Page images

As a christian, he discovered the greatest contentment with his worldly circumstances, as the allotments of pro. vidence. He was better pleased in being a real pastor to one congregation, than if he had been a nominal pastor to a thousand. He was eminent for observing public providences, and in acquiescing in them. He deeply and tenderly felt whatever affected the state of Christ's church, and was very inquisitive how it fared with the people of God in foreign parts; not out of Athenian curiosity, but à public spirit. He was eminently open-hearted, and openhanded also to the poor, especially the pious poor. He used consulere tam modestiæ quam inopia. He ever reregarded the modesty of a poor man who could not be clamorous; and in regard both to poor ministers and private christians, was ready to every good work. He was so industrious and indefatigable in his calling, as rarely to allow himself any diverting recreation. The precious jewel of time, he so highly valued, that he would not lose the very filings thereof. Admirable was his prudence in his speech and behaviour. He knew to whom he spoke, when to speak, and how much to speak. He knew how to benefit others by speaking, without insnaring himself. In him practical prudence was joined with intellectual. Not only did his wisdom make his own face to shine, but by example and counsel he reflected much of the lustre of it upon others. Few persons were more frequently desired to give advice in affairs of difficulty than he. His prudential reservedness was by some accounted excessive severity; but he could sometimes be chearful, though in a grave and christian way. His patience in his sickness, considering his natural temper, was great even to admiration. In all his torments, he seldom groaned under them, but never grumbled against him that sent them. He often complained to God, but never complained of him. In the midst of his tortures he admired free grace, and glorified that God who so much depressed him. In the lesson of patience he grew perfect in the school of affliction.]

WORKS. A few sermons before the long parliament.-Ser'mon before the lord mayor, April 7, 1650, against divisions. -Vind. of the Reformed churches concerning brdination, in answer to Mr. Simpson's Diatribe.. .Notes on the Revelations; which he presented to Lord Wharton; but they were never printed.- A


Farewell-sermon on Heb. xiii. 20, 21. which, though not unsuitable to the occasion, contains nothing peculiar to it, nor any reference to his ejectment. Only at the close he observes, that the care of the church is in the hands of Christ--that all providences towards it, designed to exercise and to try it, must be borne with patience; approving what he orders, and doing whatever he commands; with a chearful dependence upon the faithfulness of the great shepherd of the sheep, who being brought again from the dead lives for ever; and a firm reliance on God's covenant, as declared, Isa. xvi. 21.


MR. ROBERT BRAGG, of Wadham College, Oxford. His fatlier was a captain in the parliament's army. When Oxford was surrendered he went thither; and, as soon as he was capable, was chosen fellow. Coming afterwards to London, he settled in this parish, and gathered a church, of which he continued pastor to the day of his death. He was a man of great humility and sincerity, and of a very peaceable temper. He died April 14, 1704, aged 77, as appears from his tombstone in Bunhill-fields. He had a son in the ministry, among the Dissenters, who bore both his names, and who succeeded Mr. Nath. Mather.

When prince Rupert took Bristol, the members of Mr Wrottis's church, at Llanfaches, Monmouthshire, who had fled thither, and those afterwards of Broadmead, were turned out and went to London, where the Pædobaptists communicated with this church at Alhallows the Great, and the Baptists with Mr. Kiffin's.

WORKS. Fun. Serm. for Mr. Ralph Venning.-Another for Mr. Tho. Wadsworth.-He and Mr. War ham wrote an epistle before a tract of Mr. Faldo's against Quakerism.

ALHALLOWS, HONEY-LANE, [R. ) Mr. JOHN AFTER. He had been rector of Beckington, a sequestered living in Somersetshire. After his ejectment, by the special favour of the court of aldermen, he lived and died ordinary of Wood-street compter.




THOMAS LYE, M.A. of Wadham Col. Oxford. For some time minister of Chard in Somersetshire and one of the Triers of ministers in those parts. He was chosen by the parishioners of Alhallows to succeed Mr. Cardell, who was ejected by the commissioners in 1657. He was eminently useful by his excellent art of catechizing youth, whom by many artifices he enticed to delight in getting knowledge in the best things. Many in and about London recounted with pleasure, as long as they lived, his unusual method of insruct. ing them in the first principles of religion; and several owed their first serious impressions to his catechetical exercises ; in which he was not satisfied with conveying a little notional knowledge, but did his utmost to set things home upon the heart, suiting himself to the capacity of his young auditory, to whom he always discovered a most tender affection. He died June 7, 1684.

§ A clergyman, some time deceased, in a letter to the editor, gave his opinion of Mr. Lye, as follows: “ He was a considerable man, regarded as well in a literary as in a theological light; as is evident from what he has published in illustration of the English grammar: from whence it appears, that he would have introduced a new and more scientific alphabet, and consequently a more accurate orthography

Mr. Lye preached two farewell sermons, Aug. 17, 1662, in which he expresses a tender affection for his people, and a humble consciousness of his integrity in quitting his connection with them. The text of both' is, Phil. iv. i. Therefore my brethren, dearly beloved, and longed for, my joy and crown, so standfast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. The first discourse he begins thus : “My beloved, I well reinember that upon the 24th of this inonth, in 1651, I was under the sentence of banishment, and that very day did I preach my farewell-sermon to my people, from whom I was banished, because I would not swear against my king :-and now behold a second trial. Then I could not forswear myself; the God of heaven keep me that I never may. I am apt to think I could do any thing for this loving congregation, only I cannot sin. But since there is a sentence gone out against us, that we who can.


[ocr errors]

not subscribe must not subsist; and as this is the last day that is fixed to us to preach ; I shall now speak to you (God assisting me) if my (feelings] will give me leave, just as I would speak if I were immediately to die. Therefore hearken, my brethren, dearly beloved, &c."-Having properly descanted on the apostle's words, and in a striking manner represented the affection that ought ever to subsist between pastors and people, however separated from each other by human power, he thus expresses him-' self with respect to the occasion of that painful event which was about to take place. “I come not here to throw firebrands: I bless God I have a most tender affec-. tion for all my brethren in the ministry; and though I am not satisfied, yet I condemn no man. I believe many of them as conscientiously subscribe as (others refuse to do it.] I protest in the face of God, I cannot subscribe ; perhaps because I have not that light others have. He that doubts, says the apostle, is damned [i. e. condemned.] I hope you would not have us sin against God and our own consciences. It is not any living I desire, but my office, to serve my

lord and master. But if we should, to keep cominunion with you, lose our communion with God, that is the way to have all our labour lost. O that I could speak with as good hope as David did! 2 Sam. xv. 25. Brethren, I could do very much for the love I bear to you, but I dare not sin. I know some will tell you, this is pride and peevishness in us, and that we would fain all be bishops, &c. But the Lord be witness between them and us.

::- I am sensible what it is to be reduced to a morsel of bread. Let the God of heaven and earth do what he will with me. If I could have subscribed with a good conscience, I would: I would do any thing to keep myself in the work of God; but to sin against my God, I dare not do it.” He then proceeds, in the second discourse, to explain and inforce the duty of standing fast in the Lord : viz. in judgment-in resolution-in faith-in consciencein conversation and general course of life. This stedfast, ness he urges by various cogent motives, and concludes with some admirable directions for attaining it. He par, ticularly recommends a greater attention to family religion when deprived of public ordinances. When you cannot hear a serinon well preached, read one well penned.”-And he gives some excellent advice respecting their future minis



ters. “ Beg of God to give pastors after his own heart.-Whatever you find amiss in pastor or people, do not go and rail, calumniate, and backbite; this is wicked and ungodly: but do as God prescribes, and thou hast freed thine own soul.--Thus have I spoken something from this scripture : I cannot speak all that I desire. The God of heaven be pleased to make you mind these plain things. I can truly say I have not spoken one word, which I would not have said to you, if I had been to go to God, as soon as I had gone out of the pulpit. The God of peace be with you."

WORKS. The Child's delight; with an English grammar and spelling-book, &c. intermixed with moral precepts.-Explan. of Assemb. Catech.-Five sermons in the Morn. Ex.-Fun. Serm. for Mrs. E. Nicolé,—and one for W. Hiet.-Two Farewell sermons, on Phil. iv. 1.-Also, A summary Rehearsal of the Morn. Ex. in the Lond. Col. of Farewell-sermons.

ALHALLOWS ON THE WALL, [R. gel.] SAMUEL DYER, M. A. of Peterhouse, Camb. Dr. Lewis laying claim to this living, Mr. Dyer, not willing to dispute it with him, quitted it before Bartholomew-day. He was ejected from his lectureship at Lothbury. He afterwards kept a school at Mile-End, for twenty-five years or more, and was chaplain to - Avery, Esq. He was congregational in his judgment; and sometimes preached for Mr. Mead at Stepney. He died A. D. 1700. aged 67. His elder brother, Mr. Richard Dyer, was ejected from Magd. Hall, Oxford.

ST. ALPHAGE, LONDON-WALL, [R.S. 122. 4.] *** THOMAS DOOLITTLE, M.A. of Pembroke-Hall, Cambridge. He was born at Kidderminster, of religious parents, 1630. He early discovered an inclination to learning. Some of his friends would have had hinı brought up to the Law, and he was actually put upon trial to an attorney; but being set to copy some writings on the Lord's-day, he resolved against that profession, and determined upon the ministry; in which he had Mr. Baxter's encouragement, whosc discourses on the Saints-rest were blessed for his saying conversion; which was the ground of that peculiar esteem and affection he used often to express for that holy man. He was an experienced christian before he was a minister : and as he improved in learning, he grew also in grace.


« PreviousContinue »