectable General Baptist Congregation. He was interred at the General Baptist Here he continued for near thirty years, Chapel, Dorer, on Sunday, November 23, conducting himself with the utmost proby the Rev. James Gilchrist, who deli- priety. His preaching, generally twice vered a suitable and pathetic address on a-day, was most acceptable, and latterly the occasion, from that very appropriate he was assisted by the Rev. George Pound, passage, Matt. xxvi. 39: “O my Father, who was trained for the ministry upon if it be possible, let this cup pass from the General Baptist Education Society. me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Judicious in the choice, and happy in the thou wilt." The chapel was crowded to elucidation of his subject, his discourses excess, and all classes of persons, both were subservient to improvement. His Churchmen and Dissenters, seened anxi- delivery, placid and deliberate, attracted ous to pay this last tribute of respect to attention. He had no charms for the his nemory. The writer of this article multitude. His aim was, by enlightening also, who held him in high estimation, the head, essentially to amend the heart. paid a tribute of regard to his talents Having seriously inquired after truth, and virtues, on the subsequent Sabbath, he knew the value of truth. Aware of at Worship Street, from Heb. vi. 12: the difficulties of every system of faith,
he acquiesced in his own views with mo. Worship Street, London, he was seldom desty. He was an Unitarian General or ever absent. At our last Meeting he Baptist, upon deliberate conviction. The took a very active part respecting the Unity of God, and the doctrine of Uni- choice of Messengers, of which order he versal Redemption, in connexion with the was one; and previous to his leaving baptismal immersion of the body in wa. town, he called upon me to converse upon ter, he conceived to be in strict accord." the subject. Such was his ardour to ance with the New Testament. Airs of promote the interest of the denomination infallibility formed no parts of his charace to which he conscientiously belonged. ter. But having fixed his creed from a Along with the late Mr. Robert Pyall, diligent perusal of the Scriptures, he stea- and the writer of this article, he was dily adhered to it. Not driven about by ordained to the office of Messenger, June every wind of doctrine, he uufolded his 1, 1803, at Deptford, by the late Messrs. own conceptions of the dispensations of Sampson Kingsford and Benjamin DoGod to man, through his Son Jesus bel, whose praise is in all our churches. Christ, with a manly intrepidity. You Indeed, his zeal was warm : he was equally were never at a loss for his meaning, remote from criminal lukewarmness and He was lucid and impressive. He gloried repulsive bigotry. Few knew better how in the inculcation of practical religion. to apportion their ardour, in the great
He resided at Barfrestone, the distance and glorious cause of our common Chris. of eight miles from the scene of his mi. tianity. His was a diffusive benevolence, nisterial labours, engaged in agricultural blended with a rational piety. Nor was pursuits, to which he had been early it by his own denomination alone he was accustomed. But though thus remote beloved and respected. His Dissenting from his flock, he was always at his post brethren, who differed widely from him on the Sabbath-day, and at all other in- in some points of faith and practice, tervals when his presence was needed. knew his worth, while they bore testi In season and out of season, he laboured mony to his iutegrity. He lived in harfaithfully in the vineyard of his Lord and mony with the minister and members of Master. Throughout all weathers, sum- the Established Church; for he loved mer and winter, he was prosecuting his good men of every description. The offiduty, ardently wishing to promote the ciating clergyman of the parish in which best interests of his people. When he resided, on the Sabbath of his interamongst his people, he was social and ment, had the service of the Church cheerful in the whole of his deportment. earlier that he might accompany the fue To him all classes were equally accessible, veral, and be present in Dover at the and his ambition was to do good. The interment, proud of paying this final toyoung he cautioned, and the aged he con- ken of regard to the memory of the desoled. The prosperous he warned, and ceased. A circumstance this, indicative the distressed he upheld. His instruction of an enlightened mind and a truly both from the pulpit and in the parlour Christiap liberality! he diffused amongst all. His flock loved After his return home, he sent me an and respected him. They recognized him interesting account of our mutual friend as a parent, interested in their welfare. the Rev. William Moon, just deceased, He was, indeed, the good shepherd, lead and who for serious impressions was ing them in green paths and beside still much indebted to his ministry. He made waters to a haven of eternal rest. Of an allusion to his own grievous bodily his desire to advance the welfare of the affliction, hinting at the operation he Church of Christ over which he presided, intended to uudergo, and his resignation it may be mentioued that the last com- to the will of heaven ! And there is no munication I ever received from him, donbt that had a wise and kind Provi. was on the liquidation of the remainder dence been pleased to restore him to his of the debt incurred by the erection of accustomed ease and vigour, he would a very neat and commodious chapel. have persevered in the active, useful and This was not long previous to his disso- honourable course for which his whole lution. He urged the plea with that life had been distinguished. But the good sense and moderation, which cha. Supreme Being hath otherwise ordained racterised him on all occasions. He it.' In his dying moments, had his exmentioned the generous contributions treme debility permitted, he would have already made by his congregation, toge. exclaimed : « I have fought the good ther with the liberal aids received from fight, I have finished my course, ! have other quarters, adding, that the economy kept the faith ; heuceforth there is laid observed in the building of the chapel up for me a crown of righteousness, entitled it to the patronage of the re. which shall be given unto me, and not ligious world. From the General As- to me only, but to all who love his apsembly of the General Baptists, held pearance." aunually on the Whitsun Tuesday, at Latterly, this good man had his full share of the cares and troubles of mor- tery, that “ Men may live Unitarians, tality. But at his lot he never repined. but Unitarians they cannot die.". His faith was too well founded to be shaken, and his hope too well fixed to
On the 15th ult., at Kennissword, Kinhe obscured. Persuaded that the conduct of the Supreme Being towards man is rosshire, the Rev. JOHN DUNN. In the both wise and benignant, he could with year. 1771, he was ordained at Maryport, the Psalmist declare, “ Clouds and dark. Minister of the Scots Church, where for vess are round about him; but justice 39 years he exercised his ministry. He and judgment are the habitation of his possessed a mind naturally vigorous and throne !" Merciful dispensation! under comprehensive, disciplined by a liberal whose discipline we, like our Divine education, and richly stored with general Master Jesus Christ, are made “per- knowledge. He was a diligent, faithful, fect through suffering.” Blissful regions ! and, it is beliered, useful minister of where there “ shall be no more death, divine truth. He retired, a few years ueither sorrow nor crying, neither shall ago, almost superannuated, to a small there be any more pain; for the former patrimonial estate on the banks of Loch things are passed away.”
Leven. He now rests from his labours, Be ye followers of them who through and has entered on his reward. faith and patience inherit the promises. Islington.
Lately, at Florence, John KING, Esq., well known in the metropolis by the
name of Jew King, on account of moueyIn our obituary for Feb.last, we recorded trausactions which were questioned in the death of Mr. STREET, of Chichester; the courts of law. He was born of poor we have now the melancholy task of parents, and educated in the Jews' Cha. noticing that of his son, who, at the rity School. But with few early advanage of 31, was, on the 12th ult., removed tages, he made his way in society by the from this transient state, after having force of his talents. He is said to have borne, with trae Christian resignation, taken an active part in a Debating So. a distressing illness for sereral months. ciety, about the year 1782, of which Mr. Street's religious faith was not
some persons were members who have that which leads to worldly honour or since risen into fame and honours. Soon emolument: which, with a feeling of after, he commenced author, and pubspiritual pride, badly concealed under lished “ Thoughts on the Difficulties and accents of pity towards those who dissent Distresses in which the Peace of 1783 from it, would confine salvation to its has involved the People of England, adown pale; which impels its votaries to dressed to the Right Hon. Charles James give up intercourse with those who have Fox," In relation to his own legal trou. different religious feelings, as though bles, he put out a pamphlet, entitled, they were infested with moral • tion; Oppression deemed no Injustice tobut his was a faith, under the intuence wards some Individuals.” Another work of which he was inclined to love all man
shews the activity of his mind : “ An kind as brethren ; which taught him to Essay, intended to shew an Universal believe that salvation did not exclusively System of Arithmetic.” In 1817, he pubbelong to one party, but that in every lished a new edition of the late David nation, and in every religious community, Levi's “ Dissertations on the Prophecies he that feareth God and worketh righte- of the Old Testament," in 2 vols, Sro. ousness is accepted with him. His faith, with a “ Dedication" of 15 pages to Dr. resting on the bosom of a compassionate Meldola, Chief Rabbi of the Great SynaDeity, divested death of its sting, from gogue of the Spanish and Portuguese the overwhelming conviction he had, that, Jews in England, and an Introduction of however mysterious may be the proceed- upwards of 60 pages. On a visit to ings of Providence, in taking from us Paris, some years ago, he became acuseful lives, as in his own case, in the quainted with, and married, the Dowager prime of life, still every thing is ordained Lady Lanesborough, sister of the late in wisdom and in mercy; and afforded an Earl of Belvidere, who at the age of 87 unanswerable rebuke to those who, igno- survives him. By the death of her brorant of the excellence of the Unitarian ther, this lady came iuto possessiou of creed, proclaim with unblushing effrou- the family estate.
Exeter, Nov. 17, 1823. The following is a list of the subjects relating to free inquiry and Christian doctrine, comprising a course of Sunday-Evening Lectures now delivering by Mr. Acton at the Unitarian Church in this place. 1. Oct. 26. lutroductory Lecture. On the exercise of private judgment upon the
subjects of religion. 2. Nov. 2. Errors of judgment in religious belief not criminal. 3. 9. The disputes and difticulties connected with religion form no solid ob
jection to its truth and excellence. 4. 16. Oli the inspiration of the Scripture Writers, and on the general autho
rity and character of the books of the New Testament. 5. 23. On mysteries in religion. 6. 30. On certain strong presumptions in favour of Unitariau views of the
Gospel. 7. Dec. 7. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the only God of Christians, and
the only proper object of religious worship. 8. 14. On the Scriptural names and titles of the Messiah. 9. 21. That our Lord sustains all his sacred relations towards us as a mau,
not as God, and the advantages of always regarding him in this
light. 10. 28. On the oneness or union of Christ with the Father, and of all true be
lievers with both.
11. The Love and Honour due to Christ from his followers.
the Scriptures. 14. 25. Man not corrupt by nature, but able to do the will of God. 15. Feb. 1. Men reconciled to God by the mediation of Christ. 16. 8. The necessity of good works to ensure our final acceptance with God,
consisteut with the scripture doctrine of salvation by faith. iz.
15. The connexion between belief in the strict personal unity of the God.
head, and just views of the merciful and parental character of God. 18. 22. Unitarian Christianity an adequate supply for all the spiritual wants of 19. 29. The kingdom of Christ a kingdom of truth and righteousness, and its
final triumph over error, sin and death. 20. Mar. 7. Concluding Lecture. Historical view of the corruption, revival and
progress of genuine Christian truth. I also send the following paragraph their private judgment upon the subjects extracted from “ Besley's Exeter News of religion. Instead of listening to the and Devon County Chronicle," dated unintelligible jargon, of receiving the Nov. 2, by an occasional attendant. absurd dogmas, of embracing the incomOthers, likewise, not belonging to our preheosible creeds of fallible, interested, Society, I have reason to believe were or ignorant men, he earnestly pressed impressed with similar sentiments. upon his hearers the reasonableness and
The course of Lectures to be de- advantage of searching the Scriptures livered by the Rer. H. Acton, during the and examining for themselves ; that the ensuing winter months, commenced last Bible and the Bible only ought to be Sunday evening at George's Meeting in the religion of Protestants, and that by this city, and was attended by a very that standard alone they ought to regunumerous and respectable audience. The late both their faith and practice. The Lecturer in a bold, impressive strain of writer of this remarked with peculiar extemporaneous eloquence, in a discourse pleasnre the spirit of urbauity and Chris from the words of Christ, Luke xii. 57, tian candour which pervaded the dis• Yea and why even of yourselves judge ye course, and the dignified manner with not what is right ?" urged the necessity which it was delivered; and anticipates and importance to all men of exercising from the well-known abilities of the
Lecturer, a more than ordinary degree of known among their Calvinistic brethren, gratification and improvemeut from those they were disowned by the Particular Lectures which are to succeed it."
Baptist churches, and cut off from all I would merely add to the above faith- intercourse with them. Thus they were ful aud just tribute to our pastor, that left onder a very beavy debt, without the the three Lectures given since the above least prospect of its being reduced. Soon was written, have likewise been exteni. after this, Mr. Vidler received and acporaneously delivered, to like numerous cepted an invitation from the Parliamentand respectable audiences, deeply at- Court Congregation to succeed Mr. Wintentive, and impressed with admiration chester. of the rare abilities of the preacher, and Being deprived of the valuable services ackvowledging the justness of his con
of their minister, and unable to procure clusions,
another, two of the members were chosen A MEMBER OF THE CONGREGATION. to preach alternately. Their new senti
ments tended in uo small degree to stiOpening of New Unitarian Chapel, mulate them to iuquiry on religious subHanley.
jects; and, in the year 1807, several of
the inembers discovered that they still The new Chapel at Hanley, in the maintained opinions which were uoscrip Potteries, Staffordshire, of which the tural. About this time Mr. Vidler, their Rev: Thomas Cooper is the minister, was former pastor, being sent by the Unitaopened for religious worship on Wednes, riau Fund Society on a Missionary tour, day the 19th inst. The Rev. R. Aspland visited Battle, and preached the Unitarian preached the Morning, and the Rev. doctrine with much acceptance. Several James Yates, the Evening Sermon. The of the old members, however, still clingattendance was very respectable; the ing to the mysterious doctrine of the collection liberal; and the prospects here "Trinity, withdrew from the church ; but are highly encouraging.
those who reinained were firmly attached (Further particnlars in the next Number.] to the doctrine of the Divine Unity.
Having now joined the Unitarian body, Manchester College, York. They were enabled by the liberal assista We have much pleasure in noticing a
ance of their friends to clear off a conresiduary bequest to this institution, un
siderable part of their debt. The Unitader the will of the late Mrs. Hannah rian doctripe was preached with much Webb, of Barrington, in the county of success till the year 1817, when the sys. Somerset, widow of late Francis
tem of the Freethinking Christiaus was Webb, Esq., amounting to the sum of embraced by many who had beeu active - 1651. 128. 11d. This sum has been lately and useful members in the Society. fu paid over to the Treasurer of the College the following year, the minister of the by Samuel Sparkcs, Esq., the executor
congregation also adopted that system, of Mrs. Webb's will.
and for some time public preaching,
prayer and praise, were totally neglected. Case of the Unitarian Congregation majority of the church, that public wor
At last, however, it was resolved by a at Battle, Sussex,
ship should be regularly practised in the The Unitarian congregation at Battle chapel, aud the persous who had embeg to call the attention of their Chris- braced the opinions of the Freethinking tian brethren to the following statement: Christiaus 'withdrew. In consequence of
The Chapel in which they now assem- this division, the congregation was reble was bailt by Calvinist Baptists, in duced to a very small number, and the the year 1789, and cost 9601. Soon after persons composing it consisted chiefly of the building was completed, Mr. Vidler, the poorer classes in society. at that time minister of the congregation, In the year 1822, Mr. Taplin, of embraced the views of Mr. Winchester, Lewes, visited Battle, and thinking it an 'the fearless advocate of the doctrine of important situation for the spread of Universal Restoration. Mr. Vidler having Unitarianism, recommended their case to publicly avowed his change of sentiment, the Uuitarian Fund Committee, who rery much debate arose amongst the members generously came forward to assist them respecting the propriety of his continuing in procuring more efficient ministerial with them, and it was resolved that services. They immediately sent an iuhe should state this new doctrine at a 'vitation to Mr. Taplin to settle among church meeting held for that parpose. them, which he willingly accepted; and He did this with so much mildness and they have the satisfaction of saying that ability, as to gain a large inajority in his his labours have been crowned with snc. favour. When this became generally cess. As their cause is rerived, and in