LIFE and DEATH
That Old Disciple of Jesus Christ,
and Eminent Minister of the
Mr. HANSERD KNOLLYS
In the Ninety Third Year of his Age.
Written in his own Hand to the Year 1672. and continued in General, in an Epistle by Mr. VVilliam Kiffin.
To which is added,
His last legacy to the Church.
Printed for John Harris at the Harrow in the Poultrey, 1692.
It was the special Charge God gave to his people of old, that the many signal Providences and Mercies that they had received from him, should by them be recorded and left to their Childrens Children, to that end, that the memorial of his goodness might cause them to love and fear his Name, and therefore they are required to bless the Lord from the Fountain of Israel, from the very beginning of all his Favours towards them; and it is no small favour the Servants of God are made partakers of, that his people of old have left so many testimonies of the gracious goodness and Providences of God towards them, they being a means to strengthen the Faith of his People, in a dependency upon him in all those variety of dispensations that do attend them in this World; that whatever troubles they meet withall in this Life, they may know that God deals no otherwise with them than he hath done to those that formerly have feared his Name, and may be comforted with the same comforts and supports which his Servants formerly have received from God. The Author of these ensuing Experiences, was that ancient and faithful Servant of God, Mr. Hanserd Knollys, who departed this Life in the 93d. year of his Age, having bin employed in the Works and Service of Christ, as a faithful Minister for above 60 Years, in which time he laboured without fainting under all the discouragements that attended him, being contented in all conditions, tho’ never so poor in this World, under all persecutions and sufferings, so he might therein serve his blessed Lord and Saviour. I have my self known him for above 54 years, and can witness to the Truth of many things left by him under his own hand; it is great pity that the last 20 years of his Life cannot be found amongst his Writings, which to the knowledge of many were attended with the same sufferings as formerly, and with the same holy Behaviours under them; he in that time was a Prisoner in the New Prison for the Truth sake many months, where with great chearfulness he remained, comforting and encouraging all that came to visit him, with many blessed Exhortations to cleave to the Lord; none were sent empty away without some spiritual Instructions, and many of his Fellow-prisoners were greatly strengthened and comforted by that heavenly Counsel that dropped from his lips, spending much of his time there in Prayer and Study of the Word of God, daily preaching to them the things that concern the Kingdom of God.
He was chosen as an Elder to a Congregation in London, with whom he laboured for near 50 years, under many difficulties that did attend him, but neither the poverty of the Church, nor the Persecutions that attended him, were any temptation to him to neglect his Duty towards them, but was willing to be poor with them in their poverty and to suffer with them in their sufferings: being willing to labour for his own and his Families Bread, by keeping a School, when they were not able to supply his wants. altho he wanted not opportunity to have advanced himself in the World, if he would have accepted of them; but like a faithful Pastor he chose rather to be poor, and suffer affliction, than to leave the Duty and Work he was called unto, in which he was employed, untill he arrived to the age of above Ninety years, and when he found weaknesses attend him, his love and affection to that poor Church was such, that he was daily exercising his thoughts to have an able Minister for them in his room; declaring to several of his Friends what great satisfaction it would be to him, to see one settled amongst them, and that he would be willing to part with something of that little which he had (if there was need) for his Maintenance of the Church, towards the supply of him: And it pleased God to provide one for them, to his great satisfaction and rejoycing. And so great was his natural affection, and tender care for his Daughter and Grand-children, who he knew were like to come to some distress, that he did accordingly at that great Age again undertaking the Teaching of a School, that he might do to the uttermost of his ability to provide for them.
And having finished his Work, he fell asleep in the Lord, the 19th. of September, 1691. That these Experiences may be of use to all those that read the same, is the Desire and Prayer of
Thine in the Lord,
LIFE and DEATH
Mr. Hanserd Knollys.
I Hanserd Knollys was Born at Calkwell near Loweth in Lincoln-shire, and was removed thence with my Parents to Sehartho near Market Grymsby in the same County. About the sixth Year of my Age I fell into a great Pond, and was preserved from being drowned by the water bearing up my Coats, till my Father came, leaped in, and pulled me out. About the tenth Year of my Age I having construed the 35th. chap. of Jeremiah in my Latin Bible to my Father, he took occasion to disswade me from the love and use of strong Drink, and said he would give me 20 l. if I would drink water, but withall told me he would not have me do it to the prejudice of my Health, and charged me to make no Vow to God so to do for I did not understand how Sacred a thing a Vow is, and how it did bind the Soul, and it would be Sin not to perform my Vow: whereupon I drunk water eleven years, and never in all that time drank any Wine, nor strong Drink. About that time my Father kept a Tutor in his House, to teach me and my Brother, who was a godly and conscientious Young Man; He gave us good Instructions for our Souls, and convinced us of the Sin of Sabbath-breaking, and of Disobedience to our Parents. After my Father had preferred our Tutor to a place of greater Profit, we went a little while to Grymsby Free-School, till my Father got another Tutor for us into his House; and one day going to the Free-School well fell out, and fought: upon which I was much convinced that we had sinned against God, and against our Father, who had often told us we were Brethren, and ought not to Fall out by the way: And I said, Brother, we have sinned, come let us be Friends, and pray God to pardon this, and other our Sins; whereupon we both kneeled down upon the plowed Land, and I prayed, wept and made Supplication to God, as well as I could, and found so great Assistance from God at that time, that I never used any set Form of Prayer afterwards; which done, we both kissed each other, and went to School,
Afterwards I went to Cambridge, and there a godly Minister preached on Hosea the 5th. Chap. and 17. ver. His Doctrine was, That the joyning to Sin by often committing it after Conviction of Conscience for it, did provoke God to give over many to the power of their Corruptions, and let them alone to dye in their Sins. I was thereby convinced that it was my Case, for I had oftentimes broken the Sabbath after Conviction, and I had disobeyed my Parents, and had often told Untruths. The same Lords-day at Night, another godly Minister preached a five a Clock upon Eph. 2.3. and thereby I was much more convinced of my sinful Condition, and that I was a Child of Wrath, without Christ and Grace, &c. which Work of Conviction remained strongly upon me above one year, under which I was filled with great Horrour, and fears of Hell, sore buffettings and Temptations of the Devil, and made to proffess the Sins of my Youth. But yet I prayed daily, heard all the godly Ministers I could, read and searched the Holy Scriptures, read good Books, got acquaintance with gracious Christians, then called Puritans, kept several days of Fasting and Prayer alone, wherein I did humble my Soul for my Sins, and begg'd Pardon and Grace of God for Christs sake; grew strict in performing Holy Duties, and in Reformation of my own Life, examining my self every night, confessing my Sins, and mourning for them, and had a great Zeal for God, and an Indignation against Actual Sins, both committed by my self and others.
June 29th. 1629. I was ordained Deacon, and the next day, June 30th. I was ordained Presbyter by the Bishop of Peterburrow, having Preached above 16 Sermons before I would be Ordained, by way of Tryal of my Ability for the great Work of the Ministry.
After my Ordination, the Bishop of Lincoln gave me a small Living at Humberstone, where I preached twice every Lords Day, and once every Holy-day: That which made me strict and Laborious in Preaching, was partly the Work of Conviction upon my Conscience, but more especially a Providential Acquaintance, that I had gotten with a very godly old Widow in Gainsburgh, where I taught the Free-School, before I came to Humberstone, who told me of one called a Brownist, who used to pray and expound Scriptures in his Family, whom I went some-times to hear, and with whom I had Conference, and very good Counsel. Whilst I was at Humberstone, there lived a very Religious Widow, who falling sick, sent for me, and charged me that I would not depart her House on the day-time until she ended or mended, least Satan should tempt her above her strength. The Doctor of Physick had given her over, some godly Ministers, Friends and Relations did take leave of her as a Dying Woman. She received nothing for several days, but a little Julep, which was put into her Mouth with a Spoon, and ran most of it out again, lay speechless two or three days; her Family mourning over her, and expecting her Death every Hour: I had brought some of my Books to her House, and was studying her Funeral Sermon: and when I had almost finished the same, the Devil set upon me with a violent Suggestion, That the Scriptures are not the Word of God; He had suggested this Temptation to me divers Times before, but prevailed not: Now the Tempter assaulted me with this Argument; Whatever you ask in the Name of Christ, God will do it, but that Scripture was not true; and if I would put it now upon Tryal, I should find it not to be true, for if I would ask the Womans Life in the Name of Christ, God will not do it, and thereby I should know, the Scriptures are not true, nor are they the Word of God, for his Word is true. To which I answered, Satan, thou art a Lyar. a Deceiver, and a false Accuser. The Holy Scriptures are the Word of God, and the Scriptures of Truth: And seeing thou hast often tempted me in this kind, and now dost assault me again, that I may forever silence thee, thou wicked and lying Devil, I will trust in God, and act Faith in the Name of Christ in that very Word of his Truth which thou hast now suggested. I will my leave Study, and go and pray for her, and believe that God will hear my Prayers thro the Intercession of Jesus Christ, and restore her Life and Health, that thou mayest be found a Lyar: Whereupon I went into the Parlour where she lay speechless, without any visible motion, or use of any Senses: and I locked the Door, and Candles being in the room, I kneeled down by her Bed-side, and prayed above half an hour, using my Voice, and then she began to stir, toss, and struggled so much, that I was constrained to stand up, and holding her in her Bed, still prayed over her: Satan then gave me a great Interruption, and suggested to me she was a dying, and these were the pangs of Death upon her; I notwithstanding this Assault of the Devil, was assisted by the Holy Spirit to pray and believe still, and in a short time she lay very quietly, and I kneeled down again and prayed fervently, and within half an hour, whilst I was yet praying, she said, The LORD hath healed me, I am restored to Health: Then I returned praises to God, and she did joyn with me, lifting up her eyes and hands, still saying, I am Healed. Then I rose up from my knees, and asked her how she did: O Sir, said she, God hath heard your Prayers, and hath made me whole. Blessed be his Holy Name. Then I unlocked the Door, and some of her Kinswomen and Servants being at the Door, came in and asked me if she were dead, to whom I answered, No. Then they asked me How she did, I bad them go to her and ask her self. She had been speechless four days, I told them she could speak now; and as soon as they came to her Bed-side, she lift up her self and said, I am well, the Lord hath heard Prayer, and healed me, I am very weak and sore in my bones, but I am in Health, I pray you give me something to eat; and as soon as they brought her some broth, she sat up and eat it, and took some of her Julep, and from that time received strength, and the next day she did rise and walked with a Staff; which being heard of, many godly Ministers and Christians came to visit her, and to know the truth of what was told them touching her Recovery: I told them it was not any thing in me, but it was the Lord that had done it for His own Glory; and to silence Sathan, who was never suffered to tempt me in that kind afterwards; God bruised Sathan under my feet, and my Lord Jesus made a conquest of him, and gave me the Victory, and helped me to give him the Glory of it.
The next Year after this, I Married a Wife, with whom I lived 40 years, by whom I had Issue, 7 Sons, and 3 Daughters, who was a Holy, Discreet Woman, and a meet Help for me, in the ways of her Houshold, and also in the way of Holiness; who was my companion in all my Sufferings, Travels, and Hardships that we endured for the Gospel: She departed this Life the 30th. of April, 1671. in full Assurance of Eternal Life and Salvation.
Presently, after I was Married, I was convinced of some things about the Worship of God (which I had conformed unto,) to be sinful, to wit, the Surplice, the Cross in Baptism, and admitting wicked persons to the Lords Supper, whereupon I resigned my Living to the Bishop, who offered me a better Living: I told him I could not conform any longer, and would do nothing but preach, which he connived at for two or three Years. Shortly after I was convinced that my Ordination received from the Bishop was not right, and thô I had preached some years by Virtue of that Ordination, I had not received any Seal from Christ of my Ministry; for thô many had been reformed and moralized, yet I knew not that I had been Instrumental to convert any Souls to God: And thereupon I renounced that Ordination, and silenced my self, resolving not to preach any more, untill I had a clear Call and Commission from Christ to preach the Gospel. And to that end I gave my self to Prayer day and night, for several weeks together, and at last being at Prayer in a Wood, at Woodenderby in Lincoln-shire, where I had preached before, and prayed with loud cries and tears, that Christ would count me worthy, and put me into the Ministry, and shew me how to glorifie God in the Ministry; and thô I was much melted and enlarged in Prayer at that time, yet I had no answer from the Lord: After Prayer I walked and meditated under the Wood-side till Sun-set, and then went homeward, resolved not to preach, till the Lord made my call to that great Work of preaching the Gospel clear to me. And as I was going home, an answer of my Prayer was given to me in these words, Go to Mr. Wheelwright, and he shall tell thee, and shew thee how to glorifie God in the Ministry; but I heard no voice, nor did I see any Vision; only those words were plainly and articulately spoken into my Ears and Understanding: At which I was astonished, and said, Lord let me not be deluded, nor deceived; then was brought to my mind that passage of Cornelius sent to Peter, who should tell him what he should do; whereupon I was fully perswaded it was an answer of my Prayers from the Lord, and I was filled with such joy, that I went on my way rejoycing, leaping and praising God. The next Morning going to seek out Mr. Wheelwright, who was a silenced Minister, whom I had heard of by some Christians, that he had been Instrumental to convert many Souls, but I knew him not, nor did I know where he was, but I was resolved to find him out, for I had heard that he was near Lincoln, about 25 miles from me, where he lived privately: And as I was getting up on Horseback, one of my Neighbours coming by asked me whither I was riding, to whom I said I did not certainly know, I was going to Mr. Wheelwright, who was, as I heard, about Lincoln, No, said he, Mr. Wheelwright and his Family came to dwell at a Village which was but three miles from my house, for, said he, I saw him come thither but three nights since, with his Family and houshold goods in a Coach and Wagon. Thither I rid presently, and found it so; and I told Mr. Wheelwright, that yesternight I was praying as before, and was sent unto him by the Lord, &c. And after he had asked me many things about the Work of God upon my Soul, and I had told him; he said I could not glorifie God neither in the Ministry, nor in any other way or Work for I was building my Soul upon a Covenant of Works, and was a stranger to the Covenant of Grace: At which I was startled, troubled, and somewhat amazed, but I told him I was assured God had sent me to him, and by his mouth I should be instructed how to glorifie God in the Ministry of the Gospel; and I did earnestly intreat and beseech him to apply himself to give me his Counsel and directions touching that Matter.
Then Mr. Wheelwright opened me to the Nature of the Covenant of Free Grace, which I confessed to him I was a stranger to in a great measure, having bin only under legal Convictions, and a Spirit of Bondage; and tho I had some discoveries of my want of Christ, yet I had sought Righteousness as it were by the Works of the Law, and got my peace by performing duties, and resting on them. Mr. Wheelwright desired me to consider what he had said to me, and to come to him 2 or 3 days after: So I left him at that time, and went home exceeding sorrowful about my Souls Condition, but I gave my self to Prayer, and begged of God to teach me the Covenant of Grace, and to that end I searched the Scriptures, and I heard one Mr. How preach upon Gal. 2.20. I live by the Faith of the Son of God; whereby I saw I had lived a Life of Works, and not of Faith. Then I began to see a necessity of believing in Christ for pardon and Salvation; and hearing the Minister say, that Christ was the Author, Root, and only Foundation of Saving Faith, and that God did give the Faith of Evidence, Heb. 11.1. in some New Covenant Promise, Gal. 3.14. and that those Promises were given of God, 2 Pet. 1.4. I prayed that Night, and next Morning, and in the night season, that God would give me such a promise. The next day I locked my self in the Church, and in the Chancel, or Quire so called, I prayed very earnestly, mourning and bemoaning my self and my Souls Condition, fearing, and with great brokenness of Spirit, and many tears expressed my fears, that God would leave me and forsake me, and then I should utterly perish for ever: And then that promise, Heb. 13.5. I will never leave thee, not forsake thee, was given me, which Promise stopt me a little in Prayer, and I break forth in to this kind of Expostulation with God, saying, Lord who am I! I am a vile sinful Sinner, the chief of Sinners, most unworthy of Pardon and Salvation! How Lord! never leave me, nor forsake me? O infinite Mercy! O Free Grace! who am I? I have bin a graceless Soul, a formal Professor, a legal performer of Holy Duties, and have gone about to establish mine own Righteousness, which I now see is but filthy Rags, &c. Then God gave me those two Promises, Isa. 43. 22, 23, 24, 25. and Isa. 54. 9, 10. and filled my Soul with joy and peace in believing, so that I brake forth into praises and Thanksgiving.
The next day I went again to Mr. Wheelwright, and told him what God had done for my poor Soul, who said unto me, now I was somewhat prepared to preach Jesus Christ and the Gospel of Free Grace to others, having bin taught it of God, and having heard and learned Jesus Christ my self. And he advised me to wait still upon God in Prayer, and Christ would appear again to me by his Holy Spirit in his Word, and shew me and teach me how to preach; then I went home again, and continued in Prayer: And one day begging earnestly of God in Prayer, that if he had designed me to that great Work of preaching the Gospel, that then he would give me some Testimony out of his Holy Word of his calling me thereunto; whereupon those words were spoken by his Spirit to my Heart, Act. 26. 16. I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a Minister, and a Witness both of those things which thou hast seen, and of those things in which I will appear unto thee; whence I believed that now I had received a Call and Commission from my Lord Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel of his Free Grace: And I blessed God, and expected a further Appearance of Jesus Christ unto me. That Night in my sleep Christ put into my mind, that the next Lords day I should preach on the Text, Rom. 8.1. And he dictated to me in my sleep, what Doctrine I should preach from that Text. The next day I went and told all this to Mr. Wheelwright, who said, Now my beloved Brother, and Fellow Labourer in the Gospel of the Grace of God, Christ hath given you Authority, a Call and Commission to preach: I pray you be humble and holy, and delay not to do your Masters Work, or words to that effect. That Night in my Sleep the Lord taught me more, and the third night also; and I retained it all in my Memory, and writ it down, and searched the Scriptures, which I received in my sleep for the Confirmation of my Doctrine: And the next day being the Lords Day, I preach that which I had received from the Lord, and God made it useful and powerful to Conversion, as appeared to me afterwards. Thus I was night by night taught of God to preach the Doctrine of Free Grace, according to the Tenor of the new and everlasting Covenant for three or four years together, whereby very many Sinners were Converted, and many Believers were established in the Faith: in which three or four years space I preached in three several places, at Wood-enderby, at Fulleby on the Hill, and at Wainsteel, where I was silenced, and from thence removed to London, and thence to New-England, with my Wife and one Child.
About the Year 1636. I was persecuted, and prosecuted in the High Commission Court, by vertue of a Warrant wherewith I was apprehended in Boston, and kept a Prisoner in the Man's House who served the Warrant upon me: But God helped me to convince him, and he was so greatly terrified in his Conscience, that he set open his doors and let me go away; but before I went, I tarried so long in London, waiting for a passage, that when I went aboard I had but 6 brass farthings left, and no Silver or Gold, only my Wife had 5 l. that I knew of, which she gave me when we came there: By the way my little Child dyed with Convulsion fits, our Beer and Water stank, our Bisket was green, yellow and blew, moulded and rotten, and our Cheese also, so that we suffered much hardship, being 12 weeks in our passage; but God was gracious to us, and lead us safe thro’ those great Deeps, and e're we went ashore, came one and enquired for me, and told me a Friend that was gone from Boston to Rhode Island had left me his house to sojourn in; to which we went, and two Families more with us, who went suddenly to their Friends and other Relations in the Countrey, and I being poor was necessitated to work daily with my Howe, for the space of almost three weeks. The Magistrates were told by the Ministers that I was an Antinomian, and desired they would not suffer me to abide their Patient: But within the time limited by their Law in that Case, two Strangers coming to Boston from Piscattuah, hearing of me by a meer Accident, got me to go with them to that Plantation, and to preach there, where I remained about four years, and then being sent for back to England by my aged Father, I returned with my Wife and one Child about three years old, and she was great with another Child, and we came safe to London on the 24th. of December 1641. in which Year the Massacre in Ireland broke forth, and the next Year Wars brake forth in England between King and Parliament: I was still poor, and sojourned in a Lodging till I had but sixpence left, and knew not how to provide for my Wife and Child, but having prayed to God, and encouraged my Wife to trust in God, and to remember former Experiences, and especially that Word of promise, God had given us, and would perform to us, Heb. 13. 5. having paid for my Lodging, I went out not knowing whither Gods good hand of Providence would lead me to receive something towards my present Subsistence. And about seven or eight doors from my Lodging a Woman met me in the Street, and told me she came to seek me, and her Husband sent her to tell me, that there was a Lodging provided and prepared in his house by some Christian Friends for me and my Wife: I told her my present Condition, and went along with her to her house, and there she gave me 20s. which Dr. Bastwick a late Sufferer had given her for me, and some Linnens for my Wife, which I received, and told her and her Husband I would fetch my Wife and Child, and lodge there: and so I returned with great joy, and my Wife was very much affected with this Mercy and Divine Providence, being so suitable and seasonable a supply unto us, and she said, Oh dear Husband, how sweet is it to live by Faith, and trust God upon his bare Word: Let us rely upom him whilst we live, and trust him in all Straits; with many such like expressions. And after we had returned praises to God, we went to our new Lodgings, where we found all things necessary provided for us, and all charges paid for 15 weeks, and my Wife being bruised much on Shipboard, had sore Labour, and lay under great weakness above ten weeks, all which time two Doctors, an Apothecary and a Chyrurgeon did daily attend her, and administered unto her freely without any Money, and at the end of 16 weeks, we had seven pounds that was given us by some Christian Friends; I had spoken to some of those Friends, to get me some Scholars, and I would get me a convenient place to teach School, for I had rather work for my Bread, than be maintained by the Charity of good Christians: One morning came a Friend, and told me, a School-master on great Tower-hill dyed last night, and if I would come presently, I might probably get some of his Scholars, so I went and got three or four Scholars that day, and there I had a great School, and continued till I was chosen Master of Mary-Axe Free School, whither I carried sixty Scholars from great Tower-hill, and within one year I had above seven score Scholars, and sixteen Boarders, which Free-School and all the Benefits thereof, I left to go into the Parliaments Army, and preached freely to the common Souldiers, till I did perceive the Commanders sought their own things more than the Cause of God and his People, breaking their Vows and solemn Engagements. Whereupon I left the Army, and came to London again; shortly after the Committee for plundred Ministers sent their Warrant to the then Keeper in Ely-House, to apprehend me, and bring me in safe Custody before them, who took me out of my House, carried me to Ely-House, and there kept me Prisoner several days, without and Bail, and at last carried me before the Committee: who asked me several Questions, to which I gave them sober and direct Answers. Among others, the Chairman Mr. White asked me who gave me Authority to preach, I told him the Lord Jesus Christ; then he asked me, if I were a Minister; I answered, I was made a Priest by the Prelate of Peterborow, but I had Renounced that Ordination, and I did here again Renounce the same. They asked me by what Authority I preached in Bow-Church, I told them, after I had refused the desire of the then Churchwardens three times one day after another, their want of Supply and Earnestness prevailed with me, and I went thither: They opened the Pulpit-door, and I went up, and preached upon Isa. 58. and gave them such an account of that Sermon (thirty Ministers of the Assembly of Divines, then so called, being present) that they could not gainsay, but bad me withdraw, and said nothing unto me, nor would my Jaylor take any charge of me; for the Committee had called for him, and did chide him, and threaten to turn him out of his Place for keeping me Prisoner so many days. So I went away without any blame, or paying of any Fees. Not long after I was brought before the Committee of Examinations, being accused to them, that I occasioned great disturbance to Ministers and People in Suffolk; which I gave so good and satisfactory an Account of to them, that upon their Report thereof to the House of Commons, they Ordered That I might preach in any part of Suffolk when the Minister of the place did not preach: which was all I go for 60l. which that trouble cost me to clear my Innocence and the Honour of the Gospel, which Expense I put upon Christs score, for whose Gospel, and preaching Jesus Christ upon that Text, Col. 3.11. But Christ is all and in all; I was stoned out of the Pulpit, and persecuted at a Privy Sessions, and fetched out of the Country 60 Miles up to London, and was constrained to bring up four or five Witnesses of good Repute and Credit, to prove and vindicate my self from false Accusations. Some time after that I was summoned before a Committee in the Chamber (called the Queens Court) at Westminster, whereof Mr Leigh was Chairman, for preaching without holy Orders. To which I answered, that I was in holy Orders: Some of the Committee told the Chairman I had Renounced my Ordination by the Bishop, in the Committee for plundred Ministers; I confessed that I did so, but I was Ordained since in a Church of God according to the Order of the Gospel of Christ, the Manner whereof I then declared to the Committee before Mr. Nye and other Ministers there present. But at last the Committee, by their Chairman, commanded me to preach no more; I told them I would preach the Gospel both publickly and from house to house; for it was more equal to obey Christ, who had commanded me, then them who forbid me; and so I went away, and ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ and him crucified. I was the Pastor to a Church which I had gathered two or three years before, in the year 1645. with whom I walked ever since, except that I was absent from the Church sometimes upon just Occasions, and with their leave, or forced from them by violent Persecution; my chiefest means of Livelihood hath been by Teaching School, wherein God was pleased to make me serviceable in my Generation to communicate liberally to the Poor of the Church, and to Strangers that stood in need, and plentifully to provide all things necessary and convenient for my Wife and Children, through God's Blessing upon my honest Labours: I received from the Church always according to their Ability, most of the Members of the Church being poor but I coveted no mans Gold nor Sliver, but chose rather to labour, knowing it is more blessed to give than to receive. And I did not wholly neglect my Duty, as a Pastor, but preached two or three times a week, and visited the Members of the Church from house to house, especially when they were sick. And during twenty five years now past, the Church hat continued in the Apostles Doctrine, Fellowship, and in breaking of Bread, and in Prayer, without Division and Separation of any part thereof, or Party therein: Though some few particular Members being led away by some Errour in their Judgment, have forsaken the Assembling of themselves with the Church, as the manner of some is, and was in the Apostles time. In the Year 1660. upon Venners Rising, and others that with him made an Insurrection in the City of London, my self and many other godly and peaceable persons, were taken out of their own dwelling houses, and brought to Woodstreet-Counter, and many to Newgate, and other Prisons, though we were innocent, and knew not of their Design; at which time I suffered Imprisonment 18 weeks, till we were delivered by an Act of Pardon upon the Kings Coronation, unto all Offenders, except Murderers. We were above four hundred Prisoners kept all this time in Newgate, because we refused to take the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy. After I was set at Liberty out out of Prison, I went to Holland, and thence up into Germany, with my Wife and two of my Children, where we sojourned about two or three years, and in my Absence on Col. Legge, a Bed-chamber Man, and Lieutenant of the Ordnance, charged me in the Court of Exchequer for keeping a House and Ground from the King, against whom I stood Suit by my Attorney: But then Col. Legge could not get my House from me by Law, he and some others brought several Red Coat-Souldiers, and took it by force, thrust out those persons I had left in Possession, and kept Possession by Souldiers, both of my House, Garden, and my Goods, which had cost me above 700l. with the Purchase, bought of the Artillery Company of London, to whom I paid 300l. and laid out 400l. more in building upon the Ground, which I had bough and paid for. I had at the same time 200l. in Weavers Hall, which was given away to the King, among many greater Summs of other mens Money. I spent above 150l. more in Holland and Germany; and when I had spent all that, I was forced to sell all my Goods there, to bring me to England again. In which Return I met with two remarkable Acts of Providence towards me, my Wife and two Children, I had agreed with a Skipper at Cullen in Germany to Rotterdam for a Summ of Money, and he was to pay all the Tolls & Licences which he did at two or three places, till we were come where we were Strangers, and then he made me pay Licences at 2 places, and at a place called Rurote, upon the River Rhyne he made me pay both Toll and Licence, and kept me there two or three days at great Charges; and my Wife being set and very sad in an Harbour or Victualling house, came in a Gentleman, and observing of her, asked me what the Gentlewoman ailed, I told him she was my Wife, and he understanding the Latin Tongue, asked me what the matter was; I told him all my Case, and what my Condition was; Well, said he, if you be a Son of Abraham, God will deliver you; and so he went into his Chamber, and sent for the Skipper and Toll Masters, and caused him to produce our Agreement, and understanding how he had wronged one, he being Lord, and Chief, over the Tollmasters there, he Commanded them to take our Goods from him, and to hire us another Skipper to carry us and our Goods to Rotterdam: And made the Skipper that had done me wrong, to allow me so much as I had paid for Licences all the way thither. After we were come to Rotterdam, and my Wife, and Son, and Daughter, were come to England, God made two Catholicks in Cullen, instrumental to prevail with the Prince Dewit, to send me by a Bill of Exchange 160 Rix-Dollers, for a House that I had Built in his Country, and could not Sell, which I received at Rotterdam; and then came over to England my self, and came to my Wife and Children, whom I found at a Friends House in London. Then I set upon teaching School again, and by Gods Blessing upon my honest Labours, have provided things Honest, Necessary, and Convenient, for my Family. To my Eldest Son, I had given 60l. per Annum during his Life, which he enjoyed above 21 years ere he Died. To my next Son, that lived to be Married, I gave the full value of 250l. in Money, House, School, and Houshold Goods, and left him 50 Scholars in his Schoal-House. To my only Daughter then Living, I gave upon her Marriage above 300l. in Money, Annuity, Plate, Linnen, and Houshold stuff, and left her Husband 50 Scholars in the said School-House, in Partnership with my said Son. To my youngest Son, that lived to be Married, I gave more than 300l. Sterling, besides it cost me above 60 pound in his Apprenticeship, and 40l. afterwards.
Thus my Heavenly Father made up my former Losses, with his future Blessings, even in outward Substance, besides a good increase of Grace, and Experience, in the space of 40 years, that I and my dear faithful Wife Lived together; we removed several times with our whole Family, whereof once from Lincolnshire to London, and from London to New-England: Once from England to Wales; twice from London to Lincolnshire, once from London to Holland, and from thence to Germany, and thence to Rotterdam, and thence to London again. In which Removings, I gained great Experiences of Gods Faithfulness, Goodness, and Truth, in his great and precious Promises: And I have gained some experience of my own hearts deceitfulness, and the power of my own Corruptions, and the reigning power of Christ, and his Captivating and subduing my Sins, making Conquests of the Devil, World, and Sin, and then giving me the Victory: And causing me to Triumph, and to bless his most Holy Name. Three things made my latter Sufferings very easy to be endured. 1. The former Straits and Hardships, which I had undergone with patience. 2. The present lively acts and exercise of Grace, especially Faith, and Hope, under those latter and greater Tryals. 3. The Light of Gods Countenace, and the full assurance of his Love, and of eternal Life. I would not want those experiences and teachings, that my Soul hath enjoyed for all that I ever suffered.
My Wilderness-Mercies, Sea-Mercies, City-Mercies, and Prison-Mercies, afforded me very many and strong Consolations, The Spiritual sights of the Glory of God, the Divine Sweetness of the Spiritual and Providential presence of my Lord Jesus Christ, and the joyes and comforts of the Holy and Eternal Spirit, communicated to my Soul, together with suitable and seasonable Scriptures of Truth, have so often, and so powerfully revived, refreshed, and strengthened my heart in the days of my Pilgrimage, Tryals, and Sufferings, that the Sense, yea, the Life and sweetness thereof abides still upon my heart, and hath engaged my Soul to live by Faith, to walk humbly, and to desire and endeavour to excell in Holiness, to Gods Glory and the example of others. Though I confess many of the Lords Ministers, and some of the Lords people have excelled and outshined me, with whom God hath not been at so much cost nor pains, as he hath been at me. I am a very unprofitable Servant, but yet by Grace, I am what I am. In the beginning of my Ministry, I Studied in the Forenoon, and Visited my Religious acquaintances in the Afternoon, and some of my natural Relations. I did Preach constantly twice, often 3 times, and some Lords Days 4 times; at Holton at 7 in the Morning, at Humberston at 9, at Seartho at 11, at Humberston at 3 a Clock, all in the same day; I also Preached every Holiday once, at every Burial, Poor or Rich. And I have most commonly Preached 3 or 4 times every Week, if in any measure of Health, for above 40 years togather, except now and then, I got some other Godly Man to Preach for me, but rarely. When I was in Prison, I did Preach usually every day, if well. And God was pleased to Confirm my Call unto that great Work, 1. By the Conversion of many Sinners, who having declared the dealings of God with their Souls, testified, God did convince them, convert them, and establish many of them by my Ministry, through the powerful and effectual Operation of his Holy Spirit, and Word preached by me unto them. 2. By some healing power of God, put forth upon the sick and infirm Bodies of several persons, who were suddainly restored to health, immediately in time of Prayer with them, or by and through Faith in Jesus Christ, especially in this City of London, and of the Sickness called the Plague, both in former years, and in the year 1665. Not to me, but to God, be given Glory and praise, for in his Name, through Faith in his Name, they were healed. 3. By inabling me, standing by me, and strengthning me, by his Holy Spirit, and sanctifying Grace, to preach the Gospel in season, and out of season, with all boldness, neither being ashamed, nor afraid to bear my Testimony for Christ, his Gospel Churches, Ministry, Worship, and Ordinances, against the Antichristian Powers, Ministers, Worshippers, and Traditions of the Beast, the great Mystical Whore, and the false Prophet. Nor have I been terrified by the (Adversary)*: By virtue of the Acts of Parliament, touching private Meetings and Conventicles, Commencing May the 10th 1670. I was taken at a Meeting in George-yard, and the then Lord Mayor committed me to the Compter in Bishops gate for preaching there, but having Favour in the Eyes of the Keepers, I had liberty to preach to the Prisoners there, twice every day of the Week, in the common Hall, where most of the Prisoners came and heard me, and some of them blessed God, that ever I came to that Prison. Soon after I was set at Liberty, at the Sessions in Old-Baily, God made me his Prisoner, by a sharp and painful Distemper in my Bowels, called the gripping of the Guts, and he brought me near to the Grave. But in time of my greatest Extremity, God remembred Mercy, forgave mine Iniquity, healed my Disease, and restored my Life from Death. No Tongue can express my pains, yet God gave me much patience, wherein I possessed my Soul. I had, 1. A very clear discovery from the Lord of the Cause, why he so contented with me; one was the meritorious Cause of some former Visitations, and especially of this sore Disease. 2. I saw the Sin of my sinful Nature, which was not so Crucified, as that it was destroyed, but I found some motions of it of late stirring in my sinful heart. The Sense of this was a very sore burden and trouble to my Soul in this day of my Calamity, for which I mourned in secret before the Lord, and lay at the Throne of Grace loathing my self, and begging, that God would kill that Sin, and destroy it, and all the rest of my Sins. And received this answer, his Grace was sufficient for me, he had pardoned and he would subdue, and destroy that and all other mine Iniquities, according to his everlasting Covenant of free Grace. Satan was sometimes very busy drning this time of Sickness, and tempted me sorely in the Night season, sometimes suggesting to me, that I was but a Hypocrite, at other times, that my Evidences for Heaven were not good, whom God helped me resist steadfastly in the Faith, and he fled away. Another cause why the Lord now contended with me, was for the Tryal and Exercise of my Graces, which he had given me. It was the Tryal of my Faith, and the exercise of my Patience, and that I might be to his praise, and an example unto weak Believers, whose Eyes were upon me, and were observing and hearkening how I did behave my self, under all the great Rebukes and Chastisements of the Lord upon me. For they had heard, that God had taken one Grand-Child away by Death, and Visited another, who was above 16 years old with the Small-pox, and she was likely to die, and one Son died and was Buried during my Sickness; and mine Eldest Son was dead and Buried in the Country, whereof I was told before I Recovered; my other Sons Wife had a sore Labour. A Dead-Man-Child, and she likely to die: And my dear loving Wife, then began to be sorely afflicted with a pain and swelling in her Face, of which she since Died.
But God did give a proportionable measure of Faith and Patience to me his poor unworthy Servant, under all this his fatherly Chastisements: He did strengthen me with strength in my Soul, and upheld me with the right hand of his Righteousness; so that I fainted not, nor was I weary: His Rod and his Staff did comfort me; He brought out my Will unto a free Submission, Subjection, and Resignation to his own most wise and holy Will. Yea, my Facher's Visitations did so preserve my Soul, that I did sing and rejoyce under the sights and smiles of Christ, even whilst I was sighing and sorrowing for my transgressions.
Two learned, well practised, and judicious Doctors of Physick had daily visited me, and consulted my Cure, sereral days together, and I was fully perswaded, that they did what possibly they could to effect a Cure: And knew also, that God not did succeed their honest and faithful Endeavours with his Blessing. Although God had given a signal and singular Testimony of his special Blessing by each of them unto others of their Patients, at least sixteen at the same time; I resolved to take no more Physick, but would apply to that holy Ordinance of God appointed by Jesus Christ, the great Physician of value, Jam. 5. 14. 15. and I got Mr. Kiffin & Mr. Vavasor Powel, who prayed over me, and anointed me with Oyl in the Name of the Lord: And the Lord did hear Prayer, and heal me. For there were very many godly Ministers and gracious Saints, that prayed day and night for me (with submission to the Will of God) that the Lord would spare my life and heal me, and make me more useful and serviceable to the Lord, to the Church, and to the Saints; whose Prayers God heard, and as an Answer of their Prayers, I was perfectly healed, but remained weak long after. My dear Wife remained weak and full of pain, and was very greatly afflicted with pain day and night, but the Lord gave her a great measure of Faith and Patience even to the end; She enjoyed the Light of Gods Countenance, had full Assurance of Gods Love, the Pardon of her Sins, and of eternal Life; And having patiently endured six months sore pains, upon the thirtieth of the second month called April, 1671. being the Lords Day, about four or five a clock, slept in Jesus: I was doing my Masters Work at that time in the Congregation; and toward the end of my Sermon, had a strong impulse upon my Spirit, That my dear Wife was departing, and in my Prayer after Sermon was drawn forth by Faith to commend her to God that gave her me, and blessed him for receiving her Soul into Abrahams bosom, and placing her among the Spirits of just men made perfect in the Paradise of God.
Since the death of my dear Wife, it hath pleased God to stretch forth his Hand upon my only Son then living, and to afflict him with a deep Consumption, occasioned, as I judge, by Grief for his dearly loving and beloved Mother, for he drooped ever since she first was taken ill of that Distemper of Rhume, which fell from her Head into her Face, of which she dyed: And he hath been worse and worse ever since she dyed. And I having had great Expenses and a great Charge of dear Relations, and owing some considerable debts, I was necessitated to teach School again in my old Age; that I might pay my Debts, succour my dear Relations, and not be too great a burden to the Church of God: And this I have willingly and chearfully undertaken, that if Persecunion do come upon me again (which I expect and prepare for) and I shall be haled to prison, of forced to slye: It may be my Mercy and Comfort as at all other times of my many removals in the days of my Pilgrimage and Persecutions; That no person shall have any occasion to come to me and say, Pay me what you owe me before you go; for I desire to owe no man any thing but Love, and honestly to pay every man his own. And if Death seize on my body, that I may leave enough of my own behind me to pay all my Debts, and a little for the Relief of Gods Poor, and some of my poorest natural Relations. I had a Summoning in June last to prepare my self for the Grave by a sudden and sore Fit of the Wind-Cholick and Vomiting. And on 3d October last, 1671. I had another Summons to be ready to depart this life by another sudden more violent tormenting Fit of the Wind-Cholick and Vomiting. And I am alarmed by these awakening Visitations of the Lord to prepare and be ready; That when my Lord and Master comes or calls for me to come to him, I may be found so doing, that he may say, Well done, thou good and faithful Servant, enter thou also into the Joys of thy Master.
The next Tryal my heavenly Father saw needful for me to be exercised under, was the Sickness and Death of my then only living Son, my Isaac, my most loving and beloved Son, who was translated the 15th. day of November, 1671. which great Tryal and Loss God made gain to him, and easie to me by a manifest and powerful Work of Conversion, Repentance and Faith upon his Soul in the time of his Sickness, which administred much Comfort to me, so that I sorrowed not for him as one without hope, who exercised very great patience under his very great pain, soreness, and burning Feaver, whilst his flesh, marrow, and moisture consumed, and acted Faith and Hope very lively and constantly upon Christ in that Word, John 6. 37. And him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast off: Very often expressing his former bondage and slavery to Sin and Sathan, which he bewailed; and acknowledged often Gods free and rich Grace in giving him Christ and Pardon and Salvation now at last, which he had neglected the Offers and Tenders of so often. Some Combats he had, but after a manifestation of Christ to his Soul, he dyed in Faith and Peace.
And albeit my natural Affections caused me to weep often, and the sense of Gods Hand & Rod upon me, caused me to mouth very much in secret; yet the Almighty by his Rod and Staff did so comfort me, that I walked through this Valley also of the shadow of Death without fear of Evil, and was assisted and enabled to perform the Work of my Ministry in the Congregation without any omission or interruption. And that very Night my only Son dyed, the Lord brought to my mind that Scripture, Mic. 7.14. Feed thy people with thy Rod; which was made a seasonable, suitable, and powerful Word by the Teaching of the holy Spirit unto my Soul, in my solitary Condition: Who thus administred Food, yea and a Feast also to my Soul. For by this Rod of God, I had served into my Soul a Dish of sour or bitter Herbs, I mean sorrow for my sins; but I fed also on the Paschal Lamb, in whose blood I saw all my sins washed away: And the Spirit of God witnessed with my Spirit, that I was the Child of God, and one of those Children, with whom God will keep Covenant, and not take away his Love from me, though he visited my Transgressions with the Rod, and mine iniquities with stripes, Psal. 89, 28-34. which Scripture was then brought again with power upon my Heart. The next Dish of spiritual Food under this Rod which God brought me, or sent me by his Spirit in his Word to feed upon, was full of Love; Then that holy Scripture came to me, not in word only, Rev. 3.19, 20. but in Power and in the Spirit, and in much Assurance; wherein he shewed me his Face, and I saw my Fathers Face in that Glass of the Gospel, Heb. 12. 6,7. which the holy Spirit held forth to me by this Rod, and shed abroad in my heart the Love of the Father in his Son Jesus Christ. After this the next day God gave me a Dish of spiritual Fruits by this Rod to feed upon, served up in that holy Scripture, No affliction at the present is joyous, but grievous; but the fruit thereof shall be peace and righteousness to them that have been exercised therein. And after God had thus fed me, feasted me several days and nights together with this his Rod, he very graciously pronounced his Blessing upon me by his Rod, in these words; Blessed is the man whom thou correctest and teachest out of thy Law or Word, unto which I was helped heartily to say Amen: It's good for me to be, and that I have been afflicted, &c. And after God had communed with me from his Mercy-Seat, and had instructed me, I experienced such Divine Loves, shinings, and spiritual sweetness, as Jonathan did when he tasted a little Honey-dew on the End of the Rod in his hand; and was enlightned and refreshed. So that I was enlivened, or revived, fed and feasted by the Rod and Word, even the Bond of Gods everlasting Covenant for free Grace, and Love.
About 4 or 5 months after the Death of my Son, his Wife married a Gentleman of 300 l. per annum, and left me engaged to receive and pay all my Sons Debts; and to preserve his Credit and his Wife's, I borrowed 200l. to help pay his Debts, and suffered the loss thereof, which necessitated me still to keep School to pay my Debts: And I having a Grand-daughter with me three years before, she being nineteen years old, did take the Charge of my Houshold-affairs, and of my Boarders, who managed all things with so much discretion, that my life was very comfortable, and I had great Content. In Septemb. 1672. my only Daughters Husband went by her consent into the Country, and left her.
Thus far was written by his own hand; and there we must be forced to break off, tho' abruptly, the remaining part of his Life, written by himself, as this was, being, as Mr. Kiffin mentions in his Preface, unhappily lost: which, because 'tis mposible to be supplied by any Hand so particularly his own, must be done in general, by letting the Christian Reader know, That this holy Man's Life was all of a piece, and that he maintained his Zeal, Fidelity, and Integrity in the latter part of it, as well as in the former, even to the end of it. He was not very long sick; not keeping his Chamber above five weeks, nor his bed above ten days. All the time of his Sickness he behaved himself with extraordinary Patience, and Resignation to the Divine Will, longing to be dissolved, and to be with Christ; not so much to be freed from Pain and Trouble, as from Sinning; which he expressed to one with him, with a more than ordinary Transport of Joy. A little before his Death, he wrote the following Epistle, which he left as his last Legacy to the Church.
Mr. Knolly's last Legacy to the Church, written a little before his Death
To the Church whereof I am Pastor, Grace, Love, and Peace, by Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, Amen.
Holy Brethren, Partakers of the Heavenly Calling, I not being able to Preach any more unto you, do take liberty by writing to give you this as my last Counsel, and I hope the whole Church will seriously consider what I have written, as the last words of your very aged Pastor, whose departure, as I hope, is at hand.
First of all, I do humbly beseech my Reverend and beloved Brother Steed, for Christs sake, that the fervent Love to the Church, and the watchful Care over the particular Members of it, Expressed and Published in his little Epistle touching Singing, may be revived; and also that the Brotherly Love of the Ministring Bretheren, and likewise of all my beloved Brethren, who are helps in Government, may be stirred up to Help, to Assist, to provoke the rest unto good Works, Gal. 4. 18.
Now I do unfeignedly, and without vain boasting, commend many of you, my beloved Brethren and Sisters, for continuing in the Apostles Doctrine, and Fellowship in breaking of Bread, and in Prayer, (but as for the rest, who forsake the assembling of themselves, with the Church on the Lords Day, I commend them not,) especially not only in this time of Liberty, but when it was a time of violent Persecution, when I was shut up a Year and four Months, (blessed be God for Prison Mercies,) in New-Prison. And having mentioned that time of Persecution, can I pass it by without commending the constant Assembling of our Brethren and Sisters all that time, every Lords Day to worship God? And may I not with great Comfort, commend the Labour of Love of our Ministring Brethren, in the Work and Doctrine of the Gospel, without ceasing, (as you well know,) and among whom they still labour and faint not. And now some of our younger Brethren, begin to improve their Gifts and Talents for the Glory of God, and the Edification of the Church, whom I desire may be encouraged.
Another thing very commendable in this Church, is the Charity, which they have added to their Brotherly kindness, 2 Pet. 1. 7. It was great Brotherly kindness, which was manifested to the Church, by those Brethren who lookt out our Meeting House, and prepared it for us as it now is: And unto this, many of our Brethren and Sisters, have added their Charity in a free and very liberal Collection and Contribution, given into the Trustees of the Fund: And I hope they will be ready to do the like again, when the like Necessities call for it. Read I pray you the 8th. and 9th. Chapters of the second Epistle unto the Church of Corinth: All this, and much more, are the Riches of Grace, which God hath freely given by our Lord Jesus Christ, unto this Church for his own Glory.
Nevertheless, I must in Love and Faithfulness to your precious and gracious Souls, (holy and beloved,) tell you of some things, not to shame you (for I my self am found guilty as well as you, and more than some of you,) but to warn you, and to counsel you, (as a father doth his Children,) and they are these.
First, That several of us are fallen in some degree, from our first Love, cooled in our Spiritual Affections to Jesus Christ, and to the Saints. - Must not you and I confess, that it is not with us now, as it was in the day of our first Espousals? God the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit remembers it. Jer. 2. 1, 2. And we should remember from whence we are fallen, and should say, I will go and return unto my first Husband, for then it was better with me, than now, Hos. 2. 7. Rev. 2. 4,5.
Now the first part of my Counsel, which I desire to take and receive from Christ, and to give unto you, my dearly beloved Brethren and Sisters, who are convinced, and have confessed it before the Lord, on several days of Fasting and Prayer.
First, I do Counsel you to Repent, Rev. 2. 5. And I must tell you, Beloved, that our assembling once in four Weeks and spending four hours, from Eleven to Three, in Praying and Preaching, as we have often done, is not such a Fast as will make our Voice be heard on High, Isa. 58. 3, 4. Several things are essentially necessary to Evangelical Repentance, that it may be acceptable unto God by Jesus Christ. - Namely, Godly Sorrow, which worketh Repentance, never to be repented of, 2 Cor. 7. 9, 10. A broken Contrite Spirit, Psal. 51. 17. James 4. 9,10. Isa. 66. 2, 3. Isa. 57. 15. Read these Scriptures, Zech. 12. 10, 11. Alas, where are our Tears of Godly Sorrow, our broken Hearts, and our afflicted Souls? Reformation after Humiliation? Repent and do thy first Works, Rev. 2. 5.
O Holy Brethren, let us do so, let you and I beg Grace, that we may both Mourn and turn from all our Sins, to the Lord with all our Hearts.
We have cause to repent of our Formality, and Laodicean Lukewarmness, especially for want of zeal for the House of God, Psal. 69. 9. Rev. 3.19. Col. 4. 12, 13. Joh. 2. 17.
Secondly, I Counsel you to be zealous: Zeal is a fervent and constant affection of a gracious Soul, in a good thing, managed with Discretion, Gal. 4. 18. If our zeal be not fixed upon a right Object, and good Matter; it may be hot, and great, but it cannot be good. Compare the zeal of Paul, Phil. 3. 6. with the zeal of Epaphras, Col. 4. 12, 13.
To guide our zeal aright, two things especially ought to accompany it.
First, The light of Knowledge, Rom. 10. 1,2,3. Read the words again and again, and as often as you read this Paper. Many professours of the Law then, were very zealous of Establishing their own Legal Righteousness, and many professors of the Gospel, now, are as zealous, to establish their own Legal Righteousness, and not Christs. O! say some, If I could pray so, mourn so as others do; if I were so Holy and so Humble, &c. then I would believe. O! say others, if I could get power over my Corruptions, and strength against Satans Temptations, and Victory over the allurements of this present evil World, then I would believe: But I have a Heart full of vile affections, vain thoughts and doubts, that I cannot believe.
Consider, Are Praying, Mourning, Humbling our Souls, Gospel Duties? even so is believing a Gospel Duty, which God Commands, 1 John 3. 23. And he threatens to Damn them that hear the Gospel preached, and will not believe, Acts 13. 41.
Secondly, the Aim and End of our Zeal, must always be the Glory of God, and guided, as I said, by Discretion: Wise as well as Warm: Greatest zeal, in greatest Matters, and lesser zeal in lesser matters. Compare, Gal. 5. 11, 13. with 1 Cor. 11. 13, 14, 15, 16. 1 Cor. 10. 3. and Prov. 19. 11.
My Counsel also is, and I humbly beseech our honoured and beloved Elder, and entreat our Ministring Brethren, who are Helps in Government, to joyn together to set in Order these things.
I mean no other things, than those holy Administrations which Christ, his Apostles, and Disciples, practised in the beginning. Search these Scriptures, 1 Pet. 2. 21. Philip. 3. 17. Luk. 14. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22. Acts 28. 23, 24-28, 29, 30, 31, and 1 Cor. 14. 13, 23, 24, 25, 29. 1 Tim. 4. 13. Col. 4. 16. 1 Thes. 5. 27. Rev. 1.3. Consider, holy Brethren, that as Reading and Expounding are two different Administrations, so are Prophesying and Preaching, yet both Gospel Ordinances, Rom. 12. 6, 7.
Fourthly and Lastly, My Counsel to the Church is, that you will look out a Minister of Jesus Christ, whom he hath in some competent measure, qualified with such Ministerial Gifts and Graces as may make him worthy of so great honour, as is due to a Pastor, and Elder of the Church of God, yea, of double honour, 1 Tim. 5. 17. Both of Maintenance and Obedience, Heb. 13. 17.
And now my dearly beloved Brethren and Sisters, I commit you all to the Word of his Grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an Inheritance among them which are Sanctified. So I remain, while in this Tabernacle,
Your Brother in the Lord
Books Printed for John Harris, at the Harrow against the Church at Poultrey.
A Confession of Faith, put forth by the Elders and Brethren, of many Congregations of Christians, (Baptized upon Profession of their Faith) in London and the Country. With an Appendix concerning Baptism. Price Bound 1s.
A Solemn Call unto all that would be owned as Christ's Faithful Witnesses, speedily, and seriously, to attend unto the Primitive Purity of the Gospel Doctrine and Worship: Or, a Discourse concerning Baptism: Wherein that of Infants is Disproved, as having no Footing, nor Foundation at all in the Word of God. By way of Answer to the Arguments made use of by Mr. William Allen, Mr. Sidenham, Mr. Baxter, Dr. Burthogge, and others, for the Support of that Practice.
Wherein the Covenant made with Israel at Mount Sinai, Exod. 20. That in the Land of Moab, Deut. 29. As also the Covenant of Circumcision made with Abraham, Gen. 17.7, 8,9. Whereon so much stress is laid for the Support of Infants Baptism, are plainly proved to be no other than three several Editions of the Covenant of Works; and consequently, that no just Argument can thence be deduced for the Justification of that practice.
Together with a Description of that truly Evangelical Covenant, God was pleased to make with believing Abraham; containing the Sum of the Everlasting Gospel then Preached unto him; since Proclaimed by the Apostles; and which now remains to be yet further Published unto every Nation, Kindred, Tongue, and People, for the Obedience of Faith. By Philip Cary, a Lover of Truth and Peace.
The Conviction of Worldly Vainty: Or, the Wandring Prodigal, and his Return: In two parts.
Containing his debate with him self about his setting forward in search of the Palace of Worldly Felicity; his hearkning to the advice of Folly, and submitting himself to her Conduct; the manner of her furnishing him out; of the Progress he made, and the various Adventures he met with by the way: As also the Entertainment he found at his Arrival, and his Riotous Living there; with his Description of the Vices Reigning therein.
Giving a full Account of his miraculous Escape from the Palace of Worldly Felicity. Or the glorious prospect he had of the Cœlestial City; and of the progress he made towards it, under the Conduct of Divine Grace: With the manner of his proceedings, and the several Occurrences he met with by the way: His Arrival at the Palace of Vertue and True Felicity, and his Joyful Reception there: His Excellent Description thereof, and of the Divine and Moral Virtues which he found therein.
Both pleasant and profitable. Deliver'd under the Similitude of A Wandring Youth. Illustrated with proper Cuts. Price Bound One Shilling.
Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ: Or a plain and profitable Discourse on John 6. Verse 37. Shewing the Cause, Truth and manner of the Coming of a Sinner to Jesus Christ; with his happy Reception, and blessed Entertainment. The Third Edition with Additions. By John Bunyan, Author of the Pilgrims Progress. Price bound one shilling.
A Necessary Family-Book, both for the City and Country, in two parts. Containing Exact, Plain and Short Rules and Directions, for the Taking and Killing all manner of Vermin on Land and in Water: As,
PART I, By LAND.
The Fox, Polcat, Buzzard, Kite, Weasle, Adder, Snake, Caterpiller, Frog, Mole, Pismire, Fly, Bug, Rats and Mice, Fleas and Lice.
PART II, By WATER.
The Hern, Dob-Chick, Coot, or More-hen, Cormorant, Sea-Pye, Kings-fisher, Otter, Water-Rat, and Ospray, all great destroyers of Fish. To which are added, many natural and artificial Conclusions, both pleasant and profitable. The whole Illustrated with proper Figures. By R. W. Gent. Price sttich'd 6d.
Instructions for Children: Or, the Child's and Youths Delight. Teaching an easie way to Spell and Read true English. Containing the Fathers Godly Advice; Directing Parents in a right and spiritual manner to Educate their Children, with a Scripture Catechism, wherein all the chief principles of true Christianity are clearly opened, together with many other things both pleasant and useful for the Education of Children, written by B. Keach, Anthor of War with the Devil, recommended to the use of all Parents and School-Masters, by H. Knollys. price 6d.
A Just reply to Mr. John Flavell's Arguments, by way of Answer to a Discourse lately published, Entitled, A Solemn Call &c. By Philip Cary, a lover of Truth and Peace.
The Triumph-Royal, containing a short Account of the most remarkable Battels, Sieges, Sea-Fights, Treaties, and Famous Achievements of the Princes of the House of Nassan, &c. Described in Triumphal Arches, Piramids, Pictures, Inscriptions, and Devices, Erected at the Hague in Honour of William III. King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Curiously Engraven in 62 Figures on Copper-plates, with their Histories; an Elaborate piece of Curiosity, first done in Dutch, then into French, and now into English, Dedicated to her Majesty. price 4.s.
A plain Relation of late Action at Sea, between the English and Dutch, and the French Fleets, from June 22. to July 5. last, 1690: With Reflections thereupon, And upon the present State of the Nation. price 1s.
The Spirit of the Church-Faction Detected, in it's Nature and Operations, &c. Price 6d.
Ichabod, or Five Groans of the Church, prudently foreseeing, and passionately bewailing her second Fall, threatned by these five Dangerous, tho' Undiscerned Miscarriages that caused her first: Viz. 1. Undue Ordination, 2. Loose Profaneness, 3. Unconscionable Symony. 4. Encroaching Pluralities, 5. Careless Non-Residence: humbly presented to her Supream Head and Governour, the Kings Most Excellent Majesty, and his great Council, the Parliament of England. Price 6d.
This text was transcribed from scanned TIF files downloaded from Early English Books Online (EEBO - eebo.chadwyck.com) and accessed through the University of Sydney Library. The original book is from the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery. Reel position: Wing / 1262:09. Date: 1692.
Transcription by Mr Mark Smith, A Reformed Baptist's Disk (www.rbdisk.vor.org), © 2016.
*. unsure of this word as the text is illegible at this point (Ed.)