THE SABBATH IN ENGLAND
1. Alsop, Mrs. Ann. England has not been without able women in the ranks of Sabbath defenders. Among these we find Mrs. Ann Alsop, a member of the Natton Seventh-day Baptist Church. The Rev. T. Edmonds published "A Scriptural presentation of the Abolition of the Fourth Commandment far as it relates to a particular day; and a Vindication of their conduct who observe the first day as their Sabbath." To this writing, Mrs. Alsop replied, in 1801, in a book entitled, remarks on the Rev. T. Edmond's pamphlet, etc., and an attempt to vindicate their conduct who observe the seventh-day Sabbath according to the express words of the Fourth Commandment." This work was written with such ability and vigor as to call forth a reply the same year in the form of "A Further Consideration of the Arguments of the Sabbatarians." Mrs. Alsop's defense of the Sabbath was considered worthy of notice by Robert Cox in his "Literature of the Sabbath Question," vol. II., p. 409.
2. Bailey, Nathanael. Nathanael Bailey was an eminent English philologist and lexicographer, whose "Universal Etymological English Dictionary," published in 1721, was the first English dictionary which aimed at completeness. His work was a great improvement on anything of the kind which had preceded it, and formed the real basis of Dr. Samuel Johnson's great work published in 1755. Bailey was a schoolteacher near London, and the author of several educational works, among which was a "Dictionarium Domesticum." He was a worth member of the Mill Yard Seventh-day Baptist Church. He died June 27, 1742.
3. Bampfield, Francis. Francis Bampfield descended from a distinguished family in Devonshire, England. He was born in 1615, the third son of James (or John) Bampfield. His brother Thomas was at one time Speaker of Parliament under Cromwell. In his 16th year he became a student in Wadham College, Oxford. He finished his course in College in 1638, with the degree of M. A. His reputation was that of a "scholarly man, and one of the most celebrated preachers in the West of England." He prepared for the ministry of the Established Church, and was ordained deacon by Bishop Hall, and elder by Bishop Skinner. His first settlement was in the parish of Rampisham, Dorsetshire, about 1640. About 1653 he removed to the parish of Sherborne, and remained here until ejected by the Act of Conformity in 1662. He could not conscientiously take the oath of allegiance, not because of any disloyalty, but because he believed all oaths to be in violation of the teachings of Jesus. After his ejection, he preached in his own hired house at Sherborne for about one month, when he and twenty-six others who were holding a meeting were arrested and imprisoned in one room with a single bed; they were soon released on bail. Not long after this he was again arrested and put in Dorchester jail, where he spent nearly nine years (from 1662 to 1671). Here be preached almost daily; and Armitage says, "he not only preached but formed a church within the prison walls." This was a Seventh-day Baptist Church, for soon after entering that prison he embraced the Sabbath doctrine and that of believer's baptism. After a short release, he was imprisoned in Salisbury (Wiltshire) for about eighteen months, which, he says, "filled up my ten days of tribulation in the letter of it- Rev. 2:10." On his release from Salisbury prison he came to London and labored in the vicinity of Bethnal Green in the East of London.
A few Sabbath-keepers met with him in his own house for about a year, and on March 5, 1676, he organized a church, which, after the choice by lot of a place of worship, was known as Pinner's Hall Seventh-day Baptist Church. The reason for this separate organization was in the fact that Mr. Bampfield differed from the Mill Yard Church on the subject of Calvinism.
From London he was sent by his church as a special messenger "to the Sabbath churches in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorsetshire, Gloucestershire, and Berkshire, which was undertaken by him, and prospered with desired success, the report whereof, at his return, caused joy to all the brethren and sisters in fellowship." He and his church sent a letter of "Brotherly love," etc., to all Sabbath-keeping churches, including those of Holland and New England. He also wisely advocated a "Yearly Meeting of all Seventh-day Baptist Churches."
Three times, while preaching in Pinner's Hall, he was arrested. The first was Dec. 17, 1682. On his second arrest, he was sent to Newgate from Dec. 24, 1682, to August 12, 1683. The last time, as he was led thru the streets, one said, "See how he walks with his Bible in his hand like one of the old martyrs." He could not long endure the cold and damp of Newgate, but died here, Feb. 16, 1684, at the age of sixty eight years. His funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. John Collins, a fellow prisoner; and his remains were interred in the burying ground of the Baptist Church in Glass-house Yard, Goswell street, London.
He published something like nine or ten books, which was doing well considering his troubled life, and his constant preaching in prison and out. Two of his works are especially mentioned in Cox's "Sabbath Literature:"- In 1672 he published "The Judgment of Mr. Francis Bampfield, late Minister of Sherborne in Dorsetshire, for the Observation of the Jewish or seventh-day Sabbath; with his reasons and Scriptures for the same: Sent in a letter to Mr. Ben of Dorchester."
In 1677 he sent forth a little work of 149 pages, with the title in both Greek and Latin, "The Seventh-day Sabbath the Desirable Day," etc.
The character of this eminent servant of God was remarkable for purity, generosity and devotion. At Rampisham he spent his entire income from the Church for Bibles and religious books for the poor, in providing work for those able work, and in giving alms to those who could not labor. He was regarded as "above all things a living servant of Jesus." The frowns and smiles of men were vainly used to turn him from his Master. Worldly losses and bodily suffering appeared to him as trifles compared to the supreme felicity of a conscience void of offense before God. "He was a giant in defense of truth, and a devout man full of the Holy Spirit."
4. Bampfield, Thomas. Thomas Bampfield appears less prominently in history than his brother Francis, because not involved in the ecclesiastical controversies of his day, as was his brother; but he was not less eminent in his profession, that of the Law- having been the last Speaker of the Commonwealth, in 1659. Nor was he less able as a defender of the Sabbath.
It is supposed probable that he was converted to the Sabbath thru the little book, "An Appeal to the Consciences of the Chief Magistrates of this Commonwealth touching the Sabbath-day," by W. Saller and J. Spittlehouse, 1657; and that he was the means of the conversion of his brother Francis.
His first book, "An Enquiry whether the Fourth Commandment be repealed or altered appeared in 1692, and was immediately answered by John Wallis, D. D., Professor of Geometry in the University of Oxford, in a book entitled, "A Defense of the Christian Sabbath: In answer to a treatise of Mr. Thomas Bampfield pleading for Saturday Sabbath." The next year Bampfield issued "A reply to Dr. Wallis, his Discourse concerning the Christian Sabbath;" to which Wallis rejoined in 1694.
Mr. Bampfield held that Jesus Christ, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, instituted and sanctified the Sabbath-day in the beginning, before the fall of man; that the Sabbath was not only a seventh day, but the seventh day, and was so to continue as long as the world lasts; that the Sabbath was binding upon the Gentiles as well as the Jews, and that it was always to begin at sunset. He affirmed that the Saturday-Sabbath was observed in England till the reign of Edward VI., 1537-1553, when the first act of Parliament for the observance of the Lord's Day was passed. Mr. Bampfield also contended that public worship should not be attended more than once on the Sabbath Day. His statement as to the observance of the Sabbath in England is in harmony with the facts of history as given in the first part of this article. During the time he was Recorder of Exeter, he voluntarily devoted the income of his office to the poor of that city. He was born in 1659 (possibly 1654) and died in 1693.
5. Begg, James A. James A. Begg was born in Paisley, Scotland, at the beginning of the nineteenth century and died Jan. 3rd, 1869. We know of Mr. Begg thru his correspondence with the Sabbath Recorder, for nearly twenty-five years. His first letter to Rev. George B. Utter, editor of the Recorder, was dated at 35 Argyll Arcade, Glasgow, Scotland, April 1st, 1845. Elder Utter speaks of him as having embraced the Sabbath a dozen years before that date. He and three others were baptized at Glasgow, by Elder Joseph W. Morton about 1853.
He was the author of several valuable works on the subject of prophecy, and was a staunch defender of the Sabbath, both with voice and pen. Cox's "Literature of the Sabbath Question" mentions his work entitled, "An Examination of the Authority for the Change of the Weekly Sabbath at The Resurrection of Christ; Proving that the practice of the church in substituting the First day of the week for the appointed Seventh day is unsanctioned by the New Testament Scriptures," by James A. Begg. Glasgow, 1851. This book is also noticed in Kitto's "Journal of Sacred Literature", for Oct. 1851. These notices by opponents indicate the value of the work.
In the Sabbath Recorder of May 13 and 20, 1869, is a memorial sermon for Mr. Begg, preached by William Fulton. His text was Psa. 119: 97. He spoke: 1st, of his love for the Bible; 2nd, What he believed the Bible taught respecting the Gospel of the Son of God; 3rd, His understanding of the Bible in relation to the subject of prophecy; 4th, His view of the bible in its bearing on the signs of the times; 5th, The preacher's knowledge of him as an eminent scholar, and a true man. He stated that Mr. Begg kept the Sabbath to the day of his death.
6. Belcher, John. John Belcher, son of Rev. William Belcher, a Puritan preacher of London, was pastor of the Bell Lane (London) Seventh Day church as early as 1668, when he and his church addressed a letter to the Sabbath-keepers of Newport, New England. He assisted at the ordination of Joseph Stennett, March 4, 1690, at Pinner's Hall, and delivered one of the exhortations. He died in March, 1695, and Joseph Stennett preached his funeral sermon, April 1st, from 2 Cor. 5: 4, under the title, "The groans of a saint tinder the burden of a mortal body;" the sermon is to be found in the "Life and Works of Joseph Stennett," and was also published separately in 1695.
7. Black, William H. Wm. H. Black was a convert to the Sabbath, who began to keep the seventh-day, Dec. 30, 1837. He was ordained to the ministry, Nov. 9, 1843, by the Rev. J. B. Shenstone and five others. He was the able pastor of the Mill Yard Church from 1840 to his death in 1872. Dr. Black was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquarians, and is referred to as "the learned antiquary." Robert Cox speaks of him as "my talented antiquarian friend who preaches to a little family on the Jewish Sabbath."
Dr. Black was a vigorous defender of the Sabbath, publishing periodicals and books upon the subject. In 1838-9 he sent out, "Doubts on the authority of what is commonly called the Christian Sabbath:" "Thirty-two reasons for keeping holy the seventh-day of the week as the true and only Christian Sabbath;" and a number of others. In 1848-49-50, he published "The scriptural calendar and chronological reformer." After his death several of his works were published by his son-in-law, Dr. Wm. M. Jones.
8. Boston, Rev. Thomas. We know but very little of Mr. Boston, but the little we know entitles him to mention here. He was an elder of the Natton Church and a co-laborer with Philip Jones. He was living in 1694, and was a faithful keeper and defender of the truth.
9. Brabourne, Theophilus. Theophilus Brabourne was born at Norwich, Norfolk, in 1590; for he writes in 1654, in his answer to Cawdrey, page 75, "I am sixty-four years age." The time of his death is not known, but he was living in 1671, which would make him over eighty years old at that date.
He was a learned minister of the Established Church, but probably founded a Seventh-day Baptist Church at Norwich of which he was pastor, and to the poor of which he willed ten pounds. Robert Cox says of him that he was "a much able writer than Trask, and may be regarded as the founder in England of the sect at first known as Sabbatarians, but now calling themselves Seventh-day Baptists."
Between the years 1626 and 1659 he published four books upon the Sabbath question. In 1628 appeared the first, "A Discourse upon the Sabbath-day," arguing that the Lord's Day is not the Sabbath by Divine Institution; but that the Seventh-day Sabbath is now in force. However, he exhorted that "there be no Rent from our Church." In 1630 he issued a more complete work, of which a second edition was printed in 1632, entitled, "A Defense of that most ancient and sacred ordinance of God, the Sabbath Day."
Such was the quality of this work, so able and strong its arguments, that the King appointed one of his most talented bishops, Francis White, to answer it; which he attempted to do in "A Treatise on the Sabbath-day, Containing a Defense of Orthodoxal Doctrine of the Church of England, against Sabbatarian Novelty." Also, because Mr. Brabourne's book considered heretical and calculated to do much mischief, because he had been so bold as to dedicate it to the King (Charles I) himself, he was summoned before the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury and the Court of High Commission, many other eminent persons being present at his trial. Such arguments and persuasions were brought to bear upon him, that for the moment he wavered, signed a recantation, and returned to the Church, "possibly to regain his liberty, as he appears to have retained his views."
In 1654 he published a work which plainly showed that he stood firmly by the Sabbath of the Bible; and whatever may be the exact facts as to his recantation, so called, it is certain that "he continued to maintain that if the Sabbatic institution was indeed moral and perpetually binding, then his conclusion, that the seventh-day of the week ought to be kept as the Sabbath, was necessary and irresistible."
His Sabbath steadfastness is manifested in his last book, published in London in 1659, being an answer to two books on the Sabbath: one by Mr. Ives, entitled, "Saturday no Sabbath Day;" and the other by Mr. Warren, "The Jews' Sabbath Antiquated." As an index of his mental vigor, as well as the strength of his character, we may give his own words as contained in the preface to this last book:- "The soundness and clearness of this my cause giveth me good hope that God will enlighten them (the magistrates) with it and so incline their hearts unto mercy. But if not, since I verily believe and know it to be a truth, and my duty not to smother it, and suffer it to die with me, I have adventured to publish it and defend it, saying with Queen Esther, 'If I perish, I perish;' and with the Apostle Paul, 'neither is my life dear unto me, so that I may fulfill my course with joy' What a corrosive would it prove to my conscience, on my deathbed, to call to mind how I knew these things full well, but would not reveal them. How could I say with St. Paul, that I had revealed the whole counsel of God, had kept nothing back which was profitable? What hope could I then conceive that God would open his gate of mercy to me, who, while I lived, would not open my mouth for him?"
10. Brerewood, Edward. Edward Brerewood was a Professor in Gresham College, London, who died in 1613. In 1611 he wrote a book entitled "A learned Treatise of the Sabbath to Mr. Nicholas Byfield, preacher in Chester." This seems not to have been published until 1630, sometime after the author's death. He maintained that the Sabbath was a part of the moral law, and on that account perpetual; and defied Mr. Byfield to prove his assertion that the Sabbath had been "translated by the same authority that originally at first commanded it." He referred to the fact that for centuries after Christ the seventh-day alone was ever called the Sabbath, as disproving Mr. Byfield's assumption that Christ referred to the first day and not the seventh in his injunction to his disciples to pray that their flight might not be on the Sabbath-day, when Jerusalem should be invested by her enemies.
Mr. Brerewood wrote "A Second Treatise of the Sabbath, or an Explication of the Fourth Commandment," which was published in 1632. In this he critically examined the Fourth Commandment, and maintained the view that altho the celebration of the Lord's day hath warrant of apostolic example that it may be done, warrant of commandment it hath not, that it must be done."
A Life of Mr. Brerewood may be found in Ward's "Lives of the Professors of Gresham College."
He was a man of ability and influence, and a staunch defender of the Bible Sabbath. He was born in 1565 and died Nov. 14, 1613.
11. Broad, Thomas. Thomas Broad was born in 1577 and died in 1639. In 1621, he published "Three Sabbath Questions," a work which led Brabourne to investigate the subject. The three questions were: 1st, What should our meaning be, when, after the reading of the fourth commandment, we pray, Lord, incline our hearts to keep this law? Second, How shall the Fourth Commandment, being delivered in such form of words, bind us to sanctify any day but only the Seventh, the day wherein God rested, and which the Jews sanctified? Third, How shall it appear to be a law of nature to sanctify one day in every week?
12. Burnside, Robert. Robert Burnside belonged to a Sabbath-keeping family, and himself became a member of the church in 1776. He was educated for the ministry at Marischal College, Aberdeen, and became pastor of the Pinner's Hall Seventh-day Baptist Church (London) in 1785, and continued in this position until his death in 1826. Much of his time was devoted to instructing the children in families of wealth and position. In 1805 he published "Fruits of the Spirit;" and in 1819, "Religions of Mankind," in two volumes 8 vo. In 1825 he sent out a work of 354 pages, entitled, "Remarks on the Different Sentiments entertained in Christendom relative to the Weekly Sabbath." This book contained thirteen chapters on the nature, the obligation, the antiquity, the commencement and termination, and the supposed repeal of the weekly Sabbath, etc., etc. Robert Cox says:- "The work is a calm, clear and ample statement of the grounds on which this sect of Christians keep Saturday as the Sabbath, and maintain that all who believe in a primeval Sabbath-law and in the universal and perpetual obligation of the Decalogue are bound to do the like."
13. Carlow, George. George Carlow was a member of the Seventh-day Baptist Church at Woodbridge, Suffolk. On going to London, possibly to see to the publication of a book, he took a letter of commendation to the Mill Yard Church: hence his name appears upon the record of that church as a "transient member." His book was published in 1724, with the title:- "Truth defended, or Observations on Mr. Ward's expository discourses from the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th verses of the 20th chapter of Exodus, concerning the Sabbath." The book was re-published at Stonington, Conn., in 1802; and, later, by the American Sabbath Tract Society of New York. "The whole work is characterized by a spirit of evangelical piety and earnestness which must make its influence powerful and salutary wherever read." Mr. Carlow is described as a plain man, not schooled in logic, but learned in the Scriptures.
14. Chamberlen, Dr. Peter. Dr. Chamberlen was born in 1601, baptized in 1648, began keeping the Sabbath about 1651, and died in 1683. The termination of his name is variously given, as lain, laine, lane, layne, lon. He wrote from 1642 to 1662 on medical and scientific subjects, and on the Sabbath and baptism. He has been regarded as the pastor of Mill Yard Church from 1651 to the time of his death; but whether he or the martyr, John James, gathered this church, is uncertain. He appears as the leader of the Whitchapel Congregation (the precursor of Mill Yard) in 1653, (Nov. 6.)
Dr. Chamberlen was a graduate of Immanuel College, Cambridge, studied medicine and surgery at Heidelberg and, Padua, and became senior doctor of both Oxford and Cambridge, and was physician to three British Sovereigns. He was not only a voluminous writer on the Sabbath question, but appears also as a co-operator with Coppinger (one of Trask's followers), and Thomas Tillam, in a Sabbath discussion against Jeremiah Ives.
15. Cooke, Henry. Henry Cooke succeeded John Belcher as pastor of Bell Lane Seventh-day Baptist Church, London, in March, 1695. At the death of Cooke, the Church merged with Pinner's Hall. Mr. Cooke was alive in London in 1704, as he is known to have preached and published a sermon that year.
As he is said to have died August 2, ( New Style, August 13) 1704, at Hochstadt, Germany, near which the battle of Bleinheim was fought on that date, it was thought he might have been chaplain or soldier in the British Army, and that he was killed in that action; but as he is mentioned in Joseph Davis' will, made in 1706, and as his own will is said to have been proven in 1707, he must have died that year.
16. Coppinger, Rev. Matthew. We know but little concerning Mr. Coppinger, but that little is connected with his brave defense of the Sabbath. In 1659, he was associated with Dr. Chamberlen and Thomas Tillam in a Sabbath discussion against Jeremiah Ives. He is mentioned by Gilfillan as one among others who "contended for the perpetuity of the Seventh-day Sabbath against the Christian world."
17. Cornthwaite, Robert. Robert Cornthwaite was born in Bolton, near Lancaster, in 1696. He was first a Presbyterian, altho his parents were members of the Church of England. His first settlement was at Chesham, in Buckinghamshire, where he changed his views regarding baptism and began to preach to a Baptist congregation near Boston in Lincolnshire; here he remained about one year. He then went to London, where he met the Sabbath question, and became convinced as to the sound Scriptural position of the Seventh-day Baptists; this was in 1726, and the same year he became pastor of the Mill Yard Church, remaining such until his death, April 19, 1755, in his fifty-ninth year. Mr. Daniel Noble, his pupil and successor, preached his funeral sermon.
He was "faithful and assiduous in the discharge of his ministerial duties." His publications were devoted mainly to the Sabbath; six works to this effect are still extant:-
"Reflections on Dr. Wright's Observation on the Lord's -day," etc. 1729.
"The Seventh-day of the Week the Christian Sabbath." 1735.
"The Seventh-day Farther Vindicated, an answer to Dr Wright." 1736.
"A Second Defense of Some Reflections on Wright's Treatise," etc. 1736.
"An Essay on the Sabbath." 1740.
"Mr. Foster's Sermon on the Sabbath, examined with candor." 1745.
Dr. W. M. Jones speaks of these as "thoroughly convincing on the Sabbath question." And Robert Cox, in Sabbath Literature, says:- "Mr. Cornthwaite is one of the ablest defenders of the positions taken tip by the Seventh-day Baptists ;" and quotes quite at length from one of his works. His books were of a controversial character, had an extensive circulation, and called forth replies from some of the most eminent men of his time.
18. Cowell, John. During the licentiate of John Purser, John Cowell was the chief preacher at the Natton Seventh-day Baptist Church. Elder Cowell began to keep the Sabbath "about the beginning of the year 1661," but in 1671 he returned to the first-day and gave his reasons for so doing so in a book entitled, "The Snare Broken," published in 1677. Mrs. Tamar Davis says:- "Mr. Cowell appears to have been rather waving and unstable, but withal a pious and well-meaning man. The Natton Church, of which he was pastor, seems to have been composed of both first-day and seventh-day observers until after his death in 1680.
19, Davis, Joseph, Sr. Joseph Davis, Sr., son of John Davis, was born in 1627. In 1646 he was apprenticed for nine years. At the expiration of this time, in 1655, he was married. Sometime before this event, just how long we cannot tell, he began keeping the Bible Sabbath; and was probably a member of the Mill Yard Church at the time of the martyrdom of John James. His own brave defense of the Bible Sabbath and Bible truth brought upon him severe persecutions which he bore with meekness and fortitude. He was first imprisoned for a few days, and about the time of the suffering of Mr. James. in 1661, he was confined for some weeks or months. In 1662 he was imprisoned in Oxford Castle where he remained, (with the exception of a short respite to visit his dying wife in 1665), until released by Charles II, in 1672, with John Bunyan and four hundred eighty-nine others. While in prison for the truth's sake, January 26, 1670, from a "cold high tower" in Oxford Castle, he wrote a letter to the Sabbath-keepers in Newport, R. I., which is characterized by a sweet and most devout spirit, indicating a man of superior mind and exalted piety. The letter is published in the Seventh-day Baptist Memorial, vol.1. page 74; and in the Sabbath Recorder for August 8, 1844.
After his release from Oxford jail, he went to London and prospered in the business of a linen draper. In 1691 he purchased the Mill Yard property, and erected a chapel and other buildings. In 1700 this property was conveyed by him to trustees chosen by the church. In his will, made in 1706, he bequeathed his property to his son, Joseph Davis, Jr., providing for an annual payment, for ministerial support, to Mill Yard and seven other Seventh-day Baptist Churches then in existence; and so conditioned his will that, on the death of his son, the Mill Yard Church came into possession of his entire property. This property yielded an income of six hundred pounds in 1880; and in 1902, the income was more than seven hundred pounds. So rich a legacy has so excited the cupidity of the enemies of the Sabbath, that by some scheming it has been diverted from the purpose of this noble benefactor.
Mr. Davis died February 16, 1707; and is justly characterized by Dr. Wm. M. Jones as a "man of influence, sound judgment, and ardent piety." Ivimey says he was an elder.
20. Dawson, Henry. Rev. Henry Dawson was formerly of London, but came to America in 1767. Gilfillan mentions him in a list of twenty-four with Matthew Coppinger. On coming to America he seems to have been fellowshipped by the first-day Baptists until found to be keeping the seventh-day Sabbath. In the Minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association for 1773, he is spoken of with commendation. From Newport, R. I., he went to Trenton, N. J., where he was residing in 1774, and conducting revival meetings with the Shrewsbury, N.J. Seventh-day Baptist Church; there is no record, however, to indicate that he was a member of this church. He was alive as late as 1777, and probably still at Trenton. The date of his death we do not know.
In 1776 Mr. Dawson published "A short essay on Rev. 1:10, showing the Lord's day means the real and perpetual Sabbath;" and in 1777, "The Genuine Sabbath, Commonly called Saturday, Vindicated."
21. Elwall, Edward. Edward Elwall was born November 9, 1676, and died November 29, 1744. He was a member of the Mill Yard Seventh-day Baptist Church, and was one of the very first in England to advocate "Disestablishment," or separation of Church and State. In 1728 he published a tract, "The True and Sure Way to Remove Hirelings out of the Church;" in this he wrote:- "As Christ has declared that his kingdom is not of this world, so there never ought to be any worldly force to bring men into it, nor any forced maintenance to support it. All must be free and not forced. We read of Christ's whipping the buyers and sellers out but never in. All Christ's followers must be volunteers.-he calls and they follow." (See Recorder for January 28, 1886).
As an evidence of his Sabbath-keeping, he was known among the common people of Wolverhampton by the name of "Jew Elwall." (See Jones' "The Sabbath Memorial" for April, 1881, page 241).
In 1727 he published "True Testimony for God and for His Sacred Law: being a plain and honest defense of the Fourth Commandment of God. An Answer to a Treatise on the Religious observance of the Lord's-day." This book passed thru several editions. In it, says Dr. Wm. M. Jones, "Elwall launches swift darts against the papal pagan Sunday, an defends the Sabbath with great earnestness and solemnity."
22. Fox, John. We can gather but little information concerning John Fox, but such as we have indicates that he was a vigorous defender of the Bible Sabbath. John Cowell, who kept the Sabbath for ten years and then gave it up, in his "The Snare Broken," published in 1677, speaking of his associate Sabbath-keepers in 1664, says:- "And for many of the persons concerned, they were no small ones either amongst that people, as Thomas Tillam, Christopher Pooley, Edward Skipp, John Fox," etc. Thus we find Fox classed with doughty champions of the Bible Sabbath. We can but regret that we have no other records concerning him.
23. Fryth, John. John Fryth, (or Frith), was a man of learning and influence who assisted William Tyndale in the translation of the Scriptures. Frith was born in 1503 and martyred in 1533. He has been spoken of as one of the very earliest "Sabbatarian Baptists" to be found in England; but he was scarcely such, altho he uttered sentiments worthy of a defender of Sabbath truth. He wrote:- "The Jews have the Word of God for their Saturday. Sith It is the Seventh Day and they were commanded to keep the Seventh Day solemn. And we have not the word of God for us, but rather against us; for we keep not the Seventh Day as the Jews do, but the First, which is not commanded by God's law." Thus Mr. Fryth became a true witness for the Bible Sabbath.
24. Gadbury, Judah. Mr. Gadbury appears as early as 1673 to have been an elder of the Mill Yard Church. He was one of the original nine trustees of the Yard property given to the church by Joseph Davis, Sr. He was associated with Joseph Davis, Sr., and several entries in the church records were made by him. He died about July 31st, 1734.
25. Hebden, --------. Mr. Ephraim Paggitt in his "Herisography," London, 1661, speaks of "one Mr. Hebden, prisoner in the new prison, that lay there for holding Saturday Sabbath." This is all we know of him; but from this we know that he was a sufferer for the truth-brave and true.
26. Hubbard, Thomas. Thomas Hubbard is not known to have been a Sabbath-keeper, but for the truth's sake he was burned at the stake, March 26, 1555, in the reign of Bloody Mary, Queen of England. We refer to him here because he was the ancestor of Samuel Hubbard, one of the seven who united to form the first Seventh-day Baptist Church in America, at Newport, R. I.
27. Jackson, Hamlet. When John Trask came from Salisbury to London in 1617, and held revival meetings, Hamlet Jackson became one of his disciples; and was afterward the means of bringing him and others to the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath - thus forming the nucleus of the Mill Yard Church. Jackson was an ordained evangelist.
28. James, John. Rev. John James was one of the first, if not the first, pastor of the Seventh-day Baptist Church worshiping in Bull Stake Alley, Whitechapel Road, London, (since known as the Mill Yard Church). He was born of poor parents, and became a ribbon weaver, afterwards a small coal man; but finding this business too much for his health, he returned to ribbon weaving. Sabbath-day, October 19, 1661, while preaching to his people at their meeting place, he was twice rudely interrupted by officers of the law and commanded to come down. He was then dragged out of his pulpit. The charge of uttering treasonable words against the king was made by a journeyman tobacco-pipe maker named Tipler; but so disreputable a person was Tipler that the justice refused to commit Mr. James on his testimony unless it was corroborated; this was done, and the good pastor was sent to Newgate prison. On the 14th. of November he was brought before Chief Justice Forster, and three other judges, at Westminster Hall, where he was charged with "endeavoring to levy war against the king, with seeking a change in government, with saying that the king was a bloody tyrant, a blood sucker and a bloodthirsty man, and that his nobles were the same; and that the king and his nobles had shed the blood of the saints at, Charing Cross, and in Scotland." But there was no show of evidence to substantiate any of the charges. Mr. James was remanded to Newgate for four days, when his trial came off. Previous to this he received a letter from a friend of distinction, informing him that for many years there had not been such efforts to pack a jury, and that his only hope of safety lay in challenging them, or "most of the chief men of them." When Mr. James was brought into court, the chief justice exclaimed, "Oh, Oh, are you come?" and this was a specimen of the way in which his trial was conducted. He was condemned in accordance with the plot of those who planned his murder, and was sentenced to be hanged at Tyburn, near Hyde Park, and while still alive to have his entrails drawn and heart taken out and burned; his head to be taken off and placed first on London Bridge, and afterward set up on a pole in Whitechapel Road opposite to the meeting place in Bull Stake Alley; his body to be cut in quarters and placed on four of the seven gates of the city. The next day after sentence was pronounced against him, his wife presented a petition to King Charles II, proving his innocence and appealing for mercy; but the only reply of his majesty was, "Oh! Mr. James, he is sweet gentleman!" and the door was shut against her. The next morning she made another appeal to the King, and his cruel response was, "He is a rogue, and shall be hanged." When asked if he had anything to say why sentence of death should not pronounced against him, he answered:- "As for me, behold, I am in your hands: do with me as it seemeth good and meet unto you. But know ye for certain that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of mine eye." And when Mr. James heard his sentence, he immediately added, "Blessed be God: whom man hath condemned, God hath justified." The sentence was executed November 26, 1661. He was bound to a sled and drawn through the slush of the streets to Tyburn, where he spoke with such power and prayed with such fervor that the hangman would not execute the full sentence, but permitted life to be fully extinct before he was drawn and quartered. On the same sled which brought him to the place of execution, his quarters were taken back to Newgate and then placed upon Aldgate, Bishopgate, Moorgate, and Aldergate - the four gates nearest to the meeting-place in Bull Stake Alley, in front of which his head was exposed upon a pole. Elder James gained great sympathy and respect for his devotion and submission to God. At the place of execution his remarks were gentle and loving, and his soul brave and full of hope. He was an inoffensive and benevolent man, free from any blemish in his character, and guiltless of every charge in the indictment. He was savagely murdered by Charles II, his courtiers and his tools (the judges) to terrify the Dissenters, and especially the Baptists, into loyalty. And undoubtedly the vengence of God, invoked by the innocent blood of John James, had something to do with driving the Stuarts from the throne of England.
29. Jones, Philip. Philip Jones was pastor of the Natton Seventh-day Baptist Church, following Edmund Townsend in 1727, and continuing in this relation until his death in 1770. As a young man, and licentiate, he gave promise of much usefulness; and as pastor he "served the church with great ability." It is said of him, "he was a holy man of God, a good and lively preacher of the gospel."
30. Jones, William M. On the death of Rev. William H. Black in 1872, Elder Jones, his son-in-law, became pastor of Mill Yard Church, and ably served the church in this capacity until his death in 1895, February 22nd. He was born at Fort Ann, Washington Co., N. Y., May 2, 1818. His father, Nathan Jones, was a member of the Baptist Church, and on the last Sunday of January, 1836, William was baptized in the Chenango River. In March, 1838, he preached his first sermon from Matt. 25: 31, 32. In October, 1838, he entered Madison University, Hamilton, N. Y., and on January 12, 1840, he was licensed to preach.
He began ministerial work at Mill Creek, Huntington Co., Penn., in June. January 5, 1841, he was ordained at the Mill Creek Baptist Church. In May, 1844, he was appointed, with Elder Bingham, as a missionary to Burmah, but was sent to the island of Hayti in the West Indies, for which he embarked at Boston, January 10, 1845. December 2, 1845, he preached his first sermon in French, from the text, 1 John 1:7.
His first knowledge of the Sabbath came from the fact that an uncle, Joel Jones, then living in Canada, was keeping "Saturday for Sunday." After this the Sabbath was several times brought to his attention, but his doubts were allayed by a Baptist brother who said that "Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath, but Sunday is the Christian Sabbath," and several others of the most plausible statements on the wrong side of the Sabbath question. While attending a missionary meeting in Sansom Street Baptist Church, Philadelphia, in November, 1843, he found some tracts lying on the seats, three of which he picked up and found to be, "The Sabbath Vindicator," "An address to the Baptists by the Seventh-day Baptist General Conference," and "The True Sabbath Embraced and Observed." He was dismayed as he read these, and said to himself:- "Are these things so? If so, then I am involved in the transgression of God's law, and am a Sabbath-breaker." His wife said:- "I think we have no more Scripture for Sunday-keeping than my father has for infant sprinkling." Thus the subject was dropped for awhile.
In 1847 he visited his uncle, Joel Jones, at Clarence, N. Y., and wrote in his diary :- "Saturday, August 21st. This day is kept by my uncle as the Sabbath of the Lord God. Am I wrong in keeping the first day, or not? Is it not a serious question? . . . . I preached for the Seventh-day Baptist Church, and was particularly impressed when the whole congregation sang with much fervor Stennett's hymn :-
"Another six days' work is done,
Another Sabbath is begun," etc., etc.
Two months after this he called on Rev. Eli S. Bailey in Brookfield, N.Y., on a Sabbath evening; and of this visit he writes :- "I inquired for a book on Seventh-day Baptist doctrine and history - one containing a summary of arguments. The Doctor replied, 'Yes, sir, we have a book on these subjects - a very good book we think it is; indeed we know of no better one, and if you haven't one, I shall take great pleasure in presenting you with a copy. It is the Bible, sir.' " This recalled to Mr. Jones the oft repeated Baptist aphorism:- "The Bible is the only rule of faith and practice."
Finally he settled the question, and began keeping the Bible Sabbath on the first Sabbath in July, 1848. This resulted in his recall as a Baptist missionary to the Island of Hayti, from which he sailed August 17, 1850. He was welcomed in New York by Seventh-day Baptist friends, and in the following November he became pastor of the Church at Shiloh, N.J.
March 11, 1854, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Saunders, he and his wife sailed for the Holy Land, whither the Church had sent them to found a mission at the ancient Joppa. Here he studied Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, German and Italian; and was able in March, 1855, to use Arabic in public worship to some extent. His first public service conducted wholly in Arabic was on March, 13, 1858. In January, 1859, he conducted part of a service in German.
Being recalled from this mission, he left Jerusalem December 23, 1860, passed through Paris and arrived in London February 22, 1861, where he first met the Rev. William Henry Black, F. S. A., pastor of the Mill Yard Seventh-day Baptist Church. May 6th he arrived in New York, and in October became pastor of the Walworth (Wis.) Seventh-day Baptist Church. In 1863 he became pastor of the Church at Scott, N.Y., and in August, 1868, he removed to Rosenhayn, near Vineland, N. J. He and his family were the first settlers here, built the first house, and cleared a small plot of ground. On the death of Rev. W.H. Black, April 12, 1872, he was called as pastor of the Mill Yard Church. Reaching London, September 14, 1872, he found only three members belonging to the Church; but during his pastorate twenty-six others were added to the number. He at once began to print and distribute tracts; and issued the first number of the "Sabbath Memorial" in January, 1875. This quarterly he published for fourteen years, and made it a faithful and strong advocate of Sabbath observance.
One of the most unique and important of his many Sabbath publications is his "Chart of the Week" in 160 languages; this he issued in 1887. By this he showed that in over one hundred languages the seventh-day or Saturday was referred to as the Sabbath. Of this Chart, the Christian Leader said, "It is a marvelous production of patient as well as erudite toil, giving a bird's eye view of the language history of the seven days' week from the remotest antiquity to the present time.
In 1882, Sir Walter Besant, in his famous novel, "All Sorts and Conditions of Men," describes Mill Yard Chapel, and refers to Mr. Jones under the title of the Rev. Percival Hermitage. Mr. Besant says :- "As for the position taken by these people, it is perfectly logical, and in fact, impregnable. There is no answer to it."
In June, 1886, Alfred University conferred upon Mr. Jones the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. He was Professor of Arabic and Hebrew at the City of London College, Moorfields, for several years, and was a member of many societies - Seamen's Christian Friend Society, London Board of Baptist Ministers, Northwest London Fraternal, Board of the General Baptist Assembly, Society of Biblical Archeology, The Oriental Congress, The Southern Provincial Assembly of Free Churches, etc., etc.
He spent much time in studying the Scriptures in the original languages; and his advice to students for the ministry was always to learn Hebrew first and then Greek, holding that the New Testament Scriptures should be studied through Hebrew spectacles.
His funeral services were conducted on February 26, by Rev. G. J. Hill of the Seamen's Christian Friend Society, at Abney Park Cemetery. Mr. Hill said, among other things, "I never knew a more consistent follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I never heard a single word fall from his lips which I might wish had not been uttered, never an uncharitable or unkind word in reference to any one absent, nor the manifestation of any but a Christlike spirit to those who were present."
31. Kiddle., James Jonas. Rev. J. J. Kiddle was born in 1802, and died December 29, 1886. (Mill Yard Records.) His Sabbath experience, written by himself, is published in the "Sabbath Memorial" for October, 1878, page 102. He became convinced on this subject in 1848 thru an argument with a skeptic, but did not commence to keep the Seventh-day until 1877. November 29, 1879, he was admitted as a non-resident member of the Mill Yard Seventh-day Baptist Church.
32. Maulden John John Maulden was for forty years an elder in the General Baptist Church. He was pastor of a Baptist Church in Goodmans Fields at the time when he became a Sabbath convert in 1708; the same year he united with the Mill Yard Seventh-day Baptist Church. About the year 1712 he became joint pastor of Mill Yard Church with Elder John Savage, and so continued until his death, February 17, 1715, at the age of seventy years. He published a work entitled, "A Threefold Dialogue; Whether the Seventh or First Day of the Week is the Sabbath of the Lord;" and also, "The Ancient and Honorable Way and Truth of God's Sacred Rest of the Seventh-day Sabbath." These are able works.
33. McFarlane, Elder Patrick. Elder McFarlane was a member of the Mill Yard Seventh-day Baptist Church, and an able and learned man. In 1815 he published an "English and Gaellic Vocabulary;" and in 1826, "Strictures on the Rev. Greville Ewing's Speech at Bible Society Meeting in Glasgow." This last work was answered by a Mr. McGarvin, author of the "Protestant."
Robert Cox, "Sabbath Literature," vol. II., p. 410, refers as follows to one of his writings:- "In a recent pamphlet, entitled System in Revelation, by Patrick McFarlane, p. 25 (Edinburg, 1860), there appears a strong tendency to the opinion that the first day of the week has been rashly and unwarrantably substituted for the seventh." He is mentioned by Gilfillen; and his name also appears in the minutes of Conference of forty years ago.
34. Noble, Daniel. Daniel Noble was born in Whitechapel, London, June 14, 1729, of Sabbatarian parents- Daniel and Sarah Noble. When very young he manifested a pious disposition, and began early to prepare for the ministry. He was baptized by Elder Robert Cornthwaite into the membership of the Mill Yard Seventh-day Baptist Church.
He first learned grammar of a local tutor, after which Mr. Cornthwaite directed his studies. He then came under the instruction of Dr. Rotherham at Kendall, and afterwards completed his course at the University of Glasgow in 1749-52. For a time he conducted a school at Peckham.
He commenced authorship in his sixteenth year, his first work being, "Letter against the Young Pretender, to the People of England." From 1755 to 1767, he published books of sermons.
In June, 1752, he began to preach at Mill Yard as assistant pastor, having the morning service while the pastor the afternoon appointment. On the death of Elder Cornthwaite in 1755, he preached his funeral sermon, which was published in the "Protestant Dissenters Magazine," vol 6. He now received ordination to the ministry, and became pastor of the church; which position he held until his death. He is said to have been faithful and diligent in the discharge of his pastoral duties, preaching with the Spirit and in power. Dr. Benson said, he was the best composer of sermons he knew.
He had three daughters named, Experience, Eusebia, Serena.
He died Dec. 24, 1783, and was buried Jan. 7, 1784. Dr. Jeffreys wrote his funeral sermon; but, dying three days later, was unable to deliver it. It is printed in the "Protestant Dissenters Magazine," vol. 5.
35. Ockford, James. Of the early history of this able defender of Sabbath truth, we have no available record. It is said that he "wrote boldly against the adversaries of the Sabbath," and "turned the weapons of opposing parties against themselves." Being familiar with the discussions in which Trask and Brabourne had been engaged, and not satisfied with the pretended conviction of Brabourne, he published a book entitled, "The Doctrine of the Fourth Commandment." The value and force of his arguments are attested by two facts:- First, that his book was burned by order of the authorities of the Established Church, suffering, as it was said, "a sharp confutation by fire;" and, second, that it was counted worthy of an extended review by Cawdrey and Palmer, members of the Assembly of Divines, in their book, "Sabbatum Redivivum." One copy of Ockford's "Doctrines" is known to have been in existence as late as 1868, at least.
36. Pooly, Christopher. Mr. Pooly appears to have been one of the elders of Mr. Brabourne's church in Norwich, Norfolk. It is recorded that he re-baptized a Mrs. Boote on the 18th of August, 1656, "at the staithe in the river;" and that he performed a like office for others sometime before this. In 1652 he published in London a "Vindication of Christ and His Ordinances from Glosses." John Cowell (see Cox, 2-58) mentions Pooly with Tillam and Fox as "no small ones" among the Sabbath-keepers and defenders of his day.
37. Powell, Vavasor. Vavasor Powell was born in Radnorshire in 1617, and descended from an ancient and honorable stock:- on his father's side, from the Powells of Knocklas in Radnorshire; and on his mother's side, from the Vavasors, la family of great antiquity, that came out of Yorkshire into Wales, and was related to the principal gentry in North Wales.
He was educated in Jesus College, Oxford. On leaving College, he took orders in the Established Church about the year 1640, and at first officiated in Wales as curate to his uncle, Erasmus Powell.
He had not been long, however, in that situation when he joined the Puritans, (probably about 1642-43), from a conviction that their principles and proceedings were more consonant with the Scriptures than those on which the National Establishment is founded. About this time he left Wales and took up his residence in the neighborhood of London.
It appears that now he was in high estimation with the Presbyterian party; and soon after an act of Parliament, Feb. 22, 1649, "for the better propagating and preaching of the Gospel in Wales," he returned to his native land where he continued some years diligently exerting himself in promoting the objects of that act, and especially in preaching the Gospel throughout the country. There was scarcely a neighborhood, a parish, or a village in the country which was not visited by him, and that did not hear from his mouth the cheering invitations of the Gospel. There were few, if any, of the churches or chapels in Wales in which he did not preach; very often he preached to the poor Welch in the mountains at fairs, and in market places. Even to this day places are pointed out, it is said, in the most obscure and unfrequented parts of the principality, where Vavasor preached to numerous congregations.
When Mr. Powell left Wales in 1642, there was not above one or two gathered churches; but as early as 1654 his followers were calculated to amount to not less than twenty thousand, organized into distinct societies of from two hundred to five hundred members each- all chiefly planted and formed by his care and industry.
Rev. Dr. Richards of Lynn, Norfolk, who bestowed much industry in tracing out the history of this eminent - Nonconformist, says that he embraced the sentiments of the Baptists and was himself baptized toward the end of the year 1655. After this he steadily persevered in the work of the Lord, till the new order of things under Charles II deprived him of his liberty and compelled him to desist. He was among the first victims of the tyrannical measures of Charles II. On the 28th of April, 1660, he was seized in his own house by a party of soldiers and conducted to the county jail. He was secured first at Shrewsbury, afterward in Wales, and at last in the Fleet. In the year 1662 he was shut up in South Sea Castle, near Portsmouth, where he continued five years. In 1667 he was released, but, venturing to preach again in his own country, he was imprisoned at Cardig; and on Oct. 16, 1669, he was brought to London and committed once more to the Fleet, where he remained till discharged by death October 27, 1670, in the fifty-third year of his age - eleven years of which he had passed in prison for preaching a pure Gospel. He was buried in Bunhill Fields, in the presence of an innumerable crowd of Dissenters. The inscription on his tomb calls him "a successful teacher of the past, a sincere witness of the present, and a useful example to the future age; who, in the defection of many, found mercy to be faithful, for which, being called to many prisons, he was there tried, and would not accept deliverance, expecting a better resurrection."
Dr. Toulmin, editor of Neal's "History of the Puritans," in a footnote on page 274, says:- "So active and laborious was he in the duties of the ministry, that he frequently preached in two or three places in a day, and was seldom two days in the week, throughout the year, out of the pulpit. He would sometimes ride a hundred miles in the week, and preach in every place where he could gain admittance, either by night or day. He would often alight from his horse, and set on it any aged person whom he met on the road on foot, and walk by their side for miles together. He was exceedingly hospitable and generous, and would not only entertain and lodge, but clothe the poor and aged. He was a man of great humility, very conscientious and exemplary in all the relations of life, and very punctual to his word. He was a scholar, and his general deportment was that of a gentleman. His sentiments were those of a Sabbatarian Baptist. Dr. Richards says there is not sufficient ground for considering him a Sabbatarian; but Dr. Toulmin refers to Crosby's "History of English Baptists," of which Dr. Black says that it is the only real history of English Baptists. We may confidently rest upon this authority until facts are adduced to prove the contrary, and rejoice in this eminent example of apostolic labor and suffering for the cause of divine truth.
38. Purser, Benjamin. Mr. Benjamin Purser was the youngest son of the first pastor of the Natton Church, Tewkesbury; and has the record of a pious, thrifty and benevolent man. In 1718 he bought an estate at Natton, and fitted up one room of his dwelling as a chapel for Sabbath worship; and this has been the meeting place of this ancient church from that day until the present time. At his death in 1765, he bequeathed this chapel and a burying place to the church, together with an annuity of five pounds to all succeeding pastors. Tho we know but little more of this godly man, with these facts as a basis, we can picture a happy life of industry and well-doing.
39. Purser, John. Elder John Purser was the first pastor, so far as we have any account, of the Natton Seventh-day Baptist Church in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. His father was of an honorable family, and wealthy, but disinherited him because he persisted in keeping the seventh-day Sabbath. However, notwithstanding this injustice, God prospered him in his business as a farmer, so that he attained to comfortable circumstances, and to good standing in his County. Between the years 1660 and 1690 he suffered much persecution for conscience' sake - at one time having taken from him the team and plow with which he was cultivating his farm; but in this case a neighboring Conformist interposed in his behalf and caused to be returned to him these necessary articles for procuring a livelihood. But despite all his losses, God blessed and prospered him; and he was enabled to bring up in comfort a large family. All his children and many of his grandchildren, walked in his steps, keeping the commandments of God.
40. Rix, Thomas. Thomas Rix was born in Malden, Essex, England, in 1806, and died in London, December 26, 1886. He was brought up in the Wesleyan denomination of which he became a minister at an early age. Becoming dissatisfied with infant baptism, he was baptized and joined a Baptist Church. Soon after this he read a series of articles on the Sabbath question, in a magazine called "The Church;" these articles led him to become a Sabbath-keeper. He then sought out the Mill Yard Church, which, after a time, he joined; and in 1854, was chosen as one of its deacons.
He was a man of sterling integrity and conscientiousness; for altho his place of residence was four miles from Mill Yard he always walked both ways so as not to break the Sabbath. For several years before his death he preached in a free church which he had erected at his own expense.
On Sunday, December 26, 1886, he was visiting some friends at Wood Green in the North of London, and in the evening went to the Wesleyan chapel. During the singing of a hymn he suddenly fell forward and expired. He was twice married; and his second wife still survives him, and is a member of the Mill Yard Church.
41. Rogers, John. John Rogers is not known to have been a Sabbath-keeper, but is given here because he was probably the ancestor of James Rogers, one of the first members of the Newport Seventh-day Baptist Church. In the reign of Bloody Mary, John Rogers was burned at the stake, Monday, February 4, 1555.
A striking incident is related of him in the Latin edition of Fox's Book of Martyrs, but omitted in the English translation:- In King Edward's reign some were put to death for heresy; among these was a woman, Joan of Kent. Rogers at this time was divinity reader in St. Paul's Church, who therefore was in position to have influence with the higher authorities. A friend plead with him to use his interest with the Archbishop that this woman might be saved from the stake; but to all the arguments and persuasions of his more humane friend, he turned a deaf ear, saying that she ought to die, and that burning was no cruel death. Hearing this, the friend struck Rogers' hand which he held, and with great vehemence exclaimed:- "Well, perhaps it may so happen that you yourself shall have your hands full of this mild burning." And so it came to pass that John Rogers was the first man who was burned in Queen Mary's reign. It is supposed that his friend, referred to above, was no other than Fox himself.
42. Rogers, Thomas. Nicholas Bounde's book, though written in the interest of Sunday, was suppressed by Archbishop Whitgift and Lord Chief Justice Popham because it aroused thoughtful popular attention to this great question, with the result that many questioned the divine authority for Sunday keeping; and the complaint was entered that "some built on this foundation, endeavoring to bring back again the Jewish Sabbath and abrogate the Lord's day as having no foundation in the Fourth Commandment."
Whether Thomas Rogers kept the seventh-day Sabbath of the Bible, or not, it is certain that his work was not favorable to Sunday sacredness; for in 1607 he wrote a treatise on the Thirty-nine Articles of the Established Church, in which he vigorously denounced the idea that to do servile work on the Lord's day (Sunday) was a sin. He died in 1616.
43. Russell, Peter. Peter Russell was one of the pastors of the Mill Yard Seventh-day Baptist Church, being ordained to the ministry at the same time with Daniel Noble. Upon the death of Robert Cornthwaite, in 1735, Noble and Russell were together appointed to succeed him- the first preaching in the morning and the other in the afternoon. When Mr. Noble died in 1783 he was succeeded by William Slater as morning preacher; while Mr. Russell continued as afternoon preacher until his death, in 1789, when Mr. Slater became both morning and afternoon preacher. Mr. Russell is said to have served the church, very acceptably.
44. Saunders, Lawrence. We include the name of Mr. Saunders not because he was a known Sabbath-keeper, but for the reason that he was an ancestor of Tobias Saunders, one of the members of the first Seventh-day Baptist church in America.
Rev. Lawrence Saunders was born in Gloucestershire, England; educated at Cambridge, and became a preacher of the gospel at Frothingham and Litchfield in the reign of Edward VI. He was martyred by fire outside the city of Coventry February 9th, 1555 (Sabbath day).
45. Savage, John. Elder John Savage became pastor of the Mill Yard church in 1712; and during his term of service, the church was moved from Bull-stake Alley to Mill Yard. He had as assistant pastor John Maulden, until Maulden's death, February 17, 1715. After a faithful pastorate of eight years, Elder Savage died March 20th, 1720.
46. Sellers, William. The name is variously spelled Seller, Saller, Sallars, Salter; but the dates identify the person as one. Ivimey, Maitland and others give John James (who was martyred in 1661) as the first pastor of the Mill Yard Seventh-day Baptist church. Mr. Sellers is named by these writers as the next pastor of this church, and as having served in this capacity from 1670 to 1678. The church is said to have been in a flourishing condition during his pastorate.,
As early as 1657, in conjunction with John Spittlehouse, he published "An Appeal to the Consciences of the Chief Magistrates touching the Sabbath Day),." In 1679 an enlarged edition of this work was issued.
In 1671 Mr. Sellers published "Examination of a Late Book by Dr. Owen on a Sacred Day of Rest," in which he de fended the Sabbath of the Bible. He also published a work on "Christian Instruction," in the form of Question and Answer; but no date is given.
In the 1679 edition of the "Appeal," he mentions "The oath and protestation that I and this Protestant kingdom too in 1641." Supposing that at that date he was not under twenty, this would make him about ninety years old at the time of his death, May 26, 1713.
It was during his pastorate, in 1673, that the present records of the Mill Yard church began. He is spoken of as a man of considerable power in debate and controversy, using his gift in defense of the Sabbath. It is said that he greatly interested the Jews, who came often to hear him preach.
47. Shalder, Robert. David Benedict, in his "History of Baptists," says that Mr. Shalder was a Seventh-day Baptist. A testimony to his faithfulness, and to his suffering for the truth's sake is given in Neal's "Puritans," Vol. II, page 382:- "The rage of the people, sanctioned by the conduct of the magistrates and the clergy, towards the Baptists, rose to such a height as to deny them the benefit of the common burying places. Nay, there wanted not instances of their being taken out of their graves. The inhabitants of Croft in Lincolnshire treated in this manner the corpse of Mr. Robert Shalder in the year 1666. He had suffered much by imprisonment and died soon after his release. He was buried among his ancestors; and on the same day his grave was opened and his body was taken out, dragged on a sledge to his own gate and left there." Thus have faithful men suffered for Sabbath truth.
48. Shenstone, John Brittain. Elder Shenstone was born January 29, 1776; baptized April 22, 1792; called to the ministry August 14, 1797; ordained elder of the General Baptist Church April 23, 1799. For over forty years he was connected with the Board of Baptist Ministers of London; and, as the senior member, was called the father of the Board. But about the year 1822 he became convinced as to the Sabbath, and began to attend the ministry of Robert Burnside, whom he succeeded, in June, 1826, as pastor of Francis Bampfield's old church (Pinner's Hall, London). He died on Sunday, May 12, 1844, in his sixty-ninth year. He was the last pastor of this ancient church. His wife, who survived him, died October 11, 1863 -- the last member of this church.
In 1826, Elder Shenstone published a book entitled "The Authority of Jehovah Asserted; or a Scriptural Plea for the Seventh-day Weekly Sabbath as the Only Sabbath Given by God."
49. Skipp, Edward. Edward Skipp wrote in defense of the Sabbath in 1664. Further than this we have no record of him. Robert Cox in "Sabbath Literature" (2-58) refers to his book.
50. Slater, William. William Slater was born May 24, 1754, and died July 21, 1819. He was a member of the Mill Yard Church: and on the death of Daniel Noble in 1783-4 he succeeded him as morning preacher and upon the death of Peter Russell in 1789 he became afternoon preacher also, and so continued until his death. In 1783 he wrote in defense of the Sabbath.
The church experienced much trouble during his pastorate, one of the trustees having thrown its affairs into the Court of Chancery, for a private purpose. Being a quiet, inoffensive man he took these troubles so to heart as to cause his death.
He kept a school for boys, and was a most successful teacher; two of his pupils (one who became a doctor, and the other Secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society) spoke very highly of him.
He had one son and six daughters, who survived him.
51. Smith, Robert. Robert Smith was born in 1590 and died in 1675. He was a member of the Mill Yard Seventh-day Baptist church. Reference is made to him in the "Baptist Cyclopedia," and also in Hoyt and Wheeler's "Biographical Dictionary," where he is spoken of as a book collector; he is mentioned in The Sabbath Recorder of January 14, 1858.
52. Soursby, Henry. Henry Soursby was a member of the Mill Yard church and was chosen elder in 1673; in 1678 he succeeded Elder William Sellers as pastor of the church, holding this position until his death, September 8, 1711. He was gifted in debate, and used his talents vigorously in defense of the Sabbath. In 1683 he published "A Discourse on the Sabbath."
53. Spittlehouse, John. About the year 1654 there was published a "Declaration of the several churches of Christ and Godly people in and about the citie of London, concerning the Kingly Interest of Christ, and the present sufferings of His Cause and Saints in England;" and among the 150 signatures is a group of seven names representing the Sabbathkeeping church "that walketh with Dr. Peter Chamberlen:" in this group is the name of John Spittlehouse. He also appears as joint author with William Sellers of "An Appeal to the Consciences of the Chief Magistrates of this Commonwealth Touching the Sabbath-day," published in 1657. Gilfillan includes him in a list of eminent names of men who, "spread over a space of more than two centuries, have contended for the perpetuity of the seventh-day Sabbath against the Christian world." Elder Black calls him "Reverend;" and says he was alive as late as 1671. Alas, that we have so scanty records of the lives of men of this stamp!
54. Stennett, Edward. Edward Stennett was born in Lincolnshire, but the exact date we do not know. The earliest notice we have of him states that he was alive and not a Sabbath-keeper as early as 1631; at which time, according to Robert Cox's "Sabbath Literature," Theophilus Brabourne wrote against him and other preachers a "Defence of the Most Ancient and Sacred Ordinance of God, the Sabbath Day."
He appears to have held the sequestered rectory at Wallingford; but having taken the side of Parliament, and having served as chaplain in the Parliamentary army, he was, on the Restoration of Charles II., in 1660, deprived of his living in the Established Church. He now applied himself to the study of medicine, by the practice of which he was able to support his family in comfort and give his children a liberal education. When he embraced the Sabbath, we cannot say, but we find him in charge of a Seventh-day Baptist congregation in Wallingford at the time, or soon after the Restoration. A the request of his son, Joseph, he undertook the pastorate of Pinner's Hall church, and came to London at intervals, but continued to make Wallingford his home.
He suffered much of the persecution to which the Dissenters were exposed at that time, and more especially for his faithful adherence to the cause of the Sabbath. For this truth he experienced tribulation, not only from those in power, by whom he was a long time kept in prison, but also much distress from unfriendly dissenting brethren who strove to destroy his influence and ruin his cause. Wallingford Castle, in which he resided, possessed among other privileges, exemption from search warrants issued by any under the rank of Lord Chief justice; he was thus enabled to defy the local magistrates. In this castle he fitted up a room for worship, and took great care to admit no strangers. The squire and parson were his chief enemies, who, failing to trouble him by law, hired false witnesses against him. Knowing the justness of his cause he decided to appear at the trial which was fixed for the assizes at Newbury. Just as the time for the trial approached, the son of the judge who was to have been witness against him absconded with some strolling players, the rector of Wallingford was seized with illness, another witness broke his leg and in one way or another all were prevented from appearing against him, except one man, a gardener, whose conscience smote him so that he refused to appear. And so the servant of the Lord was delivered from the hands of his enemies; there were also other instances in which the plain hand of Providence appeared in his behalf.
In the Seventh-day Baptist Memorial may be seen a letter "from Dr. Edward Stennett, of the Seventh-day Baptist church, in Bell Lane, London, to the Sabbath-keepers in Rhode Island, dated Abingdon, Berkshire, February 2, 1668." The truly humble spirit of this great man is manifest in the opening and closing of his letter. He begins.- "Edward Stennett, a poor, unworthy servant of Jesus Christ, to the remnant in Rhode Island who keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus, sendeth greeting;" and in closing he begs their "earnest prayers for a full supply of all grace for me, a poor sinful wretch, that I may be found worthy to praise him." This letter also indicates that many Seventh-day Baptist churches once flourished in England. He says: "Here are in England about nine or ten churches that keep the Sabbath, besides many scattered disciples who have been eminently preserved in this tottering day when many once eminent churches have been shattered in pieces." This opens up to us a much larger view than we have been accustomed to take of the once flourishing condition of Sabbath truth and principles in England.
In 1670 Mr. Stennett wrote a second letter to the Rhode Island church: this was of like spirit with the first.
In 1658 he published "The Royal Law contended for: or, Some Brief Grounds serving to prove that the Ten Commandments are yet in full force, and shall so remain till Heaven and Earth pass away." The same year he wrote "The Seventh-day Sabbath proved from the Beginning, from the Law, from the Prophets, from Christ and his Apostles, to be a duty yet incumbent upon Saints and Sinners." Also, in 1664, he published "The Seventh-day is the Sabbath of the Lord: in answer to Mr. Russell's book, No Seventh-day Sabbath recommended by Jesus Christ." The first work was reprinted by the American (Seventh-day) Sabbath Tract Society in 1848, and is included in their volume of Tracts on the Sabbath published in 1853.
An extract from his book, "Penalty for Sabbath-breaking," written in 1664, may be seen in the Sabbath Recorder for April 25, 1845.
Besides asserting the duty of keeping the seventh-day Sabbath, Mr. Stennett taught that its observance ought to be commenced after the manner of the Jews, at sunset on Friday.
All his writings "breathe the genuine spirit of Christianity, and in their day were greatly conducive to the prosperity of the Sabbath-keeping churches."
In early life he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Quelch, a lady of culture and refinement who belonged to an Oxford family of good repute; and who was his most affectionate and helpful companion through a long and eventful life. They became the ancestors of a series of Sabbatarian ministers who, for four generations, continued to be among the foremost of Dissenters in England, and whose praise is still in all the churches.
Jehudah, their eldest son, became an eminent scholar and Physician at Henley-on-Thames, and at the age of nineteen wrote a Hebrew Grammar which was the standard text-book of the schools of that day.
Their daughter (Mary) was an excellent Greek and Hebrew scholar; and married a William Morton, of Knaphill, Buckshire.
All their children were members of Pinner's Hall Seventh-day Baptist church. Benjamin and George were both worthy representatives of the name; Benjamin was useful in the ministry, but died young; George is said to have been an eloquent, sound and able preacher of the gospel. But of all their children, the one who reached the greatest eminence was the Rev. Joseph Stennett I.
Rev. Edward Stennett died at Wallingford in 1690. The following epitaph was written by his son Joseph, and placed over the grave of his father and mother:-
"Here lies a holy and a happy pair:
As once in grace, they now in glory share:
They dared to suffer, but they feared to sin;
And meekly bore the cross, the crown to win,
So lived, as not to be afraid to die;
So died, as heirs of immortality.
Reader, attend: tho dead, they speak to thee;
Tread the same path, the same thine end shall be."
55. Stennett, Joseph, D. D., 1. Joseph Stennett (1st) was born at Abingdon, County of Berks, England, in 1663. Through God's blessing upon the prayers and efforts of his pious parents, he was very early in life born from above. After his death, among his papers were found these words:"O God of my salvation, how abundant was thy goodness! O invaluable mercy! Thou didst season my tender years with a religious education, so that I sucked in the rudiments of Christianity, as it were, with my mother's milk, by the gracious admonitions and holy discipline of my godly parents. This was an antidote sent from heaven against the corroding poison of sin; this made conscience speak, while my childish tongue could but stammer; this is a branch of thy divine bounty and goodness, for which my soul shall forever bless Thee."
After finishing the branches of an ordinary education the Grammar School in Wallingford, he mastered the French and Italian languages, acquired a thorough knowledge of Hebrew and other Oriental tongues, and successfully studied philosophy and the liberal sciences. In 1685 he removed to London, and for the first five years employed himself in the education of youth. He here cultivated the acquaintance of persons eminent for piety and learning.
In 1688 he married Susannah Gill, the daughter of a eminent and worthy French merchant who had fled from France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. This was a most happy union, and was blessed with noble children, some of whom reached great distinction as preachers.
On coming to London he joined the Pinner's Hall Seventh-day Baptist church September 28, 1686. His brethren soon discovered his gifts and grace, and prevailed upon him to exercise in exhortation and expounding the Scriptures. These exercises proving so satisfactory to the church, his ordination took place on "ye 4th day of ye 1st month, 1690."
He preached on Sunday to other Baptist churches, but remained the faithful pastor of the Pinner's Hall Seventh-day Baptist church until his death. His ministry was eminently evangelical, faithful and effective. In preaching he never used written sermons, and took but few notes into the pulpit. "His diction was easy and natural, for he had great command of the English language. His voice was low, sweet and musical; and as he spoke the true sense of his own heart- the suitable air of his countenance, and the agreeableness of his address, seldom failed to recommend what he said to the attention of judicious hearers. When he preached, few in the assembly could remain unmoved." So says the editor of his published works.
His polished manners, ready address, fine intellect and extensive learning speedily gave him a high position among the Baptists; and, a little later, in other dissenting denominations. At the request of the Baptists he drew up and presented an address to William III on his deliverance from the "Assassination Plot." This document was highly commended. When he published his thanksgiving sermon for the victory at Hochstadt, in 1704, a nobleman, without his knowledge, presented a copy of it to the Queen (Anne), who was so pleased with it that she sent a gift to the eloquent and patriotic preacher.
He wrote and published many books, but he excelled especially as a poet. He composed many beautiful hymns, some of which are still used in the churches, and which drew forth at the time of their composition commendations from Mr. Tate, the poet laureate. He composed many hymns for use at the Lord's Supper; among these were:
"I own I love; 'tis no uncomely
"Jesus! O word divinely sweet."
"'Tis finished, the Redeemer cries."
"Thus we commemorate the Day;" etc., etc.
There were many others on the Sabbath and baptism, e.g.:-
"Blest Day! Ordained of God, and therefore blest."
"See how the willing converts trace."
"The great Redeemer we adore."
"Thus was the great Redeemer plunged," etc., etc.
But the hymn for which he is chiefly remembered, found perhaps in all standard church hymn books, is that beginning-
"Another six days work is done."
Multitudes sing this hymn to-day and apply it to Sunday, the first day of the week; but the author wrote it for the seventh-day Sabbath of Jehovah, of which he was a faithful keeper all his life and an ardent defender.
His version of the Song of Solomon, and his hymns, secured for him such a reputation as a poet and a Hebrew scholar, that he was requested to revise the English version of the Psalms of David. Dr. Sharp, Archbishop of York, speaking of this proposition, declared that "he had heard such a character of Mr. Stennett, not only for his skill in poet but likewise in the Hebrew tongue, that he thought no man more fit for that work than he."
In 1702, when David Russen assailed the Baptists in his book, "Fundamentals Without a Foundation, or a True Picture of the Anabaptists," Mr. Stennett was invited to refute the work; and he accomplished the task with so much learning such solid reasoning, and such an utter rout of all the forces of Mr. Russen, that he was satisfied never again to meddle with the Baptists. The reputation acquired by this work prompted his friends to secure his services in writing a complete History of Baptists. He intended to comply with this request, and for some years he collected materials for it; but on account of failing health he was unable to finish the task. After his death, however, this history was edited and published with his other works in five octavo volumes, in 1732.
He was offered preferment in the Established Church and there is reason to believe he could have reached an exalted position in it. An eminent prelate is said to have remarked to an intimate friend of Mr. Stennett, "that, if he could but be reconciled to the church, not many preferments in it, he believed, would be thought above his merit." But the conscience of Mr. Stennett was not for sale, though all the wealth of earth had been offered for it.
His health seriously declining, on advice of his physicians he left London for change of air and went to the house of his brother-in-law, Mr. Morton, at Knaphill in Buckinghamshire; here he declined rapidly and peacefully fell asleep in Jesus, July 11, 1713, in the forty-ninth year of his age and the twenty-third of his ministry. A lengthy and most appreciative epitaph in Latin was written by his friend, Dr. Ward of Gresham College, and placed on his tombstone; a translation of which may be seen in "The Sabbath Memorial" (London, 1883), page 384.
56. Stennett, Joseph, D. D., II. Dr. Joseph Stennett (2nd) was born in London November 6, 1692. He was the son of Joseph and Susannah Stennett. His educational advantages, of which he made the best use, were of the highest order. He became a noted linguist, and an adept in the use of the French, the Italian and the Hebrew languages. His only sister became, by his instruction, so familiar with the Greek and Hebrew languages that she was able to read the Scriptures in those languages as readily as she could in the English.
When fifteen years of age he gave his heart to the Saviour and was baptized. At twenty-two he entered upon the Christian ministry. He was at one time solicited to become the pastor of Mill Yard church, but declined. It was quite customary in those days for a seventh-day minister to serve a first-day church; and so Dr. Stennett, at the age of forty-five, became pastor of a Baptist church in Little Wild street, London, although himself a faithful Sabbath-keeper to the day of his death. Dr. Gill preached one of the two sermons delivered on the occasion of his settlement in London. At that time he was in possession of splendid powers, matured by a wide range of experience, and by information from all ages and regions.
He was among the most eloquent preachers of his day, and soon his talents were recognized throughout the great metropolis. He was on agreeable terms with Dr. Gibson, Bishop of London; a true follower of Jesus. He was personally known to King George II., who cherished a warm regard for him. He was an eloquent defender of the doctrines of grace against Socinianism.
On behalf of the Dissenting ministers of the "Three denominations in London (Congregational, Baptist and Presbyterian), on October 3, 1745, Mr. Stennett presented an address to the King congratulating his majesty on his return to England, on the triumph of his arms in America, and on his successes on the Continent of Europe." The address also deprecates "the present unnatural attempt to impose upon these kingdoms a papist (Charles Edward) and an abjured Pretender."
In 1754 the University of Edinburg created him Doctor of Divinity on the recommendation of his royal highness the Duke of Cumberland, its Chancellor, who sent Mr. Stennett the diploma by his secretary.
He was the author of eight small, but valuable, works.
Dr. Stennett died February 7, 1758, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. His funeral sermon was preached by Dr. Gill, and in it he stated that "his death was a public loss, particularly to the whole Dissenting interest."
57. Stennett, Joseph, III. Joseph Stennett (3rd) was the son of Joseph Stennett (2nd), and in 1740 became his father's assistant at Little Wild Street Baptist church; after serving with his father for two or three years he became the pastor of the Baptist Church of Coats, Oxfordshire. Not much besides this is known of him, except that, like his father and grandfather he was a faithful keeper and defender of the Sabbath. He died in 1769.
58. Stennett, Samuel, 1. Samuel Stennett (1st) was the son of Rev. Joseph Stennett (1st). After a few faithful years as his father's assistant in the pastorate of Pinner's Hall church, his promising career was suddenly ended by death.
59. Stennett, Samuel, D.D., 11. Dr. Samuel Stennett was born in Exeter, in 1727, and was converted and baptized when young. Like his father he was a man of superior talents and of great erudition. Ivimey says:- "His proficiency in Greek, Latin and Oriental tongues, and his extensive acquaintance with sacred literature, are so abundantly displayed in his valuable works that they cannot fail to establish his reputation for learning and genius."
He had been accustomed to move in the society of persons of refinement; and on entering upon his pastoral duties in London he was remarkable for the ease and suavity of his manners, for the good breeding, the polished language, and the graceful ways of the true gentleman. He was frequently in company with persons enjoying the highest social distinction and in such situations as gave him an opportunity to commend Baptists and aid Dissenters of all denominations.
In 1763 he was made a Doctor of Divinity by King's College, Aberdeen. Among the noble men who waited upon his ministry and loved him with the affection of a friend was John Howard, the philanthropist. In a letter from Smyrna, written to Dr. Stennett August 11, 1786, Mr. Howard says:- "I bless God for your ministry; I pray God to reward you a thousand fold. My friend, you have an honorable work; many seals you have to your ministry."
He ministered to the Little Wild street church as his father's assistant for ten years; and as its pastor, after his father's death, for thirty-seven years. The meeting house was rebuilt during his ministry. His father, Joseph Stennett, D. D.; his grandfather, Joseph Stennett; his great-grandfather, Edward Stennett; his brother, Joseph, and his son, Joseph, were all Baptist ministers- and Sabbath-keepers.
Dr. Samuel Stennett was a hymn writer of note. He wrote the beautiful and well known hymn, "Majestic sweetness sits enthroned upon the Saviour's brow;" also "On Jordan's stormy banks I stand."
Most of his works were reprinted in 1784 in three octavo volumes. In 1772 he published a work entitled "Remarks on the Christian Minister's Reasons for Administering Baptism by Sprinkling." In 1775, "An Answer to the Christian Minister's Reasons for Baptizing Infants." He was also author of two productions treating of appeals to Parliament by Protestant Dissenters for relief from persecuting enactments.
He died August 24, 1795, in the sixty-eighth year of his age.
60. Stuart, Charles James. Dr. Stuart was born in 1758 and died about the year 1828. He was considered singular in his own city, Edinburgh, for holding Seventh-day Baptist views. This seemed all the more peculiar to those who knew him, not only because he was alone, but also because of his position- having inherited the estate of Dunearen, being related to the nobility of his country, and having in his veins the royal blood of the Stuarts.
He was educated for the regular ministry of the Church of Scotland, and for a time had charge of the parish of Cramond; but from this he was suspended by the General Assembly for refusing to administer the rite of baptism and the ordinance of the Lord's Supper to any but believers. He thereupon withdrew from the church; and further study of the Bible led him to become a Baptist connecting himself with the Scotch Baptist Church.
Having been checked in his career as a minister of the gospel, he now took a medical course and henceforth devoted his life to the practice of medicine; in this profession he became successful and celebrated, having extensive practice in the first families of the land.
After a few years in the Baptist church, he was constrained to sever his relations with this people on account of his conviction as to the Sabbath having become convinced from careful Bible study that the seventh-day was the only Sabbath of the Lord. After this, although without ecclesiastical connections, he maintained Christian fellowship with the pious of all denominations, and was one of the first to patronize the Baptist Missionary Society of England. He was an intimate friend of Andrew Fuller, Carey, Marshman, and Ward.
He married a daughter of Thomas Erskine, D. D.
He was wealthy and also very benevolent.
It is said of Dr. Stuart, that, "as a Hebraist and Biblical critic, he was not surpassed by many, if by any, in the country."
Thus lived and died a lone Sabbath-keeper, won to the truth by the faithful study of the Word of God alone- that Word which liveth and abideth forever.
61. Tanny, Philip. Mr. Tanny was educated in the Church of England, and became a minister in the same; but having changed his views as to baptism and the Sabbath, he began at once to spread abroad the truth as he now saw it. He is said to have been a man of piety and learning remarkably active and zealous in promulgating the truth- and that he became "a mark for many shots." In prosecuting his work, he held several public disputes. His field of labor was in the northern part of England.
Mrs. Tamar Davis, in her "History of Sabbatarian Churches," calls him Philip Pandy, but this is a mistake; he was, however, sometimes called "Tandy," as he himself testifies. His only publication in existence, so far as we know, is a sermon on Rev. 3:20, entitled, "Christ Knocking at the Door:" the substance of a sermon intended to be preached in Pauls upon the Sabbath Day which fell upon April 15th last; but not preached by Philip Tanny, commonly Tandy, 1655."
This sermon was dedicated to Oliver Cromwell, and the dedication is signed "Philip Tanny vulgo Tandy."
Of the time of his birth, and other facts of his life than those given above, we have at present no knowledge. The date of his published sermon shows that he was alive as late as 1655.
62. Tempest, Sir William. William Tempest was a member of the Inner Temple, a lawyers' guild of London, May 9, 1692; and was admitted to the bar July 2, 1704. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1712. He was baptized at his home, Cran brook, March 28, 1725, and joined Mill Yard September 2, 1732. He was a lay preacher and often occupied the Mill Yard pulpit much to the satisfaction of both the pastor and people. (Gleaned from "The Mill Yard Publications.") Mr. Tempest is styled "the conscientious barrister-at-law, and poet." If a case came up for trial on the Sabbath-day, he would plead the case lest injustice be done his client, but he would take no pay for such services. As a member of the Mill Yard Seventh-day Baptist church, he was chosen a trustee of the Davis Charity; and in this he succeeded Mr. Davis himself. The church record is as follows: "Whereas our honored brother, Joseph Davis, Esq., departed this life the 9th of March, 1732; who was a Trustee for Mill Yard; the Trustees undermentioned have unanimously chosen William Tempest, Esq., in the room and place of the above deceased Mr. Joseph Davis, for a Trustee of Mill Yard, being a member of the congregation of Mill Yard, London, September 3, 1732." This was signed by Elder Cornthwaite and five other Trustees.
Sir William Tempest died August 15, 1761.
63. Tillam, Thomas. Elder Thomas Tillam appears as the pastor of two different Seventh-day Baptist churches: one in Hexham (from 1651 to 1654 at least), Northumberland, England, a market town on the Tyne river, twenty miles west of Newcastle; the other in Colchester, Essex, some two hundred and fifty miles southeast of Hexham. As to the first pastorate he is said to have organized the first Baptist church in Northumberland County, of which he became the first pastor.
As to the second, we learn from one of his books that it was the minister of a church of two hundred baptized believers in Colchester, all keeping the seventh-day Sabbath. He wrote and published a hymn in celebration of the event of the two hundred joining in the Lord's Supper on the Lord's Sabbath.
Robert Cox quotes from Cowell, who says of the Sabbatarians of his day, "they were no small ones either, amongst that people, as Thomas Tillam, Christopher Pooley, Edward Skipp, John Fox, etc."
Some of his writings indicate that he was greatly persecuted on account of his principles, and one of his books is styled "A present from prison."
He was the author of a number of works:- In 1651 he published "The Two Witnesses; their Prophecy, Slaughter, Resurrection and Ascension or an Exposition of Revelation, chapter eleven." In 1654, "Banners of Love Displayed over the Church of Christ, walking in the order of the gospel at Hexham. An answer to a Narrative stuffed with untruths by four Newcastle Gentlemen." The preface of this book is dated "Hexham, 1653;" and in the book he states that "sprinkling is not baptism."
In 1655 he issued a work entitled, "The fourth principle of Christian Religion: or the foundation doctrine of Laying on of Hands, asserted and vindicated." This was a reply to Lieutenant Colonel Paul Hobson, who had asserted the opposite. The laying on of hands seems to have been generally practiced by the early Seventh-day Baptists in America as well as in England.
His last book, of which we have knowledge, appeared in 1657, entitled, "The Seventh-day Sabbath sought out and Celebrated: in answer to Mr. Aspinwall's late piece against the Sabbath." This was replied to by William Jennison, in "A Lash for a Liar: or a Word of Warning to all Christians to take heed of Thomas Tillam, who is now discovered by his preaching and printing to be a common slanderer of as many as are contrary to his opinions." 1658. An answer was also made to Tillam's book by "G.T." in 1659.
Thomas Grantham, in a work published in 1678, in his chapter "Of the Seventh-day Sabbath," refers to Thomas Tillam as an "Apostate from the Gospel," and again as "that prodigious apostate" who had encumbered truth "with his Jewish ceremonies." He speaks of him as "T. Tillam of Colchester," showing that he was still pastor there as late as 1678.
So the enemies of the Sabbath maligned this man of God, and illustrated, again the proverb that when a cause lacks good arguments, mud and stones are apt to be resorted to. But the truth stands forever, while the names of its enemies perish and are forgotten.
64. Tombes, John. J. Davis' History of the Welsh Baptists (p. 41) shows Mr. Tombes to have been a Baptist, strongly defending immersion as the only Scripture baptism. In Joseph Stennett's answer to David Russen's book on baptism, London, 1704 (page 249), he quotes from the House of Lords as saving: "There was a very learned and famous man that lived at Salisbury, Mr. Tombes, who was a zealous Conformist in all points but one, Infant Baptism."
And now as to the Sabbath: Mr. Tombes was the author of an able work on "Christian Baptism," and fourteen other polemical works, published in England during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. A quotation from his work on Christian Baptism (pages 674, 675) is a strong argument for the seventh-day Sabbath. Mr. Stennett says that some Pedobaptists observe the seventh-day while they remain in the communion of the Church of England.
There is then fair evidence that Mr. Tombes was a representative of a numerous class of ministers in those days who remained in the Establishment, or in some Dissenting body, and at the same time strictly observed and faithfully defended the Sabbath of the Bible.
65. Townsend, Edmund. We first know of Mr. Townsend as the second pastor of Natton Seventh-day Baptist church (succeeding Elder John Purser about 1720). He did not remain here long, however, but removed to London, and became a member of the Mill Yard church. On December 3, 1727, he was ordained as the successor of Joseph Stennett (1st), who had died in 1713. After Mr. Stennett's death the congregation at Pinner's Hall had moved to Cripplegate, so that Elder Townsend is spoken of as "Pastor of the Cripplegate Fraternity." The records state that "The Church gave themselves up to Mr. Edmund Townsend."
Ivimey says:- "He was a worthy and respectable man: and though not particularly distinguished for literary attainments, was yet a useful minister, and greatly esteemed in his day. He died January 5, 1763, having been for some time previous rendered incapable of preaching. His remains were interred in the burial ground behind the Baptist Meeting House in Mill Yard, where he had buried his wife a few years before. She appears to have died in the year 1755, in the sixty-eighth year of her age."
66. Traske, John. This name is variously spelled, Trask, Trasque and Thraske. Mr. Traske was probably born about the year 1583 ; but we know nothing of his early life. He became a school teacher, and must have enjoyed something of a liberal education ; although he is said not to have been a university man. He is accredited with being a Latin scholar, and as having studied Hebrew and Greek while in prison for his religious beliefs.
We first know of him as a schoolmaster in Somersetshire, where he seems to have sought ministerial orders, which were refused him by the Establishment. He then removed to Salisbury, where he became a Puritan, and obtained the "orders" which he desired. After this he came to London, in just what year is uncertain: Rev. George B. Utter puts it in 1618, about the time that the Book of Sports for Sunday was published under the direction of the Archbishop of Canterbury and King James I; Rev. Dr. William M. Jones says that Mr. John Trask came to London in 1617; however, there is reason to believe that his pioneer work was begun in the metropolis as early at least as 1616.
As to his religious views and teachings, we have already noted that at first he was in the fellowship of the Established Church, and that subsequently he adopted the views of the Puritans; such were his convictions on coming to London.
Being a man of strong personality, and most zealous as a revival preacher (preaching much upon the streets and in public Places), he soon had a large number of followers, who were called "Traskites." Among these was one Hamlet Jackson (whom he afterward ordained as an evangelist), who, through searching of the Scriptures, was led to embrace the Bible Sabbath, and through whose influence it is said that Mr. Traske and others were brought to like views. Traske began at once with all earnestness to propagate the Sabbath doctrine; and from among the many who were won by him, no doubt sprang the nucleus of the Mill Yard Seventh-day Baptist church.
As a result of his advocacy of the Scriptures as sufficient to direct in all religious services, and the duty of the State not to impose anything contrary to the Word of God, great opposition was awakened and his enemies became very bitter against him; he was denounced as "a wolf in sheep's clothing, a seducing imposter, and cunning deceiver."
Failing to silence him in any other way, he was arrested by the authorities and brought before the infamous Star Chamber presided over by Bishop Andrews, who made a long speech against his views: The indictment against him was that of Judaizing; seeking to make "Christian men, the people of God, his majesty's subjects, little better than Jews, both in the matter of abstaining from eating meats which the Jews were forbidden in Leviticus, and that they were bound to observe the Jewish Sabbath." Writing and preaching in defence of the Sabbath was his "crime." Paggitt's Heresiography says he was "sentenced, on account of his being a Sabbatarian, to be set upon the pillory at Westminster, and from thence to be whipped to the Fleet prison, there to remain a prisoner for three years." Another account says he was "tied to the cart's tail and whipped all the way to Fleet prison, probably about two miles, there to remain a prisoner." Still another account adds that his sentence included the branding of the letter "I" upon, his forehead. The sentence against him was executed in full.
For some reason, not now known he made a recantation December 1, 1619, and ceased to keep and defend the Bible Sabbath; but the seed of Sabbath truth which he had sown never ceased to bear fruit. It may be noted incidentally if he remained in prison the full three years, and was released in December, 1619 his evangelistic work in London must have been as early at least as 1616.
Among his published works were; Sermon on Mark 16:16 published in 1615; A Treatise of Liberty from Judaism, etc., in 1620 when leaving the Sabbath; The Power of Preaching, in 1623; A letter to Mistress Traske, who lay prisoner in the Gatehouse many years for keeping the Jewish Sabbath, for working on our Lord's Day, and signed T. S., December 26, 1634; The True Gospel, etc., in 1636.
Various works were published against him at different times. Among these were the Speech by Bishop Andrews in the Star Chamber, against the Judaical opinions of Traske; A Treatise maintaining that Temporal Blessings are to be sought and asked with submission to the will of God - also a discovery of the late dangerous errors of Mr. John Traske and most of his strange assertions, by Edward Norrice, 1636; The New Gospel not the True Gospel, or a discovery of the life and death, doctrines and doings of Mr. John Traske, and the effects of all in his followers, Wherein a mysterie of iniquity is briefly disclosed, a Seducer unmasked, and all warned to beware of imposters, by Edward Norrice, 1638.
As to his death - he was living December 26, 1634, when he wrote to his wife in prison, and he was probably alive when he wrote and published "The True Gospel" in 1636; and yet he must have been dead when Edward Norrice wrote of his "late dangerous errors" in 1636. Hence he must have died sometime within the year 1636; not later, certainly, than 1638, when Norrice wrote of the "Life and Death, doctrines and doings of Mr John Traske."
He died in the house of one of his followers in Lambeth, and was buried in Lambeth Churchyard.
67. Traske, Mrs. John. The wife of John Traske well deserves a mention in any list of ancient English Seventh-day Baptists. It is easy to believe that she was indeed a woman "endowed with many and particular virtues." As to her birth, parentage, and many other matters of interest, we are in ignorance; but what is known renders her memory fragrant.
She must have been a person of considerable learning, since she successfully conducted a private preparatory classical school. She would teach for no less per pupil than fourteen pence per week, but she would sometimes return a part of the tuition to poor parents, or in the case of a student from whom she thought she deserved not so much ; all this, it is said she did "out of conscience and as believing that she must one day be judged for all the things done in the flesh." Her estimate of punctuality was shown in that she would not receive any child whose parents would not send him (or her) promptly at seven in the morning, and send the child's breakfast at nine o'clock. Testimony as to her skill as a teacher is given by Ephraim Pagitt in the following words :- "There was found hardly any one that could equal her for so speedy beginning children to read. She taught a son of mine who had only learned his letters in another place, at the age of four years, in the space of nine months, so that he was fit for the Latin into which he was then entered." That she was very popular as a teacher, is clear from the fact that parents were so eager to send their children to her school that she was obliged to make a rule to receive only so many as she could properly teach, and yet many were "waiting their turn for admittance for a very long time ahead."
But that which has preserved her memory until this time was her Christian spirit, her love of truth and her long and fatal sufferings for the truth she held dear. She was one of the most noted and faithful of her husband's converts to the Sabbath, never forsaking it as did he; but for this devotion she was called to suffer. When it was discovered that she did not honor Sunday, and would not teach in her school on Saturday, she was arrested and cast into prison - first, Maiden Lane, and then Gatehouse - where, for Sabbath- keeping, she suffered "fifteen or sixteen years," until released by death.
Some of the characteristics of her faith and her independent spirit are shown in an account by a contemporary (Ephraim Pagitt), who was not friendly to the Sabbath:-
"Mistress Trask lay for fifteen or sixteen years a prisoner for her opinions about the Saturday- Sabbath; in all which time she would receive no relief from anybody, notwithstanding she wanted much, alleging that it is written, 'It is a more blessed thing to give than to receive.' Neither would she borrow. She deemed it a dishonor to her head, Christ, either to beg or borrow. Her diet for the most part of her imprisonment, that is till a little before her death, was bread and water, roots and herbs. No flesh, nor wine, nor brewed drink. She charged the keeper of the prison not to bury her in church nor churchyard, but in the fields only; which accordingly was done. All her means was an annuity of forty shillings a year; what she lacked more to live upon, she had of such prisoners as did employ her sometimes to do business for them. But this was only within the prison, for out of the prison she did not go; so she sickened and died."
Confined in the same prison was a Mr. Richard Lovelace, Who was there because of his royalist sympathies: while there he wrote the poem, " To Althea from Prison." In the following lines he is supposed to refer to Mrs. Traske:
walls do not a prison make.
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for a heritage."
The date of Mrs. Trask's imprisonment is not certain; but if Lovelace was imprisoned from 1643 to 1654 (as it is said), it seems probable that her term may have overlapped that in part.
68. Wheaton, Elder ---- . Elder Wheaton appears to have been pastor of a Seventh-day Baptist Church at Swanzey, Wales, as late at least as 1730. The "Baptist Cyclopedia" in an article on "The Hollis Family," says:- "In a letter to Elder Wheaton, of Swanzey, Thomas Hollis writes God, that hath shined into our hearts by his gospel, can lead you sleeping Sabbatarians from the Sinai covenant and the law of ceremonies into the light of the new covenant and the grace thereof. I pity to see professors drawing back to the law, and desire to remember that our standing is by grace."
Thomas Hollis, an eminent and liberal patron or benefactor of Harvard in Massachusetts, was born in 1659 and died in 1731; he was baptized and became a Baptist in 1679, but did not go as far as the Sabbath. His letter, however, indicates clearly that Wheaton was a Seventh-day Baptist, an presided over a congregation of such.
69. Whiston, William. William Whiston is mentioned by Elder Black in Mill Yard Publications, "Lays and Legends," as the ejected Mathematical Professor of Cambridge, a learned and voluminous writer. Though an Episcopalian Clergyman, he advocated and observed the seventh-day Sabbath."
The Encyclopedia Britannica (24-578) gives him over a column and speaks of him as leaving the Church of England in 1747 and becoming a Baptist. He was born in 1667, and died August 22, 1752.
70. Whitewood, Thomas. In 1767 Mr. Thomas Whitewood became the successor of Edmund Townsend as pastor of Pinner's Hall church, and is said to have died the same year. He appears to have come from Portsmouth, Hampshire. He was one of the subscribers to Dr. Gill's Sermons and Tracts; and wrote in 1764 a letter to Rev. S. Pike with remarks on his Sermon on Faith. He was a scholarly man and in his writings makes free use of Greek.
71. Wilkinson, Thomas. Thomas Wilkinson was born in 1823 and died February 9, 1903. He was a regular Baptist, and is not entitled to a place in this record but for the fact that he was the pastor of Natton Church from 1870 until his death-thirty-three years (although a Sunday man).
72. Wyncup, N. Mr. Wyncup is mentioned by Gilfillan in a list of two dozen Sabbatarians. In 1731 he published a book entitled "Remarks on Dr. Wright's Treatise on the Religious Observance of the Lord's Day- in which the Individual Obligations Remaining on the Christian Church to the Religious observance of the Seventh Day, are stated and vindicated."
A copy of this book, with many still older Sabbath writings, may be seen in Alfred University Library.
The above list of Sabbath advocates and defenders- pastors, authors, etc., is simply representative and suggestive; of many, all records have perished; of others, we find but the name, and possibly a single item of information concerning them, as, for example:- Eliza Bedford wrote in 1716 "The Widow's Mite," showing why the Seventh-day is to be kept in Christ; James Oxley in 1882 published "The Seventh-day of the Week the Sabbath of the Lord;" James Scott, in 1874, "The Only Sabbath-day by Divine Appointment;" Mehetable Smith, in 1683, wrote a part of Henry Soursby's "Discourse on the Sabbath."
Names of living writers on the Sabbath question are not included in the purpose of this history.
These ancient worthies, though dead, yet speak to us; they bid us let not the sacred cause of truth, for which they sacrificed everything, perish; they bid us be of good courage, the Lord will give the final victory. In 1520 Luther said of Carlstadt, "Indeed if Carlstadt were to write further about the Sabbath, Sunday would have to give way, and the Sabbath- that is to say, Saturday must be kept holy." Keep on with faithful, persistent testimony, and Saturday alone will yet be known only as the Sabbath of the Lord.
Manual of the Seventh-day Baptists. Rev. George P. Utter. 1858.
History of Sabbath and Sunday. A. H. Lewis, D. D. 1886.
Jubilee Papers. 1892. Article by Rev. W. M. Jones, pp. 9-18.
Sunday Legislation. A. H. Lewis, D. D., LL. D. 1902.
History of the Anglo Saxons. Sharon Turner.
Origin and Independence of the Ancient British Church. Bp. Burgess. 1815.
Chronicles of the Ancient British Church. James Yeowell. 1847.
Religion of Ancient Briton. George Smith, F. A. S. London. 1846.
Annals of the Ancient British Church. Rev. T. Watson. London. 1862.
History of the Government of the Church in Great Britain and Ireland.
Bishop Lloyd. London. 1703.
Ancient British Church. John Pryce. London. 1878. Church History of Britain. Thomas Fuller. London. 1868.
History of the Church; A. D. 305-445. Socrates.
History of the Ancient Piedmont Church. Allix. London. 1690.
History of the Puritans. Daniel Neale. 1855.
Treatise on the Sabbath. Bishop White. London. 1635.
General History of the Baptist Denomination. David Benedict. 1848.
History of the Welsh Baptists; A. D. 63-1770.
Baptists. T. G. Jones.
History of English Baptists. Crosby.
History of the Baptists. Thomas Armitage. 1887.
History of the Christian Church. William Jone's. 1824.
History of the Sabbath. William B. Maxson. 1853.
Literature of the Sabbath Question. Robert Cox, F.S.A. Scot. London. 1865.
Venerable Bede's Eccl. History of England. J. A. Giles, D.C. L. London. 1890.
The Church in Scotland. James C. Moffat, D. D. Philadelphia. 1882.
Celtic Scotland. William F. Skene.
Scottish History. Hector Boethius.
History of Ireland. Sylvester O'Halleron.
English in Ireland in 18th Century. Froude. New York. 1881.
Roger de Hovedon's Annals; A. D. 732-1201. London. 1853.
The Hermits. Charles Kingsley. 1868.
Dictionary of National Biography.
Mill Yard Publications: The Last Legacy of J. Davis Sr. Black. London. 1869.
Genealogy of the Chamberlens. Aveling.
History of Free Churches in England. H. S. Skeats. 1869.
History of the Baptists. Joseph Ivimey. 4 vols. 1811.1830.
Files of The Sabbath Recorder.
History of Sabbatarian Baptists. Mrs. Tamar Davis.
Seventh-day Baptist Memorial.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Mc. & S.
Baptist Encyclopedia. Cathcart. 1881.
History of Conference. James Bailey.
History of the Sabbath. Peter Heylyn.
The Sabbatarians in Transylvania. Samuel Kohn. 1896. (German.)
Sabbath Memorial. W. M. Jones. 1875-1890.
Of the following corrections, those beginning with page 30, and ending with page 113, except the one on page 78, have been submitted by Charles Henry Greene, Esq., who in collaboration with Rev. James Lee Gamble, Ph. D., D. D., wrote the treatise concerned.
For the statement that "He was born in 1659 (possibly 1654) and died in 1693", substitute the following: Thomas Bampfield (Bampfylde) was the eighth child and youngest son of Sir John Bampfield, Bart., and Elizabeth Drake, his wife. They had fifteen children. Thomas was born about 1618 and died October 8, 1693. He is buried in St. Stephen's Church, Exeter. (See Bampfylde, House of Exeter, by Robert Dymond, F. S. A. - A Period of London, England - in the Archaeological Journal, for June, 1874, pp. 95-103, volume XXXI. For the date of Thomas Bampfield's birth, compare with dates of birth of other children). Thomas Bampfield says he began to observe the Sabbath about 1667. (See Bampfield's reply to Wallace, 1693, p. 18).
Add the following: Thomas Broad lived and died a rector of the Church of England. (See Anthony Wood's Athenian Oxenensis, Vol XX, pp. (c), 593-594; Bliss's edition, 1813).
In Allibone's Dictionary of Authors, he is called "Returne Hebdon." He was one of four evangelists ordained by John Trask, while the latter was pastor of Mill Yard Seventh Day Baptist Church.
" This appears to be written "Bull Steak Alley," also. Both forms are used in this book.
The reference to Mill Yard Church in this article, as originally written are mostly from secondary sources. A more recent personal examination of the records themselves, by the writer, fails to reveal any Patrick McFarlane. The Patrick McFarlane mentioned in the Minutes of the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference of some forty years ago, lived in Springfield, Ohio, U.S.A., being a member of the Jackson Centre Church.
For "Robert Smith".. read "Richard Smith." It is not known that Robert Smith was an observer of the Seventh Day Sabbath. Richard Smith, however, was a prominent member of Mill Yard Church. A "Brother Smith" died in 1714, supposed to be this Richard Smith. He was a member here as early as 1654.
For the statement "Rev. Edward Stennett died at Wallingford in 1690", substitute the following: It is known that a summons for the arrest of Rev. Edward Stennett was issued by the Ecclesiastical Court in 1691, and Rev. William H. Black, after a careful examination of the evidence available, expressed the belief that Rev. Edward Stennett was living as late as May 6, 1705.
Qualify the statement that "On December 3, 1727, he was ordained as the successor of Joseph Stennett, 1st." by the following: "The records of the Mill Yard Church show that Edmund Townsend was ordained as an evangelist, by the Natton Church, in 1722, Sometime before June 3rd. In their extreme congregational independence, it not infrequently happened that the English Seventh Day Baptists ignored a former ordination. A like case was that of Robert Cornthwaite, who was ordained pastor of Mill Yard Church, March 8, 1726-7, although he was already an ordained Baptist minister when he embraced the Sabbath. This custom prevailed among Seventh Day Baptist churches in America in their earlier history. A sort of official succession seems to have been followed, beginning with Deacon, Evangelist, next Elder, and finally Pastor."
The edition of the Baptist Cyclopedia cited here, is that edited by William Cathcart, in 1881. The letter referred to, was written to Elder Wheaton by Thomas Hollis the year before his death.
The following is gleaned from the New International Encyclopaedia (New York, 1904): In 1701, William Whiston was appointed deputy to Sir Isaac Newton, and in 1703 he was appointed to succeed him in Lucasian professorship at Cambridge. In 1715 he instituted a society in London for promoting primitive Christianity, and the meetings were held at his home. This society, it is but fair to assume, under all the circumstances was a Seventh Day Baptist Church. Whether it was continued after his death does not appear.
Add the following: "The ancient Mill Yard Seventh Day Baptist Church, at the date of this writing - June, 1909 - meets in Mornington Hall, Canonbury Lane, Islington, London, North, where the pastor, Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas W. Richardson, conducts the regular weekly service on every Sabbath afternoon. Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson is also, by recent appointment, pastor of the ancient Natton Church.