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topics , bat contain explicit statements of the' writer * * sentfrnents respecting the nature and design of Christianity . It appears that he believed at that time in the pre-existence of Christ ; in all . other respects these sermons contain the same doctrine which he afterwards preached . The learned Dr . Blomfield , now Bishop of Chester , has recently asserted of the class of Dissenting teachers to which Mr . Yates
belonged , that they retained their situations by the most disingenuous artifices ; and it is not unusual with many zealous defenders of orthodoxy , both in the Church and out of it , to assert , that the ministers of Mr . Yates s age and denomination studiously concealed their obnoxious opinions , and by cautious insinuations seduced their hearers into the
reception of the errors which they had themselves embraced . But from Mr . Yates ' s numerous stock of manuscript sermons , from the recollection of his hearers , and from the uniform tenor of his private conversation , all who are able to judge will be ready to testify that he always expressed his sentiments with great freedom , and encouraged the same
sincerity and love of truth in others . It was his practice to aid his flock in the pursuit or religious truth , and with manly eloquence to vindicate the great distinguishing principles of the party to which he belonged , the principles of the right and duty of free inquiry , and of the independence of Christianity upon the patronage of the civil power . The strain
of his preaching was eminently practical , enforcing the duties of the warmest love to God , of the most extended benevolence to man ; and although he never delivered any doctrines but those of Unitarianism , he rarely treated them expressl y as polemical , because he thought such investigations more suitable to the closet than to the house of prayer .
Of the exemplary manner in which he dischaged his pastoral duties , the Rev . Wm . Shepherd , in the excellent and impressive sermon which he preached on the occasion of his death , thus speaks . " On this subject I appeal to the recollection of those of you who have listened with teachable minds to his religious
instructions ; and who have entered into the spirit of his devotional exercises , which were so rich , so copious , so fervent , and yet so chastened , the evident emanations of reverential awe and enlightened piety . I appeal to those whom he has so often visited in the tinje of their , sickness and of their sorrow . I
appeal to the rich , to whom he has pointed out objects worthy of their beneficent
aid ; and to the poor , whom he has taught to adorn their station by the virtues of industry and honesty . I appeal to those whom he has admonished of error , as well as to those whom he has encouraged in the way of Well-doing . Believe me , my friends , his heart was in his office . As he began his pastoral labours with zeal , with zeal he continued them . Sincere were the aspirations which he breathed for your welfare , as men and as Christians , Of him it may be truly said , that
" 'In his duty , prompt at every call , He watched and wept , he prayed and felt for all / " And as truly may it be said , that in the enjoyment of affluence , he lived not to himself . He was simple in his taster , and strictly temperate in his pleasures . Selfishness was no ingredient in his character . He was fond of the cheerfulness of society , and his door was opened wide
in hospitality . At his dwelling , those who had the slightest claim to his notice found a friendly welcome . Though he turned away in sorrow from irreclaimable profligacy and vice , he never turned away from misfortune . He ' saved the poor that cried , the needy , and him that had none to help him . ' The mere bestowal of money is frequently the effort of irresolute indolence , to get rid of
importunity ; but to enter kindly , minutely and affectionately , as our friend did , into the concerns of others , demands the union of : a discerning intellect and of a compassionate heart . " In the year 1779 he was married to Mrs . Bostock , the widow of Dr . Bostock , an eminent physician in Liverpool . Of this excellent lady it may be truly
said that she passed her days in an entire devotion to her duty ; as a wife , as a mother , as a friend , as a pious and humble Christian , as a liberal benefactor of the poor , she was most worthy of imitation . With her he passed nearly forty years of increasing satisfaction , and by her he had a numerous family , whom , together with Mrs . Yates * s son by her former husband , ( the present Dr .
Bostock , ) he educated with the greatest care . " He was , " says Mr . Shepherd , " exemplary in the discharge of the duties of domestic life . As a husband , he was affectionate ; as a father , he was judiciously kind * Upon his children in their early days , he laid steadily , bat gently , the hand of restraint ; till by just degrees , as they Increased in years , authority was relaxed into influence and Influence was mellowed into confidence . "
Obituary . —Rev . John Yates . 0
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1827, page 67, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1792/page/67/