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FROM THE SAME.

"Harborough, Nov. 22, 1729.

"Rev. Sir,

"I hope you will pardon the liberty I take of reminding you of a letter I wrote to you a fortnight ago, to beg the favour of your advice in the present circumstance of my affairs. I would by no means urge you to any thing which would be an inconvenience to you; but as it is high time the business should be determined, and many ill consequences may follow on keeping it longer in suspense, I expect your answer with some impatience. I fear, lest in this sickly season, some illness should have prevented your writing. I heartily pray for the continuance of that life and health which is so important to the church and the world; and am, with much greater respect than I can express,

"Reverend Sir,

"Your most obliged and affectionate Servant, "P. DODDRidge.

"P. S. Mr. Joseph Saunders (brother to Mr. J. Saunders of Kettering) and one of my pupils, is a man of so good a genius and so excellent a character, that I conceive very delightful hopes with regard to him. His circumstances are narrow, and those of his excellent brother are at present much perplexed. His coming to me has prevented his having an exhibition from either of the funds, which makes me the more solicitous to do him what service I can, by recommending him to my friends. If it lies in your way, Sir, to give any assistance towards his education, I should take it as a particular favour, and I hope you would have a great deal of reason to be thoroughly satisfied in having chosen a very worthy object of regard."

FROM THE HON. JONATHAN BELCHER.*

"Whitehall, Jan. 8, 1730.

"Reverend Sir,

"I believe you will find among your last year's New-England letters, one that came by me from my esteemed friend the Rev. Mr. Colman; and I think, sometime in April last, I had the pleasure of waiting on you at my Lady Abney's, and afterwards of seeing you at Tunbridge, since which I had promised myself the satisfaction of a more particular personal acquaintance with Dr. Watts; but the sovereign God (in whose hands our times are) having lately confined you at Theobalds, and called me to an affair of life that engrosses much of my time to be in readiness to look homeward early in the spring; I say, these things have debarred me of that satisfaction and happiness I have so much desired. In New England I have often regaled myself with your ingenious pieces, and I can assure you (without a compliment) all Dr. Watts's works are had in great esteem and honour amongst us. It was with uncommon concern I observed your weak tender state of health the last Lord's day; and although, as you very excellently set forth to us, that the God of Nature can make new vessels, and the God of Grace can fill them with

* Mr. Belcher was appointed Governor of New England in 1730, and continued in that station until the year 1740. He was a native of the Massachusetts, where his father was a wealthy merchant. After an academical education in his own country, he came over to Europe, was twice at Hanover, and was introduced to the court there when the Princess Sophia was the presumptive heiress to the British crown. The gracefuluess of his person, his talents, and property, procured him considerable notice. He lived in great state, was hospitable, fond of splendid equipages, and of an aspiring turn of mind. In his government he was a stickler for the prerogative of the crown; and, in the estimation of the people, was indifferent to the liberties of the subject. He was accused of being attached to the episcopal clergy, and of conspiring with them against the congregational interest in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. His high spirit, his want of suavity of manner, procured him many enemies; and the charge, as it was made by anonymous parties, was probably without any foundation.

treasure, and although the apostle tells us we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, yet Christ's ministers are the salt of the earth, and how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! And when Christ fills his vessels with precious treasures, and makes his ministers burning and shining lights, God's people will sorrow most of all to hear the ministers tell them, they fear they shall see their faces no more.' But I hope it may stand with the holy will of God to restore and confirm your health, that his church may have Dr. Watts long in store, still to go on, by the grace and assistance of your ascended Lord, in multiplying the seals of your ministry to his honour and glory, and the eternal happiness of those whom you shall turn from the error of their ways; and then those sons and daughters you have here begotten in Christ, will serve as sparkling gems, to give lustre to that crown of righteousness which God, the righteous Judge, will fix on your head in the great day of his appearance. Amen. God grant it may be so!

"And now, Sir, since it has pleased the all-wise God (in his providence) to remove me from one ordination of life to another, and to a station where I must stand in a glaring light, exposed to the view of the whole world, and every one will think himself entitled to be my censor morum, to subject my words and actions to his ill-natured cavils and criticisms; I am sensible, great is the burthen and duty of the place with which the king has honoured me. I, therefore, desire you to join with me, while I bow my knees to the God of all grace and wisdom, that he would give me a wise and understanding heart, to discern between good and bad, and to know how to go out and in before his people. Every day fills my soul with care and solicitude, that I may discharge my trust to the honour of God, the good of his people, and my own comfort and credit. When I consider how ungratefully and unprofitably I have lived to God and man, it is with shame that I tell

you, I am this day entered into the forty-ninth year of my age. My days are swifter than a post, and short (perhaps very short) the race I have to run: may I then double my diligence for the honour and service of God and man, and so as may most of all promote my own eternal happiness.

"You will pardon me for the freedom I have taken with a gentleman, more a stranger than I could wish, and believe me to be, with great esteem and respect, Reverend Sir,

"Your most obedient and humble servant,

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"P. S. My service to the Rev. Mr. Price."

CHAPTER XIII.

1731-1736.

STATE OF DISSENTERS.

THE FIRST NONCONFORMISTS:-DECLENSION OF THEIR SUCCESSORS.METROPOLITAN DISSENTERS.-THE "INQUIRY” BY STRICKLAND GOUGH.-DODDRIDGE'S “FREE THOUGHTS.”—STATE OF NORTHAMPTONSHIRE.-THE "HUMBLE ATTEMPT" TOWARDS REVIVAL-CONTROVERSY BETWEEN WHITE AND TOWGOOD.—THE “STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS OF HUMAN REASON."-"PHILOSOPHICAL ESSAYS."— REMARKS OF DR. JOHNSON-DEATH OF MISS ABNEY.-VISITED BY DODDRIDGE.-HOPKINS'S BENEFACTION.-MR. COWARD.—BURY-STREET LECTURE-NEAL'S PREFACE:-SERMON ON BAPTISM.-NORFOLK CONTROVERSY.-LETTER FROM DR. GIBBONS.-COWARD'S ACADEMY.— “RELIQUIÆ JUVENILES.”—THE “REDeemer and SANCTIFIER.”—CONNEXION WITH THE “GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE.”—CORRESPONDENCE.

We have now advanced midway into what may be called the second age of nonconformity. Seventy years had elapsed since its founders began to assert its principles, and to suffer for its sake. The cause they espoused in their day widely extended itself; the bush which the flame could not consume covered the land with its offshoots; and whatever remained of the piety of the first reformers, was found in the bosom of their churches. But religion did not flourish among them under a tolerant government with the same vigour, as when "troubled on every side" by the executives of despotic power. The unfavourable change which commenced soon after the "fathers fell asleep," has been already noticed; their doctrinal views were, in many instances, abandoned by their de

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