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FROM THE LIBRARY OF
REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON, D. D.
BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO
THE LIBRARY OF
PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
^1 1 m
MEMOIR OF THOMAS T. LYNCH
WLaxte h% iljamas %. ITjmcb,
THE RIVULET. A Contribution to Sacred Song. Small 8vo. 3s. 6ci.
SERMONS FOR MY CURATES. Edited: by the Rev. S. Cox. Post
LETTERS TO THE SCATTERED. Post 8ro. «.
W. ISBISTER & CO., 56, LUDGATE HILL, LONDON.
THOMAS T. LYNCH
WILLIAM L 'WHITE
W. ISBISTER & CO.
56, LUDGATE HILL, LONDON
PRINTED BY VIRTUE AND CO.
A Photograph of Mr. Lynch taken in 1864 by Mr. "W. E.
Debenham, Massingham House, Haverstock Hill, and
reproduced by the Woodbury Process . . Frontispiece
Limit of Material I
Reasons for the Biography 2
Autobiographical as far as possible 3
Early Years. — 1818-1840.
Birth and Parentage 4
Death of his Father 4
Removal of Family to London 6
Thomas in School 7
Painful and serious Illness 8
Studies and Recreations 9
"Dedication. To Myself" IO
"Bible and Nature" *3
" Vicissitudes of the Country " J 5
"Our Sofa" l6
Genesis and Geology J 7
Visit to Wales J 9
Spiritual Condition and Studies 21
Divine Providence in Happiness and Suffering ... 25
Churchmen and Dissenters 3°
Dignity of the Scholastic Office 3°
Commencement of Ministry.— 1 841 -1846.
Joins Rev. John Yockney's Church 34
Service as Sunday-school Teacher and District Visitor . . 36
Views as to the Ministry 38
The National Situation 40
Mixed Character in Politics 41
Thoughts on Illness and Convalescence 45
Concerning a Pupil 48
Visits Llanelly ......... 49
"To Men in their Sober Senses " 49
Preaches at Swansea 51
And at Mumbles 52
How his Absence was felt at Islington 54
Hopes and Hindrances 55
Preaches occasionally in London 56
Letter on Condition and Prospects in reference to Ministry . 56
Enters Highbury College as Day-Student .... 59
Retirement and Letter thereon 59
"Thoughts on a Day," and Account of Publication
How to be Happy when Miserable
HlGHGATE. — 1 847- 1 849.
Death of his Mother 66
Her Epitaph, and Letter concerning her last Hours . . 67
Accepts Pastorate at Highgate 71
Letter from Dr. Simpson 72
Impression made by his Preaching 75
Incident at Highbury College 76
Conditions at Highgate 76
Resigns the Charge 81
Improved Health and Strength 81
Mortimer Street.— 1849-1852,
Invited to Stamford
Decides for Mortimer Street .
Marriage, September, 1849 .
Lecturing Engagements .
"Memorials of Theophilus Trinal "
Letter from Lord Lytton
Letter to Dr. Samuel Brown .
Character of Work in Mortimer Street
Presentation to Mr. Lynch
Definition of his Aims as Preacher
Church-song and Dr. Watts .
Removal to Fitzroy Chapel .
Fitzroy Chapel.— 1 852- 1 855.
Chapel in Grafton Street 97
Lectures on Forms of Literature in Manchester . . .97
And on Self-Improvement in Fitzroy Chapel .... 9^
What Sermons may be 9^
Definition of his Ecclesiastical Position 100
His Assiduity as Preacher 101
Character of his Pastoral Labour 102
His Friendliness 104
Testimony of Rev. Edward White as to Ministerial Intercourse 105
Contributions to Christian Spectator 106
Publication of " Rivulet " 106
The " Rivulet" Controversy.
A Prophecy 107
Beginning of Uproar in Morning A dvertiser . . . . 107
Eclectic Review summoned to Retract 108
Protest signed by Fifteen Ministers 108
Dr. Campbell intervenes 108
His Assertions 109
Grant and Campbell's Agitation no
" Songs Controversial," by Silent Long no
"Ink and Drink" in
" A Negative Affair " 112
"Eye Salve" 113
"The Pharisee Changed" 114.
" The Way and the End " 117
"Ethics of Quotation," by Silent Lon
Proposed Compromise .
"The Great Grace of Indignation"
A Review of the "Rivulet " Controversy
Bonds of Brotherhood ! .
Evil and Good mutually exclusive .
Judgment as of Hail
" The Trick " of Religious Newspapers
Occasion of the Controversy .
Origin of the " Rivulet "
" Christ in his Word draws near " .
Conversation in an Omnibus .
News from the Advertiser
Characteristics of the Advertiser .
Mr. Grant's Tactics
Enter the Rev. Dr. Campbell
Mr. Grant threatens the Eclectic Review
Doctrine and Character .
How the Editor of the Eclectic met Mr. Grant's att
Gog re-enforced by Magog .
Mr. Grant remonstrated with
But wholly in vain ....
His Method of Quotation
With Blustration ....
The Protest of Fifteen Ministers defended
Theological Statements out of place in Hymns
Sir Sulphur Vaunty ....
How the Panic spread ....
Dr. Campbell's Share therein
Religion distinguished from Theology .
The Christian Cabinet and Mr. Spurgeon
Meeting of the Congregational Union
Mr. Binney's Policy l8 °
Vindication of the " Rivulet *' l8 3
Mr. Binney's Claims to Respect . . . . ■ .184
The Congregational Union and the Controversy . . .185
Importance of the Controversy T 86
Its Revelations of Malignity and Intolerance . . . .187
Christ is the Truth . . . ] 88
Heretical Orthodoxy 189
Freedom in Christ 19 1
Variety in which the Church may rejoice . . . .192
Spurious Orthodoxy 196
Quotation from Mr. Porter 1 97
And Application to present Case 199
"Wherein is Orthodoxy 200
The Faithful Fifteen 201
Final Exhortation 203
Lessons of the Controversy 205
Illness and Withdrawal from Duty.— 1856-1859.
Visit to Lincolnshire
Charge of Peculiarity
To an Admirer of Swedenborg
To Mrs. Samuel Brown .
To an " Orthodox Correspondent "
Serious and Painful Illness
Compelled to withdraw from Duty
Letter to Congregation on Retirement
A dreary Vacation.— 1 859- 1 860.
Letter from Bournemouth 223
Alternations and Hopes 226
Meets his Friends, 16th January, i860 229
Preaches four Sundays in April and May .... 234
Letter from Bangor 235
At Home again 238
Resumption of Duty.— 18G0- 1862.
Ministry in Gower Street 240
Address to Congregation 240
" Three Months' Ministry" 243
To a Minister in Affliction 243
To a Daughter on the Death of her Mother .... 244
Divine Authority of the Bible 246
A Weak Conscience 247
MORNINGTON CHURCH. — 1862-1867.
Erection and Opening of Church 248
Service limited to Once a Day 249
The Visionary Cross 249
Loss of the Soul 250
Spiritualism . . . . . . . . . .252
Jacob Behmen and William Law 253
Sense of Weariness 254
On the Death of a Father 254
Advice to a Minister on his Election
About a Sermon .
Visit to Scotland .
Presbyterian Freedom .
On the Death of a Child
A Letter in "Winter
To a Clergyman in New York
A Fire and its Consequences
The augmented "Rivulet" and other Matters.
After Twelve Years 268
New Edition of " Rivulet " 269
A Letter of Thanks and Much else . . . . .270
A Light-hearted Mourner 2 S3
To a Father on the Death of his Daughter .... 283
On a Poetess and her Opinions 284
A Case of Wine 286
To a Request to Preach in the Country . . . . . 2S7
Work and Care 288
Desire to report Sermons 288
" A Group of Six Sermons " 289
Reasons for Nonconformity 290^
Destructive Criticism 292
A Reason for Not Writing 293
The Last Year. — 1870-1871.
Uselessness of Holiday 296
Comfort out of Discomfort 297
A Sermon that could not Get Out 298
Over Much Affliction 299
A Note of Consolation . . 299
To a Mother on the Illness of her Son 301
World, Flesh, and Devil 302
To an Invitation to Preach] 303
To a Repetition of the Invitation 305
Weak yet no Sign of Weakness in the Pulpit . . . 306
The Last Sermon 307
Final Illness 308
Release, 9th May, 1871 309
Funeral and Services 309
" Sermons for my Curates" 310
Epitaph in Abney Park Cemetery 311
How Mr. Lynch was limited 312
His Work as a Preacher 312
His Extraordinary Affluence . . . . * . . 313
His Sermons addressed to the Thoughtful . . . . 314
His Success in dealing with Scepticism .... 315
His " Comfortable Ministry " 315
Value of "The Rivulet" in worship . . . ' . .316
Mr. Lynch in Conversation 318
His Common-sense and Wide Sympathy 319
Chronological List of Mr. Lynch' s Writings . . . . 320
TT is considered a mistake to commence a
book with an apology, and yet an apology
seems requisite for the present Memoir. The
materials for an adequate and attractive
biography do not exist. Mr. Lynch kept no
diary, nor was he, especially in latter years,
much of a letter-writer. His correspondence
was generally limited to notes, which, though
bright with wise and kind and piquant remarks,
could not be published without explanations
that would submerge the text.
Why then make the attempt ?
Because those who knew Mr. Lynch, whether
through his ministry or his writings, are urgent,
and reasonably urgent, to have some account of
2 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
his career, however imperfect. " If there is not
much to tell," they say, "at least let us have
what there is."
And though we have not all that we desire,
there are many things we are unwilling should
Mr. Lynch suffered severely from detraction,
and it is due to justice that the truth concerning
him should be placed on record. His biography,
moreover, affords invigorating evidence of what
is possible to Christian faith — how infirmity and
pain, sorrow and calumny, may be surmounted ;
and a spirit, not only of resignation, but of
cheerfulness, thankfulness, and hope maintained.
Those who knew Mr. Lynch most intimately
will know with what sincere simplicity he
« nth March, 1868.
" If you were a preacher I fancy you would
feel, as I do, very much dissatisfied with your-
self. And physical infirmity aggravates the
spiritual difficulty of the work. But after the
wave has gone a hundred times over my head,
my head for the hundred and first time appears
again over the wave, and is greeted by a sun-
beam. Many are the sad things of life, but it
is fear that is most to be feared, and doubt
that is most to be distrusted."
And remembering his sincerity and simplicity,
we have thought it well to preserve a clear
and straightforward style throughout the
Memoir, leaving Mr. Lynch as far as possible
to speak for himself. He had a nice sense of
words, a passion for accuracy, and an abhor-
rence of eulogy that meant little ; and with the
fear of his disapprobation over us, we have felt
safety in defect rather than excess.
npHOMAS TOKE LYNCH was born on the
5th of Jury, 1 81 8, at Dunmow, Essex,
where his father, John Burke Lynch, was a
surgeon, held in much respect for his kindness
and professional skill. His mother, Miss Lydia
Daniel, of Derby, had been married in her
nineteenth year, and he was the tenth of eleven-
When Thomas was two years old, his father
died ; and the occasion and circumstances of his
death are thus described : —
" It was winter, and there were heavy rains,
and much sickness. Fatigued, and suffering
from a cold, he was invited to attend the funeral
EARLY YEARS. 5
of one of his deceased patients. From regard
to her and her friends, he imprudently went ;
but, used to exposures, he went without much
fear. The day was wet and cold ; and as he
stood by the grave, he felt he was wounded,
but knew not that it was fatally. Death was
with him when he returned from the dead. For
some days he was ill, and as much as possible
he rested ; but one evening, returning early for
a few additional hours of sleep, soon after he
had lain down, he heard his surgery-bell ring
violently. He rang his own, that he might
know what was wanted. The messenger was
from one seized with sudden and dangerous
sickness. On learning this he rose at once, and
ordered his horse. ' Surely/ said his wife, ' you
will not go, ill as you are ? ' ' Lydia,' said he,
*■ something must be instantly done, or the man
will die.' Very sorrowfully she closed the door,
as the sound of his horse's gallop died away.
All night he was absent, and at daybreak he
returned weary and very ill. Retiring to his
bed, he remained there through the day. That
day his wife did for him all that the disciplined
6 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
ingenuity of love could devise. The next morn-
ing, as she was preparing his breakfast in the
parlour, his bell rang. She was by his side
before it had ceased sounding ; but when she
entered, he lay as the dead, smitten senseless.
If moments may be discriminated, the first was
of agony, the second of prayer, the third of wise
action. Instantly she despatched messengers to
a surgeon and physician, both attached friends.
Though they were each able to arrive shortly,
they arrived in vain. Said the surgeon
earnestly, * We must save him ; we must ! '
The physician shook his head. What could be
done was done ; but that night a new name was-
entered on God's book of widows." *
Mrs. Lynch, yielding to the advice of friends,
removed to London, and settled in Islington,,
devoted herself to her numerous family, several
of whom died in early life. She was a woman
of great energy, and of most genial disposition —
artless, affectionate, cheerful, attracting the love
of all who knew her.
Thomas was a bright boy, of eager, vigorous
* Theophilus Trinal.
EARLY YEARS. 7
intellect, fond of sports, and excelling therein.
To his mother's peculiar satisfaction, he gave
evidence of a pious disposition, and a serious
and protracted illness when about eight years
of age tended, no doubt, to deepen religious
thoughtfulness. Many little poems and hymns
written in childhood prove how early he con-
nected things seen and temporal with things
unseen and eternal.
He was for some time a pupil and afterwards
an usher in a school at Islington. One who
was his companion there writes, —
" It is about forty years since I made Mr.
Lynch' s acquaintance as a school-boy. I have
a vivid remembrance of his bright flashing eyes
lit up with intelligence, his conspicuous ability,
his ardent thirst for knowledge, his amiability
of disposition, and his general excellence of
character. I procured for myself a Hebrew
grammar, lexicon, and Bible, that I might
assist him in commencing Hebrew. When he
became a fellow-assistant, I think we read
together portions of the Greek Testament and
8 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
of the Septuagint. He was a capital teacher.
I do not remember the slightest jar."
His constitution, however, was not sufficiently
robust for the duties of the school-room, and
it became an anxious question as to where he
should find occupation. His mother, with true
prescience, was persuaded that his vocation was
that of the preacher, nor was his disposition at
variance with hers.
At this juncture a painful and serious afflic-
tion overtook him. Whilst sitting at dinner he
was suddenly seized with a constriction of the
throat which prevented his swallowing. The
affection was not transient, but, with allevia-
tions, life-long, and for several years subsequent
to the first attack, he could take little or no
solid food. At the same time his appetite was
good, and he had to endure the pangs of semi-
starvation. The best physicians were con-
sulted, but no marked relief was obtained. The
nervous system they said required strength-
ening, and cessation from study and ease of
life were their prescriptions.
EARLY YEARS. 9
Compelled to pass many hours in solitude, his
mind was more and more engrossed with the
seriousness of life and the interior relations of
God and man.
Among his chief recreations was botany. No
wild flower for miles around was unknown to
him; and the sight of a new plant, or of one
which he had not seen for years, continued
to afford him intense pleasure throughout life.
In music, too, he found exquisite satisfaction.
As he wrote, " Music ventilates my spirit. My
ears become the opened windows of my soul,
and sweet airs enter — airs from the everlasting
hills of hope, across which lies the heavenly
country." A sister taught him the notes, and
from thence he trained himself to considerable
proficiency. Handel, Mendelssohn, and Purcell
were his favourite composers ; and Purcell, he
thought, had never received the appreciation
that was his due.
Verse-writing was one of his occasional
amusements, and as if the youth contemplated
the publication of a volume he prepared the
following curious —
io MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
" Dearest Myself, — As you have had some concern
in writing these verses, and are besides my oldest and
most intimate friend, it is but proper that I should dedi-
cate them to you. I wish you to take this rather as a
token of affection than respect. Our near relationship
and close intimacy make me still retain some regard for
you, although you have much injured me and thwarted
many of my designs. Perhaps this token of that regard
may induce you to alter your conduct, which I confess
has much distressed me lately. Since you have, as I said
at first, been privy to the writing of these verses, and
given me also some aid, they will perhaps if you peruse
them carefully, bring old times to your remembrance,
and make you think how very unkind you have been to
me. I do not wish to be too hard upon you, because I
know that I have not been altogether faultless, but I
would have you consider that since nature has made me
so dependent upon you, you ought to use your power
mercifully. You know very well that when I want to
be doing one thing, and feel that I ought to do it, you
try to make me do something else, and either compel
EARLY YEARS. u
me to desist from my attempt, or make that attempt a
failure, and sometimes when a little poetic feeling comes
upon me, you chase it rudely away • nay, when I have
been carefully nurturing a thought for my own improve-
ment or innocent pleasure, you have disturbed me, and
compelled me to desist, and then, when I have en-
deavoured to recollect the thoughts that pleased me.
you have prevented me. Now I would not blame you
too much, because it is not to be expected that you
and I should always agree, had you not been more
tyrannical and hard to please lately, than ever you were.
You know very well that you have deprived me of
many little indulgences you used to allow me. You
once would help me if I attempted to write a few
verses. Perhaps you will say that you do not help me
now, because I do not write such as please you. I
know they have many faults, but you are to blame
for this — not I. I do my best, but as you are aware,,
cannot do much without your assistance. Why will
you not help me? Why will you vex me with your
ill-humour? And when I seek relief by shunning your
company, why will you still follow and annoy me ? I
am desirous to maintain my friendship with you, but
really can scarcely avoid a quarrel. I would not have
you be too confident of your power, for I have many
12 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
hopes of being one day your master, instead of as I now
am, almost your slave. I must however allow that
sometimes you are as agreeable as I could wish. You
must recollect well how pleasant our intercourse to-
gether has been on such occasions. I wish we had such
times a little oftener. We might have, if it were not
for you, for though I have sometimes treated you im-
properly, I am now as desirous of your welfare, as of
my own. I shall say no more, but shall leave the verses
to work their effect upon you : they ought to be valuable
to you ; they will let you, not a little, into the secret of
your own nature. They were written as much for your
benefit and amusement as my own, and excepting you
and I nobody has anything to do with them. I rather
court than fear your criticism, because, as I have told
you, you are to blame for most of their faults, and I wish
you to feel ashamed of the defects that have arisen
through your unkindness.
" I remain,
11 My dearest myself,
" Your affectionate though injured companion,
EARLY YEARS. 15
I'm sitting in the evening shade,
The Bible on my knee,
Heav'n's canopy is over head,
Its air around me free.
And in my heart I trust the love
Of Christ my Saviour glows ;
My eye is on the depths above,
My spirit in repose.
I've often looked upon this sky,
And often felt its charm,
And oft I've seen the clouds float by
Upon its bosom calm ;
And yet this gentle quiet eve
It fills me with delight,
Fresh beauties yet I can perceive,
Enjoy again the sight.
It is as if the glorious scene
Were wholly new to me,
And why ? — 'tis true the sky serene
Has not this novelty ;
But yet it is as fresh and fair
As if it just were made,
There is the stamp of newness there,.
Newness that cannot fade.
I would not have another sky,
Nor other sun or moon,
Nor other starry lights on high,
Nor other flowers at noon.
MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
Oh no ! of those that now we have
I never sure can tire,
I've loved, will love them to the grave,
Nor any change desire.
And thus, O Lord ! this book of Thine,
This sacred book of truth,
Although with its contents divine
Familiar from my youth,
Is still as fresh and fair to me
As Nature's smiling face,
I ask, I want not novelty,
In Thy displays of grace.
Its'sacred stories are like flowers
Of every form and dye ;
Its truths like stars at midnight hours,
That speak immensity ;
Its sun of righteousness, that shows
At every page His light,
Like Nature's sun, for when he glows,
Surrounding Heaven is bright.
In these I've ever something new,
Fresh with each coming day,
Some beauty to attract my view
"Whose charm will not decay.
I want not any change till Thou
Shalt will that I shall die,
And make the part thou giv'st me now,
Whole in eternity.
EARLY YEARS. i 5
VICISSITUDES OF THE COUNTRY.
The country is pleasant when forth you can go,
And wander in valley and hill to and fro ;
Can see the blue sky and breathe the fresh air,
And x "gaze on the prospect unbounded and fair ;
Cull each pretty wild flower, scan every nook,
And trace among meadows the wandering brook.
Look forth on the upland and down on the vale,
And over the steep, rugged hill-path prevail,
Till the summit attained, with admiring eye
The valleys and streams, hills and woods, you descry,
All glowing in sunlight, or deepening in shade,
See Nature's sweet objects in beauty arrayed.
But when sky is obscured and sunshine is gone,
And all that the eye meets is vapour alone ;
When through the damp air the landscape looks dim,
And close o'er the water the boding birds skim,
The hill-sides are misty, the valleys are dark,
In the cornfields no more sings the gay merry lark ;
When Nature turns cheerless, and gloom all around
From the ground to the sky, from the sky to the ground
The eye roves in dismay, all delights are forgot,
No longer is thought of each beautiful spot ;
The pleasures of town-life are sighed for again ;
For 'tis found that with pleasure, the country has pain.
1 6 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
There lived of late a bard who sung
In lofty strains the Sofa's praise ;
Like him, but with untutored tongue,
A song on kindred theme I raise.
" Our Sofa," subject of my song,
Oh aid my muse to strike her lyre,
In notes as high and deep and long
As thy dimensions can inspire.
No mere apology art thou,
Unworthy of the Sofa's name,
Oh no ! compared with thee, I trow,
All other Sofas sink in shame.
Capacious front and lofty back,
And cushioned seat most wondrous wide,
And massive legs that would not crack,
If Lambert's self should rest his side.
All^these thou hast, yea, more, — thy length,
Stretching full many a foot along,
Might let Goliath's wearied strength
His full extent of legs prolong.
Unlike the man with ass of yore,
Who pleasing some, displeased the rest,
To loll, or nap, or sigh, or snore,
All who desire will seek thy breast.
EARLY YEARS. 17
No narrow width repels the fat,
No cramped extent excludes the long,
Let all who ever on thee sat
Take up thy praise and join my song.
Thou peerless Sofa ! many a year
May'st thou afford a quiet seat,
And still continue to appear
To tired legs a safe retreat,
Recruiting youth's exhausted power,
And resting age's wearied frame ;
How pleasant art thou at this hour !
Long, long may'st thou remain the same.
"Genesis and Geology" in those times stood
for an alarming and irritating controversy, and
in a letter to a friend occurs the following
remarks on Dr. Pye-Smith's share therein : —
" Islington, 7th. June, 1S38.
"I did not hear Dr. Smith's Lectures on
Geology. I hope he will publish them, that I
may have the opportunity of perusal. It is
reported, surely not with truth, that the Con-
gregational Board have refused to publish the
Doctor's lectures because they disapprove his
sentiments. Can this be so ? As a Dissenter I
i8 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
feel ashamed at the thought. I feel convinced
that no better method could be devised for
bringing the Bible into contempt, and religion
into ridicule, than wilfully to place the book
of God in opposition to the truths of science,
and turn the grand instrument of human felicity
into an engine to keep back advancing intellect.
To require for Truth more than truth demands
is to turn its enemy. To make the Bible an
authority on matters which come not within its
province may be the result of a sincere feeling
of respect for it, but it is not a respect which
either religion or reason approves. If the Bible
be really the word of God, and our interpre-
tation of it be disproved by the facts of science,
that interpretation must be wrong. It must
ever be recollected, though I do not remember
having seen it argued, that our belief in the
Bible as a revelation from God rests on no
higher evidence than any scientific truth. If
the evidence on which its authority rests,
Historic and Internal, did not satisfy our reason,
we should reject it. Now, when an opponent of
Geology, or any other science that appears to
EARLY YEARS. 19
contradict Scripture, says to me — You are to
believe the word of God rather than trust the
fallacious reasonings of men, he forgets that he
is virtually, by telling me to distrust and dis-
believe my senses, removing the very basis on
which my faith in revelation rests."
From another letter we select a few passages
relating to his health and prospects : —
" Llanelly, Caermarthenshire,
" \$th October, 1838.
"I have for some time past been staying in
Wales I left at Christmas last, the
weak state of my health rendering me incapable
of any longer discharging my duties. Since
then I have remained at home unable to enter
on any other engagement. I still continue in a
very weak and nervous state, quite prevented
from attending to my studies, and indeed
unequal to any continued mental effort
At present it would be useless for me to treat for
any situation, uncertain as I am when I shall
again enjoy health and vigour of body and
20 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
mind. It has been, as you may readily believe,
a great trial to me to give up study, but my
medical advisers required me to do so, and pro-
hibited me for some time even from reading,
although in this respect I cannot say I obeyed
them to the full extent. They ascribe my afflic-
tion to my having had greater mental exertion
than I had physical strength to support
"From the little experience I have had in
teaching, I have formed high ideas of the
importance of the teacher's work, the responsi-
bility of his office, and the qualifications, par-
ticularly moral ones, that are required of him.
I feel strongly how lofty a standard of personal
excellence he should aim at, and how constant
and persevering must be his efforts to attain it.
Should I again enter the employment, I trust it
will be under the influence of these feelings. I
have been, however, for some time doubtful
whether I should again engage in teaching, or
enter on a university course of study."
To the same friend he wrote four months
subsequently : —
EARLY YEARS. 21
"Islington, 12th February, 1839.
" I am thankful I am able to tell
you that I am getting better, and though I am
not very sanguine as to a speedy recovery, yet
I do hope I shall be thoroughly restored in
" I thank you for the hope you so kindly
express that in my case affliction may have
been the means of spiritual improvement : this
is the result it ought to produce in me, and I
trust it has in some measure done so. Let me
assure you that the friendly earnestness with
which you press upon me what I as well as
yourself feel to be the most important of all
subjects needs no apology. I have for some
time felt the evil of my own heart, and the
necessity for its renewal by those influences of
God's Spirit which are alike needed by all and
promised to all. But I will freely confess, that
though religion has ever had my respect, and I
have been ready to acknowledge its importance,
it once occupied but a subordinate place in my
practical regard. I trust that I have now a
deeper feeling of its value and its claims, and
22 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
endeavour to act accordingly. I now feel that
the greatest acquirements, the highest mental
cultivation, are vain if religion be neglected —
incapable of affording happiness to their pos-
sessors or of benefiting the world as they might
do if joined to true piety. But though I feel
this to be true, I do not for a moment allow that
there is any necessary opposition between the
pursuit of human learning and the claims of
religion. I will readily admit that many of the
wise and learned of this world have been either
indifferent to the revelation of their Maker's
will, or have openly scoffed at it and derided its
authority ; but this is not because there is any
peculiar tendency in their pursuits to produce
such a disposition ; it may be traced to causes
altogether independent of them. Science and
literature may be pursued with the paltry object
of gaining distinction : when this is the case,
the zeal and ardour which are directed to their
cultivation are but one of the many forms
which that love of the world, which is enmity
to God, can assume. But when they are loved
for their own sakes, when the mind finds its
EARLY YEARS. 23
reward in the pleasure it derives from the
contemplation of truth, the danger of the record
of Divine Truth being neglected is far less.
God manifests the same attributes in the plan of
the universe, in all that man can understand
of its vast extent and its varied details, that He
manifests in the volume of Inspiration : and
I do not really believe either that the Bible
can be properly appreciated, without a love of
science — that science which teaches us to ad-
mire God's works, or that Nature in all her
grandeur, loveliness, and perfection can be
fully understood without the Bible. One great
reason, I think, why so many possessed of
inquiring minds, and loving the pleasures of
intellect, have been and are now found among
the irreligious, is that the mode of preaching
the truths of the Bible and exhibiting them has
not been so much adapted as it ought to have
been to this particular class of minds. Theo-
logy has been preached rather than religion,
the meaning of the Scriptures explained rather
by a ready-formed system than by a comparison
of one part with another and an honest en-
24. MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
deavour to ascertain the simple, plain meaning
of what is said. Religion has certainly been
preached too dogmatically, a mode of pro-
claiming its truths alike unnecessary, injurious,
inconsistent with apostolic practice, and opposed
even to the example of Christ himself, who,
though He spoke with authority, always adapted
his instructions to his hearers, and refused
not to answer even the captious questions of
those who asked not from a desire of knowing
truth, but that they might, if possible, believe
that false which they wished were so.
" But I am getting prosy, and tiring you.
Within these last few weeks I have begun to
attend some evening courses of lectures which
are being delivered at the London University to
schoolmasters and ushers : as they only require
an hour or two three evenings in the week, they
do not make too great a demand upon me.
The subjects at present are Greek, Professor
Maiden; and Mathematics, Professor De Mor-
gan. Professor M. is giving a complete ana-
lysis of the Greek language. We have just
commenced the verbs : I expect to be much
EARLY YEARS. 25
interested in his development of their theory.
I know not whether you are at all acquainted
with the new method of teaching languages
upon the system of * crude forms ; ' by means of
this system the Greek language may be learnt
far more satisfactorily and with much greater
ease than by the old plan I am particu-
larly fond of mathematical science, and had,
previous to my illness, made some little pro-
gress, but I have retrograded sadly
"I suppose you are not infected with the
mania for universal suffrage which is the epi-
demic of the North — perhaps I should rather
say, the great nostrum which is supposed to
have virtues that can cure all the diseases of the
body politic, a nostrum in which many have
such faith that they will endure their sufferings
till they can obtain it rather than try the effect
of any other medicine."
Writing to the same friend in the subsequent
year, he reports some improvement in his health,
and enlarges on the divine providence in happi-
ness and suffering : —
26 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
" Islington, Stk April, 1840.
u I hope I am somewhat better than when I
wrote last ; but fond as I am of looking on the
sunny side, I cannot deceive myself into any
very bright hopes of a speedy recovery. I can-
not say as Paul could, i I have learned in what-
soever state I am therewith to be content ; ' but
I am studying the lesson, and I trust have made
some progress. I am inclined to think there is
more sweet than bitter mingled in man's cup —
that there are more happy persons in the world
than sad ones — that the joyous moments of
human life, of every individual life, outnumber
those of pain. This is a delightful thought, and
far more comforting, I think, to me in my mea-
sure of affliction, than the consideration of others'
woes. It is true we may learn patience by
comparing our slight pains with the far greater
ones our friends or our fellow-men endure ; but
we get this only — that which will alleviate pain,
and not what will afford direct pleasure. When
we think of the innumerable springs of enjoy-
ment at which thousands of happy beings are
refreshing themselves, a feeling of positive plea-
EARLY YEARS. 27
sure arises in the mind, especially if that mind
have in some degree imbibed the spirit of reli-
gion. There is much that is painful and sad in
this great and glorious world, though not suf-
ficient to warrant the epithet — a waste, howling
wilderness — which some pious persons have in-
cautiously made use of. There is much that is
extremely perplexing to our limited capacities ;
yet we can see so many uses in suffering, so
many advantages that spring from its endur-
ance, that no great demand is made upon our
faith when we are required to believe that ' He
doeth all things well/ It is not the fact of a
difficulty's being unexplained that distresses the
mind so much as its being inexplicable ; but we
know that none of the difficulties about the
Divine administration are inexplicable ; they
are only relatively obscure — that is, obscure to
us — and are in reality as fully evidences of God's
wisdom and goodness as those of His ways we
are permitted to comprehend. We may, and
ought, to see God, the same God, in everything
— in the provisions made for our happiness, and
in the laws which inflict pain. And yet what a
2 8 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
sad instance is it of our moral derangement that
pain leads us to thoughts of God, often unjust
thoughts ; whilst daily enjoyments, though they
tell us in clear and harmonious accents of his
goodness and beneficence, are disregarded. It
would seem as if the best men have such imper-
fect vision that over one or other of the modes
in which God displays his character and speaks
to us of Himself, a veil is generally spread.
"The Christian in health and comfort, seeing
around him many forms of misery, falls into
reflections about the providence of God, asks
himself why these are permitted, and finds many
reasons that partially satisfy him all the Divine
ways are consistent. Meanwhile, he is perhaps
indifferent to his own blessings, or does not
make them the subjects of contemplation; the
veil is removed from the providence of evil, so to
speak, and hangs over the providence of good.
But change the scene, and suppose the man
suddenly stricken himself; then how brightly
all his past enjoyments rise before him and
force themselves on his thoughts, whilst God's
hand to him seems now heavy and his coun-
EARLY YEARS. 29
tenance severe. The veil is now removed from the
providence of good, to obscure for a time the
providence of evil. Is it not so ? And are not
the partial agitations of the generally smooth
and tranquil current of our being useful, by
awakening our gratitude for what we have
thoughtlessly enjoyed, and making us, when
the storm is over, more keenly alive to the
value of repose and peace — repose and peace, I
say, in consistency with the figure of a stream ;
but in strict truth it is not repose, but activity,
that is the source of enjoyment on earth, and
probably in all worlds ; and active usefulness —
oh, what delight springs from that ! You ex-
perience this ; I, alas, only know it ! Still,
activity is even now the law of my nature, and
though I am rendering no services to mankind,
I hope I am becoming fitter to do so if ever I
should enjoy health again. I cannot study so
much as I would. This last week I thought I
would just dip into mathematics again ; so I
went through Euclid's third book, and although,
as you know, it is by no means difficult, the
effort quite wearied me.
30 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
"The Church controversy is still going on,
but I am afraid public argumentation makes few
converts. Churchmen attend the lectures for
the Church, Dissenters those in favour of the
Voluntary Principle. Is not this absurd ? Yet
I must say the Dissenters are more ready to
listen to the reasonings of their opponents than
they are to give ear to the despised Voluntaries.
It would be a curious investigation what pro-
portion of opinion is really based upon honest,
fair inquiry, not honest in intention only, but
in fact. I think -oi per cent, a liberal allow-
To the same correspondent he communicates
some opinions on the scholastic office — opinions
that a lapse of thirty years has not deprived of
practical value: —
"Islington, iSth October, 1840.
" I have made the inquiries you requested at
University College, and find that schoolmasters
cannot be examined for degrees without attend-
ing lectures there. This is to be regretted,
EARLY YEARS. 31
because the object of admitting them to
examination on terms differing from ordinary
students is to give them the advantage, and
the public the security, of a testimonial of
competency ; this end would be answered if
those who cannot attend lectures might matricu-
" After all, however, an M.A. degree, though
it may warrant the possessor to have attained a
certain amount of knowledge, by no means
proves his ability to communicate it, or to
undertake the moral management of youth. Do
you not think we want colleges expressly for
schoolmasters ? Really good teachers are,
perhaps, more interested than any class of the
community in raising the character of the pro-
fession. For whilst instructors of the middle
classes consist chiefly of persons destitute of any
qualification whatever for their employment,
education must be meagre, its importance not
appreciated, instructors not recognised as filling
stations of the highest responsibility, and conse-
quently no adequate remuneration offered for
their services. None but a groveller makes
32 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
wealth his first object; but none but a fool
makes it the last. A student has flesh, blood,
and bones, appetites and passions, like other
men. He has a physical existence as well as a
mental one, and money he must have for his
common wants, his superior desires, and that he
be fitted better than other men to exert influence
— may not be without the means of exerting it.
I really feel indignant when I think of the
contemptible pittance usually awarded to
teachers ; but sorrow overcomes indignation
when we look at the consequences of this, that
men, utterly unfit to train asses or manage
cattle, take upon themselves to watch the germ
of an immortal spirit, and tend its first growth,
with the chance, through their ignorance, of
ruining it for ever. Now I think colleges for
schoolmasters might operate usefully in direct-
ing public attention to the importance of their
function in furnishing men more really com-
petent for this high office, and in securing
unity among the well-educated persons who
would then undertake the work of instruction,
that by combined effort they might obtain their
EARLY YEARS. 33
rights. I have little personal interest in this
matter now, but sufficient personal experience
to make me keenly alive to the great abuses
connected with teachers and teaching. General
philanthropy makes us cry out for the rights of
men. A philanthropy more limited, a selfish
one if you please, should make one part of the
community cry out — and pretty loudly too — for
the rights of schoolmasters."
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY.
1 841 — 1846.
TN 1 84 1 Mr. Lynch became a member of the
church in Islington, of which the Rev. John
Yockney was pastor. His sense of the connec-
tion then formed was thus set forth : —
"Islington, \st June, 1841.
"... Christian experience is sufficiently
varied to present many varieties of Christian
excellence, whilst it is sufficiently similar to
enable Christians really to sympathise with
each otfc?r. Many gratefully attribute their
conversion to the divine blessing on some
incident or sermon. For myself I cannot do
this. I was early taught religious truth, and
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 35
early felt the influence of religious sentiment
and thought. Though I can look back upon
many circumstances that had, religiously, a very
beneficial effect upon my character, I cannot
fix on any time when my thoughts and feel-
ings respecting religion underwent a complete
change : nor do I wish to. With gratitude, 1
think I discern in my past history something
like progress. This is the only indication any
one can have of spiritual life ; and if we
spiritually live, it is certain we have been
spiritually born. Happily, our heavenly inherit-
ance does not depend, as an earthly one some-
times does, upon our being able to prove the
time and place of our nativity. It is better to
doubt whether we have been born than, recol-
lecting the time of our birth, be content to live
on in a state of perpetual infancy. I wish to
regard my connection with this church, not as
an end, but as a means. It is not the beginning
of a Christian course, neither should it be the
end. Jesus Christ calls his followers to effort,
labour — varied and prolonged. Their journey
is a mountain pathway, difficult but inspiriting.
36 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
Enterprise and activity the Saviour desires to
see in all who serve Him. The remembrance of
his love, and the Christian affection of those
who unite with us to commemorate it, should be
powerful means of stimulating us to the efforts
He proved a most efficient Sunday-school
teacher and district visitor, frequently preaching
to the poor in a room at Ward's Place. To a
friend he wrote —
"Islington, 21st June, 1841.
" I have been engaged on Sabbath evenings
for the last three months in preaching (if the
word is not too dignified) to little companies of
poor people, and from all I have observed of
them, and of their children, I feel more than
ever sensible of the value of Christian educa-
tion. This work of instruction I have not under-
taken lightly ; I am aware of its great diffi-
culty. Christian teaching is woefully defective
in many of our pupils, and especially do the
.poor suffer from the way religious truth is
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 37
presented to them. Any man that wishes to act
on the mind of another, must believe something,
and believe it in his very soul. Sincerity and
earnestness, in fact a certain degree of enthu-
siasm, are essential to give effect to spoken
thought. A man must brood over his own
thoughts till his mind takes fire, and then he
may hope to fire other minds. The poor require
truth to be presented to them very pungently,
intelligibly, and interestingly. At this I aim,
and sincerely trust I may do some good, if it be
but little. I never speak without much thought,
and, I need hardly say, without prayer, for I am
persuaded that the help of the Holy Ghost is
something real. My extreme weakness and
varying energy of mind is a serious disad-
vantage to me. I should hardly say energy of
mind, for by my peculiar temperament, the
desire to act never fails me, although the active
powers often do.
" It is my earnest wish to be in some way
useful in this world. I cannot yet see my way
clear to any regular occupation. It is a happy
thing that we can adorn the doctrine of God our
3 8 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
Saviour in all things. So that, if unable to
employ ourselves in a manner most congenial,
whatever we do, we may do all to His glory.
I have sometimes had thoughts of the ministry
— that is, however, a very serious matter. 5 '
In a letter to the same friend he sets forth
his fears and hopes concerning this "very
"Islington, 27th October, 1841.
" I wish I could look forward, as you hint
may be possible, to the ministry. It is difficult
for one situated as I am, fairly to judge of him-
self as to his fitness for such a work. I think
he is likely both to underrate and to overrate his
powers at different times. Yet I seem to fancy
that even now the pastorship of some country
congregation would be my appropriate sphere
of action. But, of course, we must be bound by
general rules, unless in very particular individual
cases ; and as a general rule, it is a wise one
that young men should pass through a college
course before becoming ministers. Suffering
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 39
and study have, however, helped to discipline
me, though a year or two at college would
certainly be most congenial. This is impossible,
for I cannot take ordinary food; and the ministry
without this is, I suppose, impossible, because the
thing would be out of rule.
" You will be glad to know how I get on in
teaching the poor. I have had many happy
hours in this employment — many anxious ones.
I do trust I have done some good, and I certainly
have learnt much. I expected peculiar diffi-
culties in dealing with the poor, and I find them.
Much personal intercourse with them is neces-
sary. I have done what I could in this way,
but my weakness has sadly interfered with this.
I have met with a variety of characters, with
cases of extreme and degrading wickedness. I
have had both hopes and discouragements — this
I think well : too great success might have
engendered spiritual pride. It is true that failure
may lead one to attribute that to human wicked-
ness which is the result of one's own in-
adequacy; but if Melancthon found that old
Adam was too hard for young Melancthon, I
4 o MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
may fairly expect to feel sometimes in the same
way. It seems to me that every young man
looking to the ministry would do well to labour
in some way among the poor. It is like walking
the hospital to a surgeon, and must furnish the
meditative mind with materials for much profit-
The social and political outlook in 1841 was
far from encouraging, and he inquired of his
" What think you of our country — its miseries
and prospects — the blind strivings of anguish
and selfishness ? Taking the most dispassionate
view, its state seems alarming — wretchedness
on a large scale is always an indication of
wickedness somewhere. Is there not something
sublime in the manner in which God suffers
man's conduct to work itself out — to discover
its principles and fully develop their effects r
He has given to man the great and wonderful
gift of liberty, and its action shall be unfettered ;
yet whichever of all possible modes of action
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 41
men select, God's arrangements are so far-
reaching and comprehensive, that His designs
shall be ultimately and gloriously secured. It
is a grand thought. What if there be celestial
students now training under the Great Being for
wonderful and, to us, unknown agencies ; and
this world is to them the great theatre of moral
experiment — earth the place, we the subjects
of their studies ! The whole of world-history
is a dark enigma to the atheist, a fearful one to
the Deist, a half-explained but glorious wonder
to the Christian."
To a lady, his cousin, he wrote in the sub-
sequent year, with reference to some disturb-
ances in Lancashire.
"Islington, 18th August, 1842.
" If these commotions were like one of those
spring storms that sweep across the heavens —
a passing darkness followed by a brighter sky
and a greener earth — then all would be well ;
but when we think of the complaints and cries
of hungry men that have been like volcanic
42 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
rumblings, we may fear that they are rather
like a fiery stream, swift and transient in its
course, but leaving, for many a day, the traces
of its passage. Why have these tumults arisen ?
and whither do they tend? are now the questions
anxiously asked ; starvation, whilst it has been
passive, has either been regarded with elegant
pity or simple indifference ; but now that it has
become savagely active, it compels regard, and
asks something more than sentimentalism. It
is curious to observe how the Priest and the
Levite— having, the one from sentimentalism,
the other from indifference, neglected the hungry
as he has besought their aid— now that he uses
violence, accuse the Good Samaritan, who has
helped him as he could, and pleaded his cause,
of having incited him to ferocity. The Corn Law
repealers, who have foretold convulsion, and
laboured to promote measures to remedy dis-
tress and prevent tumult, are actually accused
of causing the disturbances. Not that I think
the abolition of the Corn Laws would set the
national prosperity on a firm basis ; but I have
little doubt that it would increase its stability,
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 43
and none that the advocates of their abolition
have achieved many benefits, and will achieve
more. It is instructive — disagreeably instructive,
I could almost say— to note how selfishness, and
various forms of depravity, are displayed in all
popular movements. Travellers tell us of rivers
whose current on one side is clear and pure, and
on the other turbid and muddy, and these flow
separately in the same stream. Not so is it with
these ; good and evil intermingle and get con-
founded together, and, unhappily, defilement
accumulates with the onward flow. It has been
thus in the times of religious agitation : no
streams have been more turbulent than those
of religious opinion ; and if so, though we
cannot excuse the crime and follies of a time
of political excitement, we need not be surprised
at their rise and rapid growth. A man who is
sufficiently in earnest about the welfare of the
country as such, to think on the meaning of the
word politics, will, like the truly sincere and
intelligent Christian, soon come to approve of
all parties, disapprove of all, and belong to none.
Not but that he will act with a party — that is, a
+4 - MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
particular set of men leagued for the accomplish-
ment of some specific object at special times ;
but he will see that truth in its wholeness can
no more be grasped by any man's head, than
the round world by any man's hand. He will
be humble, and therefore charitable. Just,
however, as there is a danger of being consumed
by party zeal, of becoming, as it were, a burnt
offering to bigotry, there is danger of becoming
so very candid a simpleton as to suppose that
all the world of politicians are very good people,
each striving honestly after such portion of good
as is to him discernible. So in religion, we
may have, as Baptists, a zeal that water cannot
cool ; as Independents, or what you please, a
leniency that will hope all things where charity
itself would despair. Though quite sufficiently
earnest, I have more fear of the second error
than of the first — believing positively that there
is much truth among Episcopalians, Unitarians,
Catholics, &c, aye, and even Baptists ! * I am
anxious not to allow the truth mingled with
error too great an influence, as neutralizing it,
* His lady correspondent, a Baptist.
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 45
and purifying those who hold it. With regard
to politics, I believe that among men of all
parties there are individuals honest, but having
only partial, and therefore incorrect, views of
things. Truth is to be gleaned in many fields
— it is not a plant that grows only in our own
garden. The thing to be striven for, is charity,
that ' hopeth all things, and thinketh no evil,'
combined with intelligence, that ' proveth all
things,' and integrity, that * holds fast that
which is good.' "
To the same cousin he communicated the
following observations on convalescence, which
have a vivid interest in connection with his own
" Islington, \Wi June, 1842.
" One thing I have noted after a severe but
temporary attack of sickness, there is great
resemblance between the feelings and whole
action of the mind and those of childhood. The
body indeed, by its weakness, is in a sort of
infancy, and the mind travels back from its
ripe maturity to its early flowerage. In coming
46 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
back to the sight of the world after a brief
dark period of seclusion, there is the same
newness and awakening stimulus in it that
there is to a child. I am aware that poets
have noticed the pleasure with which we greet
common objects at such a time ; but it is not
this only, but the whole state of the thoughts
and feelings that I refer to ; all is childlike.
"In the manner of God's goodness there is
always wisdom ; the softened and impressible
state of the mind at such a time may be used lor
our religious advantage. It is in itself a pleasant
state, but it is intended to be made by us a profit-
able one. Thus God kindly gives us what is
pleasant, and wisely makes it a means of further
advantage, putting it within our power to in-
crease the beneficial effects of affliction by
rightly availing ourselves of the means He has
provided. There is something about the joy of
a person recovering from sickness, or just free
from suffering of any kind, altogether peculiar.
If we may call joy, the light of the heart, this
is a light soft and bright as if reflected from
the tears that have recently fallen. And may
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 47
we not, by the thought of our fresh feeling on
recovered health, give a reality to our idea of
a future renewal of our powers ? We know
the fact of such renewal, may we not be helped
to feel it? How gloriously God can reinvigorate
in another world the powers that have grown
stiff, old, and feeble in this ! In age the eye is
dim; a figure of the whole nature — all is dim.
What delight to wake up in another world
with a man's mind and a child's heart (this is
my favourite idea of human perfection), with
a nature bright and, if I may so speak, undim-
mable ! We shall then be renewed — new in the
midst of a newness that cannot grow old."
From a letter to another friend, it appears that
he was once more engaged in tuition.
" Islington, 29^ September, 1842.
"God's ways are not indeed as our ways,
but far above them. I have often thought that
as we commonly say there is no rose without a
thorn, we might in relation to God's providence
more truly say, there is no thorn without a rose.
48 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
1 Evil, be thou my good/ says the devil in
1 Paradise Lost.' ' Evil, thou art my good,' the
Christian may truly say when the evil is of
"A word as to myself and my single pupil.
My engagement terminated with the holidays ;
whilst it continued I found it rather agreeable
than burdensome, was myself satisfied, and, I
believe, gave satisfaction. I have still a pupil
with whom I am sometimes severe, sometimes
indulgent — a pupil about whom I have been
often hopeful, but often cast down. I am train-
ing him, if it may be, that he may teach others.
I cannot but say that I regard him with much
interest and affection ; and yet to teach and
discipline him as I wish, I find most laborious
and difficult. Shall I succeed ? Time must
show. One thing is certain — that if not, he
will blame me ; but if I do, whilst he esteems
me, he will not consider his thanks as wholly
my due, and truly they will not be. Need I
tell you my pupil's name ? It is even myself.
" I have been but in very indifferent health
for the last month or so, and cannot, as you
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY.
may suppose, but be somewhat troubled about
my situation. I am waiting for a hope rather
In October of this year (1842) he again went
to Llanelly to visit friends, and there preached
frequently, and delivered occasional lectures on
Sight-Singing, on Vocal Music, and Wilhelm's
method of teaching singing, adapted to English
use by Mr. Hullah. He was also enlisted in
the Temperance movement, and gave a lecture
on Mental Cultivation in the Temperance Read-
ing Room, Park Street, Llanelly, on the 12th of
January, 1843. The bill announcing the lecture
was addressed —
"To Men in their Sober Senses. — Did you ever
hear of a man in his drunken senses ? The drunkard
has no senses : he is not out of his senses — his senses
are out of him. The drunkard is neither man nor
beast — he has the form of a man without his sense
— the stupidity of a beast without its form. Becoming
sober a man becomes sensible. He who has sense
should use it — he who gets it as a new thing should
50 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH,
learn the worth of it. Sober and sensible, a man
may be respectable, wise, good, happy. The Tee-
totaller can clothe his back, and satisfy his hunger
— why should he not furnish his head and feed his
mind? When his mouth no longer drinks poison —
there is a better cup for him — Is not the cup of
knowledge sweeter than the cup of the drunkard?
Taste and try. The drunkard is all mouth — money,
food, clothes, all melt into drink; the Teetotaller has
eyes and ears, and time to use them; he can read,
and he can listen ; he can be pleased, and instructed
by books and speech. The Llanelly Temperance
Reading Society is formed that he may be thus pleased
and instructed. God has given man a mind to know,
think, and contrive — shall he not use it? The world
is man's home, the things in it the furniture, the people
on it the family — shall he not learn of himself, his
brethren, his home, and how God hath prepared and
adorned it? What things have been done and dis-
covered as time has rolled on ! these are written in books
— shall he not read ? It is a good thing to be sober ; it
is better to be sober and intelligent ; and best of all to be
sober, intelligent, and religious. The sober man is hap-
pier than the drunkard ; would he be yet happier ? let him
hear the voice of knowledge ; would he be happier still ?
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 51
let him hear the voice of Religion — as much as the sober
man is better than the drunkard, so much is the godly-
man better than the godless. The Llanelly Tem-
perance Reading Society aims at making sober men
happier by making them more intelligent ; it seeks thus
to make them better advocates of the Temperance cause,
and to increase their attachment to it; the Society is
anxious to afford to sober men some of the pleasures
and advantages of knowledge; Religion is friendly to
this design, and this design is friendly to Religion.
Sober, intelligent, moral, religious — such many Tee-
totallers are, why should not all be ? "
For six months Mr. Lynch refrained from
alcoholic stimulants ; but the affection of his
throat rendered abstinence unadvisable, if not
He also preached at Swansea, and, after his
first sermon there, he wrote to his mother : —
" The chapel in which I preached is the
largest I have yet spoken in, being about twice
the size of ours in Lower Road, or nearly so.
This was a trial both for nerves and strength.
52 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
I am very thankful to say that neither failed.
I spoke with ease and comfort, and I trust use-
After preaching at Newton Chapel, Mumbles,
he wrote : —
" The congregation was the humblest and
most picturesquely primitive I ever addressed.
Great pleasure the service gave me. The at-
tendants were mostly fishermen, their wives
and children. The men occupied one side of
the chapel, the women the other. I suppose
Peter has established for fishermen a perpetual
claim to regard and affection ; certainly there
was no lack in those I addressed of warm, strong
feeling. Their countenances expressed also
much intelligence. A man is a man, though
he be a fisherman."
He returned to London at the end of March,
1843, and to his cousin reported : —
" Islington, $fli April, 1843.
" I am certainly better and stronger than
when I left home in October. London looks
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 53
dark and dull to me ; the ideas of power,
variety, and wonderfulness that it awakens
please me, but it affords no solitudes of the sort
" At Llanelly there is one valley of picturesque
and solemn beauty which I miss much. If it
might be, I should wish to reside either in or
near a town with real country around me. If
God's universe of worlds be but as varied as
the parts of this, what a glorious and abundant
succession of delights awaits us ! There is no
part of the earth's surface, no fragment of its
population, uninteresting ; knowledge and joy
are essences that may be distilled from almost
anything. Often plants of thorny and repulsive
aspect yield substances delicious or variously
useful. So is it in life ; and this is the lesson —
Despise not the common or the ugly, shrink not
from the rough and painful ; wisdom's eyes
and hands should observe and examine all
" I think I am somewhat the wiser in many
respects for my visit to Wales. I have seen life
and religion in new forms. What next ? I
54. MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
know not. I wish you were a prophet ; I would
ask you the question, first begging you to pro-
phesy smooth things. .... I have some idea
of writing out several sermons I have preached,,
and, if I can, publishing them under some such
title as this, ' A Voice from the Pulpit, by a
" I feel a strange mixture of fear and confi-
dence. I certainly have gained attention and
very warm approval by my preaching ; I have
also writings by me that I really do think have
some worth ; and yet I do not like to thrust
myself forward to make greater pretensions
than I ought. 5 '
In his absence he had been much missed in
Islington. A fellow -teacher, in a letter dated
February, 1843, wrote: —
"There is an inquiry concerning you made
ever and anon which I am not able to answer.
I wish I could. Can you guess what it is ?
« When WILL Mr. Lynch return ? \ After
prayer -meeting, after Thursday classes, after
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 55
Sabbath-day teaching, after singing-meeting,
by my own children and by the Sunday-school
children — When will Mr. Lynch return ? is often
asked. Now if I were selfish, I should beg of
you to return immediately ; for among all in-
quirers, none miss you like myself, for none
know you so well. You know how much I am
compelled to hear that I cannot assent to. You
know the blessed book is ' a broad land of wealth
unknown ; ' and when some uncommon, perhaps
unorthodoxical, view of truth presents itself to
my mind, I have no one — no, no one — who will
sympathise with me as I wish. Some assent to
all I say, some listen fearfully, some seem be-
wildered, — and none can take your place. But
if I can but see that your absence is contributing
to the furtherance of your ardent desire to enter
the ministry, I am well repaid for the loss of
His mind was clear that his place was the
pulpit ; but there were various hindrances, and
among the hindrances he found such consolation
as this : — ■
56 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
" 2726% April, 1843.
" I will repeat what I have said before, and
what has been a comfort to me ever since the
thought rose in my mind. Hope rests its faith
on time ; time, on God.
" It is a great thing to have faith in God's
character. We can then search with cheerful-
ness for the reasons of His strange workings,
and that which is sought for hopefully is most
He preached occasionally on Sunday after-
noons at Kingsland, at Lower Street, Islington,
and at other churches in the neighbourhood
of London, particularly at Dr. Burder's in
Hackney. Friends urged him to apply for
admission to Highbury College, and after much
deliberation he did so, the following letter being
written when the course to be pursued was
under debate : —
« ]\X r , has suggested that I should state
some particulars respecting myself. It is my
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 57
wish, if it shall appear right and practicable, to
enter the Congregational ministry. This I
cannot do in the usual way because of my age
(25) and a peculiar physical weakness. For
the last five years I have suffered from a sort of
paralysis of the nerves of the throat which
prevents my taking solid food. Much dis-
comfort and many vexations have arisen from
this trouble. It has condemned me to solitude
and inaction, and made me to feel as if with a
bird's heart and no wings.
" All this is prima facie against me, and has
certainly 'the appearance of evil.' A sick
minister is almost as useless as a lazy one ; and
what if he be ignorant also ! But the fact is,
my general health is good, and has been for
some time strengthening. My local weakness
has no connection with my voice and lungs ;
and though I never expect to be able to eat with
comfort, I may reasonably hope, when I obtain
the cheery influence of congenial employment,
to enjoy excellent average health.
" I am not uneducated. I know something of
what is in books, and something also of what is
58 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
in man ; and though I profess not to have made
great attainment, I have disciplined my mind
by much study and meditation ; indeed, if I
may say anything on my own behalf, it is that
I can think, and can so speak what I have
thought, that men shall listen and understand.
Neither am I wholly untried. My desire for the
ministry is not sudden, nor is it selfish : many
anxious doubtings have I had ; it is only by
actual trial that my mind has been decided.
During several months of this past winter I was
much engaged in preaching in South Wales.
My strength did not fail me, but on the contrary
greatly increased. I gained, also, from the
approval I met with, more confidence in myself.
The ministry is in my eyes a laborious and
honourable work : at any time the clear,
impressive, and affectionate utterance of truth
requires qualifications various and of difficult
attainment ; but specially now. If I have not
*■ counted the cost,' I have at least tried to do so.
I need friends and advice, and encouragement if
I deserve it. Believe me, my dear sir, as it is
my honest desire to serve God and benefit man,
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 59
so I can bear to be dealt with honestly. I want
not any man to lay hands on me suddenly,
to give me help out of kindness or any the
like feeling, if he does not think that on the
whole I am a fit candidate for ministerial
On account of his health, he was received at
Highbury College as a day-student ; but before
many months he was reluctantly compelled to
retire. In a letter dated 15th of April, 1844
(which is supposed to be the copy of one he
wrote on this occasion), he says —
"After much thought I have determined to
relinquish my attendance at Highbury. During
the last five weeks I have been almost wholly at
home, in a state both of body and mind most
wretched. Last week I again attended a few
lectures, but I find it useless to think of
seriously resuming It is needless any
longer to perplex myself with the balancing of
reasons. I do not pretend to be certain that I
have made a right decision ; but then I am sure
6o MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
it is one right for me to make, and by it I will
abide. Natural kindness may cause you to
regret that I so decide, but reflection will
entirely remove this regret. Your labour and
anxiety may be far more profitably and bene-
ficially expended on other students than myself.
"You are aware that from the first my
attendance was by myself regarded as an
experiment. This experiment the committee,
exercising their good sense and Christian faith,
permitted me to make, for which I thank them.
It has failed. It is surely needless for me to say
that I value college privileges. As for the
tutors, you must permit me to say that I cherish
for all the most hearty and entire respect. But
why should I destroy myself ? I thank my God
there is a dawn of spiritual light again rising
on my soul. I have walked in darkness, and
will so walk of free choice no longer. The
fountain of my mind has been well-nigh dried
up, and my heart like a root in winter hidden
and as if dead. And why r Because I have
persevered in attempting to do what I have not
physical power to accomplish. Man is not a
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 61
body and soul, but if we may so say a body-
"When I get wiser I shall know what to
do : now I do not. If withdrawal from college
necessitates relinquishment of the ministry, then
be it so. I shall still study in an idiosyncratic
way, first submitting myself for a while to such
curative spiritual and intellectual regimen as I
can devise. God, in whom I do assuredly
believe, will help me. There are things in my
heart which, if He so please, I will in some
"It is my deliberate and earnest prayer that
God may burn out of me all that is bad, through
such sufferings as may be needful, and give
me, if it can be, some Christian work to do
in the world. I would that I might aid in
bringing comfort and refreshment to weary and
deadened hearts, also in sending light into
minds over which God's providence rests as a
dark cloud. These things need to be done.
Men talk much and loudly about saving * souls/
who never looked full, long, and boldly into*
a soul to see what it is. There are hundreds
6z MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH,
and thousands who feel that it is thus ; but
behold there are few helpers. I do not doubt
that if I live, and be really fitted to help in
His work, I shall find a way. I am sure that,
in leaving the College, I have your good
wishes, as most certainly the Institution has
It was in 1 844 that he printed " Thoughts
on a Day," an address which, issued in a
most unpretentious form, caught the attention
of the discerning, and continues to live in
their favour. In his own copy of the little
book, he has written, in pencil, its history, as
follows : —
" This was my first ' work,' and is not a
very great one. And yet it seems greater
to me now than it did then ; for I was then
rather ashamed of it, though I could not help
loving it. But it has given profit and pleasure
in so many remarkable cases, and has been
the means so often of spiritual good, as people
have generally said, that I may well think
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. (> 3
more of it than I did, and be happy to own
it. Besides it has afforded singular illustration
of a favourite axiom of mine — that nothing
rightly done can fail, however it may seem
to do so. When first I published it, my position
was lonely and even terrible. I was as l a dead
man out of mind,' forgotten, as sometimes
seemed, even of God. Yet I felt a strange
consciousness of power, though without health,
opportunity, or hope. So something must be
ventured, and I ventured this tract. I first,
however, wrote something which seemed to me
much abler; but just as that was going into
the hands of the printer, I withdrew it, and
substituted this as more tender and practical.
And by this tract God saved me. But not at
once ; not indeed very manifestly for nearly
three years. I lost a (to me) valuable five
pounds in my venture — a very good investment
I have since thought. All I gained at once was
kind words and a few small succours, that were
like water-drops to fevered lips. And at the
end of a year I had the unsold copies of my
'work' home, and I well remember feeling
6+ MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
ashamed to see what a large parcel they made.
I doomed them to the flames, and immured
them in a lumber-closet, by way of preparation.
However, they were rescued, and have done
not a little of the business I wished them to do,
in a private way. And in reprinting the tract,
I feel as if I ought to say what is the simple
truth, that to this humble performance I owe
indirectly public station, domestic happiness,
and many friends, and other blessings."
The depression endured in these years of
weakness and helplessness, if extreme, was
steadfastly resisted, and to his cousin he
" Ball's Pond Road,
" 6th November, 1844.
" I hope you are well and happy. For
myself, I have made effort to become my own
physician. I know not whether my experience
will be of any service ; however I will send you
one of my recipes.
" Recipe,— How to be happy when you are
miserable : —
COMMENCEMENT OF MINISTRY. 65
" Disbelieve thoroughly the assertion that
* straws show which way the wind blows.' Every
man's life has a direction on the whole which he
cannot gather from the events of this day, or this
month, or even this year. Painful events and
vexatious hindrance are but eddy-winds, driving
our thoughts and hopes hither and thither —
threatening to carry us we know not where ; and
yet the spirit of every Christian man is borne
onward by God's providence towards a haven
of peace, as by a steady wind of Heaven.
" To be taken by the fireside, or in the fields,
or where you please."
1847 — 1849.
'HP* HE year 1847 opened with the death of
Mrs. Lynch — of mothers most motherly,
tender and true, and wise with the wisdom of
simplicity. Long afterwards he wrote : —
Mother, so simple yet so sage,
A troubled youth thy patronage
Enjoyed, and thine alone ;
And dost thou visit still thy son,
And love the work that he has done,
And count it as thine own ? " *
Her epitaph in Abney Park runs thus : —
* " The Rivulet," L'Envoi, June, 1868.
%o the JJtcmoxg
MRS. LYDIA LYNCH,
A MOTHER MOST LOVING AND BELOVED,
WHO ENTERED REST
January 8th, 1847,
In the sixty-third year of her age, and twenty-sixth of widowhood.
"Ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of
God ye might receive the promise."
"And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal
To a brother in America he wrote : —
" 2nd February, 1847.
" On the morning of January the 8th your
letters came — two for me and one for .
That day was indeed a day of sorrows, yet
one the thought of which will hereafter make
our life and your life a more sacred one. We
have now both a father and a mother in heaven.
Our most beloved mother has passed from her
anxieties and pains ; she is at rest. She fell
asleep very weary, and has awaked, as we may
confidently believe, to strength and joy. She
68 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
lived in love, as we have all so fully experienced,
and to the world of love she has gone. At
half-past twelve mid- day, 8th January, her
spirit passed out of this visible world with
gentle sighs. To-day would have been her
sixty-third birthday, and this afternoon I have
been and stood by her new-made grave in
Abney Park, Stoke Newington.
" I know how this event will grieve you, but it
can hardly be more of a surprise to you than it
was to us. Only a few days before Christmas
the surgeon told me that he considered her
ofeneral health much better than it was the
year before at that time
" She and I used to have tea together every
evening in her bedroom ; and the blue-headed
parrot you sent by M used to sit upon her
lap, or on the chair by her side, and take toast
and tea with us. On Christmas-day (Friday) we
(she and myself) had the Christmas dinner in
her bedroom ; she was then herself, and that
day fortnight she departed from us
"In the evening of Thursday, Mr. , of
, saw her, and she was comforted with his
visit ; but she was then scarcely conscious, and
her voice had an expression of sorrowfulness
and infant-like simplicity such as I never heard
before. The memory of these tones is in me,
and it pierces my heart. She could say but
little to us, but to the last she was full of love.
She knew not that the end was near, and that
she would never wake from that night's sleep.
We would have given anything for a few hours
of clear-mindedness at the last, but it was not
permitted. Yet how mercifully was it ordered
that the act of dying, which in her life she so
much feared, was easy. She would wake in
heaven to see our father and the rest with sur-
prise. May we (grant it, O God !) be at the
last with her ! She could say, of course, little
to Mr. . She repeated the words, ' None
but Jesus can do helpless sinners good/ She
had her genuine humility and submissiveness ;
her life was one of true goodness, and her gain,
through the mercy of our God, is now great and
everlasting. But how hard to be bereaved !
"We all feel it so, and myself peculiarly, for I
have lived with her and hoped earnestly to have
;o MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
had her with me to make comfortable in old
age Often have I risen in the night to
lay her pillows comfortably for her. It was
truly good to do anything for her, she was so
full of blessing and tenderness. She used some-
times to tell me, when I asked her what she
thought of when alone, that she thought of her
children one after another all round. Very
often indeed were her thoughts and her prayers
"It is well, and by-and-by we shall feel it,
that she has gone from these evils. We sorrow
not as those that have no hope. How many
were the troubles of our dear mother, and what
anxiety might she yet have had ! And now let
us endeavour to live as we know she desired we
should. Make yourself easy with the thought
that our life, though a troubled one, is yet not a
vain one ; mercy is over it, as the sky above the
earth, and though our sins are as clouds, there is
God's love, the sun, which is stronger than they.
" Now I commend you, with true good wishes,
to that care which is truly over us all, if we
could but attain faith to believe it
HIGHGATE. 7 i
" It troubles me that I am compelled to write
to you the intelligence this letter conveys. For
myself, it is a most heavy affliction ; and as I
know that you truly loved our mother, and are
now alone, I am sure you too will feel it heavily.
But we must remember the great and bright
truths, for after due time in the thought of these
there is comfort."
In 1847 he was introduced by the Rev. A. J.
Morris, of Holloway, to the Independent church
at Highgate, which from various causes was in
a dwindling condition. He preached his first
sermon on 16th May, and in August accepted
the invitation of the congregation to become
their pastor. In a letter to a friend, written
shortly after, he says —
'•Woodland Cottage, Highgate.
" There are here nightingales and cuckoos, as
many as one could wish ; but Christians and
Dissenters are by no means so plentiful. There
are discouragements and vexations quite
enough at Highgate, but all is not of that kind.
72 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
Among my hearers and supporters are persons
who, for character, light, and liberality, are the
flowerage of the place. I speak thus because I
had need make much of my little, seeing it is
so very little. This little, however, God gave
me, and not man ; and He will give me more
elsewhere, or here in due time — so I trust."
Highgate thirty years ago was a much more
out-of-the-way place than it is to-day ; but
occasional visitors from town dropped into the
little chapel, and one of them was moved to
address the preacher as follows : —
" yd December, 1847.
" During a brief residence in London a few
months back, it was my wish to pass the Sabbath
more quietly than I could have done had I tarried
with the friends I was visiting. What should
induce me to turn Highgate-ward I cannot say.
As I reached your little town soon after
nine, I visited the Cemetery, lingered about the
house where Coleridge had lived, and passed
into the church and read the tablet erected to his
memory On withdrawing I inquired of
the first wayfarer whether there were any Dissent-
ing chapels in the place .... and thus I was led
to where you preside. I confess I liked the some-
what sombre character of the edifice, and was
delighted with the sweet and solemn psalmody,
but was more than astonished at the power and
beauty of the illustrations given of the text by
" On my return to town, I expressed my
wonder at what I had heard in the morning,
and hinted to some young gentlemen around me
a wish, that as often as they could, without
impropriety, quit the places where they usually
attended, they would go up to Highgate, as I
was sure they would find the teacher there
originate and follow out trains of thought that
would ennoble them for the rest of the week, and
make life a more grand and sacred possession to
them than it is commonly regarded.
"Since my return to the country, I have
received various letters from the parties,
thanking me for my suggestion, and assuring
me they reaped the full benefit I prophesied
7+ MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
from the ministrations carried on there. It is
but a very hurried note I have received from one
of them to-day; but somehow I feel impelled to
send you an extract, if only to show you that
you are not, as perhaps you suppose, wasting
your magnificence on a desert.
" " There were about six men and twelve
grown women there on Sunday night. The text
was, " He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
I was not looking up when he went into the
pulpit, but my companion said Mr. Lynch gave
a glance round the place which cut him to the
heart. I scarcely think any special feeling of
slight could be on his mind, as that is about the
average attendance, so far as I, who do not look
about, can judge .... He certainly, by the sim-
plicity and force and self-forgetful earnestness
of his sayings, all but brought tears out of my
eyes, and that is more than the spoken deliver-
ances of any man have done for years
L acknowledged he had never heard such a
" Now, my dear sir, excuse my sending you
this extract. My intention in doing so will be
at once seen. I purposely withhold all the
greater terms of admiration in which the writer
expresses himself. I simply wish you to be
assured that you have minds among your audi-
tors touched to fine issues by your addresses,
and that you are remembered and pleaded for
by some you little think of. Cheer up, dear
sir. The day of your proper estimation by the
denomination to which you belong cannot be
" Most respectfully and sympathisingly yours,
"Viator" subsequently revealed himself as
Dr. Simpson, a scholarly and congenial spirit."
The impression described as made upon his
hearers was the common impression wherever
there was a certain degree of spiritual discern-
ment. None thus competent could listen to
him without recognising an authentic voice
from the depths of spiritual experience, and
no mere echo of pious hearsay. It is related
* See Memoir of Rev. A. C. Simpson, LL.D., in " British
Quarterly Review," 1867.
7b MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
that " when he came as a day-student to High-
bury College there happened to be a meeting of
all the colleges to the number of one hundred
and fifty men, and, as often happens among
students, it was a merry time, and they fas-
tened upon any of their number for a speech
who had anything peculiar in aspect or char-
acter. Lynch was a new-comer and a mystery ;
and when, in answer to a call, he stood up to
speak, the whole company was convulsed with
laughter at his then quaint and fragile appear-
ance. But in two minutes he had them all
silent and mesmerised by that wonderful tongue,
and never afterwards was reckoned any other
than among the mightiest."*
After a year at Highgate, on the second
Sunday of August, 1848, he preached a sermon,
from which we take the following notes as to
the situation : —
" The feathers of the sitting bird become worn
* Rev. Edward "White in " Christian World Magazine," July,
and her breast sore, but when life appears she
is rewarded with the joy of parentage. But
what if her eggs were but chalk egg-shaped,
or have lost vitality and become incapable of
yielding her fowl after her kind ? Poor bird !
feathers worn, breast sore, but no young. And
poor minister ! if he spends and grieves himself
and no hopeful results. He would see around
him winged hearts — winged with faith ; these
wings covered with the warm sustaining feathers
" If he gain the looked-for reward of his
labour, he yet spends and grieves himself; but
this is appointed for minister and man. Some
sort of travail there must be for us all, if we
are to have joy of parentage ; and this joy we
shall have if we succeed, for our good successes
are our children. But to give labour of love
to a people, when some of them prove world-
lings, mere chalk having the form of eg*g, but
not its power, and some — ' professors ' — having
still more the form of egg, but not at all more
its power, nay, inwardly corrupt and offensive,
having lost wholly the germ of higher winged
78 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
life that they once had! Sad is it when his
labours prove thus vain, or when he stands in
doubt whether they will not so prove. Sad is
it when even with success he has such doubting
mingled. Now something of success have I had
among you, but something of this doubting have
I also experienced
" "When I determined to accept the invitation
hither, it was after the perplexed working and
striving of many thoughts. As regarded both
the place and myself, there were reasons for
coming, and reasons against it, very strong.
There w r as the knowledge as regards myself
that having had to bear the yoke in my youth,
and live more thoughtfully and retiredly than
young men usually do, and indeed than it is
usually well that they should, I had given much
thought for many years to spiritual truths ; and
there was the fear that little of what was in
my heart could be effectively spoken in High-
gate, and that of this much might to some
persons be offensive. On the other hand, there
was the longing to do something for the truth,
the consciousness that, because of physical weak-
ness, no great thing could be attempted, and
the hope that Highgate air and regular atten-
tion to manageable work might greatly improve
health. And as regards the place, there was,.
I think I may say, the approving love of the
best people here, the most liberal, pious, and
sensible, and their cordial wish that I should
come among them ; but, on the other hand,,
there was the fewness of these, and the unlikeli-
hood of greatly increasing their number in such
a village as Highgate ; and again, in some
of the small company gathering here, there were
prejudices against me, and differences among
themselves, from which mischiefs and evils were
to be feared. Small malices, like the moth-
vermin that waste and spoil our clothes, are
weak-seeming things, and things that we
despise, yet they work much mischief. From
these malices the pure heart, the heart unsus-
picious and kind, will preserve us, as a clean
linen wrappage will preserve garments from
"The case then being as described, I con-
sidered and I prayed. Then putting aside
8o MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
fear of embarrassments, and the proud human
dislike to ' the day of small things/ I came
here in the spirit of endeavour and hope, with
thankfulness that I had a place to come to in
such a spirit. And here I have continued.
"While the cloud rested over Israel's ' tent of
witness/ whether it was for a day, a month,
or for a year, Israel rested. When the cloud
arose and went fonvard, Israel arose and went
forward too, perhaps with a sigh, yet not without
a good courage. During the year that I have
remained here, both to myself and my friends
it has seemed that there was the abiding of
the cloud, continuing indication that to remain
was right and well. Does the cloud rise r We
watch to see. It is good, both for a man and a
people, to hope and quietly wait. And the best
evidence we can give that we do thus quietly
wait, is, that we work while we wait, if work
there be to do."
The cloud did rise. It became manifest
that at that time Highgate did not present
requisite conditions of success. After eighteen
HIGH GATE. 81
months' ministry he withdrew, greatly to the
regret of a few warmly attached friends; but
they were so few that he did not think it right
to " burden " them with his support. In a memo-
randum, he states —
"I resigned my pastoral office, April, 1849.
On my retirement, the chapel was given, in
good repair and free of debt, into the hands
of the Village Itinerancy Society/'
The bracing air of Highgate, and the oppor-
tunity for work which he had so ardently desired,
had a most happy effect upon his health. He
became able to take solid food, and, for the
following ten years, enjoyed a large measure
of vigour, and in labours was " abundant." " It
is a mistake to say that Mr. Lynch was con-
stitutionally feeble," testifies a correspondent of
the Nonconformist, of 24th May, 1871. " Twenty
years ago, when we lived nearly opposite his
house,* and when the strains of his organ, or
his irresistible rendering of ' Oh, rest in the
* Albert Street, now Lyme Street, Camden Road.
82 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
Lord,' or ' Shall I in Mamre's fertile plains/
compelled us to seek admittance, we found him
with a physical frame which, though slight,
had plenty of wire and sinew in it. At that
time his body was fit servant to his mind,
and in mere physical endurance he would have
taken the lead of more robust men. Calling
one morning upon Caleb Morris, we found him
breakfasting, and his first words were, ' I have
had Lynch here ; walked all the way from
Highgate, sir ; and he began to say so many
fine things all at once, that I was obliged to
tell him I had not had my breakfast/ "
A S soon as Mr. Lynch' s intention to leave
Highgate was known, he received almost
simultaneously two invitations. The first came
from Stamford at the suggestion of Dr. Simpson
["Viator"], and the second from Mortimer
Street, London. At Stamford there was a com-
modious church and a numerous and kind
people. At Mortimer Street the congregation
was very small, and met for worship in a hired
room. After some deliberation he decided to
accept the call from Mortimer Street. He
thought that perhaps in London he could more
usefully employ his gifts ; and some family con-
siderations also influenced him. Of the Stam-
84 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
ford people he always thought with affectionate
interest ; and a deacon of the church, in writing
to Dr. Simpson, observed, " We were very sorry
indeed to lose Mr. Lynch, whom we found more
and better than all you told us of him."
In September, 1 849, he married a daughter of
the late Rev. Edward Porter, of Highgate.
At this time he was frequently engaged in
lecturing in various parts of the country, but
never to the neglect of what he always con-
sidered his special work — the ministry. He was
a most attractive lecturer; he was listened to
with unabated interest to his last word ; and
many who heard him discourse on " The Beau-
tiful," " Coleridge," " Haydon," " George Ste-
phenson," and other subjects, remember with
delight the fresh and vivid treatment of his
In 1850 he made his first considerable
appearance in literature by the publication of
4i Memorials of Theophilus Trinal." The book
was recognised in many quarters as the work
of an original mind ; and Lord Lytton, to whom
a gentleman had sent a copy, replied —
MORTIMER STREET. 85
"Athenaeum, ^th January, 185 1.
" Sir, — I beg to thank you sincerely for your
courtesy and compliment in sending me ' The
Memorials of Theophilus Trinal.' I should
have replied before, but first wished to read
the work. I have just found leisure to do so ;
and I now truly assure you that I think it very
remarkable in point of thought, power, and elo-
quence, and am exceedingly glad to have made
acquaintance with its writer. None can read
without profit and pleasure.
" Yours most obliged, "E. B. Lytton."
Among other effects the book drew forth a
letter of inquiry, thus answered —
TO SAMUEL BROWN, ESQ., M.D., EDINBURGH.
" 34, Albert Street, Camden Road, London,
' ' 20tk February, 1 85 1 .
"My dear Sir, — I am the man. Whether
I may be glad of the fact, or must bemoan it —
at least, a fact it is. Your correspondent of
1846 is the author of ' Theophilus Trinal/ And
glad again he is to hear of you as, after fever,
86 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
bereavement, buffets, still alive, and still, like
himself — striving onwards.
" The head may be above the waters, though
the wave is sometimes over the head. It is a
pleasure to me that Theophilus has obtained
your partial favour. He has many warm friends
of a good class, and he needs them, poor fellow !
for there is that in sundry aspects in which you
may view him that exposes him to critical attack.
Those who love to use the light of the prophet's
face, the better to mark any twist in his features,
and count the wrinkles upon his skin, have fine
opportunity, and can use it if the critical furor
— not a very celestial one — is strong upon them.
But Trinal is at least a birth, not a waxen or
wooden puppet. His quality may tell to the dis-
cerning that the time of gestation was a difficult,
somewhat hunger-bitten one. This does but the
more endear him to the parental heart. And the
parental praise of him is, that he has a certain
moral equilibrium in his nature, and an inner
spirit of devout self-recovering cheerfulness.
"You ask me of four eventful years. January,
1847, I l° s t m Y mother. A very great sorrow
MORTIMER STREET. 2 7
was that to me ; and afterwards my darkness
thickened, till, when I came out of the valley of
shadow, I had so long felt the gloom and
breathed the air, that I was for a while among
the living as one not of them — a physical scare-
crow, and, as some thought, a spiritual curiosity.
I was more than this last, however, others
thought, happily for me ! for I owe recovered
health and a new hope for this world to some
who said, the cavern is uncouth and shattered,
but the well is of the water of life ; we have
drunk and are refreshed — our eyes are lightened.
September, 1849, I married. So now I have a
wife, dear and wise and true, and I work at the
work of the preacher. At 71, Mortimer Street,
Cavendish Square, I teach and preach the
Gospel according to my knowledge and recep-
tion of it. I am not of those who use their
intellectuality as a chemic power to dissolve
the substantial historic Christ, as into an infinite
vapour of attenuated spiritualism in which they
may breathe and have their philosophic being.
Nor of those who in a manner hew down the
tree of life with their polemical, theologic axe,
88 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
using the fruitful boughs they kill as a sort of
firewood of comfort, and fashioning of the trunk
a misshapen image, an ugly King Log, alas ! of
which they say, ' See here is Christ ; this is the
Lord of life. Bow, be saved/ I try to be his-
torical and spiritual too ; philosophic and theo-
logic also ; above all, to be human and Christian,
or, say, Christian-human. And with what suc-
cess ? * It is good for a man to hope and quietly
wait,' I answer. With just success enough to
be a ground of hope for more.
"The room is a concert-room during the
week. My people are mostly plain and poor,
sprinkled usually at their times of assembling
with students, &c, and friendly or curious
strangers. As of Bunyan's book, so of my
" ' Some said, John, print it, others said not so ;
Some said, it might do good, others said no.'
"But enough, or too much. The excuse is
you were abundant in questioning. Revenge
yourself some day, and refresh me by a letter
both personal and general.
MORTIMER STREET. 89
" I was for one day in Edinburgh last Sep-
tember ; vent, vidi, amavi. Should you see Mr.
Russell, please offer him my kind regards, and
say I would have called when in Edinburgh, had
I known his address.
" Yours, dear Sir, very sincerely,
"Thos. T. Lynch."
His work in Mortimer Street he describes as
a one of missionary difficulties without mis-
sionary assistances. It does not yield me
adequate maintenance, according to the most
moderate estimate of ' adequacy ; ' for my
church, though truly liberal, is small, and is
not rich." As to its origin, he writes, " I am
sometimes asked personally, Did you not secede
from Dr. Leifchild's church at Craven Chapel ?
I did not ; but the original members of the
church at Mortimer Street did, and I became
their minister, when they had already held
together without one for about four years
When I went among them, I examined the
grounds of their secession, of which I knew
little or nothing before; and I thought that
go MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
the right was on their side and the wrong on
the other, and that, with due allowance for
human infirmity, they had done not only well,
but bravely well It has, from the first,
been a pleasure to me to find the people speak-
ing with cordial respect of their former pastor,
Dr. Leifchild, not forgetting what they thought
hard and wrong towards themselves, but dwell-
ing much, with due and grateful emphasis, on
the many excellent qualifications of that well-
known minister. I have ever given him credit
for much good I have found among his former
people ; and I wish for him, now in his old
age, and most heartily, Christian peace and
blessings. Our church, then, cannot, with any
truth, be called a mere church of secessionists.
I am, and have been — and now joining my
people with me, as it is so pleasant and fit to, I
will say we are, and have been — trying to make
it at once an Independent and a Christian
The congregation held a meeting on Thursday
evening, 27 th November, 1851, when a present
of seventy sovereigns was made to Mr. Lynch ;
MORTIMER STREET. 91
and he delivered an Address, which was after-
wards printed. In an appendix thereto he
"The meeting for which the Address was
written was one of those at which ourselves
and our friends assemble to take tea. The
love of tea and the love of gossip are well-
known associates ; but, as Ave think, the love
of tea and the love of truth may be so too, and
that the loftier of these affections will not dis-
dain an alliance with the humbler and its aid.
I will not call our meetings 'jovial,' that being
too pagan a word, but they are certainly very
cordial and pleasant Perhaps some one
will say, ' As Israel wanted a king, to be like
the rest of the nations, I suppose the church
at Mortimer Street must needs get up a ' testi-
monial,' to be like the rest of the churches ;
or, 'What has Mr. Lynch been doing wrong,
that they have been giving him a ' testimonial ' r
For a friend of mine has formed this theory of
'testimonials,' — that when a minister has a
quarrel in his church, or has been doing any-
92 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
thing disgraceful, some interested person pro-
poses a testimonial, as the best way to ' wrap
it up.' The same friend did me the favour to
call on me two days after this my first experience
of ' golden' testimonials — for I have had my
due or undue share of testimonials of suspect
and dislike — to inquire how I did ' after being
on the gridiron,' — the successive approbatory or
complimentary speeches of the evening being the
bars of the said l gridiron.' "
The Address was devoted to the discussion of
the position and prospects of the congregation,,
and thus he defined his mission —
" One great aim of your preacher is to refresh,,
assist, and satisfy considerate, inquiring persons.
But he has no new gospel to offer, finding the
old one better than any new one, and sufficient,
which no new one is. That the fear of God is
the beginning of wisdom, and that wisdom is
the condition of all honourable happiness, is
part of the most ancient orthodoxy — true think-
ing, right belief — of the world. The newer and
MORTIMER STREET. 93
more perfect orthodoxy, that Christ — Son of
God and Son of man — is the special divine
promise and power for the world, contains, not
contravenes, this early one. To Christian
truth the private peace and purity of a mil-
lion hearts have borne witness, and its divine
worth has been with ' public splendour shown/
But every age has its own work and tongue ;
and everlasting truth must be illustrated and
applied in manner native to our own heart and
time. This your preacher endeavours to do,
seeking himself to advance and to lead others
from the poor imperfect present to the better
future — counting to-day's light, twilight; and
to-day's strength, weakness. And it is his
desire and effort to turn worldly persons to
that godliness, which is the highest and the
only abiding form of manhood ; to bring indi-
viduals, whose tendencies rather than their
characters are Christian, to a distinct Christian
course and convictions; and to awake gently,
or roughly if it must be, formalists asleep on
the pillow of usage, of which smooth words
are the soft feathers, that they may enter on
94 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
the studies, the obedience, and the energetic
happiness of faith. In this place I have to
preach the gospel — that gospel which, like its
Author, is ' alive for evermore ; ' and to take
heed to my ministry that I fulfil it."
As consolation in their " tent> out-campaign-
ing as in soldier's tent," he remarked —
" If we have not yet a place and structure of
our own, we have with other churches, and we
enjoy our part in that good country, the Scrip-
tures Holy and True — a country whose hills are
strength, and whose lands fertility ; with honey
out of its ancient rocks are we satisfied, and
filled with the finest of its ever-abounding wheat,
while the ' former rain ' of ancient inspiration,
and the ' latter rain ' of present divine influence,
are ours to make our hearts as fields and gardens
which the Lord hath blessed."
His lively interest in church song appears in
the following passage —
"On Sundays let all consider silence at
MORTIMER STREET. 95
song-time their error and fault. All dumb
unmelodious people are here marked and
disapproved. It is almost a question whether
they ought to have a seat, and be allowed to
hear our sermons, if they will not sing. Let
us get distinguished for the Christian fervour
and human excellency of our public hymns,
making the fulness of our melody a part proof
of our earnest heart and i cheerful courage.'
Rather as a hint of what I would do by-and-
by, than as the expression of a present purpose,
I would say that Dr. Watts's Hymn-book does
not satisfy and suffice me, and that I should
like to have a book — one of only two hundred
hymns would serve well — selected from various
authors, and prepared by myself. Many of
Dr. Watts' s hymns were not, it is understood,
written by Dr. Watts at all, but by young
Mr. Watts ; not by that venerable man with
venerable wig, who figures opposite so many a
title-page, but by a young, immature Christian,
who afterwards became this venerable and
truly admirable person. There are more and
better hymns in Watts' than anj^ other man
96 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
has contributed for the worship of our churches ;
but there are a great number, both of his hymns
and verses, very objectionable and quite use-
less. And yet what a valuable and monu-
mental work Dr. Watts' s Hymn-book is ! "
There are other passages that invite citation,
but the foregoing must suffice. Shortly after,
in 1852, the room in Mortimer Street was
exchanged for a chapel in Grafton Street,
l8 5 2 — 1855.
* I ^HE chapel in Grafton Street was an
agreeable change from the room in
Mortimer Street, though far from satisfactory
to the aesthetic mind. Placed behind the line
of' houses in the street, it was approached by a
passage, and, built before the gothic revival,
was characterised by the gaunt symmetry then
considered appropriate. From adjacent stables
odours were occasionally wafted, and a busy
ostler or a crowing cock sometimes broke the
stillness of a Sunday morning.
In October, 1852, Mr. Lynch delivered at
the Royal Institution, Manchester, a course of
four lectures on some of the Forms of Litera-
9 8 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
ture : the first, on Poetry, its Sources and
Influence ; the second, on Biography, Auto-
biography, and History ; the third, on Fictions
and Imaginative Prose ; and the fourth, on
Criticism and Writings of the Day. The
lectures were published as a book in the
summer of 1853; and were shortly followed
by a companion volume of Lectures in Aid of
Self-Improvement. The latter were delivered
in Fitzroy Chapel on Thursday evenings in
March and April 1853, and were reported and
printed by the kindness of a friend. The
lectures were six : the first, on Self-Improve-
ment, and the Motives to It ; the second, on
Religion as a Study ; the third, on Books, and
on Reading Them ; the fourth, on Conversation
and Discussion ; the fifth, on Manners and
Social Respectability; and the sixth, on Cir-
cumstance and Character. Concerning these
Lectures he remarks in a preface to the first
" When I say they are not sermons, I do
not mean they are better, but only that they
FITZROY CHAPEL. q 9
are different. I feel quite aggrieved at its
being supposed anything can be better than a
sermon ; though, alas ! few things can be so
bad as some sermons are. But of course much
that is necessary or beautifully appropriate in
sermons is not found here ; and some things
spoken here with colloquial plainness and in-
structional sobriety, would in a sermon have
been also spoken in an impassioned, reiterative
way. It is one thing to know the capabilities
of your instrument, and another to have cor-
respondent ones of your own. But the least
organist should glory in the organ, and the
least preacher in the pulpit — so glory as not
to profane it by irreverent carelessness or loud
ostentation. Let me say then that plainness
and calmness, humour, pathos, linked argu-
ment, homeliest illustration, irony, appeal,
passion, an uplifted sea-swell of utterance, and
pomp as of a sunrise and a sunset glory, are
all, though not all always, both possible and
proper in preaching. But modern notions are
singular. For some men expect the sermon
to be a superfine, hot-pressed thing, all nap
ioo MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
and nattiness. And others are content with a
platter of chaff and a mug of water from the
pump, or likelier the pond, for their Sunday
feast. While people who, as they say, are all
for the < simple Gospel,' that they may keep
the ' milk of the word ' pure, keep themselves
babies, and set up childish fractious outcry
against any one, who so far offends their self-
will as to try and teach them to walk, in hope
that they may yet grow up and do some work
in the world for their Saviour/'
In view of what is to come it may be well
to cite the following passage from the same
preface : —
" I am an Evangelical Independent, but I am
not a Denominational one. Without clamour-
ing for an Evangelical reputation, I stand
firm on my claim ; and while ashamed of some
who delight to call themselves Evangelicals,
and sadly convinced that Evangelical talk
clouds the form and saps the strength of
Evangelical thought, I cannot repudiate a term
FITZROY CHAPEL. 101
so often used to express what I believe to be
the glorious essence of Christianity. As to
Denomination : to be Denominational is, in
my opinion, to be cliquish instead of brotherly.
I would be brother to those who stand for
Spiritual Independence for the sake of Catholic
Christianity. It is the Principle, not the sect,
of the Independents for which I care : though
there are always true Israelites in a fallen
Israel, whose approval and sympathy are an
honour, and whose number is greater than in
despondent hours we suppose. To any Church
Theory called 'Independency' I do not commit
myself. Much mean tyranny, both democratic
and priestly, have I seen in the Independent
sect. But the Independents are a ' self-incon-
sistent ' people. And in this lies their shame,
but also their hope."
As during the latter years of his life Mr.
Lynch was only able to preach once on Sunday,
and once in the course of the week, some have
thought that he never did more. It was far
otherwise. For upwards of ten years he
io2 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
preached twice on Sunday, and once in the
week. Indeed, one year he surrendered his
usual month of vacation, and preached thrice a
week for a year and three-quarters without
intermission. Whilst such assiduity is not to
be commended, it is to be recorded. To Dr.
Samuel Brown he wrote —
" ist June, 1854.
" We have been going on since you left
London with plenty of care and fag to task
us ; but I have no special event to tell unless
it be that we are about removing — not from
London to some rural paradise, but from a
smoky house to, as we hope, a purer one ; and,
June over, I mean to descend from my pulpit —
where I have been nineteen months continu-
ously, that is on Sundays and many other days
too — lie on my back and breathe awhile. ' Rest
awhile' is good doctrine, and happy is he,
not only who doth, but who can practise it."
Nor was he remiss in what is called pastoral
work. He was not in the habit of making
FITZROY CHAPEL. 103
chance visits, but the afflicted, whether with
illness or other calamity, never sought his aid
in vain. In his Address at Mortimer Street, on
27th November, 1851, he remarked —
" To call frequently at every house, scattered
as our people are, would be impossible — unless
the pastor had a certain invaluable horse of
which he once heard. He was in an omnibus
with two farmers, the one of which wished to
sell the other the horse in question. He
recounted its several properties, and very ex-
cellent they were ; and at last he came to its
one superlative distinction. * The day,' he said,
' is never too long for him ! ' If I possessed,
either this invaluable animal, or his great
qualification, I might call on A at Highgate,
B in Blackfriars Road, and C near Hyde Park
Gate, and many others in big circle round town,
all in a day. But until some one hears of this
horse in the market and buys it for the service
of the Church, I am unable to do such great
things. Yet I wish much to be counted every-
body's friend, and am happy, according as
io + MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
time permits, to be in due turns everybody's
Friendliness was indeed one of Mr. Lynch's
most marked characteristics. Those who made
his acquaintance found themselves remembered
and cared for with an ardour that sometimes
surprised them. For instance, one who had left
town without remembering to call was followed
with this note of remonstrance —
" Gone ! Why ? And without calling upon us.
Not right, not kind, not wise All I can
now do is to send kind regards and best wishes,
and to say that we shall be very glad to hear
good of you. I am sorry you are gone."
"Not unfrequently," said one of his people,
" he inquired of me concerning personal sorrows
that I had forgotten myself. There never was
such a comforter ! " In visiting the sick he was in-
deed most tender, full of sympathy with infirmity ;
and those who joined with him in prayer never
seemed to forget the benefit they received.
FITZROY CHAPEL. 105
His disposition was eminently social, and
meetings with the ministers of his neighbour-
hood and others afforded him peculiar pleasure
and refreshment. Says the Rev. Edward White,
of Kentish Town —
"Oh, the hours that I have spent with him
during these twenty years, especially in the
earlier seasons ! There seems to be scarcely
a road in this neighbourhood unlighted by
recollections of his conversation, of his racy
wisdom, and of his devotion. But best of all
is the remembrance of those happy earliest
times, when the ministers of this quarter met
some others from a distance once a month at
each other's houses for prayer and conversation
on some topic of sacred Scripture, and the
passage under discussion received whatever
light could be thrown upon it by such men as
Mr. Baldwin Brown, Mr. Martin, Mr. Watson
Smith, and similar kindred spirits. ' Lord, it
was good to be there ! ' And among the
blessings of those memorable evenings, doubly
endeared by the recollections of some no longer
io6 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
with us, we all reckoned the presence of the
author of the ' Rivulet/ who then, as ever, shone
out among the brightest of the throng. It was
there that we came to understand how * mighty
in the Scripture' was this self-taught, or rather
heaven-taught, student of truth ; and there,
best of all, that we learned from the outpouring
of his soul in his addresses to God, the depths
from which his wisdom sprang."*
In addition to his pulpit w T ork and frequent
lecturing, Mr. Lynch for some years wrote a
variety of articles in the Christian Spectator,
a monthly magazine, which have since been
collected and republished.!
But this happy state of hard work peacefully
pursued was not to continue. In 1854 — 55,
a time of much domestic affliction, he found
solace in the composition of a number of hymns,
which in November, 1855, were published under
the title of " Hymns for Heart and Voice. The
Rivulet." What ensued is now to be described.
* Christian World Magazine, July, 1 87 1.
t "Letters to the Scattered, and other Papers." London, 1872.
THE " RIVULET " CONTROVERSY.
A READER of " Theophilus Trinal " is said
-**■ to have remarked that Mr. Lynch would
wake some morning and find himself famous.
It was a prophecy destined to have a sinister
fulfilment. The publication of the " Rivulet" was
followed by an uproar of the most extraordinary
character. The beginning of the strife was
an article in the Morning Advertiser of 7th
January, wherein he learned that he had
written a book in which, "from beginning to
end, there was not one particle of vital religion
or evangelical piety ; " that u nearly the whole
of the hymns might have been written by a
Deist, and a very large portion might be sung
by a congregation of Freethinkers ; " " that
it was a painful fact that he should preach
twice every Sunday as an avowed minister
io8 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
of the Gospel, being the author of this spiritually
dead and dreary book." Meanwhile, the Eclectic
Review for January had noticed the " Rivulet "
briefly but favourably, and for this notice the
editor was called to account by the Advertiser,
and required to give, "as a postscript in his
February Number, an explicit and decided
repudiation of all sympathy with the incrimi-
nated notice of the book." A postscript ap-
peared, only not the one expected. The editor
had the courage to stand by the " Rivulet " as a
good and true book, and to express his disgust
at the reckless injustice wherewith the author
had been treated. In the March number of
the Eclectic appeared a Protest signed by fifteen
ministers, more or less intimate with Mr. Lynch,
testifying their respect for him, and their indig-
nation at the manner in which he had been
assailed. The Protest added fuel to the fire.
The controversy waxed in fury, and almost
every newspaper had some comment or other
on the uproar. Busiest and noisiest of all was
Dr. Campbell, editor of the British Banner.
He professed to have " carefully analyzed every
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 109
line" of Mr. Lynch's " Rivulet," and, as the result
of his scrutiny, charged him with "deliberately
contradicting the Word of God," with " defaming
the character of the Son of God," with " giving
the lie to the whole teaching of the Spirit of
God." He called the hymns "incomparably
the most unspiritual publication of the kind in
the English tongue," " stamped throughout by
a harmonious negation touching the facts of
the Gospel," and " might have been written
by a man who had never seen a Bible, and
never heard more than a few words and a few
names which might all have been uttered in
a moment of time." His ministry he described
as " Christless," himself as " not even at the
bottom of the scale as Poet or Divine," and
that " devils " might be his " disciples." Fur-
thermore, he was "utterly destitute of the
ethereal spirit of true poetry," and "wanting
alike in light, life, power, and pathos." His
verses were " the essence of absurdity," and
" worse than the quintessence of absurdity ; "
they were " pantheistic," and " most miserable
garbage," and " irrational and unscriptural,"
no MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
and " beneath contempt," and " nonsensical,"
and " preposterous ; " " doing violence alike to
reason, to Scripture, and to the experience of
all sane and sanctified men." They were a
" feeble stream " of " mingled, muddy matter,"
"drivelling doggrel," "crude, disjointed, un-
meaning, unchristian, ill-rhymed rubbish," &c.
&c. The articles from the Advertiser and
Banner were reprinted as pamphlets and circu-
lated widely, and such was the commotion
that Dr. Campbell avowed that "nothing like
it had occurred within the memory of the present
generation, or, perhaps, since the Reformation."
Amid the din Mr. Lynch pursued his duties
with such composure as he could command.
Some wondered at his silence, but of what
avail is argument or remonstrance in a panic ?
But at last, in October, he relieved his mind
in the production of " Songs Controversial,
by Silent Long, fifteen songs uttering a New
Protest." Those of more permanent interest
we reproduce, especially as to the new genera-
tion they must be unknown, the original pamph-
let having run rapidly out of print.
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. i
INK AND DRINK.
Showing that ink has superseded milk, and that theological alcohol
Once simple souls were fed on milk,
The Church, she was a mother,
Who opened first one fount of life,
And opened then another :
But now we all must live on ink,
The milky streams are dry ;
Her bosom it was warm and soft,
Our pens are hard and sly.
All honour to the Press, but most
Unto the Press Religious ;
Its blacking is so black that we
Can only cry ' Prodigious ! '
By slang and slander, half and half,
A polish fine is given,
To black the seven-league boots in which
Editors stride to — Heaven !
Now simple souls are fed on ink,
So grace is mostly gall ;
Now, like the drunkard for his glass,
Saints for their " bitters " call :
Without their Hatred, as strong drink,
These strong men can't exist ;
Love is but pap for little babe
MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
A NEGATIVE AFFAIR.
Showing that when a man palms off his negative u stuff "" upon the
public as " Christian" there is always so?nebody acute enough
to detect the imposition.
When sugar in the lump I see,
I know that it is there,
Melt it, and then I soon suspect
A negative affair :
Where is the sugar, sir ? I say,
Let me both touch and see ;
Sweetness instead of sugar, sir,
You'll not palm off on me.
Don't tell me that the sugar-lumps,
When dropt in water clear,
That they may make the water sweet,
Themselves must disappear ;
For common sense, sir, such as mine,
The lumps themselves must see ;
Sweetness instead of sugar, sir,
You'll not palm off on me.
For instance, sir, in every hymn
Sound doctrine you should state
As clearly as a dead man's name
Is on his coffin-plate :
Religion, sir, is only fudge, —
Let's have theology ;
Sweetness instead of sugar, sir,
You'll not palm off on me.
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 113
Showing that it may not be wrong to sing of things of which the
Saviour spoke, but wrong rather to condemn a man for so doing.
Oh, foolish critic and unwise,
Did you but know your Saviour,
You'd surely see with other eyes,
And change your whole behaviour :
He talked of grass, and wind, and rain,
And fig-trees and fair weather,
And made it His delight to bring
Heaven and the earth together.
He spoke of lilies, vines, and corn,
The sparrow and the raven,
And words so natural, yet so wise,
Were on men's hearts engraven :
And yeast, and bread, and flax, and cloth,
And eggs, and fish, and candles ;
See ! how the whole familiar world
He most divinely handles.
They called him " Fellow " and " This man,"
" Deceiver " and a " Devil ; "
I'm sorry that you've learnt their plan,
And fallen to their level ;
They trod His pearls beneath their feet,
The doctors were the swine ;
But though their folly you repeat,
His wisdom shall be mine.
ii4 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
THE PHARISEE CHANGED.
Showing how the Pharisee may imitate the Publican, and yet
continue as much a Pharisee as before.
The Pharisee informed the Lord
How good a life he led ;
The Publican shrank back in shame,
And smote his breast instead ;
But when the Lord, in tender love,
The penitent commended,
The hypocrite, with heart unchanged,
Straightway his prayer amended.
Said he, The man who says he's worst
Is by the Lord thought best ;
So next when he to worship went,
As Publican he drest,
And smote upon his hollow heart,
And bowed him down and groaned,
And, proud of his humility,
His unfelt sins he owned.
The Publican, an altered man,
Came, too, with lifted head,
And joyfully gave thanks to God
For the new life he led :
The Lord again his offering took,
Still spurned the Pharisee's,
For sometimes tears, and sometimes thanks,
But only Truth can please.
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 115
Showing in what sense a man ?nay be orthodox at once, though he
cannot be at once wise, and who IS orthodox.
Pray are you wise, sir ? Yes, for I
Much wiser wish to be ;
But perfect wisdom I disclaim
With all humility.
And are you orthodox ? Oh, yes,
None more so can be found ;
I've some regard to character,
And hate a man unsound.
But if you're only sound asleep,
And some one else, awalcing,
And, seeing that the sun is up,
Gives you a friendly shaking ;
Though you may call him heretic,
He proves himself the wiser,
For evermore Truth's best success
Comes through the earliest riser.
If orthodoxy soundness be
In thought, and act, and word,
Of any man quite orthodox
Whoever yet has heard ?
All such pretences Wisdom mocks
As gravely she replies,
There's only One that's orthodox,
He who alone is wise.
n6 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
Showing that the New Commandment involves many new things,
and may even lead to a New Theology.
There is a new commandment which
New hearts alone can keep ;
Its fruits, a new earth and new heaven
Will with a new song reap ;
And when this new command is kept,
With new eyes shall we see
New things of every kind, except
A New Theology ?
j Ecclesiastics, spider-like,
On Jesus Christ the Door
Have spun their cobwebs fine until
They've darkly closed him o'er :
They catch the souls that come to Him,
They seize them for a prey ;
Oh blessed hour, oh happy man,
That sweeps their webs away.
And webs that any man may break,
May many men repel,
And why should Heaven's door look as dark
As if it led to Hell ?
Perhaps this New Theology
Has come to do no more
Than sweep the cobwebs all away
From Jesus Christ the Door.
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 117
THE WAY AND THE END.
Showing that they who follow the Lord on His journey, He will
help in their path, and 7neet at the end.
Oh, Thou who only art the End,
Thou art the only Way ;
And in our suffering Master's track,
Through many a weary day,
I've journeyed on, and oft have said,
Enough, Lord, let me die ;
But quickly Thou hast answered me,
Fear not, my help is nigh.
How long, oh Lord, oh Lord the End,
Wilt Thou be but a Way ?
Frail, sinful men my fathers were,
Not better I than they ;
Oh take me to Thyself, I said, —
Enough, Lord, let me die ;
But Thou again hast answered me,
Fear not, my help is nigh.
Shall I, who choose Thee for the End,
Refuse Thee as the Way ?
Thou, too, wast watched by evil eyes,
Men sought Thee for their prey ;
I'm weary of the strife, I said,
Enough, Lord, let me die;
But Thou once more hast answered me,
Fear not, my help is nigh.
n8 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
" Songs Controversial " was quickly followed
by a pamphlet entitled "The Ethics of Quota-
tion, by Silent Long, designed to exhibit Dr.
Campbell's practices as Critic." The lines
on the title-page will serve to give some
idea of the outrages under which he was
" Quote him to death! Quote him to death !
Hit him, and hear not a word that he saith ;
Shout and cry out, for this is the man
Out of whose spirit the • Rivulet ' ran.
What is his soul but a cauldron that brims
Over and over with poisonous hymns ?
Then quench his fire, the vessel upset ;
Who knows what mischief he'll do us yet ?
Tear up his verses, and mangle his prose ;
Quote at him still, wherever he goes.
Cut him up ! Cut him up ! Send the pieces afar
To gather our Israel for strife and war ;
Black waves our banner against the sky,
Death ! is our watchword : the man must die,
That with him may perish Liberty ! "
The story of the " Rivulet " Controversy we are
happily able to give in Mr. Lynch's own words ;
and as it has been long out of print, and has
been much sought for, there is an additional
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. ug
reason for the reprint. The review appeared
in the Christian Spectator for November, 1856,
and starts with the discussion of a proposed
compromise. Tired and ashamed of malignant
excitement, it was suggested that there should
be a " compromise," that " bygones should be
bygones," that accusers and accused should
fraternise, and exhibit afresh a Christian front
to the world. Peaceful and lover of peace as
was Mr. Lynch, he had no mercy for such
policy. As he wrote, "Too many people fancy
they can ' love righteousness without hating
iniquity.' I desire, therefore, to impress upon
my reader this lesson : that though we may
hate without loving, we cannot love without
hating And as to indignation. Let the
Church pray to God for this great grace of
indignation. There is not enough deep hatred
of moral evil. Indeed, scarce any deep abhor-
rence of it is manifested. The heretic is con-
demned without ' benefit of clergy ; ' sin is
referred to * arbitration.' Silent Long is no
heretic ; he is orthodox enough, I hope, to
please anybody. But he has often found that
i2o MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
1 heresy ' is the precursor of spiritual insight ;
and * orthodoxy ' a cloak for transgression, and
a 'whited sepulchre' full of dead men's bones
and uncleanness. These last, reader, are the
words of * gentle Jesus meek and mild.' And
they lead me to say that one of the worst signs
of that lack of intense moral sentiment of
which I complain, is the inability to distinguish
between the strong words of him who rebukes
injustice, and the strong words of him who
attacks and defames the just. Many a popular
religionist will call both of these ' railing,' and
fancy that he himself is full of the ' spirit of
love.' Love can hate sin — these men cannot.
Love will suffer — these men will not : nor will
they sustain anybody who does. Christ's foes
said that He had a devil. The very evil they
charged on Him He charged on them. They
say He is of the devil, and He says they are :
who is to decide between them ? Reader, the
question has been decided, I hope, to your
satisfaction, as well as to that of the ten
thousand times ten thousand, and thousands
of thousands. Christ used strong words, and
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 121
spoke of * blind leaders of the blind,' of men who
were ' serpents and a generation of vipers,' of
professors whose ' inward part was full of
wickedness.' He accused the orthodox of his
time — and let the reader consider that no
modern doctor can think himself ' sounder ' than
these men thought they were — of hypocrisy and
of making God's word of 'none effect.' He
exposed their love of flattery and mastery. In
short, He showed us that sarcasm and rebuke
may be Divine weapons. When His foes
* railed ' on Him, He could be silent. But was
He always silent ? No. And shall we say that
He rendered ' railing for railing ' ? No. If
we have spiritual senses exercised to discern
between good and evil, we shall know that
words are wickeder for being strong when they
are false ; and the wiser when they are strong
when they are righteous. The very Apostle
who honours an archangel because he was
no ' railer,' himself rebukes most sharply : he
speaks of people who are ' brute beasts,' ' raging
waves,' 'wandering stars, to whom is reserved
the blackness of darkness for ever.' Rebuke
i22 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
is not railing ; and railing is not rebuke ! For
my part, I have never lightly drawn my sword ;
nor lightly smitten when I have drawn it.
Draw carefully ; smite hard ; sheathe soon."
A REVIEW OF THE "RIVULET" CON-
BY THOMAS T. LYNCH.
" I wish I could say that I was about to
' improve ' the death of this matter by a funeral
sermon upon it. But the Controversy is no
more dead than the ' Rivulet ' is ' dried up/ It
still illustrates itself in frequent effusions of
* "The Rivulet." Longman & Co.
The Eclectic Review for January, February, and March. Ward
" The Controversy," &c, by James Grant. "Nonconformist
Theology" and "Negative Theology," by Dr. Campbell.
Collingridge, Long Lane.
"Mr. Binney's Letter." Ward & Co.
"Songs Controversial" and "The Ethics of Quotation," by
Silent Long (Mr. Lynch). W. Freeman.
Newspapers, Magazines, Pamphlets, &c. Pro, con., and
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 123
spite and nonsense, miscalled * evangelical,'
with which I am favoured. And whilst I am
writing, there are actually attempts being made
at what is called an ' arbitration,' not, indeed,
between myself and my accusers, but between
Mr. Binney and Dr. Campbell. Mr. Binney,
it seems to be hoped, will abate permanently
some inches at least of his natural moral height,
that he may henceforth walk arm in arm with
the Doctor in bonds of brotherhood. Bonds of
brotherhood are ' bonds ' indeed, from which I
for one desire to shake myself loose with
Samson's vehemence, if they are bonds unbe-
seeming the servant of Him who died for us
and rose again f Perhaps the Cross, after all,
was not necessary. Perhaps Truth and Lies
might have settled matters by 'arbitration.'
Perhaps the universe is or ought to be governed
by 'accommodations.' Perhaps the sad story
of the 'Master' is a warning to us not to be
' righteous overmuch.' Perhaps the Lord was
not conciliatory enough to the Pharisees, and
might have escaped by a little 'compromise.'
Perhaps there were ' errors on all sides,' and
i2 4 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
if Caiaphas after the Crucifixion had sent for
Peter, given him a ' situation, 5 and married him
to the ' maid that kept the door,' there might
have been no Christianity !
" Severity and tenderness, it is supposed by
the unwise, cannot co-exist; whereas, in the
highest characters, they always co-exist, at-
tempering each other. But just because each
is so perfect, each will in its turn for prominence
be seen so distinctly that the reality of the other
may be denied. When severe, the best man is
so ti'uly severe, that his words seem of even a
too fiery ardour ; and when tender, he is so
truly tender, that his compassion seems so
lenient as to be almost immoral. I stand by
my own words, used six years ago, * Evil and
good are mutually exclusive. The war between
them is the one war that cannot be settled by
treaties of arbitration.' And also by my words
used in an article contributed to this magazine
in December, 1854, on the * Right of Erring.'
Giving therein an outline of an ' Act ' to secure
this 'Right,' I say, in section 3, 'This Act is
protective, and considering such groups of
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 125
erring persons as the following : — Those who
err through sheer incompetency : Those who
err through influence of education and neces-
sarily imbibed prejudice : Those who err through
justifiable or excusable excitement : Those who
err through defective information or limited time
and opportunity : Those who err through or-
ganic peculiarity or physical discomposure :
Those who err in an over-zeal through their
very love of what is noble and true ; and the
like ; it provides that their errors be allowed,
even without limit as to the number, so long as
— and be it observed, only so long as — such
allowance be found to quicken and strengthen
the Spirit of Truth in such persons.' I would
with the greatest pleasure grant Dr. Campbell
anything he might be able to claim under the
provisions of this Act, on his fulfilling its
conditions. But I will never abate one degree
of the stern ardour wherewith I have opposed
conduct such as his. Some one must suffer — I
believe many must — that Evangelical Religion
may be purged from the foul spirits of vaunt,
and cant, and compromise, and malice, which
iz6 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
now too often ' possess ' it. Why should not I
suffer as well as others ? To speak with
simplicity : It appears to me that a man must
be either condemned in this world or the next,
and I prefer the first alternative.
"And very plentifully 'judged' I have been,
reader, I assure you. Judgment has been
rained on me and hailed on me ; fire mingling
with the hail, but not heavenly fire. The ' rainy
season ' has now lasted nine months. I cannot
say that the windows of heaven have been
opened. The drenching torrents fell rather as
if first upspouted from below. The dogs of
theologic war, in 'full pack and full cry/ have
hunted me. Neologist, Rationalist, Socinian,
Deist, Pantheist, Heretic, Destroyer, and the
like, have they fiercely yelped. And let them
yelp on. ' There is no welcome and communion
like that of the " saints." ' No odium and
wrath deadly as those of the men who among
the religious are ' showing themselves to be the
religious/ says Theophilus Trinal. One of the
charges brought against me, reader, by ' the
Religious Press ' is, that I am ' an acknow-
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 127
ledge d contributor to the Christian Spectator —
a fact of itself sufficient to suggest that my
sympathies and sentiments are anti-evangelical/
So says the Watchman of 28th May last.
Perhaps that fact may make it seem less
unsuitable, if it should have seemed at all so
to any, for me to review the Controversy in
these pages. By the frequent perusal of
Records, ', Banners, Advertisers, Watchmen, &c,
I have learnt the whole ' trick ' of religious
newspapers. I could set up one myself if I
were only wicked enough, and, so I got a hot
roll of ' comfort' every morning, did not care
where or wherewithal I baked it. ' Lo we turn
to the Gentiles/ said Paul. Yes, we must go
out into the broad world, and leave the dark
and cruel chambers of ecclesiastical coterieship.
We must go outside the camp with Jesus Christ,
bearing his reproach ; must live, and speak, and
suffer for the ' word of eternal life ' in the open
world, and as the rejected of the Church. I
have said during this Controversy, and I have
no doubt many hearts will respond to my
language — To the world I do not commit
i28 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
myself: To the Church I belong, yea and will
do : But the ' Religious World ' I abhor.
" But now of the Controversy itself — How did
it arise ? What does it mean ? What ends will
it serve ?
" The innocent occasion of the Controversy was
the publication of my book, the * Rivulet ; ' the
wicked cause was an evil-spirited attack upon
that book and its favourers, made by the most
Samaritan of morning papers, whose editor,
unfortunately, is not the Good Samaritan. I
should have as soon expected a Dragon to issue
from a Dove's egg as a Controversy to arise
from the ' Rivulet.' Formerly, the prophets had
the art of putting into bitter streams what would
make them wholesome ; now they have learned
the ' black ' and inky art of dropping ' articles '
into sweet streams to make them bitter. Some
innocent people seem actually to think that the
Dragon did issue from the egg ; that when it
* was crushed, it broke forth into a viper.' They
will be glad now, no doubt, to receive authentic
information on this subject. The Dragon,*
* The reader will please observe that by the Dragon I do not
mean this man or that, but Controversial Bigotry in general.
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 129
i cunning and fierce mixture abhorred/ wishing
to prevent the sweet spirit of peace from flying
forth to brood over and to hush the stormy-
waters of sectarian strife, hastened to the Dove's
egg with the most destructive intentions ; but
just as his claw was lifted to strike, away flew
the Dove, and down came the whole force of the
Dragon on the mere shell — some say to the
injury of his own claws, but that we fear is too
good news to be true. Meanwhile, the Dove,
you will be interested in knowing, made its
escape through a * windy storm and tempest'
that ' black arts ' raised to oppose it ; and, as I
am informed by many friendly Reviewers and
others, is now very busily and very pacifically
"It was at the close of the year 1854 that I
first meditated the composition of the * Rivulet.'
As it was then unborn, so it was unnamed. I
purposed only this, that I would try and furnish
a Contribution to Sacred Song ; and at the same
time I purposed that I would try and offer a
Contribution to Christian Theology. Through
a year of, to me, singular events and sorrows, I
130 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
proceeded as well as I could with my two works,
the ' Rivulet ' and the ' Letters to the Scattered/
You will observe — these two works were planned
at the same time, and carried on during the
same month, and are, in fact, singularly illus-
trative of one another. The ' Letters ' will be,
by-and-by, republished separately. They have,
as you know, appeared as yet only in the pages
of the Christian Spectator. The prose work,
of course, contains the more theology, the
poetical one certainly not the less religion. I
will quote the hymn with which I commenced
my work of song. It was made on the Monday
morning before Christmas Day, whilst I was
meditating on yesterday's worship. It is now
No. 1 7 in the < Rivulet : * —
" ' Christ in his word draws near ;
Hush moaning voice of fear,
He bids thee cease ;
With songs sincere and sweet
Let us arise and meet
Him who comes forth to greet
Our souls with peace.
" 'Rising above thy care,
Meet Him as in the air,
O weary heart :
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY.
Put on joy's sacred dress,
Lo, as He comes to bless,
Quite from thy weariness
Set free thou art.
" ' For works of love and praise
He brings thee summer days,
Warm days and bright :
Winter is past and gone,
Now He, salvation's sun,
Shineth on every one
With mercy's light.
" ' From the bright sky above,
Clad in his robes of love,
'Tis He, our Lord :
Dim earth itself grows clear
As his light draweth near :
Oh, let us hush and hear
His holy word.'
" Rather more than a year after I had com-
posed this ' Christless ' hymn — that is to say, on
January 7th of this present year — I met a neigh-
bour one evening in an omnibus, as I was
returning home from some pastoral work, who
said, 'You have been publishing some literary
work lately, have you not ? ' ' Yes, a little book
132 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
of poems/ * I thought the book must be yours ;
I saw a review of it in one of the morning-
papers/ ' Indeed ! which ? ' ' The Morning
Advertiser' 'Favourable or adverse?' 'Oh,
they found fault not so much on literary grounds
as on some sectarian point/ 'Ah!' The next
day I was in town on some business connected
with the ' Rivulet ; ' and as Fleet Street lies in
the way to Paternoster Row, I went into the
office of the Advertiser and bought a copy of
'yesterday's paper/ On getting home, as a
sort of dessert at dinner-time, we read domes-
tically the following information about the
' good man of the house : ' — That he had pub-
lished a book in which, ' from beginning to end,
there was not one particle of vital religion or
evangelical piety;' that 'nearly the whole of
his hymns might have been written by a Deist,
and a very large portion might be sung by a
congregation of Freethinkers ; ' that it was a
' painful fact he should preach twice every Sun-
day ' as an avowed ' minister of the gospel,'
being the Author of this ' spiritually dead and
dreary book ; ' and that he had ' palmed off' his
THE u RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 133
hymns as 'Christian/ when they were merely
4 endeavours to look through nature up to
Nature's God/ such endeavours being, even if
the hymns were no more, at least possibly, very
Christian. Here was an attack upon book and
minister not gratifying. When our Saviour was
called ' deceiver/ I dare say he sometimes felt
inward pain, though he knew what contemptible
people his adversaries were. To find any one
speaking of a book which came from my very
heart as ' spiritually dead and dreary/ was
painful. But it never occurred to me to notice
such an attack. I took it only as a fresh proof
of the utterly inverted moral state of many pro-
fessed religionists. I firmly believe that religion
in many self-styled evangelicals is no better
than a blind, blaspheming superstition. What
wish could I have to prove that there was any
sort of identity between my religion and Mr.
Grant's ? God forbid there ever should be while
his remains as this article and his subsequent
ones represent it to be. In this first review, the
introductory personal references are favourable ;
they are as follows : — * Mr. Lynch, the author of
i 3 4 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
this little volume of poetry, is, we are told, an
amiable, as he certainly is an intellectual man.
The contents of the volume bear ample testi-
mony to the fact that he is a man of cultivated
mind, and largely imbued with the poetic spirit.
But here our commendation must end/ This r
Dr. Campbell says, is ascribing to me ' attributes
which he does not think even my judicious
friends will claim for me, and literary capa-
bilities of which I have given no proof.' I
advise, therefore, Mr. Grant to omit these mis-
statements of his in the twelfth, or whatever the
next edition may be, of his great Controversial
Pamphlet. According to the views of a Mr.
James Spicer, as given in Dr. Campbell's ' Nega-
tive Theology/ p. 31 — 'Nothing can be more
decorous, gentlemanly, and even kind/ than the
above Review. Perhaps Mr. Spicer is no better
judge of what is ' decorous, gentlemanly, and
kind/ than a gentleman of whom I have heard,
who threatened to withdraw his subscription
from a public institution because Mr. Lynch
had been invited to one of its social meetings.
The two first persons to whom I showed this
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 135
' decorous ' Review were men of very different
characters and pursuits, but alike publicly dis-
tinguished ; the first said, < What a donkey ! '
and the other, in many respects amongst the
strongest of living men, was agitated with emo-
tion. How incredibly absurd must it seem to
Messrs. Grant and Campbell, that any man
should be moved even to tears at the hardness
of heart shown in their l Christian criticism/ I
called the Paper in which this ignorant but
unimportant Review appeared, a Samaritan
Paper. The Samaritans feared the Lord after
a fashion, but ' served their own gods.' They
were pagan with, let us hope, a more beneficial
admixture of true religion than this modern
journal. The Morning Advertiser daily cele-
brates, in the queerest way, the nuptials of
Jerusalem and Newmarket. ' Life in Jesus,' and
death in the i ring/ are presumed to have equal
interest to its readers. In one page, Fifteen
Divines are insulted, all for the glory of God
and the Morning Advertiser ; and in another,
more than forty horses have their merits or
demerits meritoriously discriminated. "What a
1 3 6 MEMOIR OF T. 7. LYNCH.
happy thing, say some, to have such an ' evan-
gelical' man editor of the Advertiser. Why, it
is like Christ going among the publicans and
sinners. Like, indeed ! with this difference, that
the Lord did not connive at their sins for the
sake of their pecuniary support. He went to
seek and to save. But the Editor of the Adver-
tiser, among the racers, c betters,' and such like,
pleading the good that he does by his evan-
gelical articles amid their carnal news, suggests
to us the inquiry whether a clergyman might
not go to a gaming-house and sanction its pro-
ceedings, for the sake of converting its fre-
quenters. I fear the Editor of the Advertiser
does more to jockey the saints than he does to
sanctify the jockeys. His paper may be divided
into two departments — the 'ring' evangelical
and the ' ring ' carnal. Of course, in the Jeru-
salem and Newmarket nuptials these ' rings '
are exchanged in mutual pledging. I prefer
the 'ring' carnal. And of two bad things, I
think the ho7iest fist of the 'ring' carnal better
than the ' leaded ' fist of the ' ring ' evange-
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 137
" But now having introduced Mr. James Grant
upon the scene, I must give rapidly some account
of the development of his particular campaign.
On January 11, 1856, half-past three o'clock
P.M., into my study was ushered Mr. Such-a-
one, and he laid a copy of that day's Advertiser
on the table, and informed me that he had come
to tell me what he had done to Mr. Grant — and
what Mr. Grant had done to him. He had
written to Mr. Grant (kindly, but not wisely, I
should have told him if he had consulted me
about it) complaining of injustice, and adducing
some seventeen prominent hymns as rebutting
by their so obvious Christian quality the Re-
viewer's allegation. Of course, Mr. Grant was
too astute an editor to insert the letter. And it
was no surprise to me to find that he employed
its contents in a way the very reverse of what
the writer expected. This second article, or —
to speak c poetically' — the quality of this new
* tap,' was no whit inferior to the first, and Mr.
Grant concluded by citing or inviting me to his
court, asking whether I was prepared to assert
this and that. So, having been ' condemned
i 3 8 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
already/ I was to go and plead my cause, and
that before a court that had no authority. The
impudence of summoning to the 'bar' a Chris-
tian minister, and a man pretty widely known
for works accessible enough to those who desire
to ascertain his opinions, was a little remark-
able. I suppose I might have had a cider-barrel
to stand on, and have brought my gown with
me — I do not happen to wear one, however— in
which to declaim. If Mr. Lynch is not a Deist,
and so on — if his belief is ' sound ' — if he claims
any fraternity with Dr. Watts, why did he not
come forward and declare himself: Reader, I
will quote for you an American story ; that
contains solution enough of the difficulty. ' We
charge,' says the New York Express, ' that Mr.
Fremont is a Roman Catholic. Now, if he is
not a Catholic, why don't he come out over his
own signature and deny the fact ? ' Whereupon
the Syracuse Journal retorts as follows : ' We
charge that the editor of the Express is a con-
summate ass. Now, if he is not an ass, why
don't he come out over his own signature and
deny the fact : '
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 139
" Well, I was quietly forgetting the Advertiser y
when on Tuesday, January 22, out came the real
beginning of the ' Controversy.' The curtain
rises, and enter — the Rev. Dr. Campbell. That
is to say, Mr. Grant, commencing by a ' faithful
testimony' to that redoubtable champion of
himself and heaven, proceeds to say, that as
the Doctor once served the Eclectic and gained
great fame, so now will lie serve it and become
alike distinguished. There had appeared in the
Eclectic , prior to the first review in the Advertiser y
a notice of the * Rivulet,' giving it Christian
commendation. That notice was utterly uncon-
troversial, and was but brief. But, as if the
Eclectic had not quite as much right to a good
opinion of me as himself to a bad one, Mr. Grant
assaults that journal, threatens it with loss, and
demands security for future good behaviour. In
this article, Mr. Grant, that very decorous man,
affirms that he has proved the ' Rivulet ' ' to be
pervaded throughout by the Rationalist Theo-
logy of Germany,' though he had not said a
word before about the Theology of Germany —
had not tried to prove, much less succeeded in
140 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
proving, such a falsehood. He might just as
well have said he had proved that it was per-
vaded throughout by French cookery. Then
he asks, indignantly, whether the 'recognised
organ of the two great Congregational denomi-
nations ' is thus to adopt and endorse the ' cold
and cheerless theology of Germany.' The ex-
treme absurdity of charging the ' Rivulet,' and
its favourable reviewer, with 'cold and cheer-
less ' theology can only be obvious to those who
have read the book. Dr. Campbell has lately
informed the world ('Negative Theology,' p. 31),
' That one of the " Fifteen " transmitted a review
of the " Rivulet " to the Eclectic, and the Editor
admitted it without having seen the book.' Of
the ' Fifteen ' I shall shortly have to speak more
particularly. Dr. Campbell's statement is utterly
false. None of the Fifteen had anything more
to do with writing that review than the Author
of the ' Rivulet ' himself had. The Editor of the
Eclectic, as I was, during the progress of the
Controversy, informed by himself, had put the
book into the hands of a person of whose Chris-
tian and literary competency to prepare a notice
THE "RIVULET' CONTROVERSY. 141
of it he had good grounds for being assured. As
soon, then, as the Editor of the Eclectic was thus
assailed by the 'gentlemanly' Mr. Grant, he
wrote to the Advertiser apologetically, assuring
the Editor that all was right, and that coming
numbers of the Review would prove it. Now
it happened, reader, that in the very number of
the Eclectic, the January one, which Mr. Grant
assailed, there was an article on ' Doctrine and
Character,' of which a notice in a country paper,
written, I was informed, by an Evangelical
Churchman, thus speaks : ' Its ablest article,,
and very able indeed it is, is on Doctrine and
Character, a review of the sermons of Professor
Butler. The writer is a man of large heart
and comprehensive mind, appreciating worth
wherever he finds it, and frankly declaring his
appreciation. His way, too, of conveying what
he has to say is eminently terse, vigorous, and
compact. We quote a passage in evidence.' To
this I also invite the reader's attention for a
reason which will appear presently : —
" ' The world is not a gymnasium, in which men contend about
propositions, and the keenest debater wins salvation as a prize.
H2 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
Many have died in faith, and have been promoted to their heavenly
places, to whom such words as gymnasium and proposition would
have been alike unintelligible. They were " marrow men," though
not of the party that assumed that name. Religion is the marrow
and theology the bone ; the marrow has very much to do with
znaking the bone, and then the bone very much to do with protect-
ing the marrow. Many of these men of simple faith knew not,
indeed, the importance of controversies that were waging around
them. But how many a controversialist knows not the worth of the
life about whose laws and affairs he is disputing. Christ is not his
life, but his logic. He becomes atrophied by disputation, wastes
himself into a skeleton, and, instead of winning souls by the argu-
ments that they hear, repels them by this skeleton form that they
'"But let it be distinctly understood, that religion has its own
science. Its scientific student may be its meek and diligent
"minister." In all science we seek to know with the utmost
fulness and accuracy ; and we economize both time and heart, if
wise enough to learn where knowledge has its temporary or (as to
earth) its final limit. The solitary student will not desist from the
prosecution of his studies, because so few comprehend his topics
and his interest in them. Millions of men are unconsciously
interested in the results of studies to which they are unsympathetic
or opposed. Let the theologer theologize, not angry with the
unintelligent crowd of common Christians — one with them, and
that humbly, whenever he can be ; seeking their service, and not
his own pleasure merely, in his lonely work. Woe to the unlearned
church : double woe to the church where learning is paraded and
life languishes. Does some scorner say, Of what use is the Dif-
ferential Calculus in a market-place ? Of no use, indeed, we reply,
if you only go there and declaim upon it from the top of an empty
butter-tub ; but of great use, if you consider how it affects all the
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 143
mechanics of our social life. Of what use are the higher inquiries
of philosophical theology ? Of no use if the people be gathered to
hear the gospel on a market-day, and you hide Christ from them
and hinder their approach to him by a chevaux-de-frise of reason-
ing ; but of immense use, if, by its discipline, your own reason has
been calmly satisfied, and you can, with loving frankness, preach
the cross and the crown to the common people, no unsubdued
doubt in your own soul taunting and dragging you from behind
like a hidden demon at every sentence you utter.'
" You will observe in the above extract a dis-
tinct assertion of the importance of scientific
theology, together with a rebuke of the merely
disputatious man. 'Woe to the unlearned
church : double woe to the church where learn-
ing is paraded and life languishes/ says the
writer. Why did not the Editor of the Eclectic
refer to this article as his defence, when accused
of favouring, by a good word given me, that
which 'is worse than even the lowest kind of
Unitarianism ' ? Reader, the fact is, that the
article in question was written by the very man
on whose account the Editor was accused — that
is to say, by myself. And now let me show you
my position at the time, and I think I shall get
some credit with you for forbearance in the
i44 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
sequel, and be able, also, to vindicate the Editor
of the Eclectic. Mr. Grant's first attack on that
journal appeared, as I said, on January 22. I
knew that Mr. Ryland, the much respected
editor of ' Foster's Life/ and now of Kitto's, had
but just taken the editorship of the Review, and
that the proprietorship, also, had passed into
new hands. And entertaining, as I did, a
sincere regard both for proprietors and editor,
how could I but feel anxious about an attack
which must disturb and might injure ? I left it
to Mr. Ryland to refer to my article on ' Doc-
trine and Character ' or not, as he thought well,
and determined that for some time, at least, I
would not contribute to the Review, And I
never have contributed since, though both pro-
prietors and editor have, very honourably to
themselves, wished me to do so. It would have
been better, I think, had Mr. Ryland, on being-
attacked by the Advertiser, just written a stern,
short note, equivalent to an indignant, ' Who
are you ? ' His attempt at conciliation was only
met by insolence. He was told that the ' Rivu-
let ' was i a book which notoriously does not
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 145
contain one solitary evangelical sentiment from
beginning to end 5 (Oh, blind audacity of mis-
representation !) and that he must give ' as a
postscript in his February number an explicit
and decided repudiation of all sympathy with
the incriminated ' notice of that book. Think
of that, reader. The Evangelical Eclectic was
to strike its flag to the Samaritan Advertiser.
However, in the February number out came the
Postscript, only not the one expected. And
very explicit and decided it was, only not in
the way Mr. Grant had taken for granted. Mr.
Ryland had for the moment seemed too gentle,
but he soon showed he had the strength, too, of
the gentleman, and was no faithless coward. He
stood by the ' Rivulet ' simply and firmly as an
Evangelical book, and expressed his utter as-
tonishment and indignant reprobation at the
reckless injustice with which Mr. Lynch had
been treated. And he appended to the Post-
script a letter which had been sent to the Adver-
tiser, demolishing Mr. Grant's criticisms, and
which that * kind/ ' decorous ' man had declined
inserting. Forth now came the champion of
1 46 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
Fleet Street, soon to be aided by a brother
giant, whose den is hard by. As yet I was
only assaulted by Gog ; soon the Gog and
Magog of the newspaper ' Evangelicals ' were
both to be upon me. Redly glowring, as
through the fogs of Fleet Ditch, the editorial
luminary cast over the widening field of Con-
troversy a lurid horror. In an article, whose
length was like the comet's fiery tail, and
whose meaning was small and indistinct as the
comet's head, Mr. Grant's sentences whooped
and danced round the unhappy Editor of the
Eclectic, and unhappier me, who was, perhaps,
whimpering behind the editorial skirts, like a
troop of war Indians ready to scalp everybody,
then, there, and for ever. Now, at the very
time Mr. Grant was writing this dreadful article,
and, in the face of all the ' new lights ' of the
church, ' swindging the scaly horror of his folded
(or say, z//rfolded) tail,' he must have received a
communication, with a glimpse of which the
world has not heretofore been, but shall now be,
favoured. On the 1st of February, a hearer of
mine, who bears a name that will always be
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 147
respected where those who have served evan-
gelical religion are remembered, wrote him
thus : i I have been for some time past a regular
attendant, together with my family, upon Mr.
Lynch's ministry, and I can say most unhesi-
tatingly that there is no minister in London,
whether in the Church or out of it, who has a
firmer belief than Mr. Lynch in the very doc-
trines which he is charged with denying
It is wholly a mistake, therefore, to compare the
character of Mr. Lynch's ministry with the old
and worn-out system advocated by Dr. Priestley,
Belsham, Toulmin, and others of the last gene-
ration, or, on the other hand, to confound it with
the heartless and negative teaching of more
recent German Neologists. Whoever so judges
has either taken hastily the opinions of others,
or been himself a very inattentive listener/
Speaking of the hymns, he says that it is ' un-
safe at any time to draw sweeping conclusions
as to doctrinal belief from the language of
poetry. In order to understand a hymn, it is
oftentimes necessary to know the writer. Cen-
nick's beautiful hymn of intense aspiration for
148 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
the dying believer, in which occurs the
" My soul has tasted Canaan's grape,
And now I long to go,"
contains not a word of doctrine ; but those who
know Cennick's character, and that he also
wrote another hymn commencing —
" Thou dear Redeemer, dying Lamb,"
would naturally interpret the one by the other.
So in the case of Mr. Lynch. Those who know/
&c., and then he speaks of my character as it is
pleasant for any clergyman to find his hearers
speaking of him, and ends thus : — ' I assure you,
sir, I am not misled in these remarks by a blind
admiration of the preacher, but believing that
the strictures you have made, and published so
widely, are utterly unfounded, and are calcu-
lated to injure the reputation and interfere with
the usefulness of a minister doing a sincere and
earnest work, I ask the insertion of this letter
as a simple matter of justice to himself and his
hearers ; the more so, as I have reason to be-
lieve Mr. L., though quite competent to defend
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 149
himself, does not consider the columns of a daily
journal a suitable channel for the discussion of
such topics.' Of course, Mr. Grant inserted this
letter? Reader, I am ashamed of you for the
suggestion. Mr. Grant is a ' decorous ' man.
Would it have been ' decorous ' for him to allow
plain truth flatly to contradict him in his own
paper ? No, my friend's defence of me cannot
induce Mr. Grant to abate one particle of his
dreadfulness. He brings against me the awful
charge that I apostrophize my own spirit ' as if
that, too, were a sentient and active being ! '
Why, what is it, I wonder; does Mr. Grant
think man's spirit is as dead as a brickbat, or,
at best, that it should be a bagpipe, with one
unvarying theological drone at bottom, and
one unexhilarating, controversial screech atop ?
Thank God, my spirit is something more than
a wind-bag, with its pipe and drone ; something
more, too, than a barrel-organ, which grinds one
set of tunes till our teeth grind at the horrid dis-
cord into which they fall. To be considered a
very trustworthy sort of person, your soul, I find,
ought to be like an organ with only one stop.
1 5 o MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
If you have flute and trumpet too, and half a
dozen or fifty other stops besides, people can't
' understand' you. However, God gave me a
soul that can laugh and cry, fight and meditate,,
' impugn it whoso listeth,' as the Rev. Dr.
Campbell defiantly exclaims. The bewildered
falsehood of this article of Mr. Grant's compels
me to devote to it a little more space than I can
well afford. He refers to my 'Letters to the
Scattered ' in a way that suggests the surmise
that he and Dr. Campbell have set up a ' Mutual
Improvement Society,' in which they have
studied the ' Ethics of Quotation ' in company.
He quotes against me these words among
others — ' What right have we to be ever bewail-
ing " that there is no good thing dwelling in our
flesh " ? ' What do you think of that, reader ?
It is evident what Mr. Grant would have you
think. He has just said that Mr. Lynch ' clearly
maintains the doctrine of merit in man.' Of
course, Mr. Lynch thinks there is nothing much
the matter with our flesh — no great need of God's
Spirit ; that the distinction, indeed, between
flesh and spirit is of no moment. Here's
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 151
Theology, cry Mr. Grant's readers. Think of
the Rev. Anybody, much more the Rev. New-
man Hall, having anything to do with it. The
Rev. Newman Hall, who, as a chivalrous sol-
dier of Jesus Christ, has won for himself such
honour by the courage, at once prompt and
unswerving, with which he has defended, not
Mr. Lynch merely, but the righteousness that
is in Christ, as assailed in this ' Controversy/
has nothing to do with such theology. Nor has
Mr. Lynch himself; nor has the Christian Spec-
tator. Here is the passage, not as it is Adver-
tised by Mr. Grant, but as it stands in last
November's number of the Spectator : —
" ' Surely we need never fear that a man is too respectable to
feel himself a sinner, if only he be addressed as the sort of sinner
that he really is. He may not act upon what he knows, but he does
know. Become better, and you will often bitterly lament that you
are not better still, whilst yet, oh, how thankful that you are no
worse. But we must not talk as if the one excellency of saints were
the confession they are sinners. Confession may be, not the sign
but the substitute, of repentance. Alas for the saint who says to-
day and to-morrow that he is a sinner, if it is as true to-day as it
was yesterday, and as true to-morrow as it is to-day ! What right
have we to be ever bewailing that there is " no good thing dwelling in
our flesh " ? has not God given us his Spirit ? is there nothing good
MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
in our spirit ? does not God's Spirit dwell with ours ? If it does
not, then we are none of his, and have cause to bewail, but still no
cause to be complacent over our bewailing.'
"I presume no Christian clergyman need be
ashamed of such sentences. And as to my
views of ' merit in man,' read what follows from
the June (1855) number of this journal : —
" 'The proof that God hates the sins (a man) has committed is
not the proof that God hates him. The results of God's punitive
arrangement are never borne by a really good man as mere punish-
ment. To him the retributive is, indeed, the redemptive also.
Such a man possessed of life, and of the hope of honour and im-
mortality through Jesus Christ, having renounced mere nature to
live by the Divine Spirit, may so act in self-sacrificing love, that
grace shall by him more abound for good than ever sin did for evil.
But he does not pass over from a state of demerit in which he was
less, to a state of meritoriousness in which he is more, than the
commandment requires. He who has failed under the old com-
mandment, as restored is under the new, and is for ever out of the
sphere of mere law, except as love understands it. What he does,
he does according to the promptings of a heart alive to spiritual
love. And be his love much as it may, it can never be more than
is answerable to the Divine love. How much less, indeed, must it
be than this ! Love pays best when it acknowledges that payment
is beyond its means. Thus its meritoriousness is that it claims no
merit. It knows, and thanks God for, its own worth ; but its boast
were its undoing.'
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 153
" Well, the ' decorous ' Mr. Grant, at the close
of this cometary article, is ' kind ' and ' gentle-
manly ' enough, after personal allusions to
myself, false — and unwarrantable had they
been true — to assault Mr. Hall, endeavouring
to damage the author of what he admits to
be one of the ' best and most useful religious
publications which the present age has pro-
duced, 5 by implicating him in my heresies.
Mr. Hall had, in spite of ' adverse criticism/
presumed to commend the ' Rivulet ' at a public
meeting. He spoke of it as having recently
gushed from the heart of ' one of our ministers/
and called it a 'pure and refreshing' stream.
Would you give out such a hymn as this at
Surrey Chapel ? cries Mr. Grant, selecting one
obviously among the least fit for public use,
the ' little pool,' namely, in which he and his
friends have so charitably and unavailingly
attempted to drown me, and offering it as a
fair specimen of my Christian Hymns. Surely,
Mr. Hall is at liberty to commend a volume of
hymns without people having a right to infer
that he thinks them suitable for Surrey Chapel,
i54 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
or, indeed, any other chapel. Nobody but
Mr. Grant, one would think, could have drawn
such an inference. But when a man has the
power of ' blowing ' his inferences through the
sonorous, discordant trumpet of such a paper
as the Advertiser, credulous people are apt to
think that so much ' sound and fury ' must
signify something. The misapprehension of
the weak is through the misrepresentation of
"Thus, then, the matter stands during the
month of February. And on the ist of March,
there appeared a document, known now as
' The Protest.' This piece of Protestantism, as
all genuine Protestantism does, has given won-
derful offence. As to offence, what matter ?
When the offence of the Cross has ceased, the
power of the Cross will have ceased too. All
the best deeds in the world have been ' blunders *
if resulting inconveniences can prove brave acts
to be errors. And now I call the reader's at-
tention to two things. First, that the Scripture
never speaks lightly of sin and its strength
for mischief, because the sinner happens to be
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY, izk
foolish as well as wicked. One sinner de-
stroyeth much good ; he need not be a par-
ticularly clever or accomplished sinner to
produce this effect. Wisdom alone is strong
for ultimate successes, but folly is very power-
ful for immediate ones. It is quite common
for wisdom to fail in the outset, and quite as
common for folly to succeed. It is true that
the assailant of Mr. Ryland, and Mr. Hall,
and Mr. Lynch, and Truth and Decency, was
only Mr. James Grant; but then, though Mr.
Grant is nobody, * Magna est stultitia et pras-
valebit' — that is to say for a time. And
secondly, let the reader consider that wise
men, observing evil in a given instance, think
not of the instance only, but of the class of evils
of which it is a specimen. They seek to make
the coming forth of evil in any particular Wrong
an occasion for the rebuke and repression of the
evil spirit itself. Remembering these things,
shall we be surprised that Fifteen Christian
gentlemen, having learnt from their Bibles
what strength there is in folly, and desiring,
for Christ's sake, to turn to the best account
156 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
an available opportunity for rebuking Calum-
nious Folly — should utter their quietly fervent
Protest against Mr. Grant's procedures ? These
gentlemen must have thought the religion of
the Morning Advertiser consummate whitewash,
the very stuff to beplaster that unholy sepulchre,
a hypocrite's heart. They knew, too, from their
dictionaries, that a fool is ' one who is puffed
up like a bellows with wind.' And though
quite aware that his blasts of rude wrath,
editorial or other, cannot extinguish any celes-
tial ' tongue of flame ' wherewith God has
■'sealed* and empowered a righteous man for
his service, they were aware, too, that these
can fan a spark into a conflagration, and for
awhile subvert souls and shake communities.
They took, then, all risks in protesting, and
did the thing, as all just things must be done,
1 for better or worse,' as to the immediate issues.
The Rev. Messrs. Allon, Binney, Brown, Flem-
ing, Hall, Harrison, Jukes, Kent, Martin,
Newth, Nunn, Smith, Spence, Vaughan, and
White, protested against Mr. Grant's Reviews ;
for, said they, ' if this is suffered to pass current
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 157
as a specimen of Christian reviewing, then
Christian reviewing will soon become an offence
unto all good men.' Dr. Campbell, Mr. Grant's
friend, says that these Fifteen present * an un-
paralleled and a highly imposing array of
learning, piety, public character, and official
influence,' and describes them as * highly re-
spected, reputable, and influential Metropolitan
Ministers.' Mr. Grant, however, in his usual
' decorous ' way, speaks of some of them as,
in terror of his own great self, having 'hid
themselves in the holes of their native obscurity.'
I dare say the reader will remember the fable of
the donkey that brayed so awfully like a lion
that a sagacious creature observed, ' Why, even
/ should have been frightened if I had not known
it was you. 3 The ' Nunns, and Newths, and
Jukeses, and Kents ' knew that the mighty
voice was only Mr. Grant's voice. Perhaps it
may be as well to refer to the ' holes ' of these
gentlemen. The ' hole ' of Professor Newth,
M.A., is called New College. In this com-
modious 'hole' he lectures on Mathematics
and on Ecclesiastical History, and, I dare say 7
j 5 8 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
Mr. Grant might be admitted as a 'lay ' student
on payment of the proper fee. A short course
on Ecclesiastical History might do him good,
and elevate equally the style of his own re-
viewing and his estimate of Mr. Newth. Mr.
Nunn's ' hole ' is Haverstock Hill, a very
pleasant and rather conspicuous ' hole/ His
church being thus set upon a hill, his light
is by no means hid under a bushel, and he
has no cause to wish that it was, seeing it is
not a flaring light, with more smoke than flame,
but a quiet one, that burns steadily. Mr.
Jukes's ' hole ' is in a different sort of locality,
which makes him all the more useful, as his
light is one that ■ shineth in a dark place.' He
is minister of Orange Street Chapel. And if
Mr. Grant were half as careful to refer his
'politics' to the teaching of wiser men than
himself, as Mr. Jukes is to try opinion by the
statements of Scripture, his readers w r ould
certainly be much better off than they are.
Mr. Kent's ' hole ' is at Norwood, where,
knowing Greek far better than Mr. Grant will
ever know English, and having a mind as
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 159
harmonious as his disposition is amiable, he
blends the saint and the scholar in a way that
I should think would secure him from every-
body's insolence except Mr. Grant's. The
Protest to which these four ' obscure ' gentle-
men were good enough to attach their names
along with others, had, as early as the middle
of last March, according to Mr. Grant, ' already
acquired an imperishable place in the annals
of Nonconformity.' It was even honoured with
a place in the columns of the Advertiser, but
the Editorial Postscript with which Mr. Ryland
introduced it to the notice of his readers was
not so honoured. And although when Mr.
Grant issued his renowned pamphlet called
the * Controversy/ &c, the cover stated that
this Controversy was between the Eclectic
Review and certain gentlemen on the one side,
and Mr. Grant on the other, both this second
Editorial Postscript and an important portion
of the first one (namely, the letter appended to
it) were omitted. Speaking of the unsolicited
support of the Fifteen ministers, Mr. Ryland
says that, ' next to the mens co7iscia recti, he
160 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
would desire no better human protection ' —
than such a one — ' against the assaults of
opinionated bigots and self-constituted De-
fenders of the Faith, who, to prove their regard
for the glory of the Divine Being, violate one
of his plainest commands, by bearing false
witness against their neighbour, and insanely
attempt to " erect religion on the ruins of
morality ; " who, while loud in professions of
attachment to the doctrines of the Gospel, prove
themselves miserably deficient in those Christian
virtues of justice and charity, apart from which
any professed faith in the most orthodox creed
is barren and worthless, " being alone." '
"The Reviewer — that is, Mr. Grant—say the
Protestors, ' has invoked so solemnly the sacred
name of evangelical truth to consecrate his
criticism, that we, loving the Gospel, feel
bound to enter our protest ; and one of our
number, Mr. Newman Hall, having been
severely blamed for his public commendation
of Mr. Lynch's poems, we, sharing his con-
victions, gladly place ourselves at his side.
In a book of Hymns for the Heart and Voice
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 161
we did not look for didactic theological state-
ments, but we found,' &c. Now, I wonder it
did not occur to these gentlemen that an an-
gular and frosty ' theological statement ' dropped
into a hymn would give it, to a palate like
Mr. Grant's, all the effect of iced champagne.
Indeed, I wonder I did not think of this myself.
Only, if second thoughts are best, they are,
it must be considered, latest also. These gen-
tlemen did not find in the 'Rivulet' lumps of
unmelted ice. They no more looked indeed
for ' theological statement ' in a hymn, than
in shrimp sauce you look for the shell of the
creature whose delicate flavour you are enjoy-
ing. Scientific religion is a kind of crustacean,
and, as perhaps the reader is aware is the
case with a lobster, sometimes comes completely
out of its shell, not naked, but in a new one,
the very fac-simile of the old one, only brighter,
stronger, larger. The old one is then left
behind, very lobster-like and very empty. You
may see it any day in the Vivarium at Regent's
Park. There Mr. Grant may behold the very
image of his Theology — not a science conjoined
1 62 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
to, and protective of, a living Religion — but the
empty parade of a science that has no Life,
within. This Lobster-case is the ' idol ' that
the Editor of the Morning Advertiser hath set
up ; and at what time ye hear the noise of
the owl and the goose, the Watchman and
the Record, and all sorts of dissonances, ye
shall fall down and worship the empty Theology
that the Editor of the Morning Advertiser hath
"The way in which Mr. Grant received the
Protest, and thereupon acted, reminds me of
the great, but hitherto unrecorded, case of Sir
Sulphur Vaunty. Sir Sulphur was a political
brawler, who at last became so troublesome
that he was openly condemned as a Brawler
by the Twelve Judges, and the general good
sense of his country ; and his property, that
is to say, his name and fame, such as he had,
were confiscated as a warning to others. What
did Sir Sulphur do, but immediately issue an
account of the matter under the title of 'The
great Political Struggle between her Majesty's
Twelve Judges and the people of England on
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 163
the one side, and Sir Sulphur Vaunty on the
other side/ And therein he glorified himself,
as one against so many ; and the smoky fumes
of his brain actually led him to conceive that
he had routed the Judges — several of whom
he mocked at by name in a most offensive,
but ridiculous, manner. Mr. Grant had actually
the presumption to talk of the rebuke he had
received as if a castigation was the same thing
as a Controversy. Was it likely that Mr.
Martin, for instance, because he is strong as
well as meek, would enter into Controversy
with Mr. Grant ? Would he ' come down ' from
* doing a great work ' and enter the * ring ' r
Mr. Newman Hall was the only one of the
Fifteen with whom there was even an appearance
of Controversy. Having himself an eminently
frank nature, he ' hoped all things,' and thought
that even Mr. Grant would allow a flagrant
misstatement to be corrected. Mr. Grant actually
charged Mr. Newman Hall with not having read
the Reviews to which the Protest refers. Mr.
Hall endeavoured to set him right, and to cor-
rect, also, other misstatements. Vain attempt!
1 64 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
No ! like a character mentioned in the Scrip-
tures, Mr. Grant ' raged, and was confident. 5
His articles made more noise in Fleet Street
than all the waggons and omnibuses that
rumble there. Each Press in the Morning
Advertiser establishment became a Battery, and
the ' devils/ grimy with theologic gunpowder,
filled London with the echo of their explosions.
The smoke, like fogs from Fleet Ditch, rolled
out of town far into the country. Mr. Grant
took everybody for slain whom he saw through
the smoke of his own artillery; and imagining
his victories, proceeded to celebrate them at
once with huzzas truly astounding. The air
grew so dark, and the cry so fearful, that even
the Earl of Shaftesbur}^, leaving in his hurry
his Star of the Order of Berea behind him, came
forth and answered a matter before he heard it,
to the great edification and delight of the
' Religious World,' and the still greater regret
of his real friends. On March 15 the great
Pamphlet came out, and on May 5 the seventh
edition was thus prefaced, ' The extraordinary
sensation produced by this publication, so far
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 165
from subsiding, continues to increase.' It was
during May that the Earl of Shaftesbury spoke
of the ' horrid epidemic which had seized upon
some of the brightest Nonconformist divines ' —
his words furnishing, according to the Advertiser,
a 'most accurate representation of the awful
state of things which existed in the realms of
Nonconformity.' The ' dreadful doctrines of
the German Neologists ' were ' upon us.' Mr.
Grant declared himself more gratified than he
could express with such a ' noble ' testimony.
* We have looked into the " Rivulet," ' says the
Watchman, of May 28, ' and cannot conceive how
any one can suppose the writer to be an Evan-
gelical Christian : ' and then presently afterwards
he remarks, that it ' is said, and not contra-
dicted,' that Mr. Lynch, &c. Truly, I should
have enough to do to contradict everything
that is being, and has been, said of me. * Never
contradict anything,' said a great and well-
abused actor in political strifes, ' for if you con-
tradict one thing, all the rest that you have no
opportunity of contradicting will be taken for
true.' 'Certain it is,' says the Record of June
1 66 MEMOIR 01 T. T. LYNCH.
13, 'that the "Rivulet," as a book of hymns,
is destitute of all pretensions to poetry, whilst
its theology, as has been well said, is better
suited to the Ojibbeway Indians, who worship
the Great Spirit, than to those who believe in
the living truths of the Gospel covenant/
Poor Ojibbeways, perhaps there is a lower hell
than even theirs — that of liars, who have spoken
falsely in the name of the Lord. The Record
then speaks of the 'fifteen rash apologists of
Mr. Lynch and the " Rivulet," ' and of the
'great force, great candour, and great temper'
of the Rev. Dr. Campbell (for prior to this the
Doctor had been issuing his paper thunders,
and had been reproved by Mr. Brown), and
of the many consolations he has under the
'flippant assaults of such striplings as Mr
Baldwin Brown. 5 Now it is certain that neither
Mr. Brown nor myself are hoary-headed, and
it is to be hoped we never shall be — in iniquity.
But the one of us has said, and the other would
say Amen to the words, ' Upon our Bible we
may write, " Thou shalt rise up before the hoary
head ; " the eye of this sage is not dim, nor his
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 167
natural force abated ; his brow is grave, as with
a burden of still unuttered truth ; his yet youth-
ful eye is bright as with a new-fallen tear of
mercy.' It is because Mr. Brown 'rises up' in
homage to the real sage, that he will not bow
down to the Papal Idol of the hour. And
wherefore does he, or any other man, ' rise up '
before his Lord, but to show that he is ready to
serve, and has, therefore, risen to ' smite/ if the
command be, ' Go forth to battle ' ? If Mr. Brown
were a stripling, which he is not, was there not
a stripling named David, who did great things,
and another stripling named Elihu, who spake
them ? If the Church in its wisdom should
found an order, called the Order of Divine
Striplings, neither Mr. Brown nor myself could
desire anything better than, in memory of
services at least faithfully attempted, to have
our breast decorated, yes, and hallowed, with
its ' Cross.'
" But I must now return again from June to
March, as I have to speak somewhat particu-
larly, though with brevity, of events intervening.
A voluble, inflated man had assailed first myself
1 68 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
and then the Eclectic Review, with an insolence
happily but seldom equalled, and had been
rebuked for his misconduct. A number of
Christian gentlemen and ministers, associating
in one group private worth, scholarship, diver-
sity of gifts and broad, good fame, had, with an
honourable regard to public justice, and an
honourable disregard of popular clamour, chival-
rously reprimanded the foe, and stood forth, not
as my friends only or chiefly, but as men who
felt a knightly consecration to the service of
spiritual Religion, with its Courtesy and Liberty.
True chivalry will never die till Christ does,
and He is alive for evermore. Their castisration
of himself Mr. Grant called a controversy with
him ; as if the rod had a controversy with the
fool's back. Like an impudent schoolboy, who
had been birched for his impertinence, he
swaggers into the play-ground, and tells all
the little fellows that there has been a 'row/
that is to say, a controversy between him and
the masters. Really I do not see what Stultus
has to boast of because the rod that birched him
has actually fifteen twigs, any more than a
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 269
faithless soldier would have that he was to be
'executed' by a platoon of fifteen fellow-soldiers,
comrades in name, but of another and a braver
spirit. Any one bullet would do the business ;
the Platoon of Fifteen does but give the
transaction more solemnity and moral effect.
Well, the Controversy being thus originated,
Mr. Grant, after 'execution,' is ten times more
alive than ever, and 'edition after edition' of
his pamphlet ' is flying through the air like
wildfire,' at least so says the Christian Cabinet in
its fifth notice. Wildfire truly. Fatuns etferox.
During the happy months of May and April
last, at many an Evangelical tea-table this
pamphlet was as good as — or as bad as — brandy
in the tea. But, after all, the Evangelical
world had not yet got the ' real thing,' the
'pure Glenlivet.' The man whose 'force,' and
' temper,' and ' candour,' like his ' length,'
'breadth,' 'height,' conspire to make him an
individual of truly portentous dimensions, now
comes on the scene.
" Sound the trumpets, beat the drums,
Clash the gongs, great Magog comes :
170 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
Shout according to your manner,
Ye who bear his dusky banner.
Black it is, with gory stains,
Praise him in your harshest strains :
He is King of wrath and clamour,
And his sign — The brazen hammer.
"Truly may slain and wounded reputations
cry out against the Rev. Dr. Campbell, 'Oh
earth, cover not thou our blood. 5 His track,
like that of the simoom, is marked by his
victims. He hath shown no mercy. He even
flatters without mercy, when flattery is his cue.
This ' distinguished ' person, this man of Union,
at least of the Union, now takes the field.
Napoleon dismisses his subaltern and appears
himself. Exit Grant ; enter Campbell. He
came forward softly at the first, much as if
Satan should present himself in a dress coat,
with his tail hid in the pocket. He talked
sweetly of peace and love : ' cooed ' plentifully,
although suspiciously. The Rev. Doctor, ' in
the prosecution of his truth-seeking and peace-
making enterprise,' puts his hat over his horns ;
but though the brim was broad, the wind was
high. Off went the hat, and the well-known
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 171
horns were revealed. Specimens of the Doctor's
professional ' goodwill ' to myself abound in
his pamphlet called ' Nonconformist Theology.'
This consists of articles which, having been
first published in the Banner during April and
May, were then collected together, and then
sold to those who would buy them, and dis-
tributed to those who would not. It is to this
pamphlet, in connection with another entitled
' Negative Theology,' that two publications
called * Songs Controversial ' and ' The Ethics
of Quotation,' by Silent Long, relate. I must
refer the reader to these * Songs ' and ' Ethics '
for my fuller opinion of Dr. Campbell's writings.
By this time, he will understand, that is, by the
middle of May, the controversial melee had
become pretty general. Almost all ' religious'
parties ' came to words ' about it then, or have
done so since. Even the High Churchman
condescended to look down from his tiptop
elevation to see what was the matter, though he
by no means condescended to learn the ' utter-
most of the matter.' He merely said it was a
< row ' among the Dissenters, and, turning to his
172 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
clerical neighbour, sipped his port complacently.
The whole of what is known as the ' Noncon-
formist Press of the Capital' Dr. Campbell
confesses was against him. The Nonconformist,
the Freeman, the Patriot, the Christian Weekly
News, the Empire, the Wesley an Times, &c., and
many other Journals, Reviews, and Magazines,
town and country, were all for the ' Rivulet ; '
the whole spirit and stress of their articles in
favour of the Fifteen, and against the assailants.
I for the hour, as I said to a correspondent, bore
the Flag ; at me the arrows flew, and therefore
around me the brave rallied. But, oh ! the
queer ' theological ' characters that looked forth
all grease and grimace from their several Caves
of Adullam. And, oh ! the general shudder of
suspicion that went through the country, against
not me only, but (which affected me much more)
the gentlemen who, for Truth's sake, had en-
countered obloquy. It may well give me just
pleasure to have now an opportunity of acknow-
ledging respectfully the generous goodwill and
firm, quiet courage they have shown. They will
not regret their course. The air will be the
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 173
clearer for this storm. The day will be brought
at least a little nearer, when all iniquity will
stop her mouth. Men will have more liberty
to love one another, notwithstanding differ-
ences ; and the result will be, that differences
will grow less and agreement greater. The
provinces of Religion and Theology will be
more fairly and more beneficially distinguished.
Men will see that those who vaunt their
Theology against other men's religion have not
even that truly of which they make their boast.
Nothing in the progress of this painful but
auspicious ' Controversy ' has been more notice-
able than the utter lack of quiet insight, as well
as of justice and kindness, in the ' Theological '
champions and assailants. As to their ' theo-
logy,' really, to a man like myself, who, what-
ever his crimes may be, has at least, as the
Protestors say, exercised ' severe and patient
thought,' it is utterly contemptible. Their fussy
'service' to 'theology' is like that of under-
takers' men who, in dreary, faded black attend
'professionally' around a corpse. What have
they done to make anybody truer, kinder,
i 7 4 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
sedater, and more tolerant? They talk about
the claims of God's justice ; but are they just ?
The ' righteousness ' of Christ should surely issue
in the righteousness of Christians. It is not the
substitute for theirs, but the cause of theirs. I
know not whether the reader has ever observed,
as I have, a singular antagonism of pretension
and character. The few people whom I have
known to obtrude Love in their discourse, have
all either been stingy or ill-natured ; and I
have heard of a most unjust man who had
continually in his mouth the words, ' Fiat justitia
ruat ccbIuvi! Beware always of a man who is
a great partisan for Theology. Depend upon it,
like the Editors of the Record, and Banner, and
Advertiser, he knows nothing at all about it.
What presumption it is for these men, in their
hurrying, talking, unmeditative life, to attempt
to school the studious and thoughtful. Why,
there is a hundred times more * theology ' in the
4 Fifteen,' to say nothing of religion, than in all
the Editors and Scribes put together that have
" Amongst the oddities of this Controversy, the
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 175
conduct of the Christian Cabinet deserves a word
or two. Did the reader ever hear of the Chris-
tian Cabinet ?* Truly it is a cabinet not without
curiosities. It is a little penny journal, just big
enough to make a paper boat of to swim for a
moment's sport, and then perish. The wind is
very inconstant, but not so variable as this
paper, which, indeed, changes its mind, like
the wind its direction, without any very dis-
coverable reason. On December 28, 1855, just
after the appearance of the ' Rivulet,' its opinion
was that the volume abounded with passages
adapted ' to brighten and exhilarate the mind —
to recover it when it is losing the proper tone of
feeling — to exalt it with happy, holy thoughts —
to clothe the waste and desolate places of the
soul with fruitfulness and verdure, and prepare
it for doing brave battle amidst the trials and
discouragements of daily life.' The Cabinet
quoted three hymns in illustration of these
* " The Cabinet is getting now a little more self-consistent. Its
conduct towards me has been ridiculous. But wishing it, under its
new management, more wisdom, I can heartily wish it, as wiser, a
176 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
sentiments, and concluded, as well it might, by
* cordially wishing the volume a wide circula-
tion/ But on March 21 the Cabinet discovered
that it had never seen the volume, and on May
16, called it 'a little penny rattle of rhymery,
by one Mr. Lynch.' This was somewhat of a
descent both for it and me. However, when
things get to the worst, they begin to mend.
So on May 23, out came ' Mine Opinion/ that
is to say, Mr. Spurgeon's opinion, which was
communicated to the world through this impor-
tant organ. Mr. Spurgeon acknowledged that
he could ' scarce see into the depths where
lurked the essence of the matter.' 'Perhaps
the hymns/ said he, 'are not the fair things
that they seem.' He saw enough in the ' glis-
tening eyes ' of the mermaids to suspect they
might have a fishy body and a snaky tail. But
he confessed that he did not see the said tail.
In fact it lay too deep for him to see, or for
anybody else. This Review of Mr. Spurgeon's
enjoys the credit with me of being the only
thing on his side — that is, against me — that
was impertinent, without being malevolent. It
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 177
evinced far more ability and appreciation than
Grant or Campbell had done, and indicated a
man whose eyes, if they do not get blinded
with the fumes of that strong, but unwholesome,
incense, Popularity, may glow with a heavenlier
brightness than it seems to me they have yet
done. Mr. Spurgeon concluded by remarking,
that ' the old faith must be triumphant/ in
which I entirely agree with him, doubting only
whether he is yet old enough in experience of
the world's sorrows and strifes to know what
the old faith really is. He says, * we shall soon
have to handle truth not with kid gloves, but
with gauntlets — the gauntlets of holy courage
and integrity.' Ay, that we shall, and some of
us now do. And, perhaps, the man who has a
soul that ' fights to music,'
' Calm 'mid the bewildering cry,
Confident of victory,'
is the likeliest to have a hand with a grip for
battle and a grasp for friendship alike strong
and warm. Mr. Spurgeon spoke on May 25 ;
and now in October the Cabinet scarce knows
what to think. A week or two ago it compared
178 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
me to Apollos, and recommended Priscilla and
Aquila to invite me to tea, and 'teach me the
way of the Lord more perfectly.' And in the
last number that I have seen, it expresses a
hope that I ' shall turn out well/ I am sure I
hope I shall, and that soon, and the Controversy
too, for time loiters not. Time loiters not : this
very afternoon the autumn leaves have crackled
under my feet in the now early twilight. The
dahlias droop pensively. And from the creeper,
whose green branches I trained in spring, the
red leaves have nearly all fallen. Time loiters
not. I, the much-abused ' stripling,' am close
on my fortieth year. To think of it stops my
breath and my pen, and rather fills my eyes than
my paper. I have both suffered and succeeded
in such ways that indifference and ardour now
attemper one another. ' Dissent ' cannot do me
much more harm than it has done. As I stand
in a cathedral, I say, 'Ah, how glorious you
would be were it not for the clergy ; ' and then
I add, ■ you are grand enough to rest patient for
a century or two ; you are a tomb now, you will
be a shrine by-and-by ; you wait for worshippers,
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 179
and shall not wait vainly. The "old" spirit
shall some day be the " new," seeing that Truth
and glory are eternal.' But / am loitering,
which should not be, seeing that I must hasten
to end this Review. Well, then, reader, in the
spirit of a 'fine old English Dissenter/ — and I
assure you, if you are not cognizant of the fact,
that our Independent grandfathers were as grand
in their way as any cathedral, — let me ask you
to accompany me to the Milton Club. On the
1 8th of May was held there a Meeting of the Con-
gregational Union, which, possibly, may prove
its last, or the last of the Union as it now is.
Possibly, I say ; for to conjecture is human, but to
prophesy, divine. On the previous Tuesday, Mr.
Baldwin Brown had, in the open meeting of the
Union, protested against Dr. Campbell's treat-
ment of Mr. Lynch, and been sustained by
applause, prompt, full, fervent. On the Satur-
day, 'the brethren' held a private conference.
They talked the Controversy over, and imagined
that they had bound their Samson with the ' new
cords ' of a Promise that he should slay no more
victims with his favourite weapon. Sincerely
i8o MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
do I believe that many present desired things
pure as well as peaceable. I not the less regret
some things said then ; nor should I have been
satisfied had Dr. Campbell kept the promise he
was understood to make. The feeling of the
meeting, I have been again and again told, was
unanimous against his publishing in a pamphlet
what he had issued against me in his Banner.
But that was no full redress to me for being
victimised by the Union's unscrupulous Editor.
It was partial redress, inasmuch as it was at
least a semi-public and influential protest
against Dr. Campbell's course. The Union
was content, Pilate-like, to scourge me and
let me go. They did not wish to press matters
to extremity. But, then, why should I be
scourged ? Why should I be beaten openly,
uncondemned by any lawful authority, nay,
after having been justified and honoured by
such authority ? The firmest front should have
been shown against Dr. Campbell's whole pro-
cedure. It was not. And in this — I say it
regretfully and respectfully — Mr. Binney, I
think, was not 'himself.' I must refer the
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 181
reader to Mr. Binney's letter to the members
of the Congregational Union for a full account
of what he said at this meeting. The letter is
most temperate and gentlemanly. Dr. Camp-
bell's rejoinder to it in a series of Articles, re-
published under the title * Negative Theology,'
is in utter and in most discreditable contrast to
it. But when Mr. Binney says, ' It was an
error' — of the Author's — ' to call his poems
hymns ; and it is an error to use them as such
in Public Worship,' he admits an error which I
very calmly and very firmly deny to be one ;
and makes a concession to the enemy which I
am sure he never would have done had he heard
the hymns sung. But suppose there was such
an error on my part ; what had that to do with
the Criticisms (!) with which I was favoured? /
had not published ' The Rivulet ' for congrega-
tional use. I was, at least, too ' old ' for a folly
like that. With my own congregation I made
a private arrangement, satisfactory to them and
to me.* To the public the book went forth as a
* "We usually sing one hymn from the ' Rivulet' at a service.
On the introduction of the Book, I delivered a Lecture on the Life
and Times of our honoured Psalmist, Dr. Watts.
1 82 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
book of Hymns for perusal, out of which the
Churches might gradually adopt such hymns as
seemed to them best fitted for general worship.
Mr. Binney spoke, too, of the Protest as an
error : ' Things had been better left to take their
own course.' But was this the opinion of the
Fifteen ? Is it now the opinion of the more
thoughtful part of the Public ? Considerate
men are now saying, ' This Controversy was
necessary for the discovery of the intolerance
and fierce tyrannic ignorance of the Religious
World. 5 The Protestors have, indeed, done a
real Protestant work. Dr. Campbell, Caiaphas-
like, used words true (at least partially) in a
sense other than he supposed, when he said of
the Controversy, that * Nothing like it had
occurred within the memory of the present
generation ; or, perhaps, since the days of the
Reformation/ Has Mr. Binney, then, with-
drawn from the Protest ? No, assuredly. His
references to myself and to the reviewers prove
that. He was — with generous intentions, but
with not enough cf caution as regards the cause
represented in my person — too conciliatory to-
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY, 183
wards Dr. Campbell and his party. I stand by
my Book. I have published much beside the
' Rivulet.' But had I no other book to offer to
the public, I should confidently say, Judge the
man by the book, is he not a Christian ? You
would require, indeed, to know the man before
you could say, having read this hymn and the
other, his doctrinal opinions are such and such.
But take the whole book ; and then I ask could
any other than a Christian have written it ?
Take its parts, and then I ask, is there one
hymn unbeseeming a Christian, or which does
not receive, as to the Author's opinions, sacred
and illustrative light from its companions r
Having expressed my regret that Mr. Binney's
course at this meeting was not somewhat dif-
ferent, how can I but also express my sense of
the service he has rendered to ' our ' cause by
the distinction of his name, and my sorrow that
he should have been exposed to the vulgar
indignities of the British Banner ? Leaving it
to another time and to another hand to offer,
whatever a sour or even a fair Criticism may
wish to offer in abatement of Mr. Binney's just
1 84 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
praise, I say — What in him, or any other
honoured man, is the chaff which the wind
driveth away, to the wheat which giveth seed to
the sower and bread to the eater ? Mr. Binney
has been a Religious Power, not in London
Nonconformity alone, but in London life. In his
broad humanity, and in his devout adherence
to that elementary Christian truth which, be-
cause elementary, is also profound, he has been
strong, and of his ' fulness ' many have received.
Many a single sermon of his has had more
pentecostal force in it than a whole shower of
' articles ' easily written and easily forgotten.
And now he is of ripening years. Of a good
fame, settled on too secure foundations to be
wrenched from its ' hold ' by the assaults of the
Banner and its ' company ; ' but of a heart still
young enough to be noble, and therefore able to
feel an indignity that it is yet able also to sus-
tain ; I believe that, so far from regretting his
championship of myself and of the cause which
I represent, Mr. Binney, the more he inquires,
the more will be confirmed and satisfied. How
then, reader, stands the Controversy now ? On
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 185
the 23rd September a private meeting of some
principal members of the Union was held in
London. For nearly twelve hours was the
' Controversy ' debated. The usual autumnal
meeting of that Union will not be held this
year. 'Peace/ it is feared, cannot be main-
tained. Newspaper articles in their varieties
are still appearing, and opinions are being
offered or obtruded according to the temper
of the man whose they are. My own name,
of course, has been, and is, very promi-
nent in these wrangles and discussions, but
I wish particularly to warn the reader against
a mistake. This is not, as it has been
called, the ' Lynch' Controversy. It is, in
the principles concerned, your own contro-
versy, reader — the controversy of the modern
Church ; the controversy of Jesus Christ. The
real question has never been, whether a par-
ticular book is or is not adapted for use in
public worship. The ' Rivulet ' was never offered
to the churches as in itself a sufficient book
of song. Whether or no the majority of its
hymns are suited for public use is no doubt a
1 86 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
question of some interest. And I shall not
assume the language of that humility which
is but a veiled egotism, and speak as if I
undervalued them, considered in that respect.
I do not. I believe their value for worship
to be real, and leave the reader to put it
high or low as he pleases. But a much more
important question is, whether the book is a
Christian book. If God has been pleased to
try a great question of Spiritual Liberty, making
the publication of my book the i case ' on which
the question should be raised for trial, people
of course must examine the book if they would
get the full advantage of the first special
inquiry. But the question in the highest view
of it is one that far transcends in importance
the estimate of a book or of a man. It con-
cerns the liberty which men and churches have
in Christ Jesus. Are we to enjoy God's own
sacred permissions, and serve Him ' in the new-
ness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the
letter ' ? We have our rights as against usurp-
ing churches and ' doctors.' Our rights are
God's grants ; grants righteously and mercifully
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 187
made. They are franchises of that celestial city,
in whose roll of citizenship our names are
entered, though we are out on a holy warfare
in a far and foreign land. We must defend
our franchise for the sake of our brethren, who
are or may yet be enslaved. Wonderful is the
disclosure that the last nine months have made
to me of the love of giving pain, the envious
contempt, the intolerant ignorance, that prevail
in so-called Christian Churches. It is as if
Christ had become a name to curse by. The
Goliaths of the creeds looking on me disdained
me and cursed me in the name of their gods.
And why ? — because my God is Christ, and
not creed about him. I have had often in
this journal and elsewhere to speak of the
use of creeds as well as of their abuse. But
surely the abuse has been and is now so
frightful that we may represent creeds, as
saying of Christ, 'This is the heir, come, let
us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.'
The inheritance shall not be theirs ! The in-
heritance is Christ's, and shall be. When
people call you Christless, they often mean no
1 88 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
more than that you are creedless, and creed-
less only in the sense of not accepting all
their phrases about truths as full and final,
though perhaps you understand and revere and
obey these truths far more than your accusers.
Christ is «the Truth, and he that loves the
Truth loves truths. There is no fear that we
shall be indifferent to truths, if we be thoughtful
lovers of Christ Jesus. But the love of creeds
is not the love of truths ; it is the proud an-
tagonist of that higher love. What think ye
of Christ? Sirs, ye will not let us think of
Christ; as soon as we tell you a little of our
thought ye strike us on the mouth. Reader,
we must guard the liberty of the learner, and
that we shall the most certainly do if we our-
selves have learned Christ in the exercise of
our own liberty. I do not myself ask tolerance
from the orthodox, as if I were only in an early
stage of thinking, not knowing as yet unto
what principal convictions my thoughts would
grow. I know in whom I have believed, and
my belief, thank God, is grounded and rooted,
and thereupon are both buds and fruits. But
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 189
I affirm it to be my right and duty to shield
the liberty of inquirers, and to encourage its
exertion. And I, for one, am ready to fraternise
with men who are not in my view as orthodox
as myself. And I am willing to take all risks
as to my repute with the ' orthodox,' especially
so called, so self-named. I deny their orthodoxy.
I charge them with heresy. For as the advocate
of a regenerate orthodoxy I distinguish between
heresy of the mind and heresy of the will. If
man were only a mind, then heresy would be
simply a mental failure, and would admit, if
of any, only of a mental cure. But man is
more than a mind. And heresy may be a
moral fault as well as a mental failure. The
heretical temper is that of a man whose judg-
ment is angry and partial, and who expresses
his opinions with obstinate, arrogant self-will.
It is Orthodoxy itself then that is the great
heretic. Yes, and in the full sense of the word
is Orthodoxy heretical. Its mind is wrong
because its heart is not right ; the very truths
it knows have a warped and incomplete ex-
pression, because of its self-will. Both in
igo MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
temper and opinion Orthodoxy is heretical.
Many a man wrong in opinion is right in
temper. Many there are who would have
become orthodox if only the orthodox would
have let them. They should have striven more
earnestly against their spiritual oppressors. But
their weakness does not excuse these oppressors
for such wicked exercise of strength. If an
orthodox man be a proud or a timorous for-
malist he will have no faith in the men, nor
hope for them, who in paths diverging from
many points are all travelling towards the one
Zion. Their paths are inclined to one another
at various angles ; their distances from the
common centre are various too, but they are
all going one way. And the heterodox man,
if he be a man who resents the disciplines of
Truth as well as the formalities of Orthodoxy
as alike shackles on his self-will, may be easily
distinguished for the wrong-headed person that
he is by the lack of traveller's zeal to get
onward to the true goal. He may be looking
the right way, but he does not run well, nor
indeed run at all. If, wishing to be indeed
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 191
emancipated from the bond of a sectarian
education, and to possess freely all that
Christ's wisdom can give his followers, we will
but consider the great aims of a holy life, and
the great abiding necessities of the human
nature that is to be made holy, we shall hope-
fully say, the Christianity I seek for, the pure,
powerful truth, can be no new thing. This,
that is to save me, has saved thousands. This,
of which I am to be so confident, and in which
I am to be so glad, has given confidence and
joy to my brethren through many an age. In
the conviction that there are cardinal things,
and in the determination to seek and possess
these, and to regard all others in subordina-
tion thereto, consists the security of the man
who thinks freely. There is no freedom of
thought which can be without damage and
disgrace, except that which corresponds, both
in its permissions and restraints, to freedom of
action. We are not free to act against recti-
tude and wisdom, nor free to think forget-
ful of prime truths and chief necessities. Once
let the trusting heart be united to Christ,
1 92 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
so that of the works of obedient faith it can
' Inspiring Saviour, unto Thee
My work I give in fealty,
Thy life I have and seek — '
and then the liberty of the soul in all studies
of God's works and word may be safely granted,
and its exercise will be found most healthful to
the believing- man. The more varieties of
thought and of expression there are, so only
that variety does but indicate honest and
progressive individual action, and so that agree-
ment of holy hearts in main things is but deep
and steady, the more may the Church rejoice.
Let life be various as universal, if universal it be
in its derivation of the Holy Spirit, through the
revealed God in Jesus Christ. Then to receive
a man who talks or sings in a new manner, or
discourses earnestly on certain specialties of
religion felt by him more than by others, is not
to receive a new divinity, false as old ones, into
the circle of these accepted ' vanities,' but to
receive a new saint into the company of those
who, however various their faces may be, reflect
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 193
alike the ' light of His countenance' who is the
central object of trust and love. Wherever
there is an over-care about the acceptance of
certain standards understood to be orthodox,
there the great practical interests of righteous-
ness are likely to suffer. Not to do good, not to
be true, kind, patient, and faithful, is required,
but to be orthodox. If you are opinionative
instead of convinced, you are likely to put
opinion in the place, not of conviction only, but
of goodness too. Orthodoxy is often a mere
city of tombs, and its angry defenders the
maniacs that dwell there, and who cry, We live
among the tombs, why cannot you r and then
they rush on us. But, oh ye poor possessed
ones ! let us cast out from you the legion spirits
of wrath and clamour, and you will live quietly
in that city of God, the Church, where Truths
are ' houses not made with hands,' but spacious
and strong, because heavenly. That temper of
mind which so cavils at and suspects every-
thing spoken freely of matters of spiritual faith,
does great mischief by preventing a sweet and
broad humanity from appearing in the substance
194 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH,
and tone of our religious teaching. We may
actually be charged with heretical perversions of
the truth, because we have a genuine interest of
a wide sort in the natural satisfactions, occupa-
tions, hopes, and sorrows of man. Surely God
cares for all things and days as well as for all
creatures. He would have in us not a conceit
about to-day's importance, but a hearty interest
in to-day's concerns. Yet if a man does not
keep himself close to the petty routine of pulpit
usage, if he leaves the wearying and withering
punctilio of orthodoxy, then he is ' unsound ; '
he is giving people other food than the simple
bread of heaven. In escaping from official
formalism he has wandered from God. To be
in sympathy with what is human, is to be in
remembrance, often very sorrowful remembrance,
of what is grievous and wicked, but it is to be
in sympathy too with what awakens enterprise,
educates affection, gratifies curiosity, and enter-
tains and refreshes all the man. If any one is
talking eloquent talk about liberty and pleasure,
forgetting the malady which both mars with its
pain and corrupts with its spreading unhealthi-
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 195
ness, we must rebuke him, and withdraw from
his influence to a better. For wisdom looks to
present need, and will not, to engage in mental
sports, leave the heart's sorrow and craving-
sickness uncared for. But how can a wide and
really sympathetic humanity do otherwise than
make us earnestly affirm and exhibit those
controlling and consolatory truths which make
the chief part of an orthodoxy that is really
worth caring for and defending ? The earliest
test of orthodoxy was the love of Christ, and no
later will prove a better. If we love Christ we
shall love men ; if our humanity is broad and
deep we shall love Christ the better, for such
was his. Without freedom and sympathy of
soul, our creed will inevitably come to live only
in the superficial region of our nature. It will
be, not the delight of our soul, but the shield of
our respectability. It will be our mere * dress
of society.' We shall go out * dressed ' therein
to the soirees and dinners of the ' religious
world/ It will not be for the discovery of our
true character, but for the hiding rather of what
we are, by the obtrusive avowal of what we
196 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
would be thought. Let him that thinketh he
standeth, and that in the sacred enclosure of
divine doctrine, take heed lest he hold the truth
in its worldly power instead of its heavenly ; for
respectability rather than salvation ; in com-
placency with it as his, rather than in the love
of it as God's. Sloth, Fear, and Jealousy are
three chief guardians of a spurious orthodoxy-
Sloth hates the honest exertion for which
personal conviction calls ; Fear hates the
questioning spirit which it is so hard to rule
and which is certain to claim, and justly claim,
somewhat the granting of which orthodoxy feels
as loss ; and Jealousy hates the display of moral
and intellectual powers which challenge respect,
win what they challenge, and put to shame
those who boast more, but own less. That man
is the best conservative of the faith who is
conservative of His love in whom the faith has
its origin, and who seeks by ' faith ' those ends,
namely, the restoration of human beings to
righteousness and happiness, and their estab-
lishment therein, at which He aims. Christ, as
a Person, gives at once clearness and fulness to
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 197
our Christianity. 'Principal things about a
Person ,' I have said in the 'Letters to the
Scattered/ ' are more simply and effectively
spoken than about a doctrine expressed in terms
of the intellect alone ; while yet the subject is
less exhaustible, and the discourse on it may be
far more various. Indeed, a Divine Person is an
inexhaustible subject. If Christ be such a Person,
then He hath the pre-eminence; and if He hath
not the pre-eminence, should He, can He, con-
tinue to have the prominence ? ' We are servants
of Christ — students of wisdom. The service is
simple as it is great ; the field of study open as
it is wide, and productive as it is open. I am
continually teaching that the spirit of Christ is
the spirit of character, and that if we live by
Him, we live like Him. And here I may quote a
few words from Mr. Porter's l Lectures on Inde-
pendency.' This gentleman is my brother-in-
law ; and Dr. Campbell speaks of us as the two
' Iconoclastic brothers.'* The peculiarity of Mr.
* "Mr. Porter is not only my relative, but my senior and
honoured friend. Why, then, should I not have liberty to say that
his recently published * Lectures on the Ecclesiastical System of
iq8 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
Porter's ' destructiveness,' the words I quote will
indicate. Speaking of association in a church,
and the conditions of membership, he says, ' For
a confidence based chiefly, or to a large and
perceptible extent, on avowed community in
creed, I would substitute a confidence based on
a man's apparent ruling tendencies, inclinations,
and either incipient or ripened sympathies ;
confidence in personal character, on a general
profession of faith in Christ, taking the place
of confidence in statements of dogmas and
accounts of spiritual experience. Each of these
bases may include somewhat of the other ; but
they are sufficiently distinct to be popularly
described as, The one, Manifest general cha-
racter guaranteeing the soundness of a general
Christian profession ; and the other, Statements
of things invisibly believed, and of experience
invisibly felt, apparently so correct as to
guarantee the general character' (pp. 260, 261).
the Independents ' are distinguished by power and Catholicity ?
The reader, whether he agrees or differs, can scarce but be benefited
by their perusal. The acknowledged orthodoxy, too, of Mr. Porter's
creed gives all the more force to the words quoted above.
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 199
Tried by the tests which thus best exhibit fitness
for membership in a particular church, I think
the Theological opponents of the ' Rivulet ' and
of the ' Fifteen ' certainly show their unfitness
for leadership in the Church general ! They are
the advocates of prescription and of slavery.
Their * incipient or ripened sympathies ' are
rather with literal creeds than the spiritual
Christ. Those of the Fifteen who best knew
me testified to a conscious union with me in
common Christian sympathies. Yet this our
opponents and their adherents counted as
nothing, nay, as ' less than nothing and vanity.'
' But his doctrines ; what of his doctrines ? '
they cried : as if Christian sympathy could be
real and Christian doctrine wholly discrepant.
Christian sympathy is a much better guarantee
for unison in the tone of feeling about prime
Christian truth, than an orthodoxy professed in
common is for a union in works of love and
righteousness. I retort upon my adversaries
their own charge : they are unsound. The truth
is not in their heart, or it would be in their eyes,
and they would see proofs of a ' Christian trust,'
200 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
such as can only come by a meditative and
appropriative study of Christ. They must be
deliteralized, and use their tongues less, and
their hearts more, before there will be any
' soundness ' in them. Their heart is not sound
in God's truthful statutes ; and till it becomes
so, their minds will never see and teach * sound
doctrine' as to the truth. As long as ' ortho-
doxy' is a word whose chief use lies in its
abuse, I will neither guarantee any one as or-
thodox, nor accept a guarantee myself. When
I find a man quite wise, I will believe that it is
possible to be quite orthodox. I firmly believe
myself to be more orthodox than my accusers ;
and I highly value scientific theology, of which,
except as a thing of ' words and names,' I
believe them to be grossly ignorant. But I will
not, oh reader, offer to you any creed whatever,
as my ultimatum, or as what I recommend for
yours. I have ever spoken out freely what I
believe, being bold, because cautious. For
when a man is pretty sure of what he has to
say, he may be pretty free in his manner of
saying it. Variety of expression is the neces-
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY, zd
sary result of individual reflection on the
common truth. Unity in chief things is best
illustrated by the free activity of a formative
opinion as to things secondary or as yet
undetermined. I have much yet to say, but
I must not now say more. Opportunities will
arise for communicating with that portion of the
public that is willing to hear me. I have often
had to protest against things called Christian,
but I have ever done so in the name of Christ.
A ' worldly' protest against 'spiritual' evil is
often necessary, but always insufficient. We
must protest as Christ's disciples and soldiers,
and in his name, against things and men that
assume that name, but possess not his spirit.
And now I respectfully commend to you the
' Rivulet ' as what it is — a rivulet. I ask from
you honour for the Fifteen. They are faithful
men. I have not separately named Mr.
Fleming, the diligent pastor ; nor Mr. Harrison,
who has proved that a man most amiable may
be most steadfast ; nor Mr. Vaughan, whose
principles are as good as his Literature ; nor
Mr. Spence, in whom suavity and sense are
202 MEMOIR OF I. T. LYNCH.
alike conspicuous ; nor Mr. Watson Smith,
with his strong head and tender heart ; nor
Mr. Allon, who is zealous to serve and not
afraid to suffer; nor Mr. White, with whom
Falsehood does but enter the contest to leave it,
as Ananias left the presence of St. Peter; and
in thus naming them, I do but give a slight
Index of their excellencies ; the table of con-
tents, not the contents. But to them, and to
my faithful friends, Mr. Brown, Mr. Newman
Hall, and Mr. Martin, as well as to Mr. Binney,
and to the ' obscure' gentlemen who Mr. Grant
fondly hopes came forth from their ' holes ' for
this occasion only, I feel convinced that the
great cause of religion owes a debt which
will not be unacknowledged. Demons shriek
loudest when they are departing from their
victims. Let us not think that vaunt, and
calumny, and phariseeism are conquering,
because they cry. They cry because they are
overcome. The Editor ' Mounted ' * must dis-
mount. The c religious world,' that odious
compound, must yield to analytic spiritual
* One of the ' Songs Controversial.'
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 203
forces ; the religion made worldly must separate
from the world made pharisaic. And then the
Church, having Religion for its soul and the
World for its many-membered body, will be
known and honoured. Organizations must
surrender at discretion unto Principles. Letter,
which to Spirit is as flesh to the soul, must
cease to be fleshly. The propositions of our
creed must be as stone steps for advance, not
as stone cells for imprisonment — cells in which
the liege servants and the champions of great
Liberty lie manacled like felons. Things old
must be honoured only as they are honourable ;
the Bible being reverenced, but old clothes and
the old serpent eschewed and abhorred. Things
new must be accredited and welcomed, as they
submit themselves to the court of just inquiry,
and succeed in establishing their claim. Men
who are secretly loved and honoured must be
openly recognised. Truths must be accepted,
because their souls may be read in their faces,
not because they bear a letter of introduction in
their hand from Churches established. Books
must be valued not merely because they are
204 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
distinctive of ' our ' principles ; but also, and
yet more, because they bring into communion
with us, by the sweet sympathies of religion,
many who differ from us in things ecclesiastical
and sectarian. No more must we put bitter for
sweet, and sweet for bitter. No longer must
every man be a briar, yet no man even a sweet
briar. In the fragrant otto of roses, no more
must we deny that the rose is present in essence,
because it is absent in form. We must even
learn to perceive the fragrance of Sharon's Rose
in hymns that present us no full delineation
of this Plant of Renown. Our love must be
without worldly guile and softness ; our hate
saintly and not devilish. Christ must be more
in our hearts than in our newspapers. And we
must be ready to believe in the strong inward
framework of Theology, without requiring that
poor Religion should have its bones sticking
through its skin in order to get credit for having
bones at all. We must be as careful of entering
a Controversy as of beginning a war; and as
careful when once entered to do our work
thoroughly, as we are not to have a war ended
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 205
till a just peace is established. We must
believe in ourselves because we believe in
Emmanuel, God with us. To us the rod, though
used, must still be the servant of the Cross, and
we must conquer our foes by suffering them to
crucify us, rather than by threatening them with
crucifixion. He that dies for Christ lives by
Him, yea, and with Him, for evermore. The
Lord hasten these things in his time.
" « How long, O Lord, how long ? ' "
It is not uncommon to hear the "Rivulet"
Controversy spoken of as something to be put
out of sight and forgotten ; but that is a mis-
take, for it bears several salutary lessons, and
even some consolation. For consolation it may
be said, that the outrage on Mr. Lynch rendered
similar outrages from thenceforth impossible.
His suffering was the means of widely enlarg-
ing the spiritual liberty of the Nonconformist
ministry ; and whilst such another panic has
been made impossible, the circumstances yield
clear and curious evidence of how panics are
got up. First there are the ecclesiastical
2o6 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
" roughs," who shriek " Heresy ! heresy ! " with
neither the intelligence to discriminate heresy,
nor the susceptibilities that heresy would offend.
Then there are the lovers of scandal, who take
up and propagate the cry, affecting sorrow
whilst luxuriating in the opportunity. Then
there is the multitude, which enjoys the excite-
ment of alarm, and a larger multitude whose
alarm deepens into serious fear ; and as the
tumult intensifies, there is no limit to the ex-
cesses the terrifiers and the terrified may com-
mit. Even wise and thoughtful people get
drawn into the vortex of the common insanity ;
and these, when the hubbub is over, are dis-
gusted with themselves, and naturally desire
oblivion. Such a panic was the " Rivulet "
Controversy. As for Mr. Lynch, the last charge
any reasonable creature would have preferred
against him was that of heresy ; but the charge
once made begot suspicion and distrust that
were never wholly dissipated. And to his frank
and sympathetic nature — a nature, as the poet's
ever is, " tremulous with sympathy " — such sus-
picion and distrust were very grievous. A
THE " RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 207
rougher character might have encountered the
notoriety thrust upon him with defiance and
welcome ; but to him it was not only cause for
painful concern that the multitude should be so
maddened and misguided, but that he should be
regarded askance by some who might have been
his friends had they known him aright. The
mischief was, however, done, and for him there
was only patient endurance.
At the same time let it not be supposed that
Mr. Lynch was left to stand alone. His congre-
gation, and those who had any real acquaintance
with him, were wholly unaffected by the uproar.
And from the outer world of Nonconformists
came letters of sympathy and votes of confidence
and encouragement, which proved abundantly
that the voice of the mob was not the voice of
the people. Then, too, the secular press was
generally friendly, although the desire to point
the moral, " See how these Christians, and
especially these Dissenters, love one another!"
was sometimes too obvious. But so it ever is.
Christ's nominal adherents are His worst anta-
ILLNESS AND WITHDRAWAL FROM DUTY.
A LARGE portion of his vacation in 1856
Mr. Lynch spent in Lincolnshire, preaching
for a Baptist minister during his absence. But
he was not allowed to rest in peace. Almost
daily the postman brought some offensive paper.
One day, with the Delhi Gazette in his hand, he
could not help being amused for the moment
that he, a man so peaceable, should have his
name borne over the world as a word of
Here too, however, in Lincolnshire "the com-
mon people heard him gladly." " Oh, sir," said
a carpenter working at his bench, and with a
countenance full of affection, " I am longing for
Sunday to hear you again."
To one to whom he could " speak out of his
heart," he often expressed astonishment that he
should be thought to aim at peculiarity of phrase-
ology. "In my young days," he would say,
" when I heard doctrinal phrases from the pulpit
which I did not understand, I used to think, if
ever I preach, I shall always set forth my mean-
ing in simple language. I never desired to be,
what I am called, ' peculiar.' " The charge of
peculiarity had, however, this justification — that
he was peculiar in simplicity and naturalness.
Of any sort of affectation he was incapable ; and
there never was a preacher who, in the pulpit
and out of it, was so completely the same man.
Then, too, he was no repeater of common-
places, but spoke habitually from his own
experience ; and, as he remarked in the pre-
vious chapter, "Variety of expression is the
necessary result of individual reflection on the
To an admirer of Swedenborg in Yorkshire
he wrote —
2io MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
"Kentish Town, 17th November, 1856.
" I think Swedenborg would have most respect
for those who value his writings, but refuse to
join a sect called after his name. Swedenbor-
gianism would make a new church impossible.
The only new church I wish for is the old church
reformed, and expanded according to the wis-
dom of our One Great Master. Swedenborg was
a real Christian, as well as a wonderful man — a
great contributor to the spiritual work of the
modern age, but still a man of some real and
" The ' Rivulet ' has been the means of reveal-
ing the thoughts of many hearts — and very bad
and gross thoughts some of them have proved.
Oh, how blind and wicked are many who talk
loudly of the Lord, yet neither know his word
nor do his work !
" There is great need of spiritual reformation
in our country, but those who are forward in
the work must be ready to suffer. It is still
true that without shedding of blood nothing
effectual can be accomplished. The Saviour
must be the Sufferer.
ILLNESS. 2 1 1
" I am happy to , find by letters that I receive
that there are scattered up and down many who
wait for the consolation of Israel — that consola-
tion which can alone come through an effectual
manifestation of the Truth. Some of these are
prepared, we may hope, both to suffer and to
support those who do. Regenerate orthodoxy
is what we want. I think you will find it include
all you value in Swedenborgianism, without,
as you say, the crudities of the New Church
In 1856 his friend, Dr. Samuel Brown, the
philosophic chemist, died ; and to his widow he
"TO MRS. SAMUEL BROWN.
"Kentish Town, 2^rd January, 1857.
" I have received your letter, and it made me
sad because I felt you must have expected to
hear from me before. Very often have we
thought of you, and I have been wanting to
write to you. But knowing that you have
many friends round you near enough for effec-
212 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
tive daily sympathy, feeling (as always) how
little the verbal consoler can do, and being
somewhat unusually burdened with customary
care, I have delayed writing till some day when,
if a good word did not offer, a common one
would not be pain and offence.
" The gentle ministry of time has been and
is helping you — Time whose ministry is not to
speak but to be with us in the sympathetic com-
panionship of a holy silent Presence. You are
rich, too, I know not how rich, in your chil-
dren, a husband's best, though sometimes most
anxious, legacy. So, with friends near you,
children about you, tender memories of a real
wedded life, soothing angel influences of Time,
and faith in the chief and all-sufficient Friend,
I may hope it is well with you. Accept from
us, I beg you, the expression of a sympathy felt
truly since we heard of your loss. Perhaps
some day we may again see you here or in
Edinburgh, and then we shall like to hear what
you may feel able to tell of those shadows that
did not end in night, but rather preceded the
true Dayspring. The Spiritual World becomes
ILLNESS. 2T 3
more and ever yet more real to me. It is not
far from any of us. We are known, watched
and helped, as I believe, by many who have
gone before. There is not a great gulf fixed
between earth and heaven so that there can be
no visitation for us of ministering spirits. There
is a bridge at least passable by those to whom
God gives his sacred passport, and we, if we
cannot go over to the other side and return,
have some prospect across and upwards, and,
when we make the journey from earth, may
hope to be met and conveyed by some who have
unseen attended our journey on earth. . . .
" My wife sends her best regards to you, or,
rather, I do, and she her love, for that is
woman's word, and a true word it is. Our
little son I do not think you will remember.
He shows me how dear my friends' children
must be to them ; so with best wishes for
yours, — I remain, yours most truly."
Here is a bit of his mind to an "orthodox
correspondent," and such correspondents were
by no means uncommon : —
2i4 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
" You write, * If you are orthodox, as you say
you are,' &c, &c, and then add, ' I am orthodox/
Now my one word is this, — Is there any reason
why I should believe you to be orthodox on your
word, which' there is not for your believing me
to be so on mine ?
" Spare yourself the trouble of writing a reply,
but please consider this.
"' Sound' as you may be in the faith, I am
sure you are far too shrewd a man also not to
know that when heterodoxy is the charge,
honesty is the offence.
" If you would preach some day on these
texts, 'He that departeth from evil maketh
himself a prey,' and 'Your brethren that hated
you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said,
Let the Lord be glorified ; but He shall appear
to your joy and they shall be ashamed,' you
would say many good things, and if you would
preach in careful remembrance of your own past
career, whilst you might warn the inexperienced,
you would at least not condemn the innocent.
You condole with me on my supposed ill-repute
1 with the churches of the living God,' so you
write. I think you might much rather condole
with me on the injury done me by those who
have fallen into the snare of the living devil.
" I thank God I can stand alone ; but I thank
Him, too, that I have a hearty love of good
company when I can get it, and that I count
the grateful pleasure of indebtedness to friend-
ship as one of the sweets of life."
Sustained at this trying time by the fidelity
and increased affection of his congregation, his
health nevertheless began to suffer from the
incessant annoyances to which he was sub-
jected. Eighteen hundred and fifty-eight was
a sad year of neuralgic pain and great de-
bility. He yielded to advice and tried change
of air and scene more than once, but the fatigue
of travelling counterbalanced any advantage,
and he was glad to return home and resume
work, wherein he persevered in a manner which,
to those who knew his real state, appeared
marvellous. After nights of severe suffering
he would preach both morning and evening
216 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
with amazing energy. Indeed, for some months
his only respite from pain was when en-
gaged in his public ministrations, so that it
was sometimes playfully said, that he ought
to live in the pulpit. But it was impos-
sible for this state of things to last. On the
1 6th of January, 1859, he preached twice, as
usual. Throughout the week his sufferings
were very great, though he attended the
Thursday service ; but on the following Sunday
morning he became so seriously ill that he could
not rise, and a messenger was sent to Mr.
Woodward (afterwards Queen's Librarian), who
kindly undertook the services of the day for him.
He was never seen in public again for a year,
and then only to give a short address. His
sudden disappearance from the pulpit was a sad
trial to his congregation, the greater part of
whom, seeing the vigour with which he had
been preaching, had no idea of the past twelve
months of pain and weakness. A physician
having called to inquire for him, and wit-
nessing the exhaustion to which he was reduced,
lost no time in representing to the deacons that
ILLNESS. 21 7
a long rest, with ease of mind, was absolutely
necessary. The promptitude and earnest sym-
pathy of this kind friend was quickly responded
to, and a warm-hearted letter of condolence
was sent to Mr. Lynch, to which he replied as
"TO THE CONGREGATION AT GRAFTON STREET,
" By Air. Foster mid others.
"London, February n, 1859.
" My dear Friends, — I thank you much for
the kindness with which, without waiting for a
communication from me, you have urged me to
take a lengthened rest. Quit work for a time I
must ; no choice is allowed me. But I feel
happily free to doubt whether I need do so for
so long a period as twelve months. If I ought,
I will ; but I hope a shorter time will suffice.
" It is quite as much to my own surprise as it
can be to yours, that I have been suddenly
compelled to relinquish preaching. I have not
been accustomed to disappoint you ; and, during
nearly ten years' ministry in London, have been,
218 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
until now, absent from the pulpit through illness
one Sunday only. Last year indeed, finding my
strength failing, you were good enough to extend
my autumn holiday, and I was away from you
nine Sundays, instead of five or six. But previous
to this, even as to holidays, I had been temperate
almost to abstinence. For my ability thus to
persevere I feel very thankful. And if any one
says, 'You have sometimes kept on when you
should have left off/ I confess that I have. But
whilst I am thanking God for my work itself,
I am sure you will not wish to throw a stone at
me for the blemishes of that work. I admit
that I have never been able to detect perfection
in myself, even on the closest scrutiny !
" My own experience, as well as my observa-
tion of others, has taught me that folly grows in
all soils, the poor ones and the rich. In the
garden of the Lord you may often find an ugly
bit of Pride growing near a fine plant of Thank-
fulness ; so near, indeed, as to be almost hidden
by the leaves. And the spiritual husbandman
frequently meets with a Tare called Self-will,
remarkably like the wheat of Godly Zeal, yet
having very different and, indeed, intoxicating
properties. My physical qualifications for the
ministry have never been admired. My body is
what my friends call a ' fragile form,' and my
enemies, expressing themselves more clearly, ' a
gaunt, hungry-looking figure/ Surely then I
may avow myself grateful, even at the risk of
being taxed with a little pride, for a per-
severance which has given proof of the sustain-
ing power that religious convictions afford. My
medical friends, though peremptory about rest,
speak very hopefully as to my regaining
strength. I am rather worn than sick, weakened
in nerves than in mind. It is from simple
exhaustion that I suffer — an exhaustion that has
suddenly, though not without warnings, fallen
on my heart. That organ sinks and flutters,
and plainly tells me that unless I rest it must
cease to serve me. Shadows, as of death, have
in these late weeks often come upon me, giving
solemn admonition of that hour which, to the
senses, is the Gate of Darkness, but to Faith
the Gate of Day. I would not live alway, but I
would be spared a little before I go hence. I
220 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
wish to learn more wisdom, and to do more
service here : to amend my faults, revise and
advance my work, and manifest yet more fully,
if God permit, the integrity with which my
conscience bears me witness, I have ' served in
the Gospel.' It is a great comfort to me now, to
feel that, if I am permitted to resume my work
among you, it will be to our mutual and equal
pleasure. I know that even a few months, and
much more the full round of twelve, must bring
unexpected changes. I may never meet you
again as I have met you. But of those who now
part from me with such true expressions of
esteem, I may hope that even the majority will
be both able and glad to welcome my return.
But it is to you I hope to return, not to the
building in Grafton Street. In that church, at
least in its present form, I have no wish to
preach again. The thought of it is in no sense
fragrant to me. But between the congregation
and myself the union is most cordial. Amid the
accusations which foolish men have brought
against me as a religious teacher, and into the
truth of which many better men have been too
indifferent or timid to inquire, you have stood
with me unperverted. Mutual fidelity has its
reward in mutual confidence. Heaven blesses
it secretly here, openly hereafter; sometimes
in the open view of men, even here. In all
essential qualifications for the ministry, I rather
hope for increase than fear diminution. God
may greatly bless this fallow time to the enrich-
ment of the soil for future harvests. If a new
morrow be given us, let us hope to do a better
day's work than we did yesterday. We are as
sure of troubles in this world as of waves on the
sea. But while the waves toss, we travel. I
have nothing to recant, but much to perfect. I
have preached the gospel of God in Christ faith-
fully, however imperfectly; never changing the
basis, but still seeking to build up more and
more firmly a structure of Truths and of Souls
upon that one great foundation.
"I commend you to Him who is Himself the
Word of Life, and who will minister by His
Spirit the consoling and strengthening power of
His own words to all who walk in truth. The
discretion, unanimity, and kindness, you have
222 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH,
recently shown, are as comfortable to me as
they are commendable in you. In all things
good, may you continue and abound.
" I am, most truly yours,
"Thomas T. Lynch."
It was thought advisable to give up the
chapel in Grafton Street, with the hope that,
should another be required, means would be
found to procure one more suitable.
A DREARY VACATION.
1859 — i860.
' I ^HE leading members of the congregation
met monthly for business and conversa-
tion, a letter from Mr. Lynch being an addi-
tional attraction. He wrote —
"qth April, 1859.
"When I heard of the monthly meetings, I
was at Bournemouth, a quiet place by the sea.
There I sat often watching the long line of
the tidal wave break with soft thunder into
the whitest of foam, and letting the mingled
peace of the sky and power of the sea transfuse
themselves into my body and soul. The ' saving
health ' of God as it operates upon us in nature,
224 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
and in Scripture, is an essence : it is impalpable,
invisible ; gentle, but mighty to save. It is in
the presence of what is palpable, of the objects
and scenes of nature, the narratives and truths
of Scripture, that we feel the working of this
essential life. But the Life is more than what
we see or what we read. There is a blessing
which the waves bear in upon the soul as
they break upon the shore ; and a blessing
with which the words of Scripture fill our heart
as the sound of them fills our ear. . . I am
much better, so much as to make me anticipate
with grateful hope, though too with occasional
impatience, the speedy renewal of my service
among you. I have not forgotten the proverb
I learnt as a schoolboy, 'Hasten slowly. 5 It is
so only that we can hasten safely, whether to be
healthy, or happy, or wise, or rich. But, says
Paul, I press forward ; and when he exhorts us
to persevere, it is to run with perseverance.
There are some things which if they be hurried
will never be done ; and some which begun
promptly and prosecuted with steady zeal,
are done well because they are done quickly.
A DREARY VACATION. 225
" I hope to be as well as ever I expect to be in
this world, much within the year you have
allowed me ; but will try to hasten without
" You who have long been building a church
in the air, must now get one erected on the
ground. You should all of you use all dili-
gence. You will work well if you work
promptly. Large things, as well as little, may
be done in a lingering, provoking way, or
done much more briefly, and quite as well or
better. If you put an egg in hot water, and
place the vessel on the table, the egg is ready
for eating in about ten minutes ; but if you put
the vessel on the fire you may have your
breakfast in three minutes and a half. Use a
little salutary ardour in the treatment of your
egg y that is, of your project for a new church,
and our social desires and necessities may then
be speedily satisfied."
Next month he was too unwell to write
226 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
"HOLLOWAY, 2nd May, 1859.
" I have been ill again, indeed, very sadly so.
But this means — more Patience : not, I trust,
less Hope. It will be help and medicine to
me to hear that you have had a good meeting.
And a good meeting means not a friendly one
only, but a prayerful one also. It is a time for
warm-hearted, trustful prayer ; prayer for me,
that life and wisdom may be given me ; prayer
for all of us, that we may not go back, not fail
and be discouraged, but persevere to the end."
The summer passed with many alternations,
and in autumn he addressed his friends —
" tyh September, 1859.
" I am glad to be able again to write to you.
I have lately returned to London after an
absence of nearly three months, and am thank-
ful to say that I feel very much better. But
I shall, nevertheless, write briefly lest I say
too much. Experience has warned me not to
be sanguine. I seem to have passed through
a crisis, and to be making steady progress
A DREARY VACATION, 227
towards working strength. May it be so.
Then at your next meeting, I may be able
to speak confidently of my re-appearance in
"Painful as well as pleasant changes must
have occurred among you since my absence.
Yet I hope that we may have a mutual greeting ;
not in despondency, but in cheerfulness and
thankfulness. Is it premature to consider where
we are to re-assemble ? It cannot now be
long before it will be made evident whether
our connection is to continue or to cease. If to
continue, as we hope, then faith and common-
sense unite in bidding us get some kind of
outward House of brick or boards, in which
to lodge the spiritual Household.
"The Gospel forbids anxiety for the morrow,
but not preparation for it. Bees may perish for
want of a hive. Men often do no better."
He ventured to meet his friends in No-
vember, but in such weakness that he could
say very little. Next month he wrote to
228 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
§th December, 1859.
" Please wait yet a few weeks longer for a
decisive communication from me, and accept
my thanks for your continued and affectionate
remembrance of me. I think of you with the
hope that you may ever continue the ' preserved
in Jesus Christ. 5 And however happy I should
be in the re-establishment of the old relation
that subsisted between us, I would far rather
that you should form new associations than that
your piety should suffer
" I am but a ' prisoner of the Lord,' longing
for freedom, sometimes even pining for it. But
many good works have been written in prison
or planned there. Paul and Silas sang praises
in prison before they knew the door would be
opened, and that their brief trouble would so
greatly serve the cause they had at heart/ 5
Nominally a year of rest, 1859 was perhaps
the weariest he ever spent. He took several
short journeys, and visited a few " long-tried
and trusted friends ; " but it was tantalising to
be surrounded by the beauties of the country
A DREARY VACATION. 229
and be neither able to walk or ride without
peril ; and still more to be under the roof of
those he loved, and often for many days to
remain in close seclusion. However, before the
close of the year, he began to gain some
strength, and with the new year awoke a strong
desire to meet his people.
On the evening of 16th January, i860, they
assembled gladly to hear him read a short
sermon — he could not venture to speak without
notes — and as preface thereto, he read the
following familiar address —
" My dear Friends, — It is a year yesterday
since I last addressed you on a Sunday. In the
morning I spoke of the Beloved Disciple, in the
evening of the Comparisons by which Christ
illustrated the nature of His Kingdom. On the
6th of February you wrote me a kind letter,
asking me to take a year's rest. I have done
so, and during that period you have continued
your usual subscriptions towards my support.
This is a very natural and serviceable testi-
monial of your esteem. When a horse is
2 3 o MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
wounded or worn out, he is shot, that is his
testimonial ; or in some few happy cases, sent to
grass and told to live as long as he can and
then die peaceably. We cannot shoot our old
or broken-down ministers, that would not be
proper ! We cannot provide them with per-
petual grass, that would not be possible. We
must take an intermediate course, provide grass
for a year, and then dismiss them into the
wilderness with a benediction. Into the wilder-
ness with such a benediction perhaps I must
now go forth. For I cannot at once resume
work, I cannot ask you to wait longer, and I
decline to be further burdensome to those on
■whom the demands of life are already heavy
" I have written to you almost monthly since
my retirement began. As you have held
monthly meetings and wished me to do so, I
fell into the snare. A snare it was. I deceived
both myself and you with illusive hopes. If I
had the little letters in a pile they would make
me turn almost as red as the flames into which
I should throw them.
A DREARY VACATION. 231
" I have not got back strength, though I have
made large apparent advances towards it, and I
must not resume work till I have some confi-
dence that I shall not fall down whilst speaking,
or faint away when I get home.
" I love the work of the ministry, but not the
warfare ; but have not been permitted to take
the one and leave the other ; and wounds and
weariness together have, to speak in a figure
painfully like the fact, loosened and broken my
u It seems to me quite within hope that I may
be able to preach again once in the day about
May or April. But I dare not promise con-
fidently. Consider therefore what you will do.
I resign ; that is, offer my resignation.
"Already I may say of you one is gone into
the country, another to the better country, a
third removed to a distant part of town, a fourth
likely to leave town, a fifth has found new wine
and desireth no more the old, for he saith the
new is better, and so on. None of you have
discovered a place in which to meet instead of
the old church at Grafton Street.
232 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
" If I live and get strong I shall certainly
preach again, if only in my own hired house —
and then those who like can gather round me
even if you now disperse. If I die or am
permanently disabled, it is a satisfaction to
think that few, if any of you, are likely to
support what is feeble and bad.
"Perhaps you will find most freedom in
accepting my resignation. At any rate, every
one of you should feel free enough, whatever the
rest do, to withdraw. And if such person will
send me an intimation of withdrawal, I shall
" It is so long since you heard a little sermon
from me, that I have selected notes of one
preached on January 24, 1858, and will now ask
your attention for a quarter of an hour while I
read them. The topic is one which I feel
suitable to the time. I have many such another
remembrance of sermons, and am thinking of
selecting twenty-five and printing them as they
are, without expansion. I wonder whether you
would like them. After reading this I shall
leave soon. But if our relationship is this night
A DREARY VACATION. 233
dissolved, I shall hope to take some public
farewell written or otherwise of you, and also a
personal, more private farewell, as far as I can.
" I don't want to go into the wilderness. But
if I must, I have been there before, and perhaps
an angel may meet me, bearing a pitcher of
water, and I may find manna on the ground.
Events often disappoint our natural expectation,
but they quite as often disappoint our unbe-
" ' God's help is always sure,
His methods seldom guessed ;
Delay will make our pleasure pure,
Surprise will give it zest.
" ' His wisdom is sublime,
His heart profoundly kind ;
God never is before his time,
And never is behind.' "
It was too evident, from the manner in which
he conducted this short service, how far he was
from complete recovery. He received another
kind letter from his congregation, expressing
their eager desire that he should still retain the
pastorate of the church, and suggesting that
"for another six months, or, if need be, for
234 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
another year," he should seek that rest and quiet
in the country which his physicians considered
But he made yet another trial of his strength,
and preached four Sundays in a room in Gower
Street in April and May.
He was likewise able to resume his pen, and
in November brought out a "Theological Tract,
Among Transgressors." In the preface he says,
"I should have much preferred including this
Essay with others that are partly in readiness
to follow, ' if God permit,' in one volume. But
the uncertain and sometimes apparently perilous
state of my health warns me to do this thing
now, and the rest afterwards if I can. When
the day may be short, the workman should be
prompt. I may add that the Tract was prepared
for the press in June last, while I was enjoying,
in the house of a friend at Reigate, hospitable
shelter from the dull rigours of the late rainy
summer, and from the sad buffeting thoughts
which beset a man in a dark time of infirmity."
The summer of i860 was indeed a rainy sea-
son. From Reigate he wrote —
A DREARY VACATION. 235
" 12th June, i860.
" We have been here nearly a fortnight, and
have nothing to complain of but rain, incessant
rain. I can scarcely venture to hope for a few
fine days before our return."
After leaving Reigate, he spent seven weeks
in North Wales, with what result appears in the
following letter —
"Upper Bangor, 10th August, i860.
"My dear Sir,— Five weeks ago you made
me three penny presents — the G. N., N. W., and
G. W. Time-tables — by which Guides I have
been led away, and perhaps astray, into a very
wet part of the world indeed. We lodge on the
slope of a hill, at the top of which is a dissenting
chapel, and at the bottom a cathedral — a very
proper arrangement — and we of course are near
" We have seen a great many clouds, and have
looked in the direction in which, so they say,
Snowdon is ; but all we have actually seen of
this don is a picture of his top or crown, with
236 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
several donkeys of more sorts than one, stand-
ing round a ginger-beer shop, which is perched
there ; and these are the jewels of his crown, to
which this season we, I think, shall not be added.
" Our minor entertainments consist of looking
out of window at the rain, reading the Morning
Star — no other stars are ever seen now — strok-
ing the cat, making it mew Welsh, or teaching
it to look through the microscope : our principal
diversion, when we can get it, consists of walk-
ing up hill and down again, armed with camp-
stools and umbrellas and a little tin box of
" We go to bed early and get up late, and eat
the bread of idleness, the chief use of which is
to give one an appetite for bread of a better
" Our first short flight from London w^as to
Oxford ; thence we advanced to Chester ; then
on to Bangor, next to Beaumaris, then to Bangor
again. Here we have been weather-bound ; for,
though tempted to come home, I have hitherto
resisted, and a move to Conway, which we con-
templated, would be folly till fine days come.
A DREARY VACATION.
In five weeks we have had one bright day.
This morning we have what I hope is the grand
climacteric of wet and wind ; and this very
morning our week is up, so we have delighted
our landlady by saying we can't go yet. She
declares it shall be her study to make us com-
fortable — a ' study ' to which I give every encou-
ragement. In token of her proficiency, she has
just brought us a fat duck, with a sprig of sage
in each claw, price is. gd. ! This delightful
animal is for to-morrow's dinner: the sight of
it and of the rain makes me wish to-day was
fairly over and gone. If you consider that this
letter is nonsense, please consider too that
(wonderful to say) I find nonsense easier writing
than sense just now. It is less tiring to write,
and perhaps less tiresome to read. I do not
send you a dissertation about myself. I am
making a grand effort to get all right. Getting
well is like jumping over a river: if you are
only three parts over, you might as well have
not jumped at all."
Partly through the weather, and still more
238 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
from inability to take the shortest excursion
without great suffering, he longed to return
home. His mind had recovered in some mea-
sure its former vigour, but his walking days
were for ever over.
"14, York Place, Kentish Town,
29th August, i860.
" We are at home again My battered
vessel, after a wearisome cruise under gloomy
skies, is in harbour once more. More discon-
solate weather poor travellers could not have.
We made only one considerable excursion into
the mountain wilderness. Black shaggy clouds
and drifting rain shut out the prospect, and shut
us in under the hood of the chaise, or the roof
of the hotel ; and for this attempt I paid with
a gastric attack which kept me in bed some
"We heard some curious sermons on our
travels, as you may suppose. At one place, a
cathedral, the divine, who preached on the Fall,
said it was woman's duty to resist the devil,
and man's to resist his wife. The adoption of
A DREARY VACATION. 239
this view would relieve us of some important
" I made several pleasant acquaintances among
RESUMPTION OF DUTY.
^\T 7TTH his measure of recovered strength,
Mr. Lynch ventured to resume his
ministry, and a room was taken in Gower
Street, nearly opposite University College. At
the same time he issued the following
" TO THE MEMBERS OF MY FORMER CON-
" 14, York Place, Kentish Town,
" September 2$th, i860.
" My Friends, — In resuming my work as
Minister I am only able, at present, to preach
once on the Sunday. And this I do after a
RESUMPTION OF DUTY. 241
silence, four Sundays excepted, of more than a
year and a half.
" I knew that I should never meet again all
those from whom I parted in January, 1859.
" Some who were then with us have died :
some have removed from our neighbourhood :
some have formed new associations.
" All who, during my long absence and weak-
ness, have remembered me in a way honourable
to themselves, I thank.
" But I must say plainly, that I expect no one
to return merely because I resume. Let all
use their freedom and accept my goodwill. I
am content to make a new beginning ; and, with
the help of the old friends that I retain, shall try
to make new ones.
" And I wish none of you to find your morn-
ing attendance on my ministry a pecuniary
burden. You will have to provide for the
evening elsewhere. Let all feel free, then, to
lessen their subscriptions or to contribute to the
weekly offering only.
" Again I open my mouth : may God fill it
with wisdom. If again you give me your ear,
242 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
may that wisdom, entering, nourish in you the
manhood which is Christ's image.
"The Truth of the Gospel is like an eye,
beautiful to look at as well as necessary to see
with. It is beautiful because tender goodness
shines through clear thought. In each of us
the Truth becomes such an eye. By its means
we show our heart and we choose our way.
" The object of the Ministry is to bring men
to God and to unite them to Him. Our Chris-
tian faith is born when we see in one first
gleam, that God in Christ rescues us from our
sins at the cost of his own sufferings, and will
make us good because He is good and his
mercy endureth for ever. Love without faith is
a mourner or a maniac : faith without love, a
devil : but faith that works and grows by an
indwelling love is at once a humble penitent
and a happy disciple.
" I am, yours truly,
"T. T. Lynch."
The first sermons delivered in Gower Street
were reported, and issued in numbers, and
RESUMPTION OF DUTY. 243
subsequently collected and published as a
volume in 1861, under the title of "Three
To a brother minister in retirement and
affliction he wrote —
"14, York Place, Kentish Town,
" $th December, i860.
" I have sought, as I have been able, to learn
liow you were going on. The accounts I get
are not very complete : but this is clear, that
you are living a very suffering life.
" Will you accept a word — I dare not say of
consolation — but of sincere sympathy from a
very friendly acquaintance, if no more ?
" I do not ask you to tell me how you really
are, for I dare say the pen is now a disused
implement. But, believe me, any good news,
whether of pain relieved, and hope of recovery
arising, or of fortitude shown in endurance and
willingness to depart if that be God's will,
would be welcome.
" I was so long out of the world of action,
244 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
and the world of news and rumours, that I did
not hear of your relinquishing your ministry
till many months after you had done so. And
now perhaps I should not venture to write these
few lines, had I not learnt so well what it is to
wish for a kind word ; and of what value such
a word, however simple, is when it comes.
" You sent me a few sermons just as I was
falling ill ; they were very good, and showed
that you had put both a true heart and a
careful mind into your pulpit business. Accept
now my thanks for them. If you are not able
again to preach Christ's doctrine, you will surely
live to enjoy His promise : ' this is the promise
that He hath promised us — Eternal Life/ ..."
And to a daughter on the death of her
''Kentish Town, yd April, 1861.
" I have a note this morning informing us of
your great though not unexpected loss. It was
indeed a satisfaction that you had returned in
time for the closing scene. That scene will
RESUMPTION OF DUTY. 245
dwell long on the memories of those who were
present, but not long mournfully. To all the
end must come : to your mother it has come
gradually, gently. No < strange thing has
happened/ She has not gone into obscurity,
though withdrawn from view. In a light as
yet inaccessible to us we believe she is now
living. Not many years can elapse before she
is rejoined by her faithful partner: and we are
quite sure that she is willing for him to stay
here as long as God pleases, and it is best for
his family. Meanwhile his own grief for this
loss, sobered by his own age and Christian
resignation, will be consoled by the familiar
and certain hopes of the Gospel, and alleviated
by many affectionate recollections of his de-
"As for yourselves, the children, you are to
be congratulated. The journey of life, always
"wearisome and anxious, however honourable
and prosperous it may be, has in your dear
mother's case been happily ended. The quiet
victory has been gained. ' Finis ' has been put
to a story worth pondering: and survivors as
246 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
they read it will do so with more thankfulness
than sorrow, and with no apprehension of what
may come next, or come before the end, such
as we are sure to feel as we think over the story
of an unfinished life. And such apprehensions,
which perhaps we have been too ready to
entertain in our own cases, are happily lessened
when we consider the peaceful departure of one
whom we have greatly loved: if it has ended
w r ell with the mother, why may it not end well
with the children ? Let them only hear the
voice that cries * Whose faith follow ! ' and they
shall find that whatever difficulties the path
may present, the end will be safely reached."
To a friend who had sent him a copy of
Barker's Review, he observed —
" 2yd January, 1862.
" ' There is no evidence/ says Mr. Barker, i of
the divine authority of the Bible/ in this week's
Review. Hm ! what is meant by i divine autho-
rity of the Bible ' ?
" If a candle wants snuffing, may there not be
RESUMPTION OF DUTY. 247
proof enough nevertheless — which itself affords
— that it is a light ?
"The ' doctrine of the divine authority of the
Bible' is simply a candle that wants snuffing.
Snuff it aright, and you do but brighten it, as I
hope Mr. Barker may yet find. Snuff it amiss
and you extinguish it — for yourself — and find in
the dark that a feeble light was better than
Here is an observation on a weak con-
" 26th February, 1862.
" A weak conscience is like a weak stomach ;
it can only swallow one or two things, whereas
it might have 'all things richly to enjoy;' and
even those one or two it enjoys — if at all —
A S soon as it appeared probable that Mr.
Lynch would be able to preach continu-
ously, it was resolved to provide a permanent
place of worship ; and after wide inquiry a
site was obtained near Mornington Crescent,
Hampstead Road, over the tunnel of the
London and North-Western Railway, and an
iron chapel erected at a cost of upwards of
,£ 1,500. The site prescribed the character of the
structure, and no efforts were spared to make it
as neat and commodious as possible. It was
"dedicated to the Worship of God and the
Preaching of His Word," on Friday evening,
2 1 st March, 1862.
MORNINGTON CHURCH. 249
But he soon experienced a severe disappoint-
ment in finding that he could only conduct one
service a day. After several efforts to preach
on Sunday evenings, he was compelled to desist,
the attempt being always followed by alarming
results. His congregation were perfectly satis-
fied with the morning service, which he con-
ducted for upwards of nine years with scarcely
an interruption, beyond the usual vacation of a
month or six weeks in autumn ; but it was
difficult to argue with him on the subject. His
heart was set upon preaching morning and
evening, and it seemed as if he could not
reconcile himself to the privation. "You may
be satisfied, but I am not," was his observation
when a friend pleaded that " service once a day
was enough for anybody."
THE VISIONARY CROSS.
" 18th April, 1863.
" The heart may be carnal even in its thoughts
of a cross. It may see a visionary one on which
it would suffer grandly, observed and honoured
of all. The cross God offers us may be of the
2 5 o MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
commonest wood, and erected in a solitary
place. We must suffer in the darkness if we
would be glorified in the light/'
LOSS OF THE SOUL— SPIRITUALISM— BEHMEN AND
" 76, Arlington Street, April, 1865.
" First as to the partial losing of the soul.
"We speak of a man's nearly losing his life, and
know that on recovery he may live to more
purpose than ever before. We say ' he has lost
heart,' or 'lost hope,' or 'lost energy.' And
sometimes, in a plain emphatic way, speaking
of a man who has acted very foolishly, we say,
'Such a one has quite lost himself.' Nothing
in fact is more common than the partial loss of
those affections and those powers which make
life precious. Surely it is very clear that each
of us may be becoming more of a man or less of
a man as the days go on. He that is becoming
less of a man in the Christian sense of manhood,
is he not losing his zeal, losing his confidence in
God, losing his disinterested love for what is
MORNINGTON CHURCH. 251
right and worthy ? He is, in familiar phrase,
losing his soul.
"And sometimes having nearly lost his spiri-
tual life, such a man becomes very wretched,.
and recovers, not just because he chooses to
recover, but because he takes the Divine medi-
cine and pays grateful heed to what the Divine
Physician says. After recovery, may not this
lost man— this dead man — live to more purpose
than ever before ? And thus, through the
partial loss of his soul, he may be led to seek
earnestly and to win salvation.
"But say that a man dies at a time of
spiritual decline and decay. What then r Why
then he dies in the disregard of his Saviour's
plainest precepts. He was told to watch and he
has not watched, to be ready and he is not
ready. And it cannot be so thoroughly well
w T ith him as it otherwise would have been.
But there may be spiritual distress because of
apparent spiritual decay, when in truth the
distress is a sign of spiritual advancement.
God only can tell how it inmostly is with a
man. But if inmostly he is poor in faith, if his
25 2 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
soul be only as a very feeble light, how can he
shine brightly in heaven ? how can he receive
the gift of much power from the God whom he
has so little trusted ? He has not as much soul,
that is to say as much life, that is to say again, a
life as amply, holily, healthily developed as he
should have had. We should not speak of him
as half lost, but he certainly may have lost half,
whether for a while or for ever, of what he might
" The letter you send me is the most interest-
ing you have had from Mr. , I think. He
is quite right in distrusting unspiritual spirits,
and unspiritual spiritists ; and you are quite
right in affirming that the outward things of
spiritualism have a real use. They deserve
neither the rejection of derisive savans, nor of
frightened religionists, nor again of such men
as Mr. . He who w T ould walk in the middle
must start from the middle — that is to say, it is
from the soul's centre, living faith in God, we
must proceed on any new path of investigation,
turning neither to the right hand in presumption
nor to the left in distrustful fear. If Mr.
MORNINGTON CHURCH. 253
is in spirit such a Christian as Behmen and
Law, he knows this. But he that, starting from
the centre, investigates spiritism without pre-
sumption and without fear, will not find himself,
I think, unrewarded.
" Behmen's principles I will expound to you,
if you need and wish such exposition ; but not
by pen and ink. I agree with the Apostle John
that pen and ink are provokingly insufficient
' mediums/ Mr. Law was an able and admir-
able man. What a friend he would have been
of mine, if I may be excused for saying so.
Southey truly called him a 'powerful writer/
He is sometimes clear even to brilliance, always
pious, usually pungent, in controversy acute
and even scathing, and in theologic largeness
of heart surely the greatest Englishman of the
eighteenth century. I love him. I had a tract
of his in my hands the other day, which I have
been looking for, but unhappily it had been
already sold to some one else. His complete
works are now rarely to be had. I should doubt
whether this 9 vol. edition contains quite all, but
it must contain most of them
254 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
" P.S. As I have spoken effervescently of
the Good "William Law, I suppose I ought to
put a little ice into the champagne. There are
' buts.' .... He is sometimes wrong where he
is strong — is impracticably practical, and per-
haps too confidently Behmenish ! "
SENSE OF WEARINESS.
**2fth January, 1866.
" Do you ever feel intensely weary ? I too
seldom now feel otherwise. I wish you could
instruct me how to acquire Mr. Harris's ' second
breathing.' That is the breath, I am told, of an
un weary-able life ! "
ON THE DEATH OF A FATHER.
" 76, Arlington Street, \\th April, 1866.
" My dear Mrs. , I am very glad to have
from you so satisfactory an account of the last
hours of your venerable father. He died as it was
well he should die, peacefully. His gentle spirit
passed gently away. When I first saw him he
was busy with his ledgers in his counting-house.
A man busy with his Bible at home is always
MORNINGTON CHURCH. 255
the better and not the worse for being busy with
his ledgers elsewhere.
" Your father managed to get a hold on this
world without losing his hold on the other ; but
he made this world to the next as an understep
to an upper, resting the left foot on the lower
step that he might raise the right to the step
" His little mansion at S Road, with its
little garden, was to him I dare say as Heaven
begun below. There he had his evening's
repose to fit him for the long new day on which
he has now entered. I should think he must
have been one of the oldest citizens of N ,
as well as one of the best ; not quite as old as
the Cathedral, yet none the less truly a Temple,
and one that, when the grey stone building
moulders, will stand in more than its original
beauty and sanctity.
" I believe you have all of you been ' good
children,' but now you must hear the fatherly
apostolic voice that speaks to you from heaven
as to children, and would lead you from Good
through Better, even as far as Best.
2 5 6 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
"You are enviable people to have kept both
father and mother so long. Well, long life to
you all, and many pleasant, if sometimes pen-
sive, memories of the departed. We must all
go when our time comes ; and when it does,
may our work shame us as little as your father's
ADVICE TO A MINISTER ON HIS ELECTION.
"76, Arlington Street, \\th May, 1866.
" A minority even of is not de-
sirable, and if you can think of them and treat
them as people likely to become friends, so
much the better. Absolute unanimity in such
cases is seldom found, perhaps never, except
where it ought not to be. The character of a
minority is, however, of much more importance
than its number. It may be advisable to address
a short letter — courteous and hopeful — to the
minority, along with your letter of acceptance,
should you, after consideration and further in-
quiry, decide on going."
MORNINGTON CHURCH. 2 si
ABOUT A SERMON.
" 76, Arlington Street, 25^ June, 1866.
"The subject yesterday was Piety — what it is
and what its worth, how to be shown, how
cherished. But though I laid a careful founda-
tion, the tower was but an unfinished one, with
no roof over it but Heaven — a good roof, how-
VISIT TO SCOTLAND.
" 76, Arlington Street, iy.1i September, i860.
"We have been in Scotland, and
came back last week. Our head-quarters have
been at Binns, by Linlithgow, a large old house
in a large old park, which our friends Mr. and
Mrs. occupy for the season, and where we
have been very hospitably and pleasantly enter-
"But Sc6tland is a rainy country. Three
times we have visited it, and each time had
more foul weather than fine. All our visits
too have been in August, and though no doubt
it is a blissful thing to eat August grouse, yet
we prefer fine weather even to fine eating ! "
258 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
" 1st October, 1866.
" We were at Glasgow for a few days while
in Scotland. The Presbyterian mind there is
sadly troubled just now about Mr. Smith, who
won't believe that a Jew is just as good as a
Christian, if not better, or something of that
sort. He has said something about the moral
law which is considered very immoral. So they
have got him on the rack, that is to say on the
' Confession/ to make him squeak or shriek the
orthodoxy that he cannot manage plainly to
speak. The authorities are ' agreed already ' in
their judgment — That if he won't eat his own
words, he shall not eat anything else — if they
can help it. Such is the freedom wherewith the
Free Church at present makes free with its
ON THE DEATH OF A CHILD.
" 76, Arlington Street, i$th December, 1866.
" You will long and sorely miss
your little darling. Such afflictions are sharp
indeed. And though we are entirely sure that
MORNINGTON CHURCH. 259
the child has found a new happy home, and
very tender friends, yet the pain of grief is as
peremptory as hunger itself. It is a hunger of
the heart, which cannot accommodate itself at
once to a change of food. Its pleasant meat
seems, indeed, wholly taken away, but it will
learn to feed after a while on memories and
hopes, and a love for the absent growing ever
purer and more tranquil ; all of which will have
an even divine sweetness.
" It seems a very far country to which those
who depart are taken. But it is not so. There
must, too, be children in heaven, else how could
it be a happy world ?
" But how many a mother may naturally say,
Why take my child, my bright, merry child ;
surely earth needs such children more than
heaven can ; why not take the feeble, the
crippled, for whom this world offers so little ?
" The mother's own kind, sagacious heart, can
partly answer her question. But when pious
reasoning has done its best, the head must bow,
the heart acquiesce, as the mouth says, 'Thy
will, my Father, be done ! ' "
26o MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
A LETTER IN WINTER.
"76, Arlington Street, ph January, 186;.
"Dear Sir, — No doubt you are at this mo-
ment perambulating , defying winter with
a feeling of conscious superiority. I am by the
fireside, whence I step away now and then to
see how the thermometer goes on in my garden.
A quarter of an hour ago, it was at 17 deg.
above zero — three or four deg. warmer than
yesterday at the same time. I am congealed.
The very ink ought to be ice. I wish it was.
Then I couldn't write several letters which I am
afraid I must. Perhaps I might have conscience
and friendship enough just to thaw a drop or
two for writing a note to you. I hope I should,
for I was very glad to hear from you. But you
see I have taken the smallest sheet of paper I
could find. So, though I am doing my duty, it
seems that I don't mean to do any more of it
than I can help I have just lifted up
my eyes to refresh myself by looking out of
window, after getting thus far. I behold a
black cat sitting on the white snow, like a bad
thought that has intruded itself into an innocent
MORNINGTON CHURCH. 261
heart. Please understand that my heart is quite
innocent of all bad thoughts towards you ; and
is so far conscious of good ones, that if you were
here (so saith my heart) you should have half
the fire (more if necessary) and a glass of mulled
Avine. So, as to that query you put about
decorating me with the title ' friend/ please
believe me to be the Thing ; and as to the
name, you can use it sparingly, as I do — perhaps
rather to excess — or lavishly, as is the manner
of some not unpious yet not deeply sincere folk,
•or just naturally, if it be natural and pleasant to
you to salute thus those whom you would have
consider themselves honoured with a place
•among your ' elect.'
" I wish you a happy new year, no more
troubles than necessary, more success than even
anticipated, solace from old friendships, support
from new ones, reasonable deacons ; an atten-
tive, edified, enlarging congregation ; health ;
prospect or acquisition of a suitable wife ; a
calming, consolidating, elevating sense of the
reality of Spiritual Truths to mingle with and
alleviate that sorrowful dissatisfaction with self,
262 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
and dubitation about many things, from which I
do not expect you will find yourself free either
this year, or (altogether) in this world. What
more shall I wish ? That you may read good
books with a good understanding (I have not at
present read either of the books you name),
preach sermons, if with more ease, not with less
power ; draw water, without disliking your work
even when the well is deepest, from each and
every, or at least from many, and ever from the
chiefest of the wells of salvation that abound in
the Bible ; also that you may arrange skilfully
supply-pipes for distributing the said water to
your people ; and that the water may never
freeze in the pipes. What more ? Why I will
wish you may always be content with Manna
without caring too much for Quails, may not
despise Manna when you get, by favour of this
world, and permission of heaven, a fine fat
Quail, or a few such ; and may never fail to find,
nor to gather when you find, a good supply of
Manna every morning, and a double supply on
Sunday morning, lawfully gatherable, according
to our new economy, on that day, as a work
MORNINGTON CHURCH. 263
hallowing the day. Perhaps you would prefer
to have your double portion on the Saturday,
and to find it multiplying on the Sunday, after
the divine manner of the loaves and fishes ? Be
it so then.
" I might as well have taken a bigger sheet of
TO A CLERGYMAN IN NEW YORK.
" 31st January, 1867.
" To this hour I feel amazed at the
credit given to such enormous falsehoods as
that my hymns * might have been written by a
man who had never seen a Bible, and never
heard more than a few words and a few names
which might have been uttered in a moment of
time.' But, for one person who had seen the
hymns, at least scores had heard or read such
statements as these about them. With what
results to myself? What results when a man
of strong constitution is compelled to take a
large dose of arsenic ? Death does. And Cha-
racter can no more stand against Slander than
Constitution against Arsenic. Therefore, I am
264 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
dead. Nevertheless I live, and so do my hymns.
I am regarded with a curious mixture of respect
and distrust. Physical infirmity compels me to
lead a life only semi-public, and I preach but
once a Sunday : thought a wolf by many people
who, on hearing me, are ready to admit that
after all I may be a kind of sheep ; isolated,
yet bearing witness for Catholicity ; and doing
what the Orthodox neglect — that is, preaching
Orthodoxy, showing and unfolding its truths,
according to my ability, not merely stating its
" I should not myself apply the phrase ' Broad
Church poetry' to my hymns, chiefly because
'Broad Church' is really a sectional and
therefore a narrowing name; and also because
the hymns are the fruit of personal experience
and direct communion with Truth, not the
results of affiliation to any school whatever. It
will not be improper for me to say, nor unplea-
sant to you, that exactly such appreciation as
yours the ' Rivulet' has had from many per-
sons, of association with whom no one need be
MORNINGTON CHURCH. 265
TO THE SAME.
" iph July, 1867.
" I felt quite guilty on seeing your letter of
17th June, and even more so on reading it; for
3^ou say ' should you reply,' as if I was a hard
sea-monster or a haughty arch-priest. Why,
then, have I not replied to your former letter ?
In answering this direct, thrusting question, I
might be content to borrow a hint from the lady
who, when asked why such a thing was so,
replied 'Because it is/ But I will tell you a
little of my own tale of '67. In my previous
communication I made you aware that I was
no giant ; and during the early summer months
of this year I have been deplorably unwell,
subject to daily faintness and exhaustion. Yet
there came upon me about March, and stayed
with me some time, a Spirit of hymn-writing,
or rather making, for I seldom compose verse
pen in hand and paper before me. And I have
produced twenty-one hymns ; and I hope, if
they get into print, and I send them to you,
you will not avenge yourself on me by disliking
them. Certainly the hymns helped the faint-
206 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
ness even more than the faintness hindered the
hymns, though it sadly molested me, the poor
worker I confess that illness does lead
remarkably, if not quite excusably, to procras-
tination in correspondence. On the 5th of this
present July I entered on my jubilee year. I
must be a better man. I am never intellectually,
I may even say spiritually, inactive ; but often
things I outwardly want to do I feel as if I could
not do, and very literally often I cannot do them.
I have energy ; but internal and external power
are not equal. I did not hear silver trumpets
sounding on the 5th to announce my liberation
whilst yet a mortal from some of my special
burdens of mortality, or as a Levite from my
ecclesiastical labours, or as an outcast from the
synagogue, from the ban and contumely that
afflict my name. But it is something to have
lived on to the fiftieth year, for a man whose life
no office would insure, and whose dissolution
has from boyhood upwards been at various eras
confidently threatened and predicted."
The close of 1867 brought sad access of suffer-
MORNINGTON CHURCH. 267
ing to Mr. Lynch. He had been preaching as
usual on Thursday evening, and was aroused
two hours after retiring to rest by a watchman's
rattle and a cry of " Fire ! " The house adjoin-
ing was in flames, and so rapidly did they
spread that the firemen gave orders for the
immediate removal of everything that was con-
sidered valuable. Neighbours were kindly help-
ful, and the most important contents of his
study were safely lodged in one of their houses.
Happily, although the house on fire was com-
pletely destroyed, his own escaped with little
injury. But five hours' exposure to the cold of
a frosty November night brought on a fearful
attack of neuralgia, which lasted for a fortnight ;
and the weakness induced by the pain affected
his throat so seriously, that he seldom after-
wards could take a meal without much suffering,
and the suffering sometimes most acute.
THE AUGMENTED " RIVULET " AND OTHER
1868— 1870. .
i HP v WELVE years had elapsed since the issue
of the "Rivulet," and the clamour which
met its appearance had passed away. Mean-
while its waters had been widely diffused :
hymn after hymn had entered into " the use " of
the churches, the spiritual man, under conditions
orthodox and heterodox, discovering in them
"expression meet" for heart and voice. The
slow and sure verdict of common Christian
experience was thus registered in the author's
favour ; and what more could he desire ?
So encouraged, and a new edition being called
for, he enriched and enlarged the volume with
THE AUGMENTED " RIVULET." 269
sixty-seven new hymns, the former editions
containing but one hundred. To a literary
friend he announced the publication —
" 76, Arlington Street,
"2nd July, 1868.
a I am issuing a new edition of the ' Rivulet '
this week. It contains many additional hymns
which I hope you will like. Though the
Thames has not yet been set on fire, this lesser
stream once blazed famously, and you did kind
service in the , if not in putting it out, at
any rate in getting me out of the flames. It
will not prove combustible now I think; and
nobody need either fear or loathe to drink of the
river, unless he is very ' Egyptian,' that is, very
To the Mornington congregation the enlarged
"Rivulet" afforded especial satisfaction, and
they made Mr. Lynch a present, which in due
season he individually acknowledged in a
printed letter, headed with the caution, "Pri-
vate : not for the Newspapers ."
2 7 o MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
" 76, Arlington Street, Mornington Crescent,
" Wednesday, September 30, 1868.
" I heartily thank my friends at Mornington
Church for their generous gift, and yourself in
particular for your kind contribution thereto.
On the 5th of July last I attained the rather
sorrowful dignity of being fifty years old ; and
on the 5th of August, as I was preparing to
leave London in order to undergo my annual
holiday, a purse containing two hundred pounds
was brought me as a congratulatory offering
from the good affections of our people. Who
the ingenious person was that proposed I
should, on reaching so important a station in
life's journey, be met and comforted with a little
money, I do not know ; but I was emphatically
assured that every contributor had offered
willingly. And I believed this, because my
friends are as considerate and liberal in their
conduct towards me as they and I desire to be
in the spirit of our faith and worship.
" Two hundred pounds ! Undoubtedly it is
true in this case, as in so many others, that
'two are better than one.' But if the first
THE AUGMENTED " fiZVULET:' 271
hundred pounds is a reward for living fifty
years, the second must not be considered an
encouragement for even trying to live fifty more.
Happily no such heavy burden is laid upon your
minister. He said on Sunday, September 20 :
*I have been absent six weeks, by request.
Part of the time I have spent on a sofa in the
country, part at a window by the sea, going
forth occasionally to the common, with its furze
and its prospects, or to the shore, with its family
of curious creatures and its restless neighbours
the waves.' But even sympathetic persons, if
they are tolerably strong, hear with some
incredulity the assertion that there are people
who feel every day 'weary and heavy-laden/
and whose holiday-time is often the most em-
barrassing and disappointing season of the year.
Such people, though they may 'groan' a good
deal (privately), ' being burdened,' may be of
very cheerful temperament, thankful for life,
and wishful to prolong it ; and, at any rate,
almost as happy as they consider they deserve to
be. I am one of these people ; and beg to state
that the most exacting of those benevolent
272 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH,
friends who insist on my taking what they are
pleased to call recreation, cannot do me a
greater little service (so to say) than to take for
granted that I am ' as well as can be expected/
and cease to afflict me with the question, ' How
do you do r '
" No directions have been furnished me as to
how I am to dispose of my two hundred pounds.
It is a free gift, for my free use. But, as a free
man, I shall feel bound so to spend and to save
as may best enable me to make more efficient
the spiritual service it is my duty and honour to
render. Money is vile or precious according to
the getting and the using. The having it is no
sure heaven, the want of it may be a sharp
purgatory. It is a minister of sin — and of
righteousness ; never the most, and sometimes
the least, serviceable of things ; but usually a
capital servant if it has even a tolerably sensible
" In the early years of my ministry I had to
spend much that I would gladly have saved.
More than half of what was necessary for living
on the most moderate scale, I had to provide by
THE AUGMENTED "RIVULET." 273
work and from sources not congregational.
But from the outset I have had in association
with me liberal and sensible persons ; and
whatever I may have had to bear from people ot
another class — people who, alas, call themselves
'evangelical/ and yet are well described by a
lady much honoured of me as those who 'do
unjustly, talk uncharitably, and walk proudly
before God ' — I know of none such now in our
congregation. Some who were my true friends
at the first, have been friends from the first.
Almost all new adherents, joining us in the
course of the years, have brought new strength,
some of them much new strength.
"The word 'evangelical,' which I have just
used, is a word that once had only a distin-
guished, but now has also a debased sense. So
its use is equivocal. But so was the use of the
word * Jew : ' for in apostolic days there were
men who said they were Jews, but were not.
Did then the real Jew feel it otherwise than an
honour to be Abraham's child ? He blushed for
those who dishonoured Abraham by boasting in
his name without possessing his spirit : and
2 7+ MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
desired himself to be so an c Israelite indeed, 5
that if any one must blush for him, the blushes
might at least be few. But what if some
persisted in angry praises of the old clothes
' renovated,' — things that would only tear and
not wear : were there no new clothes to be had,
made of that same durable stuff wherewith
Father Abraham clothed himself, though not
shaped according to the pattern of his antique
garments ? Had the real Jew in his bright new
raiment of spiritual faith no advantage ? He
had much every way. And so has the real
'evangelical' now. Let a man then neither be
anxious to be called evangelical, nor ashamed to
be so called. And if, having heard of a new
covenant, a new heart, a new man, a new
commandment and a new song, new heavens
and a new earth, a new Jerusalem, and a God
who will make all things new, he considers
that a little ' new doctrine ' may sometimes be
wanted, especially as wayfarers in the very
oldest of old paths must be new wayfarers, let
him still prefer a dull old last century's guinea
to a bright new last year's farthing, and not
THE AUGMENTED " RIVULET:
only spare, but reverentially guard the old tree
whose shade stretches not hurtfully over the
young fruit-trees, but gratefully over their culti-
vators, who, seated beneath the green venerable
boughs, look forth and rejoice to see the new
day smiling on the new orchard and new garden.
" For more than twenty-one years have I been
a minister, and I have been banned as well as
blessed; though sometimes the blessings have
even been much the more abundant. And if I
have kept one imaginary book that I may call
the Raven Book, the earlier pages of which are
now brown with lapse of time, I have also
had another such book, that I may call the
Samaritan Register. The * Ravens/ so kind to
prophets, have, with timely visiting, brought me
now a letter with something in it besides ink,
now a box not empty, or a book, or a bottle, or
even a hamper, of such wine as it would have
gladdened Paul's spirit to know was working its
medicinal effect on Timothy's stomach. And
though of the ten that I may have tried to heal
or to comfort, even nine may have gone away
and 'made no sign,' I have been sure of my
276 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
' tithe ' — some Samaritan always gives thanks
to God for his word, and to me for ministering
it. Among the earliest letters of encouragement
that I received, I remember one particularly,
not only from the eminence and interesting
character of the writer, but from its association
with circumstances not exhilarating. This letter
came when days were dark. The writer had
heard me accidentally. He then advised others
to hear me. They * thank him for his sugges-
tion, assuring him that they reap the full benefit
he prophesied/ ' I simply wish you/ he says in
his letter to me, 'to be assured that you are
remembered and pleaded for by some you little
" There were at this time sages hearing me,
who occupied themselves in counting how often
certain sacred words were used by me, and
in determining whether my texts were taken
from the Old Testament and the New in the
right proportion. They were not 'more than
astonished at the power and beauty of the
illustrations of the text given by the preacher/
but would have been much astonished to hear
THE AUGMENTED "RIVULET." 277
him thus addressed : 'Cheer up, dear sir ; the day
of your proper estimation by the denomination
to which you belong cannot be long delayed/
Of proper and improper estimation I have now
had abundance. And in those days even, I had
as good ' estimation ' as ever I have had since, or
can have. But as to 'denominational' estima-
tion ; of its quantity and its quality I will only
say that neither has, at any rate, made me yield
to the tempting voice that has said : ' Come
down hither ; leave the bleak windy heights of
free Catholicity ; come and be established ; step
aside into the Church.' ' Thank you, no,' I have
replied ; ' I will come a little way down to you,
if you will come a little way up to me, and we
will confer upon the hill-slope for our mutual
advantage.' But do I belong to ' my denomi-
nation,' as, for instance, a dog might belong to
me, so that if he does not obey orders, why he
must expect the stick ? I think not. But as I
am the minister of a congregation that attends
to its own affairs, and does not intrude into its
neighbours' (we love our neighbours a little
though, and hope they love us a little), I am
278 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
willing, if any one thinks it worth his while to
' denominate ' me, to be called a Congrega-
" Assailed, then, and with many a buffet, but
i comforted with love,' I continue unto this
day. It is well, however, that you should know
that in giving me this purse you have not grati-
fied everybody. A * sincere and faithful man,'*
as he says he is, is not pleased. He has read
of the presentation in the newspapers ('Who
told the newspapers,' said I, ' I wonder ? '), and
has taken the trouble to write to me, and say
that he ' envies neither pastor nor people.'
There is a proverb, 'Better be envied than
pitied.' But all he can do is to pity us, or
at least the 'people/ He fears you will be
1 ultimately ruined ; ' not I hope, however, by
trusting in yourselves that you are righteous
and despising others. I had gone out with
wife and son, just as I was recovering from a
severe attack of illness, for a ride, over a large
country, at bright noon, in the sweetest silence,
and our hap was to see, among other country
sights, a hornet's nest. We looked up with
THE AUGMENTED "RIVULET." 279
cautious but not unadmiring eyes at the cunningly
wrought paper home of these powerful insects,
placed in the hollow of a huge and ancient
chestnut-tree. Too like paper-loving ' Evan-
gelicals ' the insects seemed. Yet it is reli-
gion's hornets, not nature's, that sting for the
love of stinging. On getting back to our lodg-
ings, I found awaiting me the c faithful ' man's
letter. But perceiving its quality, and consi-
dering that my dinner would do me most good ;
according to the rule, ' Business first, and plea-
sure — or what not — afterwards,' I dined, and
then read the letter, not without some edifica-
tion. Its lesson was this : Stupidity and male-
volence go together ; and * Evangelicals ' will
never become more modest and loving till they
become more thoughtful and are more carefully
instructed in the ' truth as it is in Jesus.' How
much better to resemble birds that sing among
branches green with a present life, than wasps
or hornets that issue forth for mischief from
the hollows of decay lined with newspaper,
letter-paper, or other paper unwisely blackened !
Better sing than sting. Better love than hate.
280 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
" The anonymous censor I have referred to
would not have been worth even an allusion,
had he not in so untimely and officious a
manner presented himself as a specimen of a
class which I know to be still large. And
here let me add : I write with embarrassment,
because Experience has so much to say that
cannot with propriety be said — already, indeed,
I may have said too much ; and Reflection —
grave, melancholy power — would, if I inserted
all his suggestions, make this letter as long as
a sermon, and even more tiresome. Long
enough, indeed, I have kept you waiting for
the letter. But often to give a man time is as
friendly an act as to give him money.
"As to my deficiencies, you know more of
them, possibly, than I do ; but they are not
likely to keep you awake at night as they
keep me. And as to the excellencies I aim at,
these are some of them. I aim to be reason-
able ; to favour, not to fetter, the best action
of the intellect. And I aim to be never intel-
lectual only, but to put before you and myself
the convincing word as the glorious word.
THE AUGMENTED "RIVULET" 281
I aim to preach for spiritual pleasure — that we
may delight ourselves in God because he is
good and his mercy endureth for ever : and for
spiritual power — that what we know we may,
with brightened lamp and girded loins, go forth
to declare and to do. I aim to be worldly
and yet holy, affirming that the feud between
spiritual and secular is a wrongful and ignoble
feud. I aim to show that Eternity is to-day's
friend, and to invigorate our faith in the future,
and quash our fears concerning it, by insisting
on the truth that Love and Right are eternal,
and must triumph. I aim to be just, and
catholic, and pitiful : and to be homely, and
various and natural. And I do not aim to be
' orthodox ' or ' liberal,' or ' sound ' or ' broad,'
by special designation, but to preach Jesus
Christ as the Emmanuel, simply and fully as
I can ; earnestly too, and winningly, as one
should who knows what a dark secret the
human heart has, and what a deceiving tor-
menting worm infests it ; and knows too the
costly anguish of the work by which Emmanuel
righted the wrong done through the ' creature '
282 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
to God and to itself; and is confident, that
only by the pure patient love of the Living
God can 'miserable' man through his faith
in this love, and his gradual dying out of evil
and rising into good by the spirit this love
bestows, become happy man; holy, friendly,
perfect man. And much else I aim at, more
or less involved in the pursuit of these excel-
lencies spoken of as sought by me. i Who is
sufficient for these things r '
" Should my mental power fail me for spiritual
service, I hope I shall have the grace to begone
without waiting for you to say c Go.' And
should my health be soon quite broken, there
will but be the shattering of one more candle-
stick made of potter's clay : the golden candle-
stick of the divine word will abide for you, and
the inextinguishable light of its yet more golden,
of its most heavenly flame, will shine on for you,
and will shine for ever.
" I am, dear Friend,
" Yours, and the Congregation's,
" Gratefully and faithfully,
"Thos. T. Lynch."
THE AUGMENTED "RIVULET? 283
Here is an amusing experience written to a
" depressed spirit " during his holiday —
"Hastings, \\th September, 1868.
"Some years ago I had a friend subject to
fits of despair. He would write to me as if the
world, HIS world, were now certainly coming
to an end. I then, full of horrified sympathy,
would set out on a visit of condolence ; but
arrived, lo ! the rooms lighted, the piano going,
my friend in fine spirits, and all things looking
so disgustingly delightful, that my sympathy
turned to wrath. I hope you do not resemble
this gentleman, and declare yourself in the
valley, when you only were so, and are now
more than half way up the hill you believed
you could never climb. "
TO A FATHER ON THE DEATH OF HIS DAUGHTER.
" 76, Arlington Street,
" i8tk September, 1868.
" An hour or two ago we were cheered by
your note. But now you tell us that love and
care can do no more. Their work has not
284 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
been altogether vain ; for to die beloved is
to die blessed. And the care that was not
permitted to secure what it so earnestly sought,
reminds us of that higher care which never
fails to attain its end. She whom man might
not preserve, God has received. Her husband
and her parents have lost her, but her heavenly
Father has her safe in the heavenly home.
Certain truth this ; and yet such truth is never
at first consolatory to the full. But how much
better a hope sure to brighten, than no hope
at all ! I am very very sorry for you, for your
troubles have been many. But my dear Mr. ,
let ' patience have her perfect work.' You
know in whom you have believed, and that He
is the Resurrection and the Life — the Eternal
ON A POETESS AND HER OPINIONS.
" 76, Arlington Street,
" 28th September, 1868.
"Tell Mrs. F that I was really much
obliged to her for the poetic welcome she gave
to my book, though it reached me in days when
THE AUGMENTED "RIVULET." 285
I was almost too hot to be grateful. The verses
are now in my treasury, tied up with very red
tape- I perceive that Mrs. F is ' sound in
the faith ' about women. She has not given in
to the modern heresy that they are the equals of
men. I fancy her addressing us thus : — ' Men !
Listen to truth. Let not a few foolish sisters
deceive you. Think not that we shall ever claim
to be your equals, who have been from earliest
time your SUPERIORS. What was Adam's flesh,
his best flesh, the flesh nearest his heart, but a
kind of dough, out of which Eve was fashioned !
Or, to use illustrations yet more elevated, think
you that the fragrant pea will claim to be the
equal of the stick that lifts it into the air that its
sweetness may be seen and diffused ? Or is the
ruddy, luscious peach no better than the dull
wall that holds it forth to the sunbeam ? Shall
heaven descend to be the equal of earth ? Our
thoughts are as much deeper than yours, as our
hairs are longer, and our way as much more
excellent as our fingers are more delicate ? But
to accommodate our argument to your under-
standing, who is it that broils your chop, and
286 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
warms your slippers, and mends your stockings,
and — spends your money ? '
" Formidable doctrine this. But shall better-
half become only half r "
A CASE OF WINE.
" 76, Arlington Street,
" $th December, 1868.
" I must send you, according to the adage, a
Roland for your Oliver.* Roland was, I
believe, a knight who could give stroke for
stroke, and if he couldn't repay one kindness by
another, no doubt he at least gave thanks
promptly — and heartily, as I do.
"Your wine came with curious timeliness.
The last glass of a last bottle had just been
poured out, and I had said, ' Now we must go
to the dogs ; ' meaning we must accept one of two
evils, a pulse too low for the want of wine, or
a purse too low through procuring it. * To the
docks ? ' said my wife. ' No,' said I, ' though
there is wine enough there doubtless, 'to the
dogs ; ' which she said was wicked. But could
* The wine-merchant's name.
THE AUGMENTED "RIVULET." 287
it be wicked when, five minutes afterwards, as I
was sipping a cup of coffee, 'a case of wine 5
was announced ?
" Thus was our case altered, and I must be,
as the old folk used to say, ' case-hardened,'
which I suppose means hardened against the
instruction and impression * cases ' may yield,
did I not consider this a great case of kindness
on your part, feel gratified by the gift, and
edified by its kindliness.
" Mr. Gladstone in the high chair at last !
Wisely may he fill it, as he assuredly will
TO A REQUEST TO PREACH IN THE COUNTRY.
" 76, Arlington Street,
" 3rd April, 1869.
" The proposed sermon is to be a week-day
one, I presume, and may be arranged for a
Wednesday or Thursday. That being so, I
should like to come ; but really I must ask your
advice. It would please me to try and do some
good, and to show you that I am ready to try.
But though I have been working steadily with-
288 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
out break-down for some time, and that both
Sundays and week-days, my infirmities have been
increasing, not lessening. For instance, to eat
my dinner costs me more trouble than to preach
a sermon ; and I have not left the house once
alone for more than a year, for fear of sudden ill-
ness—this by medical direction. So I might fail
" I will engage provisionally to come some
time in September, if you think it worth while
to accept risks. But it is fair to warn you."
WORK AND CARE.
" 76, Arlington Street,
" ph May, 1869.
" Preach ! preach ! Preaching will not kill a
man's care, but it will prevent his care from
killing him. I wonder whether pleasanter days,
warm as well as sunny, when we at last get
them, will do you good. I hope so."
To many of Mr. Lynch's hearers it was a
cause of regret that his sermons were not
reported, and that so much valuable matter
THE AUGMENTED " RIVULET?' 2 8y
perished with the occasion. But not only had
the expense of reporting to be considered, but it
was not easy to secure the preacher's assent. In
a letter we find him saying —
" 76, Arlington Street,
" 20th February. 1865.
" My dear Mrs. , I find my wife has sent
back Mr. 's [a reporter's] sermon. She read
it to me, giving herself a severe headache and
driving me nearly distracted. It wants marking
out into paragraphs, words adding, and some
corrections ; else it had better be put in the fire
to brighten that.
" If you will let me see it some day, I will try
and make it readable. I do not like sermons of
mine separated from their companions and co-
workers, to go roaming about bearing a broken
testimony concerning us."
However, in the spring of 1869, a most
efficient reporter was engaged, and the dis-
courses of some months secured — now regarded
as a treasure of great importance. Of these " A
2 9 o MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
Group of Six Sermons " was published in i
At the same time his lectures on Thursday
evenings were taken, and a volume of a more
popular character issued under the title of " The
Of a spirit most catholic, Mr. Lynch was a
dissenter with reason, and his reasons he was
always ready to render on proper occasion.
Here is a passage from a vacation letter —
" Tenchleys Park, near Limpsfield,
" \oth August, 1869.
"Mr. — — is an able man, and possibly
magnanimous enough to blush or to sigh when
he thinks that a parson who ' fights in the open,'
outside the lines of ecclesiastic protection, has a
much harder task, and yet may not be a worse
man than himself. I believe in Justice, and
Anglicanism is injustice. The Established
Church could not remain as it is for a twelve-
month, but for the superstition of Respectability,
and out of that foetid mist we must all keep
our heads lifted up clear and high.
" I was pleased to see lately a letter from
THE AUGMENTED " RIVULET r 291
Mr. , asserting in a Church print the supe-
rior liberality of the ' Dissenting ' Ministry, when
of a tolerably good sort."
" 76, Arlington Street,
" 2~th November, 1869.
" Thanks for your note and Dr. Stirling's very
able lecture,* which I have read with much
pleasure. The lecture is stronger, I think, in the
philosophical than in the physiological part.
But, on the whole, he offers good physic
to the physicists. If Huxley is clear — he is
sometimes clearly wrong ; and if Dr. Stirling's
expression is sometimes obscure, there is light
enough in him to dissipate clouds of misappre-
hension in the minds of sundry protoplastic
" If but a pair of boots could be got, made of
genuine protoplasm, I should think by walking
about they might develop a pair of legs in them,
these surmount themselves with a body and a
heart, and finally a head form at the top of the
* " As Regards Protoplasm," by J. H. Stirling.
2 9 2 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
affair that should know all about it, though the
boots knew nothing about it ; and if boots can
provide themselves with a man to use them for
walking and kicking, why should not the world
provide itself with a god to take care of it, and
the real soul of the world be only such a sole as
that of the aforesaid boots ? Philosophy says God
made the world ; pseudo-science says the world
made God. Bathybius is making him now at
the Sea-bottom, instead of Bathybian processes
being his footsteps in the great waters, as He
takes his way through them. It is sad to be all
eyes and no sight. Please understand that this
note is not an essay on Protoplasm.
" 'Twixt Mind and Thing there was a chasm
Which now is bridged by Protoplasm ;
If you're a Thing and feel inclined,
Just cross and you'll become a Mind."
" I am constructive. I despise the cleverness
and conceit of the day that whittles up old dead
sticks into chips, strewing the ground with them,
THE AUGMENTED "RIVULET" 293
and says, See what work I do ! The shreddings
of the knife of criticism are not seeds out of
which anything will grow. And people that
cut, cut, as if there were nothing else to be done,
soon take to cutting living things, and kill what
they affect to prune."
A REASON FOR NOT WRITING.
" 76, Arlington Street,
" 22nd January, 1870.
" If you were to commit a crime, meet with a
misfortune, or be seized with a complaint, I
would write to you. But though I care for you
as much as ever, I do not care about writing to
you, because you are not now a Solitary, but
companioned ; and I hope in the smooth waters
of content and prosperity."
" 76, Arlington Street,
" 2$rd March, 1870.
" My dear Mrs. , I wish you were nearer
to us ; then I would come and talk to Mr. ,
and try to cheer him up.
294 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
" Tell him from me that if his sins have been
even as bad as his dreams, there is a morning
coming, as we hope, both for him and for us,
when sins as well as dreams will be done with.
Those who sincerely desire to awake to right-
eousness in this life through their merciful
Saviour, and to keep awake by the power of
his Good Spirit, may gratefully hope to awake
to blessedness in the next, and never to grow
drowsy any more through dulness of soul and
weariness of body, nor dreamy because of con-
fusing pain or saddening memories.
" Dreams may come from above, and so they
may from below. And when they come from
below, our Heavenly Friend knows the distress
they occasion, and will make their evil work to
good account for us. Remember, He that is
Above is above all. Sins that sadden, and
dreams that madden, are alike under his con-
" Tell Mr. that I quite approve of his
thinking very highly of his wife, but he must
think even more highly of his God. Will a
just wife who loves her husband love him not
THE AUGMENTED "RIVULET." 295
the less but the more because of his tenderness
of conscience concerning his early life ; and will
a just God taunt the penitent man in whom, it
may be, true and humble worth is steadily
increasing, through his union with Christ ? Is
it God's design to put us to as much shame as
possible, or to save us from all unnecessary ex-
posure, as well as from the sins that, but for
his forgiving love and its purifying grace,
would have robbed us altogether of honour and
" We each of us know our own story ; and
God, who knows the worst of us, has the best
hopes for us, so to say — better than our own or
our friends' hopes, if only we desire to be made
good. None so innocent but must enter the
way of Salvation by the gate of Repentance ;
none so guilty but that Christ who died for us
all can make his sins die, and give him resur-
rection unto life."
196 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
would be thought. Let him that thinketh he
standeth, and that in the sacred enclosure of
divine doctrine, take heed lest he hold the truth
in its worldly power instead of its heavenly ; for
respectability rather than salvation ; in com-
placency with it as his, rather than in the love
of it as God's. Sloth, Fear, and Jealousy are
three chief guardians of a spurious orthodoxy.
Sloth hates the honest exertion for which
personal conviction calls ; Fear hates the
questioning spirit which it is so hard to rule
and which is certain to claim, and justly claim,
somewhat the granting of which orthodoxy feels
as loss ; and Jealousy hates the display of moral
and intellectual powers which challenge respect,
win what they challenge, and put to shame
those who boast more, but own less. That man
is the best conservative of the faith who is
conservative of His love in whom the faith has
its origin, and who seeks by * faith ' those ends,
namely, the restoration of human beings to
righteousness and happiness, and their estab-
lishment therein, at which He aims. Christ, as
a Person, gives at once clearness and fulness to
THE "RIVULET" CONTROVERSY. 197
our Christianity. * Principal things about a
Person,* I have said in the 'Letters to the
Scattered/ < are more simply and effectively
spoken than about a doctrine expressed in terms
of the intellect alone ; while yet the subject is
less exhaustible, and the discourse on it may be
far more various. Indeed, a Divine Person is an
inexhaustible subject. If Christ be such a Person,
then He hath the pre-eminence; and if He hath
not the pre-eminence, should He, can He, con-
tinue to have the prominence r ' We are servants
of Christ — students of wisdom. The service is
simple as it is great ; the field of study open as
it is wide, and productive as it is open. I am
continually teaching that the spirit of Christ is
the spirit of character, and that if we live by
Him, we live like Him. And here I may quote a
few words from Mr. Porter's ' Lectures on Inde-
pendency.' This gentleman is my brother-in-
law ; and Dr. Campbell speaks of us as the two
' Iconoclastic brothers.'* The peculiarity of Mr.
* "Mr. Porter is not only my relative, but my senior and
honoured friend. Why, then, should I not have liberty to say that
his recently published » Lectures on the Ecclesiastical System of
zg8 MEMOIR OF 7. T. LYNCH.
weather speaks of the peace that we hope for
when the days of eternal health come
Whether it requires more grace to be good
when well or when ill, depends partly upon
the person and partly upon the sort of illness,
so we might say. But this you will have found
out, that each state requires its special grace,
and every person his or her own particular
mercy from the Father of mercies."
His difficulty in preaching appears in the
following note — only one need not take the
sermon at his own estimate. Often when dis-
satisfied with himself, his audience was of a
widely different mind.
" 76, Arlington Street,
" $rd October, 1870.
" Our collection yesterday was fairly
good ; at any rate, it was better than the ser-
mon — that was incomprehensibly bad. There
was a good one — one to the purpose — inside
me ; but, like Marshal Bazaine, it could not get
out, though it made several desperate sorties.
THE LAST FEAR. 299
I mean to hold on a few Sundays more, and
then, if not relieved, I must capitulate."
To a friend he wrote —
" 76, Arlington Street,
" 10th October, 1870.
" As to myself, I do not like to trouble my
friends with complaining about my complaints.
Enough that — more than enough, as I have
sometimes felt — I have been this year harassed
and embarrassed with old infirmities. Afflic-
tion protracted seems to press not the grape,
but the grape-skin ; and yield not wine that
one might humbly offer to God in a sacramental
cup, but poorer, in which one's most courteous
neighbour is obliged to hint that he perceives
more acid than should be."
Here is another note of consolation —
" 76, Arlington Street,
" 19^ November, 1870.
"Dear Miss , Is it well with your I
hope so ; though you are as far as ever, or per-
300 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
haps a little farther, from being what we call
' well/ But if you are patient in suffering that
evil meant for good, which has been appointed
for you, and are ' quiet from fear of evil ' other
and greater, then it is well with you. Then
may we most show our trust in God, when we
have least strength in ourselves. And if it be
our true desire to escape that greatest evil —
the falling away from God into a state of ingra-
titude, distrust, and indifference — we may be
sure that He will save us from it. Perhaps you
sometimes pass from a tranquil state into one in
which you only feel that you cannot feel. But
God's faithfulness to his own word of mercy
given us does not depend on our apprehension
of it. From all that I hear of you, I rather
anticipate your entry into that better country of
which Scripture tells and hymns sing, than
your return to us here. I doubt not that plea-
sant means are provided there for the perfecting
of those who, though they humbly hope that
they shall sleep in Jesus and be blest, feel that
if they had been permitted to live longer below,
they could and they would have made greater
THE LAST YEAR.
efforts than they have yet done to learn of Him
and serve Him and resemble Him. If you have
ere long to hear the call that says ' away/ it
will, I thankfully believe, be a call < up ' as well
as ' away ; ' and in the vigour of a new life you
will know the worth of what has been here
given you in pious lessons and examples ; the
greatness of the mercy that has forgiven you
what has been amiss ; and the full power of
that Saviour who has been the nourisher of all
Good in you, and has been preparing you for
new Scenes and new Services above.
" When I wrote last I thought rather of a pos-
sible journey you might make to the Sea ; now I
rather think of one you may make to the Sky.
But whether you go Seawards or Skywards, there
is but one Providence on which you have to rely."
And another to a mother on the dangerous
illness of her son —
" 76, Arlington Street,
11 12th December, 1870.
" Anxious indeed is such watching
and waiting as yours. But there are prayers
302 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
without words, as there are ' songs without
words ; ' and the deep inward wish of a heart
that desires to submit to God always has accept-
ance with Him. Though for a while the spirit
may be as w T aters that within are dark, and upon
whose surface there is frosty stillness, yet,
because of the faithful Sun of Righteousness,
and therefore of consolation, there is hope ; the
ice will melt, the surface ripple, and within
there will be a bright calm instead of a dull one.
" I trust your son will be spared to you.
Many a mother has endeavoured to resign her
son, and then has received him back again as
from the dead, and as a divine reward for her
And here is one in a lively spirit addressed
to a friend who complained that the world, the
flesh, and the devil interfered with his happi-
" 76, Arlington Street,
" zyd Decei?iber, 1870.
" My dear Mr. , One consolation I can
offer you. It is better to have W., F., and D.
THE LAST FEAR. 303
for your enemies than for your friends. While
a man is intent on getting what he calls happi-
ness at any price, W., F., and D. will carouse
with him, and say they will see to it that he
does not fail. But as soon as he tries for some-
thing better than popular happiness (still liking
to have a little taste of it though, now and
then), they turn against him, and declare that
at no price (much they know about it !) shall he
have either that happiness or a better. I do
not wish certainly that you were the exclusive
object of W., F., and D.'s hostility, but I do wish
they would leave off besieging and bombarding
me — and you too, if such deliverance would be
good for you. F. flurries me, W. worries me,
and D. deceives me, if he can, but I am ' not
ignorant of his devices.' "
To an invitation to preach he thus replied —
" 76, Arlington Street,
" Jth January \ 187 1.
"I did not know your handwriting on the
envelope of your welcome letter. It never had
3 o 4 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
any evil peculiarities, but it has grown firmer,
which shows that you are a happy, successful
man. It slopes evenly like a field of summer
corn in a gentle breeze, and doesn't straggle
all ways like a mind disturbed by divers winds
" Truly I was very glad to hear from you, and
felt a pleasing sense of relief, like a man who
has been absolved of a crime. For you must
know that I had felt guilty of not having written
to you for a long time, and now I know that
I am forgiven. But I cannot confess to having
at any time forgotten you, and I can say that
often I have wished that you were my neigh-
bour, or I yours, for feeble creatures such as I
want more sympathetic associates than are easily
to be met with, even among parsons.
" It is a satisfaction to me that you can find
something to please you in the 'Mornington
Lecture.' Of course such subjects as inspira-
tion and the like are but slenderly (though I
hope tenderly too) dealt with. They have had
much fuller treatment from me in sermons.
" Sermons ! Would that I could with
THE LAST YEAR. 305
assurance accept your kind invitation. But it
would be faith passing into w/zholy boldness, I
fear, for me to do so. I am now ' feeble, old,
and grey,' and have been this year sorely
disabled. In 1869 I went to Nottingham for
some pulpit work, and that was my last
preaching expedition. It saddens me to feel
that I ought not to engage to try and serve
you as you wish. How pleased I should be
to come ! to see your good friends and your
And to the same, in reply to a renewed invi-
tation to visit and preach for him —
" 76, Arlington Street,
<< i6tk January, 187 1.
" But now to business. I feel like the gentle-
man who could not invite his friend to dinner,
because, first, there was no dinner, and then,
for many other reasons which he had not time
to specify. At any rate I must respectfully
decline to come to you, first, because I can't
come — but really I am not aware of any other
306 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
reasons for not coming, though of course I
could find them if I wished to. But I do
not. The case, however, is this. I have been
for some time, and still am, on the very
brink, so to say, of resigning my office. Phy-
sically I am very nearly disabled. I am mor-
tified and saddened, and sometimes feel as
if I could weep, wail, and gnash my teeth all
at once, because of the heavy, steady, crip-
pling pressure of infirmity. I really would
have liked to come, but I must not dally
with myself, and deceive you. It is important
that your arrangements should be certain, and
be made early.
" Mr. is said to be an energetic worker.
Such are needed. Energy! Gambetta has
enough of that ; but what counts most, is just
now most wanting — Wisdom. What a work
those two sons of Satan — Lies and Lightness
— have wrought in France ! "
Thus conscious of failing strength, in the
pulpit he exhibited no sign of weakness, and
his congregation, long familiar with his energy,
THE LAST FEAR. 307
notwithstanding infirmity, were wholly unpre-
pared for their imminent loss. He was to die
Latterly he had become very desirous of
living a little farther from town. He pined for
more space and fresher air. But the difficulty
was his inability to endure the fatigue of riding
a mile or two on Sundays before preaching.,
He felt greatly perplexed, not knowing what
step to take. On Thursday the 4th of May,
hearing of a house within a short distance, the
situation of which he thought might suit, he
determined to go and look at it ; but a violent
spasm of the heart seized him, as was then
almost always the case when he attempted to
ride, and he was obliged to return home. He
lay quietly for some hours on the sofa, and
said he would give up seeking for change of
residence, for it was evidently useless. When
a little revived, he sang in a low voice Wil-
liams's fine old hymn, " Guide me, O thou
Great Jehovah," to a tune of his own com-
In the evening he preached from Luke
308 MEMOIR OF 7. T. LYNCH.
xxii. n, "Where is the guest chamber, where
I shall eat the passover with my disciples r "
It was an address preparatory to the com-
munion on the following Sunday, and was
delivered with his usual vigour and fulness.
Those who were present will never forget that
He came home very much exhausted, but
next day prepared for his Sunday's work in
his ordinary manner. But that night, after
retiring to rest, he became ill and very feverish.
In the morning his medical friend was sent
for, who said at once that it would be impossible
for him to preach the next day. He received
the remark very quietly, and shortly after gave
directions respecting supplies for the pulpit.
He passed a very restless day, and the night
that followed was still more distressing. During
the Sunday he was unable to speak many words;
but when he did, he expressed a strong desire
to live, if it were the will of God. To his affec-
tionate nature, life had still great attractions,
and many things he had purposed were unac-
complished. Towards evening the fever left
THE LAST YEAR. 309
him, and exhaustion followed. All that his
kind medical friend could do was done, but
he never rallied. To two of his near relatives
who had been sent for, he spoke a few words.
To one who expressed a hope that they
would meet again, he said, with a momentary
return of his old energy, "I know it." His
illness from the first was so extreme, that
only one other friend could be allowed to see
him, and this friend prayed with him, com-
mending his departing spirit to God. To
him he said, " Now I am going to begin to
His medical attendant remained with him
until late on Monday night, and soon after he
left the last change began. Without struggle
or sigh, he gradually ceased to breathe on the
morning of May 9th, 1 87 1 .
He has been described as Pastor and Friend.
Of his domestic character little need be said.
As a master he was just and considerate ; as
husband and father, intensely loving and greatly
The funeral took place on Tuesday, 1 6th May.
3 io MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
After a service at Mornington Church, conducted
by the Rev. Edward White and the Rev. J. C.
Harrison, the congregation followed the body to
Abney Park Cemetery. There was a great
gathering around the grave, and says Mr.
White, "I have attended many funerals, but I
never saw so many men in tears as at Mr.
Lynch's burial." On the following Sunday the
Rev. Thomas Binney read the lessons in Morn-
ington Church, and the Rev. Samuel Cox, of
Nottingham, preached the funeral sermon, which
was afterwards printed.
A volume, entitled, " Sermons for my Curates,"
was published a few months subsequently,
edited by the Rev. Samuel Cox. The sermons
were written by Mr. Lynch some years before,
and were read to the congregation in the
evening by friendly volunteers. Hence the
Over the grave in Abney Park Cemetery a
stone with the following inscription was erected
by his congregation—
THE LAST YEAR. 311
%o the §clobcb ^Ecmorg
THE REV. THOMAS TOKE LYNCH
BORN 5TH JULY, 1818
DIED 9 th MAY, 1871
FOR 2 2 YEARS MINISTER OF THE
CONGREGATION ASSEMBLING AT MORNINGTON
CHURCH, HAMPSTEAD ROAD, LONDON
HE WAS IN HIS OWN WORDS WHEN DESCRIBING THE TRUE
PASTOR AND TEACHER
A HERALD OF GOD LOVING HIS MESSAGE
A GUARDIAN OF THE LIGHT OF GOD HOLDING IT FORTH
A SHEPHERD WHOSE WISDOM WAS AS A FOLD FOR THE
AND HIS COMFORTABLE WORDS
A HOSPICE ON THE RUDE MOUNTAINS FOR THOSE
WHO ARE CROSSING THEM ON THEIR WAY
TO THE PROMISED COUNTRY
BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHO DIE IN THE LORD
YEA, SAITH THE SPIRIT
THAT THEY MAY REST FROM THEIR LABOURS
AND THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM
" A BIRD'S heart without a bird's wings."
So Mr. Lynch once described himself; but
the best simile does little more than indicate
what many words might fail to exhaust. His
powerful, agile, and radiant spirit was enclosed
in a body unequal to its service, and thereby
limited, restrained, defeated.
Yet having said so much, let us not forget nor
be thankless for what was accomplished. If
much that he would have done he could not,
yet how large and how excellent was that which
he achieved ! His work was " the work of the
preacher," and by that work he should be
estimated. For years he preached systemati-
cally, and his sermons represented a volume
IN CONCLUSION. 313
and variety of thought, which it might be
difficult to characterise without the appearance
of exaggeration. Let any competent critic take
up the " Three Months' Ministry," and consider
that these sermons are merely an average of
hundreds, and then reflect what such hundreds
stand for. Mr. Bright has recently questioned
the possibility of preachers maintaining fresh-
ness and interest in their theme Sunday after
Sunday, though he allows that there may be
exceptions. Of exceptions, Mr. Lynch was an
eminent example. It was not difficult for him
to preach twice, or thrice, a week; nor was it
difficult to listen to him as often. Let it not,
however, be supposed that his sermons cost
little, being produced without study or effort.
On the contrary, their production was the
business of his life — his chosen and joyful
business. It was his delight to communicate
his mind to his people from the pulpit ; and to
be deprived of that communication was such
hardship that often in his feeblest times the
question for decision was, whether he would not
suffer more from the restraint of silence than
3 H MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
from the exertion of speech. His sermons were
not improvisations ; he spoke from a scheme
mentally laid down, whilst much was given in
the inspiration of the occasion. "For ten
years," testifies one of his hearers, U I never
missed a sermon or lecture that by any possi-
bility I could find my way to ; and, hearing him
uninterruptedly, I never heard him repeat him-
self. I never could say, 'That, or something
like that, have I heard before.' Hence I resorted
to him with perpetual expectation." And with
all his luxuriance there was no carelessness.
" Lynch' s ministry," said a lady, "is affluence
with accuracy." Thoughts in words went forth
together matched and mastered. He said what
he wished to say, and nothing more.
As a rule, his sermons were addressed to
thoughtful people, and presupposed a certain
information and interest in spiritual things.
" One great aim of your preacher," he said in
1 851, "is to refresh, assist, and satisfy con-
siderate, inquiring persons." This aim he
steadily pursued, and it is to be borne in mind
by every reader of his sermons. Sometimes it
IN CONCLUSION. 315
was complained that he preached over the heads
of the vulgar, but the answer was obvious that
others besides the vulgar have to be provided
for. When there was opportunity, he could
adapt his discourse to the humblest, and with a
directness and vivacity that kept every faculty
alert. Indeed, that Mr. Lynch was not a
popular preacher was due simply to the fact that
circumstances did not so shape his duty. His
mission, to use an over- worn word, was specially
to the sceptical and scattered, many of whom
were led by him into " the unity of the faith."
In dealing with doubts he was singularly suc-
cessful, and some who imagined that they had
seen an end of all arguments for Christianity,
discovered in him a body of evidence of which
they had no conception. An active agent of
unbelief, after spending an evening with him,
remarked to a friend, " If I could have seen the
Bible as Mr. Lynch exhibits it, I should never
have had a word to say against it."
To his more attached followers Mr. Lynch' s
ministry might be most adequately described as
" a comfortable ministry " — comfortable in its
3 i6 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
moral invigoration, and, beyond all, comfortable
in the constant sense that ran through his
utterances of the omnipotence of Divine Love as
revealed in Jesus Christ.
" What heaven so high, but love is still beyond ?
What hell so deep, that love is not below ?
What length of times bemused by fancy fond,
What breadth of countries has the world to show,
" Such that love is inadequate to fill,
To reach, to brighten, and to reconcile ?
All in the all is Love, and hidden still
It opens with a new and heightened smile."
Citing " The Rivulet," leads us to remark
what a celestial element it contributed to the
worship of the congregation, and how it blent
into harmony with the devotion and the instruc-
tion of the preacher. And those who so tested
" The Rivulet " year after year may most con-
fidently speak of its merits. With familiarity
the hymns lost nothing, but gained thereby,
and revealed a depth and delicacy of thought
and tenderness of feeling which a cursory
acquaintance might have missed. Indeed, like
all true poetry, "The Rivulet" requires to be
IN CONCLUSION. 317
studied, and repays study ; but whether by
reason of the disagreeable notoriety attached to
it, or simply from oversight, the volume has
never received the recognition to which it is
entitled — albeit hymn after hymn has passed
silently into the currency of the churches. It is
difficult to select examples, but what is there
finer in conception and expression in any
hymnal than this, entitled — ■
" Why stooped the Majesty on high ?
Why spake so simply the Allwise ?
How came Omnipotence to sigh ?
Why wept the Joy of all the skies ?
" Shall, then, the Father all things know
Except the children's want and pain ?
And in his heart all sunshine glow,
Except the sunshine after rain ?
" And all great things may He perform
Save greatly fill a humble part ?
And rule, but never feel, the storm
That buffets us in face and heart ?
" And may He in abstrusest lore
Teach angels his eternal sway,
But never come to our own door
To give us comfort for the day ?
3i 8 MEMOIR OF T. T. LYNCH.
" Day's burden off, its labours done,
Poor lodging at the weary end
Had He, of gold and silver none,
A needy man, and all men's friend.
" Be glad, the world of toils and scorns
But perfects Him whom first it mars ;
O, love Him for his crown of thorns,
Then praise Him for his crown of stars.'
In private Mr. Lynch was the cheerfulest of
company. Of his health he had so little to say
that was good, that he only referred to it under
compulsion. It was of others he talked, rarely
of himself. And what talk his was, genial,
sprightly, profound ! "He was the most won-
derful discourser I ever listened to," says the
Rev. Edward White. " He gave to most men
quite a new conception of the possibilities of
power in conversation. There was a method, a
grasp, a breadth, a fulness, an outpouring of
spiritual energy, a fine humour, a sweetness, too,
and a beauty reflected or borrowed from all that
is bright and fair, which simply fascinated you,
and held the ablest men spell-bound/' Few
left him without the sense of a fresh light
IN CONCLUSION. 319
on their own or the world's affairs, or without
some happy saying of amusement or consola-
tion. He was no ascetic, but a very man of the
world in capacity and common-sense. He read
widely and carefully, and what he knew he
knew thoroughly. In politics, literature, and
science he had a perennial interest, and for all
that made for human improvement the heartiest
"A bird's heart without a bird's wings :" so
he once described himself : " Now I am going
to begin to live " were among his last words as
he passed from earth :
" If we who sing must sometimes sigh,
Yet life, beginning with a cry,
In hallelujah ends."
OF MR. LYNCH' S WRITINGS.
1844. Thoughts on a Day.
1850. Memorials of Theophilus Trinal.
1853. Essays on some of the Forms of Literature.
1853. Lectures in Aid of Self-Improvement, addressed to Young
Men and Others.
1855. Hymns for Heart and Voice : The Rivulet.
1856. Songs Controversial.
1856. The Ethics of Quotation.
i860. Among Transgressors. A Theological Tract.
1 86 1. Three Months' Ministry : a Series of Sermons.
1868. The Rivulet : a Contribution to Sacred Song. [A new
edition, with sixty-seven additional hymns.]
1869. A Group of Six Sermons.
1870. The Mornington Lecture : Thursday Evening Addresses.
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST. 321
1871. Sermons for my Curates. Edited by the Rev. Samuel Cox.
1872. Letters to the Scattered, and other Papers. Contributed
chiefly to the Christian Spectator, 1855-56.
1872. Tunes to Hymns in the Rivulet. Edited by Thomas
It is sometimes asked whether Mr. Lynch left
nothing in manuscript. There are sermons,
chiefly reported, but whether any will be pub-
lished depends on circumstances. They abound
in passages alive with the author's genius, and,
if entire publication be unadvisable, we may
hope for selections.
PRINTED BY VIRTUE AND CO., CITY ROAD, LONDON.
1 , ■.