Contributions To History -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 030:117 (Jan 1873)
Article: Contributions To History
Author: Anonymous

Contributions To History

No. I.—Letters Of Dr. John Ryland To Dr. Stephen West.

[Dr. John Ryland was born in Warwick, England, January 29th, 1753; was educated by his father, Rev. John C. Ryland, a noted instructor, author, and minister, pastor of a Baptist church at Warwick, afterwards at Northampton, England. Before Dr. Ryland was five years old “he read a chapter of the Hebrew Bible to the celebrated Hervey.” In his seventeenth year he was approbated as a preacher; he preached as an assistant to his father until 1781, when, at the age of twenty-eight, he was ordained as his father’s colleague at Northampton. He became, on his father’s removal, sole pastor of the Baptist church at Northampton, and continued in this office until 1793, when he was called to reside at Bristol, England, as pastor of the Broadmead Chapel, and President of the Bristol Educational Society, a “Theological Institute.” He preached at Northampton more than twenty years, at Bristol more than thirty, in all more than fifty years; and he died at Bristol in 1825. During his whole career he delivered “not less than eight thousand six hundred and ninety-one sermons, and at two hundred and eighty-six distinct places.” Robert Hall says that Dr. Ryland’s “attainments in the Hebrew language were profound, that he had a general acquaintance with the principles of science, and that his reading was various and extensive.” “He had a passion for natural history, in the pursuit of which he was much assisted by the peculiar structure of his eyes, which were a kind of natural microscopes. The observations he made on various natural productions, without the aid of instruments, were really surprising; and though the peculiarity in his visual organs deprived him of the pleasure of contemplating the sublime and magnificent features of nature, it gave him a singular advantage for tracing her minuter operations.” He published the following works: “Christianae Militiae Viaticum,” “Considerations on Baptism,” “Life of Andrew Fuller,” and a large number of smaller works. In 1826 were published two volumes of “Pastoral Memorials, selected from the Manuscripts of the late Rev. John Ryland, D.D.,” with a Memoir of Dr. Ryland, by his son, Jonathan Edwards Ryland; in 1862 appeared a new edition of his “Hymns and Verses on Sacred Subjects, with a Memoir by Dr. Hoby.” The following correspondence illustrates the sympathy which Dr. Ryland had with what was called the “New Divinity “of President Edwards, Dr. Bellamy, Dr. Samuel Hopkins, and other Hopkinsian divines; the processes through which many English theologians were brought into a like sympathy; the connection between the “New Divinity” and the missionary

enterprise, etc., etc. For a ...

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