« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
HARE-COURT — Independent.
congregational, and in the management of church affairs, acted with great wisdom and prudence, and a regard to the good of his people. In maintaining his authority as a pastor, he never overlooked the just rights of the people. He was a great lover of peace, cultivated it in his church, and few ministers were more reverenced and beloved by their people. His temper was truly generous. He constantly laid by a tenth part of his income for charitable uses. On all occasions he was ready to shew kindness to the poor, especially to poor ministers in the country, for whom he often pleaded with earnestness and success. To young men designed for the ministry, he was ever ready to afford his encouragement and support. His humanity and compassion, improved and heightened by grace, disposed him to give all the relief and comfort he was able to the distressed that came under his notice. His natural temper, which was quick and warm, was so much under divine government, that he could command it to admiration. He was a great redeemer of time, and was never observed to spend an hour in a trifling manner. His visits were generally short, but very agreeable and useful; and when he gave advice, it was very proper, judicious, and valuable. He filled up the relations of private life well; and his whole conversation was such as became the gospel.* Dr. Abraham Taylor, in his sermon on the death of Mr. Hurrion, has given a cha racter of Mr. Nesbitt, quite harmonious with the above.+
Though Mr. Nesbitt's discourses were of a superior kind, and received with general approbation, and he was much pressed to print many of them, yet such was his modesty, that he never could be prevailed upon to publish more than six. Three of these are addressed to young persons; the other three, on the deaths of ministers, who were his particular friends. These were Mr. Thomas Gouge,
• Mr. Hurrion's Sermon on the death of Mr. Nesbitt, p. 34-42,
1700; Mr. John Russel, 1714; and Mr. Richard Taylor,
MATTHEW CLARKE. Of this excellent minister we have already given a particular account under the article Miles's-lane. In this place it will be sufficient to notice, that for some years he assisted Mr. Nesbitt, at Hare-court, on the Lord's-day morning, once in three weeks. This service he relinquished in 1705, and confined himself to Miles's-lane.
JAMES NAYLOR.-He was son to the Rev. Peter Naylor, who was ejected by the Act of Uniformity, from Houghton Chapel, in Lancashire; and was afterwards minister at Ellenthorpe and Pontefract, and died June 2, 1690. The son was for a short time assistant to Mr. Nesbitt, at Hare-court; but died young of a consumption, in the year 1708. In Tong's Life of Matthew Henry, there is mention made of a person of both these names; but he could not be the same. "In the year 1710, in the month of May (says Mr. Tong), I find Mr. Henry at St. Helen's chapel, in Lancashire, lamenting the loss that congregation had of their faithful pastor, Mr. James Naylor, a very useful person, aged about 46; and, upon very short notice, he preached to them suitable to that providence, from 2 Cor. iv. 11. Death worketh in us." Mr. Naylor, of Harecourt, was buried in Bunhill-Fields; and upon his tombstone was the following inscription:
JOHN CONDER--This was a different person from a late eminent minister of the same name, and tutor of Homer
ton academy; nor does it appear that he was of the same family. He was long prior in point of time; and only a few particulars of his history have reached us. After the death of Mr. Naylor, he was chosen to assist Mr. Nesbitt, at Hare-court, and continued to serve the same congregation under the succeeding pastors till his death, on March the 3d, 1746, a year remarkable for the decease of several ministers; which circumstance is noticed by Dr. Hughes, and Dr. Chandler, in funeral discourses which they published in that year. We have never met with any publications by Mr. Conder; nor does he appear greatly to have distinguished himself in the constellation of Divines that flourished in the same period. A very strange incident, however, is recorded of him, which places his character in rather a whimsical light. In the debates at the Salters'-Hall synod, in 1719, he sided with both parties of subscribers and nonsubscribers; and affixed his name to the advices drawn up by each. Whether this proceeded from fickleness, from a desire to please both parties, or from any better motive, we cannot at this distance of time determine. But the circumstance created a good deal of noise at the time, and gave rise to one or two pamphlets, in which Mr. Conder was treated with not a little pleasantry, and even ridicule.
JOHN HURRION.-This excellent Divine descended from a good family in Suffolk, and was grandson, by the mother's side, to Mr. Edmund Whincop, the ejected minister of Layston, but afterwards pastor of a congregational church at Wattesfield, in that county. Of his immediate parents, and of the place of his birth, we have no information, but the last event took place about the year 1675. In his younger years, he was brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ; and having experienced the grace of God himself, he thought it his duty to give himself up to the work of the ministry, that he might bring others to know those things which he found to be of the utmost importance.
He was sensible that this was a work of labour, and therefore devoted himself to a course of unwearied study. He was educated for the ministry partly under Mr. Robinson, of Walpole, in Suffolk; but the names of his other tutors have not reached us. Mr. Hurrion was never more delighted than when he could apply himself to the increase of knowledge, without interruption; and this desire for improvement continued to the last. When he was scarcely able to walk across a room, he would spend many hours at close study, and seemed never better than when in this manner employed. He carefully and diligently searched the scriptures, and read over with great attention, many bodies of divinity, comparing them with the oracles of divine truth. He also consulted the best commentators. Amongst these, he had a particular esteem for John of Constantinople, commonly called Chrysostom, and he was pleased with the extracts which were made from him by Theophylact. Mr. Hurrion's great abilities being accompanied by a sanctified understanding and judgment, he acquired a good degree of knowledge as to the truths of the gospel, and the controversies relating to them; insomuch that it may be said of him, he was as judicious and accomplished a Divine as any that appeared in his age.*
Mr. Hurrion entered early upon the work of the ministry, and about the year 1696, settled at Denton, in Norfolk, as successor to Mr. William Bidbank, the ejected minister of Scottow, in that county. Not long afterwards, he entered into the married state with Jane, daughter of Samuel Baker, of Wattesfield-Hall, Esq. a gentleman of considerable influence among the Dissenters in that county. The interest at Denton, at the time of his settlement there, was in a low and declining condition; but by the blessing of God upon
• Ab. Taylor's Acc. of Mr. Hurrion, affixed to his Sermon upon his death, p. 6, 7.
his labours, it was brought into a very flourishing state. His great abilities gained him also a large share in the affections and esteem of several other churches in that and the neighbouring county.* During his residence at Denton, he applied himself with indefatigable diligence to his studies, which, with his abundant labours, confining himself to a very spare diet, and using no exercise, brought on a severe fever, and laid the foundation of that languid and uneasy distemper which terminated his life.+
During the early part of his residence at Denton, Mr. Hurrion was engaged in a private controversy upon the subject of our Lord's divinity, with Mr. William Manning, a nonconformist minister at Peasenhall, in the same county, and who had adopted the Socinian side of the question. Mr. Manning, who was a gentleman of considerable natural abilities, and a subtle disputant, had been the occasion, some years before, of effecting a change in the views of the famous Mr. Thomas Emlyn, during his residence at Leostoff. As Mr. Hurrion was growing into considerable re+ pute amongst the Dissenters in his part of the county, Mr. Manning justly thought, that if he could gain him over, he would be a considerable acquisition to his party. He therefore made strong attempts for that purpose. This put Mr. Hurrion upon studying the controversy, of which he became complete master; and the result was his thorough establishment in the doctrine of the Trinity. The opportunity this afforded him of entering upon the study of this important subject, yielded him great satisfaction; and the more so as but few persons in his part of the county had attended to it; and he lived to see the day when opposition to that doctrine It was an observation which he used grew more common. to make, that whether the Trinity was opposed or no, young Divines could not take a better way to fit themselves for
• Dr. Ridgley's Sermon on the death of Mr. Hurrion, p. 36.