Hercules Collins

Wapping, London
Hercules Collins signature

Installed as pastor of the Wapping church on 23 March, 1676/77, this able minister was the author of several important devotional and practical works, including An Orthodox Catechism (1680) which is a Baptist recension of the Heidelberg Catechism. He was held in high esteem by his colleagues, and played an important part in the establishment of Particular Baptist Churches in London and the country. He appears to have been imprisoned for hs faith in Newgate prison around 1684. He died 4 Oct., 1702. His presence at all of the London General Assemblies must be noted.

John Piggott preached the sermon at Hercules Collins' funeral. In that sermon Piggott said the following of Collins:

.... his Doctrine you have heard, and his Example you have seen for so many Years: the former was agreeable to the Sentiments of the Reformed Churches in all Fundamental Articles of Faith, and the latter such as did adorn the Doctrine of God our Saviour.

He began to be Religious early, and continu’d Faithful to the last. He was not shock’d by the Fury of Persecutors, tho he suffer’d Imprisonment for the Name of Christ.

He was one that had a solid Acquaintance with Divine Things, about which he always spoke with a becoming Seriousness and a due Relish; and I must say, I hardly ever knew a Man that did more constantly promote Religious Discourse (a Practice almost out of fashion:) he shewed an unwearied Endeavour to recover the decayed Power of Religion, for he lived what he preached, and it pleased God to succeed his Endeavours in the Gospel after a wonderful manner. Are there not here many that must call him Father, whom he hath begotten thro the Gospel? May it not be said of this Man and that Woman, they were born here!

If he had not some Mens Accuracy, yet it was made up by a constant Flame; for no Man could preach with a more affectionate Regard to the Salvation of Souls? And how well he discharged the other Branches of his Pastoral Function, this Church is a Witness, whom he has watched over and visited above five and twenty Years.

He had Luther’s three Qualifications for a Gospel-Minister; he was much given to Meditation and Prayer, and hardly any Man was more greivously tempted of the Devil than your deceased Pastor: tho for many years Satan in a great measure was bruised under his Feet, and God had so cleared up his Love to his Soul, that he could say, I know in whom I have believed, I know to whom I have committed my Soul, I know that my Redeemer liveth; and I know that when this earthly House of my Tabernacle is dissolved, I have a Building of God, a House not made with Hands, eternal in the Heavens. His constant walk was in the Fear of the Lord, and in the Comforts of the Holy Ghost. He had a full Assurance of the Love of God for many Years; yet this did not make him careless and negligent in Duty, it did not lift him up above measure, but kept him at the foot of Christ.

How exemplary was his Submission under personal and relative Trials; his own Indispositions were frequent and great, yet in Patience he possessed his Soul, and was always learning from the Discipline of the Rod: and how well he carried it under the Affliction he had with a near Relation, you cannot but know. I confess I have thought him in that respect one of the best Examples that ever I knew; surely no Person could be more tender and sympathizing. In a word, he was faithful in every Relation, a Man of Truth and Integrity, one entirely devoted to the Service of the Temple, and zealously bent to promote the Interest of the Lord Redeemer. John Piggott, Eleven Sermons Preach’d Upon Special Occasions (London: John Darby, 1714), 199-240.

Hercules Collin's works have been transcibed and are available on a Reformed Baptist Disk website under Other Wrtitings.