Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 40.djvu/218

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in a letter published in Hickes's 'Controversial Letters,' 1705. Nelson's investigation, in his life of Bull, of the use made of Bull's great work upon the Nicene Creed by Samuel Clarke led to a controversy with Clarke in the next year. The publication of the life of Bull was delayed by a great fire at the printer's, William Bowyer, when Nelson exerted himself to raise a considerable sum towards replacing the loss. He had been long suffering from asthma and dropsy in the breast, and was weakened by his labours upon Bull's life. He died at Kensington in the house of Mrs. Wolf, daughter of Sir Gabriel Roberts, on 16 Jan. 1714-5. He was the first person buried at a new cemetery in Lamb's Conduit Fields. The place was selected, it is said, to overcome a prejudice which others had taken against being buried there, and 'produced the desired effect.' A monument was erected on the spot, with a long inscription by George Smalridge, bishop of Bristol. It was restored in 1839, when threatened with demolition by the vestry of St. George the Martyr.

Nelson left a large number of bequests to relations and to the various charities with which he was connected. The remainder of his fortune was to be devoted to charitable purposes at the discretion of his executors. There are three portraits by Kneller: one given to the Stationers' Company by Nichols in 1779, a replica which in 1860 belonged to the Rev. H. M. Majendie, and a third given to the Bodleian in 1769. A 'wretched daub' in the committee-room of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge is apparently a copy of the first. Nelson's works are: 1. 'Transubstantiation contrary to Scripture; or the Protestant's Answer to the Seeker's Request,' 1687. 2. 'The Practice of True Devotion, in relation to the End as well as the Means of Religion, with an Office for the Holy Communion,' 1698 (anon.); 2nd ed. 1715, preface dated 23 Aug. 1708. 3. 'An earnest Exhortation to Householders to set up the Worship of God in their Families . . .' 1702 (anon.) 4. 'Companion for the Festivals and Fasts of the Church of England, with Collects and Prayers for each Solemnity,' 1704. In this book Nelson was much helped by his friends Kettlewell, Lee, Brokesby, and Cave. Though it does not aim at originality or eloquence, the skilfulness of the execution and the sincerity of purpose gave it unrivalled popularity as a popular manual of Anglican theology. In four and a half years ten thousand copies were printed. A thirty-sixth edition appeared in 1826, and it has since been reprinted. It was translated into German twice, and Welsh, and has been abridged and revised, but never supplanted. 5. 'The whole Duty of a Christian by way of Question and Answer, exactly pursuant to the Method of the Whole Duty of Man, for the use of Charity Schools about London,' 1704 (anon.) 6. 'The Necessity of Church Communion vindicated from the scandalous Aspersions of a late pamphlet, entituled "The Principles of the Protestant Reformation, &c.,"' 1705 (anon.) 7. 'A Letter to an English Priest of the Roman Communion at Rome,' 1705 (in Hickes's collection of that year). 8. 'The great Duty of frequenting the Christian Sacrifice,' 1707(enlarged from the chapter on vigils in 'Companion'). 9. 'Instructions for those that come to be confirmed by way of Question and Answer,' 1706 (also prefixed to 'Christian Sacrifice' in 1712). 10. 'The Life of Dr. George Bull . . . with the History of those Controversies in which he engaged, and an Abstract of those fundamental Doctrines which he maintained,' &c., 1713. 11. Letter prefixed to James Knight's anonymous 'Scripture Doctrine of the . . . Trinity, vindicated from the Misrepresentations of Dr. Clarke,' 1714. 12. 'An Address to Persons of Quality and Estate,' with an appendix of papers, 1715 (reprinted Dublin, 1752), contains many proposals since carried out—e.g. hospitals for incurables and different diseases, theological colleges, and ragged, or, as he calls them, 'blackguard' schools. Nelson also published À Kempis's ' Christian Exercises,' Fenelon's 'Pastoral Letter,' and various notices in the posthumous works of Kettlewell and Bull.

[Memoirs of the Life and Times of the pious Robert Nelson, by the Rev. C. F. Secretan, 1860. This book is based on a careful collection of all the materials for Nelson's life, and contains many of his letters printed in full, with minutes from the records of the societies in which he was concerned. Some to Mapletoft had appeared in the European Magazine for 1788 and 1789, others are in the Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian and in the British Museum. See also Life of Kettlewell, 1718, App. lxxx-xciv; Nathaniel Marshall's Defence of our Constitution, App.; Brokesby's Life of Dodwell, 1715, App.; Knight's Life of Colet, 1823, pp. 361-5; Birch's Life of Tillotson, x, xxii, xxiii-vi, xxxvi, lxiv, lxxi, lxxii, lxxv, lxxviii, xcv; Brydges's Restituta, iii. 221; Life of Ambrose Bonwicke; Biog. Brit. 1760; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iv. 1 88-222 and elsewhere; Lathbury's Hist. of the Nonjurors, pp. 204, 209, 211, 241; Teale's Lives of English Laymen, 1842.]

L. S.

NELSON, SYDNEY (1800–1862), composer, son of Solomon Nelson, was born in London on 1 Jan. 1800. Evincing musical ability when quite young, he was adopted by