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

GUYSE, JOHN (1680–1761), independent minister, was born at Hertford in 1680. He was educated for the ministry at the academy of the Rev. John Payne at Saffron Walden, and began to preach in his twentieth year. He sometimes assisted William Haworth, then minister of a congregation of dissenters in Hertford, and succeeded him in the charge 27 Sept. 1705. His ministry at Hertford was distinguished by the vigour of his attacks upon Arianism. In 1727 he was invited to become first minister of a congregation which had been formed by a secession from Miles Lane, Cannon Street, and had established itself in New Broad Street. Being advised to leave Hertford, as his health was overtaxed, he complied with the request. From about 1728 he preached the Coward lecture on Fridays at Little St. Helen's, and from 1734 the Merchants' lecture on Tuesdays at Pinners' Hall. Two Coward lectures, which he published in 1729 under the title of 'Christ the Son of God,' were attacked by Samuel Chandler in 'A Letter to the Rev. John Guyse.' Guyse replied with 'The Scripture Notion of preaching Christ further cleared and vindicated in a letter to the Rev. Mr. Samuel Chandler,' 1730. Chandler then wrote 'A Second Letter' to Guyse, which the latter answered in an appendix to a 'Sermon on the Death of John Asty.' The chief complaint against him seems to have been the fact that he had accused ministers generally of not preaching Christ. The disputants used each other extremely ill, but were afterwards reconciled. Guyse received the degree of D.D. from Aberdeen in 1733 (Gent. Mag. iii. 48). He was an active member of the King's Head Society, which was formed for the purpose of assisting young men to obtain academical training for the ministry. In his old age he became lame and blind, but his blindness was thought to have improved his sermons by compelling him to preach without notes, so that it was said that one of his congregation told him she wished he had become blind twenty years earlier. His only son, William Guyse, was his assistant at New Broad Street from 1728 till his death in 1758. He himself died on 22 Nov. 1761.

Besides the works mentioned above he wrote the following:

  1. 'Jesus Christ God-Man, several sermons,' 1719.
  2. 'A Sermon on the Plague of Marseilles,' 1720.
  3. 'The Holy Spirit a Divine Person, several sermons,' 1721.
  4. 'The Standing Use of the Scripture, several sermons,' 1724.
  5. 'Remarks on a Catechism' (written by James Strong of Ilminster).
  6. 'A Present Remembrance of God.' 1730.
  7. Nine sermons in the Berry Street collection.
  8. 'Youth's Monitor, six annual sermons,' 1736.
  9. 'An Exposition of the New Testament in the form of a paraphrase,' 3 vols. 4to, 1739-52.
  10. 'In conjunction with Isaac Watts, the preface to Jonathan Edwards's 'Narrative of the Conversion of many Hundred Souls in Northampton,' 1737.
  11. 'A Collection of Seventeen Practical Sermons, to which is added an exhortation' (all originally published separately), 1756.

[Urwick's Nonconformity in Hertfordshire, pp. 542 et seq.; John Conder's Funeral Sermon on Guyse; Protestant Dissenters' Mag. iii. 441-6; Wilson's Dissenting Churches, ii. 229-43; Brit. Mus. Cat. of Printed Books; Watt's Bibl. Brit.]

E. C-n.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.143
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
394 i 31 Guyse, John: for was ordained read began to preach
32 for He was chosen assistant to read He sometimes assisted
35 for on his death soon afterwards. read in the charge 27 Sept. 1705.
ii 38 before John Conder's insert Urwick's Nonconformity in Hertfordshire, pp. 542 et seq.;