Reed, Andrew

Reed, Andrew D.D., an English Independent divine, noted as one of the greatest philanthropists of our age, was born in 1788 at London, where his father, a pious man, was a watchmaker in Butcher Row, St. Clement's Danes. Many a time, it is said, Andrew's mother would keep the shop while his father was off on a preaching tour; for he was much given to itinerating in the suburban towns, proclaiming among the benighted "the truth as it is in Jesus," and so interested became he in this glorious work that Mrs. Reed found it needful to provide for the family herself by opening a china-shop, which she kept for twenty years in Chiswell Street. Young Andrew was brought up in the trade of his father, and no one supposed that he would ever leave watch-making to go on the same errand as his father. Sent to a school in Islington to get such an education as was needful for an ordinary artisan, Andrew evinced a predilection not only for all study, but especially for the dead languages. He begged to be allowed to study Greek and Hebrew. The careful mother, anxious to prevent her son's defection-for she hoped from him support in the business his father had so much neglected -took him finally from school and apprenticed him to a master. But the temptation of books was a very harmless one compared with the temptations of another kind that awaited Andrew in his new situation. His master's son was a wild youth, and the young apprentice entered on his diary the following: "By the wicked behavior of my master's son I was made still worse. I went twice or thrice to the accursed play-houses." On this account he got his indentures cancelled and returned to the parental roof. Working the usual hours at watchmaking, in his leisure he kept his mother's books, instructed his sister, and taught a little orphan girl, their servant, to read and write — thus early beginning his orphan work. Books, books, evermore books, were the choice friends of his leisure hours; and though he worked well at his trade, his good mother in her diary might well write down, "These are things which, if the lad be for business. show too much taste for study." She was so far right that God was leading him through secular to sacred pursuits. Andrew Reed's Hebrew and Greek studies led him to theology, and his joy knew no bounds when it was decided in the family counsels that he might go to college. He dismantled his little workshop, sold his tools, and laid out the money in books. He entered Hackney Seminary, a collegiate and theological school of the Independents. It is needless to say that when he was ready to graduate his record was already begun as a preacher. He had many invitations to settle. Among other calls was that of colleague to the celebrated preacher Matthew Wilks (q.v.) at the Tabernacle. But Reed gave the preference to the church in the New Road, East London, where he remained the pastor for half a century. He resigned the place on Nov. 27, 1861, the anniversary of his birth and of his ordination. He died Feb. 25, 1862, happy to the last and conscious of his Master's love. Rarely, if ever, was such a record closed as this event ended. More than most men — even Christian ministers —Dr. Reed seems to have lived in the presence of some great public purpose, and to have consecrated, or rather sacrificed, all things to its accomplishment. Thus we read in the Memoir' published by his sons (Lond. 1863) that at times he was so engrossed that he would not dine with his family for a week. "In the last four years," he writes in his diary, "I have been four hundred times to Earlswood [asylum for idiots]; each time has consumed the best part of a day, so that I may fairly say that it has cost me a whole year." Indeed, nothing less than a consecration like this could have accomplished Dr. Reed's work. He must, moreover, have combined the physical strength of a giant with the powerful will of the Christian philanthropist. He was one of the most successful and popular preachers of his day — the laborious pastor of one of the largest churches in the metropolis; and yet he found time to originate not only the Hackney Grammar-school, but five great national benevolent institutions — viz. the London Orphan Asylum, the Infant Orphan Asylum at Wanstead, the Asylum for Fatherless Children at Reedham, the Idiot Asylum at Earlswood, with its branch establishment at Colchester, and the Hospital for Incurables. The aggregate cost of their erection was £129,320; they accommodate 2110 objects of charity; and their total receipts under his administration amounted to the respectable sum of £1,043,566 13s. ld. Emphatically was his "a life, with deeds to crown it." Andrew Reed began his work among the seafaring population of London. He befriended the parents, established schools for the children, and founded the first penny bank for savings. Besides these stupendous works of faith and labors of love, he founded a Home for Incurables; and, not forgetting the interests of education while employed in helping the helpless, he was the friend of the Hackney Grammar-school, and always the active promoter of Sabbath and day schools for the children of the industrial classes. He not only refused all remuneration for his great services, but contributed, besides, a large part of his yearly income in charity. The five asylums that he founded alone received from his hand £4540. When he opened a chapel he was ever ready with his £10, £20, and even £50, to encourage its friends to discharge a debt incurred in its erection. He lived in the most simple way, that he might have the more to give to him that needed. His remarkable success in his vast and varied enterprises he owed to his extraordinary business powers, his great sagacity, and his determined will. Few men saw more clearly what was to be done, or knew better how to do it. One record strikingly exhibits the stern kind of discipline that he was wont to exercise upon himself, and the resolute determination with which he concentrated his energies upon his object:

"The measure of mercy is the measure of obligation. Of the course I should take at present I see nothing. All is dark. very dark. Work which I had thought to do is now abandoned. This one thing is left me, and I will do it. For discipline I will do it. I have naturally a love for the beautiful, and a shrinking, almost a loathing, of infirmity and deformity. The thing I would not do is the very thing I

am now resolved to do. Alas! poor idiot! while he is the greater sufferer, I am the greater sinner." His benevolence was both a natural enthusiasm and a sacred religious duty, and whatever his warm heart prompted, his clear head conceived and his strong hand executed. A keen discriminator of character, he knew how to bend the wills of others to his purpose. As a speaker, he was endowed with very great power of eloquence. After the fashion of his generation, he was somewhat rhetorical and magniloquent, but there was a mighty power of passion in him. His Sermons and Charges, recently published, contain specimens of a very high order of pulpit eloquence; and few sermons of modern times have produced a greater effect than his missionary sermon at Surrey Chapel. His power in the pulpit was attested by his own crowded chapel, and by the large numbers whom he admitted to his Church fellowship. He was a polemic of no mean power — "a sharp threshing- instrument having teeth;" and perhaps earl Russell never listened to a more powerful or skilful storm of rhetoric than at the British and Foreign School meeting in Exeter Hall, when Dr. Reed claimed him as a leader in opposition to Sir J. Graham's Factories Bill. Dr. Reed's power of work was immense; his recreation was change of benevolent employment, either the energetic prosecution of some philanthropic scheme or a campaign of provincial preaching. Amid all his literary and other labors, he did not think of writing his life. One of his sons, perceiving that his venerable father was fast failing, asked him if he had ever arranged any memoir. Dr. Reed replied by writing the following note:

"To my saucy boy who said he would write my life, and askedfor materials:



THE MOST FOR THE MOST UNHAPPY; AND THE PEOPLE, WHEN THEY KNOW IT, WILL NOT ALLOW ME TO DIE OUT OF LOVING REMEMBRANCE." What can be added to such a summary? "It is not surprising that the sons of Dr. Andrew Reed should wish to publish the history of his life of goodness and active benevolence — though, in fact, the permanent records of his character and works exist in the many institutions which owe their existence to his activity and devotion." These are the words of the queen of England in reference to a man who was the honored instrument of doing such a vast amount of good that his name undoubtedly ranks among the first philanthropists of the age. Dr. Reed wrote many works in practical theology, principally on practical religion — all of which have had a most extensive circulation, and of which a list is given in Allibone. Dr. Reed is the author of many hymns, among which is the one beginning "There is an hour when I must part." In 1835 he visited this country as a representative of the Congregational Union of Britain, and made many friends here. On his return home, he wrote on his Visit to the American Churches, and the work was republished here (N.Y. 1835, and often). See, besides, the Memoir (Lond. 1863, small 8vo; 3d ed. 1867); London Reader, 1863, ii, 724; London Patriot. Dec. 17, 1863; Eclectic and Congregational Rev. Jan. 1864; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Auth. s.v.; Grant, Metropolitan Pulpit, 1839, ii, 265-278; Men of the Times (1862), p. 648.

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