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EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE,

NOVEMBER, 1811.

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MEMOIR

OF
THE LATE REV. WILLIAM ALDRIDGE,

MINISTER OF JEWRY STREET CHAPEL, LONDON. To impart, or to impress, profitable instruction, should be the object of every composition; but Biography seems to be the most useful species of literature, especially when the subjects of it have been religious, wise, and useful. These then become models for imitation; and their manner of conducting themselves in the various departments of life which they filled, attords a lesson of wisdom to those who are desirous of instruction: it has always been highly extolled ; and possesses many important advantages over general history. 'To record the excellencies of eminent ministers, who were set for the defence of the gospel, and who were burning and shining lights in their generation, is an important duty. Their memory is blessed. To grace alone all their real worth was owing; and grace is honoured in recording their excellencies.

The Rev. W. Aldridge was born at Warminster, in Wiltshire, in the year 1737. His youth appears to have been spent in the pursuit of pleasure and worldly gratifications, and it was not till his 24th year that he received those serious impressions which issued in a saving change of his mind and conduct. At this time he was under great distress of soul; his sins appeared in a most awful light; and it was a considerable time before be experienced deliverance. Having a strong inclination to the Christian ministry, he was introduced to the Countess of Huntingdon's College at Trevecca, in South Wales, and became one of her senior students. Having continued there during the time usually allotted to study, he began to preach in her Ladyship’s connection, in which he laboured for several

years; and which afforded him an opportunity of visiting various parts of Eugland.

In September, 1771, the Countess of Huntingdon received anonymous letters, requesting her to send a minister to Margate, in the Isle of Thanet, describing it as a licentious place, particularly at the watering season. She made known the contents of these to Mr. Aldridge, giving him the liberty to select any student in the College to accompany aud assist him in this undertaking. Mr. Aldridge fixed upon a Mr. Joseph

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Cook, who died in 1799, a Missionary in South Carolina. Being utterly unknown to any person at Margate, they began to preach out of doors. Many attended; and meeting with success, they extended their labours to other places. About this time, many persons at Dover, who had left Mr. Wesley's Societies, gave them a pressing invitation; which they accepted. Mr. Aldridge preached at Dover for some time, in the market-place, on a Lord's Day; but met with great opposition. The Presbyterian Meeting-house, which had been shut up a considerable time, was however procured ; and Mr Aldridge continued to preach in it while he resided at Dorer. Afterwards, it was agreed that Mr. Aldridge and his colleague should supply Dover and Margate alternately, exchanging every other week.

The Countess of Huntingdon, who seldom permitted her students to continue long in one place, afterwards appointed Mr. A. to supply the Mulberry Garden Chapel, near Wapping, London. There his ministry was so well receired by the congregation, that they united in a petition to the Counters, to have, his labours continued for some tiine longer ; but it being a maxim with her Ladyship not 10 comp.y with the wishes of her congregations in this particular, she peremptorily refused. This occasioned his leaving her connection in 1776; and Jewry Street Chapel * being then vacant, Mr. il dridge was invited to settle there as the stated official.ng minister. In this connection he continued upwards of 21 years; and was greatly beloved by an affectionate congregation.

During the early part of Mr. Aldridge's ministry at Jesty Street Chapel, he had the assistance of the Rev. dir. Bryani

, This gentleman was a native of Yorkshire, aud pursued his studies in the Countess of Huntingdon's College at Trerecra. It seems he did not itinerate long in that connection. Eras

* Jewry Street chapel is of ancient date, and was probably erected in the reign of King Charles II. A society of Presbyterians met there statedly for upwards of a century, and enjoyed the labours of some of the most considerable Divines among the Dissenters. For many years the church was in a very low state ; and the society dissolved in the year 1774. The chapel was shut up for a short time; but, in 1775, Sir William Plomer, the proprietor of the premisses, granted a lease for 21 years to three persons, who fitted up the place for the late Rev. Henry Mead, who died a short tiine since at Reading. Mr. Jiead, however, being in orders in the Church of England, did not think tit to take upon him the charge, and never preached there. After this Mr. Aldridge was appointed. ('pon the expiration of the lease in 1796, it was renewed for another 21 years, by the present trustees. Jewry street chapel carries the appearance of an ancient building, and does not seem materiaily altered from its former state. When it was opened upon the present plan, an organ was erected in the front gallery, and the Liturgy of the Church of Eogland introduced.

Wilson's History and Antiqunies of Dissenling Churches. Puge 33 and 128. Vol. 1.

EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE.

NOVEMBER, 1811,

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MEMOIR

OF
THE LATE REV. WILLIAM ALDRIDGE,

MINISTER OF JEWRY STREET CHAPEL, LONDON. To impart, or to impress, profitable instruction, should be the object of every composition; but Biography seems to be the most useful species of literature, especially when the subjects of it have been religious, wise, and useful. These then become models for imitation; and their manner of conducting themselves in the various departments of life which they filled, affords a lesson of wisdom to those who are desirous of instruction: it has always been highly extolled; and possesses many important advantages over general history. To record the excellencies of eminent ministers, who were set for the defence of the gospel, and who were burning and shining lights in their generation, is an important duty. Their memory is blessed. To grace alone all their real worth was owing; and grace is honoured in recording their excellencies.

The Rev. W. Aldridge was born at Warminster, in Wiltshire, in the year 1737. His youth appears to have been spent in the pursuit of pleasure and worldly gratifications; and it was not till his 24th year that he received those serious impressions which issued in a saving change of his mind and conduct. At this time he was under great distress of soul; his sins appeared in a most awful light; and it was a considerable time before be experienced deliverance. Having a strong inclination to the Christian ministry, he was introduced to the Countess of Huntingdon's College at Trevecca, in South Wales, and became one of her senior students. Having continued there during the time usually allotted to study, he began to preach in her Ladyship’s connection, in which he laboured for several years; and which afforded him an opportunity of visiting various parts of Lugland.

In September, 1771, the Countess of Huntingdon received anonymous letters, requesting her to send a minister to Margate, in the Isle of Thanet, describing it as a licentious place, particularly at the watering season. She made known the contents of these to Mr. Aldridge, giving him the liberty to select any student in the College to accompany aud assist him in this undertaking. Mr. Aldridge fixed upon a Mr. Joseph XIX.

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and entered into the joy of his Lord. The Rev. G. Gold des livered the address at his interment in Bunhill Fields, on the 7th of March ; and, on the following Lord's Day two funeral sermons were preached for him at Jewry Street Chapel: that in the morning by the late Rev. Anthony Crole, minister of Pinners' Hall (afterwards of Founders' Hall); and that in the evening by the late Rer. T. Bryson, of New Road, St. George's in the East. The three services were afterwards printed.

Thus lived and died this valuable servant of God. As a man, he was amiable; as a scholar, respectable; as a Christian, he was, eminent; as a divine, he was well instructed into the kingdom of God,' and faithful and indefatigable in the service of his Master.-May not the words of the Psalmist be truly applied to him? · Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.'

• He's gone! for ever left this tearful vale;

He's soar'd aloft to realıns of endless joy:
Nor Sin, nor Death can there the soul assail,

Nor Satan with his poison'd darts annoy.
There meet the saints with them who went before,

Those who had enter'd their eternal rest;
There may we meel, and meet to part no more,

But lean for ever on the Saviour's breast.' Mr Aldridge was a burning and a shining light, and was a living lecture to all around. He had a truly missionary spirit, - an apostolic mind. The Lord put houour on his ministry, and made him instrumental of great good to his fellow-sinners. His preaching was attended with a divine unction from abovė; and the word came with power and demonstration of the Spirit of God.' His sharp-pointed arrows, directed by a divine hand, entered the conscience, and fixed there: nor were they extracted till the Balın of Gilead was applied. His principles were Calvinistic. He declared the whole counsel of God' with a degree of plainness which met the apprehensions of ordinary capacities, and, at the same time, with such dignity as commanded the respect and secured the approbation of the more intelligent part of his audience. He adorned the Gospel which le preached in all the relative situations of social aud domestic life. His manner of life declared plainly, that he sought another and a better country; and few of the Saints have attained to that degree of heavenly-mindedness which was conspicuous in his conversation.

• Ilail, happy soul! dislodg'd and gone before,
And safely landed on the heav'nly shore;
The joys you feel, and shall for ever know,

No cye hath seen, no heart conceiv'd below! Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow.'

ADOLESCENS.

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