Tuesday, 23 August 2011

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.

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