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PAUL'S-ALLEY.- Sandemanian

Spotless before God.

To preah this blessed Truth,

He left his country-he left his friends;
And, after much patient suffering,

Finished his labours

At Danbury,
Second April, 1771,
Aged 53.

The meeting-house in Paul's-alley, since it has come into possession of the Sandemanians, has undergone a considerable alteration. The old pulpit has been removed, and a new one, about twelve feet long, substitued in its room. Here are seated the elders of the church. The access to it is by a flight of stairs from the vestry; and, over the door, opening into the pulpit, is a sounding board. Below this is another low pulpit, or pew, where some of the leading members are seated, and from whence the Lord's-Supper is administered. The inside of the meeting-house presents an appearance of great neatness, and the congregation is large and respectable. They conduct their worship in the following order: After singing a hymn, a member of the church prays; these exercises are repeated three or four times; one of the elders then reads some chapters from the Old and New Testament; this is followed by singing; another elder then prays, and either expounds or preaches for about three quarters of an hour. Singing follows; and the service is concluded with a short prayer and benediction, by one of the elders. In the afternoon the former part of the service is curtailed; but after the sermon, the church is stayed to receive the Lord's-Supper, and contribute to the poor. When this is over, the members of the church are called upon to exercise their gifts by exhortation. The version of the psalms which they sing is nearly literal, and formed on the plan of the Scotch and New-England versions, without any regard to rhyme. The Amen is repeated aloud by the whole congregation.

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• Theol. Dict. Perth. Art. SANDEMAN.





ARE-COURT was formerly part of a messuage, or plot of ground, belonging to Sir Henry Ashurst, Bart. a friend to the Nonconformists, and whose name descends to posterity as the friend and patron of the celebrated Mr. Richard Baxter. Towards the latter end of the reign of James II. Sir Henry leased a part of this ground, for nine hundred and ninety-nine years, to a congregation of Nonconformists of the Independent persuasion. Upon this ground they erected a meeting-house, together with a dwelling-house adjoining, for the use of the minister. The date of the first building may be in a great measure ascertained by the circumstance that it was scarcely completed when the Revolution took place, in 1688. The present meeting-house was erected on the site of the former one, for Mr. Joseph Popplewell, about the year 1772. It is a good, substantial, square building, of rather a small size, and neatly fitted up. It has three galleries; and underneath the meeting-house there is a cellar, which is let out for the benefit of the church. Formerly the meeting-house stood quite open to Aldersgatestreet, which was the only avenue to it; but some years back, another entrance was opened from Paul's-alley, Barbican.

The society was gathered in the reign of Charles II. by the Rev. George Cockayn, who was ejected from St. Pancras, Soper-lane. His congregation was both numerous and respectable; and among the members of his church were several persons of consideration in the army, and in the city. His successor, Mr. Nesbitt, was one of the most


popular preachers in his day, till laid aside by illness and infirmities; after which the congregation at Hare-court declined, till Mr. Bruce, a young minister of popular talents, was chosen to succeed Mr. Hurrion. His race, however, was but short; and the congregation continued to decline under his successors. Though it has been somewhat increased under the present minister, it is still in rather a low state. In the doctrinal sentiments maintained by this society there does not appear to have been any variation. It has always ranked with the Independents and Calvinists. For many years a lecture was carried on at this place, on a Lord's-day evening, first by four ministers, and afterwards by the pastor alone; but not succeeding on either of these plans, a new one was adopted, and about twelve ministers selected from the different denominations, were chosen to preach in rotation. In this form it continued for some years, and was well attended; but about a year or two since, the lecture was entirely given up.

Some years ago, the congregation had a dispute with the parish about the payment of taxes. By an act of the 33d. Geo. III. certain trustees therein named, were empowered to raise money to pay such annuitants as had lent money for repairing the church of St. Botolph, Aldersgate, and for building a new work-house for that parish. Amongst other places, the meeting-house in Hare-court was assessed to the rate of twenty-nine pounds, and eleven pounds for the cellar under it, which, in the whole made forty pounds; being three-pence in the pound for the parish church, and twopence in the pound for the poor-house. The society were willing to pay for the cellar, as they received rent for it; but not so for the meeting-house, no profit whatever being made of the same, by letting of pews, or otherwise. In the year 1794, an appeal was made at the sessions at Guildhall, against the whole, as an overcharge. Upon the hearing of the matter, the court gave it as their unanimous opinion, that the meeting-house ought not to have been rated;

and, therefore, ordered the rate to be assessed at eleven pounds a-year only, being the rent received for the cellar. As this case affected not only the society at Hare-court, but the whole body of Dissenters, it was laid before the society of deputies, who carried the cause through with spirit, though at a considerable expense, occasioned by delays and adjournments, at the instigation of the church-wardens and overseers of the parish. The decision of this case was of great importance to Protestant Dissenters, as it clearly ascertained that meeting-houses belonging to regular Dissenting churches, who are not chargeable with rent, stand exempted from taxation. The case, however, is different with regard to chapels that are inade a source of emolument by the sale of tickets. These coming under the head of commercial speculations, are chargeable equally with other property.

The ministers at Hare-court from the origin of the society have been as follows:


George Cockayn,
John Nesbitt,

Matthew Clarke,

James Naylor,

John Conder,

John Hurrion,


Samuel Bruce,

William King,

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Joseph Popplewell,
Joshua Webb,

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GEORGE COCKAYN, the founder of the Independent church at Hare-court, was descended from an ancient family

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in Derbyshire; but the time and place of his birth are involved in obscurity. We are equally uninformed with respect to his education; but as Anthony Wood does not enumerate him with the Oxford writers, it is probable that he pursued his studies in the University of Cambridge. In the time of the civil wars, he was presented to the living of St. Pancras, Soper-lane, and became a celebrated preacher among the Independents. On the 29th of November, 1648, he was appointed to preach the fast sermon before the House of Commons, in St. Margaret's church, Westminster, and was afterwards ordered to print it. The text of this discourse is Psa. lxxxii. 6—8. Not long afterwards, he was appointed chaplain to Bulstrode Whitlock, one of Oliver's lords, and the celebrated annalist of English affairs. In 1657, Mr. Cockayn published, "Divine Astrology; or, a Scripture Prognostic of the sad Events which ordinarily arise from the good Man's Fall by Death :" a funeral sermon for Colonel William Underwood; on Isa. lvii. 1. Upon the return of the King, in 1660, Mr. Cockayn was ejected from his living, and driven into silence, with other nonconformists. He, however, testified the peaceableness of his conduct to the new government, by joining other Independent ministers in a renunciation of Venner's insurrection. After his ejectment, Mr. Cockayn gathered a congregation of Independents, who met for some time most probably in private houses, but whether they had any public meeting-house, previous to the erection of that in Hare-court, seems uncertain. It is probable, however, that this was the case, though the spot is not mentioned. Many eminent citizens, as well as others, adhered to him after he was silenced, and were members of his church. Among these were Aldermen Tichbourn, Ireton, Wilson, Sir John More, &c. At length, after many labours in the service of his Master, and some sufferings for him, he quietly ended his days, and was carried to his grave in peace, with a numerous attendance of devout mourners. The time of his death is no where recorded; but it is ascer

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