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denomination, continued to assemble at Red-Cross-street, but without any stated minister, till the year 1781, when they chose Mr. Thomas Mabbott, who continued to preach there for about ten years, and in 1791, removed to Hoddesdon, in Hertfordshire. After this, his church broke up. The meeting-house was then let to Mr. Watts, a bookseller, in Tabernacle-walk, who occupied the place that was formerly Mr. Towle's, in Rope-inakers'-alley. At this time a Mr. Kirkman preached a lecture in Red-Cross-street. Upon the death of Mr. Watts, which happened in 1793, the meeting-house was let to the Swedenborgians, or New Jerusalem church, which assembled there till the month of February, 1800. The meeting-house was then let to the Particular Baptist church, meeting in Curriers'-Hall, Cripplegate, then under the pastoral care of Mr. Jolm Wilson, and fornierly of Mr. Brine. About the same time Mr. Burnsides' congregation that assembled at the same place on the seventh day, removed to Red-Cross-street. Mr. Wilson being dismissed by his congregation in 1807, and the remaining members unable to support a pastor, they let the meeting-house to a newly raised society of the Baptist denoinination, of which a Mr. Franklyn is pastor; and they have since attended his ministry. ` Mr. Franklyn's church formerly met in a small wooden building in Chapel-street, MileEnd New-Town, and consisted of several persons who broke off from Mr. Shenston's church, in Little Alie-street, Goodman's-fields. These persons are of the supra-lapsarian cast, and separated from Mr. Shenston, because he did not preach the gospel ; that is, was not sufficiently enlightened upon some of those high points, which they could digest as easily as conmon food. Having obtained a pastor to their own) taste, he is very popular, has a large church, and the meeting is well filled. Of Mr. Stevens, and Mr. Mabbott above-mentioned, we will here present the reader with a brief account.
JOAN STEVENS, of whom some notice has been already taken, under the article Devonshire-square, was born about the year, 1722, at a small village near Exmouth, in the county of Devon. His parents were in poor circuinstances, and placed him first with a farmer; but afterwards they bound him apprentice to a rope-maker, in Plymouth. It was at that place that he first received his impressions of religion, under a celebrated Methodist preacher, in Mr. Whitefield's connexion, probably Mr. Kinsman. Afterwards commencing preacher himself, he went up to London, and was introduced to the Tabernacle, near Moorfields. After officiating there for some time, be paid a visit to Scotland, in company with another preacher. When he had been about two years in the Tabernacle connexion, he embraced the leading sentiments of the Baptists, and after preaching a short time upon trial, received an invitation to succeed the Rev. George Braithwaite, as pastor of the Particular Baptist congregation in Devonshire-square. He was ordained there in the month of May, 1750. Soon afterwards, upon the resignation of Dr. Gill, he was chosen, in conjunction with Mr. Brine, to carry on the Wednesday evening lecture in Great Eastcheap, which the Doctor had preached alone for about thirty years.
At his setting out in the ministry, Mr. Stevens was exceedingly popular, and wherever he preached, had a crouded congregation. In this course he continued about ten years, and during this time his meeting-house was enlarged. But in the year 1760, a heavy charge of moral guilt was alleged against him, and cast a stain upon his character for the remainder of his life. In consequence of this he was discharged from his congregation; but several persons, under the apprehension of his innocence, still adhered to him, and engaged a newly erected meeting-house in Red-Cross-street, where he formed them into a church, and preached to them till his death. Mr. Stevens survived this transaction about VOL. IIT.
eighteen years. He endured a long affliction from the stone, which subjected him to the most excruciating pain, till he was released by death, on the 17th of October, 1778, in the fifty-seventh year of his age. He published several single sermons, which will be specified below. (K)
His remains were interred in Bunhill-Fields, where, upon his tomb-stone, is the following inscription :
Sacred to the Memory
of the Rev. JOHN STEVENS,
And for a crown of life,
Under which he enjoyed great supports,
Lively joys, and strong comforts;
Whom dying he gloritied,
Rev. xiv. 13.
From henceforth, yea saith the Spirit,
And their works do follow them.
Look up my friends, pant towards the eternal hills,
(K) Several single Sermons.-1. The Necessity of the Spirit's Help in Prayer ; two Sermons preached at Devonshire-square, June 15 and 29, 1755. Rom. viii. 26, 27.-2. Christ made of God unto his People Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption : an annual Sermon to the Society that supports the Wednesday Evening Lecture, in Great Eastcheap, Dec. 29, 1757, i Cor. i. 30.-3. God the unerring Leader of his people to
RED-CROSS-STREET.----- Particular Baptist,
THOMAS MABBOTT, was born at Digby, in Lincolnshire, in the inonth of November, 1749. His parents were members of the church of England, and in circumstances of inediocrity ; but they gave him an education according to their ability. Mr. Mabbott grew up ignorant of God, ran into open profaneness, and continued so till his marriage in 1764, when he fixed his residence at Naneby, in Lincolnshire. His first convictions he received at that place, under one of the preachers in Mr. Wesley's connexion. These were increased by a book of Mr. Bunyan, entitled, “ Sighs from Hell; or, The Groans of a damned Soul,” which he accidentally saw, and borrowed. After this he fell into great distress of mind, from which he was relieved by reading the scriptures, and other good booka, from whence he derived a more thorough knowledge of the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. About this time he became a Baptist, and offered himself as a member to the people at Lincoln, who were a branch of the Baptist church at Horncastie, under Mr. Hill, who went once a month to Lincoln. By this church he was called to the work of the ministry. In 1774, he was ordained pastor of a society consisting only of eight persons, at Spalding. In 1777, he removed to Birmingham, in the prospect of becoming co-pastor with Mr. Turner ; but he did not continue there. Shortly afterwards, he went to Dudley, in Worcestershire ; from whence, in 1780, he removed to London, upon a call from the church in Mitchell-street, but did not settle there. In the following year, he was set apart as pastor over the church in Red-Cross
a City of Habitation ; occasioned by the Death of Mr. Joseph Mayor, who died August 3, 1758, aged 23 Years. Psa. cvii. 7.-4. The Comfort and Establishment of Saints, God's own work, and the fervent Wish of Gospel Ministers : at the Wednesday Evening Lecture, in Great Eastcheap, Dec. 27, 1759. 2 Thess. xvi. 17.-5. Christ made Sin for his People, and they made the Righteousness of God in him: a Sermon occasioned by the re. markable Conversion and Repentance of Robert Tilling, late Coachman to Samuel Lloyd, Esq. who was executed at Tyburn, April 28, 1760. & Cor. v. 21.
street; and continued in that situation till October, 1791, when he accepted a call from the Baptist church at Hoddesdon, Herts. From thence, in 1794, he removed to Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, where he was the instrument of mach good. During some of his latter years, he laboured under the pressure of weakness, and of a diseased body; but when he could ascend the pulpit only with a slow pace and faultering step, he often preached like a man enjoying the full vigour of life and animal spirits. His complicated disorders at length terminated in a consumption of his lungs, and during the space of six or eight months, nature seemed gradually decaying. He endured his last affliction under much darkness of mind; but this was mercifully removed, and succeeded by the Divine supports, and rich consolations arising from a firm persuasion of his interest in the unchangeable love and mercy of God, which accompanied him to the gates of death. He died on the 11th of December, 1800, in the 58ih year of his age.*
MEETING-HOUSE-ALLEY Red-Cross-street, is situated nearly opposite to Dr. Williams's Library, and to the meeting-house before described. It is a good, clean, paved court, without a thoroughfare, and at the upper end is the meeting-house we are about to describe. It is an ancient building, and must have been erected either at the latter end of the seventeenth, or quite at the commencement of the eighteenth century. It is a small, plain structure, of an oblong form, and has three galleries. The early state of this place is involved in obscurity. The first mention that we find made of it is about the year 1710, when it was occupied by a Mr. John Lewis, a minister of the Independent deno
Baptist Annual Register, vol. iii. p. 306–310.