« EdellinenJatka »
sincerity of heart, which is essential to true and acceptable devotion. His 'temper was remarkably affectionate and impressible; and therefore I give this caution for the sake of young and less experienced christians, who make a conscience of secret duty; and I should be sorry if any real christians should suspect their integrity, because they do not experience an equal warmth of holy affections. Nevertheless, let them press on after more lively and animated devotion, as it will afford them the sublimest pleasure.
Some, when they have gone through this life, or perhaps only dipped into it, may pronounce, or think, the Doctor an enthusiast, because there was so much of a devotional spirit in him, and he lays some stress on his particular feelings and impressions. This is the random charge of the day; and brought by some, against every affection of the mind, which hath God for its object, and against every person who hath more piety and zeal than the generality. But here also, allowance must be made for different tempers. His whole conduct was steady and uniform, and formed upon those principles, which in 'private he endeavoured to cultivate. His piety was not a warm sally of passion, nor the effect of a heated imagination, leading him to do things, not warranted by the dictates of sound sense and the word of God; but a strong, active principle, influencing his whole life, and leading him to such vigorous efforts for the good of mankind. If there be, saith the judicious Dr. Duchal, what we may call raptures in the love of God, they do not destroy nor interrupt the serenity of the soul; but establish it rather, and raise it into a temper, which the most cool reflecting thoughts approve, and which yieldeth a pure and solid delight.'*
Some of his friends may think me too particular in the vindication of his character from some aspersions, which were thrown upon it. But as I know that prejudices against it are still propagated, to the hindrance of the credit and usefulness of his writings, I thought it an act of justice to plead his cause and the cause of moderation and charity at the same time. If any come to their first knowledge of the censures cast upon him, from this account, they must be unacquainted with scripture or human nature, if they are surprised, that he met with them.
The form of this work may perhaps be objected to, and particularly throwing the several parts of his private character into distinct sections. It may appear like a designed panegyric, and many things may be thought to have been inserted under each head, to make the article and character as complete as possible. Yet I hope persons of candour will find little reason for this reflection; because what is said upon the several parts of his character, is supported either by facts or extracts from his own papers, which are, I think, in many instances, equivalent to facts. A general harangue would, in my opinion, have appeared more like a panegyric. My design was not to exhibit a fine character, but to shew my readers that Dr. Doddridge's was such; and by what method that character was formed and his excellent spirit maintained. The divisions may be more serviceable in this view, than if the whole had been thrown under one general head. It would probably be a vain attempt in any one, I am sure it would be so in me, to unite the several advantages, attending the different ways in which a life may be drawn up. A writer must fix, not so much on that method, which may be best in itself, as that which is most suited to his own temper, abilities and manner of writing; and this the candid reader will suppose I have done.
* Duchal's Sermons, vol. i. p. 246, and Col. Gardiner's Life, 8v. P. 78-82.
I am apprehensive many particulars in the narrative, will appear, to some readers, minute, trifling and not worthy a place in it. Others, I know, will be of a different judgment. My own is, that by these a man's character and views may be best known; and that they contribute to render the narrative more extensively useful, than if the author had rested in generals. The good effects which I have seen, heard of, and, I bless God, experienced, from such particulars in the lives of other good men, especially Mr. P. Henry, have led me to mention them here. I have inserted nothing, but what I thought was, by itself or its connection, adapted to answer some important end. It is in these little instances, that religious men frequently fail, and need the caution both of precept and example. It is not to be expected, that any work, especially one of this kind, which is well known to have its peculiar difficulties, can be equally adapted to persons of different tastes and views. My principal intention was to consult the advantage of young ministers and students in divinity, who may be directed and animated by so fair a model, in which the scholar and christian minister are so happily united: And this view of the work will shew the reason, why I have sometimes entered into a more particular detail, than might otherwise have been needful. But I hope that others too, whatever their station and profession may be, will receive improvement from an attentive perusal of this life. They will here find an example, in many respects worthy of their imitation; and will see what care, self denial and resolution are necessary to form the christian character.
So many years have elapsed since Dr. Doddridge died, and since I gave the world, in my funeral sermon for him, some reason to expect a larger account of him, than is contained there, that it may be expected I should give the reasons of its delay. A deep conviction of my own incapacity for executing it in the most desirable manner, kept me long from the attempt. After I had entered upon it, it was interrupted for months and years by my ill state of health and the necessary duties of my station, which took up all the time I could devote to study. It hath been often quite laid aside, without hope of pursuing it; and, through repeated solicitations from some persons of eminence abroad, who knew the Doctor only by his writings, hath, at some Jucid intervals, been resumed. As it hath been executed with great care and honesty, and those of my brethren, who have revised it, have thought it adapted to serve the cause of religion and charity, I now, notwithstanding all its defects, venture it abroad into the world; following it with my earnest prayers, and desiring the concurrent intercessions of my friends, that God would be pleased to prosper this feeble attempt to quicken the ministers of Christ in their Lord's work, and to promote the holiness and happiness of all his disciples, into whose hands it may come. Amen.
Shrewsbury, Nov. 6, 1765.
OF THE LATE
REVEREND DR. PHILIP DODDRIDGE.
Dr. Doddridge's Birth, Education, early Diligence and Piety.
I CANNOT trace the family from which Dr. Doddridge
sprung very far back;* nor is it material. Wise and good men lay very little stress on any hereditary honours, but those which arise from the piety and usefulness of their ancestors. Of what profession his great grandfather was I cannot learn; but he had a brother, John Doddridge, who was bred to the law, and made a considerable figure in the reign of king James I. by whom he was knighted and made one of the judges of the court of king's bench. He wrote several learned treatises in his professiont. He left an estate of about two
The family from which Dr. Doddridge descended, appears to have been originally settled in Devonshire.-K.
+ He was born at or near Barnstable, in Devonshire, and educated at Exeter College, in Oxford; from whence he removed to the Middle Temple, where he became so eminent in the practice of the common law, that he was first made serjeant at law to Prince Henry, then solicitor-general to king James I; after that, principal serjeant at law to the said king in 1607, and knighted the next year. In 1612 he was constituted one of the justices of the common pleas, and afterwards second judge of the king's bench, where he spent the rest of his days, being 17 years. He was so general a scholar, that it is hard to say, whether he were a better artist, philosopher, divine, common or civil lawyer. He had likewise the character of a person of great integrity and courage, being perfectly proof against interest and fear. He died at Forsters, near Egham, in Surrey, Sept. 13, 1628, about the 73d year of his age; and according to his desire, was interred in the Lady-Chapel of ExeterCathedral, where there is a handsome monument erected to his memory, on which his effigies is lively pourtrayed in alabaster, in his scarlet gown and robes, and a court-roll in his hand. In an escutcheon are his arms, se, argent, two pales wavy, azure, between nine cross croslets, gules; with this epitaph inscribed,
Learning, adieu; for Doderidge is gone
To fix bis earthly to a heavenly throne:
Rich urn of learned dust' scarce can be found
More worth inshrined in six foot of ground.
Izacke's Antiquities of Exeter, p. 151, 152. Fuller's Worthies, and Athen. Oxon, where a list of his works may be seen.
thousand pounds per annum, whether hereditary or acquired I cannot learn; but it was lost out of the family in the time of the civil wars. The Doctor's father, as eldest surviving branch of the family, was heir at law to it, and often urged by his friends to attempt to regain it; but through an apprehension of the great hazard and expence attending the attempt, he chose to decline it. The Doctor sometimes acknowledged the good providence of God, in so ordering events, that the estate never came into his father's possession; as it would then have descended to him at a time of life, when, through the natural warmth and gaiety of his temper, it might have been his ruin.
The Doctor's grandfather was John Doddridge, who was educated for the ministry at the university of Oxford. He was minister of Shepperton in Middlesex, and was ejected from thence August 24, 1662, by the act of uniformity. Dr. Calamy, in his Account of the Ejected Ministers, gives him this character, that he was an ingenious man and a scholar, an acceptable preacher, and a very peaceable divine.*" Some of his sermons, which I have seen, shew him to have been a judicious and serious preacher. This his grandson, in a letter to a friend, saith of him, "he had a family of ten children unprovided for; but he quitted his living, which was worth to him about two hundred pounds per annum, rather than he would violate his conscience, in the manner he must have done, by submitting to the subscriptions and declarations required, and the usages imposed, by the act of uniformity, contrived by some wicked politicians to serve their own interest, and most effectually to humble those, who had been most active in that general struggle for public liberty, in which the family of the Stuarts had fallen." His funeral sermon was preached by one Mr. Marriot, September 8, 1689; from thence it appears that he had preached to a congregation at or near Brentford, that he died suddenly, and was much respected and beloved by his people.
The Doctor's father, Daniel Doddridge, was brought up to trade, and was an oil-man in London; he had a very large family, all of which died young, but one daughter†, and the
*Vol. ii. p. 664.
+She married Mr. John Nettleton, a dissenting minister at Ongar, in Essex, and died in the year 1734. She was a lady of distinguished good sense and piety, and bore some heavy afflictions with great patience and tranquility; under which her brother behaved to her with the greatest tenderness, and even while at the academy, and in his first settlement, generously contributed all he could spare out of his small stock for her assistance.