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MEMOIR OF THE REV. WILLIAM BENGO’ COLLYER, D.D. F.A.S.
MIN 1st ER of HANOVER CHAPE L., PFCK HAM, AND OF sALTERs' HALL, LONDON 4" v 1 c E-PR Esid ENT, AND Ho No RARY MEMBER, of THE PHILosophic AL soci ETY
[with a ponth Air, ENGRAved by hex Ry Meyer, from An original painting - by samuel drum Mos D, Esq. A. R.A.]
Eo in the scale of nations by those many biessings conferred by Heaven upon herself alone, England may indeed be proud of all those immunities, which, like the rocks and seas encircling her happy Isle, seem to divide her from every land beside, and to fix our Britain,_* A world within itself.” —Through all her vicissitudes of fate, and all the changes of Time, and all the difficulties of peril, still have those blessings been as it were by miracle preserved, an evidence of past protection, and a pledge for future confidence. Yet amidst that magnificence of Fame, which pours its floods of splendour round her brow, there is a ray more pure, more bright, more permanent, than all those, which Valour can bestow, or Victory can consecrate. In England, Religion's sacred light sheds upon all around its holy influence, and, #. the pillared fire of Israel, beams at once her guide, her protection, and her
lory. Even in the darkest periods of É. history, and the most appalling moments of her danger and the gloomiest hours of her apprehension, still has the distant horizon been illumined by its beacon flame, and still have her hopes been cheered, and supported, and realized beneath its heavenly influence. In Britain, the sanctuaries of her Faith have been the bulwarks of her Rights, and Freedom, and those allars which have witnessed the Christian's worship of his Creator, have also made sacred the Briton's loyal vow of fealty to his Sovereigu, and of attachment to his country.
From England, even to the extremes of the four winds of creation, has gone forth the Angel-song of “Peace on earth, and of good will to man.”— From her stores of wisdom has been sent over every sea, and unto every shore... that blessed word of Truth, whose precepts teach defiance to the fear of 19ealii, by Pointing to an eternity of
bliss beyond it, and which unfold to man the knowledge of his duties here and of his hopes hereafter.—England, famed in the annals of the World, for all that is great in valour, and renowned in enterprise, and mighty in achievement, - whom Providence has ever blest with a peculiar care, and gifted with a peculiar favour, -the rampart home of exiled Liberty, when driven out from all lands else, the sanctuary of the slave, the refuge from oppression, — and the Palladium of many, a realm's last hope 1 — all distinguished as she justly is for these, yet is England more celebrated for that piety, which shall embalm the memory of its possessors with a radiance, that will endure when sun and stars are blotted from the map of Nature, and when all the pageants of this earth are perished, and forgotten, as though they had not been. Emanating from this sacred source, the example, and the effects of British philanthropy, have been extended to the remotest verge of human population, —have spread its sympathies over the whole brotherhood of man, and amidst the wilderness, the desarts, and the mountains of other climes, have scattered the peaceful virtues of Christian benevolence, and have softened into repose the savage horrors of uncivilized barbarity, by the mild and hallowed influence of Christian kindness. – To this pure source also may be traced that charity, which blest, and blessin as it flows, has given an example § every other nation of the world, and has raised the character of our country higher among the kingdoms of the earth, than all her triumphs ; – has ennobled her with a fame, compared with which, the conqueror's glories sink into obscurity, and laurels, nurtured with the blood of war, fade blighted from th: wreath, where flourish only those . . . . .an slowcrs of Paradise, no age can wither, and no storm destroy. Nor is Great Britain less renowned for the exemplary conduct of their characters, who are the teachers of her holy religion, and the dispensers of her sacred rites. Amongst the clergy, of all sects, are very many, whose genius, whose piety, and whose attainments, would have ranked high, even amidst those great names, which were so justly the pride of each past age in which they lived, and whose memories have received the homage, the reverence, and the admiration, of all succeeding generations. The churches of our venerable Establishment are distinguished by num: bers, who are indeed the ministers of their God, and who well deserve to be the spiritual successors of those, who, on the scaffold, and amidst the flames, bore witness to the truths they taught. —In the Church of Scotland,-the im
passioned eloquence, the fervid devo
tion, and the commanding talents of a Chalmers, well sustain that blaze of reputation which the virtues of her sons have thrown around it, and that eminence of piety for which it has been so long conspicuous. From the planetary orbs of Heaven, he has drawn down another ray of light, and of intelligence, to earth, and the starry ". of astronomy have, by the uncontrouled powgr of his genius, shed a new, and an hitherto unknown effulgence upon the Christian revelation.— Amongst the dissenters from our National Church, are also many, whose unaffected devotion, and superior learning, are at once an honour to their age and country, and a blessing to the conregations entrusted to their charge.— #. in this bright enrolment stands the name of Colly ER and in narrating a brief detail of his history, we feel convinced of all our readers estimating as we do, his distinguished talents and deserved fame.
WILLIAM BENGO’ COLLYER, the only surviving son of Thomas and Ann Collyer, was born on the 14th of April, 1783, at Deptford, in Kent, where his father was a builder, and in the vicinity of which village his respected parents yet reside. Out of four other children, none having lived to attain the age of two years, the hopes of the famil became centred all in him, towards whom they naturally lookcd, as thc last stay of thcir declining age, the ust nromise of sustaining their name
and memory. Excepting an eager anxiety and prepossession for the ministry, which developed itself with the earliest of his childish propensities, and has never since varied, nothing particular is to be noticed of his boyhood. Many anecdotes might indeed be related of his infantine wit and learning, but they would be only those which the parental fondness of erery mother treasures of her child, and which, perhaps, the intuitive penetration of maternal partiality only can discover. At the very early age of three years, he was sent to school, principally with the view of removing him out of hear. ing of the profanity of his father's workmen, who were at that period extremely numerous, and whose unrestrained conversation was very unfit to meet the ears of ebildhood. In the course of the following three years, he was removed to a superior school, and at the age of eight, was admitted into the public seminary belonging to the Leathersellers' Company. on Lewisham Hill. The juvenile studies of William Collyer were there distinguished by that love of reading which he still so ardently retains, and all his little store of pocket money was expended in purchasing books of history and science, to gratify a curiosity, which every additional volume only the more excited. With the Roman history, and Heathen mythology, he was decply and peculiarly interested ; and there was laid the foundation of those classical acquirements, which have been since so eminently distinguished in the research of Eastern antiquity, and Scripture criticism. Then it was that he afforded to his family the promise of repaying all their cares, in the dawn of that genius which gladdened his parents' hearts with the prospect of his one day becoming, their boast and ornament. At that public school he continued until nearly thirteen years of age; when, early in 1795, he was placed as an academic candidate, at the Old College, Homerton, under the care of the late Rev. John Fell, as preparatory to his admission into that seminary, when he should attain the age prescribed for students. In 1798, he was entered as a scholar, and admitted to the Divinity Lectures, after successfully passing the ordeal of a scrupulous examination in the Greek and Latin Classics, when scarcely sixtecu. . The subsequent three years and an half were passed under the care of i he resident intors of the rallere