Cathcart's Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881
John Rippon, D.D., (1751-1836) was born at Tiverton, in Devonshire, England, in 1751. When about sixteen years of age he was called by divine grace to follow Jesus. When a little over seventeen he entered Briston Baptist College. When about twenty-one he became the successor of the great Dr. Gill, in London. Mr. Rippon had neither the talents nor the learning of his predecessor, but he was bold, witty, and ready in speech; his "preaching was lively, affectionate, and impressive; his administration of church affairs was marked by great prudence, and he soon became very popular. The church edifice was enlarged, and the community over which he presided was "one of the wealthiest," according to Spurgeon, "within the pale of Nonconformity." Dr. Rippon was a great friend of missions, and his church gave large sums to the home and foreign Baptist missionary societies.
He projected and edited the Baptist Annual Register, to give our brethren in Europe and America an organ through which they might address each other.
Dr. Rippon was engaged in preparing a work commemorating the saintly worthies who were interred in Bunhill Fields, but the book never was published. His plan embraced the records on every stone. J.A. Jones, in his "Bunhill Memorials," in which he gives sketches of three hundred ministers and other persons of note buried in Bunhill Fields, produced probably a much more valuable book than Dr. Rippon's time would have permitted him to write.
Dr. Rippon is best known by his "A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors, Intended to Be an Appendix to Dr. Watts? Psalms and Hymns", which was reprinted 27 times, in over 200,000 copies. This work for a long period, with the hymns of Dr. Watts, was used in Baptist churches. Mr. Spurgeon says that his "Selection of Hymns" was an estate to him. And he adds, "In his later days he was evidently in very comfortable circumstances, for we have often heard mention of his carriage and pair."
He was a friend to America in the Revolutionary struggle, as the English Baptists generally were.
He was pastor of the community now worshipping (1888) in the Metropolitan Tabernacle, over which Rev. C.H. Spurgeon at present presides, from 1773 to 1836, a period of sixty-three years.
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