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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Waddy, Samuel Dousland, d.d.

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an English Wesleyan Methodist minister, son of Rev. Richard Waddy, was born at Burton-on-Trent, Aug. 5, 1804. He was educated at the Wesleyan Academy, Woodhouse Grove, Yorkshire (1813 to 1819). In 1820 he was apprenticed to a linen-draper in London-in an occupation uncongenial, and to a master unscrupulous. He and his fellow apprentice the late Samuel Warren, M.D., LL.D., author of Ten Thousand a Year, etc., and son of Dr. Samuel Warren; famous in Methodist history-had to sleep on the floor under the shop counter; and on account of his refusal to be implicated in the dishonesty of his master, young Waddy was soon banished to sell goods in a damp, cold, underground department, where, no customers appearing, he commenced, by the aid of a flickering lamp, the study of medicine. His indomitable spirit was leading the way to} eminence as a medical man, when his conversion (1822) gave him to the ministry (1825). His charges were Cambridge, Lynn (1826), Birmingham (1827), Gateshead (1829), Northampton (1831), Sheffield (1836), Hull (1840), Bath (1841), governorship of Wesley, College, Sheffield-an institution which he had founded, and now saved (1844-62), Chelsea (1862), Lambeth (1865), and Clifton, Bristol (1867). In 1842 he publicly opposed Sir James Graham's Factories Education Bill, and received the thanks of lord Duncan. In 1843 he had a remarkable escape from the shipwreck of the "Queen," on her way to Dublin, a thrilling account of which he published in London, and reprinted in his Life. The following spring he was again sent to Ireland on a missionary deputation. In 1859 he was elected president of conference, and received his doctorate from Wesleyan University, Conn. For many years he was treasurer of the Children's Fund. In 1870 Dr. Waddy became supernumerary, and retired to Redland, Bristol. Like dean Swift, he "died at the top." The intellect, too active in life, lost its cunning, the memory its power. Finally, the great spirit passed away, Nov. 7, 1876.

"Seldom has a man been entrusted with an intellect at once so strong and so sprightly; seldom have the earnest student, the powerful preacher, and the effective administrator been so happily united in the same person. Waddy was a great and noble man, of strongly marked individuality, strict integrity, and high-toned honor, admirable alike in public and private life" (Minutes, 1877, p. 18). In a beautiful and masterly memorial, an inimitable piece of characterization, Rev. William Arthur thus speaks of Dr. Waddy as a preacher: "Those who best knew these private qualities also best knew that the gravity, depth, and elevation, which took up the whole man when he appeared in the pulpit, were as spontaneous as the rest. He was not now the friend among friends, but the servant in the presence of his Master, whose greatness and whose goodness put him and all his fellow-servants to shame, and, at the same time, gave them cause for adoration, of which the deepest tone can never fully note the depth. He was now a messenger fraught with words of import, and bound, to make their sense understood and their weight and urgency felt. Then did thought sit supreme in every chamber of the spirit, and look out with a most manly earnestness from every window of the countenance. Calm, strong, reverent, and original; acute, lofty, rich, and often deep, he unfolded his Master's message, and laid his Master's will upon the soul" (see Life, p. 342 sq.). "Dr. Waddy was the brightest and most vivid of men in society. No one that ever passed a free hour in social intercourse with him could believe that even Sydney Smith was a wittier man or uttered more, or more pungent or more brilliant, mots. Every sentence sparkled; every repartee flashed. Now graceful, now caustic, now irresistibly comic and grotesque, the play of his wit was incessant and inexhaustible" (Dr. J. H. Rigg). "Like the flashing of steel, it never gave an impression of less than the strength of steel" (Arthur). "His humor was always brilliant, never cruel; like the flame of a diamond, bright but not burning" (Simpson, in N. Y. Christian Advocate, Nov. 18, 1880).

Of Dr. Waddy's writings there were published, Exeter Hall Lecture on Sincerity (Lond. 1853): Ex-presidential Charges (ibid. 1860): a volume of Sermons, issued by his family: and several Addresses, Letters, etc., preserved in his Life. See particularly a Letter to the London Times (Sept. 8, 1849) in defense of the action of the Conference in re Everett, Griffith, and Dunn (Life, p. 209-219); and a Lecture on Popery (p. 364- 405, Appendix). Waddy, like most of the British Wesleyan' divines, could see no good in the Roman Catholic Church. He closes this able lecture with a highly rhetorical and unlimited denunciation of the hated Church, a denunciation repugnant alike to fact and charity. Dr. Waddy was the brother of Rev. Benjamin B. Waddy, and father of Samuel D. Waddy, Q.C., a prominent Liberal member of Parliament, and of Rev. John T. Waddy, of the British Conference. See Minutes of Conference (Lond. 18 7), p. 17; Life of S. D. Waddy, D.D., by his youngest daughter (ibid. 1878, 12mo), a beautiful and admirably written biography. Stevenson, Hist. of City Road Chapel, p. 226.


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Waddy, Samuel Dousland, d.d.'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/w/waddy-samuel-dousland-dd.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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