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WILLIAM RUSSEL, M. D. A learned and respectable minister of the Baptist denomination, received his education. in the University of Cambridge, where he proceeded Master of Arts; then Bachelor, and afterwards Doctor of Physic. He was also admitted by universal consent, a member of the Senate there. Being favoured with uncommon talents, he thought himself obliged to use them in the service of religion. He, therefore, applied himself closely to the study of divinity, and in process of time made a distinguished figure as a Divine. The time and occasion of his joining the Baptists are no where recorded. Crosby says, "He was the first pastor of a baptized congregation at High-Hall," and celebrates him as "a worthy minister of great learning and piety, and well versed in the logical methods of disputation."

Dr. Russel appears to have had a remarkable talent for controversy, and as he lived in a disputatious age, he had ample scope for the exercise of it. His first controversy appears to have been with the Sabbatarians, in a piece entitled "No Seventh-day Sabbath commanded by Jesus Christ in the New Testament." 1663. The next controversy in which he engaged, was in defence of the Baptists; and several pieces upon this subject fell from his pen. The first in 1676, entitled "An Epistle concerning Baptism, in answer to two treatises published by Mr. Thomas James, teacher of a congregation at Ashford in Kent." A person who fell from the Baptists, and whose name was William Luddington, having published a book called "The Twelve Pagan Principles held by the Quakers seriously censidered." Dr. Russel set himself to answer it in a treatise entitled "Quakerism is Pa

HIGH-HALL.

VOL. III.

-Baptist, Extinct.

ganism by W. L.'s Confession; or, Twelve of the Quaker's Opinions, called by W. L. the Twelve Principles or Opinions for which the Quakers are opposed to Christians, examined and presented to William Penn." Mr. Michael. Harrison, the Presbyterian minister of Potters'-Pury in Northamptonshire, having written a book in defence of Infant Baptism, was answered by Mr. Collins. To this gentleman Mr. Harrison returned a reply, in which (says Crosby)" he wrote many uncharitable reflections, and scandalous aspersions on the Baptists in general." By way of rejoinder to this, Dr. Russel published a vindication of his brother Collins, and of the cause he defended. In 1696, Dr. Russel engaged in a dispute with Mr. Allen of Barbican, on the subject of singing in public worship. He seems to have opposed in common with the majority of his brethren, that pleasurable part of devotion. The piece he published was intitled "Animadversions on Mr. Allen's Essay of Conjoint Singing."

The year 1699, presented a large field for the display of Dr. Russel's disputing talents. His Majesty having issued a licence for a disputation to be held at Portsmouth, between the Presbyterians and the Baptists, upon the subject of baptism, it was held there accordingly, on the 22d of February, 1698-9. The disputants were Mr. Samuel Chaudler of Fareham; Mr. Leigh, of Newport; and Mr. Benjamin Robinson, then of Hungerford, but afterwards of Little St. Helens in London, on the side of the Presbyteriaus : and Dr. William Russel of London; Mr. John Williams, of East Knoyle; and Mr. John Sharp of Frome, on the side of the Baptists. Mr. Robinson was moderator for the Presbyterians, and Mr. Sharp for the Baptists. Of this spiritual duel, Crosby has preserved a particular account.* Both parties, as is common in such cases, claimed the victory.

• Crosby, ubi supra.

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HIGH-HALL.-Baptist, Extinct.

However, as the weapons were perfectly harmless, they drew blood from none of the parties; and the present age will smile at the puerility of those men who could think of settling by such a combat, a point that remains unsettled to the present day, An account of the disputation was published by both parties, who recriminated upon each other. Dr. Russel who drew up one of the narratives(H) was the principal champion on the side of the Baptists, and Crosby pretty broadly intimates that he came off victorious.* "The Presbyterians (says he) in the Postern of February 25, proclaimed victory on their side, and at the same time said, That Dr. Russel opposed infant baptism with all the subtilty and sophistry of the schools; so that we may justly conclude, he pressed them with no mean or contemptible arguments, and that he managed them with the dexterity of an able disputant."

In the year succeeding to the dispute above described, Dr. Russel again exercised his prolific pen upon the old subject of baptism. This piece bore the following title: "Infant Baptism is will-worship; being a Confutation of Dr. Bereault's Answer to the Portsmouth Disputation," 1700. Another adversary having appeared against the Baptists, Dr. Russel took up the cudgels for the last time, in a piece entitled, "A just Vindication of the Doctrine and Practice of John the Baptist, Christ, and his Apostles, concerning WaterBaptism, in opposition of Mr. Hawardine, of Marche."

From the thorny maze of controversy, we proceed to the close of Dr. Russel's mortal career. The infirmities consequent upon age, had rendered the whole weight of the pastoral office a burthen; he therefore wished for a co-pastor. On the 2d of December,

(u) It was entitled, "A true Narrative of the Portsmouth Disputation, between some Ministers of the Presbyterians, and others of the Baptist per suasion, concerning the Subjects and Manner of Baptism 1699."

Crosby, ubi supra,

HIGH-HALL.Baptist, Extinct.

1700, he, at the request of his people, addressed a letter to the church in White's-alley, intimating that they had cast their affections upon Mr. Abraham Mulliner, and request-> ing, that if they should proceed to choose him joint elder with himself, they would acquiesce in the choice. The application, however, was in vain; for they refused to give him up, and Mr. Russell did not live to see another person chosen. Considerably advanced years, "he exchanged this transitory life for a blessed immortality," on the 6th of March 1701-2. Dr. Jackson, author of "The Funeral Tear to his pious Memory," says, "He was an able teacher and spiritual guide; one that was thoroughly furnished to every good word and work: and as such, an able minister of the New Testament. One so laborious in the performance of the pastoral duty over the flock, which God's providence had committed to his charge, that his care for them was more than common. He was in his studies unwearied, in his sermons and writings elaborate, and so accomplished both in his natural and acquired perfections, as spoke him truly a good man, and great preacher, and one who ought to be spoken of with love and reverence."+

JOSEPH JENKINS.-After the death of Dr. Russel, the congregation at High-Hall remained destitute of a pastor for about seven years. At length in the year 1709, Mr. Joseph Jenkins was chosen to that service. About this time a division seems to have taken place in the society upon some point of controversy, but the particulars of it are at present unknown. Mr. Jenkins was a minister of some note in his day among the Baptists of the General persuasion. He was originally a member of the church in Whites'-Alley, Moorfields, where he preached his first sermon in the month of August, 1698. His service upon that occasion being ap

• Crosby's English Baptists, vol. iv. p. 259-261.
+ White's alley church-books.

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proved, he was requested by the church to exercise his talents in that way more frequently amongst them. With this request he complied occasionally, till November, 1699, when he was chosen to preach at Whites'-Alley alternately with Mr. Mulliner, the pastor. In July, 1700, the General Baptist church in Hart-street, Covent-Garden, invited him to preach statedly amongst them every Lord's-day in the forenoon; but the church in Whites'-Alley would not consent to part with him at that time. In the month of July in the following year, the same church invited him to become their elder; and it was not till after some considerable time that he accepted the invitation, his own church being still unwil ling to lose him. These circumstances prove, that his ministerial abilities were held in high estimation. On the 14th of December, 1702, he removed his communion to the church in Hart-street, and continued to preach there about six or seven years; but in 1709, he accepted a call to become pastor of the General Baptist society at High-Hall, and attempted an union between both churches, though without success. In this new connexion he continued also about seven years. In 1716, he made his last earthly removal, by accepting the charge of an ancient congregation of the same persuasion, that met in Duke-street, in the Park, Southwark, to which place many of his former hearers followed him, and an union took place between both churches. Thus ended the General Baptist interest at High-Hall, the very existence of which is scarcely known, excepting to a very few persons, in the present day. We hear nothing further of the meetinghouse after this period; so that it was, most probably, in a short time taken down.*

* MS. penes mẹo

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