1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hall, Christopher Newman

HALL, CHRISTOPHER NEWMAN (1816–1902), English Nonconformist divine, was born at Maidstone on the 22nd of May 1816. His father was John Vine Hall, proprietor and printer of the Maidstone Journal, and the author of a popular evangelical work called The Sinner’s Friend. Christopher was educated at University College, London, and took the London B.A. degree. His theological training was gained at Highbury College, whence he was called in 1842 to his first pastorate at the Albion Congregational Church, Hull. During the twelve years of his ministry there the membership was greatly increased, and a branch chapel and school were opened. At Hull Newman Hall first began his active work in temperance reform, and in defence of his position wrote The Scriptural Claims of Teetotalism. In 1854 he accepted a call to Surrey chapel, London, founded in 1783 by the Rev. Rowland Hill. A considerable sum had been bequeathed by Hill for the perpetuation of his work on the expiration of the lease; but, owing to some legal flaw in the will, the money was not available, and Newman Hall undertook to raise the necessary funds for a new church. By weekly offertories and donations the money for the beautiful building called Christ Church at the junction of the Kennington and Westminster Bridge Roads was collected, and within four years of opening (1876) the total cost (£63,000) was cleared. In 1892 Newman Hall resigned his charge and devoted himself to general evangelical work. Most of his writings are small booklets or tracts of a distinctly evangelical character. The best known of these is Come to Jesus, of which over four million copies have been circulated in forty different languages. Newman Hall visited the United States during the Civil War, and did much to promote a friendly understanding between England and America. A Liberal in politics, and a keen admirer of John Bright, few preachers of any denomination have exercised so far-reaching an influence as the “Dissenters’ Bishop,” as he came to be termed. He died on the 18th of February 1902.

See his Autobiography (1898); obituary notice in The Congregational Year Book for 1903.