« ZurückWeiter »
any chance of liquidating. In this occasion, and while the disease yet state of things, Mr. Vidler referred raged in his family, he delivered the congregation at Parliament Court funeral address to his congregation, to his friends at Battle, determined to of which the outline is preserved and abide by their decision. With great which bespeaks the most tender afgenerosity, they agreed to give pfection and the greatest Christian their much loved pastor, with a view fortitude. The loss of bis son afflicied to the great interests of Christian him doubly in the unhappy effect is truth, but only on conditions proposed produced upon the mind of his wife, by the applicants themselves; viz. whose spiriis sunk under the berearethat Mr. Vidler should visit Battle ment and could never be fully reseveral times in a year and spend two covered. or three sundays there on every visit, On his first comiug to London, Mr. and that the congregation in London Vidler lodged at the house of Mr. should take upon themselves the re- Teulon, in Houndsditch ; with whom sponsibility of the debt lying upon the he afterwards entered into partnership Battle Meeting-house. These con- in the book selling business. His ena ditions were unhappily never fulfilled, gaging in trade in London was renthongh the non-fulfilment of them dered necessary by the inability or cannot be attributed in any degree to indisposition of his congregation to Mr. Vidler. He accepted the leave make good their agreement with regranted him by his old friends to gard to his salary: they had engaged remove to London, under the firm to raise himn £150 per annum, but persuasion that this step would be for the few first years of his ministry beneficial to both societies, and in the his income rarely exceeded £100 per eager hope that he should be an in- annum ; a mean stipend for so numestrument in the hands of Providence, rous a congregation to have contented of extending the knowledge and in- themselves with giving to a minister Auence of the universal love of the whose labours were incessant and Heavenly Father.
acknowledged by all to be in the From the time of Mr. Winchester's highest degree acceptable, and quite departure, Mr. Vidler divided his insufficient for the maintenance of a services between Battle and London, numerous family, which suffered until the month of November, 1796, much in point of health by removal when he removed his family to Lon- from an airy country town to a don. He was now considered as the close street in the heart of the head of the sect of Universalists and metropolis. attracted scarcely less attention than In connection with Mr. Teulon, Mr. Winchester. He had no avowed Mr. Vidler projected and in January, heresy but the doctrine of restoration, 1797, began to publish a periodical and this he maintained on popular work intitled, The Universalist's Mise : grounds. Crowds flocked to the chapel cellany : or, Philanthropist's Museum. in Parliament Court.. A small party in Intended chiefly as an Antidote against the congregation considered themselves the Anti-christian Doctrine of Endless as the church and met together for the Misery. It was sold at first at șix-, enjoyment of Christian ordinances pence and afterwards at a shilling and for mutual instruction and edifi- each number. The design was liberal cation, and with this inner society and it grew more so as the work proa: Mr. Vidler regularly united as a ceeded. The successive volumes mark: brother amongst brethren, both teach- the progress of Mr. Vidler's owa, ing and learning. All was harmony, mind. At no time popular, the affection, prosperity ; and no cloud overhung the prospect of the suture.
Amidst these bright promises, a do. mestic affliction befel him, which Mr. Vidler's final change of opinions, the
* Without entering prematurely into painfully instructed him in the vanity writer submits to the reader the following of all earthly hopes. His eldest child, passage from the Preface to the Fifth Voa fine intelligent youth, of the age of lume of The Miscellany, as truly characfourteen, 'was suddenly taken from teristic, and indicative of the point at which him by a putrid fever on the 26th of the Editor had arrived in his inquiries.January, 1797. On this melancholy “ We hare not [contined) nor do we memn
bolder character of heresy which it matter of inforniation to some readers, gradually assumed diminished year that the Monthly Repository which is after year the number of subscribers. now the register of Mr. Vidler's death, It was ill supported by respectable was instituted in consequence of a correspondents, and it must be con- pecuniary arrangement with that fessed that Mr. Vidler excelled in gentleman, as a continuation in its nothing so little as in the office of design at least of the former publicaeditor of a magazine. After strug- tion, the first number of it appearing gling for existence, under various in February, 1806, the next month titles, throughout several years, the after Mr. Vidler's magazine was work, long oppressed by a growing dropped. weight of debt, expired at the end of In the first number of the Univer, the year 1805, and with it ended Mr. salist's Miscellany, Mr. Vidler ada Vidler's editorial labours.* It may be dressed a letter “ To Mr. Andrew.
Fuller, of Kettering, Northampton
shire," the occasion of which was as in future to confine ourselves to the uni- follows. On Mr. V.'s embracing the rersal doctrine. There are many other Universal doctrine, Mr. Fuller sent interesting subjects in theology which demand the attention of serious and thinking Christians. The popular systems appear successive years, under the title given to us far from being consistent with divine abore, at sixpence each monthly number, truth; and we solicit the assistance of any with several variations in the type and the and every friend to truth, in our researches : quality of the paper : the First Volume is we may have mistakes, but we have no faced with a Portrait of the Editor, “ Wilsecrets, and we would advise our friends liam Vidler, Preacher of the Universal to have none in religion. Let us think Restoration, engraved by B. Reading from freely, but modestly, that is, in submission an approved Likeness by Richard Wil. to the authority of Sacred Scripture: let liams." There is a likeness in the en: no man make us afraid. - It is the graving, but surely not a likeness to be peculiar felicity of our Magazine to be open approved. In the Sixth Volume, the title to all parties ; to let Christians of every is changed to “ The Universal Theological sentiment propose their difficulties and give Magazine, for the Year 1802. Intended their solutions. This liberality has given for the Free Discussion of all Religious much offence to some narrow-minded men, Subjects, to which Persons of every Debut we mean still to pursue the same plan, nomination are inrited : Being a Contibeing firmly persuaded that truth can never nuation of the Universalist's Miscellany." suffer by exposure: nothing but error is The work under this title was raised to afraid of scrutiny. If some of our corre one shilling a number, and Two Volumes spondeots hare used their liberty as a cloak were published in the year. The title of maliciousness, we are sorry for it; the itself is a neat copper-plate engraving, and blame be upon their own beads: we always with it is given a decent Portrait of the recommend sof? words and hard arguments. « Rev. Robert Robinson." The paper
· Some persons object to all contro- and type in this volume are improved in versy : whether their motives be right in proportion to the increase in the price. this we will not determine. We only Vol. VII. the second for the year 1802, observe that with some people one great contains an engraving, “ The Genius of objection against controversy is that they Shakespeare corrected by Revelation." CAAROL bear contradiction ; others object Vol. VIII, the first for 1803, contains an to it becanse it brings certain truths to ill-executed Portrait of “ Rev. John Evans, their minds which it does not suit them to A.M.” and Vol. IX. the second for the onbrace; others because it brings the same year, contains a pretty allegorical trouble of thinking along with it which Frontispiece. The next year, the title was Shey are too idle to practise; a few may changed to “ The Universal Theological object to it from a better motive. It is Magazine and Impartial Review: New clear, however, that the ministry of the Series," and the numbers of the past voprophets, of Christ and his apostles, was lumes were dropped. Two volumes were almost one perpetual controversy: and still published in a year. Vol. I. contains while zruth and error erist, the controversy a silhouette Portrait of “ the Rev. William between them must erist also."
Turner, late of Wakefield." There were As the complete work is now scarcely Four Volumes of this Series, ending with to be obtained, it may be of use to detail the year 1805; making in all, fron the the history of it. Five Volumes from the commencement of the work in 1797, thit. commencement were published, in so many teen volumes, tbin 8vo.
him a private letter of inquiry and re- The controversialists were perhaps monstrance, to which Mr. V. returned equal in understanding and general
For this silence, Mr. V. knowledge. Mr. Vidler encumbered assigns two reasons, first, the number his defence with some interpretations of letters which he received on the of Scripture, common to himn and subject and the impossibility of an. most of the preceding writers on restoswering them all, and second, his ration, which it is well known that natural love of peace and his wish to he gave up before he died; and both avoid all controversy with his former combatanis entangled theniselves in connections whom he highly respected. Hebrew and Greek criticisins, in Two years after the letter was written which their education had given them it appeared in the Frangelical Maga- liule skill, and neither of them, as zine, with a postscript stating that it Mr. Fuller intimates, was at home. had never been answered. Here, by In one respect Mr. Vidler's candour is accident, Mr. Vidler saw it, and he exemplary: he not only inserted enopened his new periodical work with tire the letters of his opponent in a a'reply, to it, which extended to two . work under his own care, but he comnunibers. Mr. Fuller's rejoinder was plied with the request that his answers inserted in the third volume, and the should not be published in the same controversy was continued through number as the letters to which they that and two volumes following referred. It may be presumed that The letters on each side were collected Mir. Fuller would not have exercised and published in pamphlets in the the same liberality; for he communi. years 1802 and 1803. Previous to the cated a private letter to a Magazine appearance of Mr. Vidler's Letters, without apprizing the person to whom a clergyman (Mr. Jerram), subscribing the letter really belonged of what he himself Scrulator published. “ Letters had done, and knowing that it was 19 an Universalist; containing a Re- 'the rule of that Magazine to hear only view of the Controversy between Mr. one side of a question. A letter of Vidler and Mr. Fuller, on the Doc- Mr. Vidler's to the Evangelical Magatrine of Universal Salvation.” Of the zine in reply to Mr. Fuller's was of merits of this controversy it is not dif course rejected. It was Mr. Vidler's * ficult to judge. Scrutator displays not wish, and he made it known to Mr. the coolness of a reviewer, but the Fuller, to be informed when the conangry zeal of a partizan. Mr. Fuller troversy was closed, as he intended to entered into the dispute, uninformed publish together all the letters in a of the Universal doctrine, and was separate work : whilst, however, he hence betrayed into blunders, which was awaiting Mr. Fuller's determinahe was compelled to acknowledge: it tion, that gentleman's letters, which must be adınitted, however, that he were strictly speaking the property of has advanced some strong Scriptural the editor of the Universalist's Mágiobjections to the hypothesis of his op- zine, were given to the public in a ponent, and that where he has the pamphlet, unaccompanied by Mr. advantage he improves it with the Vidler's. dexterity of a practised polemic. In [It was the design of the writer to point of temper, Mr. Vidler was un- conclude the Memoir in this Number, questionably, superior to him; Mr. but he has found it impossible to do Fuller clearly shews that he could not so, without injustice to the subject. think well of the heart of an erring Another paper will include all that brother. The letters of Mr. Vidler remains to be said in this compressed evince likewise a more intimate ac- Biography. It will take up the third quaintance with the scope and idiom period of Mr. Vidler's religious hisof Scripture, and, as appears to the tory; from about the time of his be. writer, a greater satisfaction in his coming an Unitarian to his death.] own faith than those of his antagonist.
Leter I. from Dr. Doddridge to Rev. seni crisis when I am so hurried with Mr. Toms.
preparing my Family Expositor for Northampton, Feb.2, 1750-51. the press, is something : but it is more MY DEAR AND WORTHY BROTHER that I ain bat one minister in the AND FRIEND,
country, and think it would be great TOUR letter received in a chaniber presumption 10 suppose that my and awakened my joy and my thank, should act under my direction. The fulness. Blessed be you of the Lord, plan that has offered itself to me is and blessed be your comsel; and may this. That you should go to London he in whose cause you bave exerted a as soon as you conveniently can, and zeal so truly Christian, not only ac consult with some of the principal cept it, as he undoubtedly will, butninisters of all denominations, paranticipate the reward that awaits you ticularly Mr. Barker, Dr. Guyse, Mr. above, by giving you now to see the Stennet and Mr. Burroughs. You see happy success of your scheme. I I take in General as well as Particular remeniber my faults this day. I have Baptists, and though I mention these read and heard a great deal of the four, whom 'I look upon as men of sufferings of our Protestant brethren distinguished wisdom and piety, I in France. I have conversed with not to exclude any others. those who saw their assemblies dis- You may if you think it will be of solved and their ternples ruined, their any avail communicate to them what dead bodies torn out of the graves and I now write, and you may know of given to the fowls of the air. I have them whether they in general approve read the letters of their pastors and of the design and will be ready to those of their martyrs, and the income join their counsel and efforts' for parable discourses of Superville and bringing it into execution. If they Saurin, which so pathetically repre- do approve it and will authorize me to sent their sufferings, and one of the do it, I will then apply to some of last was before me when your letter the principal. ministers of Edincanie ; and yet alas ! I have in a great borough, and to the Earl of Leaven measure forgotten the afflictions of and Commissioner of the General AsJoseph ; and now and then a tran. sembly, acquainting them with what, sient prayer for them, the telling of is working in our hearts, and desiring their sad sorrows (with a few tears) they would attempt to procure a mowhich I have often done to my pupils; tion in the Assembly for a day of children and friends, has been all the fasting and prayer on their account to fruit of my compassion; while you, be ordered throughout Scotland : and but I will say no more of that, by the if timely notice be given of it, I think grace of God you are what you are, the influence of those gentlemen menand I hope his grace will be more tioned above, in concurrence with abundant to you to preserve this thing several leading men in the country, to upon the imagination of the thonghts whom with this foundation we may reaof your heart and to guide your coun sonably apply, will certainly make it as sel' with regard to it. And to me! general a thing as we can reasonably trust your letter will not be entirely suppose any thing of this sort among in vain : it has in some measure the Protestant Dissenters can be; and awakened iny compassion and my our concurrence with our þrethren of prayers, and you will find me ready the Scotch establishment, for whom as io act in my little sphere to promote an establishment those of our own the good end you propose. I have have something of a regard, will considered of the matter seriously, and make the thing less exceptionable, I have looked up to God for direction And on this foundation it may also in it, and the result is this.
be extended to Ireland and our plan. I cannot take upon myself the con- tations in America. duct of this general design. My want iny life I will preach, and if it be of leisure for it, especially in this pre. thought proper will publish a discourse,
1f God spares
which, in consequence of my intimate clude with presenting sou both with correspondence with some of the our united salutations and intreating Walloon ininisters in Holland, I can you thus to remember, easily have translated into French,
Rer, and Dear Sir, as several of my writings already are, Your affectionate brother and (and especially one which was never
faithful humble servant, &c. ret published in English, relating to
P. DODDRIDGE. ihe state of the church in Holland, P.S. If the books when you have which if I may guess by the many done with them could be sent thousands dispersed through the whole Tarry's Northampton Waggon, from country was reinarkably blessed in a the White Horse, in St. John's Street, very peculiar crisis), perhaps God London, they will probably como may send this sermon into France, very safe. Excuse my using the hand and it may be introductory to some of a young and inexperienced amanagreater anil better attempt: but this ensis to transcribe this long letter from last part of the scheme I would choose the short hand copy, which I wrote at present to conceal, the rest com- the morning after your's came to municate as you judge proper, and hand. please to favour me with the result as soon as you can, that I may write to Letter II. from Dr. Chandler to Rev. Scotland without delay, and set the
Mr. Toms. machine in motion. In the mean
London, Dec. 12, 1745. time let us lift up our hearts daily to Rev. AND DEAR SIR, God for its success and let him do as RECEIVED your's of the 16th seems good in his sight. I may in past, and am entirely of your consequence of this in some future mind that some short accounts of the letter lay before you another scheme tyranny and cruelty and enormous of great importance, as I apprehend, exactions of the Church of Rome, on for the service of religion in the propa- a sheet of paper to be hung up in gation of the gospel of our blessed houses, would be exceeding useful, in Redeemer, which lies much on my the present conjuncture, and inight be heart, to which I think the Providence of standing benefit. I am determined of God seems to be opening a way by to attempt something of this nature. some remarkable occurrences of extra. But as the thing is difficult, because it ordinary circumstances. In the mean must be short, and yet solid, I am time let me recommend to your read- not sure that I shall succeed. If I ing the Life and Journal of Mr. David can please myself I will let you know. Brainard, if you know where to get it The five articles you mention shall, at large. Quick's Synodicon I have. if I can, be all brought in. By the The Icones I shall be very glad to see persuasion of some friends here, I when you can conveniently spare have published a small twopenny them : 'but I think whatever views thing, called Great Britain's Memorial we may secretly hare with regard to against Popery and the Pretender, their publication, it will be proper to proving from the canon law that the reserve them in our own breasts till principles of Popery are perfidious and the first grand part of our scheme is bloody, and the practice of Papists brought into full execution, which hath been answerable to their princimay prepare way for the other. I have ples. Some thousands have been but one thing io add, which is, that bought up and given away here. I whereas I have hitherto only thought wish it were got farther into the counof you as a most worthy brother try, and hope it might have some whom I have sincerely joined with tendency to prevent the spread of that others in the general prayers I have wicked and impious superstition. been offering for persons of your cha As to what you propose of a small racter, I have now (touched to the piece, in opposition to the errors of heart by your excellent letter) inserted Popery, only from Scripture proofs, your name in a list of a few select I think it would be very seasonable, friends, whom I esteem. especially as But care must be taken rightly to the excellent of the earth, and whom represent Popery, and to produce such I remember before God in seasons of texts of Scripture as are striking and solemn intercession. Let me con- plain, and don't need much explicar