Broughton, Thomas, Am

Broughton, Thomas, A.M.

a minister of the Church of England, and one of the number known as Oxford Methodists, was a member of Exeter College, Oxford, and joined the Methodists in 1732. After leaving the university, he first officiated at Cowley, near Uxbridge. In 1736 he became curate at the Tower of London, also preached every Tuesday afternoon to the prisoners in Ludgate prison, and read prayers every night to a religious society at Wapping. "By means of Whitefield, he was presented to St. Helen's, Bishopsgate Street Within; and, through faithfulness to his old Oxford friend, he lost it. The parishioners objected to Whitefield having the use of Broughton's pulpit. Broughton answered, 'Through Mr. Whitefield's influence I obtained the living of St. Helen's, and, if he insists upon it, he shall have my pulpit.' Whitefield did insist, and Broughton lost his lectureship." In 1741 he became lecturer of All-Hallows, Lombard Street. In 1743 he was appointed secretary of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, which position he held until his death. He remained in the lectureship of All-Hallows for some years after beginning work for. the society. After his labors at this place, he accepted the living of Wotton. He attended to both the duties of his parish and secretaryship, giving five hours each day, five days of the week, to the work of the society, and Saturday and Sunday were devoted to the interests of his parish. During his term of office Wales was first supplied with Bibles, in 1743; and the people of the Isle of Man in 1763 had the same book given to them for the first time, and in their native language. On Sunday morning, December 21, 1777, in Hatton Garden, the "faithful secretary put on his ministerial robes, and, according to his wont, retired into his room till church-time. The bells were ringing, and he continued in his closet. They ceased, but he made no appearance. His friends entered, and found him on his knees dead." He was a bold, fearless, zealous, faithful preacher — much like Wesley and Whitefield in these respects. Though he was associated with the Methodists at Oxford, he never accepted the doctrines which Wesley afterwards taught justification by faith, sanctification, and the witness of the Spirit; on the contrary, he gave much opposition to the spreading of these views. See Tyerman, Oxford Methodists, page 334.

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