Page images
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Thomas Watson Minister of S*Saphens, Walbrook, London 2.

Hellished by Dalton & Son, Paternoster Row.

necdote is a sufficient proof:7 Once on a lecture-day, before the Bartholomew-act took place, the learned Bp. Richardson came to hear him, who was much pleased with his sermnon, but especially with his prayer after it, so that he followed him home to give him thanks, and earnestly desired a copy of it. " Alas! (said Mr. Watson) that is what I cannot give, for I do not use to pen my prayers ; it was no studied thing, but uttered, pro re nata, as God enabled ine, from the abundance of my heart and affections." Upon which the good Bishop went away wondering that any man could pray in that inanner extempore. After his ejectment he continued the exercise of his ministry in the city as Providence gave opportunity, for many years; but his strength wearing away, he retired into Essex, and there died suddenly in his closet at prayer.

In the collection of Farewell-sermons, there are three by Mr. Watson : viz. two delivered Aug. 17. and the third on the Tuesday following. The first is on John xiii. 34. A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one ano. ther, &c. It discovers much of the spirit of the gospel, par- . ! ticularly in recommending love to enemies and persecutors. The 2d is on 2 Cor vii. 1. Having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves. In the former part of it he insists largely on " the ardent affections of a right gospel minister towards his people.” This head he closes thus. I have now exercised my ministry anong you for almost sixteen years; and I rejoice and bless God, that I cannot say, The more I love you the less I am loved: I have received many signal demonstrations of love from you. Though other parishes have exceeded you in number of houses, yet I think none fors trength of affection. I have with much comfort observed your reverend attention to the word preached. You rejoiced in this light, not for a season, but to this day. I have obseryed your zeal against error in a critical time; your unity and amity. This is your honour. If there should be any interruption in my ministry among you, though I should not be permitted to preach to you again, yet I shall not cease to love you, and to pray for you. But why should there be any interruption made? 'Where is the crime? Some indeed say that we are disloyal and seditious. Beloved, what my actions, and sufferings for his Majesty have been, is known to not a few of you. However, we must go to Heaven through good report and through bad report; and it is


well if we can get to glory, tho' we press thro' the pikes. I shall endeavour that I may still approve the sincerity of my love to you. I will not promise that I shall still preach among you; nor will I say that I shall not. I desire to be guided by the silver thread of God's word and providence. My heart is cowards you. There is, you know, an expression in the late act, That we shall now shortly be as if we were naturally dead. And if I must die, let me leave some legacy with you.” Then follow twenty admirable directions, well worthy the frequent perusal of every christian. He closes them thus: “ I beseech you treasure them up as so many jewels in the cabinet of your breasts. Did you carry thein about you, they would be an antidote to keep you from sin, and a means to preserve the zeal of piety flaming upon the altar of your hearts. I have many things yet to say to you, but I know not whether God will give me another opportunity. My strength is now alınost gone. I beseech you let these things make deep impressions on all your souls. Consider what hath been said, and the Lord give you understanding in all things.”

The last discourse, Aug. 19. is on Isa. iii. 10, 11. Say ye surely it shall be well with the just woe to the wicked, &c. Many excellent passages might be quoted from this sermon, as well as from the preceding ; but as so many of this author's works are before the public, and are still so well known, the editor must restrain his inclination.

WORKS. Three treatises. 1. The Christian's Charter. 2. The Art of Divine Contentment. 3. A Disc. of Meditation; with several occasional sermons. The Beatitudes; Christ's Serm. on the Mount: to which are added-Christ's Fulness; the preciousness of the Soul; the Beauty of Grace; the Spiritual Watch; the Heavenly Race; the Sacred Anchor; the Trees of Righteousness; the Perfume of Love; the good Practitioner.-The godly Man's Character. --A word of Comfort to the Church of God. The doct. of Repentance.--Religion our true interest, on Mal. iii. 16–18.-The mischief of Sin.-A Divine Cordial; or Privilege of those that love God.--The holy Eucharist.-A Plea for the Godly; or Excellence of the Righteous. --Heaven taken by storm. -The Saints' Delight.-Fun. Serm. for Mr. Hodges; for Mr. Wells; for Mr. Henry Stubbs; for Mr. Jacob Stock-Fast Serm. bef. H. of Com. 1649.--Sermons bef. Lord Mayor on pub, occ. 4. Serm. in Morn. Ex.-P.H.S. A Body of Div. in 176 Serm. on Assemb. Cat. with five others, and a head of the author. This is prefaced by Mr. Lorimer, and recommended by Dr. Bates, Mr. Howe, and 24 other ministers. This catalogue of his works is more


compleat than that in the former edition. In the last, several others are proposed to be printed.

ST. SWITHIN's, [R. S. 140l.] . · Mr. John SHEFFIELD, of Peter-house, Camb. He was addicted to seriousness and piety from his youth. He spared no pains in preaching or praying, while the tiines allowed the public exercise of his ministry, or in discourse that tended to edification. He made conscience of improving his time in all his transactions with other persons. His life was an example of his book upon conscience. He formed his sermons not froin monastic contemplations in his cell, but took for a ground-work such things as occurred from observations on inankind, as well as from self-reflection. How much he picked up from his conversation with men, to warn and advise them against vain excuses for sin, his facetious book on that subject sufficiently testifies. He was well skilled in books as well as in men, and had a genius both for witty and divine poetry, and many of the curious branches of learning. After his expulsion from his church in London, he retired to Enfield, where he continued his ministry as opportunity offered. He died in a good old age, and retained his faculties to the last. An uncommon liveliness appears in all his wri. tings, particularly in the book last mentioned, which was drawn up in advanced life., .

WORKS. A good Conscience the strongest Hold.—The Sun of Righteousness, &c.—The Hypocrite's Ladder.- A Catechism. - Poems on the Death of Mr. Jer. Whitaker, Mr. R. Robinson, and Lady Armine.--Discourse of Excuses for living in Sin.--A Serm. in Morn. Exercises.

- ST. THOMAS's, SOUTHWARK. Mr. COBB is mentioned as the person ejected from this living, of whom no account is given. The Lecturer of this parish, who was ejected at the same time, and whose Farewell-sermon appears in the collection, was

Mr. BEREMAN. All that Dr. Calamy says of him is, that he was " A very pious and sober person, and a good preacher. He lived many years after his ejectment, in Hoxton-square, preaching only occasionally."

It is much to be lamented, and indeed very surprising, that a more ample account of Mr. Bereman's character and history should not have been procured, as he appears, from his Farewell serinon, to have been one of the ablest preachers

« PreviousContinue »