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.

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