Orton, Job, Stp

Orton, Job, S.T.P., an eminent English divine of the Independent body, noted as an expositor of sacred writ and as a pulpit laborer, was born at Shrewsbury Sept. 4, 1717. To his parents, who were the patrons of piety and good men, he was indebted for early instruction in the Christian faith, and he imbibed from them the principles of pure religion. In his native town he acquired a considerable portion of classical learning. In his sixteenth year he was put under the tuition of Dr. Charles Owen, of Warrington, who had usually with him a few young men designed for the work of the ministry. In 1734 he was sent to Dr. Doddridge's academy at Northampton; and, after going through the ordinary course of studies, he was in 1739 appointed assistant to the doctor in his academical labors. Young Orton discharged the duties of this office with singular ability, prudence, and success. In 1741 he was taken from this situation to his native town by the united voices of the Presbyterian and Independent congregations, which joined to receive him as their pastor. On Dr. Doddridge's decease, he was pressingly invited to succeed him in the academy and congregation; but this, as well as a call to succeed Dr. Hughes in London, he declined, and continued his labors at Shrewsbury till compelled by ill-health to resign the pastoral office. After this he devoted himself to literary pursuits, so far as his health would allow till his death, which occurred at Kidderminster July 19, 1783. "Few men were more diligent than Mr. Orton, or mnore conscientious in performing the various duties of his office. To the end of his life his heart was set on doing good; and when he had ceased to preach, conversation, letters, plans of sermons, were sent to his friends, and every private method in his power was resorted to. With the same view he published books: viz. Discourses on Eternity (1764, several editions), On Zeal (1774, 12mo), On Christian Worship (1775, 12mo): — Meditations for the Sacrament (1777, 12mo): — several volumes of Sermons, etc. His Life of Dr. Doddridge (Salop, 1766, 80o, and often) is one of the most useful books to a student and a minister." But the principal work from the pen of Dr: Orton was published after his decease, and is entitled A Short and Plain Exposition of the Old Testament, with Devotional and Practical Reflections, for the Use of Families (edited by Robert Gentleman, from the author's MSS., 6 vols. 8vo, 1798; 2d ed. 6 vols. 1822). "It is composed on the plan of Doddridge's Expositor, with which it forms a complete commentary on the entire Bible. It is well adapted to the object for which it was intended, and exhibits good sense and much sound exposition. In its own department it has not been superseded" (Kitto). See Jones, Christian Biog. s.v.; Kippis, Biog. Brit. v. 308; Alibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, 2:1462, 1463; Lowndes, Brit. Lib. p. 640, 821.

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