High Calvinists in Action: Calvinism and the City, Manchester and London, c. 1810-1860

By Ian J. Shaw | Go to book overview

9 Andrew Reed (1787-1862)

The pursuits of the philosopher, the patriot, the philanthropist, are nothing compared with the minister of Christ. 1


Introduction

The last individual to be considered in this study of the interaction between Calvinistic belief and practical activity in the nineteenth-century urban environment is Andrew Reed. As with William McKerrow, he is included as a representative of the wider group of evangelical Calvinists against which the work of high Calvinists in similar urban environments can be tested. His ministry in the East End of London affords opportunity for comparisons to be made with the work of Joseph Irons and James Wells, and with what has been observed in the Manchester context. Reed, the son of a clockmaker, rose to be the minister of one of the largest Congregational churches in London, and through his philanthropic efforts enjoyed the favour and patronage of the royal family. He combined evangelical urgency with profound social concern. As an evangelical Calvinist he felt free to preach the gospel to all without reserve whilst relying on divine grace for effect, and to engage in vast projects for the temporal welfare of the needy. Indeed, he went beyond this, and freely associated with other humanitarian individuals, by no means all of whom shared his evangelical convictions. In terms of endeavour and achievement, Andrew Reed stands in the foremost rank of evangelical philanthropists. Sadly, he is largely a forgotten figure. 2 Philanthropy was not Reed's primary calling. He was above all the minister of a thriving church

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