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and distinguished himself by his piety and diligent application to literature. The same year, he lost his father; and he had been deprived of his mother some time before, This circumstance, of his being left an orphan, excited in him very serious, but not gloomy reflections; for he expressed a devout, and even a cheerful trust in the divine protection
On his father's death, Mr. Doddridge was removed to a private school at St. Alban's. Here he was happy in forming an acquaintance with a gentleman who behaved to him with the kindness of a parentMr. (afterward Dr.) Samuel Clark, the dissenting minister of the place. What rendered Mr. Clark's protection particularly seasonable, was a calamity that befel Mr. Doddridge. By the mismanagement of the person into whose hands the care of his affairs had been entrusted after his father's death, he lost the whole of his substance ; and had not Providence raised him up such a generous friend, he could not have proceeded in his studies.
During Mr. Doddridge's residence at St. Alban's, he began to keep a diary of his life ; from which it appears how anxious he was to be advancing in knowledge, piety, virtue, and usefulness. As he had the Christian ministry in view, beside his application to the languages, he read, every morning and evening, portions of scripture, with some commentary upon them; and it was seldom, indeed, that he permitted either his school-business, or any amusements, to divert him from this
He recorded the substance of the sermons he heard, with the impressions they made upon him; noting what was most worthy of imitation in the preacher.
In 1718, Mr. Doddridge left the school at St. Alban’s, and retired to his sister's house, at Ongar in Essex. Strong as his inclination was to the ministry, he had little prospect, from the narrowness of his circumstances, of being able to carry his wishes into execution. While he was in this state of suspense, the duchess of Bedford, hearing of his situation and character, made him an offer, that, if he chose to be educated for the church of England, she would support the expenses of his education, and afterward provide for him. This proposal he received with gratitude, but declined it in a respectful manner, as he could not comply with the terms of ministerial conformity. In the distress of his mind, from an apprehension that he should not be able to accomplish what was so near to his heart, he entertained thoughts of studying the law, and was on the point of entering into an advantageous connection with Mr. Eyre, a counsellor, when he receiva ed a letter from Mr. Clark, offering to take him under his care, if he chose the ministry upon Christian principles. He considered this offer as a seasonable interposition of Providence ; and, accordingly, he returned to St. Alban's, and continued some months at the house of his excellent friend, who directed his studies, furnished him with books, and laboured to cherish religious dispositions in his heart. In 1719, he was placed under the tuition of the Rev. John Jennings, who kept an academy at Kibworth, in Leicestershire*. In 1722, Mr.
* Author of Two Discourses on preaching Christ, and particular and experimental Preaching; which were so much esteemed, that they were recommended by two Bishops, at their visitations of their clergy.
Jennings removed to Hinckley, at which place Mr. Doddridge preached his first sermon, on the 22d of July. From his first appearance in the pulpit, he was remarkably acceptable in the places where he exercised his talents. In 1723, he settled at Kibworth. As he lived in an obscure village, he could devote almost his whole time to the acquisition of knowledge. Soon after his settlement at Kibworth, one of his fellow-pupils having condoled with him, in a letter, on his being buried alive, he returned the following answer : " Here I stick close to those delightful studies which a favourable Providence has made the business of my life. One day passeth away after another, and I oniy know that it passeth pleasantly with me. As for the world about me, I have very little concern with it.
I live almost like a tortoise, shut up in its shell, almost always in the same town, the same house, the same chamber. Yet I live like a prince ; not indeed in the pomp of greatness, but the pride of liberty ; master of my books, master of my time, and, I hope I may add, master of myself. I can willingly give up the charms of London, the luxury, the company, and the popularity of it, for the secret pleasures of rational employment and self-approbation ;' retired from applause and reproach, from envy and contempt, and the destructive habits of avarice and ambition. So that, instead of lamenting it as my misfortune, you should congra. tulate me upon it as my happiness, that I am confined to an obscure village ; seeing it gives me so many valuable advantages, to the most important purposes of devotion and philosophy; and I hope I may add usefulness too.'
Dr. Kippis observes, that he has transcribed this passage with peculiar pleasure; as he has reason to reflect with some degree of satisfacion, that the spending of number of years in retired situations may be favourable to the increase of knowledge and the habits of study. To this gentleman's excellent life of our author, prefixed to the seventh edition of “ The Family Expositor,' we refer the reader for a pleasing account of the particular objects of Mr. Doddridge's studies, and the manner in which he conducted them, both at the academy, and during the earlier" years of his ministry. Into these, as well as into his preparations for the pulpit, and the character of his sermons and expositions, during the same period, although very interesting subjects, our limits will not permit us to enter.
In 1725, Mr. Doddridge removed to Market-Harborough, but without discontinuing his relation to the people at Kibworth. About this ime, he received pressing invitations from some large congregations at London, Nottingham, and other places. But he preferred his connection at Kibworth and Harborough, and, in 1729, being chosen assistant to Mr. Some, minister of the congregation at Harborough, he preached alternately at this place and at Kibworth. Mr. Jennings, who died in 1723, had declared it to be his opinion, sometime before his death, that Mr. Doddridge was the most likely of any of his pupils to proceed with his plan of academical instruction ; and many of our author's friends concurring in the same idea, he opened an academy at Harborough, in Midsummer 1729. His first lecture shewed to his pupils the reasonableness and advantages of acknowledging God in their studies. In the second, he gave directions for their behaviour to him, to each other, and all around them. After this he proceeded to his ordinary course. Thus was he led to a situation of life which formed the most distinguished scene of his usefulness.*
On the 24th of December 1729, Mr. Doddridge removed his academy to Northampton, in consequence of a pressing invitation to take upon him the pastoral office of the congregation at Castle Hill, in that town. Two months afterward, he was seized with a very dangerous illness, from which, however, he happily recovered ; and, on the 19th of March following, he was ordained at Northampton.
Dr. Kippis, speaking of Mr. Doddridge's abilities as a preacher, thus expresses himself : He was always warm and affectionate in the applications of his sermons. His sentiments on this head he has thus expressed : “ It is indeed unworthy the character of a man and a Christian, to endeavour to transport men's passions, while the understanding is left uninformed, and the reason unconvinced. But, so far as is consistent with a proper regard to this leading power of our nature, I would speak and write of divine truths with a holy fervency. Nor can I imagine that it would bode well to the interest of religion to endeavour to lay all those passions asleep, which surely God implanted in our hearts to serve the religious as well as the civil life, and which, after all, will probably be employed to some very excellent or very pernicious purposes.” This is the language of wisdom. True eloquence consists in an union of the rational, the forcible, and the pathetic ; and to address to the affections, as well as to the reason, of mankind, is the dictate of the soundest philosophy. The cold and feeble conclusions of many discourses from the pulpit, are as disgusting to a just taste, as they are unprofitable with regard to religious improvement.'
In 1738, Mr. Doddridge persuaded his people to concur with him in establishing a charity school, for instructing and clothing twenty boys. He himself often visited the school, and examined the children ; accompanying his exhortations with affectionate prayers for their improvement and welfare. With such disanguished abilities, and such excellent virtues, it is not surprising that he possessed the esteem and love of his congregation. In his last will he bore this testimony to their character, That he had spent the most delightful hours of his life in assisting the devotions of as serious, as grateful, and as deserving a people, as perhaps any minister ever had the happiness to serve - This character,' says Dr. Kippis, was, no doubt, almost universally true. Nevertheless, he was not without his calls for the exercise of patience. There were persons belonging to his society, who were narrow bigots, and weak enthusiasts, and these sometimes obtruded upon him in a foolish and troublesome manner. He behaved, however, to theil, with a condescension and tenderness which they scarcely deserved, and of which few ministers of the gospel would be able to set an equally striking example.'
* The late Rer. Hugh Farmer, so well known among the Dissenters as a most excell
preacher, and by the literary world in general for his extensive learning and valuable publications, was one of Mr. Doddridge's earliest students.
In 1750, Mr. Doddridge married Mrs. Mercy Maris, of Worcester; a lady who, with a delicate constitution, and precarious state of health, proved an excellent wife, and received, in return, the most endearing proofs of conjugal affection.
Dr. Kippis, in his Life of our Author, has employed many pages in an interesting account, interspersed with important reflections, of the manner in which Mr. Doddridge conducted himself as an academical tutor. We must here be content to observe, that so great was his reputation in this respect, that the number of his students was large, being, one year with another, thirty four : and the academy was usually on the increase. During the twenty-two years in which he sustained this office, he had about 200 young men under his care, of whom 120 entered upon the ministry. Several of his pupils were from Scotland and Holland. One person, who was intended for or ders in the church of England, chose to spend a year or two under his tuition, before he went to the university. Others, whose parents were of that church, were placed in his family, and were readily allowed to attend the established worship; for the constitution of his academy was perfectly catholic.
Mr. Doddridge, in younger life, afforded various proofs of a poetical turn. Of the lines which he wrote on the motto to the arms of his family, “Dum vivimus vivamus,' Dr. Johnson's opinion was, that they constituted one of the finest epigrams in the English language. Though so well known, they cannot be omitted in any memoirs of the author's life:
* Live, while you live,' the epicure would say,
Live while you live,' the sacred preacher cries,
I live in pleasure when I live to Thee. Mr. Doddridge's first distinct publication was printed, without his name, in 1730. It is intitled “ Free Thoughts on the most probable Means of reviving the Dissenting Interest, occasioned by the late Enquiry into the Causes of its Decay' Mr. Doddridge's pamphlet, in which he materially differed from the author of the Enquiry, is a model of the candour and politeness with which remarks may be made on the writings and opinions of another. In 1732, he published •Sermons on the Education of Children ;' which contain, in a little compass, a variety of affecting motives, to animate parents in the discharge of their momentous duty. In 1735, he published his • Sermons to young People*.'
* Our limits will not permit us to take notice of the many single sermons published by our author. But Dr. Kippis has given an account of them in their chronological order; a circumstance, to which Mr. Orton, in his very copious Memoirs, had not attended. We must notice, however, that he published a sermon, on a very melancholy and affecting occasion—the loss of his eldest daughter, a hopeful child, nearly five years old. It is entitled, “Submission to Divine Providence on the Death of Children, recommended. Few superior instances of pathetic eloquence are to be met with in the English language.
In 1736, the university of Aberdeen conferred on Mr. Doddridge the degree of Doctor in Divinity ; upon which occasion his pupils thought it a proper piece of respect to congratulate him in a body. He was gratified by their compliment, but told them, that their learning, piety, and zeal, would be more to his honour, and give him a thousand times more pleasure, than his degree, or any other token of public esteem. In the same year, he published « Ten Sermons on the Power and Grace of Christ, and the Evidences of his glorious Gospel.' The three last, on the · Evidences of the Gospel,' were afterward separately printed, at the particular request of one of the first dignitaries of the church of England. They contain a very judicious summary of several of the principal arguments in support of the Christian revelation, and especially of those which prove the genuineness and credibility of the evangelical history. The author had the satisfaction of knowing that these discourses were the means of converting to the belief of our holy religion two gentlemen of distinguished abilities, who had been sceptical upon this head. One of them who had endeavoured to prejudice others against the evidences and contents of the gospel, became a zealous preacher of Christianity, as well as a shining ornament to it in his life and manners.
In 1739, our author published the first volume of The Family Expositor ; or, a Paraphrase and Version of the New Testament : with critical Notes, and a practical Improvement of each Section. This volume contained the former part of the History of our Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded in the four Evangelists, disposed in the order of an harmony. The second volume was published in 1740, concluding the evangelical history. Soon after, he published, " The Scripture Doctrine of Salvation by Grace through Faith, illustrated and improved in two Sermons. This was followed by Practical Discourses on Regeneration,' which had been delivered on Sunday evenings, and attended with remarkable diligence, by many persons
of different persuasions, to some of whom they were eminently useful. The character given of them by a foreign divine, on their veing translated into Dutch, was, that they united orthodoxy witúi moderation, zeal with meekness, and deep, hidden wisdom with uncommon clearness; that simplicity shone in them without coldness, elegance without painting, and sublimity without bombast.
In 1743, Dr. Doddridge published an answer to the pamphlet, entitled Christianity not founded on Argument,' which, under the appearance of a zeal for orthodoxy, contained, in reality, an attack upon our holy religion. This answer was comprised in three letters, writtin with the utmost politeness and candour, and for which he was thanked by some men of distinguished rank and abilities. The last letter, in particular, is thought to contain the best illustration, and most rational and full defence of the influences of the Spirit upon the human heart, which had hitherto been published.
In the same year, our author published, “The Principles of the Christian Religion, expressed in plain and easy Verse, for the Use of Children and Youth.' 'In this performance, ease, plainness, and ele