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BRIDGES-STREET.—Presbyterian, Extinct.

rushed in, and went up stairs; they staid till the Doctor had done his prayer, and then wrote down the names of the principal persons present. The Doctor being warm with preaching, they were so civil as to take his word to attend them another time, at a house in the Piazzas; which he did, in company with many persons of note, amongst whom was the Duke of Richmond. After some discourse, they tendered him the Oxford oath, which he refusing to take, they threatened to send him to prison. They dismissed him, however, that time, upon his promise to attend them again in two or three days, when they committed him prisoner to the Gate-house; allowing him only a day's respite, till his room could be got ready. This imprisonment, by the kind providence of God, proved more favourable to him than he could have expected. Lady Broughton, at that time the keeper, though noted for her severity in the execution of her office, behaved with great kindness towards the Doctor, allowing him a large handsome room adjoining to the Gatehouse, with a small one sufficient to hold a bed. For some time it was not thought prudent to let any body see him, but his wife and servant; however, afterwards his children, and a few friends, were admitted, to the number of twelve or fifteen, which forming a small congregation, he continued his delightful work of preaching, twice on a Sunday, and once on a week day. The Lady Broughton taking a journey into the country, and placing great confidence in the Doctor, ordered the keys of the prison to be brought to him every night; and nobody had the opening and shutting of his apartment, but his own servant; so that he might, at any time, have escaped. But he only ventured out twice, when the town was pretty empty, to visit his worthy friend, Mr. Gunston, of Newington; who, as he entertained a very high esteem for him, was agreeably surprised at the visit.*

After his release, when the Indulgence was renewed, he

* Memoirs, &c. p. 36-39.

BRIDGES-STREET.-Presbyterian, Extinct.

preached in a large room, in White-Hart-yard, not far from his own house; but there he was at length disturbed. A band of rabble came on the Lord's-day morning to seize him, but having timely notice of it, he escaped their fury. Mr. James Bedford, who preached for him, having taken the Oxford oath, was dismissed; but they took down the names of several present. The good Lord Wharton was there, whom they pretended not to know, and on his refusing to tell his name, threatened to send him to prison, but they thought better of it. The place was fined forty pounds, and the minister twenty, which his lordship paid. Upon the Indulgence being more fully confirmed, in 1672, the merchants, and other citizens of London, set up a lecture on a Tuesday morning, at Pinners'-Hall; when Dr. Manton was one of the first six chosen, and opened the lecture. He was much concerned at the little bickerings which began even in his time, but afterwards broke out into scandalous contentions, and at length an open division. A great clamour was raised against Mr. Baxter, for some things he had said there, particularly in a discourse on John v. 40. of which he complained to Dr. Manton, who on his next turn at the lecture, in the close of his sermon, pretty sharply rebuked them for their rash mistakes, and unbecoming reflections upon so worthy and useful a person. The Doctor always entertained a high esteem for Mr. Baxter, whom he considered one of the most extraordinary persons the Christian church had produced, since the apostles' days; and he has been heard to declare, that he did not look upon himself as worthy to carry his books after him. In 1674, he was engaged in another fruitless attempt for an accommodation. The principal persons concerned in this design, besides the Doctor, were Mr. Baxter, Dr. Bates, and Mr. Poole, on the side of the Presbyterians; and Dr. Tillotson, and Dr. Stillingfleet, for the episcopal clergy.

The Doctor's health beginning to decline, his physicians advised him to desist from preaching, which he could not be

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persuaded to do for any considerable time, it being the delightful work of his life; but he at length consented to spend some time with Lord Wharton, at Wobourn. Finding, however, but very little benefit, he soon returned, and gave notice of his intention to administer the Lord's-Supper; but did not live to accomplish it. The day before he took to his bed he was in his study, of which he took a solemn leave, blessing God for the inany pleasant and useful hours he had spent there; and expressing his joyful hope of a state of clearer knowledge, and higher enjoyments. At night he prayed with his family, under great indisposition, and recommended himself to God's wise disposal; desiring, "That if he had no further work for him to do, he would take him to himself." When he went to bed, he was suddenly seized with a lethargy, by which he was deprived of his senses, to the great grief and loss of his friends, who came to visit him. In this state he expired, Oct. 18, 1677, in the 57th year of his age. He was buried in the chancel of the church at Stoke-Newington, where his intimate friend, Dr. Bates, preached his funeral sermon, from I Thess. iv. 17. And so shall we ever be with the Lord. In this discourse, Dr. Bates takes a particular view of his character as a minister, and as a Christian, the substance of which is as follows:

*

1. As a minister. He was furnished with a rare union of those parts that are requisite to form the ministerial character. He united a clear judgment, a rich fancy, a strong memory, and a happy elocution; and these qualities he had improved by diligent study. As a preacher he shone with that conspicuous eminence, that none could detract from him, but from ignorance, or envy. He was endowed with an extraordinary knowledge of the scriptures, which enabled' him to give a perspicuous account of the order and dependence of divine truths; and he possessed such a felicity in

• Memoirs &c. p. 44, 45.

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adducing subtle passages to confirm them, that whatever subject passed under his management, he cultivated and improved. His discourses were clear and convincing, so that none could resist their evidence without offering violence to the conscience; and hence they were effectual, not only to inspire a sudden flame, and raise a short commotion in the affections, but to make a lasting change in the life. The doctrines he delivered were pure and uncorrupt. He never prostituted the pulpit to any private secular advantage; nor did he perplex his hearers with impertinent subtilties, intricate disputes, or dry and barren notions: but as the great end of his ministry was the glory of God, and the salvation of men, so his chief aim was to awaken sinners to a sense of their wretched condition, and to point out to them an allsufficient Saviour; and to build up those who were converted, in knowledge and universal obedience. And as the matter of his discourses was calculated for usefulness, so his manner of expression was adapted to that end. In this he possessed a singular talent. His style was not exquisitely studied, but far from vulgar meanness. His delivery was natural, free and eloquent; quick, but clear and powerful; without any affectation; and always suited to the simplicity and majesty of divine truths. He abhorred a vain ostentation of wit, in handling subjects of grave and eternal importance. He possessed a fervour and earnestness in preaching, that was calculated to soften the most stubborn obdurate spirits; which, with his strength of reasoning on divine things, arrested the attention, and procured the consent of his hearers. His assiduity in preaching convinced how sensible he was of the strong obligations that rest upon ministers to be diligent in their work. But though so frequent in preaching, he was always superior to others, and equal to himself. When in declining health, he could never be dissuaded from his favourite work; the vigour of his mind always supporting the weakness of his body. In the concerns of the church, he was an active promoter of peace,

BRIDGES-STREET.-Presbyterian, Extinct.

and lamented those bitter contentions that have so unhappily divided the Protestant interest.

2. As a Christian, his life was answerable to his doctrine. His resolute contempt of the world secured him from being wrought upon by any sordid motives. His generous constancy of mind in resisting the current of popular humour, declared his loyalty to his Divine Master; and though he never rashly threw himself into trouble, he could not belie his conscience to avoid it. His charity was eminent in procuring supplies for others, when in low circumstances himself. But he had great experience of God's fatherly provision, to which his filial confidence was correspondent. His conversation in his family was holy and exemplary, drawing daily instruction from the scriptures, and fresh motives to duty. He was a man of deep humility, and was greatly affected with a sense of his frailties and unworthiness. A little before his death, he expressed his thoughts on this head to Dr. Bates, in the following terms: "If the holy prophets were under strong impressions of fear, upon the extraordinary discovery of the divine presence, how shall we poor creatures appear before that holy and dread majesty? Isaiah, after his glorious vision of God, reflecting upon himself, as not retired from the commerce and corruption of the world, breaks forth, Wo is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the king, the Lord of hosts. It is infinitely terrible to appear before God, the Judge of all, without the protection of the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than the blood of Abel." This was the subject of his last public discourse, and was what alone relieved him, and supported his hopes, in the article of death. He languished many months, but presuming upon the strength of his constitution, he neglected his disorder, till, at length, it became too powerful, and terminated in his death.*

• Dr. Bates's Sermon on the death of Dr, Manton, p. 50-58. VOL. III.

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