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were Thomas Bradbury, Abraham Taylor, and the famous Calvinistic Baptist, John Gill.61 They also made a new and very important attempt for the increase of the efficiency of the Congregational ministry. It was their belief that young men received the assistance of the “ Fund Board,” and were admitted into the Academies, who gave no satisfactory evidence of their personal religious faith; they also believed that the rule of the Board which prevented the granting assistance to young men who had not received a fair classical education excluded from the ministry many young men of vigorous intellectual power and ardent religious life. They, therefore, resolved to found an Academy of their own. At the Fund Academy the course extended over four years : it was resolved that at the King's Head Academy the course should extend over six ; this was to meet the case of young men who had not received a good grammar-school education. It was also resolved that no student should be received about whose fidelity to the Puritan creed, or whose personal religious earnestness, there was any doubt. Samuel Parsons and Abraham Taylor were the first tutors. The students boarded with Parsons in Clerkenwell till 1735, when they were transferred into Taylor's charge at Deptford. In 1744 the King's Head Academy and the Fund Academy were united.62
The spread of Arianism both in the north and in the west of England created great anxiety among those who held fast to the theology of Puritanism. They thought that the surest way to check its further progress was to set up new Academies with orthodox tutors; and in 1751 the Congregational Fund Board resolved to send students to the Rev. John Lavington, of Ottery St. Mary, in Devonshire.
61 The Lecture is said to have been indebted to the munificence of Mr. Coward. For a reference to one of the lectures delivered on this foundation, see above, p. 556, note 51. Wilson, Dissenting Churches, i. 212.
62 Dr. Zephaniah Marryatt was the first President of the united Academy (1743–1754); and, to meet his convenience, the King's Head Academy was removed from Stepney to Plasterers' Hall in Addle Street. Dr. John Conder succeeded him, 1754-1781, and the Academy was removed to Mile End. In 1769 an ancient mansion at Homerton became the home of the College. Dr. Daniel Fisher was President from 1781 to 1803 ; the Rev. James Knight, from 1803 to 1805; and Dr. Pye-Smith, from 1806 to 1850. Wilson, Dissenting Churches, ii. 530-531. Congregational College Calendar, 1885, 45-46. For Taylor's troubles with his students, see Waddington, iii. (1700-1800), 266-268.
The fortunes of this institution were changeable and chequered. After Mr. Lavington's death (1764), the Rev. James Rooker, of Bridport, became Tutor. Mr. Rooker retired in 1779 on the ground of ill-health ; and then the Academy was removed to Taunton, and the Rev. James Reader was appointed Tutor. Mr. Reader died in 1794, and at the close of 1795, the Rev. James Small succeeded him, and the Academy was removed to Axminster. In 1798 Mr. Small had only one student; and the Fund Board, while expressing their complete satisfaction with him as a Tutor, determined that the Academy should be discontinued. This decision led to a proposal that the Academy should be carried on with the assistance of the Fund Board and the King's Head Society, under the management of a committee in which the Churches of the western counties should be largely represented. This proposal was accepted, and Mr. Small continued to act as Theological Tutor till 1828, when he resigned on account of broken strength. The Academy was then removed to Exeter. Dr. Payne was appointed Theological Tutor, and the educational course was made much more liberal. In 1845 the Academy, now called the Western College, was again in difficulties. There were only three students. Its supporters in Exeter and the neighbourhood were discouraged, and the Fund Board expressed an intention of withdrawing its aid. To prevent the closing of the College, the ministers of Devonport and Plymouth proposed that it should be removed to Plymouth ; and the institution was carried on in temporary premises in that town till 1852, when the present college was built. Dr. Richard Alliott was President from 1849 to 1857, and the Rev. John Charlton from 1857 to his death in 1875. He was succeeded by the Rev. Charles Chapman.63
In 1756 a society was formed in London called “The Northern Education Society,” for the purpose of dispelling the “cloud of Socinian darkness” then spreading over the northern counties of England, and to the end that many congregations
might be blessed with godly preachers, sound in the faith and exemplary in their lives.” The congregations in the large towns of the north had at this time deserted the Trinitarian faith, with the exception of White Row Meeting-New Queen
63 Bogue and Bennett, History of Dissenters, iv. 273-276; and Congregational College Calendar, 1885, 66-68.
Street—Leeds, under the pastorate of Mr. Edwards, who had been one of Wesley's preachers, and Nether Chapel, Sheffield, of which the Rev. I. Pye, maternal grandfather of the Rev. Dr. Pye-Smith, was minister. The Northern Education Society set up their Academy at Heckmondwike, and the Rev. James Scott was appointed Tutor.64
Another indication of the rise of a new spirit was the holding of a religious service on Sunday evening in a large number of country towns. The service was altogether of a different kind from the “Lecture” which was sometimes delivered in London and some of the larger towns before the Revival began. The “Lecture” was more elaborate than the sermons which had been delivered earlier in the day: it was usually a defence of the Being of God, or an argument for the truth of the Christian religion, or an attack on Romish or Socinian heresies. The new service was generally an evangelistic service. It was found that large numbers of persons would come to the meeting-house in the evening who would not come in the morning or afternoon ; and the minister usually preached to them on one or other of the great truths by which the leaders of the Revival had achieved their triumphs. Where the traditions of Puritanism were strong, it was objected that the evening service prevented that quiet instruction and catechising of children and servants to which Puritanism attached the highest importance. The morning and afternoon services, each of them two hours long, had left only the evening free; and now the evening was lost. But the attractiveness of the evening service to persons who would not attend worship either in the morning or afternoon, and its freer and more popular character, swept away all opposition. In the course of a few years the practice became common, and ultimately the service in the afternoon was given up in its favour.
The Congregational Churches were beginning to feel something of the warmth that was radiated from the new religious movement of which Wesley and Whitefield were leaders; but for some years they regarded that movement with perplexity and doubt-some of them regarded it with positive hostility; and it was not till after the accession of George III. that the spirit and power of the Evangelical
64 Bogue and Bennett, op. cit., iv. 528; and Cong. Coll. Cal., 1885, 73–74. See Note A, p. 562.
Revival took complete possession of the Congregational Churches of England.
The Heckmondwike Lecture
The curious institution called the Heckmondwike Lecture is the memorial of the Heckmondwike Academy. It was customary to have a "double Lecture” at the closing of the Academy for the summer vacation, and the most eminent ministers who were accessible were invited to be Lecturers. When the Academy was removed, the double Lecture was still continued. It is now customary to have two sermons by two different ministers delivered to the same congregation on a Tuesday evening in June ; two more on Wednesday morning; and a fifth on Wednesday evening. A fair has grown up in connection with the Lecture. The Academy remained at Heckmondwike under Mr. Scott till 1783, when it was removed to Northowram near Halifax, and the Rev. Samuel Walker became Tutor. In 1794 the London committee gave up the management of the institution, and it was transferred to the charge of a committee representing the neighbouring Churches. The local committee determined that it should be removed to Masborough, near Rotherham, and Dr. Edward Williams, of Carr's Lane, Birmingham, was invited to fill the Theological Chair, and to be minister of Masborough Chapel. Mr. Joshua Walker, of Clifton, erected a building for the accommodation of the students near the Tutor's house. Dr. Williams died in 1813 and was succeeded by Dr. James Bennett, of Romsey, Hants. The Presidents who succeeded him were Rev. Clement Perrott (1821–1834), Rev. Dr. Stowell (1834-1850), and the Rev. Dr. Falding. The present building was opened in 1876. See p. 561, note 64.
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY UNDER GEORGE III.
DISSENTERS AND THE SHRIEVALTY-THE CLERGY AND THE OBLIGATION
TO SUBSCRIBE_DECLARATION SUBSTITUTED FOR THE SUBSCRIP-
EORGE III. succeeded his grandfather in October, 1760,
and died in January, 1820, after reigning nearly sixty years. During this long period no very considerable laws were passed for the extension of the religious liberties of Nonconformists; but though the most oppressive statutes remained unrepealed, the worst of them gradually became obsolete.
Early in the reign a legal decision was given in favour of the Dissenters which relieved them from most vexatious and iniquitous persecution by the City of London.
In 1742 a Dissenter—Mr. Robert Grosvenor—who had been elected to the office of sheriff, was cited by the Corporation before the Court of King's Bench for refusing to qualify by receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the rites of the English Church. In 1748 the Corporation adopted a bye-law inflicting a fine of more than £400 on every person that should decline to stand for the office after he had been