CHAPTER III.Mr. Pengilly - His ordination - Mr. Anderson, Edinburgh - The slave trade abolished - Death of Mr. Booth, &c.- Mr. Hartley - Scotland - Associations - Death of Mr. Charlton - Of Mr. Maclean - Serampore - Death of Mr. Fuller - Of Mr. Angus - Of Mr. Imeary - Of Mr. Mabhut - Of Mr. George Angus - Mr. Williamson's ordination - Messrs. Darnborough and Morley, Borobridge - Separation at Tuthill-stairs - Wolsingham - Souih Shields - Mr. Sample - Mr. Whitfield struck with paralysis - Death of Mr. Terry - Hamsterley supplies - Mr. Fisher ordained - Death of Mr. James Jopling - Of Mr. John Angus - Yorkshire churches - Death of Mr. Whitfield.
1807.* - In this chapter of our narrative we come within the range of the recollection of many of the present members of our churches. It is true, indeed, it was the infantine days of several of them; but some of them can remember the settlement of the oldest minister of the association, at the present period; and some of the members of the country churches, when he first appeared at the associations as they annually came round. The association, this year, was held at North Shields. The cause in that town had progressed by
* This year, Mr. Christopher Anderson, of Edinburgh, commenced his useful career. Mr. A. had been, for some time previously, in England, studying under Mr. Sutcliff, of Olney, one of the fathers of the Baptist Mission. A small church of twelve members was formed, 21st January, 1808, when Mr. Anderson was ordained, by Mr. Barclay, of Kilwinning. The slave trade was abolished, in 1807. Mr. Ab. Booth died, 27th January, 1806; and the distinguished John Newton, of London, 21st December, 1807. His friend Cowper, the poet, had died in 1800.
the energy of Mr. Imeary, but all the other churches were in a very low condition. Hamsterley had none added this year, and Rowley and Newcastle were without pastors. In the course of the year, however, these two latter churches obtained ministers from the south; Mr. Pengilly from Bristol academy, and Mr. Mabbut, formerly minister at Horseforth, Yorkshire.
Mr. Pengilly was ordained August 12, 1807. Dr. Steadman, of Bradford, in the absence of Dr. Ryland, Mr. Pengilly's tutor, gave the charge, from Rev. ii. 10, "Be thou faithful," &c. Mr. Whitfield offered the ordination prayer; and preached to the people in the evening, from Phil. ii. 19. On the following day Mr. Mabbut was ordained, at Rowley, by the same ministers; Dr. Steadman giving the charge, and Mr. Whitfield addressing the church.
1808* -1809. - The annual meeting was held, in 1808, at Hamsterley. To the church there, two were added, and two excluded. In 1809, the association was held at Rowley. At Hamsterley six added, and two died.
In the early part of 1809, Mr. Hartley, who had been at Newcastle previously to the coming of Mr. Pengilly, went to Stockton, under the direction of Mr. Whitfield, with a view to raise the cause there. He did so; and was approved by the church, and much respected by
This year was remarkable for the change of sentiment, on the subject of Baptism, that took place in the minds of the Independent ministers in Scotland. Mr. Innes, of Dundee, was baptized, and became minister of a Free Communion church, in Edinburgh. Mr. James Alexander Haldane, was baptized in March, and Mr. Robert, his brother, and a great many of the church meeting in the Tabernacle, Leith-walk, embraced the same sentiments. The ferment spread itself through the whole country. There can be little doubt that the success at this time, so signally attending the Baptist mission, in India, greatly contributed to this. That mission, in many respects, was one of the greatest blessings that ever was bestowed on the denomination whose name it bears.
the inhabitants of the town. A house was purchased by Mr. Whitfield, for L240, which sum he found means for the present to raise, and the building was converted into a small chapel and residence for the minister. By the activity and urbanity of Mr. Hartley, together with the generosity of the Christian public, this money, and all other incidental expenses, were ultimately cleared.
1810. The association was held this year, at Newcastle, llth and 12th June. Messrs. Whitfield, Imeary, Shepherd, (Independent, Postern chapel,) Watts, Hartley, Scott, (Independent, Hexham,) and Pengilly, engaged in the different services. The church at Stockton, formed anew the preceding August, was received into the Association. Two were added this year at Hamsterley, and two had died.
On the 17th January. 1810, the church at Newcastle sustained a heavy loss in the death of Mr. George Charlton, one of the deacons. His death was sudden and very affecting. His left arm was caught by an iron wheel, worked by a steam engine, while engaged at his employment, by which he was drawn in and crushed to death. He was chosen deacon about the time of Mr. Pengilly's coming to Newcastle, and had been a worthy member several years before. He was also clerk of the chapel; the principal manager of a large Sunday school; and of a reading society, established in the vestry, for the benefit of young people. "In all these offices," says his pastor, "he was indefatigably persevering, and acted with such propriety as justly to merit, and universally to obtain, the respect and esteem, of his brethren. It was his delight and joy to promote the cause of Christ, in any, and every way. The peace and prosperity of the church were dearer to him than life itself the theme of his conversation the summit of his wishes, and the constant object of his prayers.
"The last hymn that he chose and sung among us,
was the 162nd of the selection, ending, "And when this 'lisping stammering tongue,' &c. This was accomplished in less than twenty-four hours, for before that time the next evening, the grave closed upon him! The providence is inscrutable, but no doubt ordered in infinite wisdom and mercy, both towards our brother and ourselves. It is a happy consideration that he was prepared to go. He, not long before, said to his friends, that sudden death to him would be sudden glory, and that if he had his choice he would prefer a sudden dismission from the world."
"In this" the loss of his friend says Mr. P., "I have sustained a loss which no human being that I know can make up. He was one of those few whom ministers call their right-hand men."
1811-1812.* - The association, for the first time, was held in 1811, at Stockton. None were added this year at Hamsterley; three had died. In 1812, the annual meeting was held at Rowley. Five persons were added this year, and two had died at Hamsterley.
On the 26th November, 1812, Mr. William Angus, of Summerfield, departed this life, aged 94 years. He had been a member of the church at Rowley twenty-four years. Though debilitated for some years before his death, says his pastor, yet his conversation and even his wanderings of intellect, shewed that he was deeply imbued with piety, and that his heart and treasure were in heaven. His end was peace.
* Mr. Archibald Maclean, of Edinburgh, died, 21st December, 1812, aged 79. He may be regarded as the founder and Evangelist of the Scotch Baptist churches. His writings are remarkable for their clearness and sagacity. He had lost his excellent colleague, in the pastoral office, Mr. Henry David Inglis, May 12, 1806, in the 49th year of his age. His surviving coadjutor, Mr. William Braidwood, finished his useful course on the 13th October.
The printing premises of the mission-house, at Serampore,
1813-1815.* - The association, during these years, was held respectively at Rowley, Newcastle, and Hamsterley. There were added at Hamsterley, in 1813, five, and two had died; in 1814, four were added, and one had died; and in 1815, two were added, and four had died.
Mr. Imeary, of North Shields, died about the middle of 1814. In the Baptist Magazine, of that year, we have the following brief account of him: "Lately died, after a long period of affliction, which he bore with the fortitude and patience of a Christian, and a minister of the gospel, full of consolation, the Reverend Robert Imeary, many years the highly respected and beloved pastor of the Baptist church, North Shields. His memory is dear to many in those parts, and while his flesh is resting in hope, it is earnestly to be desired, they be making that preparation to meet their Lord when he shall come to call the preacher of his word, together with those who heard him, to give up their account." Mr. Imeary left two children; Mr. Robert Imeary, of the Alkali works, Jarrow, and Mrs. Hindhaugh, of the same place.
were consumed by fire, in 1812; but the British public, most generously soon collected more than was lost.
* Mr. Andrew Fuller, secretary of the Baptist mission, died this year, 7th May, aged sixty-two. He was born in 1754, baptized in 1770, and called to the ministry in 1774. In 1775, he was ordained at Soham, and removed to Kettering, in 1782; published his "Gospel worthy of all Acceptation," in 1784, and became secretary of the Baptist mission, in 1792. From that time till his death, while he attended to his ministerial engagements, much to the satisfaction and edification of his people, the mission was his all-absorbing care, and he finally died a martyr to its interests. As a theologian, though self-taught, he stands pre-eminent among the ablest writers his country has produced. Mr. Sutcliff, of Olney, died, 22nd June, 1814, aged 72. The Baptist mission to the West Indies, commenced in 1813, and that to Ireland, in 1814.
In 1815, Mr. Mabbut, of Rowley, through mental and bodily debility, was obliged to resign the pastorate. He continued in this state, under the care of his beloved partner, till his death, in 1819.
On the 20th August, 1815, died, Mr. George Angus, aged ninety years. He was the only son of Mr. Jonathan Angus, of Panshields, and was born in 1725. He had been baptized in his twentieth year in 1745, and twenty-five years afterwards, when his father was above ninety, in 1770, he was elected deacon of the united church of Hamsterley, Rowley, &c. He retained this office, till, in 1785, the church divided, when Mr. Angus went with the northern part of the community, and became their deacon, which office he held till he died. Mr. Angus long held the farm of Styford, on the North side of the Tyne, about five miles below Hexham. Previous, however, to his death, he had given it up, and resided along with his aged partner, the great grand-daughter of Mr. Henry Blacket, of Bitchburn, in a house attached to the hamlet of Broomley; the farm of which was occupied by his son-in-law, Mr. John Angus.
Mr. Fisher, the pastor of the church at Broomley, thus sums up the character of this venerable man: "He was an exemplary Christian; few men have passed through life, with a more unsullied character; and few men, in his station, have dropped into the grave more esteemed. He was a lover of good men, and much given to hospitality. His house and heart were ever open to receive the servants of Christ. He was a man of much prayer, a diligent reader of his Bible, and a lover of the house of God. He travelled to Rowley, nearly ten miles distant from his residence, once a fortnight, and his seat was rarely empty. When the cause at Rowley &c., at nearly the close of his life, was very low, he earnestly intreated his brethren to keep together, and
assured them that God would yet appear for them. In his last illness he enjoyed strong confidence in God. Some of his last expressions were, 'The Lord liveth, and blessed be my rock, and let the God of my salvation be exalted. Why are his chariot wheels so long in coming!'"
Mr. Whitfield, in his memoir of Mr. Angus, gives a very touching account of the dying scene of his aged friend. "Though twenty-five miles distant," says he, "I visited him for the last time, on the day on which he died. I found him very weak, hardly able to speak so as to be understood. He said he was comfortable, and hoped his Lord and Master would soon come and take him to himself. So saying, he fell into a soft sleep. This was late in the afternoon. In the evening, having been taken out of bed, he gave orders that so soon as he was put to bed again, I might be sent for to pray with him. Being only in the next house, I was soon there. He was breathing softly. I knelt down with his wife and children present, and prayed for them all, and particularly for support, a peaceful dismission, &c. During, or before the conclusion, it was discovered that he had ceased to breathe, and that his immortal spirit had returned to God who gave it. The curtain withdrawn, the sight of his position, powerfully revived in my mind the words of Watts, on the death of Moses.
'Softly his fainting head he lay
Upon his maker's breast,
His maker kissed his soul away
And laid his flesh to rest.'"*
* Mr. Angus was interred in hia own family burying ground, nt Broomhaugh. He was married thrice. His first wife, was Deborah, daughter of Mr. John Angus, of Styford, son to George, brother of Mr. Henry Angus, of Raw-house. The children of ihis marriage soon died. His second wife, was Ann Dixon, by whom he had two daughters: Grace, afterwards Mrs. George Angus, of Hindley; and Priscilla, wife of Mr. William Angus,
1816. - On the death of Mr. Imeary, of North Shields, the pulpit became vacant. Dr. Steadman, of the Northern Education Society, was applied to, to send a student on probation. The doctor sent Mr. James Williamson, a member of the church at Rochdale. His services were acceptable, and he was ordained, March 26th, 1816. Mr. Pengilly stated the nature of a Christian church, and asked the usual questions. Dr. Steadman gave the charge, and Mr. Whitfield preached to the people, having, previously to the charge, offered up the ordination prayer. Three deacons were also ordained; Dr. Steadman offering up the ordination prayer, and Mr. Whitfield giving the charge.
In 1816, the association was held at Rowley. Two were added to Mr. Whitfield's charge, and two dismissed to the church at Bath. The ministers of Hamsterley and Bedale, Messrs. Whitfield and Terry, had enjoyed the pleasure of ordaining Mr. Darnborough, over the newly-formed church at Boro'bridge, on the 1st January, the same year.*
of Shilford, His last wife, was Hannah Blacket, by whom he had three daughters: Mary, now Mrs. Angus, of Broomley; Deborah, now Mrs. Atkinson, of Smelthouse; and Ann, now Mrs. Sartees, of Stamfordham.
* In the above we see, as already noticed, the result of the schism at Hamsterley, in 1752, and of the evangelistical labours of Mr. David Fernie, at Midlam. At that place Mr. Terry heard Mr. Whitfield, and afterwards was baptized by him. In 1811, October 20th, Mr. Terry baptized Mr. Darnborough. He also baptized Mr. Morley, of Dishforth, with his lady, January 10th, 1814. Both these gentlemen began to exert themselves in extending the cause, by preaching in their own vicinities. For this purpose, Mr. Darnborough hired a school-room, at Boro'bridge; and Mr. Morley, at Dishforth, converted a house of his own into a small chapel. The students at Bradford were called to assist, and some of them settled there, and were useful. Mr. Darnborough died, in 1824; but Mr. Morley still lives. May the churches
Towards the close of 1816, a secession took place, from the church at Tuthill-stairs. About twenty-eight of the members separated from the church; and, for a period, worshipped together in the House Carpenters' Hall, Westgate, Newcastle.* The cause of the separation has no historical interest, but the fact itself has, as it laid the foundation of a new church in Newcastle. The new community received supplies from different quarters, for the space of two years; and the church at Tuthill-stairs held on its way, and by a number of fresh additions, soon consoled themselves, for those they had lost. In October, 1816, Mr. George Sample, who had had been called out to the ministry, by the church at Tuthill-stairs, and had, for some time, supplied the church at Rowley and Hindley, went to Bradford college, to receive, under Dr. Steadman, instruction for further usefulness.
1817-1818. - In 1817, the association was held at Stockton; and in 1818, on the 22nd March, Mr. Whitfield opened a place of worship at Wolsingham, about five miles from Hamsterley, in order to the diffusion of the gospel, in that town and neighbourhood. Some of the members of the church at Hamsterley resided there, and also the children of some of the other members. Wolsiugham is situated in a beautiful part of the Wear valley, where Mr. Whitfield himself first drew breath: it was the place where he had received the first invitation to preach at Hamsterley, and contains about two thousand inhabitants. All these circumstances rendered it to him a place of great interest. He therefore resolved to make an effort to establish the
these good men were the means of planting, long continue to flourish.
* This community subsequently erected "New Court Chapel." It was opened in Sept., 1819; Dr. Steadman and others officiating on this occasion.
Gospel here: the results of which will appear in the succeeding pages of our history.
In May, 1818, an application was made to Dr. Steadman, of Bradford college, to send a student to preach to the growing population of South Shields. One was sent accordingly, in the end of June, and he was successful in collecting a congregation. A small church was also formed, on the 3rd September, Messrs. Whitfield, Williamson, Sample, Pengilly, Fisher, and Douglas were present. The church was chiefly formed of individuals who had been members of the different churches of North Shields, Newcastle, Monkwearmouth, Hull, &c.
On the 21st October, 1818, Mr. Sample having left the college at Bradford, on being previously invited by the new church, meeting in the Carpenters' Hall, Newcastle, was ordained over them as pastor. Dr. Steadman offered the ordination prayer, and gave the charge, from 2nd Timothy i. 7; and Mr. C. Anderson, of Edinburgh, addressed the church, from 1st Thessalonians iii. 8.
The association was held in 1818, at North Shields; none seem to have been added to Mr. Whitfield's charge this year, and as to those who had died, or were dismissed, we have no record.
1819.* - On the 23rd April, 1819, as Mr. Whitfield
In 1819, 22nd July, Mr. Terry, of Bedale, died, after an unexampled career of unwearied labour, in his Master's cause, of twenty-five years. In his own peculiar manner he often preached, expounded, or exhorted, four or five times on the Lord's day, and very frequently on the week day evenings. He often walked twelve or fourteen miles on the Sabbath, and five or six on a week day evening. He all along worked at his employment of a watch maker, and spent the greater portion of his property in furthering the cause. He was occasionally assisted by the students from Bradford, whom he always heard with affection. He lived to see the cause prosper, and when dying it was the welfare of the cause
was in the act of composing a sermon, on Genesis xix. 24, 25, he was struck with paralysis. He became thereby totally unable to fulfil his public engagements, and Dr. Steadman was requested by the church to send a supply. Mr. Gilmour, now of Canada, supplied for about four months; and he was succeeded by Mr. Larom, now of Sheffield, who remained nearly two months. Each received an invitation to take on him the pastoral relation; but both declined. There is no record of that church for this year. The association was, in 1819, held at Newcastle, at the usual time.
1820 - On the 6th February, 1820, the writer of this narrative came to Hamsterley, for the first time, on the application of Mr. Whitfield himself. He remained a month, and returned to Bradford; but as his term of residence there expired about the middle of that year, he supplied the pulpit at Hamsterley for about other three months. He received an invitation to remain; but, from a previous engagement, he declined it at that time. Mr. Paul, another of the students at Bradford, had supplied in the preceding summer months.
Mr. Fisher was ordained at Rowley, on April 4th, this year. He had studied under Mr. Pengilly, at Newcastle, for some time, and had in the interim supplied the pulpit at Rowley and Hindley. Mr. Williamson stated the nature of a Christian church, and asked the usual questions; Mr. Pengilly offered up the ordination prayer, and gave the charge from 1st Timothy iv. 6; and Mr. Sample addressed the church, from Ezra x. 4. The ordained minister concluded by a short prayer and address. The association was held this year at Rowley.
that lay nearest his heart. "Oh, what will become of the church?" said he to his friend and fellow labourer, Mr. Attey. Mr. A. replied, "Christ will take care of it." Christ has done so!
1821. - On the 26th April, this year, died, Mr. James Jopling, senior deacon of the church at Hamsterley, aged 68. He was baptized by Mr. Whitfield, in his twenty-second year, in 1773, and became a deacon of the church in 1791. In this office he continued for upwards of thirty years, discharging with the greatest punctuality its varied duties, so far as his different residences in the neighbourhood would permit. A saying of his is frequently recited by his descendents; "If I can go to the market on a week-day, I can go to the house of God on the Lord's day;" and by this maxim his conduct towards divine worship was constantly regulated. His natural temper was not good, as it had in it, as manifested occasionally, a mixture of both the irritable and the sullen. But with all this, he was, take him all in all, a good man, devout towards God, friendly towards his neighbours, and affectionate towards his minister, his fellow members, and his family. He desired to die before Mr. Whitfield, and he got his wish. His pastor warmly loved him, and he, and other friends were grateful, that amidst the paroxyms of expiring nature, Mr. Jopling enjoyed such strong consolation, and such a good hope through grace.*
The association was held at Hamsterley in 1821,+ at the usual period of Whitsuntide; and soon after
* Mr. Jopling had eight children, most of whom were added to the church at Hamsterley. His third son, John, married to Miss Garthoni, went to Canada, and was the means of planting a church there, of which himself, Mrs. Jopling, and his nine children were memhers. His son-in-law Mr. Tapscot, late of South Shields, became the pastor. At Hamsterley, Mr. Jopling's eldest son succeeded him as deacon, and his second son is a trustee of the church's property.
+ Several of the Yorkshire and Lancashire churches came into existence at this time. In 1811, preaching commenced at Meltham, in the West Biding, and in 1813, the church was formed: Mr. Webster was their first pastor. The church at Instip, in
another attached friend of Mr. Whitfield's left this world just a little before he himself bade it adieu.
This friend was Mr. John Angus, of Broomley, who died on the 21st June. Mr. Angus was baptized 20th August, 1797, in his twenty-fourth year. He was elected a deacon of the church at Rowley, in 1800. This office he held with great honour to himself, and benefit to the church, till his death. Mr. Fisher, his pastor, thus refers to his Christian character: "In him the church has lost a steady friend and a liberal supporter. Seldom was his seat empty, except from sickness. He was a man of great firmness and integrity of character, and of great hospitality to the servants of Christ. From the nature and severity of his last illness, little could be obtained from him of his views and hopes of eternity ; but that b'ttle was satisfactory to his friends. He had no rapturous joys, but his hopes seemed firmly fixed upon Christ. Long will his memory be cherished by his bereaved family, his friends, his Christian brethren, and a large number of friends. He died in the sixty-third year of his age."*
On the 18th of the ensuing month, Mr. Whitfield was called to the enjoyment of his eternal rest. He had now, for two years and a quarter, been the subject of a paralytic affection, which reduced him to nearly second childhood. His native energy of character was seen
Lancashire, was formed, in 1817: Mr. Lakelin, their minister. Wakefield, in Yorkshire, in 1818. Early, Osset, and Kilham, were orignated, in 1819. Slacklane, in 1820, and the second church Haworth, Yorkshire; the second church at Bacup and Bolton, in Lancashire, in 1821. Chapel Fold, Yorkshire; March 25th, 1821: Mr. Facer first pastor, in 1832.
* Mr. Angus was the fifth son of Mr. Jonathan Angus, son of William, eldest son of the first Henry, of RawvHouse. He married Mary, third daughter of Mr. George Angus, of Styford, and had by her fire sons and three daughters.
however, still in his broken condition. He was ever at the meetings, when held, till within a short period of his death. He also attempted to write with Ms left hand, and so far attained his object, as to do so quite legibly.
Of Mr. Whitfield's characteristics in point of capacity, disposition, conduct, and motives, little more now need be said than what has been presented in the foregoing narrative, detailing his useful career, both in the church over which he had been nearly fifty years the overseer, and also towards others in the association.
As a pastor, Mr. Whitfield was distinguished by two qualities in particular; he was diligent and affectionate. As regards his assiduity, we have already referred to his studying five hours a day, while he was an apprentice, besides attending to all his other duties to his master in business hours. This disposition he carried with him into the ministry. He read every useful book that came within his reach; and, considering his means, his library was not a small one. Besides English works on theology, Biblical criticism, &c., he had a number of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew works of a superior character; all of which, but particularly the Hebrew, he was able to peruse with great advantage. In composing his sermons, his care and diligence were very conspicuous. He generally wrote out his sermons in full; and of the many he thus composed, he selected annually as many as formed a volume, which he bound; and thus, by the time of his decease, he had collected about fifty volumes of his own sermons in manuscript. But he was not only assiduous in preparing for preaching, but in attending to the hour of worship with extreme punctuality. Whoever was absent, Mr. Whitfield was always there in time. This was the case with him even when living at the distance of two miles from Hamsterley. At prayer meetings through the week, and on the Lord's day, Mr.
Whitfield was ever first. His diligence in point of family economy has been already referred to.
But Mr. Whitfield was affectionate as well as diligent. He was so to the people of his charge. He loved them dearly. It is true he was like other men, he loved those most who to him seemed most to deserve it, and those personally attached had usually a good return. He loved not only his charge, but all in the village and vicinity, in which it was his lot, for about fifty years, to dwell. An anecdote has been told of him, that, when he died, he said, if they saw his heart, they would find Hamsterley written on it. Whether the anecdote is correct or not, it shews the impression made on the minds of others regarding his extreme attachment to the place of his charge. The writer had the anecdote from a most respectable and learned individual. As testifying with certainty, however, his attachment to the village, he got up a day school in it, for the benefit of those who were unable to educate their children. Through his influence, several of his wealthier friends became subscribers; and he was himself, with all his scantiness of means, amongst the highest of the subscribers, and continued his subscription when most others had failed.
Mr. Whitfield was not a great visitor of his people, but he was ever at the bedside of the afflicted, when he could do them good; and his hand was ever open to relieve the distressed, to the utmost of his power.
Mr. Whitfield, was a friend to other churches as well as his own. Over Rowley, Newcastle, Stockton, and indeed more, or less, all the other churches in the association, he ever cast a wakeful eye; and, to the utmost of his ability, either personally, or through his influence, gave them assistance, at critical periods. It was the same in relation to their ministers. Towards
Mr. Hartley and others, his equals, he acted a truly fraternal part, and discovered the heart of a father towards, his juniors. For a number of years, it might be truly said, that he was the head, the heart, and the hand of the association, in both the eastern and western districts of the four Northern counties. Towards the whole Baptist Denomination, Mr. Whitfield was an attached member, and its Missions - Home, Irish, and Foreign - he endeavoured to sustain, to the utmost of his capability. He was also a lover of all good men, and good ministers, as well as a lover of the immortal interests of his fellow-creatures generally, as attested by his unwearied labours connected with the Evangelical Association.
Mr. Whitfield's views were in accordance with those of Mr. Fuller. He was a moderate Calvinist, and a strict Baptist, though a lover of all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. His personal appearance was good. He was tall, portly, and of goodly aspect. He appeared well in the pulpit, but was never popular as a preacher, from the circumlocution that usually attended his explanations, and an ever-recurring hem, in his enunciation, owing to an asthmatic affection.
Mr. Whitfield had many excellencies, and if he had not had a few faults, he would not have been mortal. He was, naturally, of a sanguine temperament, and while he had a large portion of the good of that temperament, he had a share of the evil. He was warm in his temper, and, sometimes, rather overbearing in his manner. From his attachment to legal studies, he occasionally was able to give good advice to his friends; but, as his knowledge on this intricate subject must have been very incomplete, he sometimes, unhappily, led both himself and them wrong. But, generally speaking, his endeavour, as far as he knew it, was to act uprightly in all his doings. His record, however, is now on high. He is now
personally beyond the reach of either the praises or censures of mortals.
Mr. Whitfield's funeral sermon was preached, by Mr. Pengilly, from 2nd Timothy iv. 6, 7; and the church and congregation erected a stone in the grave-yard of the chapel, where he had laboured for upwards of fifty years, to perpetuate their sense of his worth, and to testify to future generations, the high esteem in which they held his character. He died, 18th July, 1821, aged 73.
[From David Douglas, History of the Baptist Churches in the North of England, From 1648 to 1845, London, 1846, pp. 251-267. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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