Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Anything but sin

In Read's Case here we read on page 4
It was the saying of a Reverend Minister Mr. J. B. of Worcester, when he lay upon his death bed, and was asked what thoughts he had of His Nonconformity "I would have done anything but sin," saith he, "that I might have continued in the exercise of my ministry but when it came to that, there was no remedy."


The link here is to a paper by David L Wykes summarising the legislation affecting nonconformists down the years.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Radio broadcast due

You may be interested to know that I did an interview about the new book on 1662 recently and it is scheduled to be broadcast next Thursday, Sept. 27 at 2:30am; 12:30pm and 9:30pm PDT (BST is 8 hours ahead) on "His People" over the Pilgrim Radio Network and at here.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Coleman Anecdote 20 Judge Jeffreys and Philip Henry

The conduct of Jeffreys to Philip Henry. 
Having presented several cases in which the conduct of the Chief Justice appears as little else than a compound of cruelty, injustice, and profaneness, it will be proper to record one instance in which he acted in a different manner, which shows some remaining influence of early education on such a mind as his.
Some time after the prosecution of Philip Henry, as related in a preceding page, Judge Jeffreys attended at the assizes for Flintshire, and it was remarked that he did not in private conversation appear to applaud what was done in this matter, as was expected. It was also said that he spoke with some respect of Mr. Henry, saying, "he knew him and his character well, and that he was a great friend of his mother's
" - Mrs. Jeffreys, of Acton, near Wrexham, a very pious, good woman - "and that sometimes, at his mother's request, Mr. Henry had examined him in his learning when he was a schoolboy, and had commended his proficiency." And it was much wondered at by many, that of all the times Sir George Jeffreys went that circuit, though it is well known what was his temper, and what the temper of those times, yet he never sought any occasion against Mr. Henry, nor took the occasions that were offered, nor countenanced any trouble that was intended him.
One particular circumstance may be recorded. There had been an agreement among several ministers to spend some time, either in secret or in their families, or both, between six and eight o'clock every Monday morning, in prayer, for the Church of God and for the land and nation, more fully and particularly than at other times, and to make that their special errand at a throne of grace, and to engage as many of their praying friends as ever they could to the observance of it. This had been communicated by Mr. Henry to.
 some of his friends in London, and he punctually observed it in his own practice. He also mentioned it to some of his acquaintances, who observed it in like manner.
It happened that Mr. Ambrose Lewis, a minister in Derbyshire, to whom he had communicated this, was so well pleased with it that he wrote a letter concerning it to a friend of his at a distance, which letter happened to fall into hands that perverted it, and made information upon it against the writer and receiver of the letter, who were bound over to the assizes; and great suspicions Sir George Jeffreys had that it was a branch of the Presbyterian plot, and rallied the parties accused severely.
At length it appeared, either by the letter or the confession of the parties, that they received the project from Mr. Henry, which it was greatly feared would bring him into trouble; but Sir George, to the admiration of many, let it fall, and never inquired further into it.
It appears that there are some men "whose ways so please the Lord, that he makes even their enemies to be at peace with them;" and there is nothing lost by trusting in God.

Edward Bowles 1613-1662

This is from the ODNB 1900
BOWLES, EDWARD (1613-1662), presbyterian minister, was born in February 1613 at Sutton, Bedfordshire. His father, Oliver Bowles, B.D., minister of Sutton, was one of the oldest members of the Westminster Assembly, and author of:
  • 'Zeale for God's House quickned: a Fast Sermon before the Assembly of the Lords, Commons, and Divines,' 1643, 4to.
  • 'De Pastore Evangelico,' 1649, 4to; 1655 and 1659, 16mo (published by his son, and dedicated to the Earl of Manchester).
  • Bowles was educated at Catherine Hall, Cambridge, under Sibbes and Brownrigge. He was chaplain to the second Earl of Manchester, and after the surrender of York, 15 July 1644, was appointed one of the four parliamentary ministers in that city, officiating alternately at the minster and Allhallows-on-the-Pavement. On 10 June 1645 the House of Commons voted him one of the ministers in the army. His preaching is said to have been extremely popular, even with hearers not of his own party. Among the presbyterians of the city and district he was the recognised leader; nay, it is said that, without being a forward man, 'he ruled all York.' On 29 Dec. 1657 he wrote to Secretary Thurloe, urging the suppression of preachers who advocated the observance of Christmas. Matthew Pool, the commentator, thought more of his judgment than of any other man's. He was a man of some humour. In 1660 he was active in the restoration of the monarchy, accompanying Fairfax to Breda, and incurring some odium with his friends for over-zeal. He did not, however, flinch from his presbyterianism, though report said that the deanery of York was offered to him. Bradbury relates that Bowles, on leaving London after the Restoration, said to Albemarle, 'My lord, I have buried the good old cause, and I am now going to bury myself.' Excluded from the minster, he continued to preach at Allhallows, and subsequently at St. Martin's, besides conducting a Thursday lecture at St. Peter's. The parishioners of Leeds petitioned the king in April 1661 for his appointment to that vicarage, but it was given to John Lake (afterwards bishop of Chichester). Efforts were made (Calamy says by Tillotson and Stillingfleet) to induce him to conform ; but when asked in his last illness what he disliked in conformity, he replied 'The whole.' Calamy reckons him among the silenced ministers, but he died just before the act came into force, and was buried on 23 Aug. 1662. His wife, who predeceased him, was a grand-daughter of Matthew Hutton, archbishop of York, and widow of John Robynson of Dighton. Bowles's portrait (which has been photographed) was in 1869 the property of Leonard Hartley of Middleton Tyas, a collateral descendant. He published:
  • 'The Mystery of Iniquity yet working,' &c., 1643, 4to (he means popery).
  • 'Manifest Truth,' 1646, 4to (a narrative of the proceedings of the Scotch army, and vindication of the parliament, in reply to a tract called 'Truths Manifest').
  • 'Good Counsell for Evil Times,' 1648, 4to (sermon [Eph. v. 15, 16] at St. Paul's, before the Lord Mayor of London).
  • 'The Dutie and Danger of Swearing,' 1655 (sermon at York).
  • 'A Plain and Short Catechism' (anon), 8th edit. 1676, 8vo (reprinted in Calamy's 'Continuation' and in James's 'History').
  • The will, dated 9 July 1707, codicil 21 Aug. 1710, of the presbyterian Dame Sarah Hewley (born 1627, died 23 Aug. 1710), widow of Sir John Hewley, knt. (died 1697), left a large estate to found several trusts for almshouses, preachers, and students ; a condition of admission to the almshouses being the repeating of Mr. Edward Bowles's catechism. The trust having descended to anti-trinitarian hands, a suit was begun on 18 June 1830, which ended in the removal of the trustees by a judgment of the House of Lords given on 5 Aug. 1842. Much use was made on both sides of the doctrinal statements and omissions in the catechism. This suit was the immediate occasion of the passing of the Dissenters' Chapels Act, 1844.

    Bishoprics and Deaneries

    Apparently the offers of bishoprics and deaneries to Presbyterians were as follows, Edward Reynolds being the only one to take up the offer:

    Norwich Edward Reynolds
    Hereford Richard Baxter
    Lichfield and Coventry Edmund Calamy

    Rochester Thomas Manton
    Lichfield William Bates
    York Edward Bowles

    Thursday, 6 September 2012

    The new book

    The Book is out

    The book is now out. It is 165 pages in length and is retailing at the moment at the bargain price of £7.64. Evangelical Press have done us proud. Do get your copy asap. 

    Spirituality in Adversity

    Raymond Brown's new book Spirituality in Adversity. English Nonconformity in a Period of Repression, 1660-1689 is now out from Paternoster.
    Paternoster say
    Spirituality in Adversity demonstrates through a specific historical period of persecution the fortitude and faith of evangelical men and women as they face unspeakable hardship in the name of Christ. This exhaustive masterpiece traces the period of the repression in the seventeenth century, analysing the persecution and its aftermath. The unique feature of this scholarly and very readable work is that it examines the way those persecuted responded to hardship their faith, their worship, their perseverance. With marvellous warmth Raymond Brown shows us the spirituality of these men and women a spirituality centred on Jesus Christ and the Father s love, even in such times. ...
    This is is a remarkable book by any standards - scholarly and pastoral, meticulous and heart-warming. A significant masterpiece on the faith, worship, perseverance of remarkable men and women.
    The unique feature of this scholarly and very readable work is that it examines the way those persecuted responded to hardship: their faith, their worship, their perseverance. With marvellous warmth Raymond Brown shows us the spirituality of these men and women- spirituality centred on Jesus Christ and the Father's love, even in such times.
    They add these quotes:
    "Brown dives into the writings of those persecuted and demonstrates the rich theology that could only be written with such depth by those who lived in suffering and found God faithful and satisfying. I highly recommend this book to scholars as well as common sufferers looking for solace in God."
    Larry Siekawitch, pastor and author of Balancing Head and Heart in Seventeenth Century Puritanism
    "At a time when Evangelicals interested in the study of spirituality often overlook the immense resources of their own antecedents, I hope that this book will help to redress the balance."
    Timothy Grass, church historian, author and associate editor for the Ecclesiastical History Society                           
    "Raymond Brown's research - the fruit of a lifetime of study - reveals how suffering forged a deep spirituality." Derek Tidball
    See here and here

  • Paperback: 375 pages
  • Publisher: Authentic Media (13 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842277855
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842277850