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RED.CROSS-STREET.- Independent.

the spot fixed upon for that purpose was in Mitchell-street, behind St. Luke's church, Old-street. A new building was accordingly erected there, about the year 1771. Mr. Griffith contributed to it liberally himself, and was indefatigable in procuring subscriptions amongst his friends. After this removal, his congregation gradually declined, which was so great a discouragement to Mr. Griffith, that, about the year 1777, he accepted a call to Coventry, where he continued but a few years. From thence he returned to Bridgstock in Northamptonshire, and there laboured amongst a poor but pious people for several years, aud had some souls for his hire. Being now more than seventy years of age, and having lost his second wife, he was desirous of returning to his native city; and perhaps through a depression of spirits rather than absolute incapacity, he wished to recede from his public work as a minister. He therefore removed to the metropolis about the year 1788, and for the most part lived in retirement, preaching only occasionally. Some of his last sermons were delivered at Mr. Wall's meeting-house, on the Pavement, Moorfields, where he usually attended and communicated. On Friday the 17th of August, 1798, he was visited with a disorder in his bowels which terminated in his dissolution. On Monday following, many friends went to see him. To one he said, “ The werk is all done, I have nothing to do but to die, I long to be with him whom my soul dearly loves." To another he said, “ Oh, what a sight shall I have when I shall be with Jesus, and see him as he is.” On Tuesday morning, upon opening his eyes he said, “ I see the daylight, I hope this will be the last time.” His strength now failed; and about two o'clock, being the 21st of August, 1798, he finished his course in the 84th year of his age. Mr. Wall delivered the address at bis interment in Bunhill-fields, and preached his funeral sermon from 2 Cor. v. 5.*

• livan. Mag. for May, 1799. Vol. vii. p. 175-182.

RED-CROSS-STREET,— Particular Baptist.

WILLIAM Tolley.--Mr. Griffith was succeeded by Mr. William Tolley, who had been pastor of a Baptist congregation in College-lane, Northampton. He was invited to that place in March, 1752, and ordained there June 9, 1756. After continuing there about two years, he removed to London, and succeeded Mr. Griffith at Red-cross-street, in 1758. Being what is commonly called a high Calvinist, but more properly au Antinomian, he was much esteemned by his people who were of the same cast, and reckoned him a great preacher. But being a man of like passions with others, he unfortunately fell from his own stedfastness, and was dismissed by his congregation in 1760. After this, Mr. Tolley turned Sandemanian, and joined the society of that persuasion in Bull and Mouth-street, where we are compelled to leave him.*

PARTICULAR BAPTIST.

THOMAS CRANER.-After the dismission of Mr. Tolley, the people at Red-cross-street either dispersed, or united with a congregation of Particular Baptists that now removed to that place from Jewin-street. This church consisted originally of such persons as broke off from the congregation in Crispin-street, Spitalfields, after the death of Mr. Bentley, which took place in 1751, and the choice of Mr. Potts to succeed him about two years afterwards. Those who withdrew, formed themselves into a separate society on the 20th of October, 1754, and soon afterwards took a lease of the meeting-house in Jewin-street. Not long afterwards, Mr. Thomas Craner was invited to become their minister. This gentleman had been settled some time with a Baptist congregation somewhere in the county of Bedford ; and left his people on account of some errors which they had given into, and from which he could not reclaim them. We have been told, that when he happened to touch upon any doctrines

Private information,

RED-CROSS-STREET.- Particular Baptist.

in the pulpit which was diagreeable to his hearers, they would manifest their displeasure by stamping with their feet. As Mr. Craner did not relish this sort of harmony, he, upon one of these occasions, singled out an old man who was particularly active, and threatened, that in case he did not desist, he would descend from the pulpit and lead him by the nose out of the meeting-house. This salutary threatening had, for that time, the desired effect. But his situation still continued unpleasant, and he was glad of the opportunity to remove, He was set apart over the Baptist church in Jewin-street, October 21, 1756; and in the same year published A Declaration of the Faith and Practice of the Church of Christ under his pastoral care, in which he gave a copious account of the separation from the church in Crispin-street. After about four years, Mr. Craner removed his church to Meeting-house-alley, Red-cross-street, which place became vacant by the dismission of Mr. Tolley, in 1760. Here Mr. Craner continued to preach till bis death, which happened on the 18th of March, 1779, in the 57th year of his age. He was a man of respectable character; but a drawling inanimate preacher, and very high in his notions upon some doctrinal points. Mr. Reynolds of Cripplegate preached his funeral sermon, but did not publish it.*

Mr. Craner published a few single sermons, which will be mentioned below.(K) He lies buried in the ground adjoining to Mr. Dore's meeting-house, Maze-pond, Southwark, where upon his tomb-stone there is the following inscription, which is badly drawn up.

Private Information. (x) Works. 1. A Testimony to the Truth as it is in Jesus Christ: or a Declaration of the Faith and Practice of the Church of Christ under the pastoral care of Mr. Thomas Craner, 1756.-2. A Scripture-Manual: or a plain représentation of a Gospel Church, with the Business of its Officers, and Duty of its Members, 1759.-3. National Peace a choice blessing of the Lord: A Thanksgiving sermon, 1763.-4. The Christian Hero's Work and VOL. III.

TT

RED-CROSS-STREET. —Particular Baptist.

In Meniory of
The Rev. Mr. THOMAS CRANER,
Servant of Christ, and able ininister of the Gospel,
Whose delightful work was to exalt the praise of Christ,

Peculiarly and evidently set forth
The Grace of all the Persons in God,

In the salvation of sinners,
Went to his rest, 18th March, 1773,

In the 57th year of his age.
This sleeping dust shall re-assume its breath,
And triumph over all the chains of death,
We'll in his Saviour's strength and glory rise,
To live and reign with him above the skies.

AUGUSTUS CLARKE.-Mr. Craner was succeeded, after á short interval, by Mr. Augustus Clarke. This gentleman was some time in the establishment, having procured ordination fronı one of the Greek bishops, who visited England half a century ago, and procured a subsistence by putting to sale their episcopal powers, to the great mortification of the English bishops. He preached for some time about Oxford; but embracing the principles of the Baptists, removed to London, and became a candidate for the pastoral office at Jewin-street, then vacant by tl.e death of Mr. Hughes, A.D. 1773. Not succeeding in this attempt, he altered his course to Red-cross-street, then in a similar situation, in consequence of the death of Mr. Craner. Here he was more successful ; but his election was followed by a large breach in the society, the major part leaving him, and setting up at Coach-Makers’- Hall, from whence they removed to Mitchell-street. Mr. Clarke, however, still maintained his ground, and went on pretty well till the year 1780, when he publicly took part with the Protestant mob that besieged the House of Com

Crown: a sermon at Chelmsford, Essex, Oct. 16, 1765, on the Death of the Rev.John Gibbons, 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8.-5. A Word in Season : being a friendly and familiar Exhortation to the Church of Christ, meeting in Red-cross-street, on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 1769, 1 Pet. ii. 11-17.-6. A Grain of Gratitude : occasioned by the Death of the Rey, John Gill; preached at Red-cross-strect, Nov. 3, 1771. 2 Sain, iii. 98.

RED-CROSS-STREET.-Scotch Seceders.

mons, in consequence of a bill before the House for enlarging the liberties of the Papists, and which occasioned such destructive riots in the metropolis. This considerably hurt his reputation, and occasioned another division in his church ; when part of his people went off to Elim chapel, in Fetter-lane, and from thence, under the care of Mr. Powell, to Mitchellstreet. Mr. Clarke, however, stood his ground for some time longer, but was, at length, compelled to leave Red-cross-street; after which he opened a school-room belonging to the Haberdashers'-Company in Bunbill-row. There he preached but little more than three months, when he removed to Ireland, and from thence to America, where he continued about three years. Returning back to his native country, about the year 1797, he fixed first at Petticoat-lane; but that place being taken down, he removed once more to Bunhill-row. There he continued to preach for a few years ; but at length gave up, and he has now, we believe, no fixed settlement as a preacher.

SCOTCH SECEDERS.

Mr. Clarke's church breaking up, and the meeting-house in Red-cross-street becoming vacant, it was taken after some time, by a congregation of Scotch Seceders, who were a branch of Mr. Waugh's church in Wells-street, Oxford-road. Several members of that society living in the city, and finding the distance inconvenient, took the above meeting-house, and assembled in it for public worship every Lord's-day, still preserving their connexion with the mother-church, and Mr. Waugh officiating for them occasionally. The inconvenience of this plan being soon found out, it was judged most eligible, that they should be formed into a distinct society, and Mr. Easton from Scotland, was invited to become their pastor. He was ordained to the pastoral office Sept. 27, 1792, and at Christmas, 1795, he removed his church to

* Private Informalion.

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