Cardale, Paul (DNB00)

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CARDALE, PAUL (1705–1775), dissenting minister, was born in 1705. Aspland conjectures that he was the son of Samuel Cardale of Dudley, appointed in 1701 an original trustee of the presbyterian meeting-house. He was educated at the dissenting academy of Ebenezer Latham, M.D., held at Findern, Derbyshire, from 1720. Very early in life he became an assistant minister among the presbyterians at Kidderminster. His manuscripts show that he preached there as early as 29 May 1726. At this time his views, in accordance with his education, were Calvinistic. He was invited in 1733 by the presbyterians of Evesham to succeed his fellow-student, Francis Blackmore, M.A., who had removed in 1730 to Coventry. The congregation was small, but after Cardale's settlement it became strong enough to build a new meeting-house, of no great proportions, in Oat Street (licensed 11 Oct. 1737). Cardale's first series of sermons after the opening was circulated in manuscript, and ultimately published. It is clear that he had now got rid of his Calvinism. Cardale's name does not figure in the religious history of his time. Most of his publications were anonymous, and he was intimately known only to a very few literary divines. One of these was John Rawlins, M.A., an orthodox divine of catholic sympathies, as his writings prove, who among other preferments held the perpetual curacy of Badsey, two miles from Evesham. His closest friend, away from his own neighbourhood, was Caleb Fleming, D.D., who shared his opinions, and frequently went down from London to visit him. Priestley, to whom Cardale sent two pieces for the ‘Theological Repository,’ did not know him personally. Yet the influence of Cardale's writings on the theology of the midland presbyterians was decisive. To him, more than to any other, is due the early prevalence of Socinian as distinct from Arian views among the latitudinarian dissenters of that district. The manuscript of his most important publication, ‘True Doctrine,’ was revised by Lardner (see his Memoirs, 1769, p. 114). He was not a popular preacher, and probably did not covet that distinction. His elocution was bad, and Job Orton affirms that his ‘learned, critical, and dry discourses’ reduced his hearers at the last to about twenty people, and that he pursued his studies to the neglect of pastoral duties. But even Orton praises his ‘good sense’ and ‘good temper,’ while Priestley writes to Lindsey that ‘he is, by all accounts, a most excellent man.’ Latterly, his sedentary habits impaired his health, but his mind was keen. On 28 Feb. 1775 he put the finishing touch to a work which he had been elaborating for a couple of years, and, retiring to rest, passed away in sleep before dawn on Wednesday, 1 March. He was buried in the north aisle of All Saints', Evesham, where is a remarkable epitaph written by his friend Rawlins, which describes him ‘as a christian, pious and sincere; as a minister of the gospel, learned and indefatigable;’ and adds that the virtue of charity ‘gave a lustre of grace and goodness to all his actions.’ Cardale married Sarah Suffield, a lady of some property, three years his senior, who died without issue about 1767. Aspland remarks that it was not till after her death that he began to publish his heresies. Portraits of Cardale and his wife were long preserved at Dudley by the Hughes family, and are now the property of the Evesham congregation. Judging by the portrait, Cardale had a good presence; his physiognomy expresses great tenacity of purpose. He published: 1. ‘The Gospel Sanctuary,’ 1740, 8vo (seven sermons from Ex. xx. 24). 2. ‘A New Office of Devotion,’ &c., 1758, 8vo (anon.). 3. ‘The Distinctive Character and Honour of the Righteous Man,’ &c., 1761, 8vo (funeral sermon from Matt. xiii. 43, for Rev. Francis Blackmore). 4. ‘The True Doctrine of the New Testament concerning Jesus Christ,’ &c., 1767, 8vo, 2nd ed. 1771, 8vo (anon.; has prefatory essay on private judgment, and appendix on Jo. i. The main argument is in the form of a letter, and signed ‘Phileleutherus Vigorniensis’). 5. ‘A Comment upon … Christ's Prayer at the close of his Public Ministry,’ 1772, 8vo (anon.). 6. ‘A Treatise on the Application of certain Terms … to Jesus Christ,’ &c., 1774, 8vo (anon.). Posthumous was 7. ‘An Enquiry whether we have any Scripture-warrant for a direct Address … to the Son or to the Holy Ghost?’ &c., 1776, 8vo (edited by Fleming; prefixed is a short notice of Cardale, and appended is a letter (1762) from Lardner to Fleming on the personality of the Holy Ghost). His contributions to the ‘Theological Repository’ are ‘The Christian Creed’ in vol. i. 1769, p. 136, and ‘A Critical Inquiry’ into Phil. ii. 6, in vol. ii. 1771, pp. 141, 219. Cardale bequeathed his manuscripts to Fleming. Except the ‘Enquiry,’ which was ready for press, they were chiefly devotional. Fleming, who died in 1779, aged 80, finding that his infirmities would prevent him from making a selection for the press, formed the intention of returning the papers to Cardale's executors, one of whom was the Rev. James Kettle of Warwick, a native of Evesham (d. about 1805). Priestley on 12 May 1789 writes to Toulmin: ‘I received from Mr. Lindsey some time ago a small volume, 12mo, of Mr. Cardale's devotional compositions.’ Aspland treats this as a posthumous publication, but there is no other trace of it. It would seem that Toulmin was engaged on a memoir of Cardale, but it never appeared. In 1821 Timothy Davis, minister of Oat Street chapel, Evesham, had a diary and other papers of Cardale, all in shorthand.

[Fleming's Few Strictures, prefixed to the Enquiry, 1776; Aspland's Brief Memoir of Cardale, 1852, reprinted from the Christian Reformer; Monthly Repos. 1821, p. 527; Christian Moderator, 1827, 241; Rutt's Mem. of Priestley, 1831, i. 133, 1832, ii. 19, 23; Sibree and Caston's Independency in Warwickshire, 1855, 131; manuscript notes by Sergeant Heywood, in his copy of the True Doctrine (afterwards in the possession of Bishop Turton).]

A. G.