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OLD-BAILEY. - Presbyterian, Extinct.
was made of the author's works in 1746, in two volumes, Svo. to which are added, Memoirs of his Life, written by his son, Sollom Emlyn, Esq.
Mr. Emlyn, who was naturally of a very cheerful and lively temper, enjoyed a good state of health through the greatest part of his life, the gout excepted; which, by degrees, impared his constitution, and rendered him exceedingly freeble during his two or three last years. He fell a martyr to it on the 30th of July, 1745, in the seventy-ninth year of his
age. Mr. Emlyn was one of the most eminent Divines of the Arian persuasion which this country has preduced. His works are written with great ability on that side of the question, and still coutinue in considerable reputation amongst those who embrace it. He was what is now called an high Arian, believing our Blessed Saviour to be first of derived beings, the Creator of the world, and an object of worship. At the conclusion of the Memoirs of his Life it is asserted, that “ he was one of the brightest examples of substantial, unaffected piety,' of serious rational devotion, of a steady unshaken integrity, and an undaunted Christian courage." His son, Mr. Sollom Emlyn, who was bred to the law, and became an eminent counsellor, was employed to publish Lord Chief Justice Hale’s “ History of the Pleas of the Crown,” which he did in 1736, in two volumes folio, together with a preface and large notes. *
Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Thomas Emlyn.--Biog. Britan.
In the reign of Charles II. the nonconformists had meeting-house in Salisbury-court, in Fleet-street. It consisted of four rooms, opening the one into the other. A Mr. John Fowl, who followed the profession of a schoolmaster, is said by Maitland to have been the occupier of it during the time of the plague, in 1665. The dreadful fire succeeding to that dismal calamity in the following year, a sad desolation took place among the places of worship set apart for parochial use. Many clergymen, deprived of their own churches, were suffered to invade the property of their neighbours, and in those lawless times several meetinghouses in this manner fell into their hands. That in Salisbury-court was marked by this fate. As when the parish churches were rebuilt, the clergy gave up their ill-gotten temporary refuges, so they again reverted to the nonconformists. The meeting-house in Salisbury-court was afterwards occupied by Mr. Christopher Nesse, who settled in London, in 1675, and preached there for about thirty years, till his death. What became of his congregation, or of the meeting-house afterwards, we find no mention ; but the former was probably dissolved, and the latter laken down at an early part of the eighteenth century. Of Mr. Nesse we will present the reader with the following brief account.
CHRISTOPHER Nesse, M. A. author of a valuable commentary on the Old and New Testaments, was born on the 26th of December, 1621 ; being the son of Thomas Nesse, of North-Cowes, in the East Riding of the county
of York. He received his grammar-learning under Dr. Lazarus Seaman; and at sixteen years of age, was sent to St. John's College, in Cambridge. Having spent seven years in Cambridge, the civil wars being then breaking out, he retired into the country, and preached for a time at CliffeChapel, under the inspection of his uncle Bearcliffe, an entinent Divine, and vicar of North-Cowes. From thence he received a call to Holderness, and after a few years to Beverley, where he taught school, and preached occasionally. Dr. Winter removing to Ireland, in 1650, and being soon afterwards elected Provost of Trinity College, in Dublin, resigned to Mr. Nesse his living of Cottingham, near Hull, worth four hundred per annum. There he was instrumental in the conversion of many souls, particularly Thomas Raspin, a grey-headed old man, and one of the most substantial in that town. After some rears, he had a call from thence to Leeds, in which place lie was also made very useful. From the year 1656 to 1660, he was lecturer in the church where Mr. Stiles preached ; and continued so under his successor, Dr. Lake, afterwards Bishop of Chichester. Between this last person and Mr. Nesse, there was the same uncomfortable clashing as was formerly at the Temple, between Mr. Hooker and Mr. Travers ; that which was delivered in the forenoon being confuted in the afternoon, till Bartholomew-day, 1662, when Mr. Nesse was ejected for nonconformity, and preached in private. The Duke of Buckingham would have complimented him into conformity, as related by himself in one of his books.* Upon the Five-Mile Act taking place, he removed to Clayton, and from thence to Morley. When the times grew more favourable, he had a house of his own at Hunslet, where he instructed youth, and preached - in private, till 1672, when the principal riding-house being converted into a place of worship, he preached there publicly to a numer
• Divine Legacy, p. 203.
ous auditory. For this offence he was excommunicated four several times, and upon the last, there was issued out a writ de excommunicatio capiendo; to avoid which he removed to London in 1675, and there preached privately, for thirty years, to a congregation of nonconformists that assembled in Salisbury-court, Fleet-street. He died on the 26th of December, 1705, aged 84, having been a preacher of the gospel more than sixty years. He was interred in BunhillFields.* Mr. Nesse published a variety of books, some of which are curious and valuable. The principal is his “History and Mystery of the Old and New-Testament,” &c. in four volumes folio, which contains much valuable matter, and is said to have been of great assistance to the celebrated Matthew Henry, in compiling his “ Exposition.” Mr. Granger, who speaks of his style as very indifferent, says, “ The reader will find some things well worth his notice in these volumes.”+ They are now scarce and valuable. John Dunton, the bookseller, tells us, that he wrote for hini, “ The Life of Pope Innocent xi.” of which the whole impression sold off in a fortnight. The titles of the others will be specified below. (x)
• Calamy's Account, p. 799. + Granger's Biog. Hist. Engl. vol. iii. p. 327.
Dunton's Life. (2) Works.-1. The Crown and Glory of a Christian. 1676. 12mo.2. The Christian's Walk and Work on Earth until he come to Heaven. 1677. 8v0.3. A Protestant Antidote against the Poison of Popery. 1679. svo.—4. The Crystal Mirror, or, Christian's Looking-Glass, shewing the Treachery of the Heart. 1679. 8vo.-5. A Discovery of the Person and Period of Antichrist, as to his Rise, Reign, and Ruin. 1679. 8vo.-6. The Devil's Patriarch ; in the Life of Pope Innocent the 11th. 1683.-7. A spiritual Legacy for young Men. 1681.-8. Half a Sheet on a blazing Star. -9. A philosophical and divine Discourse concerning the Comet. 1681. 410.–10. A Whip for the Fool's Back, who did ridicule God's holy Ordinance of Marriage.-11. A Key with the Whip to unfold the Intrigues of Absalom and Ahithophel.-12. A Church-History from Adam, and a Scripture Prophecy to the End of the World. 1681. 8vo. To this book is prefixed the Author's Portrait.--13. A Token, or, New-Year's Gift for Children. 1083.–14. Wonderful Signs of wonderful Times. 1084.-15.
About seven years ago, a few persons, who had been hearers chiefly of the late Mr. Romaine, associated together and took an upper room in EAGLE AND CHILD ALLEY, leading from Fleet-market into Shoe-lane. It has been formed into a meeting-house, and fitted up with peirs and benches ; but the place is small. The people who assemble here, some of whom possess considerable substance, are double-distilled Calvinists, and great admirers of some of the writers of that stamp, particularly Dr. Goodwin. Their pastor is a Mr. SAMUEL EYLes PIERCE, who is a nonresident, spending only half the year in London, and the other half at Truro, in Cornwall, where he has another congregation. As his people cannot endure any other preacher, they meet together during his absence, and employ themselves in reading his sermons, which he writes out for their use.
When in London he is much followed. Mr. Pierce has published, for the edification of his people, “A Treatise ob Growth in Grace, as begun and carried on in Fellowship
Advice to the Painter upon the Earl' of Shaftesbury's Enlargement from the Tower.-16. An Astrological and Theological Discourse upon the great Conjunction.-17. A strange and wonderful Trinity, or, Triplicity of stupendous Prodigies ; consisting of a wonderful Eclipse, a wonderful Comet, and a wonderful Conjunction.—18. The History and Mystery of the Old and New-Testament, logically discussed, and theologically improved, in 4 vols. folio. 1690.-19. An Antidote against Arminianism. 1700.-20. His Divine Legacy. 1700.-Mr. Nesse left behind him in MS: a particular Confutation of the Romish Religion in all its Doctrines, &c.—and, A Vindication of his own Thesis at Leeds, that all Divine Worship must have a Divine Warrant.