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places, and to enforce truth in others, as well as to illustrate, more fully the principles advanced in this introduction. We conclude with the following sketch of the author's life and character.
THIS excellent divine was born in 1677 of pious parents. He spent part of his youth in the family of the Rev. Thomas Whitaker of Leeds, and was long happy in his friendship. He entered on the ministry at the early age of eighteen, and was first settled in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, as assistant to some aged minister. Here he was both loved and respected in his youth; and his ministrations were attended with considerable success. About 1703, he removed to a congregation in Wapping, London. He also labored long as pastor to a Church which met in New Court, Carey-street, in the service of whose souls he died. He was employed in several of the most celebrated lectures among the Dissenters in London, as in Pinners Hall, Salters Hall, Sabbath-evening lecture; one at Eastcheap on singing, praying, reading, and hearing the word; and at the Lime-street one, in opposition to Arminian doctrines, and in defence of the doctrines of grace.
In 1718, he was called to appear in behalf of the doctrine of the Trinity, and the divinity of our glorious Redeemer. Several ministers and others, in the west of England and in London, denied these glorious truths, or sinfully concealed them. This called the
zeal of Mr. Bradbury to action, who with others of his brethren, Tory, Robinson, Wilcox, Calamy, Cummin, &c. defended them in a pamphlet, entitled, The judgment of some London ministers about the Holy Trinity,' and also in various conferences. At one of these, in Salters Hall, March 3d 1718-19, Mr. Bradbury, with the concurrence of some of his brethren proposed the following clause to be inserted in a paper of agreement between the different parties in this controversy. That we may not suffer by misrepresentations, as if our endeavors for peace and charity proceeded from an indifference to the truth, we declare our continuance in the things which we have heard and been assured of, viz. that there is but one only, the living and the true God; and that there are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and that these three are one God, the same in substance equal in power and glory.' Upon this they divided; and those who were open confessors, as well as believers, of the above doctrine, subscribed their declaration. Of this Mr. Bradbury speaks in his Sermon on the nature of Faith; Those persons, who, in a late day of rebuke and blasphemy, were not ashamed to own Christ for their God, may have returns made them in a proper way, that he will not be ashamed to be called their God.' Mr. Bradbury was particularly happy that his Brethren, the Lecturers at Pinners Hall, and he had the same
views on these momentous points. These gentlemen were the following: Messrs. John Nisbet, Matthew Clark, Robert Bragge, Thomas Ridgley, and John Hoxon. In a dedication to some sermons on contending for revealed religion, directed to these ministers he says, You know the trial of cruel mockings, and how shamefully we have been intreated, with what contention we have kept the faith of Jesus, and not denied his name. I must own it, as the honour of every preacher of your lecture, that they have not been ashamed of Christ and his word, notwithstanding the furious measures that were used to hinder your subscribing with the hand to the Lord God of Israel; and I can look back on all the scandal that has followed this word of our testimony with a satisfaction, that though it is not much I can do for the cause, yet it is no little matter that you and I have suffered.'
Mr. Bradbury thought it his duty in this important controversy, particularly to defend the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ; and this he did to good purpose, in various ser mons he published, especially in his great work, The mystery of Godliness. The following hints about this work, in Mr. Bradbury's own words, discover the experience and spirit of this great man. In proving the truth, that Christ, equally with the Father and Holy Ghost, is the Supreme God, I have honestly given a reason of the hope that is in me, by searching the scriptures daily whether
these things are so. The opinions of Fathers, councils, divines of all sorts, and indeed the whole body of the faithful, from Egypt even until now, have been well collected by others; but you know I have used none of these arguments, though I always read with pleasure, with what a great cloud of witnesses we are encompassed. Nor can I think it very modest that they who have obtained so good a report through faith, should be treated with contempt by such as are far from being superior to them in learning or holiness. However, you are my witnesses, and so may the world be now, that I pleaded no authority but that of scripture. As I read I believe, and as I believe so I speak. I hope, as the providence of God led me into this subject, so his good Spirit has carried me through it. The sermons have been of service to myself, and to many of you that heard them; so that while I was imparting to you this spiritual gift, I have been established together with you, by the mutual faith both of you and me.'
The following anecdotes, among others, are related of Mr. Bradbury. In the progress of the Arian controversy, he was challenged to a public dispute in London. When they met, the gentleman of the Arian sentiments desired him to open the debate, by producing an argument in favor of Christ's divinity. Upon this he reads Isa. 6th chapter from the first to the 5th verse inclusive; this, said he, I compare with John, 12th chapter, 37th to the 41st verse. These things said Isaiah, when
he saw his glory, and spake of him. Now, gentlemen, says Bradbury, I wait for your answer. The above application of scripture so confounded the Arians, that they went out one by one, and left the good man with his friends.
About the same time, as he was preaching the lecture in Salters Hall, and was led by the subject to prove our Lord's divinity, he was hissed at by many who were present. Mr. Bradbury's friends were much affected with this insolent abuse, and expressed their grief on account of it; to which, with his usual vivacity and ingenuity, he replied, You need not be concerned about this, it is quite natural. You know we have been bruising the head of the old Serpent, and no wonder you heard the hisses of the generation of vipers.
When he saw criminals going to execution, he used to say, There would have been Thomas Bradbury, had it not been for the grace of God.
As he was employed in family-prayer, some thieves broke into his house; however, by means of what one of them heard as he was employed in this nefarious deed, he was, it is hoped made truly pious, and afterwards joined Mr. Bradbury's congregation.
This good man continued in the labors of the Gospel, with little interruption by sickness, from the eighteenth to the eighty-second year of his age; and from the beginning to the last period of his ministry, his life was justly esteemed a great blessing, upon various accounts, to many Churches and saints, both