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When he left the university he came to London, where he was soon taken notice of for his warm and affectionate preaching ; and the parish of St. Alphage being vacant, called him to be their pastor. He accepted the office with great diffidence, and applied himself to his work with all his might; and the hand of the Lord was eininently with him; so that to old age he was wont to recollect, with thankfulness, the divine power that attended his first ministrations. He continued in this place nine years, viz. till the BarthoLomew-act passed; when, having carefully studied the terms required, and prayed for the divine direction, he thought it his duty to be a Nonconformnist, chearfully casting himself and his family upon providence. And he soon experienced its concern for him ; for the day after he preached his farewell-sermon, one of his parishioners presented him with twenty pounds, saying, “ there was something to buy bread for his children, as an encouragement to his future trust." He then set up a boarding school in Moorfields; and so many were desirous to have their children with him, that he soon had occasion for a larger house.
Upon the breaking out of the plague, he called his friends together, to seek the divine direction; and, according to their advice, (on account of the youth under his caie) he removed to Woodford-bridge near Chigwell, leaving Mr. T. Vincent in his house. In this village his family continued healthful, and many resorted to his house for the worship of God. After the sickness, he returned to London; and having counted the cost, he opened a meeting-house, though against the law, near his own, at Bunhill-fields : and that proving too strait, he erected a large and commodious one in Monkwell-street, where he preached to a numerous auditory, and had many seals to his ministry. Here Mr. T. Vincent assisted him. The lord mayor sent for thein both, and endeavoured to dissuade them from preaching, on account of the danger they were in. They told his lordship, That they were satisfied of their call to preach the gospel, and there fore could not promise to desist. The Saturday following, a king's messenger, with a company of the train-bands, came at midnight to seize Mr. Doolittle in his house, but he made his escape. He purposed to have preached the next morning, but was prevailed upon to forbear. Another person, however, readily undertook to preach for him. While he was in his sermon, a company of soldiers came into the place, and the officer called aloud to him, “I command you
in the king's name, to come down.” He answered, “I command you, in the name of the King of kings, not to disturb his worship, but let me go on.” Upon which, the officer bid his men fire. The minister, undaunted, clapped his band upon his breast, and said, “ Shoot, if you please, you can only kill the body.” The people, upon this, being all in an uproar, he got away in the crowd unhurt. Mr. Doolittle, after this affair, was absent from home for some weeks, and on Lord's days, guards were set before the meeting-house. At length the justices came, and had the pulpit pulled down, and the doors fastened, with the king's broad arrow set upon them. The place being convenient, was soon after used as a chapel for the lord mayor, without any allowance to the owner.
Upon a licence* granted by K. Charles in 1762, Mr. Doolittle resumed his place, and set up an academy at Islington, where he educated several young men for the ministry, and among the rest his own son, who was many years pastor of a church at Reading in Berkshire. When the Oxford-act passed, Mr. Doolitle removed to Wimbleton, and several of his pupils taking lodgings in the neighbourhood, attended his lectures privately. While he resided here, he met with a remarkable providence. As he was one day riding out with a friend, he was met by a military officer who took hold of his horse. Mr. Doolittle asking him what he meant by stopping him on the king's highway, he looked earnestly at him, but not being certain who he was, let him go, and went away threatening “ that he would know who that black devil was before he was three days older.” Some of Mr. Doolittle's friends were much concerned for him ; but on the third day a person brought him word that the captain was choaked at his table with a bit of bread. After this he removed to Battersea, where his goods were seized and sold. In several other places his house was rifled, and his person often in danger, but providence favoured his escape, so that he was never iinprisoned. At length the Toleration gave him an opportunity of returning to his place and people in Monkwell-street, where he continued as long as he lived, preaching twice every Lord'sday. He had also a lecture there on Wednesdays, at which
* This is still preserved in the vestry in Monkwell-street, the place where the celebrated Dr. Fordyce preached many years, after the death of Dr. Lawrence, to whom Mr. Tho. Ioller assistant.
he delivered his Exposition of the Assembly's catechism. He had a great delight in Catechising, and urged ministers to it, as having a special tendency to propagate knowledge, to establish young persons in the truth, and to prepare thein to read and hear sermons with advantage.
Mr. Doolittle was a man who made religion his business, and was best pleased when taken up in the exercises of it. Scarcely any one spent more time in his study, the advantage of which appeared in his own improvement, and the preparations he made for the pulpit; not satisfying himself to offer to God or his people that which cost him nothing.-In his latter years he was greatly afflicted with the stone, and by that and other disorders, more than once brought near the grave; but on his people's fervent prayers, he was wonderfully restored. And he was careful to answer the purposes of divine grace in prolonging his life, under the quickening apprehension of its approaching end. A life prolonged beyond his usefulness was the greatest trial he feared, and God graciously prevented it; for the Lord's day before his death he preached and catechized with great vigour, and was confined but two days to his bed. In the valley of the shadow of death he had such a sense of the divine presence as proved a powerful cordial for his support. He died May, 24, 1707, aged 77, and was the last of the ejected ministers in London. He was buried at Bunhill, and Dr. Williams preached his funeral sermon from 2 Cor. i. 12. After his death was found a solemn and very particular form of covenanting with God, which may be seen in the Memoirs of his life prefixed to his Body of Divinity, from whence the above account is extracted.
WORKS. A spiritual antidote against şinful contagion in dying times.-Treatise of the Lord's supper.—Directions how to live after a wasting plague.-Rebuke for sin after God's burning anger.Young man's instructor and old man's remembrancer.-Captives bound in chains made free by Christ their surety.—The Lord's last sufferings.--Call to delaying sinners.—Scheme of the principles of christ. relig.-Swearer silenced.—Love to Christ necessary to escape the curse at his coming.-Earthquakes explained and improved.-Mourner's directory, [occasioned by the death of his wife.]-Plain method of catechizing.-Saints convoy to heaven. Four sermons in Morn. Ex.-Since his death: A compleat body of divinity, on the Assemb. catech. fol.
ST. ANDREW HUBBARD, LITTLE EASTCHEAP, S[R. S.)
Mr. WILLIAM WICKINS, of Eman. Col. Camb. Born at London in Sept. 1614. Upon leaving the university, he lived some time as chaplain with Sir Edward Scott, of Scot'sHall, in Kent. When he came to St. Andrew Hubbard, Mr. Ranew, the sequestered minister, desiring to continue for some time in the house belonging to that living, he yielded to it, though, as it fell out, much to his own detriment. For a fire broke out one Saturday night near the house where he lived, and burnt with such fury, that he and his family escaped only with their lives. This calamity he bore with great patience, and with such composure of mind, that it did not hinder him from his pulpit-work the next day. But having borrowed some clothes, he went through all the service of the day (which happened to be sacrament-day) the same as other times. He continued in this living fourteen or fifteen years: but meeting with many discouragements, and his family increasing, some friends, without his seeking, procured his removal to St. George's in Southwark. This was another sequestered living, but he was insensible of it; and upon the Restoration, he readily resigned it, on the claim of another person, and became preacher
at the Poultry Compter, where he continued till Aug. 24, 1662. It may be mentioned, as an instance of his self-denial and generosity, though he had no great abundance, that when, after his ejectment, a gentleman offered him five pounds, he replied, “ I believe my friend Mr. E. Lawrence stands more in need of it, and requested that it might be given to him; which was accordingly done. Mr. Wickins was one of those ministers who used to meet at Sion College, and was often concerned in ordaining young ministers. One of the last on whom he laid hands, was the excellent Mr. Matthew Henry, on May 9, 1687.—He was for some time in the family of alderman
This church was burnt in the fire of London, and the parish united to that of St. Mary Hill. The king's Weigh-house was erected on the spot, and a meet. ing-house over it, in which Mr. Reynolds first preached; after him Mr. Wood, and then Dr. Langford, (whom the editor of this work assisted) who was succeeded by Dr. Wilton, and he by Mr. Clayton. When this place was lately rebuilt, many human bones were dug up. An annual sermon, in commemoration of the fire, which began near this place, was preached here for a century afterwards.
Forth, at Hackney, but finished the course of his ministry at Newington-Green, where he was first in conjunction with Mr. Starkey, and afterwards with Mr. Bennet, who preached his funeral Serinon on Atts xiii. 36. He was very happy in possessing constant health, which enabled him to continue a hard student even to old age. Next to the holy scriptures, there was no study more delightful to him than that of Ori. ental learning, and especially of the Jewish laws and customs, 'in the knowledge of which, he was reckoned, by good judges, to have had but few equals. The originals of the Old and New Testament were very familiar to him, so that he read them chiefly in his closet, without much concerning himself with any translation. He was very chearful in conversation; but commonly took care before he left any company, to drop something serious and savoury, which made his company profitable as well as pleasant. He was very desirous of doing good to souls; which was his inducement 10 continue preaching longer than some who had a true value for him thought to be necessary. But when he found by a sudden seizure that he was disabled, he readily acquiesced in the will of God. Removing to London, to be under the immediate care of his near relations, after gradually decay. ing for about two years, he had an easy and comfortable end. Being asked by a friend, a little before his departure, how he was ? he in a very serious and affecting manner cried out,
Help me in praising God for his great mercy to ine, that I " have perfect ease of body; and blessed be his name, I “ have that too which is inuch better ; even peace of con. “ science, and good hope towards God, through Jesus « Christ.” He was buried in Bunhill-fields, Sept. 22, 1699, aged 85.
WORKS. A Plea for the Ministry.- Warrant for bowing at the Name of Jesus examined. Something concerning the Dates of St. Paul's Epistles.--And, it is supposed, some other pieces long since out of print.
ST. ANDREW UNDERSHAFT, [R. S. 1721.]. Mr. THOMAS Woodcock, of Kath. Hall. Cam. He was born of a genteel family in Rutlandshire. He became Fellow of Jesus Col. and Proctor of the University ; which office he managed with great applause, both as to ex. ercises and prudent government. In this College, he gave