Friday, 14 October 2011

Coleman Anecdote 16 William Jenkyn

The next case we present is one, amongst many others, of imprisonment and death - painful confinement issuing in death. Mr William Jenkyn [1613-1685] was maternal grandson to John Rogers, the proto-martyr in the Marian persecution. In the great storm that prevailed against the Nonconformists in James II's reign, on September 2, 1684, when he, with Mr [Edward] Reynolds [1599-1676], Mr J[ohn] Flavel [1627-1691] and Mr [Thomas] Keeling, was spending a day in prayer, with many of his friends, in a place where they thought themselves out of danger, the soldiers broke in upon them in the midst of the exercise. All the ministers made their escape except Mr Jenkyn. Mr Flavel was so near that he heard the insolence of the officers and soldiers to Mr Jenkyn when they had taken him, and observes in his diary that Mr Jenkyn might have escaped as well as himself, had it not been for a piece of vanity in a lady, whose long train hindered his going down the stairs, Mr Jenkyn, out of his too great civility, having let her pass before him.
Being taken before two aldermen, Sir James Edwards and Sir James Smith, they treated him very roughly, well knowing that it would be acceptable in the highest places in the land. Upon his refusing the Oxford oath, they committed him to Newgate, rejecting his offer of £40 fine which the law empowered them to take, though it was urged that the air of Newgate would infallibly suffocate him. He petitioned the King for a release, which was backed by an assurance from his physician that his life was in danger from his close confinement; but no other answer could be obtained but this, "Jenkyn shall be a prisoner as long as he lives." This was most rigorously adhered to. He was not suffered to go to baptize his daughter's child, though a considerable sum was offered for his liberty to do it, with security for his return. The keepers were ordered not to let him pray with any visitants; even when his daughter came to ask his blessing, he was not allowed to pray with her. He soon began, through this confinement, to decline in health, but continued all along in the utmost joy and comfort of soul. He said to one of his friends, "What a vast difference there is between this and my first imprisonment (alluding to his having formerly been sent to the Tower for being concerned in [Christopher] Love's plot); then I was full of doubts and fears, of grief and anguish, and well I might, for going out of God's way and my calling to meddle with things that did not belong to me. But now, when I was found in the way of my duty in my Master's business, though I suffer even unto bonds, yet I am comforted beyond measure. The Lord sheds abroad his love sensibly in my heart: I feel it, I have assurance of it." Turning to some who were weeping by him, he said, "Why weep ye for me? Christ lives; He is my Friend, a Friend born for adversity; a Friend that never dies. "Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and your children." He died in Newgate, January 19th, 1685, aged 72, having been a prisoner there four months, where, as he said a little before he died, "a man might be as effectually murdered as at Tyburn."
A nobleman, having heard of his happy release, said to the King, "May it please your Majesty, Jenkyn has got his liberty." Upon which he asked with eagerness, "Ay, who gave it him?" The nobleman replied, "A greater than your Majesty, the King of kings." With which the King appeared greatly struck, and remained silent.

Coleman Anecdote 15 Bristol

In the published records of the Broadmead church, in the city of Bristol, we see the spirit of their persecutors, the sufferings undergone, and the contrivances to which they resorted to elude their adversaries. "In the year 1664, at a week-day meeting, a guard of musketeers was sent to take them into custody; but having been apprised of their coming, and the darkness of the night proving favourable, they withdrew into an underground cellar, which had a communication with Baldwin Street, and so they escaped, and left their persecutors disappointed.
"Soon after, on a Lord's day, the mayor and aldermen, with their officers, broke open Mr [Thomas] Ellis's house at the back door, and came in. But while these housebreakers were effecting an entrance, Mr Ellis contrived to hide a garret door, by placing a large cupboard before it, and by that means sent away most of the men. Still, many necessarily remained behind, of whom the mayor and Sir John sent 31 to Bridewell for a month, preparatory to ultimate banishment.
"In November, 1665, a troop of horse were sent to the city to suppress the conventicles, and very abusive they were at all the meetings they could discover.
''The first Lord's day after the 10th of April, when the 'Conventicle Act' first came into operation, the informers were on the alert, and because the church could gain no information of their intended plan of proceeding, they closed their meeting-house door. The informers immediately fetched constables, broke open the door, went in, and took down the names of those whom they knew, who were in consequence brought before the magistrate and convicted. But persecution sharpened their invention. The next Lord's day they broke a large hole in a high wall, which enabled them to hear the preacher in the next house, without being present with him. Yet the bishop's informers went again, and not recognising such a nice distinction, took down the names, and some of them were again taken before the mayor and convicted.
"The scene was also enacted on the third Lord's day, and on the fourth the mayor went himself, with his officers and several of the aldermen; but finding these means to be utterly ineffectual, they resorted to another expedient. On the Saturday evening they raised the trained bands, some of whom, to prevent the church from meeting, nailed up the doors, and put locks upon them. Being thus ejected by force and power, they met in the public lanes and highways."
At another time, when all their ministers were removed - one dead, three imprisoned, and their deaths apprehended - the bishop's men and Helliar, a lawyer, being in hot pursuit and woefully successful, so that the extinction of the churches seemed almost inevitable, the members proved themselves men of the right stamp. They animated each other's hearts, and, notwithstanding all their discouragements, so far from forsaking the assembling of themselves together, they clung with greater tenacity to a privilege difficult of attainment, and exercised all their ingenuity to accomplish with impunity this one desire of their hearts.
When they could again meet in their place of worship, in order to disappoint spies who might be present as hearers, and yet not to exclude strangers who might attend without any evil design, they contrived that a curtain should be hung all across, the space behind it being so arranged as to accommodate the preacher and his confidential friends. Consequently, if there were spies present, they could not see the preacher so as to give any certain information against him; and lest any should intrude behind the curtain, some of the members were especially appointed to prevent all from this whom they did not know to be the friends of Christ and his cause. When the time was come for commencing this curtain was drawn close, and the stairs completely filled with female friends. Sentinels were also appointed without, who, on seeing the approach of the informers, passed the word with telegraphic despatch and secrecy; the preacher sat down, the curtain was undrawn, the whole room exposed to view, and the people began simultaneously to sing a psalm. To prevent confusion, the psalm which was to be sung on the entrance of the informers was previously annoiinced; and to avoid the inconvenience of reading it, all brought their Bibles and read for themselves. By these means when the mayor came he was disappointed, they were all singing, and whom to take up for preaching he could not tell. When the informers were gone] the singing ceased, the curtain was drawn, and the preacher resumed his discourse until they returned, which they sometimes did three times during one meeting. Then again the preacher retired, the curtain was drawn aside, and singing resumed as before. "This," they say, "was our constant practice in Olive's mayoralty, and we were in a good measure edified, and our enemies often disappointed." Laus Deo.
One of their ministers, Mr [Thomas] Hardcastle [1636-1678], ejected from a living in Yorkshire, had been imprisoned eight months in York Castle, from thence conveyed to Chester Castle, where he was detained a close prisoner fifteen months more. For preaching Christ in London he was again apprehended, and continued a prisoner six months. Twice also at Bristol did he pay this penalty for Christ and a good conscience, each imprisonment lasting six months; "still preaching," say the records, "as soon as ever he came forth, and so continued till his death."

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Nathaniel Heywood's House

Nathaniel Heywood's House Chapel Street Ormskirk 2005

Coleman Anecdote 14 Philip Henry

The name of Philip Henry (1631-1696) carries with it all that is pious, peaceful, and benevolent, yet towards him we find the spirit of bitter persecution arises. He was emphatically one of the "quiet of the land" acting with the greatest caution, anxious to avoid offence, though continually influenced by a spirit of supreme regard to God, and ready for every duty to which he believed his Master called him. Yet he was subject, with others with whom he was associated, to great oppression and trial, especially on the following occasion, the circumstances of which are particularly narrated in the memoirs of his life. At the beginning of the year 1681, a great drought prevailed in the land; it was generally apprehended that a famine would ensue. Many of the pious part of the people thought it was time to seek the Lord, who giveth rain in its season. In the neighbourhood in which Mr Henry resided, some desired to have a day set apart for fasting and prayer on this account. Suitable services were to be held at the house of a certain individual in Hodnet parish, Shropshire, June 14. Mr Henry, on being invited to attend and give his assistance, inquired how they stood with the neighbouring justices, and the reply was "well enough."
The drought continuing in extremity, some that had not been in the habit of attending such meetings were present, under the apprehension they had of a threatened judgment. Mr Edward Bury (1616-1700), of Bolas, well known by several useful books that he had published, prayed. Mr Henry prayed, and then preached on Psalm lxvi. 18 "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." Hence the doctrine was, that iniquity regarded in the heart will certainly spoil the success of prayer. When he was in the midst of his sermon, closely applying this truth, Sir Thomas Vernon and Charles Mainwaring, Esq, two justices of the peace for Shropshire, with several others of their retinue, came suddenly upon them, disturbed them, set guards upon the house door, came in themselves, severely rallied all they knew, reflected upon the late honourable "House of Commons," and upon the vote they passedconcerning the unreasonableness of putting the laws in execution against Protestant Dissenters, as if in so voting they had gone beyond their sphere, as they did who took away the life of King Charles I. They diverted themselves with very abusive and unbecoming talk, swearing, and cursing, and reviling bitterly. On being told that the occasion of the meeting was to turn away the anger of God from us in the present drought, they showed their ignorance and impiety by answering that such meetings as these were the occasion of God's anger. "While they were thus entertaining themselves, their clerk took the names of those who were present, in all about one hundred and fifty, and so dismissed them for the present.
Mr Henry noted, in the account he kept of this event, that "the justices came to this good work from the alehouse at Prees Heath, about two miles off, to which, and to the bowling-green adjoining, they, with other justices, gentlemen, and clergymen of the neighbourhood, had long before obliged themselves to come every Tuesday during the summer under a penalty of twelve pence a time if they were absent, and there to spend the day in drinking and bowling, which was thought to be as much more to the dishonour of God and the scandal of the Christian profession as cursing, and swearing, and drunkenness are worse than praying, and singing psalms, and hearing the Word of God."
It is supposed the justices knew of the meeting before, and might have prevented it by the least intimation; but they were determined to take the opportunity of making sport for themselves, and giving trouble to their neighbours.
After the feat done, they returned to the alehouse, and made themselves and their companions merry with calling over the names they had taken, making their remarks as they saw cause, and recounting the particulars of the exploit.
There was one of the company whose wife happened to be present at the meeting, and her name was taken down among the rest, with which they upbraided him. But he answered, that "she had been better employed than he was; and if Mr Henry might be permitted to preach in the church, he would go a great many miles to hear him." Tor which saying he was forthwith expelled their company, and was never more to show his face at that bowling-green. To which he replied, "that if they had so ordered long ago, it would have been a great deal better for him and his family."
Two days after they met again at Hodnet, where, upon the oath of two witnesses, who, it was supposed, were sent on purpose to inform, they signed and sealed two records of conviction. By one record they convicted the master of the house and fined him £20, and £5 more as constable of the town for that year, and with him all the persons whose names they had taken down, and fined them 5s., and issued warrants accordingly.
By another record they convicted the two ministers, Mr Bury and Mr Henry. The Act makes it only punishable to preach and to teach in any such conventicles, and yet they fined Mr Bury £20, though he only prayed, and did not speak one word either in the way of preaching or teaching, not so much as, "Let us pray." However, they said praying was teaching, and right or wrong he must be fined; though his great piety, peaceableness, and usefulness, besides his deep poverty, might have pleaded for him against so palpable a piece of injustice. They took £7 off from him, and laid it upon others; and for the remaining £13, he being utterly unable to pay, they took from him by distress the bed which he lay upon, with blankets and rug; also another feather bed, nineteen pairs of sheets, most of them new, of which he could not prevail to have so much as one pair returned for him to lie in. Also books to the value of £5, besides brass and pewter. And though he was at this time perfectly innocent of that heinous crime of preaching and teaching with which he was charged, yet he had no way to right himself but by appealing to the justices themselves in quarter-sessions, who would be sure to confirm their own decrees. So the good man sat down with his loss, and "took joyfully the spoiling of his goods, knowing in himself that he had in heaven a better and a more enduring substance."
But Mr Henry being the greatest criminal, and having done the most mischief, must needs be animadverted upon accordingly, and therefore he was fined £40. It was much pressed upon him to pay the fine, which might prevent loss to himself, and trouble to the justices. But he was not willing to do it, partly because he would give no encouragement to such prosecutions, nor voluntarily reward the informers for what he thought they rather deserved punishment; and partly because he thought himself wronged in the doubling of the fine. Whereupon his goods were distrained upon and taken away. But their warrant not giving them authority to break open doors, nor their watchfulness getting them an opportunity toenter the house, they carried away about 33 cart-loads of goods out of doors - corn cut upon the ground, hay, coals, etc - which made a great noise in the country, and raised the indignation of many against the decrees which prescribed this grievous ness ; while Mr Henry bore it with his usual evenness and serenity of mind, not at all moved or disturbed by it. He did not boast of his sufferings, or make any great matter of them, but would often say, "Alas! this is nothing to what others suffer, nor to what we ourselves may suffer before we die." And yet he rejoiced and blest God, that it was not for debt or evil doing that his goods were carried away; and "while it is for well doing that we suffer," he said, " they cannot harm us."

Coleman Anecdote 13 Nathaniel Heywood

As a further illustration of the state of things, we may present a case from another part of the country. Mr N Heywood (1633-1677), ejected from Ormskirk, in Lancashire, where he had been a laborious and successful minister of the gospel, preached privately after his ejectment as he had opportunity - usually twice on Lord's-day, and sometimes repeatedly on week days, ordering his labours in several parts of the parish, both in the day and in the night. Nay, in times of great danger, he hath preached at one house the beginning of the night, and then gone two miles on foot over mosses, and preached towards morning to another company at another house. On the Lord's day, December 20,1674, there came three men while Mr Heywood was in prayer before sermon, and when he had ended, one of them came up to the pulpit and said, "Sir, you are our prisoner, come down and go along with us." Mr Heywood desired he might be suffered to preach, and promised then to submit. But the wretch held a pistol to his head, and with dreadful curses and threatenings ordered him down. However, persons of character espoused his cause, so that he was kept from prison and his goods from being distrained; but his spirit was overwhelmed with grief on account of his people, whom he loved as if they had been his children.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Nonconformity Timeline

This useful timeline can be found here at The Dr Williams Centre for Dissenting Studies site

  • 1660 Act for Restoring Ministers
  • An Act for the confirming and restoring of Ministers [12 Car. II, c. 17]
  • 1661 Corporation Act
  • An Act for the well-governing and regulating of Corporations [13 Car. II, stat. 2, c. 1]
  • 1662 Act of Uniformity - An Act for the Uniformity of Public Prayers and Administration of Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies, and for establishing the Form of making, ordaining and consecrating Bishops, Priests and Deacons in the Church of England [14 Car. II, c. 4]
  • 1664 First Conventicle Act - An Act to prevent and suppress seditious Conventicles [16 Car. II, c. 4]
  • 1665 Five Mile Act - An Act for restraining Non-conformists from inhabiting in Corporations [17 Car. II, c. 2]
  • 1669 Second Conventicle Act - An Act to prevent and suppress seditious Conventicles [22 Car. II, c. 1]
  • 1673 Test Act - An Act for preventing dangers which may happen from Popish Recusants [25 Car. II, c. 2]
  • 1678 Second Test Act - An Act for the more effectual preserving the King’s Person and Government, by disabling Papists from sitting in either House of Parliament [30 Car. II, stat. 2, c. 1]
  • 1689 Toleration Act - An Act for exempting Their Majesties Protestant Subjects, dissenting from the Church of England, from the Penalties of certain Laws [1 Gul. & Mar., c. 18]
  • 1698 Blasphemy Act - An Act for the more Effectual Suppressing of Blasphemy and Profaneness [9& 10 Wm III, c.32]
  • 1711 Occasional Conformity Act - An Act for preserving the Protestant Religion, by better securing the Church of England as by Law established [10 Anne, c. 6]
  • 1714 Schism Act - An Act to prevent the growth of Schism, and for the further security of the churches of England and Ireland, as by law established [13 Anne, c. 7]
  • 1719 Act for the Repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts - An Act for strengthening the Protestant Interest in these Kingdoms [5 Geo. I, c. 4]
  • 1779 Protestant Dissenters' Relief Act - An Act for the further Relief of Protestant Dissenting Ministers and Schoolmasters [19 Geo. III, c. 44]
  • 1812 Places of Religious Worship Act -An Act to repeal certain Acts, and amend other Acts relating to Religious Worship and Assemblies, and Persons teaching or preaching therein [52 Geo. III, c.155]
  • 1813 Unitarian Relief Act - The Doctrine of the Trinity Act [53 Geo. III, c. 160]
  • 1826 founding of the University of London (its name was changed to University College London in 1836)
  • 1828 Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts - An Act for repealing so much of several Acts as imposes the Necessity of receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper as a Qualification for certain Offices and Employments [9 Geo. IV, c. 17]
  • 1832 Reform Act - An Act to amend the representation of the people in England and Wales. Its formal short title and citation is the Representation of the People Act 1832 [2 & 3 Wm. IV, c. 45]
  • 1834 University Admission Bill
  • 1835 Municipal Reform Act - Municipal Corporations Act 1835 [5 & 6 Wm. IV, c. 76]
  • 1836 Founding of the University of London (established as an examining body to award degrees)
  • 1854 Oxford University Act - An Act to make further Provision for the good Government and Extension of the University of Oxford, of the Colleges therein [1854 CHAPTER 81 17 and 18 Vict.]
  • 1856 Cambridge University Act
  • An Act to make further Provision for the good Government and Extension of the University of Cambridge, of the Colleges therein [1856 CHAPTER 88 19 and 20 Vict.]
  • 1871 Universities Tests Act - An Act to alter the law respecting Religious Tests in the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Durham, and in the Halls and Colleges of those Universities [1871 CHAPTER 26 34 and 35 Vict.]
David L. Wykes

Friday, 23 September 2011

Farewell Sermons Contents

The Contents of the Farewell Sermons volume from SDG

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 indispensable duty of all sincere saints, in the most black and shaking seasons, to stand fast fixed and steadfast 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.

Farewell Sermons SDG

Solid Ground Books are currently advertising this volume of Farewell Sermons here. They say

Addresses from Some of the Most Eminent Nonconformist Ministers of the Great Ejection of 1662
Richard Baxter, Thomas Manton, Thomas Watson, Thomas Brooks, Joseph Caryl, William Jenkyn, William Bates and Eleven More

SOLID GROUND has an Opportunity to Publish a New Edition of "FAREWELL SERMONS: Addresses from Some of the Most Eminent Nonconformist Ministers of the Great Ejection of 1662
The following paragraphs from the Original Preface will explain the power in this volume:
"Most of the sermons contained in this collection were delivered on the twenty-fourth of August, in the year 1662. On that day the act requiring a perfect conformity to the book of Common Prayer, and to the rites and ceremonies of the church took place: the effect of which enactment was the silencing of nearly two thousand five hundred ministers, the death of three thousand nonconformists, and the ruin of sixty thousand families. Such was the result of the restoration of Charles the Second of infamous memory.
To ascertain the spirit which actuated the ejected ministers, it is sufficient to refer to the following selection of their farewell sermons, which were delivered at the very moment they were agonizing under the fangs of persecution, but which discover nothing but a combination of christian graces. Bishop Burnet admits that 'many of them were distinguished by their abilities and their zeal '; and the celebrated Locke has remarked, 'Bartholomew-day was fatal to our church and religion, by throwing out a very great number of worthy, learned, pious and orthodox divines.'"
C H Spurgeon said "Those great preachers whose names we remember, were men who counted nothing their own: they were driven out from their benefices, because they could not conform to the Established Church, and they gave up all they had willingly to the Lord. They were hunted from place to place, they wandered here and there to preach the gospel to a few. Those were foul times; but they promised they would walk the road fair or foul, and they did walk it knee-deep in mud; and they would have walked it if it had been kinee-deep in blood too. But now we are all little men, there is scarce a man alive now upon this earth."
John Bunyan, who spent 12 years in Bedford jail for his Nonconformity, said, "I fought till my sword did cleave to my right hand; and then they were joined together, as if a sword grew out of my arm; and when the blood ran through my fingers, then I fought with most courage."
Iain Murray wrote, "John Stoughton has described the Sunday upon which most of the Farewell Sermons were preached: 'No Sunday in England ever resembled exactly that which fell on the 17th of August, 1662, one week before the feast of St Bartholomew. There have been "mourning, lamentation, and woe," in particular parish churches when death, persecution, or some other cause has broken pastoral ties, and severed from loving congregations their spiritual guides; but for many hundreds of ministers on the same day to be uttering farewells is an unparalleled circumstance. In after years, Puritan fathers and mothers related to their children the story of assembled crowds, of aisles, standing-places and stairs, filled to suffocation, of people clinging to open windows like swarms of bees, of overflowing throngs in churchyards and streets, of deep silence or stifled sobs, as the flock gazed on the shepherd - "sorrowing most of all that they should see his face no more." ' It is well for us to bear such a background in mind as we read the following pages. The atmosphere of that day was electric and charged with emotion; the popular discontent was great and strong guards stood ready in London, but these sermons seem far removed from all that. There is a calmness, and unction and a lack of invective. Great though their sorrow was for their flocks and for their nation, they had a message to preach which was more than equal to the strain of the crisis. An eternal God, an Ever-Living Saviour and a glorious hope of heaven, carried them through this heaviest trial."
Don Kistler, founder of Northampton Press, said the following about this volume: "This is a precious volume, because it is the last sermon many of these Puritan pastors preached to their congregations before they were forced out of their pulpits. Yet you will not find any bitterness or acrimony in their sermons. Instead, they do what they had done every other Lord's Day: They preached the glories of Christ.
First published in 2 volumes in the 1600's, then retypeset in 1816 in a single volume, and then published again in 1992, this wonderful collection of Puritan sermons is now available once again. Who knows when it might be available after this edition is gone? Do not miss this opportunity to have this marvelous work. You will be the richer for it. Also, this will likely be your only chance to read sermons by some of the lesser-known, but not lesser-important men represented here, such as Lazarus Seaman, Thomas Lye, George Evanke, and Thomas Jacomb. Solid Ground is to be commended for choosing to reprint this work. Now commend them yourself by purchasing it!"
Ray Rhodes, founder of Nourished in the Word Ministries just added: "If writing makes a man more precise in his communication then writing under persecution further clarifies the message. Some of history's richest sermons have been preached and books written when the author was under either the threat or the actual fires of suffering. The authors of these "Farewell Sermons" are some of the brightest lights in all of Puritan history. Each word, sentence, and paragraph hits the target. Words cannot be wasted when life hangs in the balance. Do you want your character strengthend and your faith deepened? Read these sermons that have been washed by the tears of those who were persecuted for righteousness sake."
Robert Paul Martin, author of 'A Guide to the Puritans' wrote - "Simply one of the finest volumes ever published. The farewell sermons of great Puritan preachers. What more could we ask?"

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Dr Williams's Centre Conference

The Evangelical Library Conference on March 27 will not be the only one marking 1662 it seems.
The Dr Williams's Centre for Dissenting Studies has announced its Conference in 2012 as
1662 Revisited
It is on Saturday 26 May 2012. Details found here.
The eighth annual one-day conference of the Dr Williams's Centre for Dissenting Studies, a collaboration between the School of English and Drama, Queen Mary, University of London, and Dr Williams's Library.
To mark the 350th anniversary of the Restoration Settlement of Religion, the conference will explore its implications in four panels:
Religion: Stephen Taylor (Reading) and Kenneth Fincham (Kent); Mark Burden (Queen Mary); Cory Cotter (Virginia)
Politics: Mark Goldie (Cambridge); Paul Seaward (History of Parliament); Grant Tapsell (St Andrews)
Literature: Neil Keeble (Stirling); David Appleby (Nottingham); Michael Davies (Liverpool)
The Three Kingdoms and the Colonies: Alasdair Raffe (Durham); Owen Stanwood (Boston College); Robert Armstrong (Trinity College Dublin)

Note that the Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches Congregational Studies Conference on Saturday March 17, 2012 is set to look at the same subject I understand.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Coleman Anecdote 12 John Shuttlewood

There was also a Mr [John] Shuttlewood [d 1689], a friend and fellow-sufferer of Mr Clarke (see previous blog), who became the first pastor of the Independent Churches at Welford and Creaton, Northamptonshire. In the year 1668, when he was uniting with some others in singing a psalm, one Mr B, with thirty or forty horsemen, with swords drawn and pistols loaded, came and seized him with many that were worshipping with him. Several of both sexes were beaten and driven into the field and there dismissed upon promising to appear the next day before a justice of the peace. Mr Shuttlewood was conveyed to Leicester jail, where he was a prisoner for some months. After the "Conventicle Act" passed, he was again seized by one Charles Gibbons, a notorious persecutor and profane swearer, taken by him from one justice of the peace to another, and warrants were issued to distrain upon him for £20, upon the owner of the house where he preached for £20, and 5s a-piece on others. At another time his house was entered when he was conducting divine service; a warrant was obtained to distrain upon him for £40, when seven of his milch cows were taken and sold. He was obliged frequently to change his abode, sometimes in Leicestershire, sometimes in Northamptonshire, to escape from his foes. When he met his people at Welford, one of the number was appointed to watch, while the rest were engaged in worship, so that when the informers were seen to approach, notice might be given to Mr Shuttlewood and his hearers, who escaped by the window into the fields. Sometimes they met in the pastures that surrounded the house at Selby, amidst the darkness and the damps of night. These were days of trial, when the reality of religious principle was tested and its power appeared. The constitution of Mr. Shuttlewood was greatly injured by the sufferings he endured, and also by his preaching at unseasonable hours and in unsuitable places.
[This man appears to have opened an academy for training ministers - see Neale]

Coleman Anecdote 11 Maidwell, Browning, Clarke

In the county of Northampton we have a Mr Thomas Maidwell [1609-1692] ejected from the Church at Kettering, and afterwards becoming the devoted successful pastor of the Independent Church formed in that place, much tried, like many of his brethren, by persecutions. One H Sawyer, Esq, a large landed proprietor in the parish, was a bitter enemy to the Nonconformists, and often tried to get Mr Maidwell into his power. He frequently escaped with difficulty, sometimes in disguise. It is said that he was once cast into prison. He was also banished from his home by the "Five Mile Act."
Mr Thomas Browning, ejected from Desborough, Northamptonshire, who became pastor of the Independent Church at Howell, in the same county, was for some time confined in Northampton jail for preaching the gospel; and in the records of the church it is stated, in 1664, "from this time dates a sore persecution and scattering that lay upon us, that we hardly got together, much less obtained church meetings."
In the adjoining county of Leicester we have a Mr Matthew Clarke ejected from the living of Narborough, who afterwards became the pastor of the Independent Churches at Market Harborough and Ashley, three times cast into Leicester jail for the crime of preaching the gospel, narrowly watched by some furious justices of the peace, though he often had the happiness to escape. He dwelt for a time in a lone house in Leicester Forest, and was driven from thence by the "Five Mile Act" to live at a greater distance from any place where he had preached.

Coleman Anecdote 10 William Wilson

A Mr William Wilson, ejected from a living in the county of Sussex [Billingshurst, he was apparently a Baptist], was greatly tried. He had been educated at Cambridge, but was prosecuted after his ejectment for teaching school and preaching. His two greatest enemies were a neighbouring justice and the parson that succeeded him in the parish. The justice threatened that he would have him, dead or alive, and make him rot in the jail. But it is observed that he himself went first to rot in the grave. The parson was so violent, that he directed the officers how to apprehend him, and vented his malice upon Mr Wilson's family after his death, though it was well known that his interest helped to bring him into the parish. But though several warrants were issued out against him, and several attempts were made to take him, God so preserved him, that he never fell into their hands, though he often very narrowly escaped. His usual refuge was the house of Dr Banks, a neighbouring Conformist minister, where he lay unsuspected. At length he was forced to give up his school; and then he purchased a small farm, which his wife and servants managed; but he held on preaching when he could get an auditory, at his own house, or elsewhere. His heart was so set upon ministerial service, that in his last illness nothing was more grievous to him than his being thereby taken off from his work. "When another ejected minister came to visit him, and asked him what he would have him pray for, he answered, "That God would either be pleased to restore him to his ministerial labours, or else receive him to glory." The latter of these requests was answered in the year 1670, when he was about forty years of age.

Baxter on Simeon Ash

In his autobiography Baxter writes about the nonconformist Simeon Ash as follows:

Good old Mr Simeon Ash was buried the very even of Bartholomew's Day and went seasonably to heaven at the very time he was to be cast out of the Church. He was one of our very oldest Nonconformists (of the old strain; for now [1662] conforming is quite another thing than before the wars): he was a Christian of the primitive simplicity; not made for controversy, nor inclined to disputes, but of a holy life and a cheerful mind, and of a fluent elegancy in prayer, full of matter and excellent words: his ordinary speech was holy and edifying: being confined much to his house by the gout, and having a good estate, and a very good wife, inclined to entertainments and liberality, his house was very much frequented by Ministers: he was always cheerful, without profuse laughter or liberty, or vain words: never troubled with doubtings of his interest in Christ; bat tasting the continual love of God, was much disposed to the communicating of it to others, and comforting dejected souls: his eminent sincerity made him exceedingly loved and honoured: insomuch as Mr Gataker, Mr Whittaker, and others of the most excellent divines of London, when they went to God, desired him to preach their funeral sermons. He was zealous for bringing in the king; having been chaplain to the Earl of Manchester in the wars, he fell under the obloquy of the Cromwellians for crossing their designs: he wrote to Colonel Sanders, Colonel Barton, and others in the army, when General Monk came in, to engage them for the king. Having preached his lecture in Cornhill, being heated, he took cold in the vestry, and thinking it would have proved but one of his old fits of the gout, he went to Highgate; but it turned to a fever. He died as he lived, in great consolation and cheerful exercise of faith, molested with no doubts or fears, discernible: exceeding glad of the company of his friendsand greatly encouraging all about him with his joyful expressions in respect of death and his approaching change; so that no man could seem to be more fearless of it. When he had at last lain speechless for some time, as soon as I came to him, gladness so excited his spirits that he spake joyfully and freely of his going to God to those about him. I stayed with him his last evening, till we had long expected his change (being Speechless all that day), and in the night he departed.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Baxter's Analysis

In his autobiography Baxter attempts an analysis of the way things stood after the Great Ejection. He speaks of
1. Conformists
1 Some conformed who had previously been known as Presbyterians as simply subscribed understanding it in their own sense. Baxter suggests considerations of family and poverty held sway with some. He adds that "most that I knew, when once they inclined to Conformity, did avoid the company of their brethren, and never asked them what their reasons were against Conformity."
2 Latitudinarians - (neo-)Platonists, Cartesians, many Arminian, some universalists. Some scholars some ambitious to rise.
3 Hearty conformists
(1) Some zealous for diocesan views and against the Nonconformists
(2) Some more sympathetic (privately) to Nonconformists
(3) The ignorant adn unlearned and the snesuous and scandalous
2. Nonconformists
1 Some few were for the old conformity, not covenanters nor happy about the civil wars yet unable to assent to all things now imposed
2 Men like Baxter himself, not strongly pro- or anti- episopal
3 Genuine Presbyterians
4 Independents. Mostly these, Baxter says, are like the moderate Presbyterians but some are more factious. He also mentions sects such as the Quakers and some Anabaptists who also fell foul of the new laws, of course.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Coleman Anecdote 09 John James

In the county of Nottingham lived a Mr John James, who was called to suffer great losses and long imprisonments. For seventeen months he was confined in Nottingham jail. He then petitioned Judge Atkins in the circuit, and was released. But some time after he was seized again, and clapped up in Newark jail, where he lay about six years, and could obtain no relief, unless he would promise to give over preaching, which he absolutely refused. His prison, indeed, here was made tolerably comfortable by the favour of the keeper, who suffered his friends to come to him, and gave him leave to preach amongst them, both in the prison and in other houses in the town. His confinement continued until the Indulgence in 1672. Afterwards, falling into the same sin of preaching, he was informed against, and warrants were granted to seize his goods, which was done with such rigour, that they left him not a stool to sit on. They broke open house, stable, and barns, and took away whatever they met with; and they did it in so furious a manner, as to fright three children into convulsions, and one of them, six years of age, died a night or two after. He lost to the value of nearly £500 in goods and cattle. His chief adversary, Justice Whaley, who had then an estate of £1500 per annum, died in prison for debt in London. Some time before his death he wrote a letter to Mr James, acknowledging his great crime in being an enemy to him, and owning that the hand of God was justly upon him for it.

Coleman Anecdote 08 Richard Worts

In the county of Norfolk we find a Mr R[ichard] Worts [d 1686], a worthy minister, a great sufferer for his Nonconformity. He was seized, and made a close prisoner at the time when the plague raged in London. With six more he was put into the castle, in a hole in the wall, where there was neither door, window, nor chimney. The hole had three wickets into the castle yard, one of which was of necessity open night and day, or they must have been suffocated with the steam of the charcoal. For five weeks the door below was kept continually locked, the hole being above 'forty steps high in a narrow passage in the wall. The keeper usually went away with the key ahout four o'clock, near a mile and a half from the head jailer's house, and returned not until about eight in the morning, during whose absence none could -come to them, whatever occasion there might be, and they were not permitted for five weeks so much as to come out into the yard. If a prisoner's wife came to see him, he was called down to the door, and .the keeper used to set his back against one side of the door, and his foot against the other, and in this manner the husband and wife might only see and rspeak with each other. After about two months' continuance here, they were removed to another prison. They were wonderfully preserved this year from the contagion of the plague, while the arrows of the Almighty fell very near them, on one side and another, there being only a lane between, so that they could see some that were shut up, and hear them cry for bread. In this trying situation they fled to their strong tower, the name of the Lord, where they found safety and peace. Some time after, a great man in power told the jailer he must forthwith carry them to the castle, and put up each in a place alone. The jailer answered, "It cannot be done, the castle is full, and I daily fear the plague should break out amongst them." "Then put them into a place together; what do I care if the plague be in it ?" was the reply. However, they were preserved in that filthy hole, at whose wickets came in the odious smell of the common yard of the felons. One of them, indeed, was almost suffocated by it, and the physician could give him no relief, so long as he was confined there. Mr Worts continued a prisoner seven years.

More Baxter

"And now," Baxter continues " came in the great inundation of calamities, which in many streams, overwhelmed thousands of godly Christians together with their pastors. ... (1) Hundreds of able ministers with their wives and children had neither house nor bread; for many of them had not past thirty or forty pounds per annum apiece, and most but sixty or eighty pounds per annum, and few had any considerable estates of their own. (2) The people's poverty was so great, that they were not able much to relieve their ministers. (3) The jealousy of the state and the malice of their enemies were so great, that people that were willing durst not be known to give to their ejected pastors, lest it should be said that they maintained schism, or were making collections for some plot or insurrection. (4) The hearts of the people were much grieved for the loss of their pastors. (5) Many places had such set over them in their steads, as they could not with conscience or comfort commit the conduct of their souls to: and they were forced to own all these"... receiving the sacrament in the several parishes whether they would or not. (6) Those that did not this were to be excommunicated, and then to have a writ sued out against them de excommunicato capiendo, to lay them in the jail, and seize on their estates." Baxter lengthens out this catalogue of evils by enumerating the many divisions among ministers and among Christians which the great controversy of the time occasioned, the murmuring and complaining of the people against the government; and he concludes with the remark that "by all these sins, these murmurings, and these violations of the interest of the church and the cause of Christ, the land was prepared for that further inundation of calamities, by war and plague, and scarcity, which hath since brought it near to desolation."

Baxter on that day

"When the Act of Uniformity was passed," says Richard Baxter in his autobiography, "it gave no longer time than till Bartholomew's day, Aug. 24, 1662, and then they must be all cast out. This fatal day called to remembrance the French massacre, when, on the same day, thirty or forty thousand Protestants perished by Roman religious zeal and charity. I had no place of my own; but I preached twice a week, by request, in other men's congregations, at Milk Street and Blackfriars. The last sermon that I preached in public was on May 25. The reasons why I gave over sooner than most others were, because lawyers did interpret a doubtful clause in the act, as ending the liberty of lecturers at that time; because I would let authority soon know that I intended to obey in all that was lawful; because I would let all ministers in England understand in time, whether I intended to conform or not; for, had I staid to the last day, some would have conformed the sooner, from a supposition that I intended it. These, with other reasons, moved me to cease three months before Bartholomew's day, which many censured for a while, but, afterwards, better saw the reasons of it."

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Coleman Anecdote 07 Timothy Sacheverel

Of Mr Timothy Sacheverel, who was ejected from Tarrant Hinton, in Dorsetshire, great uncle to the notorious Doctor Sacheverel, we are informed, that between the Restoration and Bartholomew-day, he was put down in a list that contained the names of several that were to be sent to prison; but Sir Gerard Naper, being in the chair at the sessions, and having a respect for him, refused to set his hand to the commitment, and so they all escaped for that time. Soon after Bartholomew-day he was cited to the Spiritual Court at Blandford, whither many people came in hope of something like a public disputation - at least, expecting to hear him very severely reprimanded; but the Chancellor told him he did not send for him to dispute with him, knowing him to be a person of great worth, temper, and learning, but only desired him to weigh all matters calmly and without prejudice, and then left him to do as God should direct him; whereupon, as soon as he had in form admonished him, he was dismissed. But such was the hostility to the worship of the Nonconformists in any way, that not long after several troopers of the militia rushed suddenly into his house one morning, while he was at prayer with his family. One of them came and held a pistol at his back, commanding him, in the king's name, immediately to stand up, but he still continued praying. However, he soon concluded, and, with great presence of mind, asked the trooper "How he durst thus pretend in the king's name to interrupt him, while he and his family were presenting their petitions to the King of kings?"

Coleman Anecdote 06 Joseph Allen

Mr Joseph Allen, the ejected minister of Taunton, was, on May 26th, 1663, committed to Ilchester jail for singing psalms in his own house, and preaching to his family, others being present. Here he continued a year, but upon his enlargement, returned again to his work, which he followed with unwearied diligence. But in the next year he was committed a second time to jail, with several other ministers, and forty private persons, where he contracted such distempers and weaknesses, as brought him to his grave before he was thirty-six years of age. He was an awakening, lively preacher, zealous and successful in his Master's work, and of a peaceable and quiet spirit.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Judge Jeffries and the Bloody Assizes

Judge George Jeffries features in several of Coleman's anecdotes. Read about Jeffries here and the Bloody Assizes of 1685 where he presided here.

Coleman Anecdote 05 Francis Bampfield

A Mr Francis Bamfield, ejected from Sherbourn, in the same county [Dorset], was, after his ejectment, praying and expounding a portion of Scripture, as was his custom, with his family, and a few neighbours were present, when some soldiers broke in upon them, and obtained a warrant for their imprisonment. He afterwards suffered eight years' confinement in Dorchester jail, which he bore with great courage and patience, being filled with the comfort of the Holy Ghost. He preached in the prison sometimes every day, and gathered a church there. When he obtained his liberty he travelled in several counties preaching the Word. Was taken up again and imprisoned in Salisbury, where he continued 18 weeks. He afterwards formed a church in London, of the Baptist persuasion, which met at Pinners' Hall; but here he was exposed to fresh persecution. On one occasion the constable and several men with halberts rushed into the assembly when he was in the pulpit. The constable ordered him, in the king's name, to come down. He replied that he was discharging his office in the name of the King of kings. The constable told him he had a warrant from the Lord Mayor. Mr B replied, "I have a warrant from Christ, who is Lord Maximus, to go on;" and so proceeded in his discourse. But the constable and one of the officers pulled him down. They seized him, took him and six more to the Lord Mayor, who fined several of them £10. In the same month he was again pulled out of his pulpit, and led through the streets with the Bible in his hand, and great numbers of people after him, some reproaching and others speaking in his favour, one of whom said, "See how he walks, with the Bible in his hand, like one of the old martyrs.'" Being brought to the session, where the Lord Mayor was, he and three more were sent to prison. When afterwards brought to receive their sentence, the recorder, after odiously aggravating their offence, and reflecting on scrupulous consciences, read their sentence as follows: "That they were out of the protection of the king's majesty; that all their goods and chattels were forfeited; and that they were to remain in jail during their lives, or during the king's pleasure." Upon this Mr. B. would have spoken, but there was a great uproar—" Away with them, we will not hear them"—when Mr. B. said, "The righteous Lord loveth righteousness," " The Lord be judge in this case." They were then returned to Newgate, where Mr Bamfield, who was of a tender constitution, soon after died.

Larkham Manuscripts

In his book on Cumberland and Westmorland benjamin Nightingale has this note among his sources
The Larkham MSS

These include:

(a) The Cockermouth Church Book. This was the work of George Larkham until his death, a few additions being made by later hands. It is in the possession of the
Deacons of the Cockermouth Congregational Church.
(b) The Diary of Thomas Larkham from 1647. This is a most remarkable document and is about the same size as the Cockermouth Church Book. There appear to be in
it at least five different handwritings:
1. That of the original owner who seems to have been an apothecary. The writing here is beautiful and the entries are such as would concern his business. The date in this writing goes back at least to 1697.

2. Near the end of the book are several pages occupied with Christenings, Burials and Receipts in "or [our] prish church of East Greenwch, by G. L. then elected Clarke," beginning with December 1615. The writing is small and neat, but distinctly different from the other.

3. Thomas Larkham was sometime Minister of East Greenwich, and probably the book came into his possession through this connection. He used it as a Diary and Book of Accounts and the earliest date is 1647. These items appear in the various spaces which the other writers had left; but Larkham was not satisfied with that, he has written on the top of the other, actually using their words and letters wherever possible for his own purpose. The result is that it is extremely difficult to pick out his entries.

4. From Thomas Larkham the book appears to have passed on to his son George, the Cockermouth Minister, who fills in remaining spaces and adds copies of letters which Mr Lewis has printed.

5. The next writer is Larkham Bowes, George Larkham's grandson, whose entries are few.

The MS. is owned by H M Fawcett, Esq, of Whitley Bay, a descendant of Larkham, who kindly lent it me for some time. It is very doubtful if a complete transcript can ever be made owing to the superimposition of Larkham's writing upon the original; and the task of making a fairly readable one is very serious. I have, however, proceeded some way through it. The MS is soiled and worn in places ; and was rebound by the owner a short time ago.

Thomas Larkham

Thomas Larkham was ejected from the lving at Tavistock in Devon. See here. Also see ODNB. A little history of the church can be found here. His diary is due to be published this year.

Coleman Anecdote 04 John Weeks

In Dorsetshire there was a Mr John Weeks, who after his ejectment became minister of a large congregation at Bristol. But he met with hardships on account of his Nonconformity, which he bore with great patience, meekness, and courage. As he was once preaching in Froom Woodlands, some informers came who had vowed to shoot him; but he directed his discourse to them with such majesty arid boldness that they rode away without giving him any disturbance. He was afterwards imprisoned six months for his Nonconformity, during which he preached out of the prison windows, and had many of the common people constantly to hear him. He was once carried to prison from his pulpit. While he was preaching the officers came in, and demanded by what authority he preached. He thereupon clapped his hand upon the Bible, and said, "By the authority of God and this book." They ordered him to come down. He desired he might conclude with prayer, which they yielded to, standing uncovered. He; prayed so heartily for the king and government, that one of his friends, after prayer, asked a clergyman, who came with the officers, what he had to say against such a man. "Truly nothing," he replied, "only such men eat the bread out of our mouths." There was one John Helliar, a lawyer, crafty and subtle, one of the most furious persecutors in that part of the kingdom. A rather amusing anecdote is related concerning him. On one occasion he went with the bishop to Mr Weeks' meeting-house at Bristol, to apprehend Mr Weeks, and he took down the names of several who were present at the meeting. One, however, hesitated to tell his name, and, though he was pressed again and again, he still refused. At length, being urged by several to inform them why he would not tell his name, he answered, "Because I am ashamed of it." Being further asked what reason he had to be ashamed of his name, he answered, with well-feigned reluctance and shamefacedness, " Because it is Helliar." It is needless to add that there was a general laugh at the mortified lawyer.
We are informed that Mr Weeks was as popular a preacher as most in England, and remarkably fervent in expostulating with sinners. He took pains with his sermons to the last. He was a minister out of the pulpit as well as in it; a most affectionate, sympathising friend, and one who became all things to all men. He discovered a most divine temper in his last illness, and was serene and joyful in the approach of death.

Coleman Anecdote 03 Robert Collins

In the same county (of Devon) our attention may be directed to a Mr [Robert] Collins, who preached in his own house after his ejectment. But under the "Conventicle Act," one Lord's day in September, 1670, his house was surrounded with the officers and the vilest rabble of the town, who, not daring to break open the doors till they had obtained a warrant from a neighbouring justice, kept the congregation prisoners till night, when the warrant arrived. On forcing the doors, the gentlemen and the rabble treated both the minister and the people with great incivility. They wrote down the names of whom they pleased; took some into custody ; had warrants issued out for levying £20 on Mr Collins for preaching, £20 on the house, and 5s on each of the hearers, though they could produce no proof that there was any preaching or praying at all. After this followed breaking open of houses and shops, taking away goods and wares, forcing open gates, driving off cattle and exposing to sale for the raising of the fines.
On another occasion he was brought before a justice of the peace, who treated him and some others with great inhumanity, calling Mr Collins a minister of the devil, using other abusive and scurrilous language; and when Mr C offered to reply, threatening him with the jail, and interlacing his words with oaths and curses. On another occasion he and his wife went on horseback to attend a funeral, and a constable, by a warrant he obtained, seized them both. But at length his wife was set at liberty, and he was taken to the constable's house, and kept there under a guard, night and day, from Wednesday to Friday, when he was brought before the magistrate, and had the "Corporation Oath" tendered. On his refusing it, he was sent to the high jail, though a thousand pounds bail was offered, where he lay six months with the common prisoners, though while there he was considered to have heen the instrument of converting a poor prisoner that was executed. He was repeatedly persecuted for not attending divine service at church; also for living within five miles of the place where he had been minister; till he was at last constrained to leave his family and the kingdom and to withdraw to Holland, at the loss of several hundred pounds, and was obliged to sell a very handsome mansion-house, and a fine estate adjoining, to maintain himself and his family in their distracted condition. He was a grave and holy man. At his death he left £20 towards building a new meeting house.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Coleman Anecdote 02 Nosworthy

In the county of Devon we find a Mr Nosworthy meeting with many enemies and much opposition. One Mr Stowell distinguished himself in his furious zeal against him; and with _____ Bevan, Esq., came
into his meeting and required him to come down. He was advised by an attorney who was present to keep his place; but they threatened to pull him out of the pulpit, and at length obliged him to come down. The same person more than once disturbed his meeting afterwards; and one time, on a week-day, with drums and muskets, which so frightened Mrs Nosworthy that it was thought to occasion her death. In consequence of his having a service in his house, they convicted him for holding a conventicle, imposed upon him a fine of £20, and £20 upon the house. Yet he was a man whose learning and other ministerial qualifications were considerable. The neighbouring ministers paid great deference to his judgment, and often made him moderator in their debates. After his death, several of his enemies were troubled on account of the disturbances they had given him, and sent to his children, who were eminent for their piety, begging their prayers, and desiring forgiveness of the injury they had done their families.

Coleman Anecdote 01 Calamy

In London the celebrated Edmund Calamy, BD, was one of the first that was imprisoned after the passing of the "Act of Uniformity." He went on Lord's-day, December 28, to the church of Aldermanbury, where he had been minister, with an intention to be a hearer; but the person expected to preach happened to fail. To prevent a disappointment, and through the importunity of the people present, he went up and preached upon the concern of old Eli for the ark of God. Upon this, by a warrant from the Lord Mayor, he was committed to Newgate as a breaker of the "Act of Uniformity;" but in a few days, when it was seen what a resort to him there was of persons of all qualities, and how generally the severity was resented, he was discharged by his Majesty's express order. His grandson relates the following:
"I have been informed that a certain Popish lady, happening then to pass through the City, had much ado to get along Newgate Street, by reason of the many coaches that attended there, at which she was not a little surprised. Curiosity led her to inquire into the occasion of the stoppage, and the appearance of such a number of coaches in a place where she thought nothing of that kind was to be looked for. The standers-by informed her that one Mr Calamy, a person generally beloved and respected, was imprisoned there for a single sermon, at which they seemed greatly disturbed and concerned. This so moved the lady that, taking the first opportunity of waiting upon the King at Whitehall, she frankly told his Majesty the whole matter, expressing her fear that, if such steps as these were taken, he would lose the affections of the City, which might be a very ill consequence. Upon this account, and some others, my grandfather was in a little time discharged by the express order of his Majesty." 
This imprisonment made no small noise in the country. Dr Wilde published a copy of verses, in a facetious style, addressed to Mr. Calamy, which was spread through all parts of the kingdom. And oh what insulting, says Mr Baxter, there was by that party in the Newsbook and in their discourses, that Calamy, who would not be a bishop, was in jail. Coleman gives the Wilde poem.

Coleman on the 2000 Confessors of 1662

Thomas Coleman's book on the 2000 Confessors of 1662 first appeared in 1862. Some 240 pages long it has seven unequal chapters. After an introduction linking the St Bartholomew's Day massacre, 1662 and the disruption in Scotland the first chapters (1-3) cover the history of the period - the events leading up to the ejection (17-27), the principles on which they acted (28-51) and the oppressive measures they suffered (52-84).
At this point the book becomes more anecdotal with a long chapter (82 pages) on Characteristics of the men and their times, looking at the sufferings endured (85-137), some remarkable interpositions on their behalf (138-158) and rebukes suffered by adversaries (159-167). Chapter 5 outlines the eminent piety of some of these men (168-207). Chapter 6, makes four points regarding their subsequent influence (208-223) - 1. Their great influence on the civil and religious liberties of Britain 2Their powerful influence in teaching to their own generation, and to those that have succeeded them, that there is something more in religion than a name and a form 3. Their great influence on the theology of their country 4. Their great influence in maintaining the vital power of Christianity against the formality that was promoted by the ritualism of the Church. A final chapter considers the way things were at the time of  publication (224-236).
There is also an appendix listing numbers county by county and an index. An edition of the book can be accessed here

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Baptists and 1662 Chart

Double Click to enlarge
Ministers charged with holding posts in the Established Church while being Baptists, grouped in eleven classes.

1. Never Baptist. 2. Never in the Establishment. 3. Became Baptist after 1662. 4. Resigned from the Establishment on becoming Baptist. 5. Doubtful if Baptist. 6. Date of resigning living uncertain. 7. Not identified. 8. Chaplain. 9. Died as Baptist in the Establishment. 10. Ejected as Baptist from the Establishment 11. Conformed though Baptist.

Millard The Great Ejectment of 1662

Benjamin A Millard's 1912 book The Great Ejectment of 1662 is just 114 pages and seeks to introduce the subject to young Congregationalists of the time. It is the sort of thing we need today updated.
It was published by the Congegational Union of England and Wales has 8 chapters.
1. Before the king came home - Giving the background and explaining the religous parties of the time (Independents, Presbyterians, Praltists adn Roman Catholics)
2. "Presbyterian" Ideals - Having explained their dominance among the Puritans at this time he says that they sought four things - 1. Limitation of the scope and powers of the Episcpal office 2. A more thorough and effective system of spiritual discipline 3. Omission of certain ceremonial acts and prohibition of certain vestments 4. Thorough revision of the Prayer Book inviolving omissions and additions.
3. The Act of Uniformity - Here he surveys the course of events to the passing of the act
4. "Black Bartholomew" - This relates the actual events of the time the act was implemented
5. The whip of scorpions - Here he realtes the persecution that followed including the bringing in of further Acts that served to make the suffering of the Nonconformists greater.
6. "Of whom the world was not worthy" - something further on the sufferings that were endured 1662-1688 with some examples
7. The spoils of victory (1) - After a brief review he give, first, more particular consideration to the matters arising, namely 1 The supremacy of Scripture 2 The responsibilities of conscience 3 The basis on which a National Church should be established 4 How spiritual unity can be realised
8. The spoils of victory (2)  - The final brief consideration is to do with 1 Human rights 2 Spiritual freedom

Peter Ince

The story of the ejected minister Peter Ince is often told. Coleman has it like this
A Pleasing Discovery
Mr Peter Ince, ejected from the rectory of Dunhead, in Wilts, after being silenced, clothed himself in the dress of a shepherd, and engaged himself in that capacity to a Mr Grove, that in this way he might obtain support for himself and his family.
But not long after the year 1662, the wife of Mr Grove, who was a gentleman of great opulence, was taken dangerously ill, and Mr G sent for the parish minister to pray with her. When the messenger came, he was just going out with the hounds, and sent word that he would come when the hunt was over.
Mr Grove expressed much resentment against the minister, for choosing rather to follow his diversion than attend his wife, under the circumstances in which she then lay, when one of the servants said, "Sir, our shepherd, if you will send for him, can pray, very well; we have often heard him at prayer in the field." Upon this he was immediately sent for, and Mr Grove asked him whether he ever did or could pray. The shepherd fixed his eyes upon him, and, with peculiar seriousness in his countenance, replied,
"God forbid, sir, I should live one day without prayer." Hereupon he was desired to pray with the sick lady, which he did so pertinently to her case, with such fluency and fervency of devotion, as greatly to astonish the husband and all the family that were present. When they arose from their knees, Mr. Grove said, " Your language and manner discover you to be a very different person from what your present appearance indicates. I conjure you to inform me who and what you are, and what were your views and situation in life before you came into my service." Whereupon he told him that he was one of the ministers that had been lately ejected from the Church, and that having nothing of his own left, he was content, for a livelihood, to submit to the honest and peaceful employment of tending sheep. Upon hearing this, Mr Grove said, "Then you shall be my sfiepherd/" and immediately erected a meeting-house on his own estate, in which Mr Ince preached, and gathered a congregation of Dissenters. He is said to have been a good scholar, well skilled in the languages, especially in the Hebrew, and a good practical preacher. He had an admirable gift in prayer, and would, in days of special prayer, pour forth his soul with such spirituality, variety, fluency, and affection, that he was called praying Ince.

Monday, 4 July 2011

English Religious Laws 1660-1728

                      English Religious Laws passed from 1660 to 1728
Date passed
Date repealed
Required oaths and communion for officers
Penalties reduced by Indemnity Act; Final repeal 1871
Publications approved by Archbishop or Bishop

Uniformity [1]
Ejected nonc. ministers by 1664

To present
Bartholomew Act
Uniformity [2]
Required teachers to take communion and have Bishop’s License

Uniformity [3]
Required oath 39 Articles universities
Changed in 1772
Banned Quaker assemblies, required oaths

Conventicle  [1]
Banned religious gatherings of more than 5

Five Mile
Banned ejected ministers and unlicensed preachers within  5 miles of towns

Conventicle [2]
Banned religious gatherings of more than 5

Civil/military officers must take communion, renounce Mass, swear Corporation oaths, aimed at Catholics, also affected other Nonconformists
Penalties reduced by Indemnity Act
Papist’s Disabling
Barred Catholics from Parliament

Suspended penal laws agt. Nonconformists, allowed Trinitarians to license chapels

To present
Modified in 1779
Penalties incl. death for arians, socinians and atheists

Occasional Conformity

Barred  Dissenters from taking Anglican communion to qualify for office

Barred Dissenters from keeping schools

Reduced penalties under Test and Corporation Acts; allowed Dissenters to hold offices

Became annual from 1756 until repeal of Test and Corporation Acts