Madan, Martin

, a celebrated preacher and writer, was the son of Martin Madan, esq. of Hertingfordbury near Hertford, member of parliament for Wootton Basset, and groom of the bedchamber to Frederick prince of Wales. His mother was daughter of Spencer Cowper, esq. and niece of the lord chancellor Cowper, an accomplished lady, and author of several poems of considerable merit. He was born in 1726, and was bred originally to the law, and had been called to the bar; but being fond of the study of theology, well versed in Hebrew, and becoming intimate with Mr. Jones and Mr. Romaine, two clergymen of great popularity at that time, by their advice he left the law for the pulpit, and was admitted into orders. His first sermon is said to have been preached in the church of | Allhallows, Lombard -street, and to have attracted immediate attention and applause. Being appointed chaplain to the Lock-hospital, his zeal led him to attend diligently, and to preach to the unfortunate patients assembled in the parlour: his fame also brought many others thither, till the rooms and avenues were crowded. This led to a proposal for a chapel, which was finished in 176.1, and opened with a sermon from the chaplain. He subjected himself to much obloquy, about the year 1767, by the advice he gave to his friend Mr. Havveis, to retain the rectory of Aldwincle, and several pamphlets were written on the subject; but lord Apsley (afterwards Bathurst) did not seem to consider the affair in an unfavourable light, as he afterwards appointed him his chaplain. Mr. Madan became an author in 1761, when he published, 1. “A sermon on Justification by Works.” 2. “A small treatise on the Christian Faith,1761, 12mo. 3. “Sermon at the opening of the Lock Hospital, 1762.” 4. “Answer to the capital errors of W. Law,1763, 8vo. 5. “Answer to the narrative of facts respecting the rectory of Aldwinckle,1767, 8vo. 6. “A comment on the Thirty-nine Articles,1772, 8vo. 7.“Thelyphthora,1780, 2 vols. -&vo. In this book the author justifies polygamy, upon the notion that the first cohabitation with a woman is a virtual marriage; and supports his doctrine by many acute arguments. The intention of the work was to lessen or remove the causes of seduction; but it met with much opposition, many very severe animadversions, and cost the author his reputation among the religious world. He, however, was not discouraged; and in 1781, published a third volume, after which the work sunk into oblivion, a fate to which the masterly criticism on it in the Monthly Review, by the rev. Mr. Badcock, very greatly contributed. It is somewhat remarkable that Mrs. Manley in the “Atalantis” speaks of lord chancellor Cowper, as maintaining the same tenets on polygamy. Mr. Madan next produced, 8. “Letters to Dr. Priestley,1787, 12mo. 9. A literal version of “Juvenal and Persius,” with notes, 1789, 2 vols. 8vo: and some controversial tracts on the subject of his Thelyphthora. Mr. Madan died at Epsom in May, 1790, at the age of 64, after a short illness, and was buried at Kensington. The late Dr. Spencer Madan, bishop of Peterborough, was brother to our author. 1

1 Preceding edit, of this Dict. Lysons’s EoTirons, vol. III. Month. Rev.