Thursday, 2 April 2020

Calamy in his Continuation of the account of ministers ... ejected .... Part 2

UNEDITED will get to this
His Account of the Plague in his Treatise call'd God's Terrible Voice in the City, is very affecting. He there tells us, that it was in Holland in 1664, and the same Year began in same remote Parts of this Land, though the Weekly Bills of the City took notice but of three that then died there of that Disease. In the Beginning of May 1664, and the same Year began in some remote Parts of this Land, though the Weekly Bills of the City took notice but of three that then died there of that Disease.
In the Beginning of May 1664, and the same Year began in fame remote Parts of this Land, though the Weekly Bills of the City took notice but of three that then died there of that Disease. In the Beginning of May 1664, and the fame Year began in fame remote Parts of this Land, though the Weekly Bills of the City took notice but of three that then died there of that Disease. In the Beginning of May 1664, and the fame Year began in fame remote Parts of this Land, though the Weekly Bills of the City took notice but of three that then died there of that Disease. In the Beginning of May 1664,
and the fame Year began in fame remote Parts of this Land, though the Weekly Bills of the City
took notice but of three that then died there of
that Disease. In the Beginning of May 166? died of it in the Heart of the City, and eight in
the Suburbs. The next Week, the Bill fell from nine to three. In the next Week ic mounted from
three to fourteen, in the next to feventeen, in the next to forty-three. In June the Number increas'd r
from forty-three to one hundred and twelve ; the
next Week to one hundred fixty-eight ; the next to
two hundred fixry-feven ; the next to four hundred
and feventy. In the firft Week of July, the Number arose to seven hundred twenty-rive, the next
Week to one thoufand and eighty-nine, the next to one thoufand eight hundred forty-three, the next to
two thoufand and ten. In the firft Week in Au-
guft the Number amounted to two thoufand eight
hundred and feventeen, the next tothiee choufand
eight hundred and eighty, the next to four thou-
fand two hundred thirty-feven, the next to fix
thoufand one hundred and two. In September a De-
creafe of the Diftemper was hop'd for : Bat it was
not yet come to its Height. In the firft Week there
died of it fix thoufand nine hundred eighty-eight :
And though in the fecond Week the Number abated
to fix thoufand five hundred forty-four; yet in the
third Week it arofe to feven thoufand one hundred
iixty-five, which was the higheft : And then of the
one hundred and thirty Parifhes in and about the
City there were but four which were not infe&ed ;
and in thofe there were but few People remaining
that were not gone into the Country. In the Houfe
where he UVd, there were eight in Family ; three Men, three Youths, an old Woman, and a Maid. It
was the latter End of Sept. before any of them were
touchM The Maid was firft feiz'd with the Di-
ftemper, which began with a fhivering and trem-
bling in her Fiefti, and quickly feiz'd on her Spi-
rits. This was on the Monday, and (he died on
the Thurfday full of Tokens. On Friday one of the
Youths had a fwelling in his Groin ; and on the
Lord's Day died with the Marks of the Diitemper
upon him. On the fame Day another of the Youths
ficken'd, and on the iVednefday following he died.
On the Tburfday-N'ight the Matter of the Houfe
fell fick, and within a Day or two was full of Spots,
but was ftrangely recovered, beyond his own or
others Expectations. In the fourth Week in Septem-
ber there was a Decreafe, to five thoufand five hun-
dred thirty eight. In the firft Week of October,
there was a farther Decreafe to four thoufand nine
hundred twenty-nine ; in the next to four thou-
fand three hundred twenty-feven, the next to two
thoufand fix hundred fixty-nve, the next ta one
thoufand four hundred twenty-one, and the next to
one thoufand and thirty-one. The firft Week in Now.
there was an Increafe, to one thoufand four hundred
and fourteen ; but it fell the Week after to one
thoufand and fifty, and the Week after to fix hun-
dred fifty-two, and fo lefTen'd more and more to
the End of the Year. And the whole Number of
thofe that were reckon'd to die of the Plague in
London, this Year, was fixty- eight" thoufand five
hundred ninety-fix. But God was pleas'd to take
a particular Care of this Good Man. He continued
in perfect Health all the while, and furviv'd this
fad Providence, and was ufeful by his unwearied
Labours to a numerous Congregation, till the Year 1678.

Calamy in his Continuation of the account of ministers ... ejected .... Part 1

Of The Account Of The Ministers, Lecturers, Masters and Fellows of Colleges, and Schoolmasters, who Were Ejected and Silenced After the Restoration in 1660, by Or Before the Act for Uniformity
Pag. 32. St. Mary Magdalen Milk Street; Mr. Thomas Vincent. Add, MA of Christ Church, Oxon. He was born at Hertford in May, 1634. He and Mr. Nathanael Vincent were Sons of the Worthy Mr. John Vincent, a Minister born in the West, but who died in the rich Living of Sedgfield in the Bishoprick of Durham. It was observed of this Mr John Vincent, that he was so narrated, and forc'd upon so many Removes for his Nonconformity, that though he had a good Number of Children, yet he never had two of them born in one County. As to the Time of the Death of this Mr. Thomas Vincent, (who was the elder Brother of the two) the Year 1671, should be chang'd into 1678.
He succeeded Mr. Case in this Living, though neither the one nor the other of them are mentioned in London, Westminster and Southwark. He is mentioned in Newcourt's Rep. Eccl. Vol. I. p. 471: Only Mr. Vincent's immediate Successor is taken notice of, Mr. Thompson, who came to the Living, Sept. 9. 1662. Mr. John Evans has added some farther Account of him, before a late Edition of his useful Treatise intituled, God's Terrible Voice in the City.
He was one of the few Ministers who had the Zeal and Courage to abide in the City amidst all the Fury of the Pestilence in 1665, and pursu'd his Ministerial Work in that needful but dangerous Season with all Diligence and Intrepidity, both in publick and private. Some Divines of the Establishment maintain'd their Station at that time with a Primitive Zeal and Fervour. Dr. Anthony Walker of Aldermanbury, through the whole Vitasition, preach'd a constant Weekly Lecture at his own Church. Mr Meriton also continu'd, and so did Dr. Thomas Hcrtcn, who was encourag'd to it by that extraordi- nary Providence which had preserv'd him, when an Infant, from the Plague, while his Nurse had it upon her. But the main Body of the Publick Ministers retir'd from the Danger, and left their Pulpits vacant. In this Case the Ministers that had been silenc'd Three Years before, and had preached only privately and to small Numbers, thought it their Duty to give the best Help they could to the many Thousands that remain'd in the City. They stay'd and preach'd to vast Congregations; and the immediate Views of Death before them, made both Preachers and Hearers serious at an uncommon Rate. Among those thus employ'd, were, Mr Chester, Mr Turner, Mr Franklin, Mr Grimes, (who came from Ireland, and sometimes went by the Name of Chambers,) and this Mr Thomas Vincent, He was for some time employ'd in assisting Mr. Doolittle at Islington in giving some Young Persons an Academical Education, for which Sort of Service he was thought well qualify'd. Upon the Progress of the Distemper in the City, he acquainted his good Friend with his Design to quit that Employment, and apply himself peculiarly to the Visitation of the Sick, and the instructing of the Sound, in that Time of pressing Necessity. Mr. D. endeavour'd to dissuade him, by representing the Danger he must run; that he thought he had no Call to it, being then otherwise employ'd; and that it was rather advisable he should reserve himself for farther Service to the rising Age, in that Station wherein he then was so usefully fix'd. Mr. Vincent not being satisfyed to desist from his intended Service, they agreed to desire the Advice of their Brethren, in and about the City upon the Case. When Mr. D. had represented his Reasons at large, Mr Vincent acquainted his Brethren, that he had very seriously consider'd the Matter before he had come to a Resolution: He had carefully examin'd the State of his own Soul, and could look Death in the Face with Comfort: He found no Timorousness and Dread in his own Temper: He thought it was absolutely necessary that such vast Numbers of dying People should have some' Spiritual Assistance: He could have no Prospect of Service in the Exercise of his Ministry through his whole Life like that which now offer'd itself: He had often committed the Case and himself to God in Prayer; and upon the whole had solemnly devoted himself to the Service of God and Souls upon this Occasion: And therefore hoped none of them would endeavour to weaken his Hands in this Work. When the Ministers present had heard him out, they unanimously declar'd their Satisfaction and Joy, that they apprehended the Matter was of God, and concurred in their Prayers for his Protection and Success.
He went out hereupon to his Work with the greatest Firmness and Assiduity. He constantly preach'd every Lord's Day through the whole Visitation, either at Aldgate-Church, or Great St. Hellens in Bishopsgate-Street, or Allhallows in Thames Street, or some other Church. His Subjects were most moving and important; and his Management of them most pathetick and searching. It was a general Inquiry through the preceding Week where he was to preach: Multitudes follow'd him where- ever he went: And he preach'd not a Sermon by which there were not several awaken'd, and as far in London, Westminster and Southwark. As far as Men could judge brought home to God. Besides this, he without the least Terror visited everyone that sent for him, doing the best Offices he could for them in their last Extremities : Being instant in Season and out of Season to save Souls from Death.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Calamy on the Plague in his Nonconformist memorial

In the year 1665, the plague broke out, which carried of about an hundred thousand persons in the city of London. The ejected ministers had, till this time, preached very privately, and only to a few : but now, when the clergy in the city-churches fled, and left their flocks in the time of their extremity, several of the Nonconformists pitying the dying and distressed people, who had none to help them to prepare for another world, nor to comfort them in their terrors, when about 10,000 died in a week; were convinced that no obedience to the laws of man could justify their neglecting men's souls and bodies in such extremities. They therefore resolved to stay with them, to enter the deserted pulpits, and give them what assistance they were able, under such an awakening providence; to visit the sick, procure what relief they could for the poor, especially such as were shut up. The persons that determined upon this good work were Mr. T. Vincent, Mr. Chester, Mr Janeway, Mr Turner, Mr Grimes, Mr Jackson, Mr Franklyn, and some others. The face of death so awakened preachers and hearers, that the former exceeded themselves in lively fervent preaching; and the latter heard with a peculiar ardour and attention. Througli the blessing of God, many were converted, and religion took such hold on their hearts, that it could never afterwards be efaced. While God was consuming the people by this judgment and the Nonconformists were labouring to save their souls, the parliament, which sat at Oxford, was busy in making an act to render their case incomparably harder than it was before, by putting upon them a certain oath, which if they refused, they must not come (unless upon the road) within five miles of any city or corporation, any place that sent burgesses to parliament, any place where they had been ministers, or had preached after the act of oblivion ....

Daniel Neal on the plague

The next judgment which befell the nation was the most dreadful plague that had been known within the memory of man. This was preceded by an unusual drought; the meadows were parched and burned up like the highways. insomuch that there was no food for the cattle, which occasioned first a murrain among them, and then a general contagion among the human species, which increased in the city and suburbs of London until eight or ten thousand died in a week.
The richer inhabitants fled into the remoter counties; but the calamities of those who stayed behind, and of the poorer sort, are not to be expressed. Trade was at a full stand; all commerce between London and the country was entirely cut off, lest the infection should be propagated thereby. Nay, the country housekeepers and farmers durst not entertain their city friends or relations till they had performed quarantine in the fields or outhouses. If a stranger passed through the neighbourhood, they fled from him as an enemy. In London the shops and houses were quite shut up, and many of them marked with a red cross, and an inscription over the door, Lord, have mercy upon us! Grass grew in the streets; and every night the bellman went his rounds with a cart, crying, Bring out your dead. From London the plague spread into the neighbouring towns and villages, and continued near three quarters of a year, till it had swept away almost one hundred thousand of the inhabitants. Some of the established clergy, with a commendable zeal, ventured to continue in their stations, and preach to their parishioners throughout the course of the plague, as Dr. Walker, Dr. Horton, Dr. Meriton, and a few others, but most of them fled, and deserted heir parishes at a time when their assistance was most wanted; upon this some of the ejected ministers ventured to preach in the vacant pulpits, imagining that so extraordinary a case would justify their disregard to the laws.
The ministers who embarked in this service were, the Reverend Mr Thomas Vincent, Mr Chester, Mr Janeway, Mr Turner, Grimes, Franklin and others. The face of death, and the arrows that fled among the people in darkness at noonday, awakened both preachers and hearers: many who were at church one day were thrown into their graves the next; the cry of great numbers was, “What shall we do to be saved?” A more awful time England had never Seen. But it will amaze all posterity, that in a time both of war and pestilence, and when the Nonconformist ministers were hazarding their lives in the service of the souls of the distressed and dying citizens of London, that the prime minister and his creatures, instead of mourning for the nation's sins, and meditating a reformation of manners, should pour out all their vengeance upon the Nonconformists, in order to make their condition more insupportable.
One would have thought such a judgment from Heaven, and such a generous compassion in the ejected ministers, should have softened the hearts of their most cruel enemies; but the Presbyterians must be crushed, in defiance of the rebukes of Providence. Bishop Kennet and Mr Echard would excuse the ministry, by alleging that some of the old Oliverian officers were enlisted in the Dutch service, which, if true, was nothing to the body of the Presbyterians, though Lord Clarendon did what he could to incense the Parliament, and make them believe they were in confederacy with the enemies of the government. ....
*** Dr. Grey has introduced here a full and affecting narrative of the progress of this calamity, and of the mortality it produced; drawn up by the pen of Mr. Vincent, one who charitably gave his assistance at that time, as copied by Dr. Calamy, in his Continuation, p. 33. It was usual for people, as they went about their business, to drop down in the street. A bagpiper, who, excessively overcome with liquor, had fallen down and lay asleep in the street, was taken up and thrown into a cart, and betimes the next morning carried away with some dead bodies. At daybreak he awoke, and, rising, began to play a tune: which so surprised those who drove the cart, and could see nothing distinctly, that in a fright they betook them to their heels, and would have it they had taken up the devil in the disguise of a dead man. —Sir John Reresby's Memoirs, p. 10, 11
De Foe has recorded this awful visitation in a most graphic volume.
Baxter's Life, part iii., p. 2. Baxter, in another place, says, “It is scarcely possible for people that live in times of health and security to apprehend the dreadfulness of the pestilence! How fearful were people, even a hundred miles from London, of anything bought in a draper's shop there, or of any person that came to their houses! How they would shut their doors against their friends, and if men met one another in the fields, how they would avoid each other.” Baxter says that only three Nonconformist ministers died of the plague.--Baxter's Life, part it. to. 448

Thomas Vincent 1665

The great plague in London, in the year 1665, gave occasion for the display of the piety and zeal of several of the ejected ministers, and of the providence of God in preserving them from the contagion, when prosecuting their ministerial labours in the midst of it.
The Rev Thomas Vincent was at this period tutor of an academy at Islington, but determined to leave his situation, and devote himself to the spiritual instruction of the people in London, where many of the pulpits were deserted. His friends vainly endeavoured to dissuade him from the dangerous enterprise. He agreed, however, to follow the advice of his reverend brethren in and about the city. When they were assembled, he told them his resolution, and assured them that it had been the result of much serious thought. He had carefully examined the state of his own soul, and could look death in the face with comfort. He thought it absolutely necessary that the vast numbers of people then dying, should have some spiritual assistance, and that he could never again have such a prospect of ministerial usefulness as now presented itself. He added, that he had solemnly devoted himself to God and souls upon this occasion; and that, therefore, he hoped none of them would endeavor to weaken his hands in this work.
Encouraged by the ministers, who prayed for his protection and success, he entered on his labors with fortitude and diligence. During all the time of the plague, he preached every sabbath in some of the parish churches. He chose the most moving and important subjects, and treated them in the most pathetic and searching manner.
The awfulness of the judgment then before the eyes of all, gave great force to his addresses, and a very general inquiry was always made where he would preach the next sabbath. Many learned from him the necessity of salvation, and the way to heaven through the blood of Christ. He visited all who sent for him, and it pleased God to take especial care of his life; for though in this year there died in London, of the plague, 68,596, including seven persons in the family in which he lived, he continued in perfect health all the time, and was a useful minister to a numerous congregation at Hoxton for upwards of twelve years afterwards. Thus were the promises in the ninety-first psalm fulfilled to this servant of God.
From Anecdotes. Originally published 1841 by the Religious Tract Society of London.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Appleby on the Nonconformists and the Plague 1665 Part 2

... In some cases the courage of certain Nonconformists drew praise even from Anglicans. When the impeccably royalist third Earl of Devonshire, Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, received a request 
that the ejected minister Thomas Stanley be expelled from his residence at Eyam, the Earl replied 'that it was more reasonable, that the whole Country should in more than Words testifie their Thankfulness to him, who together with Isis Care of the Town had taken such Care, as none else did, to prevent the Infection of the Towns adjacent. If Nonconformist clergy had demonstrated their worth by preaching and pastoral work in the affected areas, the plague had also worked to their disadvantage. The finances of many merchants who had previously provided financial support for the Nonconformist ministry had been badly affected. Meanwhile, the ecclesiastical authorities were 
stung by pamphlets deriding those Church of England clergy who had fled from their livings in panic, allowing Nonconformists to take their places. Even a pamphlet such as A Friendly Letter to the Flying Clergy, which praised Archbishop Sheldon for remaining at his post, gave a damaging impression of Anglican pusillanimity. This public perception was later reinforced by Daniel Defoe in his fictitious Journal of the Plague Year, and even more so by Richard Baxter's published memoirs. The appropriation of the vacant London pulpits, however, was not in itself responsible for the Five Mile Act. Among the items that had been occupying Sheldon's attention even before the Great Plague marooned him in Lambeth Palace had been the results of a questionnaire that he had sent to his subordinate bishops in order to ascertain the state of the ministry within the Church of England. The responses that he received in return included alarming appraisals regarding the potential scope of Nonconformist activities and the extent to which the ejected ministers continued to exercise influence over their former congregations. The various concerns of the Lords and Commons meeting at Oxford in October 1665 also served to fuel their anxieties regarding Dissent, and in particular the need to restrict the movements of ejected ministers. Michael Wafts has opined that it is possible to justify the Conventicle Act by reason of the Cavalier Parliament's fear of rebellion, but no such excuse can be offered in defence of the Five Mile Act of 1665 In fact, a deteriorating military situation coupled with political and economic dislocation caused by the worst plague for three hundred years had rendered a fragile state more vulnerable to sedition than ever before. The Cavalier Parliament probably had more excuse for anxiety in 1665 rather than less. As ever, Clarendon recoiled from such indiscriminate repression, and so joined the earls of Manchester and Southampton, and Lord Wharton, in opposing the bill. The preamble to the Five Mile (or 'Oxford') Act declared that many clergy who had refused to subscribe to the various declarations required by the Act of Uniformity had nevertheless continued to preach illegally, and conducted worship at meetings in contravention of the law. Such people were now to be required, as from 24 March 1666, not to live or approach within five miles of any city, corporate town or borough of England, Wales or Berwick-on-Tweed, unless passing through whilst travelling to another destination. The ejected ministers were in addition forbidden to live or come within five miles of any parish, town or place where they had had a ministry since the Act of Oblivion (1660), unless they first took the oath of non-resistance detailed in the Act of Uniformity, with the additional clause that they would not seek any change of government, either in church or state. This became known as the 'Oxford Oath'. The fine for each transgression was to he £40. Any cleric or lay person refusing to take the oath was further forbidden to teach or take on boarders to instruct, on pain of a fine of £10 for each offence. Any two or more justices were henceforth empowered to imprison any found guilty of such offences for  aperiod of six months without bail.

Appleby on the Nonconformists and the Plague 1665 Part 1

From David J Appleby's essay in The Great Ejectment of 1662: Its Antecedents, Aftermath, and Ecumenical Significance editor Alan P F Sell

In 1665 plague crossed the Channel, bringing perhaps the worst visitation since the Black Death of 1348. Over the next two years it spread across England and Wales, mainly through the cloth trade routes. As London citizens began to die in droves, the wealthy and well connected fled. King and Parliament removed to Oxford, leaving George Monck, Duke of Albemarle and his army in charge of London. England was by now at war with the Dutch and, with the economic and political life of the capital seriously disrupted, the authorities were understandably more nervous than usual. The traditional ties between English religious dissenters and the Netherlands gave rise to suspicions of treasonable collaboration, and Albemarle kept his soldiers busy rounding up both Quakers and more conventional Nonconformists. Many of these unfortunate individuals subsequently died of plague in the unhealthy environs of London's prisons; including Richard Flavell, a minister who had come to London after having been ejected from his Gloucestershire living, only to perish in Newgate. Hundreds of arrests were also made in the provinces. Charles appointed his brother, James. Duke of York to supervise operations in the areas so recently affected by the Northern Rising. Predictably, little effort was made to distinguish been radicals and moderates, with the result that peaceable Presbyterian ministers such as Philip Henry found themselves caught in the net.
Whatever else he may have been, Gilbert Sheldon was no coward. He remained working in Lambeth throughout the epidemic. Similarly, at least nineteen Anglican clergy stayed to comfort their London congregations, and eleven of them paid for this devotion with their lives. Several of their colleagues, however, deserted their parishes in panic. Nonconformist clergy who had remained in the city promptly climbed into the empty pulpits, or held prayer meetings in private houses to bring spiritual solace to people by now desperately afraid that judgement day was approaching. Calamy records the names of fourteen such ministers who preached in London during these troubled times, the best known being Thomas Vincent, formerly of St. Mary Magdalen, Milk Street. Several more ministers are known to have been living in London and may also have participated in the work. A number of others, Richard Baxter among them, moved out of the city, taking the plague with them in some cases. Relatively little work has been done to investigate the conduct of Nonconformist clergy (and 
their episcopalian counterparts, for that matter) in provincial areas affected by the Great Plague, although it has been suggested that matters in the grievously afflicted cloth-working town of Colchester in Essex followed a similar course to London. The former Colchester minister Owen Stockton may well have engaged in pastoral work in the plague-ridden town, for example, and Obadiah Grew certainly did so in Coventry. ....

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

John Oldfield c 1627-1682

This ejected minister, father of Joshua, was born near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, about 1627. He was educated at the grammar school of Bromfield, Cumberland. Though of no university, he was a good scholar and mathematician. He held the rectory of Carsington, Derbyshire, having been appointed in or before 1649. His parishioners, according to Calamy, were 'very ticklish and capricious, very hard to be pleased in ministers,' but he suited them; and, though the living was worth but 70l., he refused a better offer of the perpetual curacy of Tamworth, Warwickshire. He was present, as a member, at the first known meeting (16 Dec. 1651) of the Wirksworth classis, of which he was a most regular attendant (15 times moderator) till its last recorded meeting (17 Nov. 1658). His sermon before the classis on 17 July 1655 was 'well approved' as 'orthodox and seasonable.' On 15 Jan. 1656, by appointment of the classis, he delivered the fifth of a series of doctrinal arguments directed against the errors of Socinians, his thesis being 'that the name Jehovah is incommunicable.' In the minutes, as in the Carsington parish register, his name is always written Otefield or Oateield (twice). By the Uniformity Act (1662) he was ejected from Carrington. After this he moved from place to place, sometimes attending the established church, and often preaching in conventicles. Latterly he settled at Alfreton, Derbyshire. Once a fortnight he preached at Road Nook, Derbyshire, in a house belonging to John Spateman, and was informed against for so doing. It was proved that he was 10 miles off on the specified day; the informers were prosecuted, and one of them pilloried at Derby.
For some time before his death he was disabled. He died on 6 June 1662, 'ætat. 55,' and was buried in Alfreton Church, where there is a brass plate to his memory. He married Ann, sister of Robert Porter (d. 1690), vicar of Pentrich, Derbyshire. Four of his sons entered the ministry:
(1) John (b. 1 Nov. 1654), who received Presbyterian ordination in September 1681, and afterwards conformed;
(2) Joshua (see previous post);
(3) Nathaniel, Presbyterian minister (1689-96) at Globe Alley, Maid Lane, Southwark (d. 31 Dec. 1696, aged 32);
(4) Samuel, who received Presbyterian ordination on 14 April 1698, and was minister at Woolwich, Kent, and from 1719 at Ramsbury, Wiltshire (living in 1729).
John Oldfield published
‘The First Last and the Last First . . . substance of . . . Lecture in the Country,' &c., 1666, 12mo (addressed by ‘J. O.’ to the 'parishioners of 'C. and W. in the county of D.') 
Calamy mentions that he published 'a larger piece about prayer.'
His last sermon at Carsington is in 'Farewell Sermons,' 1663, 8vo (country collection).
His ‘soliloquy’ after the passing of the Uniformity Act is abridged in Calamy; some striking sentences from it are noted in 'North and South,' 1855, vol. i. ch. iv., by Mrs Gaskell.

Bunhill Fields Joshua Oldfield 1656-1729

Alfred Light tells us that Oldfield's head-stone is in the third row south from Dame Mary Page. The inscription reads

Here lyeth the body of the Rev. Joshua Oldfield, dyed Nov. 8th, 1729, aged 73 years.

Mr. John Oldfield (c 1627-1681), the father of Joshua, was minister of the church at Carsington, Derbyshire, where his son Joshua was born in 1656. When the Act of Uniformity came into force Mr. Oldfield was ejected for non-conforming. He gave his son a most excellent education during his early years and afterwards sent him as a student to Christ College, Cambridge. Here Joshua became noted, not only for diligence in his studies, but also for his exemplary life and conduct. On leaving the University Oldfield became chaplain to Sir Philip Gell at his family seat in Derbyshire. Here he became very friendly with a clergyman in the neighbourhood, and they were accustomed to express their views to each other in very frank terms. At this time a good living became vacant, which was in Sir Philip's gift. It was offered to Oldfield. After due consideration he thanked his patron, but told him he could not conform either for that or even a greater living. Sir Philip, being anxious that Oldfield should become vicar of this parish, asked his clergyman friend to press the matter upon him. This he was glad to do, and a great deal of argument took place between the two. Oldfield, however, was immovable but being mindful of the kindness of his friend, he suggested that as he could not sacrifice his non-conformist principles, and the living was a much better one than the clergyman was then in, he should press his claims upon Sir Philip. The clergyman thanked Oldfield very heartily for his kindness and goodwill, but earnestly begged him not to repeat anything of the kind; he stated that he should have been glad to have drawn Oldfield into the Church in the hope of good being accomplished; but although he himself had no scruple in remaining in the Established Church, his conscience would not allow him to renew his assent and his consent to all that was in the Book of Common Prayer. After leaving Sir Philip Gell, Oldfield took the post of tutor to the son of Mr Paul Foley, who was Speaker of the House of Commons during the reign of William III, and he travelled with his pupil for a time in Wales and Ireland. He then became assistant to Mr. Samuel Doolittle, and the pastor of a congregation in Tooting, London. Acting upon the advice of several fellow-ministers he next removed to Oxford, where "he had but small auditory and very slender encouragement, but took a great deal of pains." Coventry followed Oxford, and here upon the suspicion of his giving instruction to young people, he was cited to appear before the Ecclesiastical Court on October 14th, 1697. It seemed as if serious trouble were in store for him, but after he had brought the matter to the King's Bench, which put him to great trouble and expense, it was allowed to drop, as William III gave the Ecclesiastical authorities clearly to understand that he was much displeased with such persecution and prosecution. He again returned to London, where first at Southwark and afterwards at Hoxton he kept an Academy which became world-famous.
During his latter years he met with many sore afflictions, as he was subject to apoplectic fits, but it is recorded that "the Providence of God made the last stage of his life easy and honourable under the disadvantage of his outward circumstances; of which he entertained a high sense of gratitude." His last illness was a short one, an account of which is given by his friend, Dr. Harris, who preached the funeral sermon.
"The day before he died," said the preacher, "I asked him whether all was easy and comfortable within. He said he had a judicious satisfaction and peace of mind, though by reason of present weakness and lowness of spirits he was dull and heavy. He was sensible his life was drawing to an end, and continued sensible to the minute, without any violent shock of dissolving nature, and with an undisturbed tranquillity of mind. He said, 'That nature must submit,' and 'that all was well, and all was easy within.' "This," added Dr. Harris, " was an honourable testimony to religion, after so long a trial, and from so wise, sedate, and upright a person."

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Farewell Sermons Contents of Current Volume

1- Edmund Calamy - Sermon from 2nd Samuel 24:14 "Let us Fall into the Hand of the Lord"
2- Thomas Manton - Sermon from Hebrews 12:1 - "The people of God that have such a multitude of examples of holy men and women set before them, should prepare themselves to run the spiritual race with more patience and cheerfulness."
3- Joseph Caryl - Sermon from Revelation 3:4 - "In which encouragement I told you we might consider two things, or take it into two parts. First, " That they should walk with Christ." Secondly, " They should walk in white."
4- Thomas Case - Sermon on Revelation 2:5 - "CHRIST here prescribes precious physic for the healing of this languishing church of Ephesus; it is compounded of a threefold ingredient: 1. Self-reflection, " Remember from," &c. 2. Holy contrition and humiliation before the Lord, " Repent." 3. Thorough reformation, " Do thy first works."
5- William Jenkyn - Morning Sermon on Hebrews 11:38 - "The apostle in this excellent chapter, (that by some is deservedly called a little book of martyrs) discovers the triumph of faith, or victory against all difficulty we meet with."
6- William Jenkyn - Afternoon Sermon on Exodus 3:2-5 - "First then, for explanation, I shall here endeavour to open these two things to you: first, what it is for a place to be holy, or wherein the nature of the holiness of the places consists ; secondly, what that is, that is the foundation or cause of the holiness of places; and both these must in our discourse, and likewise apprehension, be accurately distinguished."
7- Richard Baxter - Sermon on Colossians 2:6,7 - "Omitting the division, and in part the opening of the words, the observation is ; - " That those that have received Christ Jesus the Lord, must accordingly be rooted, built Up in him, and established in the faith; and walk in him as they have been taught, and abound therein with thanksgiving."
8- Thomas Jacombe - Morning Sermon on John 8:29 - The observation I intend to speak to, shall be this: They that please God, and endeavour always to do the things that please God, such God will be with; such the Father will not leave alone; especially in times of suffering and trouble, for I will bring it to that case.
9- Thomas Jacombe - Afternoon Sermon on John 8:29 - Let me endeavour to prevail with every one of you, so to carry yourselves in your several places and capacities, that whatever you do, you may please God.
10- William Bates - Morning Sermon on Hebrews 12:20,21 - Now in these two verses he sums up, by way of recapitulation, all that which he had discoursed of at large, and in them you may observe these two things. 1. A description of God, to whom he addresses this prayer: The God of Peace. 2. The substance of the prayer itself.
11- William Bates - Afternoon Sermon on Hebrews 12:20,21 - It follows " that great Shepherd of the sheep." For the opening of this, 1. We will consider the title of Christ. 2. The person for whom this title relates.
12- Thomas Watson - Morning Sermon on John 13:34 - Doctrine. Christians ought to make conscience of this duty of loving one another. Confident I am, we shall never see religion thrive in the world, until we see this grace of love flourish in the heart of christians.
13- Thomas Watson - Afternoon Sermon on 2 Corinthians 7:1 - It is the title that I intend now, by the help of God, to insist upon, that sweet parenthesis in the text, "dearly beloved," wherein you have the apostle breathing forth his affections unto this people. He speaks now as a pastor, and he speaks to them as his spiritual children.
14- Thomas Watson - Farewell Sermon on Isaiah 3:10,11 - This text is like Israel's pillar or cloud; it hath a light side, and a dark side: it hath a light side unto the godly, "Say unto the righteous, it shall be well with him;" and it hath a dark side unto the wicked, "Woe unto the wicked, it shall be ill with him." Both you see are rewarded, righteous and wicked; but here is a vast difference, the one hath a reward of mercy, the other a reward of j ustice.
15- Thomas Lye - First Sermon on Philippians 4:1 - I shall without any more ado enter upon the text; in which you have two things considerable. A most melting compellation, and a most serious exhortation. 1. A melting compellation, "my brethren, dearly beloved," &c. 2. A serious exhortation; and in it first, the matter of the duty, stand, and stand it out, and stand fast. Secondly, the manner. First, so stand, so as you have stood, stand fast. Second, in the Lord; stand so, and stand in the Lord, in the Lord's strength, and in the Lord's cause.
16- Thomas Lye - Second Sermon on Philippians 4:1 - "It is the grand and indispepsable duty of all sincere saints, in the most black and shaking seasons, to stand fast fixed and stedfast in the Lord."
17- Matthew Mead - Sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:3 - Being therefore now to part, I thought to go to the top of the mount, and leave with you grace and peace from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. In which words there are two generals. 1. A double blessing desired: Grace and Peace 2. A double spring discovered: that is the Father and the Son, God and Christ.
18- Matthew Newcomen - Sermon on Revelation 3:3 - There are three doctrines obvious in the text; Doctrine 1. That it is the duty of christians, to remember those truths that they have heard and received. Doctrine 2. That it is the duty of christians to hold fast the truth that they have heard and received. Doctrine 3. That continued repentance is the duty of christians, as well as initial repentance. Remember therefore how thou hast received, and heard, and hold fast and repent.
19- Thomas Brooks - Sermon on Questions Asked and Answered followed by 27 Legacies that Brooks Left to his Beloved People
20- John Collins - Sermon on Jude 3 - These words contain two parts. 1. A duty exhorted to. 2. The manner of the management of duty. The duty exhorted to, is, to retain the faith delivered to the saints. The manner of its management is, that we should earnestly contend to keep it.
21- Edmund Calamy - Sermons 1 Samuel 4:13 - I shall gather two observations from the words. 1. That when the ark of God is in danger of being lost, the people of God have thoughtful heads and trembling hearts. 2. That a true child of God is more troubled, and more solicitous what shall become of the ark, than what shall become of wife and children or estate.
22- John Gaspine - Sermon on Luke 12:32 - The text contains that exhortation of Christ, wherein he exhorts them to undauntedness and resolution in the ways of God. " Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." The words may be divided into these two parts. First, Here is an exhortation: "Fear not, little flock." Secondly, The reason of this exhortation: "for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
23- Lazarus Seaman - Sermon on Hebrews 13:20,21 - In which words, there are two two things considerable. 1. The matter of the apostle's prayer. 2. The grounds, which he doth insinuate for audience.
24- George Evanke - Sermon on Matthew 26:39 - Doct. A gracious soul will endeavour the crossing his own will, when be sees that it crosses God's. Or, thus, A true Christian dare not, at least ought not, to gratify his own humour when it stands in opposition, or cometh in competition with God's honour.