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said, bigotry is certainly a very unwholesome thing, and I am afraid these good men will ruin their constitutions by being so angry with their brethren. He said many other good things with a very agreeable air, though he was so very weak; for he wore an habitual smile upon his countenance, which was peculiarly amiable, while he was under such a pressure of affliction.I never heard any person speak with a deeper sense of the evil of sin, than he did the last time I was in his company. He seemed particularly to enter into the aggravated circumstances, which attended the sins of christians, especially ministers. Innocent and pious as his life had been, he seemed to have as affectionate an apprehension of the need he had of the atonement and intercession of the redeemer, as the most profligate sinner could have had in the like circumstance.-There is a great deal of reason to believe, that the thoughts of death had been familiar to his mind; Frequent illness for almost seven years had deeply impressed them. Yet when it made its nearer approach, he started at it. In the beginning of his last illness, he seemed earnestly to desire it; and to the last declared, that he should deliberately chuse it, rather than the continuance of an useless, afflicted life, and that he had no anxious fears as to the consequence of it. Yet he told me, that he felt nature recoil at the apprehension of it, and that a life of vigour and usefulness seemed to have something more charming in it than he had formerly seen. When he found his sickness so painful, and as much as he could well endure, he seemed to fear the more severe conflict, and dreaded it in one view, while he longed for it in another. This sentiment he expressed, naturally enough, in two lines which he spoke extempore to me, as he lay on his bed,
"Tir'd out with life's dead weight, I panting lic,
He smiled at the oddness of the phrase, but told me, he could find none that was fitter to express some remainder of natural reluctance, in opposition to his rational and determinate choice. This awkwardness to die, as he called it, proceeded from a weakness of spirit, which started at every thing shocking and violent, and rendered him incapable of those lively views of future happiness, which he had sometimes experienced in more vigorous days. Though he had not those transporting joys, which some good men have had in their dying moments, vet his heart was fixed, trusting in God.-About a fortnight before he died, we kept a day of prayer on account of him and Mr. Some. As I went into the pulpit, he said to me, very
affectionately, Don't be importunate for my recovery; only pray that God would give me a more lively sense of his presence, and that I may pass my trial well, whatever it may be. He apprehended his approaching end, and calmly desired to be left alone for some time. He then called in his mother and friends, talked seriously and chearfully to them; after a painful struggle, he revived for a few minutes, expressed his confidence in God, and humble joyful expectation of approaching glory and died very easily. I wish these hints may be of service towards strengthening your faith, and awakening your desire after that glorious world, whither our excellent brother is gone. Let us endeavour to express our friendship by such offices, as may fit us to meet him and each other there, where nothing shall separate us, or impair the joy of our mutual conversation."
In 1729 he was chosen assistant to Mr. Some at Harborough; the congregation there being desirous to enjoy his labours more frequently than before: and he preached there, and at Kibworth alternately.—It was highly improbable, that such a burning and shining light should be long confined to so narrow a sphere. Some large congregations having heard much, and known something, of his worth, sought his settlement with them. But his regard to Mr. Some, love to his own congregation, and desire to have more time for study, than he could have had in a populous town and large society, led him to decline their application. In 1723, he had an invitation to the pastoral care of a large congregation in London; but he thought himself too young to undertake it; and was also discouraged by the unhappy differences which at that time subsisted between the dissenting ministers there, about subscribing or not subscribing to Articles of Faith in the words of Man's device, as a test of Orthodoxy; the majority of them being non-subscribers. In his answer to the gentleman who transmitted the invitation to him, after mentioning some other objections to the proposal, he adds, "I might also have been required to subscribe, which I am resolved never to do. We have no disputes on that matter in these parts. A neighbouring gentleman once endeavoured to introduce a subscription; but it was effectually over-ruled by the interposition of Mr. Some of Harborough, Mr. Norris of Welford, and Mr. Jennings, my tutor. I shall content myself here with being a benevolent well-wisher to the interests of liberty and peace."
In 1728, he received a pressing invitation from one of the dissenting congregations at Nottingham, and a few months after, from the other. There were many recommending cir
cumstances in these invitations. The affection many of the people had expressed for him, and the prospect of greater opportunities of usefulness in such a situation, led him to take some time to consider the affair. It appears, from some account he hath left of it, that he proceeded in the deliberation with much caution, and carefully examined his heart, lest any mean, unworthy motives should influence him. He foresaw some inconveniences attending a settlement there, but professeth his readiness to expose himself to them, if he was convinced that duty required it. After he had weighed all circumstances, consulted his wisest friends and sought divine direction, he chose to decline both these applications, though a settlement at Nottingham would have been greatly favourable to his worldly interest. I desire, saith he, upon the whole, to make this use of the affair, to be so much the more diligent in study and watchful in devotion; since I see, that if ever providence fixes me with any considerable society, I shall find a great deal to exercise my gifts and graces, and have less time for study and retirement, than I have here."
His Entrance on the Work of a Tutor.
WHEN he left the Academy, his tutor Mr. Jennings, a few
weeks before his death, much pressed him to keep in view the improvement of his course of academical lectures, and to study in such a manner, as to refer what occurred to him, to the compendiums which his tutor had drawn up, that they might be illustrated and enriched. Mr. Doddridge did not then suspect, what he afterwards learned, that Mr. Jennings had given it as his judgment, that, if it should please God to remove him early in life, he thought Mr. Doddridge the most likely of any of his pupils, to pursue the schemes which he had formed; and which indeed were very far from being complete, as he died about eight years after he had undertaken that profession.
During this his pupil's settlement at Kibworth, he, agreeable to the advice of his tutor, reviewed his course of lectures with An ingenious young gentleman, Mr. Thomas Benyon, son of Dr. Samuel Benyon, a celebrated minister and tutor at
ghts of attempting to In conversation one turned upon the best Hv studies of young men
Savon earnestly desired he the subject, This he did, into a considerable volume. s work, his friend, for whose ed, and the treatise remained Arend Mr. Saunders of Kettering, way, borrowed it, and shewed it to with whom Mr. Doddridge had then Dr. Watts was much pleased with aks upon it, and shewed it to several
ed with him in an application to Mr. s attempting to carry it into execution. a great measure strangers to him, Mr. Some pally employed in managing this affair. Not well acquainted with Mr. Doddridge, and very important and desirable qualification for of youth. He therefore proposed his underund pressed it in the strongest mariner. He would as allow the validity of his plea of incapacity; but et supposing him less capable than his friends believed, Nprove his time in that retirement, when engaged in work with a few pupils, to greater advantage, than without Ma. Some had likewise, unknown to him, engaged the revas of some young men, to place them under his care, and ceby prevented another objection, which might have arisen;
Me. Saunders offered his own brother to be the first pupil this intended academy. What the state of his mind was, we this affair was in agitation, will appear from this extract;
affectior pray th and th
I do most humbly refer this great concern to God, and am cerely willing the scheme should be disappointed, if it be not consistent with the greater purposes of his glory, yea will not be remarkably subservient to them. I depend upon him for direction in this affair, and assistance and success, if I undertake While I am waiting his determination, I would apply more diligently to my proper business, and act more steadily by the rules I have laid down for my conduct. May he grant, that in all my schemes relating to public service, I may, as much as possible, divest myself of all regard to my own ease and reputation, and set myself seriously to consider, what I can do for the honour of the Redeemer, and the good of the world!"
Before this affair was quite determined, he acknowledgeth it as a kind providence, that the dissenting ministers in that neighbourhood agreed to meet at Lutterworth, April 10, 1729, to spend a day in humiliation and prayer for the revival of religion. Upon that occasion Mr. Some preached that admirable discourse, which was afterwards printed, concerning the proper methods to be taken by ministers for the revival of religion in their respective congregations, from Rev. iii. 2. Mr. Doddridge appears to have been greatly impressed with that discourse, as many other ministers have been. It led him to form and record some particular purposes, concerning his conduct as a minister, grounded upon the advices contained in it. To this assembly Mr. Some proposed the scheme he had concerted for the establishment of an academy, at Harborough, under the care of his young friend. The ministers unanimously concurred with him in their sentiments of the propriety and usefulness of the scheme and Mr. Doddridge's qualifications for conducting it; and promised all the assistance and encouragement in their power. This had great weight in forming his determination. He consulted some of his brethren and friends at a distance, particularly Dr. Clark. They likewise urged his undertaking this design, and at length he consented to it. One thing which much encouraged him to enter upon this office, was, the circumstance of his retreat at Harborough; the pastoral care of the congregation there and at Kibworth, Mr. Some diligently fulfilled; so that he had little to do as a minister, but to preach once a week. These were some of his reflections and resolutions upon the undertaking; "Providence is opening upon me a prospect of much greater usefulness than before, though attended with vast labour and difficulty. In divine strength I go forth to the work, and resolve upon the most careful and vigorous discharge of all the duties incumbent upon me, to labour for the instruction and watch for the souls of my pupils. I intend to have some discourse with them on the Lord's day evenings upon subjects of inward religion. I will endeavour to give a serious turn to our conversation at other times, and always bear them on my heart before God with great tenderness and affection. I will labour to keep such an inspection over them, as may be necessary to discover their capacities, tempers and failings, that I may behave in a suitable manner to them. In all I will maintain a humble dependence on divine influences, to lead me in the path of duty and prudence; and enable me to behave in a way answerable to the character in which I appear, and those agreeable E