Monday, 2 June 2014

Ejection a death

From 1657 Philip Henry regularly kept a diary and would annually make an interesting note on the return of his birthday. He was born on St Bartholomew's Day, 1631. In 1663 he wrote of it as “being the day of the year on which I was born … and also the day of the year on which by law I died, as did also near two thousand faithful ministers of Jesus Christ”.
Raymond Brown (p 10) points out that phrases such as "as though the person ... so offending or neglecting were dead" occur five times in the Act of Uniformity. He quotes Henry and adds in a footnote that in farewell sermons Thomas Watson says that he and his colleagues would "be laid down shortly as if we were naturally dead" and speaks of leaving legacies. Daniel Bull spoke of "dying in this congregation".
Note also how Calamy summarises the moving sermon by Edward Hancock of Bristol on 2 Corinthians 13:11 beginning, " At this time I am called to a work, which possibly may be unpleasing to many, even as to myself; that is, to die a civil death, whilst I am naturally alive."
Devonian nonconformist and Huguenot biographer John Quick, who, until imprisoned, carried on preaching in Brixton after his ejection spoke of ‘that unrighteous Act, which slew in one day two thousand able and faithful ministers of the gospel’.

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