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careful and solemn review of the manner in which the intervals of his time had been occupied, exciting him to humiliation, on the one hand, over any failures which he might thus discover, and to gratitude on the other, so far as he had accomplished any part of his extended scheme of useful labor and acquisition. These two days of the year he was accustomed to appropriate entirely to careful self-examination and closet devotion. He reviewed the record which he regularly kept of any particular favors of divine Providence which he had received, of the sins and infirmities in which he had indulged, and of the prominent events in his personal history and experience. This led to a renewal of his solemn covenant and resolution to endeavor in future to conduct himself more agreeably to the views of duty now entertained.
Before he set out on a visit among his friends, or undertook a journey, it was his custom to inquire of himself respecting the opportunities that might thus be offered him of doing good, so as to prepare himself to use them; also respecting the temptations which he might encounter to his disadvantage, so as to arm himself to meet them. On his return home he examined himself upon the behavior which he had pursued, to ascertain wherein he had erred, and wherein he had conformed to what was right-following these investigations with appropriate acts of humiliation and of gratitude before God.
In 1729 Mr. Doddridge began to preach at Mar. ket - Harborough and Kibworth alternately, having resided for some years at the former place. His talents and acceptableness as a preacher became known to several congregations much larger than those by whom his services as a pastor were importunately solicited. It is highly interesting to read those portions of his correspondence which relate to invitations which he received, as we have already stated, from London, from Coventry, from Nottingham, and else where, and to discover the enlightened and conscientious regard to his highest usefulness which is therein displayed. The application made subsequently by an important congregation in Northampton, and some of his correspondence relating to it, will be considered hereafter, when we shall have laid before the reader some of the circumstances connected with his entrance upon the arduous duties of a theological tutor, which occurred about the same period.
INSTITUTION OF DODDRIDGE'S THEOLOGICAL
ACADEMY - EARLY PASTORATE AT NORTH
THE death of the Rev. John Jennings, who was greatly and deservedly lamented, created an important vacancy in the department of theological instruction among the Independents of England ; and great difficulty was apprehended in filling it to the satisfaction both of the more sternly Calvinistic and of the other portions of that body. Previous to his decease, Mr. Jennings had expressed to Doddridge, his most esteemed pupil, a strong desire that he would review the compendium of instruction pursued by him, with a view to render it more complete, and to supply it, from his reading and reflections, with more varied illustrations. The occasion of making this suggestion was the hope, that in the event of his own decease the appointment to his place might be secured for Doddridge, whom to a few individuals he had represented as better qualified than any other of his pupils to carry out effectively and satisfactorily the scheme which had been introduced and pursued in his academy. Doddridge was not apprized, however, of this design of Mr. Jennings, until communicated to him after the decease of his venerated instructor. Yet for years he had been diligently acting upon the plan suggested, and the above letter to Mr. Saunders shows
even in its abridged form an intimate acquaintance with the course of instruction through which he had passed, in preparing to preach. This letter was taken to London by the Rev. Mr. Some, and submitted to the Rev. Dr. Isaac Watts, partly with a view to ascertain his opinion of the scheme, and to secure his nomination of a successor to Mr. Jennings.
Upon returning the letter to Mr. Some, Dr. Watts accompanied it with the following observations:
"1. How wonderful and extraordinary a man was the late Mr. John Jennings! The little acquaintance I had with him made me esteem and love him; but my love and esteem were vastly too low for so elevated a character. The world and the church know not the mournful vacancy which they sustain by his death.
"2. How necessary it is that two persons at least should be engaged to fill up all the parts of that office which the ingenious writer of this letter has made to devolve upon one. The diversity of genius, the variety of studies, the several intellectual, moral, and pious accomplishments, the constant daily and hourly labors necessary to fulfil such a post, can hardly be expected from any one person living.
“3. Yet if there be one person capable of such a post, perhaps it is the man who has so admirably described this scheme of education; and as he seems to have surveyed and engrossed the whole comprehensive view and design, together with its constant difficulties and accidental embarrassments, and yet supposed it to be practicable, I am sure I can never think of any person more likely to execute it than himself; although if an older person joined with him, for the
reputation of the matter at least, it would be well. The beauties and congruities of the scheme are so many and various, that if I should have made any remarks upon them--as I have done, en passant, upon some little improvables—I must have filled a quire instead of a sheet of paper."
Having received unsolicited so favorable a testimony from Dr. Watts in favor of Doddridge, Mr. Some easily secured a public acknowledgment from all the neighboring ministers, that his young friend was highly qualified to undertake the arduous post which now was to be occupied. Thereupon, at a general meeting of non-conformist ministers held at Tutterworth, April 10, 1729, to pray for a revival of religion, Mr. Some, having delivered an earnest public discourse upon the means best adapted to promote that object, suggested the expediency of establishing a theological academy at Harborough, and of placing it under the charge of Mr. Doddridge. The suggestion was unanimously adopted; all due encouragement and assistance was promised; and during the summer the enterprise was commenced, on a moderate scale, only a few being received of the pupils that were offered.
While the question of entering upon it was yet in agitation, Doddridge wrote of the matter in the following just terms:
"I do most humbly refer this great concern to God, and am sincerely 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 on him for direction