Thomas Ridgley

NPG D27498; Thomas Ridgley by John Vandergucht, after Bartholomew DandridgeThomas Ridgley, independent theologian, was born in London about 1667. He was educated for the ministry in Wiltshire, presumably under John Davison at Trowbridge. In 1695 he was chosen assistant to Thomas Gouge, pastor of the independent church at Three Cranes, Fruiterers’ Alley, Thames Street, London. On Gouge’s death he succeeded to the pastorate, which he held till his own death, being assisted by John Hurrion and (from 1732) by Samuel Parsons. On the death of Isaac Chauncy he was elected (in 1712) divinity tutor to the Fund Academy in Tenter Alley, Moorfields, established by the London congregational fund board in 1696. His coadjutor in classics and science was John Eames.

Ridgley had abundance of theological learning, and was a good instructor. His position as a teacher was that of a bulwark of dissenting orthodoxy against the prevalent tendencies to Arian and Arminian laxity. This duty he discharged with great ability and considerable individuality of treatment. Yet his scheme of the Trinity, denuded of the generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit, is essentially Sabellian, and in easing the difficulties of Calvinism he follows the Socinians in limiting the penalties of Adam’s sin to death and temporal discomfort.

In 1719 he took the side of subscription in the Salters’ Hall debates, thus ranging himself with the older Presbyterians; while Hunt, Lowman, Lardner, and Jennings, his juniors among the learned independents, were for non-subscription. His lectures expository of the larger catechism of the Westminster divines constitute his ‘Body of Divinity,’ which, issued by subscription in 1731, became a textbook of moderate Calvinism, and gained him the diploma of D.D. from Aberdeen.

Ridgley died on 27 March 1734, aged 66, and was buried in Bunhill Fields. [More via Wikisource]

The Works of Thomas Ridgley:

A Body of Divinity (Volume 1). (560 pages)
{pdf epub mobi txt web via Internet Archive}
An exposition of questions 1-13 of the Westminster Larger Catechism.

A Body of Divinity (Volume 2). (600 pages)
{pdf epub mobi txt web via Internet Archive}
An exposition of questions 14-64 of the Westminster Larger Catechism.

A Body of Divinity (Volume 3). (568 pages)
{pdf epub mobi txt web via Internet Archive}
An exposition of questions 65-136 of the Westminster Larger Catechism.

A Body of Divinity (Volume 4). (512 pages)
{pdf epub mobi txt web via Internet Archive}
An exposition of questions 137-196 of the Westminster Larger Catechism.

An Essay Concerning Truth and Charity. (104 pages)
{pdf epub mobi txt web via Internet Archive}
Showing the fundamental articles of saving faith, church discipline in the early church, and how uncharitableness reveals itself in the conduct of men towards one another.

Exercises by way of Catechising the Ten Commandments.
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The Unreasonableness of the Charge of Imposition Exhibited against Several Dissenting Ministers in and About London Considered. (51 pages)
{pdf epub txt web via Google Books}