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trines of grace, in the glories of the person of Christ, God in our nature, and the wondrous work of redemption by his cross: he adored him as his Lord and God, and was zealous to maintain the honour due to his divine nature. What he knew in the things of God, he resolved not to kuow only for himself, but for the benefit of all who had the honour of his acquaintance. Many join with me to confess how often we departed frorn his company refreshed and advanced in useful knowledge. I cannot but reckon it among the bles. sings of heaven, when I review the five years I spent in his family, in my younger part of life. I found much instruction to myself, where I was called to be an instructor. His zeal for the welfare of his country and of the church of Christ in it, carried him out to the most extensive, toilsome services in his younger and middle age. He applied his time, his spirits, his interest, and his riches for the defence of the na. tion, when, forty years ago, it was in the utmost danger of popery and ruin.” How pleasant must

have been the setting sun of this good old man, when · he saw his country saved from tyranny, and the

church from popish persecution, Britain under the liberal reign of George, and Zion blessed with such pastors as Watts and many of his cotemporaries. If there are now but few baronets among dissenters, it is equally true that there are few Hartopps among baronets.


Sir Thomas Abney, a Christian patriot, was heir to higher honours than if the blood of all the Howards had flowed in his veins; but he was also descended

from one of those families which heralds pronounce
ancient and honourable. Wilsley, in the county of
Derby, the family seat for five hundred years, was
the place of his birth, in January, 1639. Early de-
prived of his mother, he was committed by his father
to the care of a pious aunt, lady Bromley, who was
honoured to produce those religious impressions
which rendered him afterwards a public blessing. In
early life, he thought it his glory to be a puritan, and
having adopted the sentiments of the independents,
he joined the church in Silver-street, of which Dr.
Jacomb, and after him Mr. Howe, was pastor. He
first married the daughter of the celebrated Caryl,
and on her death he became, in 1700, the son-in-law
of Mr. John Gunston, of Newington-green, whose
memory the muse of Watts has forbidden to die.
The name of Abney, also, has been handed down to
posterity by means of its connection with that of
Watts, who found in the house of sir Thomas and
his descendants an asylum for thirty-six years.
1. Though decidedly devoted to an unfashionable re-
ligion, he rose to the highest civic honours, for he
was chosen, in 1693, sheriff of London and Middle-

sex, and, before the expiration of his year, alderman of 1. Vintry Ward. He received from king William the

honour of knighthood, and though it was some years before the usual term, he was, in 1710, elected lord mayor, when his conduct gave occasion to the assertion that “ the house of Hanover owes the throne of Britain to a dissenter.” For, in opposition to the majority of his brethren on the bench, he had the courage to propose an address from the common council to king William, assuring him of their determination to stand by him against the pretender, whom the French king had lately proclaimed sovereign of Great Britain. His boldness and prudence having triumphed in the city, the address not only encouraged the king, to whom it was presented while he was with the army on the continent, but gave the tone of loyalty to the nation, which re-echoed the language of the metropolis frorn Caithness to the lands end. The king dissolved the parliament at this favourable moment, and sir Thomas Abney was chosen member for London, of that legislature which passed the act for the abjaration of the pretender, and the further establishment of the protestant succession. The bill received the royal assent, the day before king Wil liam died, and was the means of securing the throne to the house of Brunswick. A person of distinction, complimenting this dissenting lord mayor on his zeal and address in the critical affair, said, “ you have done the king' more service than if you had raised him a million of money.” ,, , ; 1. That the dignities to which he was exalted, and the popularity he acquired, did not seduce his heart from a due regard to the honour which comes from above, is evident from an anecdote, which will have a very different effect on the Christian and the man of the world. The evening of the day on which he entered upon his mayoralty, he withdrew silently from the assembly, went to his own house, performed the usual family worship, and then returned' to the company. He probably recalled an exam. ple which may already have occurred to the reader, that of David, who returned from a royal pro! cession, on a national festival, "' to bless his house- hold.” Sir Thomas Abney lived to be father of the city of London, which received at least as much

honour from the wisdom, patriotism, and piety of its father, as it confered on him by its population, talents, wealth, or commerce. This distinguished ornament of the metropolis, the senate, and the church of God, Tived to the good old age of eighty-three, and departed to higher honours February 6, 1722.

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• In the number of men of rank among dissenters, one of the inost respectable was this baronet, whose opulence and title were the least part of his honours.

During several parliaments he had a seat in the house of commons. · Piety, when blended with bigotry, and debased with a relish for arbitrary power, makes a man a curse instead of a blessing: but when liberal sentiments of civil liberty are grafted on the stock of pure religion, they form the character which, it is devoutly to be wished, should distinguish all the representatives of the people of Great Britain. .

As a man of learning, he made a respectable figure among the literati of his day. A specimen of his talents will be found in his “ Fortuita Sacra ;" which is highly creditable to his erudition and his critical powers. . . But to be pre-eminent in goodness is infinitely superior to learning and honours : and this high distinction was the inheritance of sir Richard Ellys, The doctrines of the old puritans formed his creed, which sanctified his soul, and rendered him a devout,

a humble, and a zealous disciple of Christ. He had - once been under the influence of a different system,

but he received the knowledge of the truth from orie inferior to himself in every thing, but an acquainta: ance with the gospel; and the bigotted arminian was: constrained by the conversation of an aged Christian woman to throw away the high ideas of himself, and to lie prostrate at the foot of the cross, ascribing his salvation to the righteousness of the Redeemer and his free and sovereign grace. He was a great admirer of Boston's fourfold stateb

Sir Richard appears to have been first a member of Dr. Calamy's congregation, but on Mr. Samuel Say's succeeding him in the pastoral office, he joined Mr. Bradbury's church, and continued in communion with that society till his death.


Sheffield was his native place. The death of his mother, when he was only twelve years of age, deeply impressed his heart; and the counsels of his father on the mournful occasion, aided by the affecting discourses of Mr. Fisher, their minister, were the means of his conversion to God : thus at an early period a foundation was laid for that eminence of character to which he afterwards attained. From Sheffield he removed to London, and there spent the remainder of his life.

His temper was naturally warm and impetuous ; but under the government of Christian principles, it produced only an energy of character which displayed itself in extraordinary zeal for the honour of God, and the happiness of man, Habitual sense of the evil of sin, was accompanied with deep humility;

o See the account of this change more fully given by himself, in Boston's Memoirs, appendix, p. 22.

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