Bridges, Charles (DNB00)

BRIDGES, CHARLES (1794–1869), evangelical divine, was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge, and proceeded B.A. 1818, M.A. 1831. He was ordained deacon in 1817, priest in 1818, and in 1823 was presented to the vicarage of Old Newton, near Stowmarket in Suffolk. In 1849 he was nominated vicar of Weymouth, where he remained till failing health induced him to retire to the rectory of Hinton Martell in Dorsetshire, to which he was presented by Lord Shaftesbury. Bridges was a prominent member of the evangelical party in the church, and author of many popular devotional and theological treatises. Among his works may be mentioned a 'Memoir of Miss M. J. Graham' (1823), of which several editions were published, a similarly executed 'Memoir of Rev. J. T. Nottidge' (1849), and a 'Life of Martin Boos, Roman Catholic Priest in Bavaria' (1855), which forms the fifth volume of the 'Library of Christian Biography,' edited by R. Bickersteth. Besides these devotional biographies, he wrote 'An Exposition of Psalm cxix.' (1827), which ran through several editions, and was also translated into German; 'An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs' (1846); 'Forty-eight Scriptural Studies' (5th ed. 1833); 'Fifty-four Scriptural Studies '(1837); and several smaller devotional and practical tracts. A book entitled 'The Christian Ministry, with an Inquiry into the causes of its Inefficiency, and with special reference to the Ministry of the Establishment' (1830) reached many editions. He also published several sermons, one of the latest of which, against 'Vain Philosophy' (1860), is a counterblast to the teaching of broad-church divines. A small selection from Bridges' correspondence was published at Edinburgh in the year after his death, under the title of 'Letters to a Friend.'

[Register and Mag. of Biography, i. 399; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

R. B.