BINNEY, THOMAS: English Congregationalist; b. at Newcastle-upon-Tyne Apr. 30, 1798; d. at Clapton, London, Feb. 24, 1874. He was for seven years a bookseller's clerk at Newcastle, during which time he learned Greek and Latin and accomplished considerable reading. He studied at the theological seminary at Wymondley, Hertfordshire, and was minister for a year at Bedford; became minister at Newport, Isle of Wight, 1824, of the King's Weigh-House Chapel, Eastcheap, London, 1829, and remained there forty years. After retiring from his pastorate he was professor of homiletics and pastoral theology at New College, London. He was chairman of the Congregational Union in 1848. He was strongly opposed to an established Church, and in 1833 at the laying of the corner-stone of a new chapel for the Weigh-House congregation expressed himself on the subject in language which led to a long and bitter controversy. He felt that the sermon occupied too large a place in the service of the non-ritualistic Churches and favored the introduction of responsive readings and similar changes in the form of worship; his Service of Song in the House of the Lord (London, 1848) exercised much influence in the development of a richer and better musical service, and he enriched the hymnals by the hymn "Eternal light, eternal light." He edited Charles W. Baird's Chapter on Liturgies, adding a preface and an appendix, "Are Dissenters to Have a Liturgy?" (1856). His other publications include a Memoir of Stephen Morell (1826); Dissent Not Schism (1835); a life of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton (1849); Is it Possible to Make the Best of Both Worlds? (1853); Lights and Shadows, or Church Life in Australia, observations made during a visit in 1857-59 (1860); Money, a Popular Exposition in Rough Notes (1864); St. Paul, his Life and Ministry (1866); Micah the Priest Maker, a handbook on ritualism (1867); From Seventeen to Thirty, a book for young men (1868). Two series of his Sermons Preached in the King's Weigh-House Chapel, 1829-69, were published, the second with biographical sketch by the Rev. H. Allon (1869-75).
Bibliography: Besides the sketch in the volume of his sermons, the following may be consulted: A Memorial of the late Rev. Thomas Binney, ed. J. Stoughton, London, 1874; E. P. Hood, Thomas Binney, his Mind, Life and Opinions, ib. 1874; DNB, v, 57-59.