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joy as the body sinks in death; and at last, on the 26th of October, 1751, a gentle sleep falls on the worn-out frame, a harbinger of more tranquil slumbers to remain unbroken till the judgment bell shall toll time's requiem, and ring in the morning of eternity. All that is mortal of Doddridge sleeps in the burying-ground of the British factory;* but the immortal spirit, the man himself, is where they no more sleep than die, for “ there is no night there.”
A beautiful letter from Mrs. Doddridge, inserted in the correspondence, but too long to be introduced here, shows the Christian pointed instrument of Providence to cut shorter his few remain. ing days. He never was out of his room but once after the first night he was put to bed, which was on the Wednesday about the middle of the day; the weather being fine, he walked, with my helping him, into another large airy room that we had joining to our lodging-room.”
* A simple monument was erected over his remains. This, in the course of time, became decayed; but the Rev. Mr. Miller, the British chaplain in 1814, had the stone cleaned at his own expense, and the letters recut. In 1828, the Rev. Mr. Taylor caused a new marble tomb to be erected, of which a drawing now lies before me. It bears the following inscription :" Philip Doddridge, D.D., died October 26th, 1751, aged 50."
To this—according to the “ Congregational Magazine" for 1830—is added :
“With high respect for his character and writings, this stone of remembrance was raised upon a former one in decay, in the month of June, 1828, at the desire and expense of Thomas Taylor, of all his numerous pupils the only one living."
magnanimity with which she bore the heavy trial thus laid upon her by her heavenly Father in a land of strangers. She soon returned to her desolate home, and devoted herself, with characteristic energy and wisdom, to the formation of the character of her four surviving children. They had from their infancy been mainly dependent upon her instruction and influence, their father's numerous public engagements having interfered with the maintenance of much parental oversight and instruction on his part. The son was sixteen years of age at the time of his father's death, when he was sent to Dr. Ashworth's academy to study for the ministry. Letters still preserved show, that before his studies were completed he became conscious the ministry was not the office to which he had received a vocation, and, relinquishing his early prospects, and disappointing, probably, a mother's hope, he adopted the study of the law. Miss Doddridge was married to John Humphreys, Esq., of Tewkesbury, to which town Mrs. Doddridge retired with her two unmarried daughters, Mary and Anna Cecilia. This excellent lady lived to a
good old age, and distinguished by noble qualities of mind and heart, and after passing through fresh domestic trials in her last days, entered her everlasting rest in 1790, at the age of eighty-two. Her children seem all to have been possessed of vigorous minds, and in this respect to have inherited their mother's endowments; especially Mary, whose mental qualities were evidently of a very superior order. She died at Bath in 1809, at the age of seventy-five.*
* A lineal descendant survives in the person of Mr. John Doddridge Humphreys, son of the editor of the Correspondence, grandson of Mr. Humphreys, and great-grandson of the doctor. He was present at the meeting in Northampton when this memorial was read.
RESULTS OF HIS LABOURS.
DODDRIDGE'S ministry extended over the space of nearly thirty years. We have seen what was the state of things among Dissenters towards the close of the first decade. Evidence remains that no general improvement took place during the latter portion of his life.
A comparison of such imperfect statistics as it is in our power to consult, shows a diminution in point of numbers. Pedobaptist congregations, including both Presbyterian and Congregational, are reported in a MS. in Dr. Williams's library, as being 843, in the year 1715.* In 1773 they sink down to 729. The decrease was in the Presbyterian congregations. Several probably became Independent. The great defect was, that Dissenters generally did not take proper means to meet the spiritual wants of the age, by the employment of missionary efforts.* Few meeting-houses had been built, or new churches formed, since the first excitement occasioned by the Toleration Act. Nonconformists had been resting on their oars ; churches, meant to be lights of the world, had been shut up and hidden; the four walls of the meeting-house had been, in too many instances, as a bushel or a bed to conceal the candle. Doddridge evidently saw the mischief of this, and sought to remedy the evil. He was projecting large schemes in reference to it, when death put a stop to all his zeal in this world. But the state of numbers is not the only or the chief consideration. As in the Establishment of that period, so among some of the Dissenters, the distinguishing truths of the gospel were laid aside, or rarely inculcated. Daniel Neal, in 1740, complains that evangelical preaching, according to the moderate Calvinistic type, was much out of fashion in the metropolis. Barker, three years afterwards, laments that the state of things was much the same as it had been; that the dis
* But the Baptists increased from 246 to 391.