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At Chelsea, where few of the inhabitants had been used to the gospel, the alteration in his preaching was not much approved. But what offended moft, was the fubftitution of a Tuesday evening lecture instead of the daily reading of prayers, which he rettricted to Wednesdays and Fridays. Grievous complaints were made to the Bishop: and his lordihip was requested to interfere. He did. Nr. Cadogan replied,---That the substitution of the lecture proved the frequency of reading prayers was not abolished through idleness or inattention--- That he must be allowed to judge what would be the best method of promoting the fpiritual welfare of the people of his parish ---That the reading of prayers every day took up too much of a minister's time, which could be better employed ---That very few ever attended the prayers---That they who did might' as well read the fcripture and pray at home, if they had the spirit of prayer ---That if they had not, but did it as a matter of form, on which they placed dependance, they might have reafon hereafter to rejoice that their false props were removed, and a course of inftru&tion substituted, that would lead them to Christ the only truc and fure foundation. After this wile' and spirited reply, he heard no more from his lordship on the subject. The discontented were not so easily appealed, nor could they, for a long time to come, be reconciled to his proceedings. He strove hard to do them good, and his ministry there was not without fruit; though it was not, in a coinparative view, very successful. Unhappily he fuffered himself to be prevailed on by the perfuafion of some of his family to let the Parlonage ; and, finding lodgings uncomfortable, and many unpleasant circumstances arising, which discouraged his attempts, he was induced to relide chiefly at Reading, leaving this very populous parish wholly in charge of his curate, Mr. Middleton, except at the season of lent, and the last Sabbath of the inonth, when he generally went up to preach and adminifter the Lord's Supper.
But at Reading his meffuge was differently received. The eiteem of the congregation almost bordered on vene, ration. From every part of the town, and the adjacent villages, such multitudes flocked to hear him, that it foon became ncceffary to creat spacious galleries, and even then the church was scarcely roomy enough for their acconmodation.
Besides preaching on Sundays, morning and evening, and fonietimes (the curate being ill or absent) in the afternoon,
he preached the Thursday evening lecture also ; and on the Tuesday evening he prayed and expounded the scriptures at his own house ; afterwards, when, by the blessing of God on his labours, the number of serious people so greatly increased that his parlour could not contain them, he removed this instructive exercise into the chancel.
Conscious of the importance of early impreffions, and the advantages of being able to read the word of God, he instituted four' Sunday Schools, in which upwards of 120 poor children were instructed. These he conftantly attended, encouraging the children to learn, by diftributing new books and money to such as made the greatest proficiency. At Christmas he not only gave them a dinner, but he preached a sermon to them, and composed a Hymn for them fuitable to the occation ; and was more than ufually delighted with the expressions of joy his own bounty had excited. A collection was made among the parishioners for paying the teachers : the deficiency, whatever it was, he fupplicd.
His family foon perceived that all hope of his advancement to prelacy would be plucked up by the root, unless they could dissuade or pervert hin from his new line of conduct. Arguments were ineffectual. . Allurements were adopted. He was almost entangled in the fnares they laid ; when, urged by the anguish of his mind, he suddenly escaped by a marriage, which for a long time produced an entire feparation. The breach, however, was afterwards made up, and an intercourse re-established. In the meanwhile, his religious experience had acquired such itability, that had they renewed their attempt, he would probably have been proof against their devices. Surely the Lord knowetha how to deliver the godly out of temptation; and to shield their head in the day of battle, in a manner, that, on reflection, will excite perpetual admiration and praise !
Consistency of conduct at last compelled esteem. They who were offended at his religion, could not but admire its effects in the uniforin tenor of his life; and were even conitrained to say, that he was a good man : His church, who knew him better than the world did, believed there was not upon earth fuch another. Indeed, never did any one enter more heartily into the work of God, nor perfevere in it with greater delight. Preaching was his element; and all his time was spent in doing good.
His discourses were truly evangelical. Their whole tendency was to exalt Christ, and to lead saints and liners to hinn for righteoufness, pardon, and peace, and all the bler.
1.05 fings of everlasting falvation. The manner of his delivery was forcible and manly; and, though his voice was rough, and disagreeable to strangers, yet his earnestness and wil. dom always commanded attention. His stile was pure, but remarkably plain; so that the most illiterate could under, stand the meaning of almost every word he uttered. He aimed at usefulness, not applause ; he laboured at the fimplicity of the gospel, and endeavoured to reduce the sublime and important truths of the Bible to the level of the meaneft capacity. And such an honour did God put upon his ministry, that few persons, in the present day, for the space of time he preached, have been more blessed to the conversion of young and old, rich and poor; of whom some went before him to glory, whilst the many who are left, are now following him, as he followed Christ, and will be his crown of rejoicing for ever.
He neither debilitated his mind by idleness and gossiping, nor_by gorging it with too much study. His Hebrew bible Was his chief delight. That and the Greek Testament, he read far more than all other books put together. To this blessed employment, most part of his mornings was devoted : fo that lie acquired a knowledge of the bible beyond most men, and expressed himself in the pulpit, and upon all other occasions, in the language of the Scripture, with incredible facility.
He was a reinarkably early riser, being mostly in his study by fix o'clock, even in winter. Exercise hé seldom neglected. If the weather were fine, he generally rode on horseback, two hours or more, and visited some part of the fick and poor of his congregation. To those in better circumstances, he used to say, “ If you are well, you must not “ expect me often ; if you are fick, I shall never fail to visit " you constantly."
What time he spent in secret prayer is known only to God and his own foul. It is supposed, however, he was much engaged in that duty. For when he had company, he would often retire from them to his study; and there, when most of the family were gone to rest, he has been frequently surprised on his knees, by the domestic, who usually took charge of the house.
The generosity of his mind was truly great. His charity was limited by his circumitances, not by his heart. He often excecded the bounds of rigid propriety, and straightened himtelf to enlarge others. He scarcely ever went to pray with the fick and afflicted, but he administered relief.
Nor could any of his congregation mention an object of distress, but he was always ready to give what they required. He felt for poor clergymen, who were faithful to their trust; and would sometimes inclose them a bank note in a kind, encouraging letter. He was, likewise, a liberal benefactor to the sick man's visitor;" and, to countenance it most effectually, he made a point of attending the society once a month; which he never failed to do, when at home, but in a single instance; and then he insisted on paying a guinea, by way of forfeit, that he might not be forgetful in future.
But whilft he was thus living and labouring, approved of God, and highly esteemed by all the people, a messenger was suddenly sent from Heaven, saying, “ Come up hither.” For on a Thursday, as soon as he came out of the pulpit, he was seized with an inflammation in his bowels, and continued in great pain till the Wednesday following. During that solemn interval, the hopes and fears of his church alternately prevailed; but he lay, refigned and happy, looking upward to the prize. He blesled his wife, his faithful domeftic, and his friends; he expressed his hope and confidence in Him, in whom he had believed ; and, on the 18th of January, 1797, every earthly tie being diffolved, in the 46th year of his age, he entered into the joy of his Lord.
Application was made, as soon as possible after his decease, by a person of high respectability to secure the living for a successor of the same principles, but it arrived too late ; for a gentleman of no leis eminence, who resides near Reading, had already applied and succeeded for a clergyman, whose modesty, (if the report be true, as we believe it is) can never be too much admired, nor too much regretted. Mr. Allcock (for that is his name) deliberated, and then declined the presentation, afligning, as his motive, his inability to fill with advantage a pulpit, conftantly occupied for many years, by so great a man as Mr. Cadogan. Unmoved by entreaties to consult the general wilhes of the people, the fame gentleman secured the gift for another. The people waited his coming, and repeatedly heard him with candour ; but grieved at not finding in his discourses the truths they valued more than life itself, they have at length resolved, after much reluctance, so far to separate from the established church, as to erect a chapel of their own, where they may worship God in their customary manner, and sit again under the refreshing sound of Jesus Christ and his falvation. Vol. VI.
As to the living of Chelsea, notwithstanding the pressing manner in which the principal inhabitants interested themselves in behalf of Mr. Middleton, it was disposed of to a Mr. Sturges, who held a vicarage near town, and that of St. Mary's, Reading. At first he shewed Mr. Middleton much respect, and indicated no disposition to displace him from the curacy. Some began to rejoice in the prospect of his continuance among them; but others supposed a union between a rector and curate of discordant sentiments would not be permanent. The event foon demonstrated the propriety of their conjecture. For Mr. Sturges, not long after his induction, gradually changed his conduct towards him ; till at last he even insisted on his making such an alteration respecting his future sermons, as he could not conscientiously comply with, and thus dissolved their connection, The parishioners, who sincerely loved him for his long and faithful services, grieved that a man of his knowledge, experience and character, should be removed from his situation, at an advancing period of life, in such a manner, have entered into a lubscription, to support him and his family, till he be otherwise provided for: and what must give not only him, but every one who hears of the circumítance the greatest satisfaction, the Bishop of London, in testimony of his approbation and esteem, lent him 501. and desired that his name might stand on the list of subscribers.
Mr. Cadogan's remains were interred in the chancel at St. Giles’s, on Thursday morning, January 26. His numerous congregation, in deep mourning, and with hearts overwhelmed with grief, attended; weeping, not for him, whose happy spirit was delivered from the burden of mortality, but for their own incalculable loss, in the death of a father, a paftor, and a friend.-- A monument, designed by Mr. Bacon, and executed by Mrs. Hill, has since been erected by them to his memory, with the following inscription :
To the Memory of
Their late faithful Pastor, The Hon. and Rev. WM. BROMLEY CADOGAN, A. M.
Second fon of the Right Hon. Lord Cadogan,
of this Church,