Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Brine, John

BRINE, JOHN (1703–1765), baptist minister, was born at Kettering in 1703. Owing to the poverty of his parents he had scarcely any school education, and when a mere lad was set to work in the staple manufactory of his native town. Early in life he joined the baptists. While at Kettering he married a daughter of the Rev. John Moore, a baptist minister of Northampton, from whom he inherited Hutter's Hebrew Bible, which was to him at this time a treasure of no small value. The lady died in 1745. After some interval Brine married again.

Brine joined the baptist ministry at Kettering, and after preaching for some time received a call to Coventry. There he remained till about 1730, when he succeeded Mr. Morton as pastor of the baptist congregation at Curriers' Hall, Cripplegate. He was for a time one of the Wednesday evening lecturers in Great Eastcheap. He also preached in his turn at the 'Lord's Day Evening Lecture' in Devonshire Square. Brine resided for many years in Bridgewater Square, but during his last illness he took lodgings at Kingsland, where he died, on 24 Feb. 1765, in the sixty-third year of his age. He left positive orders that no funeral sermon should be preached for him. His intimate friend, Dr. Gill, however, preached a sermon upon the occasion to his own people, which was afterwards published, but contains no express reference to Brine. Brine was generally reputed a high Calvinist and a supralapsarian. He was called by many persons an antinomian, though his life was exemplary. He was buried in Bunhill Fields. His publications are numerous, and now scarce. In 1792 a pamphlet was published entitled 'The Moral Law the Rule of Moral Conduct to Believers, considered and enforced by arguments extracted from the judicious Mr. Brine's "Certain Efficacy of the Death of Christ."'

A complete catalogue of Brine's separate publications is given by Walter Wilson. The following are his chief works:

  1. 'The Christian Religion not destitute of Arguments, &c. … in answer to "Christianity not founded on Argument,"' 1743.
  2. 'The Certain Efficacy of the Death of Christ asserted' (a book at one time greatly in demand), 1743.
  3. 'A Vindication of Natural and Revealed Religion, in answer to Mr. James Foster,' 1746.
  4. 'A Treatise on various subjects: controversial tracts against Bragge, Johnson, Tindal, Jackson, Eltringham, and others' (in 2 vols.), 1750, 1756, 1766, which was extremely popular. It was edited by James Upton in 1813, with some of Brine's sermons added, and a life of the author prefixed (from Walter Wilson).
  5. 'Discourses at a Monthly Exercise of Prayer, at Wednesday and Lord's Day Evening Lectures, and Miscellaneous Discourses' (2 vols.); and
  6. 'Funeral and Ordination Sermons and Choice Experience of Mrs. Anne Brine, with Dr. Gill's Sermon at her Funeral,' 1750. Collected together, his pamphlets fill eight volumes octavo.

[Wilson's Dissenting Churches, ii. 574; Gill's Sermons and Tracts; John Brown's Descriptive List of Keligious Books; Jones's Bunhill Memorials; Catalogue of the late Mr. Thomas Jepps, of Paternoster Row, 1856; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

J. H. T.