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period, had not Dr. Calamy's repulse been neutralized by Mr. Clarke's encouragement?”
To this good and generous man Dr. Doddridge in after-life often expressed his obligations, and at length, in pronouncing a funeral discourse upon him, he observes, “I may properly call him my friend and father, if all the offices of paternal tenderness can merit that title. To him I may truly say that, under God, I owe even myself, and all my opportunities of public usefulness in the church-to him, who was not only the instructor of my childhood and youth in the principles of religion, but my guardian when a helpless orphan, as well as the generous, tender, faithful friend of all my advancing years.”
DODDRIDGE'S THEOLOGICAL STUDIES.
GRATEFULLY availing himself of the timely offer of his friend and pastor, the Rev. Samuel Clarke, Doddridge promptly returned to St. Albans, where he enjoyed such advice, instructions, and use of books, as might best tend to prepare him for his theological course of study at Kibworth in Leicestershire, at the academy of the celebrated Rev. John Jennings, author of the learned work on “The Antiquities of the Jews," highly esteemed by the ministers of that period. Of that excellent academy he became a member in October, 1719.
The academies, of the class conducted by Mr. Jennings, were founded on the broad basis of non-subscription to denominational formulas of faith, were accessible to persons of all religious parties, and were resorted to even by such of the clergy and laity of the Establishment, as found the universities too expensive. Chaplains and tutors to families of rank were often educated in these academies. No testimonial or qualification for entrance was demanded, but the evidence of possessing a good moral character, and the mastery of a prescribed amount of classical and other preparatory studies. It must here be acknowledged as a great evil, and goes far to show the low state of religion at the time when Doddridge and others were raised up in the providence of God for its revival, that even among many of the Dissenters of England,
personal piety was not then considered essential to an entrance on the duties of the ministry.
During his residence at Kibworth no one applied himself with greater diligence to study, to devotion, and to the best improvement of time, than Philip Doddridge. From a paper in which he kept an account of his pursuits, it appears that, besides attending and studying the academical lectures, and reading the authors to which his tutor referred in illustration of his lectures, he read in one half year sixty volumes, some of them large, and about an equal number in the same period subsequently. The manner in which he read deserves remark: it was not hasty and superficial, but with profound attention. Some volumes he took pains to abridge; from others he made large extracts in his commonplace-book; every remarkable interpretation or illustration of texts of Scripture he transferred to his interleaved Bible. At this period he devoted himself to a more extended course of Greek studies, not only reading the Greek authors, but writing his own observations upon them, either for the illustration of the authors themselves or of the Scriptures, and selecting passages which might with advantage be introduced into his sermons. His observations upon Homer were sufficiently copious to make a considerable volume.
How he was situated at Kibworth, his student-life, its employments, its joys and sorrows, are well described in the letters, or parts of letters, which we shall introduce in their appropriate order. To Mr. Clarke, his early patron, and his most trusted counsellor in after-life, he made frequent reports of his
studies, and of his expenditures and wants. In return he received valuable letters of counsel, and prompt attention was given to his pecuniary necessities.
To the Rey. Samuel Clarke.
“January 3, 1721. “In my last, sir, I sent you an account of the course of our public studies for this last half year, and you will perceive that they are of such a nature as to require a considerable exercise of thought, and that the references are generally long, and consequently that we have less time for our private studies than we ever had in any of our former half years; however, I generally find about an hour and a half in a day for the study of the Scriptures. The New Testament I read in the original without any commentator, but more of my time is spent in reading the Old, for I would willingly finish ‘Patrick's Conimentary' before it is taken from Kilworth, which will be in a few months. I have read all but the second book of Chronicles, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles; and design to begin 'Lowth on Isaiah and Jeremiah' when I have done with these, and 'Dr. Prideaux's Connection,' which I am now reading with a particular view to the prophecies. I do not entirely neglect the classics, though I have but little time for them. Since my last mention I have read some of Horace, with Dacier's Commentary, and a few of Tully's delightful works. I am ashamed to think how little I am acquainted with the Greek, and heartily wish I had been more careful in studying it when I was with you at St. Albans. However, sir, that I might not forget the little I know, besides the New Testament, which
I mentioned, I have read some portions of Socrates, Homer, Lucian, and Xenophon, since last Whitsuntide.
“In English, besides many other works, I have lately read ‘Burnet's Theory,' which I took up with the expectation of meeting with some new philosophical discovery, in which respect, indeed, I was sadly disappointed. I am now reading 'Lord Shaftesbury's Works,' which, as far as I can judge by the half I have dispatched, contain a strange mixture of good sense and extravagance.
“My good tutor continues to treat me with a great deal of kindness, and lets no opportunity slip of obliging me at home, or promoting my interest abroad. When I am speaking of his goodness, I cannot forget that I owe even that to you, who have placed and supported me here. I know, sir, that you do not like compliments, and I would never deal in them; yet still I hope you will give me leave to tell you, with a great feeling of plainness and sincerity, that if I did not frequently reflect upon the favors I have received from you, I could not keep on good terms with myself. I have nothing left to ask, but the continuance of your prayers that I may have the wisdom and grace to behave myself, both here and in the afterpart of my life, so that neither you nor my other friends may have reason to repent the benefits you have done me.”
To the same.
“KIBWORTH, Dec. 13, 1721. "I am extremely pleased to find that you are so well satisfied as to my care in managing my expenses.