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except to church, and spent the remainder of it with them in reading the scriptures, and other devout exercises, at home. In this manner he lived to the age of eighty-five, and to the year of our Lord 1757.*

The surviving widow and one unmarried daughter, continued in the business at Hartlepool, much respected and beloved, being noted for their attention, not only to the bodily wants, but to the spiritual concerns of their fellow-creatures; for it was their custom tó read and explain the scriptures to their neighbours, which by some was called preaching; but it was probably no more than domestic instruction, to which they admitted all who wished to partake of it, with a view to the mutual comfort and edification of one another ; and such are deservedly ranked among “those women 66 who labour with us in the gospel, and whose names

are in the book of life," Phil. iv. 3. ·

The Rev. William Romaine, was the second + son of these believing parents. I Viewed perhaps with the

eye of faith, and seen to be a proper child: that is, as the original word signifies, possessed of a certain grace called urbanity, and, in its sacred use, describing one of a fair aspect to God and his people, which indicates a formation for usefulness in the city of the

* For this account of the birth and parentage of the Rev. Mr. Romaine, we are indebted to Mr. Calledder, of Newcastle, who married one of his sisters.

+ His elder and only brother was settled as a grocer in London, and died suddenly at the George Inn, at Buckden, in the thirtieth year of

bis age.

# I call his parents believers by his own authority, finding the following expressions in a letter to a friend, dated July 30th, 1784. “We

hope next Monday to set out for the North. In all probability for " the last time. I have three sisters alive, all in years as well as my“ self, and we are to have a family meeting, to take our leave final as " to this life. It has brought a great solemnity upon my spirits; and " would be too much for my feelings, had I not all the reason in the “ world to believe that our next meeting will be in glory. Mr. Whit"" field used often to put me in mind, how singularly favoured I was. He " had none of his family converted; and my father and mother, and " three sisters, were like those blessed people, And Jesus loved Mar" tha and her sister, and Lazarus; and as they loved him again, so " do we.”

*

great King. His early discoveries of great talents, and an equal desire to improve them, induced his parents to send him to the grammar school at Houghton le Spring, in the county of Durham, founded by the celebrated rector of that parish, Bernard Gilpin. А school which flourished much in the time of its found er; nor did it loose its credit after his decease, as a “ seminary of sound learning and religious knowledge, “ from which many have gone to our universities, and

proved great ornaments to the church and nation.” Among these surely may be reckoned that eminent person who is the subject of these memoirs : he was seven years at Houghton school, and, having acquired all the learning which that institution afforded, was sent to Oxford in the year 1730 or 1731. He was first entered at Hertford College, and thence removed to Christ Church. His tutor (as I think he has been heard to say.) was the Rev. Mr. Fifield Allen, who was afterwards chaplain to bishop Gibson, archdeacon of Middlesex, subdean of the chapel royal, a prebendary of St. Paul's, and editor of the three Electras used in Westminster school. His proficiency under his tutor, whoever he was, may be inferred from his early appearance

as an author, and that not of the common sort, but as one who had read much before he wrote any thing; who had particularly studied the scriptures in their original tongues, as an essential preparative for that holy function to which he was destined, and in which he afterwards excelled so much to the edifying of the church..

As a proof of his employment in the seats of literas ture, and of the estimation in which he was held by his superiors in them, we have a remarkable anecdote, brought forward in the excellent sermon upon his death; preached and published by his late curate, and present successor in the church of Blackfriars :

never his foible, his mind was superior to such bor

* See an account of this school in the life of Bernard Gilpin, in the second volume of the Rev. Mr. Middleton's Biography, p. 205, &c..

66 Dress was

" *

His first engage

“ rowed ornaments; and, immersed in nobler pursuits “ of literature, before consecrated to a still more exalt“ed purpose, he paid but little attention to outward “ decorations. Being observed to pass by rather neg“ ligently attired, a visitor enquired of his friend, a “ master of one of the colleges, Who is that slovenly

person with his stockings down? The master replied, " That slovenly person as you call him, is one of the

greatest geniuses of the age, and is likely to be one of as the greatest men in the kingdom.”

He resided principally at Oxford, till he took his degree of Master of Arts, which he did on the fifteenth day of October, 1737, having been ordained a deacon at Hereford a year before, by the then bishop of that see, Dr. Henry Egerton; whether by a nomination to a cure in his diocese, or by letters dismissory from some other bishop, is not certain. ment, after he was in orders, was the curacy of Loe Trenchard, near Lidford in Devonshire.

He went there upon a visit with one of his cotemporaries at Oxford, whose father lived at Lidford; and upon the express condition, that his friend would find him employment in the way of his profession. This employment was accordingly found for him in the church aforementioned, which he served for six months, most probably, of the year in which he took his master's degree. In the year following, he was resident at Epsom, in Surrey, as appears by a letter, dated from that place, October 4th, 1738, and written to Mr. Warburton, upon the publication of his first volume of the Divine Legation of Moses ; of which letter some notice shall be presently taken. And on the fifteenth day of December, in the same year, he was ordained a priest by the then bishop of Winchester, Dr. Benjamin Hoadly. His title for orders was most probably a nomination to the church of Banstead, which he served for some years together with that of Horton, in Mid

* See Mr. Goode's funeral Sermon, and the authorities there referred to,

dlesex, being curate to Mr. Edwards, who had both these livings. At Banstead, he became acquainted with sir Daniel Lambert, who had a country house in that parish, an alderman of the city of London, and elected lord-mayor in the year 1741. Mr. Romaine was appointed his chaplain, and so had a door of utterance opened to him in the cathedral church of St. Paul; where he delivered the second sermon that he printed on the 14th and 15th verses of the second chapter of the Epistle to the Romans; in which is to be found a critical and a Christian illustration of that difficult passage. Though we do not discover in this sermon the same fertile experience, use, and application of the truth, as are to be found in his latter writings; yet we discover the same truth itself by which he was then made free from the errors of the day, and in the knowledge and enjoyment of which he lived and died. We discover in it the reasoning of a logical head, the writing of a classical pen, the religion of a believing heart, and the preaching of a sound divine. The point evidently pursued in it is redemption from sin by the blood of Jesus, as it was revealed from God to Adam, and through him to the patriarchs; to Moses and the prophets, and through them to the Israelites; and as it was conveyed to the Gentiles, before the preaching of the gospel among them, by tradition ; which is the only probable cause of their sacrifices, or appeasing the Deity by the shedding of blood, a custom so unnatural in itself, and yet so universally prevalent among them. In short, the object of this discourse, is to prove that a creature, whether upright or fallen, was never made to teach himself, but to learn from his Maker ; and to hold forth to men the only religion which is suited to their fallen condition : not as the religion of nature, but as the religion of grace: not as a human device, but as a divine revelation. And let the author of it be considered as having attained only to the age of twenty-seven years, and he may be thought to have discovered in it a maturity of judgnient, a proficiency of reading, meditation, and doctrine, to which few, in so early a period of life have attained.

The truth is, he was a believer-possessed of that unfeigned faith which dwelt in his father and his mother before him, and we are persuaded that it was in him also. And that from a child he had known the scriptures, having studied them with that proper faculty, by which alone they are able to make us wise unto salvation, viz. faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim. i. 5. ii. 15.

The sermon which he printed prior to that just mentioned, was one preached before the university of Oxford, March 4th, 1739, entitled, The Divine Legation of Moses demonstrated, from his having made express mention of, and insisted so much on, the Doctrine of a Future State : whereby Mr. Warburton's Attempt to prove the Divine Legation of Moses from the Omission of a Future State is proved to be absurd and destructive of all Revelation.

This was followed above two years after by a second sermon

upon the same subject, and from the same text, entitled, “ Future Rewards and Punishments, proved “ to be the Sanctions of the Mosaic Dispensation." This sermon was preached at St. Mary's, in Oxford, in the end of the year 1741, and printed in the begin. ning of the next year.

Whoever wishes to know more of this controversy between Mr. Romaine and Mr. Warburton may get some information from the second volume of the history of the works of the Learned, for August, 1739, where are to be found Mr. Romaine's original letter to Mr. Warburton, and a second to the editor of the General Evening Post, occasioned by the publication of the first, with Mr. Warburton's remarks in this paper.

There is nothing in them as to the main question then in agitation, but what is to be found in the sermons upon the same subject, of which they appear to

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