[Page] AN ACCOUNT OF THE Life and Death OF Mr. Philip Henry. Minister of the Gospel near Whitchurch in Shropshire. Who Dy'd Iune 24. 1696▪ in the Sixty fifth Year of his Age.

LONDON: Printed for Tho. Parkhurst at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside, and Iohn Lawrence at the Angel in the Poultrey. 1698.

TO His much Honoured Friend Sir Henry Ashurst, Baronet.


THE Ministers of the Gospel, are in the Scripture Language, Stars in the right Hand of Christ, to signifie their diffusive Light, and beneficial Influences. As in the future State of the Resurrection, some Stars shall differ from o­thers in Glory; so in the present State of the Regeneration, some Ministers are distinguish'd from others, by a brighter Eminence in their Endowments, and a more powerful Emana­tion of Light in their Preaching. Of this Se­lect Number was Mr. Philip Henry, in whom there was Union of those real Excellencies, of parts, Learning, and Divine Graces, that sig­naliz'd him among his Brethren. This does evi­dently appear in the Narrative of his Life, drawn by one very fit to do it: as having had intire knowledge of him, by long and intimate Con­versation: and having by his Holy Instructi­ons, and the impression of his Example, been made partaker of the same sanctifying Spirit. The describing the External Actions of Saints, [Page] without observing the Holy Principles and Af­fections from whence they derived their Life and Purity, is a defective and irregular Repre­sentation of them. 'Tis as if an account were given of the Riches and Faecundity of the Earth, from the Flowers and Fruits that grow upon it, without considering the Mines of Precious Me­tals contain'd in its Bosom. Now, only an in­ward Christian that has felt the Power of Re­ligion in his Heart, can from the Reflexion up­on himself, and his uncounterfeit Experience, discover the Operations of Grace in the Brests of others.

Mr. Henry was Dedicated to the Service of Christ by his Mother, in his tender Age. His first Love and Desires (when he was capable to make a judicious Choice) were set upon God. He entred early into the Ministry, and Conse­crated all the Powers of his Soul, Understand­ing, Memory, Will and Affections, with his Time and Strength, to the Servio [...] of Christ. And such was the Grace and Favour of God to him, that he lost no Days in his Flourishing Age, by satisfying the voluptuous Appetites, nor in his declining Age by Diseases and Infir­mities, but uncessantly applied himself to his Spiritual Work. He was called to a private place in Wales, but his shining Worth could not be shaded in a Corner. A Confluence of People from other parts attended on his Ministry. In­deed [Page] the word of Truth that dyes in the Mouths of the cold and careless, (for they are not all Saints that serve in the Sanctuary) had Life and Spirit in his Preaching: For it proceeded from a Heart burning with Zeal for the Honour of Christ and Salvation of Souls. According­ly he suited his Discourses to the wise and the weak: and imitated the Prophet, who con­tracted his Stature to the dead Body of the Wi­dows Son, applying his Mouth to the Mouth of the Child, to inspire the Breath of Life in­to him. The poor and despised were instruct­ed by him, with the same compassionate Love and Diligence as the Rich, notwitstanding the civil distinction of Persons, which will shortly vanish for ever: For he considered their Souls were of the same Precious and immortal value. In the Administration of the Lord's Supper, he exprest the just temperament of sweetness and severity: with melting Compassion he invited all relenting and returning Sinners to come to Christ, and receive their Pardon Sealed with his Blood: But he was so jealous of the Honour of Christ, that he deterr'd by the most fearful Consequences, the Rebellious that indulg'd their Lusts, from coming to par­take of the Feast of the unspotted Lamb. He was not allur'd by Temporal Advantage (which is the mark of a Mercenary) to leave the first place, where by the Divine Disposal, he was seated.

[Page] When the fatal Bartholomew-day came, tho▪ he had fair Hopes of Preferment, by his At­tendance upon the King and Duke of York, in their early Age, of which the remembrance might have been reviv'd; Yet he was guided by a Superiour Spirit, and imitated the Self­denyal of Moses (a Duty little understood, and less practised, by the Earthly minded) rather choosing to suffer Affliction with the People of God, than to enjoy the good things of this World. As the Light of Heaven, when the Air is stormy and disturb'd, does not lose the rectitude of its Rays: So his enlightned Conscience did not bend in compliance with the Terms of Con­formity, but he obeyed its sincere Judgment.

After his being Expell'd from the place of his publick Ministry, his deportment was be­coming a Son of Peace. He refus'd not Com­munion with the Church of England, in the Ordinances of the Gospel, so far as his Consci­ence permitted. Yet he could not desert the Duty of his Office, to which he was, with sa­cred Solemnity set apart. He was Faithful to improve Opportunities for serving the Interest of Souls, notwithstanding the Severities inflict­ed on him. And after the restoring our Free­dom of Preaching, he continued in the Per­formance of his delightful Work, till Death put a period to his Labours.

After this account of him, as a Minister of [Page] Christ, I will glance upon his Carriage as a Christian. His Conversation was so Holy and regular, so free from taint, that he was unac­cuseable by his Enemies: they could only ob­ject his Nonconformity as a Crime. But his vigilant and tender Conscience, discover'd the spots of sin in himself, which so affected his Soul, that he desir'd Repentance might accom­pany him to the Gate of Heaven: an excel­lent Testimony of Humility, the inseparable Character of a Saint. His love to God was supreme, which was declar'd by his chosen▪ Hours of Communion with him every day. The Union of Affections, is naturally produ­ctive of Union in Conversation. According­ly our Saviour promises, He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father; and I will love him, and will manifest my self to him: And he repeats the Promise, If a man love me he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with him. To his special and singular Love to God, was joined a universal Love to Men: He did good to all according to his Ability. His forgiving of Injuries, that rare and difficult Duty, was eminently conspicuous in the sha [...]p­est Provocations. When he could not excuse the offence, he would pardon the offender, and strive to imitate the perfect Model of Cha­rity exprest in our suffering Saviour: who in [Page] the extremity of his Sufferings, when resent­ments are most quick and sensible, pray'd for his cruel Persecutors. His filial trust in God was Correspondent to God's Fatherly Provi­dence to him. This was his Support in times of Tryal, and maintain'd an equal temper in his mind, and tenor in his Conversation. In short, he led a Life of Evangelical Perfection, most worthy to be honourably preserved, in the memory of future times. The following Narrative of it, if read with an observing Eye, how instructive and affecting will it be to Mini­sters, and apt to Transform them into his likeness?

Thus, Sir, I have given a short view of the Life of that Man, for whom you had such a high Veneration and dear Love. It argues a clear rer Spirit and a Diviner Temper than is usual in Persons of Conspicuous Quality, when Holiness is so despicably mean in the esteem of Carnal Men, to value it above all Titles and Treasures, and the Perishing Pride of this World. I am perswaded it will be very pleasing to you, that your Name and excellent Mr. Henry's, are join'd in the same Papers. I am,

Sir, Your very Humble and Faithful Servant, William Bates.


THAT which we aim at in this Under­taking, and which we would set before us, at our entrance upon it is, not so much to embalm the Memory of this good Man (though that also is Blessed) as to exhibit to the World a Pattern of that Primitive Christianity, which all that knew him well, observed to be exemplified in him, while he lived; and when they saw the end of his Con­versation, as it were with one Cons [...]t, desir'd a publick and lasting Account of, or rather de­manded it, as a just Debt owing to the World, by those into whose Hands his Papers came, as judg­ing such an Account likely to conduce much to the Glory of God's Grace, and to the Edification of many, especially of those that were acquainted with him. He was one whom the Divine Providence did not call out (as neither did his own Inclination lead him) to any very publick Scene of Action: [Page] He was none of the forward Men of the Age, that make themselves talked of: The World scarce knew that there was such a Man in it. But in his low and narrow Sphere he was a burning and shining Light, and therefore we think his pious Example is the more adapted to general use, especially consist­ing not in the Extasies and Raptures of Zeal and Devotion, which are looked upon rather as admira­ble than imitable: But in the long series of an even, regular, prudent, and well order'd Conver­sation, which he had in the World, and in the or­dinary business of it, with simplicity and godly sincerity; not with fleshly wisdom, but by the Grace of God. It hath been said, that quiet and peaceable Reigns, though they are the best to live in, yet they are the worst to write of, as yielding least variety of Matter for the Historians Pen to work upon: But a quiet and peaceable Life in all Godliness and Honesty, being the Sum and Sub­stance of Practical Christianity, the recommending of the Example of such a Life, in the common and familiar Instances of it; together with the kind and gracious Providences of God attending it, may b [...], if not as diverting to the curious, yet every whit as useful and inctructive to the pious Readers. If any suggest, that the design of this attempt is to credit and advance a Party, let them know, that Mr. Henry was a Man of no Party, but true Catholick Christianity (not debauch'd by bigottry, [Page] nor leaven'd by any private Opinions or Interests) was his very Temper and Genius. According to the Excellent and Royal Laws of this Holy Religion, his Life was led, with a strict and conscientious adherence to Truth and Equity; a great tender­ness and inoffensiveness to all Mankind; and a mighty Tincture of sincere Piety and Devotedness to God: and according to those Sacred Rules we shall endeavour, in justice to him, as well as to our Reader, to represent him in the following Account; and if any thing should drop from our Pen, which may justly give offence to any, (which we promise industriously to avoid) we desire it may be looked upon as a false stroke; and so far not truly repre­senting him, who was so blameless and harmless, and without Rebuke. Much of our Materials for this Structure we have out of his own Papers, especially his Diary, for by them his Picture may be drawn nearest to the Life, and from thence we may take the truest Idea of him, and of the Spirit he was of. These Notes being intended for his own private use in the review, and never Communicated to any Person whatsoever; and appearing here (as they ought to do) in their own native dress, the candid Reader will excuse it, if sometimes the Ex­pressions should seem abrupt, they are the genuin, un­forced, and unstudied Breathings of a gracious Soul; and we hope will be rather the more accepta­ble to those, who through Grace, are conscious to [Page] themselves of the same devout and pious Motions; for as in Water, Face answers to Face, so doth one sanctified and renewed Soul to another; And (as Mr. Baxter observes in his Preface to Mr. Clark's Lives) God's Graces are much the same in all his Holy ones; and therefore we must not think that such Instances as these, are extraordinary Rarities; but God hath in wonderful Mercy rais'd up many, by whose Graces even this Earth is Perfumed and Enlightned. But if one Star be allowed to differ from another Star in Glory; perhaps our Reader will say, when he hath gone through the following Account, that Mr. Henry may be ranked among those of the First Mag­nitude.


PAg. 15. lin. 27. for o- read others. p. 20. l. 9. for make r. makes. p. 82. l. 31. for becoming r. unbecoming. p. 88. l. 31. between and & with, add not. p. 113. l. 14. for Sixth, r. Six. p. 204. l. 23. add of. p. 207. l. 17. add is. p. 227. l. 6. for must r. much. Besides which the Reader is desir'd to excuse some running Mistakes: as Equivolent for Equivalent. p. 6. l. 29. hapn'd for happen'd. p. 30. l. 12. presevering for Persevering. p. 31. l. 10. sitting for setting. p. 32. l. 10. elegible for eligible. p. 55. beging for begging. p. 83. beginning for beginnings. p. 91. incuring for incurring. p. 118. words for word. p. 210. Intecessor for Inter­cessor. p. 239. and any such that may occurr.



Mr. Philip Henry's Birth, Parentage, early Piety, and Education at School.

HE was born at White-hall, in Westminster, on Wednesday August 24. 1631. being Bartholomew-day. I find usually in his Diary some pious Remark or other upon the Annual return of his Birth-day: As in one Year he Notes, that the Scripture mentions but two who observed their Birth-day with Feasting and Joy, and they were neither of them Copies to be Written after: viz. Pharaoh, Gen. 40. 20. and Herod, Mat. 14. 6. But (saith he) I rather observe it as a Day of [Page 2] Mourning and Humiliation, because shapen in Iniqui­ty and conceived in Sin. And when he had compleat­ed the Thirtieth Year of his Age, he noted this, So old and no older Alexander was when he had Conque­red the great World, but (saith he) I have not yet sub­dued the little World my self. At his Thirty third Year he hath this Humble Reflection; A long time lived to small purpose, What shall I do to redeem it? And at another, I may Mourn as Caesar did when he Reflect­ed upon Alexander's early Atchievements, that others younger than I am, have done much more than I have done for God, the God of my life. And (to mention no more) when he had lived Forty two Years he thus writes; I would be loth to live it over again, least instead of making it better, I should make it worse, and besides, every Year and Day spent on Earth is lost in Heaven. This last Note minds me of a Passage I have heard him tell of a Friend of his, who being grown into Years, was asked how old he was, and answer'd, On the wrong side of Fifty: Which (said Mr. Henry) he should not have said; for if he was going to Heaven, it was the right side of Fifty.

He always kept a Will by him ready made, and it was his Custom yearly, upon the return of his Birth­day, to Review, and (if occasion were) to Renew and Alter it; For it is good to do that at a set time, which it is very good to do at some time. The Last Will he made bears Date, This 24th day of August, 1695. being, as he said, the day of the Year on which I was Born, 1631. and also the day of the Year on which by Law I Died, as did also near Two thousand Faithful Mi­nisters of Iesus Christ, 1662. alluding to that Clause in the Act of Uniformity, which disposeth of the Pla­ces and Benefices of Ministers not Conforming, as if they were naturally Dead.

[Page 3] His Father's Name was Iohn Henry, the Son of Henry Williams of Brittons Ferry, betwixt Neath and Swansey in Glamorganshire. According to the old Welsh Custom (some say conformable to that of the ancient Hebrews, but now almost in all Places laid aside) the Father's Christian Name was the Sons Sir­name. He had left his Native Country and his Fa­ther's House very Young, unprovided for by his Re­lations; but it pleased God to bless his Ingenuity and Industry, with a considerable Income afterwards, which enabled him to live Comfortably himself, to bring up his Children well, and to be kind to many of his Relations; but Publick Events making against him at his latter End, when he Dy'd he left little be­hind him for his Children, but God graciously took care of them. Providence brought this Mr. Iohn Hen­ry when he was Young, to be the Earl of Pembroke' [...] Gentleman, whom he served many Years: The Earl coming to be Lord Chamberlain, preferred him to be the King's Servant: He was first made Keeper of the Orchard at White-hall, and afterwards Page of the Back Stairs to the King's Second Son, Iames Duke of York, which place obliged him to a Personal At­tendance upon the Duke in his Chamber. He liv'd and dy'd a Courtier, a hearty Mourner for his Royal Master King Charles the First, whom he did not long survive. He continued, during all the War time in his House at White-Hall, though the Profits of his Places ceased: The King passing by his Door, under a Guard; to take Water, when he was going to West­minster, to that which they call'd his Tryal, enquir'd for his old Servant Mr. Iohn Henry, who was ready to pay his due respects to him, and pray'd God to Bless his Majesty, and to Deliver him out of the [Page 4] Hands of his Enemies, for which the Guard had like to have been rough upon him.

His Mother was Mrs. Magdalen Rochdale, of the Parish of St. Martins in the Fields, in Westminster. She was a vertuous pious Gentlewoman, and one that fear'd God above many: She was altogether dead to the Vanities and Pleasures of the Court, tho' she liv'd in the midst of them. She look'd well to the ways of her Houshold; Prayed with them daily, Catechized her Children, and taught them the good Knowledge of the Lord betimes. I have heard him speak of his Learning Mr. Perkins his Six Principles, when he was very Young; and he often mentioned with Thankfulness to God, his great Happiness in having such a Mother, who was to him as Lois and Eunice were to Timothy, acquainting him with the Scriptures from his Childhood: And there appearing in him early inclinations both to Learning and Piety, she devoted him in his tender Years to the Service of God, in the work of the Ministry. She Dyed of a Consumption March 6. 1645. leaving behind her only this Son and Five Daughters. A little before she Dyed she had this saying, My Head is in Heaven, and my Heart is in Heaven, it is but one step more, and I shall be there too.

His Susceptors in Baptism were Philip Earl of Pem­broke (who gave him his Name, and was kind to him as long as he lived, as was also his Son Philip after him) Iames Earl of Carlile, and the Countess of Sals­bury.

Prince Charles and the Duke of York being some­what near of an Age to him, he was in his Childhood very much an Attendant upon them in their Play, and they were often with him at his Father's House, and were wont to tell him what Preferment he should [Page 5] have at Court, as soon as he was fit for it. He kept a Book to his Dying Day, which the Duke of York gave him; and I have heard him bewail the loss of Two curious Pictures, which he gave him likewise, Arch-bishop Laud took a particular Kindness to him when he was a Child, because he would be very offi­cious to attend at the Water-Gate (which was part of his Fathers Charge in White-hall) to let the Arch-Bi­shop through when he came late from Council, to cross the Water to Lambeth.

These Circumstances of his Childhood he would sometimes speak of among his Friends, not as glorying in them, but taking occasion from thence to bless God for his Deliverance from the Snares of the Court, in the midst of which it is so very hard to maintain a good Conscience and the Power of Religion, that it hath been said (though Blessed be God it is not a Rule without exception) Exeat ex aulâ qui velit esse pius. The breaking up and scattering of the Court, by the Calamities of 1641. as it dashed the expectations of his Court Preferments, so it prevented the danger of Court Entanglements: And though it was not, like Mofes's Choice of his own, when come to Years, to quit the Court; yet when he was come to Years he always expressed a great Satisfaction in his Removal from it, and blessed God who chose his Inheritance so much better for him.

Yet it may not be improper to observe here what was obvious as well as aimable to all who Convers'd with him; viz. that he had the most sweet and obliging air of Courtesie and Civility that could be; which some attributed in part to his early Education at Court. His Meen and Carriage was always so very decent and respectful, that it could not but win the Hearts of all he had to do with. Never was any Man further [Page 6] from that Rudeness and Morofeness which some Scho­lars, and too many that profess Religion, either wil­fully affect, or carelesly allow themselves in, sometimes to the Reproach of their Profession. 'Tis one of the Laws of our Holy Religion, exemplifi'd in the Con­versation of this good Man, to Honour all Men. Sancti­fy'd Civility is a great Ornament to Christianity. It was a saying he often us'd, Religion doth not destroy good Manners; and yet he was very far from any thing of Vanity in Apparel, or Formality of Compli­ment in Address, but his Conversarion was all Natu­ral and easie to himself and others, and little ap­pear'd in him, which a severe Critick could call Affe­cted. This Temper of his tended very much to the adorning of the Doctrine of God our Saviour; and the general Transcript of such an excellent Copy, would do much towards the healing of those Wounds which Religion hath received in the House of her Friends by the contrary. But to return to his Sto­ry.—

The first Latin School he went to was at St. Mar­tin's Church, under the teaching of one Mr. Bonner. Afterwards he was removed to Battersey, where one Mr. Wells was his School master. The grateful men­tion which in some of his Papers he makes of these that were the Guides and Instructors of his Childhood and Youth, brings to mind that French Proverb to this purpose: To Father, Teacher, and God All-sufficient, none can render Equivolent.

But in the Year 1643. when he was about Twelve Years old, he was admitted into Westminster-School, in the Fourth Form, under Mr. Thomas Vincent then Usher, whom he would often speak of, as a most able diligent School-master; and one who grieved so [Page 7] much at the Dulness and Non-proficiency of any of his Scholars, that falling into a Consumption, I have heard Mr. Henry say of him, that he even killed him­self with false Latin.

A while after he was taken into the upper School, under Mr. Richard Busby (afterwards Dr. Busby) and in October, 1645. he was admitted King's Scholar, and was first of the Election, partly by his own Me­rit, and partly by the Interest of the Earl of Pem­broke.

Here he profited greatly in School-Learning, and all his Days retained his Improvements therein to ad­miration. When he was in Years, he would readily in Discourse quote Passages out of the Classic Authors that were not common, and had them ad unguem, and yet rarely us'd any such things in his Preaching, (though sometimes (if very apposite) he inserted them in his Notes.) He was very ready and exact in the Greek Accents, the Quantities of Words, and all the several kinds of Latin Verse; and often pressed it upon young Scholars in the midst of their University Learning, not to forget their School-Authors.

Here and before his usual Recreation at vacant times, was either reading the printed accounts of Pub­lick Occurrences, or attending the Courts at Westmin­ster-hall, to hear the Trials and Arguments there, which I have heard him say, he hath often done to the loss of his Dinner, and oftner of his Play.

But Paulo major a canamus—Soon after those unhap­py Wars begun, there was a daily Morning Lecture set up at the Abby-Church, between Six and eight of the Clock, and Preached by Seven worthy Members of the Assembly of Divines in Course, viz. Mr. Mar­shal, Mr. Palmer, Mr. Herl, Dr. Staunton, Mr. Nye, Mr. Whitaker, and Mr. Hill. It was the Request of [Page 8] his pious Mother to Mr. Busby, that he would give her Son leave to attend that Lecture daily, which he did, not abating any thing of his School-Exercise, in which he kept pace with the rest; but only dispensing with his absence for that Hour: And the Lord was pleas'd to make good Impressions on his Soul, by the Sermons he heard there. His Mother also took him with her every Thursday to Mr. Case's Lecture at St. Martins. On the Lord's Days he sat under the power­ful Ministry of Mr. Stephen Marshal in the Morning at New Chappel, in the Afternoon at St. Margarets West­minster (which was their Parish Church) in the former place Mr. Marshal Preached long from Phil. 2. 5, 6, &c. in the latter from Ioh. 8. 36. of our Freedom by Christ. This Minister, and this Ministry, he would to his last, speak of with great Respect, and Thankfulness to God, as that by which he was through Grace, in the beginning of his Days begotten agāin to a lively hope. I have heard him speak of it, as the saying of some wise Men at that time, That if all the Presbyterians had been like Mr. Stephen Marshal, and all the Inde­pendents like Mr. Ieremiah Burroughs, and all the Epi­scopal Men like Arch-bishop Usher, the Breaches of the Church would soon have been heal'd. He also attend­ed constantly upon the Monthly Fasts at St. Margarets, where the best and ablest Ministers of England Preach­ed before the then House of Commons; and the Ser­vice of the Day was carried on with great strictness and Solemnity, from Eight in the Morning till Four in the Evening. It was his constant Practice from E­leven or Twelve Years old to write (as he could) all the Sermons he heard, which he kept very carefully, Transcribed many of them fair over after, and not­withstanding his many Removes, they are yet forth­coming.

[Page 9] At these monthly Fa [...]s, (as he himself hath Record­ed it) he had often Sweet Meltings of Soul in Prayer, and Con [...]ession of Sin, (particularly once with special Remark, when Mr. William Bridg of Yarmouth Pray­ed) and many warm and lively Truths came home to his Heart, and he daily increased in that Wisdom and Knowledge which is to Salvation. Read his Reflecti­ons upon this, which he wrote many Years after: ‘If ever any Child (saith he) such as I then was, be­tween the Tenth and Fifteenth year of my Age, en­joy'd Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept, I did. And was it in vain? I trust not altogether in vain. My Soul rejoyceth and is glad at the remembrance of it; the word distilled as the Dew, and Dropt as the Rain: I lov'd it, and lov'd the Messengers of it, their very Feet were beautiful to me. And, Lord, what a Mercy was it, that at a time when the poor Countries were laid waste, when the noise of Drums and Trumpets, and the clattering of Arms was heard there, and the way to Sion Mourn'd, that then my Lot should be where there was Peace and Quietness, where the voice of the Turtle was heard, and there was great plenty of Gospel Opportunities! Bless the Lord, O my Soul, as long as I live, I will bless the Lord, I will praise my God while I have my Be­ing. Had it been only the restraint that it laid upon me, whereby I was kept from the common Sins of other Children and Youths; such as Cursing, Swear­ing, Sabbath breaking and the like; I were bound to be very Thankful: But that it prevailed through Grace, effectually to bring me to God, How much am I indebted, and what shall I render!’

Thus you see how the Dewes of Heaven sof [...]ned his Heart by degrees.—From these early Experiences of his own

[Page 10] 1. He would blame those who laid so much stress on Peoples knowing the exact time of their Conversion, which he thought was with many not possible to do. Who can so soon be aware of the Day-break, or of the springing up of the Seed Sown? The Work of Grace is better known in its Effects than in its Causes.

He would sometimes illustrate this by that saying of the blind Man to the Pharisees, who were so Critical in Examining the Recovery of his Sight: This and 'tother I know not concerning it, but This one thing I know, that whereas I was Blind, now I see, Ioh. 9. 25.

2. He would bear his Testimony to the comfort and benefit of early Piety, and recommend it to all young People, as a good thing to bear the Yoke of the Lord Iesus in Youth. He would often witness against that wicked Proverb, A young Saint an old Devil, and would have it said rather, A young Saint, an old Angel. He ob­serv'd it concerning Obadiah (and he was a Courtier) that he feared the Lord from his Youth, 1 King. 18. 12, and it is said of him, v. 3. that he feared the Lord greatly. Those that would come to fear God greatly, must learn to fear him from their Youth. No Man did his Duty so naturally as Timothy did (Phil. 2. 20.) who from a Child knew the Holy Scriptures: He would sometimes apply to this that common saying, He that would Thrive, must rise at Five; and in dealing with young People, how earnestly would he press this up­on them. I tell you You cannot begin too soon to be Re­ligious, but you may put it off too long. Manna must be gathered early, and he that is the first must have the first. He often inculcated Eccl. 12. 1. Remember thy Creator in the Days of thy Youth, in the Original, of thy choice.

[Page 11] I remember a passage of his in a Lecture Sermon, in the Year 1674. which much affected many; he was preaching on that Text, Matt. 11. 30. My Yoke is easie; and after many things insisted upon, to prove the Yoke of Christ an easie Yoke, he at last appealed to the Experiences of all that had drawn in that Yoke. Call now if there be any that will answer you, and to which of the Saints will you turn? turn to which you will, and they will all agree that they have found Wisdoms ways Pleasantness, and Christ's Commandments not grievous: and (saith he) I will here witness for one, who through Grace have in some poor measure been drawing in this Yoke, now above thirty Years, and I have found it an easie Yoke, and like my Choice too well to change.

3. He would also recommend it to the care of Pa­rents, to bring their Children betimes to publick Ordi­nances. He would say, that they are capable sooner than we are aware, of receiving good by them. The Scripture takes Notice more than once of the little ones in the solemn Assemblies of the Faithful, Deut. 29. 11. Ezra 10. 1. Acts 21. 5. If we lay our Children by the Pool-side, who knows but the blessed Spirit may help them in and heal them. He us'd to apply that Scripture to this, Cant. 1. 8. Those that would have Communion with Christ must not only go forth by the Footsteps of the Flock, themselves, but feed their Kids too; their Children, or other young ones that are un­der their Charge, beside the Shephards Tents.

4. He would also recommend to young People the practise of Writing Sermons. He himself did it not only when he was young, but continued it constantly till within a few Years before he Dyed, when the de­cay of his Sight obliging him to the use of Spectacles, made Writing not so ready to him as it had been. He never wrote Short-hand, but had an excellent Art of [Page 12] taking the Substance of a Sermon in a very plain and legible hand, and with a great deal of ease. And the Sermons he wrote he kept by him, in such Method and Order, that by the help of Indexes, which he made to them, he could readily turn to almost any Sermon that ever he heard, where he noted the Preacher, Place, and Time; and this he call'd Hearing for the Time to come. He recommended this Practise to others, as a means to engage their Attention in Hearing, and to prevent drowsiness, and to help their Memories after Hearing, when they come either to meditate upon what they have heard themselves, or to Communicate it to others; and many have had reason to bless God for his Advice and Instructions herein: He would advise People sometimes to look over the Sermon-Notes that they had written, as a ready way to revive the good Impressions of the Truths they had heard, and would blame those who made waste Paper of them; for (saith he) the day is coming when you will either thank God for them, or heartily wish you had never written them.

But it is time we return to Westminster-School, where having begun to learn Christ we left him in the Success­ful pursuit of other Learning, under the Eye and Care of that great Master Dr. Busby; who, on the Account of his Pregnancy and Diligence took a particular kindness to him, call'd him his Child, and would some­times tell him he should be his Heir; and there was no Love lost betwixt them. Dr. Busby was noted for a very severe School master, especially in the beginning of his time. But Mr. Henry would say sometimes, that as in so great a School there was need of a strict Discipline, so for his own part, of the Four Years he was in the School, he never felt the weight of his Hand but once, and then (saith he in some of the Re­marks [Page 13] of his Youth which he wrote long after) I de­serv'd it: For being Monitor of the Chamber, and ac­cording to the Duty of his Place, being sent out to seek one that play'd Truant; he found him out where he had hid himself, and at his earnest Request promised to make an excuse for him, and to say, he could not find him, which (saith he in a Penitential Reflexion up­on it afterwards) I wickedly did. Next Morning the Truant coming under Examination, and being ask'd whether he saw the Monitor, said, yes, he did, at which Dr. Busby was much surprized, and turned his Eye upon the Monitor, with this word, [...]; (What thou my Son) and gave him Correction, and appointed him to make a penitential Copy of Latin Verses, which when he brought he gave him Six Pence, and receiv'd him into his Favour again.

Among the Mercies of God to him in his Youth (and he would say twere well if Parents would keep an Account of those for their Children, till they come to be capable of doing it for themselves, and then to set them upon the doing of it) he hath Recorded a remarkable Deliverance he had here at Westminster-School, which was this: It was Customary there a­mong the studious Boys, for one or two or more to sit up the former part of the Night at Study, and when they went to Bed about Midnight to call others, and they others at two or three a Clock, as they desired. His Request was to be call'd at Twelve, and being awaked, desired his Candle might be lighted, which stuck to the Beds Head; but he dropt asleep again, and the Candle fell, and burnt part of the Bed and Bolster, e're he awaked; but through God's good Provi­dence seasonable help came in, the Fire soon quench­ed, and he received no harm. This gave him occasi­on [Page 14] long after to say, It is of the Lord's Mercies that we are not Consumed.

When he was at Westminster-School he was employ­ed by Dr. Busby, as some others of the most ingenious and industrious of his Scholars were, in their read­ing of the Greek Authors, to Collect, by his Directi­on, some Materials for that Excellent Greek Gram­mar, which the Doctor afterwards Publish'd.

But be the School never so agreeable, Youth is desirous to Commence Man by a Removal from it. This step he took in the Sixteenth Year of his Age. It was the antient Custom of Westminster-School, that all the King's Scholars who stood Candidates for an Ele­ction to the University, were to receive the Lord's Sup­per the Easter before, which he did with the rest, in St. Margarets Church at Easter, 1647. and he would often speak of the great pains which Dr. Busby took with his Scholars, that were to approach to that So­lemn Ordinance, for several Weeks before, at stated times; with what skill and seriousness of Applicati­on, and manifest Concern for their Souls, [...] [...]ed to them the Nature of the Ordinance, and [...] the work they had to do in it, and instructed them what was to be done in Preparation for it, and this he made a Business of, appointing them their Religious Exerci­ses, instead of their School Exercises. What Success this had through the Grace of God upon young Mr. Henry (to whom the Dr. had a particular Regard) read from his own Hand. ‘There had been Trea­ties (saith he) before, between my Soul and Jesus Christ, with some weak Overtures towards him; but then, then I think it was that the Match was made, the Knot tied: Then I set my self in the strength of Divine Grace, about the great Work of self-Examination, in order to Repentance; and then [Page 15] I repented, that is, solemnly and seriously, with some poor meltings of Soul, I confessed my Sins before God, original and actual, Judging and Condemning my self for them; and casting away from me all my Transgressions, receiving Christ Jesus the Lord, as the Lord my Righteousness, and Devoting and Dedicating my whole self absolutely and Unreser­vedly to his Fear and Service. After which, com­ing to the Ordinance, there, there I received him indeed, and he became mine, I say mine. Bless the Lord, O my Soul.’

Dr. Busby's Agency under God in this blessed work, he makes a very grateful mention of in divers of his Papers: The Lord recompense it (saith he) a Thousand fold into his bosome.

I have heard him tell how much he surprized the Doctor, the first time he waited upon him after he was turn'd out by the Act of Uniformity: For when the Doctor asked him, prithee (Child) what made thee a Nonconformist, truly Sir, saith Mr. Henry, you made me one, for you taught me those things that hindred me from Conforming.

‘Encouraged by this Experience, I have my self (saith he in one of his Papers) taken like pains with divers others at their first Admission to the Lord's Table, and have through Grace seen the comforta­ble Fruits of it, both in mine own Children and [...] ­to God be Glory.’

Mr. Ieremy Dyke's Book Of the Sacra­ment, Since well abbrevia­ted by Mr. Faldo. I have heard him say was of great use to him at that time, in his Preparation for that Ordinance.

Thus was this great Concern happily settled before his Lanching out into the World, which through Grace he had all his Days more or less the comfort of, in [Page 16] an even serenity of Mind, and a peaceful Expectation of the Glory to be Revealed.

May 17. 1647. he was chosen from Westminster-School to Christ's-Church in Oxford, jure loci, with Four others, of which he had the second place. At his Ele­ction he was very much Countenanced and Smiled upon by his God-father the Earl of Pembroke, who was one of the Electors.


His Years spent at Oxford.

THough he was Chosen to the University in May, yet being then young, under Sixteen, and in love with his School-Learning, he made no great haste thi­ther. 'Twas in December following, 1647. that he removed to Oxford. Some merciful Providences in his Journey (he being a young Traveller) affected him much, and he us'd to speak of them, with a sense of God's Goodness to him in them, according to the Im­pressions then made by them; and he hath Recorded them with this thankful Note, That there may be a great Mercy in a small Matter; as the care that was taken of him by Strangers, when he Fainted and was Sick in his Inn the first Night, and his casual Meeting with Mr. Annesly, Son to the Viscount Valentia (who was chosen from Westminster-School, at the same time that he was) when his other Company going another way, had left him alone, and utterly at a loss what to do. Thus the sensible remembrance of old Mercies may [Page 17] answer the intention of new ones, which is to en­gage our Obedience to God, and to encourage our Dependance on him.

Being come to Oxford, he was immediately entred Commoner of Christ-Church, where Dr. Samuel Fell was then Dean; the Tutor assigned to him and the rest of that Election was Mr. Underwood, a very Learn­ed ingenious Gentleman.

His Godfather the Earl of Pembroke had given him Ten Pounds to buy him a Gown, to pay his Fees, and to set out with. This in his Papers he puts a Remark upon, as a Seasonable Mercy in regard of some Straits, which Providence, by the Calamity of the Times, had brought his Father to. God had taught him from his Youth that excellent Principle, which he adher'd to all his Days, that Every Creature is that to us, and no more, than God makes it to be; and therefore while many seek the Rulers Favour, and so expect to make their Fortunes, as they call it, seeing every Man's Iudgment proceedeth from the Lord; it is our Wisdom to seek his Favour who is the Ruler of Rulers, and that is an ef­fectual way to make sure our Happiness.

To the proper Studies of this place he now vigo­rously address'd himself; but still retaining a great Kindness for the Classick Authors, and the more po­lite Exercises he lov'd so well at Westminster-School.

He was admitted Student of Christ-Church March 24. 1647/8. by Dr. Henry Hammond, that great Man, then Sub-Dean, who called him his God-Brother, the Earl of Pembroke being his Godfather also, and Prince Henry the other, who gave him his Name.

The Visitation of the University by the Parliament happen'd to be in the very next Month after. Oxford had been for a good while in the Hands of the Parli­ament, [Page 18] and no Change made; but now the Earl of Pembroke, and several others thereunto appointed, came hither to settle things upon a new bottom. The Ac­count Mr. Henry in his Papers gives of this Affair, is to this purpose. The sole Question which the Visitors propos'd to each Person, high and low, in every Col­ledge, that had any place of Profit, was this, Will you submit to the Power of the Parliament in this present Vi­sitation? to which all were to give in their Answer in Writing, and accordingly were either displaced or con­tinued: Some cheerfully complied, others absolutely refused, (among whom he would sometimes tell of one that was but of his standing, who gave in this bold Answer, I neither can nor will submit to the Power of the Parliament in this present Visitation, I say I cannot, I say I will not J. C.) others answer'd doubtfully, plead­ing Youth and Ignorance in such Matters. Mr. Henry's Answer was, I submit to the Power of the Parliament in the Present Visitation, as far as I may with a safe Conscience and without Perjury. His reason for the last Salvo, was because he had taken the Oaths of Allegi­ance and Supremacy a little before, at his Admission; which he was (according to the Character of the good Man, that he fears an Oath) very jealous of doing any thing to contradict or infringe; which hath made him sometimes signifie some dislike of that Practise of Administring Oaths to such as were scarce past Chil­dren, who could hardly be supposed to take them. with Iudgment, as Oaths should be taken. However this Answer of his satisfied; and by the Favour of the Earl of Pembroke he was continued in his Students place. But great Alterations were made in that as in other Colledges, very much (no question) to the hin­derance and Discouragement of young Scholars who came thither to get Learning, not to Judge of the Rights [Page 19] of Government. Dr. Samuel Fell the Dean was re­moved, and Dr. Edward Reynolds afterwards Bishop of Norwich was put in his room; Dr. Hammond and all the Canons, except Dr. Wall were displaced, and Mr. Wilkinson, Mr. Pocock, and others of the Parliaments Friends were prefer'd to their places. His thoughts of this in the reflection long after was, that milder me­thods might have done better, and would have been a firmer establishment to the New Interest, but consider­ing that many of those who were put out (being in expectation of a sudden change, which came not of many Years after) were exasperating in their carriage towards the Visitors; and that the Parliament (who at this time rode Masters) had many of their own Friends ready for University preferments, (which Ox­ford having been from the beginning a Garrison for the King they had been long kept out of) and these they were concern'd to oblige, it was not strange if they took such strict methods. And yet nothing being requir'd but a bare Submission, which might be inte­preted but as crying, Quarter, he thought withal, that it could not be said, the terms were hard, especially (saith he) if compar'd with those of another nature imposed since.

Among other Student-Masters removed, his Tutor Mr. Underwood was one, which he often bewail'd as ill for him, for he was a good Scholar, and one that made it his business to look after his Pupils, who were very likely by the Blessing of God to have profited un­der his Conduct: But upon the removal of Mr. Under­wood, he with some others were turn'd over to Mr. Fin­more, who was then in with that Interest which was uppermost, and was afterwards Prebendary of Chester; a Person (as he notes) able enough, but not willing to employ his Abilities for the good of those that were com­mitted [Page 20] to his Charge; towards whom he had little more than the name of a Tutor. This he lamented as his Infelicity, at his first setting out. But it pleas'd God to give him an Interest in the Affections of a Young Man, an Under-graduate then, but Two or Three Years his Senior from Westminster, one Mr. Richard Bryan, who took him to be his Chamberfellow while he continued at Oxford, read to him, overlook'd his Studies, and directed him in them. Of this Gentleman he make a ve­ry honourable mention, as one who was through Gods Blessing an Instrument of much good to him. Mr. Iohn Fell also, the Dean's Son, (afterwards himself Dean of Christ-Church, and Bishop of Oxford) taking pity on him, and some others that were neglected, voluntarily read to them for some time; a kindness which he retain'd a ve­ry grateful sense of, and for which he much honour'd that Learned and Worthy Person.

Here he duly perform'd the College Exercises, Dis­putations every day, in Term-time; Theams and Ver­ses once a Week, and Declamations when it came to his turn; in which performances he frequently came off with very great Applause: And many of his Manu­scripts which remain, shew how well he improved his time there.

And yet in some Reflections I find under his hand, written long after (wherein he looks back upon his early days) he chargeth it upon himself, that for a good while after he came to the University, (though he was known not to be inferior to any of his standing in Publick Exercises yet) he was too much a Stranger to that hard Study which afterwards he became acquaint­ed with, and that he lost a deal of time which might have been better improved. Thus he is pleas'd to ac­cuse himself of that which (for ought I ever heard) no one else did, or could accuse him of. But the truth is, [Page 21] in all the secret accounts he kept of himself, he appears to have had a very quick and deep sense of his own Fallings and Infirmities, in the most minute instances, the loss of time, Weakness and Distractions in Holy Duties; not improving Opportunities of doing good to others, and the like; lamentably bewailing these imper­fections, and charging them upon himself, with as great expressions of shame and sorrow, and self-abhorrence; and crying out as earnestly for Pardon and Forgiveness in the Blood of Jesus, as if he had been the greatest of Sinners: For though he was a Man that walk'd very closely, yet withal he walk'd very humbly with God, and liv'd a Life of Repentance and self-denial. This minds me of a Sermon of his which one might discern came from the heart, on that Scripture, Rom. 7. 24. O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death! A strange complaint (saith he) to come from the Mouth of one who had learn'd in every estate to be content. Had I been to have given my thoughts (said he) concerning Paul, I should have said, O blessed Man that thou art, that hast been in the Third Heaven, a great Apostle, a Spiritual Father to Thou­sands, &c. and yet a Wretched Man, all this while in his own account and esteem. He never complains thus of the Bonds and Afflictions that did abide him, the Prisons that were frequent; the Stripes above mea­sure; but the Body of Death: that is, the Body of Sin, that was it he groan'd under. How feelingly did he ob­serve from thence, That the remainders of indwelling corruption are a very grievous burthen to a gracious Soul.

But to return: It may not be amiss to set down the Causes to which he ascribes his loss of time when he came first to the University. One was, that he was Young, too Young, and understood not the day of his opportunities, which made him afterwards advise his [Page 22] Friends not to thrust their Children forth too soon from School to the University, though they may seem ripe, in respect of Learning, till they have discretion to ma­nage themselves; while they are Children, What can be expected but that they should mind childish things? Another was, that coming from Westminster School, his attainments in School-learning were beyond what ge­nerally others had that came from other Schools, so that he was tempred to think there was no need for him to study much, because it was so easie to him to keep pace with others, which, he saith, was the thing that Dr. Caldecott, Chaplain to the Ea [...] of Pem­broke, and his great Friend warn'd him of at his coming to Oxford. Another was That, there were two sorts of Persons his Co-temporaries, some of the New Stamp, that came in by the Visitation, and were divers of them serious pious Young Men, but of small ability, comparatively, for Learning, and those for that reason he desired not to have much fellowship with. But there were others that were of the old Spirit and way, Enemies to the Parliament, and the Reformati­on they made; and these were the better Scholars, but generally not the better Men. With them for a while he struck in because of their Learning, and conversed most with them, but he soon found it a snare to him, and that it took him off from the Life of Religion, and Communion with God, Elanguescere mox cepit (saith he in his Latin Narrative of his younger years,) pristinae pietatis ardor, &c. ‘But for ever praised be the Riches of God's free Grace (saith he in another Account) that he was pleased still to keep his hold of me; and not to let me alone when I was running from him, but set his hand again the second time, (as the expres­sion is, Isa. 11. 11.) to snatch me as a brand out of the Fire.His Recovery from this snare he would [Page 23] call a kind of Second Conversion; so much was he affected with the preventing Grace of God in it, and sensible of a double bond to be for ever thankful, as well as of an engagement to be watchful and humble. 'Twas a say­ing of his, He that stumbleth and doth not fall, [...]ets ground by his stumble.

At the later end of the Year 1648, he had leave given him to make a visit to his Father at White-hall, with whom he staied some time; there he was Ian. 30. when the King was beheaded, and with a very sad heart saw that Tragical Blow given. Two things he used to speak of, that he took notice of himself that day, which I know not whether any of the Historians men­tion. One was, that at the instant when the Blow was given, there was such a dismal universal Groan among the Thousands of People that were within sight of it, (as it were with one consent) as he never heard before; and desired he might never hear the like again, nor see such a Cause for it. The other was; That immedi­ately after the stroke was struck, there was according to Order, one Troop marching from Chearing-Cross towards Kings-street, and another from Kings-street towards Chearing-Cross, purposely to disperse and scat­ter the People, and to divert the dismal thoughts which they could not but be fill'd with, by driving them to shift every one for his own safety. He did upon occa­sion testifie his dislike of this rash Action, which he al­ways said was a thing that could not be justify'd, and yet he sometimes said he saw not how it could be call'd a National Sin, for as the King urg'd upon his Trial, it was certain that not one Man of Ten in the Kingdom did consent to it; See the Bishop of Chichester's Ser­mon before the King, Ian. 30. 1697. p. 25, 29. Where he saith, he did not see how it could be call'd a National Sin. nor could it becall'd the Sin of [Page 24] the Long Parliament, for far the greatest part of them were all that time while the thing was in agitation imprison [...]d, and kept under a force, and scarce 27 of the 40 that were left to carry the name of a Parliament did give their Vote for it; which the Commissioners for the. Trying of the Kings Judges in the Year 1660. (some of whom had been themselves Members of the long Parliament) ur­ged again and again, in answer to that plea which the Prisoners stood so much upon, that what they did was by Authority of the Parliament: But 'tis manifest it was done by a prevailing Party in the Army, who (as he us'd to express it) having beaten their Plowshares into Swords, could not so easiely beat their Swords into Plowshares again, as having fought more for Victory and Dominion, than for Peace and Truth; but how far these Men were acted and influenced by another sort of People behind the Curtain, the World is not altoge­ther ignorant. For some Years after King Charles II. came in, he observ'd the yearly day of Humiliation for this Sin, desiring that God would not lay the Guilt of Blood to the charge of the Nation: But afterwards finding to what purposes it was generally observed, and improved even to the reproach and condemning, not only of the Innocent but of some of the Excellent ones of the Land, and noting, that there is no precedent in Scripture of keeping Annual days of Humiliation for particular Sins; especially after the immediate judg­ment is at an end, Zech. 8. 19. Heb. 10. 2, 3. he took no farther notice of it. But in his Diary, he adds this tender remark, (according to the Spirit he was of) Yet good Men no doubt may observe it to the Lord, Rom. 14. 6. Thus he judged not, and why then should he be judged?

[Page 25] In the Year 165 [...] he took his Batchelor of Art's De­gree, and he hath recorded the Goodness of God in raising him up Friends, who help'd him out in the expences. Such kindnesses have a peculiar sweetness in them to a good Man, who sees and receives them as the Kindness of God, and the tokens of his Love.

He would often mention it with thankfulness to God, what great helps and advantages he had then in the University, not only for Learning but for Religion and Piety. Serious Godliness was in reputation, and besides the Publick Opportunities they had, there were many of the Scholars that us'd to meet together for Prayer, and Christian Conference, to the great confirming of one anothers hearts, in the Fear and Love of God, and the preparing of them for the Service of the Church in their generation. I have heard him speak of the prudent method they took then about the University Sermons on the Lord's Day in the Afternoon, which us'd to be Preached by the Fellows of Colledges in their course, but that being found not so much for Edification, Dr. Owen, and Dr. Goodwin performed that Service alter­nately, and the Young Masters that were wont to Preach it, had a Lecture on Tuesday appointed them. The Sermons he heard at Oxford he commonly wrote, not in the time of hearing, but afterwards when he came home in his reflection upon them, which he found a good help to his Memory.

In December 1652, he proceeded Master of Arts, and in Ianuary following Preach'd his first Sermon at South-Hincsey in Oxford-shire, on Ioh. 8. 34. Whosoe­ver committeth sin, is the servant of sin. On this occa­sion he writes in his Diary, what was the breathing of his heart towards God, The Lord make use of me as an Instrument of his Glory, and his Churches good in this high and holy Calling.

[Page 26] His great Parts and Improvement notwithstanding his extraordinary Modesty and Humility had made him so well known in the University that at the following Act in Iuly 1653. he was chosen out of all the Ma­sters of that Year to be Iunior of the Act, that is, to answer the Philosophy Questions in Vesperi is, which he did with very great applause, especially for the very witty and ingenious Oration which he made to the University upon that occasion: His questions were: 1 An licitum sit carnibus vesci? Aff. 2. An Institutio A­cademiarum sit utilis in Republicâ? Aff. 3. An Ingenium pendeat ab humoribus Corporis? Aff. At the Act in 1654. He was chosen Magister Replicans, and answer'd the Philosophy Questions in Comitiis with a like ap­plause. His Questions then were, 1. An melius sit spe­rare quàm frui? Neg. 2. An Maxima Animi Delecta­tio sit agrave; sensibus? Neg. 3. An utile sit peregrinari? Aff.

Dr. Owen who was then Vice-Chancellor hath spo­ken with great commendation of these performances of Mr. Henry's to some in the University afterwards, who never knew him otherwise than by report; and I have heard a Worthy Divine (who was somewhat his Iunior in the University, and there a perfect Stranger to him) say, how much he admired these Exercises of his, and lov'd him for them, and yet how much more he amir'd, when he afterwards became acquaint­ed with him in the Country, that so Curious and Polite an Orator should become so Profitable and Pow­erful a Preacher, and so readily lay aside the enticing Words of Mans Wisdom which were so easie to him.

There is a Copy of Latin Verses of his in print a­mong the Poems which the University of Oxford pub­lished upon the Peace concluded with Holland, in the Year 1654, which shew him to be no less a Poet than an Orator.

[Page 27] He hath noted it of some Pious Young Men, that before they removed from the University into the Country, they kept a day of Fasting and Humiliation for the Sins they had been guilty of in that place and state. And in the visits he made afterwards to the University, he inserts into His Book, as no doubt God did into His,—a tear dropt over my University Sins.


His removal to Worthenbury in Flint-shire; His Ordination to the Ministry, and his Exercise of it there.

WOrthenbury is a little Town by Dee side in that Hundred of Flint-shire, which is separated some Miles from the rest of the County, and known by the name of English Mailoes, because tho it is reputed in Wales, as pertaining to Flint-shire, yet in Language and Customs it is wholly English, and lies mostly be­tween Cheshire and Shrop-shire. Worthenbury was of old a Parochial Chapel belonging to the Rectory of Bangor, but was separated from it in the Year 1658 by the Trustees for uniting and dividing of Parishes, and was made a Parish of itself. But what was then done being vacated by the Kings coming in, it then came to be in statu quo, and continued an appurtenant to Bangor, till in the Second Year of the Reign of King William and Queen Mary, it was again by Act of Par­liament separated, and made Independant upon Ban­gor. [Page 28] That was the only Act that passed the Royal As­sent with the Act of Recognition, at the beginning of the Second Parliament of this Reïgn. The Principal Family in Worthenbury Parish, is that of the Pulestons of Emeral. The Head of the Family was then Iohn Puleston Serjeant at Law, one of the Iudges of the Common-Pleas.

This was the Family to which Mr. Henry came from Christ-Church, presently after he had compleated his Master's Degree, in 1653. Order'd into that re­mote, and to him unknown, corner of the Country, by that Over-ruling Providence which determineth the times before appointed, and the bounds of our Habitation.

The Judges Lady was a Person of more than ordina­ry Parts and Wisdom, in Piety inferiour to few, but in Learning Superiour to most of her Sex, which I could give Instances of from what I find among Mr. Hen­ry's Papers, particularly an Elegy she made upon the Death of the Famous Mr. Iohn Selden, who was her great Friend.

This was the Lady whose Agency first brought Mr. Henry into this Country. She wrote to a Friend of hers Mr. Francis Palmer Student of Christ-Church, to desire him to recommend to her a Young Man to be in her Family, and to take the over-sight of her Sons (some of whom were now ready for the University) and to Preach at Worthenbury on the Lord's-Dayes, for which a very honourable Encouragement was promised. Mr. Palmer proposed it to his Friend Mr. Henry, who was willing for one half Year to undertake it, provided it might be required of him to Preach but once on the Lord's-Day, and that some other supply might be got for 'tother part of the day, he being now but Twenty two Years of Age, and newly entred upon that great Work. Provided also, that he should be enga­ged [Page 29] but for half a Year, as little intending to break off so soon from an Academical Life, which he delighted in so much. But preferring Usefulness before his own pri­vate Satisfaction, he was willing to make trial for a while, in the Country, as one that sought not his own things, but the things of Jesus Christ, to whose Service in the Work of the Ministry he had intirely devoted himself, bending his Studies wholly that way. In the latter part of his time at Oxford, as one grown weary of that which he used to say he found little to his pur­pose; he employed his time mostly in searching the Scrip­tures, and collecting useful Scripture Observations, which he made very familiar to him, and with which he was throughly furnished for this good Work. He got a Bible interleav'd, in which he wrote short Notes upon Texts of Scriptures as they occur'd. He would often say, I [...]ad other B [...]k, that I may be the better al [...] to [...]nder­stand the Scripture.

'Twas a stock of Scripture Knowledge that he set up with, and with that he traded to good advantage. Tho he was so great a Master in the eloquence of Cicero, yet he prefer'd far before it, that of Apollos, who was an eloquent Man, and mighty in the Scriptures, Act. 18. 24.

He bid very fair at that time for University prefer­ment, such was the Reputation he had got at the late Act, and such his Interest in Dr. Owen: but the Salva­tion of Souls was that which his heart was upon, to which he post-poned all his other Interests.

In September 1653, he came down to Emeral, from whence a Messenger was sent on purpose to Oxford to conduct him thither. Long after when it had pleased God to settle him in that Country, and to build him up into a Family, he would often reflect upon his coming into it first, what a Stranger he then was, and how [Page 30] far it was from his thoughts ever to have made his home in those parts, and passing over the Brook that parts between Flint-shire and Shrop-shire would some­times very affectionately use that word of Iacob's, With my Staff I passed over this Iordan, and now I am become two bands.

At Emeral he pray'd in the Family, was Tutor to the young Gentlemen, and Preach'd once a day at Worthenbury, other help being procur'd for the other part of the day, according to his request, out of a fear, being so young, to take the whole Work upon him. But it soon hapn'd, that one Lord's-day the supply that was expected, fail'd, and so he was necessitated ra­ther than there should be a vacancy to Preach twice, in which he found the Promise so well fulfill'd, as the day is so shall the strength be, and to him that hath (i. e. that hath and useth what he hath) shall be given, and he shall have abundance, that to the great satisfaction of his Friends there, from thence forward he wav'd, looking out for other help than what came from above, and would sometimes speak of this as an Instance that we do not know what we can do, till we have try'd.

Here he apply'd himself to a plain and practical way of Preaching, as one truly concern'd for the Souls of those he spoke to. He would say sometimes, We study how to speak that you may understand us. And, I never think I can speak plain enough when I am speaking about Souls and their Salvation. I have heard him say, he thought it did him good, that for the first half year of his being at Worthenbury, he had few or no Books with him, which engaged him (in studying Sermons) to a closer search of the Scripture, and his own heart. What success his labours had in that Parish, which before he came to it, (I have been told) was accounted one of the most loose and prophane places in all the Country, may [Page 31] be gather'd from a Letter of the Lady Puleston's to him, at the end of the first half, Year after his coming to Emeral, when he was uncertain of his Continuance there, and return to settle at Christ-Church. Take the Letter at Large,

Dear Mr. Henry,

THE Indisposition that my Sad [...] hath bred, and the stay of Mrs. V. here yesterday, hindred my Answering your last Expressions. As to ordering the Conversation, and presevering to the Practise of those good intents, ta­ken up while one is in pursuit of a Mercy: You and I will confer, as God gives opportunity, who also must give the Will and the Deed, by his Spirit, and by the Rule of his Word. As to begging that one thing for you, God forbid (as Samuel said) that I should cease to pray, &c. This I am sure, that having wanted hitherto a good Mi­nister of the Word among us, I have oft by Prayer and some Tears, above Five Years besought God for such a one as your self; which having obtain'd, I cannot yet Despair, seeing he hath given us the good Means, but he may also give us the good End. And this I find, that your Audience is increased three for one in the Parish, (though in Winter more than formerly in Summer); and five for one out of other Places. And I have neither heard of their being in the Ale-house on our Lords Day, nor Ball-playing that day, which before you came was fre­quent (except that Day that young Ch. Preached) I think I can name four or five in the Parish, that of for­mal Christians are becoming or become real: But you know all are not wrought on at first, by the Word. (Some come in no misfortune like other Men, and this is the Cause they be so holden with Pride, &c) Hypocrites also have Converted Conversion itself: Yet God may have reser­ved those that have not bow'd the Kne [...] to Baal, &c. and [Page 32] may call them at the latter part of the Day, though not in this half Year, It is a good sign most are loth to part with you; and you have done more good i [...] this half Year, then I have discern'd these Eighteen Years. But however, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, you have deliver'd your own Soul. I have pray'd, and do pray, seeing God hath sent you, that you may be for his Glory, and not for our Condemnation.

It is easie to imagine what an Encouragement this was to him, thus at his first sitting out to see of the Travel of his Soul, and what an inducement it was to him not to leave those among whom God had thus own'd him. However that Spring he returned to Ox­ford. The Lady Puleston soon after came to him thi­ther, with her Five Sons, of whom she placed the two Eldest under his Charge, in the Colledge. In the following Vacation he went to London to visit his Re­lations there; and there in October he received a Let­ter from Judge Puleston, with a very solemn and af­fectionate Request subscribed by the Parishoners of Worthenbury, earnestly desiring his Settlement among them, as their Minister, which he was perswaded to comply with, having fix'd to himself that good Rule, In the turns of his Life, to Follow Providence, and not to force it: So in the Winter following he came down again, and settled with them. He continued in his Students place in Christs-Church for two or three Years, attending the Service of it once a Year; but disposing of most of the Profit of it for the use of poor Scholars there.

The Tithe of Worthenbury belong'd to Emeral Fami­ly, paying some Rent to the Rector of Bangor; this Tithe Judge Puleston was willing to give (clear of that Charge) to the Minister of Worthenbury for ever: [Page 33] But such was the peculiar and extraordinary kindness he had for Mr. Henry, upon the Experience of his Me­rits, that he chose rather by Deed of Indenture, bear­ing Date Octob. 6. 1655. between himself and Mr. Henry, In consideration of his being pleas'd to undertake the Cure of Souls, and to Preach and teach, and per­form other Duties of Divine Service in the Parish-Church of Worthenbury (so the Deed runs) to give, grant and confirm for himself and his Heirs, unto the said, Philip Henry, the Yearly Rent of One Hundred Pounds, char­ged upon all his Messilages, Lands and Tenements in the several Counties of Flint, Denbigh, and Chester, to be paid Quarterly, until such times as the said Philip Hen­ry shall be promoted or preferred to some other Spiritual or Ecclesiastical Living or Preferment, with Power of Distress in Case of Non-payment. A Hundred a Year was more than Worthenbury Tithes were worth at that time; and the manner of the Gift freed the mainte­nance from much of that Loss and Incumbrance which commonly attends the gathering of Tithe.

He still continued for some Years in Emeral Fami­ly, where he laid out himself very much for the Spiri­tual good of the Family, even of the meanest of the Servants, by Catechizing, repeating the Sermons, and Personal Instruction, and he had very much Comfort in the Countenance and Conversation of the Judge and his Lady. Yet he complains sometimes in his Diary of the Snares, and Temptations that he found in his way there, especially because some of the Branches of the Family who did not Patrizare were uneasie at his being there, which made him willing to remove to a House of his own, which when Judge Puleston perceived, in the Year 1657. out of his abundant and continued kindness to him, he did at his own pro­per Cost and Charges build him [...] very handsome [Page 34] House in Worthenbury, and settled it upon him by a Lease, bearing Date March. 6. 1657. for Threescore Years, if he should so long continue Minister at Wor­thenbury, and not accept of better Preferment.

He hath Noted in his Diary, that the very Day that the Workmen began the Building of that House, Mr. Mainwaring of Malpas, preached the Lecture at Bangor, from Psal. 127. 1. Except the Lord build the House, they Labour in vain that build it. ‘There ne­ver was Truth (saith he) more seasonable to any than this was to me: It was a word upon the Wheels.’ He hath Recorded it as his great Care, that his Affe­ctions might be kept loose from it, and that it might not incroach upon God's Interest in his Heart. When it was finished he thus writes. I do from my Heart bless God, that no hurt or harm befel any of the Work­min in the Building of it.

Thus was his Maintenance settled at Worthenbury. In the Year 1659. he was by a Writing of Judge Pu­leston's, Collated, Nominated and Presented to the Church of Worthenbury, and (the Powers that then were, ha­ving so appointed) he had an Approbation thereof from the Commissioners for Approbation of publick Preachers.

Some little opposition was made to his Settlement at Worthenbury by Mr. Fogg then Rector of Bangor, because he conceiv'd it an Intrenchment upon his Right to Worthenbury. and thought it might prejudice his Recovering of it by Course of Law. I only men­tion this for the sake of the Note he hath upon it in his Diary, which is this, I do earnestly desire that the Iudge may give Mr. Fogg all reasonable Satisfaction, that there may be no appearance of wrong to him, or any other in this thing. And when Mr. Fog insisted upon it, that he would have Mr. Henry give it under his [Page 35] Hand, that he desired the Consent of the said Mr. Fogg to be Minister of Worthenbury; he yielded to do it for peace-sake, and from thence forward there was an in­timate intire Friendship between Mr. Fogg and him.

Being thus settled at Worthenbury his next Care was touching Ordination to the Work of the Ministry, to which he would-see his Call very clear, before he So­lemnly Devoted himself to it. And though afterwards in the Reflection (especially when he was Silenced) it was some trouble to him that he had so long deferred to be Ordain'd (and he would often, from the Consi­deration of that press those who intended the Ministry, not to put it off) yet as the times then were, there was something of a reason for it.

The nearest acting Class of Presbyters, was in the Hundred of Bradford. North in Shropshire, wherein Mr. Porter of Whitchurch was the leading Man, of whom Mr. Baxter gives so high a Character in his Life, Part 3. Pag. 94, and who was one of those whom he recommended to the Lord Chancellor, as fit to be made a Bishop Part 2. p. 283. This Class was Constituted by Ordinance of Parliament, in April 1647. the Members of it then, were the aforesaid Mr. Porter, Mr. Boughy of Hodnet, Mr. Hougton of Prees, Mr. Parsons of Wem, and Mr. Iohn Ruby by, and afterwards Mr. Malden of Newport, Mr. Binney of Ightfield, and Mr. Steel of Hanmer, (though in Flint­shire) were taken in to them, and acted with them. This Class in Twelve Years time publickly Ordained Sixty three Ministers. Mr. Henry was very desirous to have been Ordained at Worthenbury, plebe praesence, which he thought most agreeable to the Intention, but the Ministers were not willing to set such a Prece­dent: However that was one thing which o [...]asio­ned [Page 36] the Delay, so that he was not Ordained till Sept. 16. 1657.

The way and manner of his Ordination was accor­ding to the known Directory of the Assembly of Di­vines, and the common usage of the Presbyterians; and yet he having left among his Papers a particular Account of that Solemnity, and some of the Work­ings of his Soul towards God in i [...]; I hope it may be of some use both for Instruction and Quickning to Mi­nisters and for the information of such as are perhaps wholly strangers to such a thing, to give some account of te whole Transaction.

He made Addresses to the Presbytery, in order to his Ordination Iul. 6. at Prees, when he submitted to Trial, and Enquiry was made in the first place, con­cerning his Experience of the Work of Grace in his Heart; in Answer to which he gave a reason of the Hope that was in him, with Meekness and Fear; that the Spirit of Grace had been dealing with him when he was young, and he hoped had Discovered to him his need of Christ, and had bow'd his Will in some Measure to close with him upon his own Terms, &c. His Skill in the Original Languages of the Scripture was then tried; and he read and construed two Ver­ses in the Hebrew Bible, and two in the Greek Testa­ment: He was then Examined in Logick and natural Philosophy, next in Divinity, what Authors he had read, and what Knowledge he had touching the Me­diation of Christ, &c. and his Skill in the Scripture was tried, by propounding to him a Difficult Text to give his Sense of; a Case of Conscience was also put to him to be resolv [...]d, and Enquiry made into his Ac­quaintance with Church History. Lastly, a Question was given him to provide a Thesis upon against next Meeting, which was this, An Providentia Divina ex­tendat [Page 37] se ad omnia [...] Aff. On this Question he exhi­bited his Thesis, Aug. 3. and defended it. Several of the Ministers oppos'd, and Mr. Porter moderated. He then produced two Certificates, which he left with the Register of the Class, one from Oxford Subscri­bed by Dr. Wilkinson, Dr. Langley, &c. the other from the Neighbour Ministers, Mr. Steel, Mr. Fogg, &c. both testifying of his Conversation, &c. ‘The Lord forgive me (saith he in his Diary upon this) that it hath not been more Exemplary as it ought for Piety and Industry.’ Amen, Lord, in Christ. The Day for Ordination was appointed to be Sept. 16. at Prees, of which Notice was given at Worthenbury by a Paper, read in the Church, and afterwards affixed to the Church-door the Lord's Day before, signifying also, ‘That if any one could produce any just Exceptions against the Doctrine or Life of the said Mr. Henry, or any sufficient Reason why he might not be Ordain­ed, they should certifie the same to the Classis, or the Scribe, and it should be heard and conside­red.’

On the Day of Ordination there was a very great Assembly gathered together; Mr. Porter began the Publick work of the Day with Prayer, then Mr. Par­sons Preached on 1 Tim. 1. 12. I thank Christ Iesus who hath enabled me, for that he counted me Faithful, putting me into the Ministry. Putting Men into the Ministry is the Work of Jesus Christ. After Sermon Mr. Parsons, according to the usual Method, requir'd of him a Confession of his Faith, which he made as follows.

The Ground and Rule of my Faith to­wards God, is the Scripture of the Old and New Testament; I believe they were writ­ten 2 Pet. 1. 21. by Holy Men, immediately inspir'd by [Page 38] the Holy Ghost; having found the efficacy of them in some measure upon my own Heart; I believe they are further able to make me wise to Salvation. 2 Tim. 3. 15.

Concerning God, I believe that he is, and that he is the Rewarder of those that dili­gently Heb. 11. 6. seek him.

The Trinity of Persons in the Unity of the Godhead, I receive and own as a Truth, 1. Ioh. 5. 7. I admire and adore as a Mystery; though no Man hath seen God at any time, yet the only. Begotten Son, which is in the Bosom Ioh. 1. 18. of the Father, he hath declared him, and what he hath declared concerning him that I believe. I believe that God is a Spirit, for the Son hath said, God is a Spi­rit. Ioh. 4. 24. I believe that he hath Life in himself, and that he hath given to the Son to have Ioh. 5. 26. Life in himself. I believe all things were made by him, and without him was not a­ny thing made that was made. I believe by his Providence he preserves, guides, and governs all the Creatures, according to the purpose of his own, Will to his own Glory; for the Father worketh hitherto, and the Son Ioh. 5. 17. also worketh.

I believe he made Man upright after his Eccl. 7. 29. Gen. 1. 26. Col. 3. 10. Eph. 4. 24. own Image and Likeness, which Image consisted in Knowledge, Righteousness, and true Holiness, but Man by Sin lost it.

I believe we were all in the Loins of our first Parents, and that they stood, and fell as publick Persons, and upon that Account justly, without any colour of wrong, we bear our share, both in the Guilt of their Ps. 51. 5. [Page 39] Disobedience, and also the Corruption of Nature following thereupon; so that we Eph. 2. 3. Zech. 11. 8. come into the World Children of Wrath, and Heirs of the Curse, one as well as ano­ther; Enemies to God, hating him, and Rom. 7. 18. hated of him: Averse to what is good, and prone to all manner of Evil. Though all are born in, this Condition, yet there are Gen. 6. 5. some that do not dye in it.

I believe, there is a Mediator, and 1 Tim. 25. there is but one Mediator between God and Men, the Man Christ Iesus. Those whom the Father hath from Everlasting pitched his Eph. 1. 4, 5. Love upon, and given to Christ, not because of Works or Faith foreseen, but meerly of Rom. 5. 11. his Free Grace; for those, I believe Christ was sent forth into the World made of a Woman, made under the Law; for their Gal. 4. 4. Ioh. 17. 19. sakes he sanctified himself, and became obe­dient to Death, even the Death of the Phil. 2. 8, 9. Cross; wherefore God also highly exalted him; and having raised him from the Dead Eph. 1. 20. 21. on the third Day, se [...] him at his own Right Hand, where he ever lives, to make Inter­cession Heb. 7. 25. Ioh. 17. 9. for those for whom he shed his Blood. All these Elect redeemed ones I believe are in due time, sooner or later, in their Lives effectually called, washed, sanctified, justi­fied Rom. 8. 30. in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by 1 Cor. 6. 11. the Spirit of our God.

I believe the Righteousness of Christ a­lone, Ro. 5. 1. apprehended by Faith, is the matter of our Justification before God; and that Ps. 143. 2. no Flesh can stand in his Sight upon any o­ther terms, for he is the Lord our Righteous­ness, Ier. 23. 6. [Page 40] and in him only the Father is well Mat. 3. 17. pleas'd.

I believe the Work of Sanctification, ma­naged by the Spirit, who dwelleth in us, Rom. 15. 16. though in respect of Parts it be compleat, for the whole Man is renewed; yet in re­spect Col. 3. 11. of Degrees it is not fully perfected till we come to Glory; and I believe all that 1 Cor. 13. 9, 10. are Justified shall be Glorifi'd, for we are kept by the Fower of God, through Faith unto Salvation. 1 Pet. 1. 5.

I believe the gathering in and Building up of Saints, is the special end why Pastors and Eph. 4. 11. Teachers are appointed in the Church; and that Jesus Christ, according to his Promise, will be with them, in that Work to the end Matt. 28. 20. of the World.

The Two Sacraments of the New Te­stament, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, I receive and own as Signs and Seals of the Rom. 4. 11. Covenant of Grace; the former Instituted by our Lord Jesus, as a Sign and Seal of Matt. 28. 1 [...] Rom. 6. 7. our engrassing into him, due of right to all the Infants of Believing Parents, and but Acts 2. 39. Matt. 26. 26. once to be Administred; the other instituted by our Lord Jesus in the Night wherein he was Betrayed, to shew forth his Death, and to 1 Cor. 11. 26. Seal the Benefits purchased thereby to his Church and People, and to be often re­peated.

When the Body returns to the Dust, I be­lieve the Soul returns to God that gave it; Eccl. 12. 7. and that immediately it receives from him the Sentence, according to what hath been Matt. 25. 34, 41. done in the Flesh, either Come inherit the [Page 41] Kingdom, o [...] Depart accursed into everlasting Fire.

I believe besides this, a Day of general Judgment in the end of the World, where­in Acts 17. 31. we must all appear before the Tribunal of Jesus Christ; and that our Bodies being 2 Cor. 5. 10. raised by an Almighty-Power from the Dust, shall be United to the same Souls again, and shall partake with them in the same Condi­tion, 1 Cor. 15. 42. either of Happiness or Misery; to all Eternity. Those that have done good shall come forth unto the Resurrection of Life, and those that have done evil to Ioh. 5. 29. the Resurrection of Damnation:

This is the Sum and Substance of my Faith, into which I was Baptized, and in which, by the Grace of God I will live and Dye.

Mr. Parsons then propos'd certain Questions to him, according to the Instructions in the Directory, to which he return'd Answer as followeth:

Question 1. What are your Ends in undertaking the Work and Calling of a Minister?

Answer. As far as upon search and Enquiry I can hitherto find, though there be that within me that would seek great things for my self (if indeed they were to be found in this Calling) yet with my Mind I seek them not. But the Improvement of the Talent which I have Received in the Service of the Gospel, for the Glory of God and the Salvation of Souls, I hope is in my Eye; if there be any thing else I own it not, I allow it not; while so many seek their own, it is my desire, and shall be my endeavour, to seek the things of Jesus Christ.

[Page 42] Qu. 2. What are your purposes, as to Diligence and Industry in this Calling?

Answ. I do purpose and resolve, by the help of God, to give my self wholly to these things; to Pray­er, Reading, Meditation, instant Preaching in Sea­son and out of Season, wherein I shall very gladly spend and be spent, if by any means I may both save my self and them that hear me. And when at any time I fail herein, I desire God by his Spirit, and my Christian Friends, Neighbours and Brethren, by sea­sonable Reproof and Admonition, to put me in mind of this Engagement now made, in the presence of this great Congregation.

Qu. 3. Do you mean to be Zealous and Faithful in the Defence of Truth and Unity, against Error and Schism?

Answ. I believe what the Spirit hath foretold, that in the last days, perilous times shall come, wherein Men will not endure sound Doctrin, but after their own lusts shall heap unto themselves Teachers. 'Tis my resolution by the Grace of Christ to watch in all things; to contend earnestly for the Faith, to hold fast the Form of sound and wholsom Words, even the Words of our Lord Jesus, and the Doctrine which is according to Godliness, in Meekness as I am able; in­structing those that oppose themselves: And for Peace and Unity if my heart deceive me not, I shall rather chuse to hazzard the loss of any thing that is most dear to me, than be any way knowingly accessary to the di­sturbance of these in the Churches of Christ.

Qu. 4. What is your Perswasion of the Truth of the Reformed Religion?

Answ. My perswasion is, that the Bishop of Rome is that Man of Sin and Son of Perdition, whom the Lord Je­sus will consume with the Spirit of his Mouth, and whom [Page 43] he will destroy by the Brightness of his coming. And the Separation which our first Reformers made I do heartily rejoyce in, and bless God for, for had we still continued to partake with him in his Sins, we should in the end have partaked with him also in his Plagues.

Qu. 5. What do you intend to do when the Lord shall al­ter your condition, and bring a Family under your charge?

Answ. When the Lord shall please in his Providence to bring me into new Relations, I hope he will give me Grace to fill them up with Duty, it is my purpose to wait upon him and to keep his way, to endeavour in the use of means, that all that are mine may be the Lords.

Qu. 6. Will you in Humility and Meekness submit to Admonition and Discipline?

Answ. I believe it to be a Duty incumbent upon all that profess the Name of Christ to watch over one an­other, and that when any is overtaken in a fault, those that are Spiritual are to set him in joynt again with the Spirit of Meekness. It shall be my endeavour in the strength of Jesus Christ to walk without rebuke, and when at any time I step aside (for who is there that lives and sins not) I shall account the smitings of my Brethren kindness, and their wounds Faithful.

Qu. 7. What if Troubles, Persecutions, and Discourage­ments arise, will you hold out to the end notwithstand­ing?

Answ. Concerning this I am very jealous over my own heart, and there is cause, I find a great want of that Zeal and courage for God, which I know is re­quir'd in a Minister of the Gospel, nevertheless I per­swade my self that no Temptation shall befall me but such as is common to Man, and that God who is faith­ful will not suffer me to be tempted above that which [Page 44] I am able, but that with the Temptation he will also make a way to escape, that I may be able to bear it. I promise faithfulness to the Death, but I rest not at all in my promise to God: But in his to me, when thou goest through the Fire, and through the Water, I will be with thee.

When this was done, Mr. Parsons Pray'd; and in Prayer he and the rest of the Presbyters (Mr. Porter, Mr. Houghton, Mr. Malden and Mr. Steel) laid their hands upon him with words to this purpose, Whom we do thus in thy Name set apart to the Work and Office of the Mi­nistry. After him there were five more after the like previous Examinations and Trials, Professions and Pro­mises at the same time in like manner set apart to the Ministry.

Then Mr. Malden of Newport clos'd with an Exhor­tation, directed to the newly Ordained Ministers, in which (saith Mr. Henry in his Dairy) this word went near my heart. As the Nurse puts the Meat first into her own mouth, and chews it, and then feeds the Child with it, so should Ministers do by the Word, Preach it o­ver before-hand to their own hearts, it loses none of the vertue hereby, but rather probably gains. As that Milk nourisheth most which comes warm, from the warm Brest, so that Sermon which comes warm from a warm heart. Lord quicken me to do thy will in this thing.

The Classes gave him, and the rest, Instruments in Parchment certifying this, which it may satisfy the curiosity of some to read the Form of.

Whereas, Mr. Philip Henry of Worthenbury, in the County of Flint Master of Arts, hath addressed himself unto us, Authorised by an Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament, of the 29th of August 1648, for the Ordi­nation of Ministers, desiring to be Ordain'd a Presbyter, for that he is chosen and appointed for the Work of the [Page 45] Ministry at Worthenbury in the County of Flint, as by a Certificate now remaining with us, touching that his E­lection and Appointment appeareth, And he having like­wise exhibited a sufficient Testimonial of his deligence and proficiency in his Studies, and unblameableness of his Life and Conversation, he hath been examin'd according to the Rules for Examination in the said Ordinance ex­pressed; and thereupon approved, there being no just ex­ception made, nor put in against his Ordination and Ad­mission. These may therefore testifie to all whom it may concern, that upon the Sixteenth day of September 1657. We have proceeded solemnly to set him apart for the Office of a Presbyter, and work of the Ministry of the Gospel, by laying on of our hands with Fasting and Prayer, By virtue whereof we do declare him to be a lawful and sufficiently authoriz'd Minister of Iesus Christ: And having good Evidence of his lawful and fair Calling, not only to the Work of the Ministry, but to the Exercise thereof at the Chappel of Worthenbury in the County of Flint: We do hereby send him thither, and actually admit him to t [...]e said Charge, to perform all the Offices and Duties of a faithful Pastor there, exhorting the People in the Name of Iesus Christ, willingly to receive and acknowledge him as the Minister of Christ, and to maintain and encourage him in the Execution of his Office, that he may be able to give up such an account to Christ of their Obedience to his Ministry, as may be to his joy, and their everlasting comfort. In Witness whereof we the Presbyters of the Fourth Class, in the County of Salop, commonly called Bradford-North Class, have hereunto set our Hands, this 16th day of September, in the Year of our Lord God, 1657.

  • Tho. Porter, Moderator for the time.
  • Andrew Parsons, Minister of Wem.
  • Aylmar Haughton, Minister of Prees.
  • [Page 46] John Malden. Minister of Newport.
  • Richard Steel, Minister of Hanmer.

I have heard it said by those who were present at this solemnity, that Mr. Henry did in his Countenance, Carriage and Expression, discover such an extraordina­ry Seriousness and Gravity, and such deep Impressions made upon his Spirit, as greatly affected the Auditory, and even struck an Aw upon them.

Read his Reflection upon it in his Diary. Methoughts I saw much of God in the carrying on of the work of this day [...], O how good is the Lord, he is good and doth good; the Remembrance of it I shall never loose, to him be Glo­ry. I made many promises of Diligence, Faithfulness, &c. but I lay no stress at all on them, but on God's Promise to me, that he will be with his Ministers always to the end of the World. Amen, Lord, so be it. Make good thy Word unto thy Servant, wherein thou hast caused me to put my Trust. And in another place, I did this day re­ceive, as, much Honour and Work, as ever I shall be able to know what to do with; Lord Iesus proportion supplies accordingly, Two Scriptures he desir'd might be writ­ten in his Heart, 2 Cor. 6. 4, 5, &c. and 2 Chron. 29. 11.

Two Years after, upon occasion of his being present at an Ordination at Whitchurch, he thus writes; ‘This Day my Ordination Covenants were in a special manner renew'd, as to diligence in Reading, Prayer, Meditation, Faithfulness in Preaching, Admonition, Catechizing, Sacraments, Zeal against Error and Pro­faneness, Care to preserve and promote the Unity and Purity of the Church, notwithstanding Opposi­tion and Persecution, tho' to Death. Lord thou hast filled my Hands with Work, fill my Heart with Wis­dom and Grace, that I may discharge my Duty to [Page 47] thy Glory, and my own Salvation, and the Salvation of those that hear me. Amen.

Let us now see how he applied himself to his Work at Worthenbury. The Sphere was narrow, too narrow for such a burning and shining Light: There were but Forty one Communicants in that Parish, when he first set up the Ordinance of the Lord's Suppe; and they were never doubled: Yet he had such low Thoughts of himself, that he not only never sought for a larger Sphere, but would never hearken to any Overtures of that kind made to him: And withal, he had such high thoughts of his work, and of the worth of Souls, that he laid out himself with as much diligence and vigor here, as if he had had the over-fight of the greatest and most considerable Parish in the Coun­try.

The greatest part of the Parish were poor Tenants, and labouring Husbandmen; but the Souls of su [...] (he us'd to say) are as precious as the Souls of the Rich, and to be look'd after accordingly. His Prayer for them was, Lord, despise not the day of small things in this place where there is some willingness, but much weak­ness. And thus he writes upon the Judges settling a handsome Maintenance upon him: Lord, thou know­est, I seek not theirs but them: Give me [...]he Souls.—

He was in Labours more abundant to win Souls; besides Preaching, he Expounded the Sciptures in or­der, Catechized and Explain'd the Catechism At first he took into the Number of his Catechumens some that were adult, who (he found) wanted Instruction; and when he had taken what pains he thought needful with them, he dismiss'd them from further attendance, with Commendation of their Proficiency, and Coun­sel to hold fast the form of found Words; to be watch­ful [Page 48] against the Sins of their Age, and to apply themselves to the Ordinance of the Lord's Supper, and make rea­dy for it; afterwards he Catechized none above Seven­teen or Eighteen Years of Age.

He set up a Monthly Lecture there of Two Ser­mons, one he himself Preached, and the other his Friend Mr. Ambrose Lewis of Wrexham, for some Years. He also kept up a Monthly Conference in private from House to House, in which he met with the more knowing and judicious of the Parish; and they discoursed Familiarly together of the things of God, to their mu­tual Edification, according to the Example of the Apostles; who tho' they had the liberty of publick Places, yet taught also from House to House, Acts 5. 42. 20. 20. That which induced him to set and keep up this Exercise as long as he durst (which was till August, 1660.) was, that by this means he came better to understand the state of his Flock, and so knew the better how to Preach to them, and pray for them, and they to pray one for another. If they were in doubt about any thing relating to their Souls, that was an opportunity of getting Satisfaction. It was likewise a means of encreasing Knowledge and Love and other Graces; and thus it abounded to a good Ac­count.

He was very industrious in visiting the Sick, instru­cting them, and preying with them; and in this he would say, he aimed at the good, not only of those that were Sick, but also of their Friends and Relati­ons that were about them.

He Preach'd Funeral Sermons for all that were Bury­ed there, rich or poor, old or young, or little Chil­dren; for he looked upon it as an opportunity of do­ing good: He called it, setting in the Plow of the Word when the Providence had softned and prepared the Ground [Page 49] He never took any Money for that or any o [...]er mini­sterial Performance, besides his stated Salary, for, which he thought himself obliged to do his whole Duty to them as a Minister.

When he first set up the Ordinance of the Lord's Supper there, he did it with very great solemnity. Af­ter he had endeavoured to instruct them in his publick Preaching, touching the Nature of that Ordinance, he discoursed personally with all that gave up their Names to the Lord in i [...] touching their Knowledge, Experi­ence, and Conversation, obliged them to observe the Law of Christ, touching brotherly Admonition in case of Scandal; and gave [...]otlce to the Co [...]gre ga [...]on who they were that were [...]mitted; adding th [...] [...] ‘Con­cerning these, and my self, I have two things to say, 1. As to what is past we have sinned, if [...]e should say we have n [...]; we should deceive our selves and the Truth were not in us; and yet this withal we can say, and have said it some of us with Tears, We are grieved that we have sinned. [...] For time to come we are resol [...]ed by God's G [...]ce to walk in new Obe­dience; and yet le [...]g. we are not Angels, but Men and Women, compassed about with Infirmities and Temptations, it is possible we may fall, but if we do, it is our declared Resolution to submit to Admonition, and censure according to the Rule of the Gospel.’ And all along he took care so to manage his Admissions to that Ordinance, as that the weak might not be dis­couraged, and yet the Ordinance might not be profa­ned. He would tell those whom he was necessitated to debar from the Ordinance for Ignorance, that he would undertake, if they were but truly willing, they might in a Weeks time by the Blessing of God upon their di­ligent use of Means, Reading, Prayer, and Conference, get such a competent Measure of Knowledge, as to be [Page 50] able to [...]scern the Lord's Body. And those that had been scandalous, if they would but come in and declare their Repentance and Resolutions of new Obedience, they should no longer be excluded.

To give a Specimen of his lively Administrations of that Ordinance, let me transcribe the Notes of his Ex­hortationat the first Sacrament that ever he administred, Nov. 27. 1659. I suppose they are but the Hints of what he enlarged more upon, for he had always a great fluency upon such occasions.

Dearly. beloved in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, We are met together this day about the most solemn weighty Service under Heaven; we are come to a Feast, where the Feast-maker is God the Father, the Provision God the Son, whose Flesh is Meat in­deed, and whose Blood is Drink indeed; the Guests a company of poor Sinners, unworthy such an Ho­nour; the Crumbs under the Table were too good for us, and yet we are admitted to tast of the Provision upon the Table; and that which makes the Feast is hearty welcome: God the Father bids you welcome; and ten Thousand Welcomes this day, to the Flesh and Blood of his Son; think you hear him saying it to you, ô believing Souls, Cant. 5. 1. Eat, O Friends, drink, yea, drinkabundantly, O Beloved. The end of this Feast is to keep in remembrance the Death of Christ, and our Deliverance by it, and thereby to convey spiritual Nourishment and Refreshment to our Souls. But withal, give me leave to ask you one Question, What Appetite have you to this Feast? Are you come hungring and thirsting? such have the Promise, they shall be filled. He filleth the Hungry with good things, but the Rich are sent empty away; a Honey-Comb to a full Soul is no Honey-Comb—Canst thou say as Christ said? With desire I have de­sired [Page 51] to eat this. In this Ordinance here's Christ and all his Benefits exhibited to thee. Art thou weak? here's Bread to strengthen thee; Art thou sad? here's Wine to comfort thee: What is it thou standest in need of, a Pardon? here it is seal'd in Blood, take it by Faith, as I offer it to you in the Name of the Lord Jesus, though thy Sins have been as Scarlet, they shall be as Wool, if thou be willing and obedient. It may be, here are some that have been Drunkards, Swearers, Scoffers at Godliness, Sabbath-breakers, and what not? And God hath put it into your Hearts to humble your selves, to mourn for, and turn from all your Abominations; O come hither, here's forgive­ness for thee. What else is it thou wantest? O (saith the poor Soul) I would have more of the Spirit of Grace, more Power against Sin, especially my own Iniquity; why, here it is for thee, from the fulness, that is in Jesus Christ we receive, and Grace for Grace, Joh. 1. 16. We may say as David did, Psal. 108. 7, 8. God hath spoken in his Holiness, and then Gilead is mine, and Manasseh mine. So God hath spoken in his Word sealed in his Sacrament, and then Christ is mine, Par­don is mine, Grace is mine, Comfort mine, Glory mine; here I have his Bond to shew for it. This is to those among you, that have engaged their Hearts to approach unto God this Day.

But if there he any come hither with a false, unbe­lieving, filthy, hard Heart, I do warn you seriously, and with Authority, in the Name of Jesus Christ, presume not to come any nearer to this sacred Ordi­nance, you that live in the practice of any Sin, or the omission of any Duty against your Knowledge and Conscience; you that have any Malice or Grudge to any of your Neighbours, leave your Gift and go your ways; be reconcil'd to God, be reconciled to your [Page 52] Brother, and then come—! Better shame thy self for coming so near, than damn thy self by com­ing nearer: I testifie to those, who say they shall have Peace, though they go on still in their Trespas­ses, that there's Poyson in the Bread; take it and eat it at your own Peril; there's Poyson in the Cup too, you drink your own Damnation: I wash my Hands from the guilt of your Blood, look you to it. On the other hand, you poor penitent Souls that are lost in your selves, here's a Christ to save you, Come, O come ye that are weary and heavy laden, &c.

It may not be amiss to transcribe also some Hints of preparation for the administring of the Ordinance of Baptism, which I find under his Hand at his first setting out in the Ministry, as follows.

It is a real Manifestation of the Goodness and Love of God to Believers, that he hath not only taken them into Covenant with himself, but their Seed also; say­ing, I will be thy God, and the God of thy Seed. Tho' to be born of such, doth not necessarily intitle Infants to the spiritual Mercies of the Covenant, for Grace doth not run in a Blood; we see the contrary many times, even godly Parents have wicked Children; Abraham had his Ishmael, and Isaac his Esau, yet questionless it doth entitle them to the external Privi­ledges of the Covenant. The like Figure unto Noah's Ark, even Baptism doth also now save us: Noah, and all that were his, entred into the Ark, though we have cause to doubt whether they all entred into Heaven. While our Lord Jesus was here upon the Earth, they brought little Children to him, and he laid his Hands on them, and blessed them; and said moreover, Suffer little Children to come unto me, and forbid, them not, (there are many at this day that forbid little Children to come to Christ); he adds the reason, for of such [Page 53] is the Kingdom of Heaven. Whether it be meant of the visible Church, often so called in the Gospel, or of the state of Glory in another World; either way it affords an Argument for Proof of Infant Baptism. When either Parent is in Covenant with God, their Children also are in Covenant with him; and being in Covenant, they have an undoubted Right and Title to this Ordinance of Baptism, which is the Seal of the Covenant. So that in the Administration of this Ordinance this Day, according to the Institution of Jesus Christ, we look upon you who are the Father of this Child, as a Person in Covenant with God: How far you have dealt unfaithfully in the Covenant, is known to God and your own Conscience; but this we know, the Vows of God are upon you; and let every one that nameth the Name of Christ depart from Iniquity. But before we Baptise your Child, I am to acquaint you in a few words what we expect from you.

Q. (1.) Do you avouch God [...]n Jesus Christ this Day to be your God?—See to it that this be done in Truth and with a perfect Heart: you may tell us you do so, and you may deceive us, but God is not mocked. Q (2.) And is, it your desire, that your Children also may be received into Covenant with the Lord, and that the Lord's Broad-seal of Baptism may be set to it? Q. (3.) And do you promise in the presence of God and of this Congregation, that you will do your en­deavour towards the training of it u [...] in the way of Godliness, that as it is by you through Mercy that it lives the Life of Nature, so it may by you also, through the same Mercy, live the Life of Grace; else I must tell you, if you be wanting herein, there will be a sad Appearance one Day, when you shall meet together before the Judgment-seat of Christ, and this [Page 54] solemn Engagement of yours will be brought in to witness against you.

These were but the first Instances of his Skilfulness, in dispensing the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God. He declin'd the private Administration of the Lord's Supper to sick Persons, as judging it not consonant to the Rule and Intention of the Ordinance. He very rarely, if ever, Baptised in private; but would have Children brought to the solemn Assembly upon the Lord's Day, that the Parents Engagement might have the more Wit­nesse [...] to it, and the Child the more Prayers put up for it, and that the Congregation might be edified. And yet he would say there was some inconvenience in it too, unless People would agree to put off the Feasting part of the Solemnity to some other time, which he very much perswaded his Friends to; and observed, that Abraham made a great Feast the same Day that Isaac it is weaned, (Gen. 21. 8.) not the same Day that he was circumcised.

His Carriage towards the People of his Parish was very exemplary, condescending to the meanest, and conversing familiarly with them; bearing with the In­firmites of the weak, and becoming all things to all Men. He was exceeding tender of giving Offence, or occasion of Grief to any body, minding himself in his Diary upon such occasions, that the Wisdom that is from above, is pure, and peaceable, and gentle, &c. Yet he plainly and faithfully reproved what he saw a­miss in any, and would not suffer Sin upon them; mourning also for that which he could not mend. There were some untractable People in the Parish, who some­times caused Grief to him, and exercised his Boldness and Zeal in reproving. Once hearing of a merry Meeting at an Ale-house on a Saturday Night, he went himself and broke it up, and scattered them. At another time, [Page 55] he publickly witnessed againt [...] [...]rolick of some vain People, that on a Saturday Night came to the Church with a Fidler before them, and dress'd it up with Flow­ers and Garlands, making it (as he told them) more like a Play-house; And, was this their preparation for the Lord's Day, and the Duties of it? &c. He mind­ed them of Eccl. 11. 9. Rejoyce, O young Man in thy Youth, but know thou—

Many out of the neighbouring Parishes attended up­on his Ministry, and some came from far, though some­times he signifi'd his dislike of their so doing, so far was he from glorying in it. But they who had spiritual Senses exercised to discern things that differ, would at­tend upon that Ministry which they found to be most edifying.

He was about Eight Years from first to last, labou­ring in the Word and Doctrine at Worthenbury, and his Labour was not altogether in vain: He saw in many of the travel of his Soul to the rejoycing of his Heart, but with this particular Dispensation (which I have heard him sometimes speak of) that most or all of those in that Parish whom he was (through Grace) instrumental of Good too, died before he left the Parish, or quick­ly after; so that within a few Years after his removal thence, there were very few of the visible Fruits of his Ministry there; and a new Generation sprung up there who knew not Ioseph. Yet the opportunity he found there was there of doing the more good, by ha­ving those that were his Charge near about him, made him all his days bear his Testimony to Parish Or­der, where it may he had upon good Terms, as much more elegible, and more likely to answer the end, than the Congregational way of gathering Churches from places far distant; which could not ordinarily meet to worship God together. From his Experience here [Page 56] (though he would say, we must do what we can, when we cannot do what we would) he often wished and prayed for the opening of a Door, by which to return to that Order again.

He had not been long at Worthenbury, but he began to be taken notice of by the neighbouring Ministers, as likely to be a considerable Man. Though his extra­ordinary Modesty and Humility (which even in his Youth he was remarkable for) made him to sit down with silence in the lowest Room, and to say as Elihu, Days shall speak; yet his eminent Gifts and Graces could not long be hid, the Ointment of the Right­hand will betray it self; and a Person of his Merits could not but meet with those quickly, who said, Friend, go up higher; and so that Scripture was fulfilled, Luke 14. 10. He was often called upon to preach the Week-day. Lectures, which were set up plentifully, and dili­gently attended upon in those parts, and his Labours were generally very acceptable and successful. The Vox Populi fasten'd upon him the Epithet of Heavenly Henry, by which Title he was commonly known all the Country over, and his Advice was sought for by many neighbouring Ministers and Christians, for he was one of those that found Favour and good Understanding in the sight of God and Man. He was noted at his first setting out (as I have been told by one who was then intimately acquainted with him, and with his Chara­cter and Conversation) for three things, 1. Great Pi­ety and Devotion, and a mighty savor of Godliness in all his Converse. 2. Great Industry in the pursuit of useful Knowledge; he was particularly observed to be very inquisi [...]ive when he was among the Aged and Intelligent, hearing them, and asking them Questions; a good Example to young Men, especially young Ministers. 3. Great Self-denial, Self-diffidence, and [Page 57] Self-abasement; this eminent Humility put a Lustre upon all his other Graces. This Character of him, minds me of a Passage I have sometimes heard him tell us, a check to the forwardness▪ and conference of young Men, That once at a Meeting of Ministers, a Question of Moment was started, to be debated among them; upon the first proposal of it, a confident young Man shoots his Bolt presently, Truly (saith he) I hold it so; You hold Sir, (saith a grave Minister) it becomes you to hold your Peace.

Besides his frequent preaching of the Lectures a­bout him, he was a constant and diligent Atten­dant upon those within his reach, as a Hearer; and not only wrote the Sermons he heard, but af­terwards recorded in his Diary what in each Ser­mon reach'd his Heart, affected him, and did him good; adding some proper pious Ejaculations, which were the Breathings of his Heart, when he medita­ted upon and prayed over the Sermon.

What a wonderful degree of Piety and Humility doth it evidence, for one of so great acquaintance with the things of God, to write, This I learnt out of such a Sermon; and this was the Truth I made up to my self out of such a Sermon; and indeed something out of every Sermon. His diligent improvement of the Wo [...]d preach'd, contributed (more than any one thing, as a means) to his great Attainments of Knowledge and Grace. He would say sometimes, that one great use of Week-day Lectures, was, that it gave Mi­nisters an opportunity of hearing one another preach, by whi [...]h they are likely to profit, when they hear not as Masters, but as Scholars, not as Censors, but as Learners.

[Page 58] His great Friend and Companion, and Fellow La­bourer in the Work of the Lord, was the worthy Mr. Richard Steel (Minister of Hanmer, one of the next Parishes to Worthenbury) whose praise is in the Churches of Christ, for his Excellent and Useful Trea­tises, The Husbandman's Calling; An Antidote against Distractions, and several others. He was Mr. Henry's alter idem, the Man of his Counsel; with him he join­ed frequently at Hanmer and else-where, in Christian Conference, and in Days of Humiliation and Prayer: Besides, their Meetings with other Ministers at Publick Lectures; after which it was usual for them to spend some time among themselves in set Disputations in La­tin. This was the Work that in those Days was car­ried on among Ministers, who made it their Business, as Iron sharpens Iron, to provoke one another to Love and to good Works. What was done of this kind in Worcestershire, Mr. Baxter tells us in his Life.

In the beginning of his Days he often laboured un­der Bodily Distempers; it was fear'd that he was in a Consumption; and some blamed him for taking so much pains in his Ministerial Work, suggesting to him Master spare thy self: One of his Friends told him, he lighted up all his Pound of Candles together; and that he could not hold out long at that rate; and wished him to be a better Husband of his Strength: But he often reflected upon it with comfort afterwards, that he was not influenced by such Suggestions: The more we do, the more we may do (so he would sometimes say) in the Service of God. When his Work was some­times more than ordinary, and bore hard upon him, he thus appealed to God; Thou knowest, Lord, how well contented I am to spend and to be spent in thy Ser­vice; and if the outward Man decay, O, let the inward Man be renewed. Upon the returns of his Indisposi­tion [Page 59] he expresseth a g [...]eat Concern, how to get Spiritual good by it; to come out of the [...]urnace, and leave some Dross behind; for it is a great Loss to loose an Af­fliction. He mentions it as tha [...] which he hoped did him good, that he was ready to look upon every re­turn of Distemper, as a Summons to the Grave; thus he learn'd to dye daily. I find (saith he) my earthly. Tabernacle t [...]tering, and when it is taken down, I shall have a Building in Heaven, that shall never fail. Blessed be God the Father and my Lord Iesus Christ, and the good Spirit of Grace, Even so, Amen. This was both his Strength and his Song, under his Bodily In­firmities.

While he was at Worthenbury he constantly laid by the Tenth of his Income for the Poor, which he care­fully and faithfully dispos'd of, in the liberal things which he devis'd, especially the teaching of poor Chil­dren: And he would recommend it as a good Rule to lay by for Charity (in some proportion, according as the Circumstances are) and then it will be the easier to lay out in Charity; we shall be the more apt to seek for opportunities of doing good when we have Money lying by us, of which we have said, This is not our own but the Poors. To encourage himself and others to Works of Charity, he would say, He is no Fool who parts with that which he cannot keep, when he is sure to be Recompensed with that which he cannot loose. And yet to prove Alms to be Righteous­ness, and to exclude all Boasting of them, he often express'd himself in these words of David, Of thine own, Lord have we given thee.

In the Year 1658. the Ministers of that Neigh­bourhood, began to enlarge their Correspondence with the Ministers of North-Wales; and several Meet­ings they had at Ruthin and other places that Year, [Page 60] for the settling of a Correspondence, and the promo­ting of Unity and Love, and good Understanding a­mong themselves, by entring into an Association, like those some years before of Worcestershire and Cumber­land, to which, as their pattern (those two having been Published) they did refer themselves. They ap­pointed particular Associations; and (notwithstand­ing the differences of Apprehension, that were among them; some being in their Judgments Episcopal, o­thers Congregational, and others Classical) they agreed to lay aside the thoughts of Matters in Variance, and to give to each other the Right Hand of Fellowship; that with one Shoulder and with one Consent, they might Study each in their places to promote the Com­mon Interest of Christ's Kingdom, and the Common Salvation of precious Souls. He observ'd that this Year, after the Death of Oliver Cromwell, there was generally throughout the Nation, a great Change in the Temper of God's People, and a mighty tendency towards Peace and Unity, as if they were by Consent weary of their long clashings, which in his Diary he expresseth his great Rejoycing in, and his Hopes that the time was at Hand, when Iudah should no longer vex Ephraim, nor Ephraim envy Iudah, neither should they learn War any more. And though these hopes were soon disappointed by a Change of the Scene; yet he would often speak of the Experience of that and the following Year in those parts, as a Specimen of what may yet be expected; (and therefore in Faith prayed for) when the Spirit shall be poured out up­on us from on high. But alas, Who shall live when God doth this? From this Experience he likewise ga­ther'd this Observation, That it is not so much our Difference of Opinion that doth us the mischief; (for we may as soon expect all the Clocks in the Town [Page 61] to strike together, as to see all good People of a mind in every thing on this side Heaven) but the misma­nagement of that difference.

In the Association of the Ministers it was referred to Mr. Henry to draw up that part of their Agreement which concerned the Worship of God, which task he performed to their Satisfaction: his Preface to what he drew up begins thus: ‘Though the main of our Desires and Endeavours be after Unity in the grea­ter things of God; yet we judge Uniformity in the Circumstances of Worship, a thing not to be al­together neglected by us, not only in regard of that influence, which external visible Order hath upon the Beauty and Comliness of the Churches of Christ; but also; as it hath a Direct Tendency to the strenth­ning of our Hands in Ministerial Services, and with­al to the removing of those Prejudices which many People have conceiv'd even against Religion and Worship itself. We bless God from our very Souls, for that whereunto we have already attained; and yet we hope some further thing may be done, in re­ference to our closer walking, by the same Rule, and minding the same things. The word of God is the Rule which we desire and resolve to walk by in the Administration of Ordinances; and for those things wherein the Word is silent, we think we may and ought to have recourse to Christian Prudence, and the Practise of the Reformed Churches, agreeing with the general Rules of the Word: And there­fore we have had (as we think we ought) in our pre­sent Agreement, a special Eye to the Directo­ry, &c.

These Agreements of theirs were the more likely to be for good, for that here (as in Worcestershire) when they were in agitation, the Ministers set apart a Day [Page 62] of Fasting and Prayer among themselves to bewail Ministerial neglects, and to seek to God for Direction and Success in their Ministerial. Work. They met sometimes for this purpose at Mr. Henry's House at Worthenbury.

One Passage may not improperly, be inserted here, that once at a Meeting of the Ministers, being desired to subscribe a Certificate concerning one whom he had not sufficient acquaintance with; he refus'd, giving this Reason, That he preferred the peace of his Consci­ence before the Friendship of all the Men in the World.

Sept. 29. 1658. the Lady Puleston dyed. She was (saith he) the best Friend I had on Earth, but my Friend in Heaven is still where he was, and he will never leave me nor forsake me. He preached her Funeral Sermon from Isa. 3. last, Cease from Man whose Breath is in his Nostrils. He hath noted this Expression of hers not long before she dy'd: My Soul leans to Iesus Christ, lean to me sweet Saviour. About this time he writes, A dark Cloud is over my Concernments in this Family, but my desire is, that whatever becomes of me and my In­terest, the Interest of Christ may still be kept on foot in this place. Amen, so be it. But he adds soon after that saying of Athanasius, which he was us'd often to quote and take comfort from; Nubecula est & citò per­transibit. It is a little Cloud, and will soon blow o­ver.

About a Year after, Sept. 5. 1659. Judge Puleston dy'd, and all Mr. Henry's Interest in Emeral Family was buryed in his Grave. He preached the Judges Funeral Sermon from Neh. 13. 14. Wipe not out my good Deeds that I have done for the House of my God, and for the Offices thereof; the Design of which Sermon was not to [...]pplaud his Deceased Friend; I find not [Page 63] a word in the Sermon to that purpose: But he took occasion from the instance of so great a Benefactor to the Ministry, as the Judge was, to shew that Deeds done for the House of God and the Offices thereof, are good Deeds: and to press People according as their Ability and Opportunity was, to do such Deeds. One passage I find in that Sermon which ought to be Recorded; That it had been for several Years the practise of a worthy Gentleman in the Neighbouring County in renewing his Leases, instead of making it a Condition that his Tenants should keep a Hawk or a Dog for him, to oblige them that they should keep a Bible in their Houses for themselves, and should bring up their Children to learn to Read and to be Ca­techized. This (saith he) would be no charge to you, and it might oblige them to that which otherwise they would neglect. Some wish'd (saith he) in his Diary, that I had chosen some other Subject for that Sermon, but I approved my self to God, and if I please m [...]n, I am not the Servant of Christ.

What personal Affronts he received from some of the Branches of that Family at that time need not be men­tioned, but with what Exemplary Patience he bore them, ought not to be forgotten.

In March, 165 [...]. he was very much sollicited to leave Worthenbury, and to accept of the Vicaridge of Wrex­ham, which was a place that he had both a great In­terest in, and a great kindness for, but he could not see his Call clear from Worthenbury, so he declin'd it. The same Year he had an offer made him of a conside­rable Living near London, but he was not of them that are given to Change, nor did he Consult with Flesh and Blood, nor seek great things to himself.

That Year he had some disturbance from the Qua­kers, who were set on by some others, who wished [Page 64] ill to his Ministry; they Challenged him to dispute with them; and that which he was to prove against them, was, that the God he Worshipped was not an Idol; that Iohn Baddely (a Blacksmith in Malpas, and the Ring-leader of the Quakers in that Country) was not Infallible nor without Sin; That Baptism with Water, and the Lord's Supper are Gospel Ordi­nances; that the Scriptures are the word of God, and that Jesus Christ will come to judge the World at the last Day: But he never had any publick Disputes with them, nor so much disturbance from them in publick Worship, as some other Ministers had elsewhere about that time. He had some apprehensions at that time, that God would make the Quakers a Scourge to this Nation; but had Comfort in this Assurance, that God would in due time vindicate his own Honour, and the Honour of his Ordinances, and those of them who will not Repent to give him Glory, will be cast into the Fire.

One passage I cannot omit, because it discovers what kind of Spirit the Quakers were of: A Debauch'd Gentleman being in his revels at Malpas, Drinking and Swearing, was after a sort reproved for it by Baddely the Quaker, who was in his Company; Why (saith the Gentleman) i'll ask thee one Question, Whether is it better for me to follow Drinking and Swearing, or to go and Hear Henry? He answered, Of the two, rather follow thy Drinking and Swearing.

The Cheshire Rising this Year (in Opposition to the Irregular Powers that then were [...]ppermost) under Sir George Booth (afterwards Lord Delamere) and that of North-Wales under Sir Thomas Middleton, could not but affect Worthenbury, and the Country therea­bouts. Mr. Henry's Praye [...] for them in [...]his Di [...]y the Day of their first appearing is, Lord own them, if they [Page 65] truly own thee. He note [...], that Lambert's Forces which came down to Suppress them, did in that Neighbour­hood espouse the Quakers Cause, and offer Injury to some Ministers; and therefore, (saith he) unless God intend the Ruin of the Nation by them, they cannot prosper: Nor did they long, though in that Expedi­tion they had Success. In their Return some of Lam­bert's Soldiers were at Worthenbury Church hearing Mr. Henry upon a Lord's Day; and one of them sat with his Hat on, while they were Singing Psalms, for which he Publickly admonish'd him: And there being many Anabaptists among them, he hath Record­ed it as a good Providence, that those Questions in the Cate [...]hism which are concerning Baptism, came in Course to be Expounded that Day. The first Ri­sing of the Cheshire Forces was Aug. 1. 1659. and the 19th following they were worsted and scattered by Lambert's Forces, near Northwich, a strange Spirit of fear being upon them, which quite took off their Cha­riot Wheels. The Country call'd it not the Cheshire Rising, but the Cheshire Race. Some blamed him, that he did not give God thanks publickly for the defeat of Sir George Booth; to whom he answer'd with his usual mildness, that his Apprehensions concerning that Affair, were not the same with theirs. We are now (saith he) much in the dark, never more. He preach'd the Le­cture at Chester soon after, just at the time when Mr. Cook, a [...] eminent Minister in Chester, and several others were carried Prisoners to London, for their Agen­cy in the late Attempt: and the City was threatned to have their Charter taken away, &c. The Text in Course that day (for they Preached over the latter part of that Epistle, if not the whole, at that Lecture) happen'd to be Heb. 13, 14. We have here no continuing City, which he thought a word upon the Wheels at [Page 66] that time. He Notes in his Diary, that when, after that, the Army Rul'd, disturb'd the Parliament, and carry'd all before them, with a high Hand, there were great Grounds to fear sad times approaching; and his Prayer is, Lord, fit thy People for the Fiery Trial.

He was a hearty well-wisher to the return of the King, the Spring following, April, 1660. and was much affected with the Mercy of it. While o­thers rejoyce carnally, (saith he) Lord, help thy People to rejoyce spiritually, in our publick National Mercies. 'Twas upon that occasion that Mr. Baxter preached his Sermon of Right Rejoycing, on Luke 10. 20. But he and others soon saw cause to Rejoyce with Trem­bling, and to sing both of Mercy and Judgment; for about that time he hath this Melancholy Remark; Religion loses Ground exceedingly, and Profan [...]ss gets it: Help Lord! However he was very Industrious to quiet the minds of some who were uneasie at that great Revolution; and that Scripture yielded him much Satisfaction: Ioh. 3. 35. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his Hands. If Christ be not only Head of the Church, but Heir over all things to the Church, we may be assured, that all things shall be made to work together for good to it. The Text also which the Lord put it into his Heart to preach upon, on the day of Publick Thanksgiving for the King's Restoration, was very comfortable to him▪ Prov. 21. 1. The Kings Heart is in the hand of the Lord. His sence of that great Mercy of God to the Nation, in the unbloody, peaceable and legal Settle­ment of King Charles the 2d, upon the Throne, was the same with that of Multitudes, besides both Mini­sters and others that were of the quiet in the Land, who yet not long after suffered very hard things under [Page 67] him. Soon after the Return of the King, he notes, how industrious some were to remove him from Wor­thenbury, on which he writes this as the Breathing of his Soul towards God; Lord, if it please thee, fasten me here as a Nail in a sure place; if otherwise, I will take nothing ill which thou dost with me: and when press'd by his Friends more earnestly than before to ac­cept of some other place; Lord, (saith he) Mine Eye is up unto thee, I am wholly at thy disposal, make my way plain before my Face, because of mine Enemies; my Resolution is, to deny my self if thou callest me. Here (or any where, 'tis no great Matter where) I am. Ma­ny Years after the King's Return, he Dated a Letter May 29. [...].

There are two things further which I think it may be of use to give some account of in the close of this Chapter. 1. Of the Course of his Ministry at Wor­thenbury, and 2. Of the State of his Soul, and the Communion he had with God in those Years: The former out of his Sermon-Notes, the latter out of his Diary.

As to the Subjects he Preached upon, he did not use to dwell long upon a Text. Better one Sermon upon many Texts, (viz. many Scriptures opened and appli­ed) than many Sermons upon one Text: To that purpose he would sometimes speak.

He used to Preach in a fixed Method, and linked his Subjects in a sort of a Chain; not confining him­self to the Method of the Assemblies Catechism; (which some commend) but he adapted his Method and Style to the Capacity of his Hearers, fetching his Similitudes for Illustration, from those things which were familiar to them. He did not shoot the Arrow of the Word over their Heads in high Notions, or the Flourishes of affected Rhetorick, nor under their [Page 68] Feet by blunt and homely Expressions, as many do under pretence of plainness, but to their Hearts in close and lively Applications. His Delivery was ve­ry graceful and agreeable, far from being either noisie and precipitate on the one Hand, or dull and slow on the other. His Doctrine did drop as the Dew, and distil as the soaking Rain, and came with a charming pleasing Power, such as many will bear witness to, that have wonder'd at the gracious words which pro­ceeded out of his Mouth.

He wrote the Notes of his Sermons pretty large for the most part, and always very legible; he wrote most of them twice over. But even when he had put his last Hand to them, he commonly left many imper­fect Hints, which gave room for Enlargements in Preaching, wherein he had a very great Felicity. And he would often advise Ministers not to tye themselves too strictly to their Notes, but having well digested the Matter before, to allow themselves a liberty of Expression, such as a Man's Affections, if they be well rais'd, will be apt to furnish him with. But for this, no certain Rule can be given, there are diversities of Gifts, and each to profit withal.

He kept his Sermon-Notes in very neat and exact Order; Sermons in Course, according to the Order of the Subject▪ and occasional Sermons according to the Scripture-order of the Texts; so that he could rea­dily turn to any of them. And yet, tho' afterwards he was removed to a place far enough distant from any of that Auditory, yet (though some have desired it) he seldom preach'd any of those hundreds of Sermons which he had preach'd at Worthenbury, no not when he preach'd never so privately, but to the last he studi­ed new Sermons, and wrote them as elaborately as ever; for he thought a Sermon best preach'd, when it [Page 69] was newly meditated: Nay, if sometimes he had oc­casion to preach upon the same Text, yet he would make and write the Sermons over; and he never offer­ed that to God which cost him nothing.

When he went to Oxford, and preach'd there before the University in Christ-Church, as he did several times, his Labours were not only very acceptable, but success­ful too; particularly one Sermon which he preach'd there, on Prov. 14. 9. Fools make a mock at sin; for which Sermon, a young Master of Arts came to his Chamber afterwards to return him thanks, and to ac­knowledge the good Impressions, which Divine Grace by that Sermon had made upon his Soul, which he ho­ped he should never forget.

In his Diary, he frequently records the frame of his Spirit in studying and preaching. Sometimes blessing God for signal help vouchsafed, and owning him the Lord God of all his Enlargements; at other times, com­plaining of great deadness and straitness. It is a won­der (saith he) that I can speak of Eternal things, with so little Sense of the reality of them. Lord, strengthen that which remains, which is ready to die. And he once writes thus upon a studying Day; ‘I forgot explicit­ly and expressly when I began to crave help from God, and the Chariot Wheels drove accordingly. Lord, forgive my Omissions, and keep me in the way of Duty.’

As to the state of his Soul in these Years, it should seem by his Diary, that he was exercised with some Doubts and Fears concerning it. I think, (saith he) never did any poor Creature pass through such a mixture of Hope and Fear, Ioy and Sadness, Assurance and Doubt­ing, down and up, as I have done these Years past—(The Notice of this may be of use to poor drooping Christi­ans, that they may know their Case is not singular; [Page 70] and that if God for a small Moment hide his Face from them; he deals with them no otherwise than as he useth sometimes to deal with the dearest of his Ser­vants). It would affect one; to hear one that liv'd a Life of Communion with God, complaining of great straitness in Prayer. No Life at all in the Duty, many Wandrings; If my Prayers were written down, and my vain Thoughts interlined, What incoherent Nonsense would there be? I am ashamed, Lord, I am ashamed, O pitty, and Pardon. To hear him suspecting the work­ings of Pride of Heart, when he gave an Account to a Friend, who enquired of him, touching the success of his Ministry, and that he should record this concern­ing himself, with this Ejaculation annexed, The Lord pardon and subdue: 'Twas a sign that he kept a very watchful Eye upon the Motions of his own Heart.

To hear him charging it upon himself, that he was present at such a Duty in the midst of many Distracti­ons not tasting sweetness in it, &c. When a Fire is first kindled (saith he) there is a deal of Smoak and Smother, that afterwards wears away; so in young Converts, much peevishness, frowardness, darkness: So it hath been with my Soul, and so it is yet in a great measure. Lord pity, and do not quench the smoaking Flax; though as yet it do but smoak, let these Sparks be blown up into a Flame.

Great Mercies, but poor Returns, signal Opportunities, but small Improvements: Such are his Complaints frequently concerning himself. And though few or none excell'd him in profitable Discourse, yet in that he often be­wails his Barronness, and Unprofitableness. Little good done or gotten such a day for want of a Heart; 'tis my Sin and Shame. O that I had Wings like a Dove.

[Page 71] Yet when he wanted a Faith of Assurance, he li [...]'d by a Faith of Adherence. Such a Day (saith he) a full Resignation was made of all my Concernments, into the Hands of my Heavenly Father, let him deal with me, as seemeth good in his Eyes; I am learning and labouring to live by Faith, Lord help my Unbelief. Another time he notes, that many perplexing Fears being upon his Spirit, they were all silenced with that sweet Word which was seasonably brought to his remembrance, Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer.

He very frequently kept Days of Fasting and Hu­miliation in secret, which he calls his Days of Atone­ment. Sometimes he observed these monthly, and some­times only upon special occasions; but the Memoran­dums in his Diary (not only while he was at Worthen­bury, but often after) shew what sweet Communion he had with God in those solemn Duties, which no Eye was Witness to, but his who sees in secret, and will re­ward openly. Remember (O my Soul) such a Day, as a Day of more then ordinary Engagements entred into, and strong Resolutions taken up of closer Walking, and more Watchfulness, O my God, undertake for me! And upon another of those Days of secret Prayer and Humiliati­on, he notes, If sowing in Tears be so sweet, what then will the Harvest be when I shall reap in Ioy? Bless the Lord, O my Soul, who forgiveth all thine Iniquities, and will in due time heal all thy Diseases.


His Marriage, Family, Family Religion, and the Education of his Children.

His removed from Emeral, to the House in Worthen­bury, which the Judge had built for him, in Febru­ary, 1658/9, and then had one of his Sisters with him to keep his House. No sooner had he a Tent, but God had an Altar, in it, and that a smoaking Altar. There he set up Repetition on Sabbath-Evenings, and welcom'd his Neighbours to it.

His Christian Friends often, and sometimes his Bre­thren in the Ministry, kept Days of, Fasting and Pray­er at his House. He us'd to tell People when they had built new Houses, they must dedicate them (referring to Deut. 20. 5. and Psal. 30. ult.) that is, they must invite God to their Houses, and devote them to his Ser­vice.

Providence having thus brought him into a House of his own, soon after provided him a Help-meet for him. After long Agitation, and some Discouragement and Opposition from the Father, Apr. 26. 1660. he Mar­ried Katherine, the only Daughter and Heiress of Mr. Daniel Matthews, of Broad-Oak in the Town­ship of Iscoyd, in Flint-shire, (but in the Parish of Mal­p [...], which is in Cheshire, and about two Miles distant from Whitchurch, a considerable Market Town in Shropshire). Mr. Matthews was a Gentleman of a ve­ry competent Estate; such a one as King Iames the First us'd to say was the happiest Lot of all others, which set a Man below the Office of a Justice of Peace, [Page 73] and above that of a Petty-Constable. This was his only Child: very fair and honourable Overtures had been made for her disposal; but it pleased God so to order Events, and to over-rule the Spirits of those con­cern'd, that she was reserv'd to be a Blessing to this good Man, in things pertaining both to Life and Godli­ness.

His purpose of Marriage was published in the Church three Lord's Days before; a laudable Practice, which he greatly approved, and perswaded others to.

The Day before his Marriage, he kept as a Day of secret Prayer and Fasting.

He us'd to say, Those who would have comfort in that Change of their condition, must see to it, that they bring none of the Guilt of the Sin of their single State with them into the married State. And the pre­sence of Christ at a Wedding, will turn the Water into Wine; and he will come, if he be invited by Prayer.

He took all occasions while he liv'd, to express his thankfulness to God, for the great comfort he had in this Relation, A day of Mercy (so he writes on his Marriage day) never to be forgotten. God had given him one (as he writes afterwards) every way h [...] helper, in whom he had much comfort, and for whom be thanked God with all his Heart. He writes in his Diary, April 26. 1680. This day we have been Married Twenty Years, in which time we have received of the Lord more than Twenty Thousand Mercies; to God be Glory. Sometimes he writes; we have been so long Married, and never Re­conciled; that is, there was never any occasion for it. His usual Prayer for his Friends in the Married State, was according to his own Practise in that State; That they might be mutually serviceable to each others Faith [Page 74] and Holiness, and joyntly serviceable to God's Honour and Glory.

Her Father, though he put some Hardships upon him in the Terms, and had been somewhat a verse to the Match, yet by Mr. Henry's great Prudence, and God's good Providence, he was influenced to give a free consent to it; and he himself, with his own Hand, gave her in Marriage. From this, as from other Ex­periences, Mr. Henry had learned to say with Assu­rance; It is not in vain to wait upon God and to keep his way. Mr. Matthews settled part of his Estate be­fore Marriage upon them and theirs; he lived about seven Years after; and when he dyed, the remainder of it came to them. This competent Estate which the Divine Providence brought into his Hand, was not on­ly a Comfortable Support to him when he was turn'd out of his Living, and when many Faithful Ministers of Christ were reduced to great Poverty and Straits; but it enabled him likewise, as he had opportunity, to Preach the Gospel freely, which he did to his dying Day; and not only so, but to give for the Relief of others that were in want, in which he sow'd plentiful­ly, to a very large proportion of his Income; and of­ten blessed God that he had wherewithal, remembring the words of the Lord, how he said, It is more bles­sed to give than to receive.

Such was his House, and such the Vine which God graciously planted by the side of his House. By her God gave him six Children, all born within less than e [...]ht Years; the two eldest Sons, Iohn and Matthew: [...]he other four Daughters, Sarah, Katharine, Eleanor and Ann. His eldest Son Iohn dyed of the Measles in [...] sixth year of his Age; and the rest were in Mercy continued to him.

[Page 75] The Lord having built him up into a Family, he was careful and faithful in making good his solemn Vow at his Ordination, that he and his House would serve the Lord. He would often say, That we are re­ally that which we are relatively. It is not so much what we are at Church, as what we are in our Fami­lies. Religion in the Power of it will be Family Reli­gion. In this his Practise was very Exemplary; he was one that walked before his House in a perfect way, with a perfect Heart, and therein behav'd himself wise­ly. His constant Care and prudent endeavour was not only to put away Iniquity far from his Tabernacle, but that where he dwelt, the word of Christ might dwell richly. If he might have no other Church, yet he had a Church in his House.

He made Conscience of Closet-Worship, and did a­bound in it, not making his Family-Worship to excuse for that. He hath this affecting Note in his Diary, upon the removing of his Closet, but from one Room in the House to another; this day (saith he) my new Closet was Consecrated, if I may so say, with this Pray­er; That all the Prayers that ever should be made in it, according to the Will of God, Morning, Evening, and at Noon-day, ordinary or extraordinary, might be accept­ed of God, and obtain a gracious Answer, Amen and Amen. It was the Caution and Advice which he fre­quently gave to his Children and Friends; Be sure you look to your Secret Duty, keep that up whatever you do; the Soul cannot prosper in the neglect of it. He observed that Apostasy generally begins at the Clo­set-door. Secret Prayer is first neglected, and care­lesly performed, then frequently omitted, and after a while wholly cast off; and then farewel God and Christ and all Religion.

[Page 76] He also advis'd, that Secret Duty be perform'd secret­ly, which was the Admonition he gave sometimes to those who caused thei [...] Voice to be heard on high in that Duty.

Besides this, he and his, Wife constantly prayed toge­ther Morning and Evening; and seldom if they were together at home or abroad was it intermitted; and from his own Experience of the Benefit of this Practise, He would take all opportunities to recommend it to those in that Relation, as conducing very much to the comfort of it, and to their furtherance in that, which he would often say, is the great Duty of Yoke-fellows; and that is, to do all they can to help one another to Hea­uen. He would say, that this Duty of Husbands and Wives Praying together, is intimated in that of the A­postle, 1. Pet. 3. 7. where they are Exhorted to live as Heirs together of the Grace of Life, that their Prayers (especially their Prayers together) be not hindred; that nothing may be done to hinder them from Praying to­gether, nor to hinder them in it, nor to spoil the Suc­cess. of those Prayers. This Sanctifies the Relation, [...]nd fetcheth in a Blessing upon it, makes the Com­forts of it the more sweet, and the Cares and Crosses of it the more easie, and is an excellent means of pre­serving and encreasing Love in the Relation. Many to whom he hath recommended the Practise of this Duty, have blessed God for him, and for his advice concerning it. When he was abroad and lay with any of his Friends, he would mind them of his Rule, That they who lye together must pray together. In the per­formance of this part of his daily. Worship he was usu­ally short, but often much affected.

Besides these he made Conscience, and made a Business of Family-Worship in all the parts of it; and in it he was uniform, steddy and constant, from the time that he [Page 77] was first called to the Charge of a Family, to his dy­ing Day; and according to his own Practice, be too [...] all occasions to press it upon others. His Doctrine once from Iosh. 24. 15. was, That Family-Worship i [...] Family-Duty. He would say sometimes, if the Wor­ship of God be not in the House, write, Lord have Mercy on us, upon the Door; for there is a Plague, a Curse in it. It is the Judgment of Arch-Bishop Tillot­son, in that excellent Book which he Published a little before his Death upon this Subjecct; That constant Fa­mily Worship is so necessary to keep alive a sense of God and Religion in the Minds of Men, that he sees not ho [...] any Family that neglects it, can in reason be esteemed a Family of Christians, or indeed to have any Religion a [...] all. How earnestly would Mr. Henry reason with Peo­ple sometimes about this Matter, and tell them what a Blessing it would bring upon them and their Houses, and all that they had. He that makes his House a lit­tle Church, shall find, that God will make it a little Sanctuary. It may be of use to give a particular Ac­count of his Practise in this Matter, because it was ve­ry Exemplary. As to the Time of it, his Rule was, commonly the earlier the better both Morning and E­vening; in the Morning before Worldly Business crown­ed in, early will I seek thee: He that is the first should have the first; nor is it fit that the Worship of God should stand by and wait while the Worlds turn is ser­ved. And early in the Evening, before the Children and Servants began to be sleepy; and therefore if it might be he would have Prayer at Night before Sup­per, that the Body might be the more fit to serve the Soul in that Service of God. And indeed he did in­dustriously contrive all the Circumstances of his Fami­ly-Worship, so as to make it most solemn and most likely to answer the end. He always made it the Bu­siness [Page 78] of every day, and not (as too many make it) [...] By-business. This being his fixed Principle, all o­ther affairs must be sure to give way to this. And he would tell those who objected against Family-Worship, that they could not get time for it; that if they would but put on Christian Resolution at first, they would not find the Difficulty so great as they imagined; but after a while, their other Affairs would fall in easily and naturally with this especially where there is that Wisdom which is profitable to direct. Nay, they would find it to be a great preserver of Order and Decency in a Family, and would be like a Hem to all their o­ther Business, to keep it from Ravelling. He was e­ver careful to have all his Family present at Family-Worship; though sometimes living in the Country he had a great Houshold; yet he would have not only his Children and Sojourners, (if he had any) and Do­mestick Servants, but his Workmen and Day-Labou­rers, and all that were employ'd for him, if they were within call to be present, to join with him in this Ser­vice; and as it was an act of his Charity many times to set them to work for him, so to that he added this act of Piety, to set them to work for God. And usually when he paid his Workmen their Wages, he gave them some good Counsel about their Souls: Yet if any that should come to Family-Worship were [...]t a distance, and must be staid for long, he would ra­ther want them, than put the Duty much out of time; and would sometimes say at a Night, Better one away than all sleepy.

The Performances of his Family-Worship were the same Morning and Evening. He observed that under the Law, the Morning and the Evening Lamb, had the same Meat-offering and Drink-offering, Exod. 29. 38—41. He always began with a short, but very [Page 79] solemn Prayer, imploring the Divine Presence and Grace, Assistance and Acceptance; particularly beg­ing a Blessing upon the word to be read, in reference to which he often put up this Petition; That the same Spirit that indited the Scripture, would enable us to un­derstand the Scripture, and to make up something to our selves out of it that may do us good: And esteeming the Word of God as his necessary Food, he would some­times pray in a Morning, that our Souls might have a good Meal out of it. He commonly concluded even this short Prayer, as he did also his Blessings before and af­ter Meat, with a Doxology, as Paul upon all occasions, To him be Glory, &c. which is properly Adoration, and is an Essential part of Prayer.

He next sung a Psalm, and commonly he sung Da­vid's Psalms in order, throughout; sometimes using the old Translation, but generally Mr. Barton's: and his usual way was to sing a whole Psalm throughout, thô perhaps a long one, and to sing quick; (yet with a good variety of proper and pleasant Tunes) and that he might do so, usually the Psalm was sung without reading the Line betwixt, (every one in the Family having a Book) which he preferred much before the common way of Singing, where it might conve­niently be done, as more agreeable to the Practise of the Primitive Church, and the Reformed Churches a­broad; and by this means he thought the Duty more likely to be performed in the Spirit and with the Understanding; the Sense being not so broken, nor the affections interrupted, as in read­ing the Line betwixt. He would say, that a Scrip­ture Ground for singing Psalms in Families, might be taken from Psal. 118. 15. The voice of Rejoycing and of Salvation, is in the Tabernacles of the Righteous; and that it is a way to hold forth Godliness (like Ra­hab's [Page 80] Scarlet Thread, Iosh. 2. 17.) to such as pass by our Windows.

He next read a Portion of Scripture, taking the Bible in order; and would sometimes blame those who only pray in their Families, and do not read the Scrip­ture: In Prayer we speak to God, by the Word he speaks to us; and is there any reason (saith he) that we should speak all. In the Tabernacle the Priests were eve­ry day to burn Incense, and to light the Lamps; the for­mer Figuring the Duty of Prayer, the latter the Duty of reading the Word. Sometimes he would say, those do well that Pray Morning and Evening in their Fami­lies, those do better that pray and read the Scriptures; but those do best of all, that pray and read and sing Psalms, and Christians should covet earnestly the best Gifts.

He advised the reading of the Scripture in order; for though one Star in the Firmament of the Scripture differ from another Star in Glory, yet wherever God hath a Mouth to speak, we should have an Ear to hear; and the diligent searcher may find much excellent Matter in those parts of Scripture, which we are sometimes tempt­ed to think, might have been spar'd. How affectio­nately would he sometimes bless God for every Book and Chapter, and Verse and Line in the Bible.

What he read in his Family he always expounded: and exhorted all Ministers to do so, as an excellent means of encreasing their acquaintance with the Scrip­ture. His Expositions were not so much Critical, as Plain and Practical, and Useful; and such as tended to Edification, and to answer the end for which the Scriptures were written, which is to make us wise to Salvation. And herein he had a peculiar Excellence performing that daily Exercise with so much Judg­ment, and at the same time with such Facility and [Page 81] Clearness, as if every Exposition had been premedita­ted; and very instructive they were, as well as af­fecting to the Auditors. His Observations were ma­ny times very pretty and surprizing, and such as one shall not ordinarily meet with. Commonly in his Ex­positions he reduced the Matter of the Chapter or Psalm read, to some Heads; not by a Logical Analysis, which often minceth it too small, and confounds the sense with the Terms; but by such a Distribution as the Matter did most easily and unforcedly fall into. He often mentioned that saying of Tertullian's, I adore the fulness of the Scriptures; and sometimes that; Scrip­tura semper habet aliquid relegentibus. When some­times he had hit upon some useful Observation that was new to him, he would say afterwards to those a­bout him; How often have I read this Chapter, and ne­ver before now took Notice of such a thing in it. He put his Children, while they were with him, to write these Expositions; and when they were gone from him, the Strangers that sojourned with him did the same. What Collections his Children had, though but broken and very imperfect hints; yet, when afterwards they were disposed of in the World, were of good use to them and their Families. Some Expositions of this nature, that is, plain and practical, and helping to raise the Affections and guide the Conversation by the Word, he often wished were Publish'd by some good Hand, for the benefit of Families: But such was his great Modesty and Self-diffidence (though few more able for it) that he would never be perswaded to at­tempt any thing of that kind himself. As an evidence how much his Heart was upon it, to have the Word of God read and understood in Families, take this passage out of his Last Will and Testament: I give and bequeath to each of my Four Daughters Mr. Pool's [Page 82] English Annotations upon the Bible, in two Volumes, of the last and best Edition that shall be to be had at the time of my Decease; together with Mr. Barton's last and best Translation of the Singing Psalms, one to each of them; requiring and requesting them to make daily use of the same, for the Instruction, Edification, and Comfort of themselves and their Families. But 'tis time we proceed to the Method of his Family Wor­ship.

The Chapter or Psalm being Read and Expound­ed, he requir'd from his Children some account of what they could remember of it; and sometimes would dis­course with them plainly and familiarly about it, that he might lead them into an acquaintance with it; and (if it might be) impress something of it upon their Hearts.

He then Pray'd, and always Kneeling, which he looked upon as the fittest and most proper Gesture for Prayer; and he took care that his Family should ad­dress themselves to the Duty, with the outward Ex­pressions of Reverence and Composedness. He usu­ally fetch'd his Matter and Expressions in Prayer, from the Chapter that was read, and the Psalm that was sung, which was often very affecting, and helped much to stir up and excite praying Graces. He some­times observ'd in those Psalms, where reference is [...]ad to the Scripture Stories, as Psal. 83. and many others, that those who are well acquainted with the Scriptures, would not need to make use of the help of prescribed Forms, which are very necessary for those that cannot do the Duty without them, but are becoming those that can; as a Go-cart is needful to a Child, or Crurches to one that is Lame, but neither of them agreeable to one that needs them not: 'Twas the Comparison he commonly used in this Matter. In [Page 83] Family-Prayer he was usually most full in giving. Thanks for Family-Mercies, confessing Family-Sins, and beging Family-Blessings. Very particular he would sometimes be in Prayer for his Family; if any were absent, they were sure to have an express Petition put up for them. He us'd to observe concern­ing Iob. Chap. 1. 5. that he offered Burnt-offerings for his Children, according to the number 'of them all, an Offering for each Child; and so would he sometimes in Praying for his Children, put up a Petition for each Child. He always observ'd at the Annual Return of the Birth day of each of his Children, to bless God for his Mercy to him and his Wife in that Child; the giving of it, the continuance of it, the comfort they had in it, &c. with some special Request to God for that Child. Every Servant and Sojourner, at their coming into his Family and their going out, (besides the daily Remembrances of them) had a par­ticular Petition put up for them, according as their Circumstances were. The Strangers that were at any time within his Gates, he was wont particularly to recommend to God in Prayer, with much Affection, and Christian Concern for them and their Concern­ments. He was daily mindful of those that desired his Prayers for them, and would say sometimes, It is a great Comfort that God knows who we mean in Prayer, though we do not name them. Particular Providences concerning the Country, as to Health or Sickness, good or bad Weather, or the like, he commonly took Notice of in Prayer, as there was occasion; and would often beg of God to fit us for the next Providence, whatever it might be: Nor did he ever forget to pray for the Peace of Ierusalem. He always concluded Fa­mily-Prayer, both Morning and Evening, with a so­lemn Benediction, after the Doxology; The Blessing [Page 84] of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be with us, &c. Thus did he daily bless his Houshold.

Immediately after the Prayer was ended, his Chil­dren together, with bended Knee, ask'd Blessing of him and their Mother; that is, desired of them to pray to God to bless them: which Blessing was given with great Solemnity and Affection; and if any of them were absent, they ever remembred, The Lord help you and your Brother, or you and your Sister that is ab­sent.

This was his daily Worship, which he rarely alter­ed (unless as is after mentioned) though he went from home never so early, or returned never so late, or had never so much business for his Servants to do. He would say, that sometimes he saw Cause to shorten them; but he would seldom omit any; for if an Excuse be ad­mitted for an Omission, it will be often returning. He was not willing (unless the necessity were urgent) that any should go from his House in a Morning before Family Worship; but upon such an Occasion would mind his Friends, that Prayer and Provender never hinder a Iourney.

He managed his daily Family-Worship, so as to make it a Pleasure and not a Task to his Children and Servants; for he was seldom long, and never tedious in the Service; the variety of the Duties made it the more pleasant; so that none who join'd with him had ever any reason to say, Behold what a Weariness is it! Such an Excellent Faculty he had of rendring Religi­on the most sweet and aimable Employment in the World; and so careful was he (like Iacob) to drive as the Children could go, not putting new Wine into old Bottles. If some good People that mean well would do likewise, it might prevent many of those Prejudi­ces [Page 85] which young Persons are apt to conceive against Religion, when the Services of it are made a Toil and a Terror to them.

On Thursday Evenings (instead of Reading) he Ca­techized his Children and Servants in the Assemblies Catechism, with the Proofs, or sometimes in a little Ca­techism, Concerning the matter of Prayer, published in the Year 1674. and said to be written by Dr. Collins, which they learned for their help in the Gift of Pray­er, and he Explain'd it to them. Or else they Read, and he Examined them in some other useful Book, as Mr. Pool's Dialogues against the Papists, the Assem­blies Confession of Faith with the Scriptures, or the like.

On Saturday Evenings, his Children and Servants gave him an Account what they could remember of the Chapters that had been Expounded all the Week before, in order, each a several part, helping one ano­thers Memories for the Recollecting of it. This he call'd gathering up the Fragments which remained, that nothing might be lost. He would say to them some­times as Christ to his Disciples, Have ye understood all these things? If not, he took that occasion to explain them more fully. This Exercise (which he constant­ly kept up all along) was both delightful and profita­ble, and being managed by him with so much Pru­dence and sweetness, helped to instil into those about him betimes, the Knowledge and Love of the Holy Scriptures.

When he had Sojourners in his Family, who were able to bear a part in such a Service, he had common­ly in the Winter time set Weekly Conferences on Que­stions propos'd, for their mutual Edification and Com­fort in the fear of God; the Substance of what was [Page 86] said, he himself took and kept an Account of in Wri­ting.

But the Lord's Day he called and counted the Queen of Days, the Pearl of the Week, and observed it ac­cordingly. The Fourth Commandment intimates a special regard to be had to the Sabbath in Families, Thou and thy Son and thy Daughter, &c. it is the Sab­bath of the Lord in all your Dwellings. In this there­fore he was very exact, and abounded in the work of the Lord in his Family on that Day. Whatever were the Circumstances of his Publick Opportunities, (which vari'd, as we shall find afterwards) his Family Religi­on on that day was the same: Extraordinary Sacrifi­ces must never supersede the continual Burnt-offering and his Meat-offering, Numb. 28. 15. His common Salutation of his Family or Friends, on the Lord's Day in the Morning, was that of the Primitive Christians; The Lord is risen, he is risen indeed; making it his chief Business on that day to Celebrate the Memory of Christ's Resurrection; and he would say sometimes, Every Lord's Day, is a true Christians Easter-day. He took care to have his Family ready early on that day, and was larger in Exposition and Prayer on Sabbath-Mornings, than on other days. He would often re­member, that under the Law the daily Sacrifice was doubled on Sabbath-days, two Lambs in the Morning, and two in the Evening. He had always a particular Subject for his Expositions on Sabbath Mornings; the Harmony of the Evangelists several times over; the Scrip­ture Prayers; Old Testament Prophesies of Christ; Christ the true Treasure (so he Entituled that Subject) sought and found in the Field of the Old Testament. He constantly sung a Psalm after Dinner, and another after Supper, on the Lord's Dayes. And in the Evening of the Day his Children and Servants were Catechized and Exa­mined [Page 87] in the sense and meaning of the Answers in the Catechism, that they might not say it (as he used to tell them) like a Parrot, by Rote. Then the Days Sermons were repeated, commonly by one of his Children when they were grown up, and while they were with him; and the Family gave an Account what they could remember of the word of the Day, which he endeavoured to fasten upon them, as a Nail in a sure place. In his Prayers on the Evening of the Sabbath, he was often more than ordinarily Enlarged; as one that found not only God's Service perfect Free­dom, but his Work its own Wages; and a great Re­ward; not only after keeping, but (as he used to ob­serve from Ps. 19. 11.) in keeping God's Commandments. A perfect Reward of Obedience in Obedience. In that Prayer he was usually very particular, in pray­ing for his Family and all that belong'd to it. It was a Prayer he often put up, that we might have Grace to car­ry it as a Minister, and a Minister's Wife, and a Minister's Children, and a Minister's Servants should carry it, that the Ministry might in nothing be blamed. He would sometimes be a particular Intercessor for the Towns and Parishes adjacent: How have I heard him, when he hath been in the Mount with God, in a Sabbath E­vening Prayer, wrestle with the Lord for Chester, and Shrewsbury, and Nantwich, and Wrexham, and Whit­church, &c. those nests of Souls, wherein there are so many, that cannot discern between their Right Hand and their Left in Spiritual things, &c. He clo­sed his Sabbath Work in his Family with singing Psalm 134. and after it a solemn Blessing of his Fa­mily.

Thus was he Prophet and Priest in his own House; and he was King there too, Ruling in the fear of God, and not suffering Sin upon any under his Roof.

[Page 88] He had many Years ago a man Servant that was once over-taken in Drink abroad; for which, the next Morning at Family-Worship, he solemnly Re­proved him, admonish'd him, and Prayed for him with a Spirit of Meekness, and soon after parted with him. But there were many that were his Servants, who by the Blessing of God upon his Endeavours, got those good Impressions upon their Souls, which they re­tain'd ever after; and blessed God with all their Hearts, that ever they came under his Roof. Few went from his Service till they were Married, and went to Families of their own; and some after they had been Married, and had Bury'd their Yoke fellows, re­turn'd to his Service again, saying, Master, it is good to be here.

He brought up his Children in the fear of God, with a great deal of Care and Tenderness, and did by his Practise, as well as upon all occasions in Discourses, condemn the Indiscretion of those Parents, who are partial in their affections to their Children, making a Difference between them, which he observed did of­ten prove of ill Consequence in Families; and lay a Foundation of Envy, Contempt and Discord, which turns to their shame and ruine. His Carriage towards his Children was with great Mildness and Gentleness, as one who desir'd rather to be loved than feared by them. He was as careful not to provoke them to Wrath, nor to discourage them, as he was to bring them up in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord. He Rul'd indeed, and kept up his Authority, but it was with Wisdom and Love, and with a high Hand. He allowed his Children a great degree of Freedom, with him, which gave him the opportunity of reasoning them, not frightning them into that which is good. He did much towards the Instruction of his Children, in the way [Page 89] of Familiar Discourse, according to that Excellent Directory for Religious Education, Deut. 6. 7. Thou shalt whet these things (so the word is which he said noted frequent Repetition of the same things) upon thy Children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy House, &c. which made them love home, and de­light in his Company, and greatly endear'd Religion to them.

He did not burthen his Childrens Memories by im­posing upon them the getting of Chapters and Psalms without Book; but endeavoured to make the whole word of God familiar to them, especially the Scripture Stories, and to bring them to understand it and love it, and then they would easily remember it. He us'd to observe from Psal. 119. 93. I will never forget thy Precepts, for with them thou hast quickned me; that we are then likely to remember the word of God when it doth us good.

He taught all his Children to write himself, and set them betimes to write Sermons, and other things that might be of use to them: He taught his eldest Daugh­ter the Hebrew Tongue when she was about six or se­ven Years old, by an English Hebrew Grammar, which he made on purpose for her; and she went so far in it, as to be able readily to Read and Construe a He­brew Psalm.

He drew up a short Form of the Baptis­mal Covenant, for the use of his Children; it was this:

I take God the Father to be my chiefest Good, and highest End.

I take God the Son to be my Prince and Sa­viour.

I take God the Holy Ghost to be my Sanctifier, Teacher, Guide and Comforter.

[Page 90] I take the Word of God to be my Rule in all my Actions. And the People of God to be my People in all Con­ditions.

I do likewise Devote and Dedicate unto the Lord my whole self, all I am, all I have, and all I can do.

And this I do deliberately, sincerely, freely and for ever.

This he taught his Children, and they each of them solemnly repeated it every Lord's Day in the Evening, after they were Catechized, he putting his Amen to it, and sometimes adding, so say, and so do, and you are made for ever.

He also took pains with them, to lead them into the Understanding of it, and to perswade them to a free and cheerful Consent to it. And when they grew up, he made them all write it over severally with their own Hands, and very solemnly set their Names to it, which he told them he would keep by him, and it should be produced as a Testimony against them, in Case they should afterwards depart from God, and turn from following after him.

He was careful to bring his Children betimes (when they were about Sixteen Years of Age,) to the Ordi­nance of the Lord's Supper, to take the Covenant of God upon themselves, and to make their Dedication to God their own Act and Deed; and a great deal of pains he took with them, to prepare them for that great Or­dinance, and so to transmit them into the State of adult Church-membership: And he would often blame Pa­rents, who would think themselves undone if they had not their Children baptized, and yet took no care when they grew up and made a profession of the Chris­tian Religion, to perswade them to the Lord's Supper. 'Tis true (he would say) Buds and Blossoms are not fruit but they give hopes of fruit, and Parents may and [Page 91] should take hold of the good beginning of Grace which they see in their Children, by those to bind them so much the closer to, and lead them so much the faster in the way that is called Holy. By this solemn engagemement the Door wich stood half-open before, and invited the Thief, is shut and bolted against Temptation. And to those who pleaded that they were not fit, he would say, that the further they went into the World the less sit they would be. Qui non est bodie cras minus aptus erit. Not that Children should be compell'd to it, nor those that are wilfully ignorant, untoward and perverse, admitted to it, but those Children that are hopeful and well inclin'd to the things of God, and appear to be concern'd in other Duties, of Religion, when they be­gin to put away childish things, should be incited and encouraged and perswaded to this, that the matter may be brought to an Issue. Nay, but we will serve the Lord; Fast bind, fast find. Abundant Thanks-givings have been rendred to God by many of his Friends for his Advice and assistance herein.

In dealing with his Children about their spiritual State, he took hold of them very much by the handle of their Infant-Baptism, and frequently inculcated that upon them, that they were born in God's House, and were betimes dedicated and given up to him, and therefore were oblig'd to be his Servants, Psal. 116. 16. I am thy Servant, because the Son of thy handmaid. This he was wont to illustrate to them by the comparison of taking a Lease of a fair Estate for a Child in the Cra­dle, and putting his Life into it; The Child then knows nothing of the matter, nor is he capable of con­senting; however, then he is maintained out of it, and and hath an Interest in it; And when he grows up and becomes able to chuse, and refuse for himself, if he go to his Landlord, and claim the Benefit of the Lease, [Page 92] and promise to pay the Rent, and do the services well and good, he hath the Benefit of it, if otherwise, it is at his Peril. ‘Now Children (would he say) our great Landlord was willing that your Lives should be put into the Lease of Heaven and Happiness, and it was done accordingly, by your Baptism, which is the Seal of the Righteousness that is by Faith; and by that it was assur'd to you that if you would pay the Rent and do the Service, that is, live a Life of Faith and Repentance, and sincere Obedience, you shall never be turn'd off the Tenement; but if now you dislike the Terms, and refuse to pay this Rent (this chief Rent, so he would call it, for it's no Rack) you forfeit the Lease; However you cannot but say, that you had a Kindness done you, to have your lives put into it.’Thus did he frequently deal with his Chil­dren, and even Travel in Birth again to see Christ for­med in them, and from this Topick he generally Ar­gued, and he would often say, If Infant Baptism were more improved, it would be less disputed.

He not only taught his Children betimes to pray, (which he did especially by his own Pattern, his Me­thod and Expressions in Prayer being very easie and plain) But when they were young he put them upon it, to pray together, and Appointed them on Saturdays in the Afternoon, to spend some time together, none but they and such of their Age, as might occasionally be with them, in Reading good Books, especially those for Children, and in singing and praying; and would sometimes tell them for their Encouragement, that the God with whom we have to do, understands bro­ken Language. And if we do as well as we can in the Sincerity of our Hearts, we shall not only be accepted but taught to do better: To him that hath shall be given.

[Page 93] He sometimes set his Children in their own reading of the Scriptures, to gather out such Passages as they took most notice of, and thought most considerable, and write them down: Though this Performance was very small, yet the Endeavour was of good use. He also directed them to insert in a Paper Book, which each of them had for the purpose, Remarkable Sayings and Sto­ries, which they met with in Reading such other good Books as he put into their hands.

He took a Pleasure in relating to them the remarka­ble Providences of God, both in his own time and in the days of Old, which he said, Parents were taught to do by that Appointment, Exod. 12. 26, 27. Your Chil­dren shall ask you in Time to come; what mean you by this Service? and you shall tell them so and so.

What his pious Care was concerning his Children, and with what a godly Jealousie he was jealous over them, take in one Instance; when they had been for a week or Fortnight kindly entertained at B. (as they were often) he thus writes in his Diary upon their Re­turn home. My Care and Fear is, lest Converse with such so far above them, Though of the best, should have Influ­ence upon them to lift them up, when I had rather they should be kept low. For as he did not himself, so he was very Sollicitous to teach his Children, not to mind high Things, not to desire them, not to expect them in this World.

We shall conclude this Chapter with another Passage out of his Diary, Apr. 12. 1681. This Day fourteen Years the Lord took my First-born Son from me, the Be­ginning of my Strength, with a Stroke. In the Remem­brance whereof my heart melted this Evening: I beg'd par­don for the Jonah that raised that Storm, I blessed the Lord that hath spar'd the Rest, I beg'd Mercy, Mercy for every one of them, and absolutely and unreservedly devoted and [Page 94] dedicated them, my self, my whole self, Estate, Interest, Life, to the will and Service of that God from whom I re­ceived all. Father Hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come &c.


His Ejectment from Worthenbury, His Non­conformity, his Removes to Broad-Oak, and the Providences that were concerning him to the Year 1672.

HAving thus laid together the Instances of his Family Religion, we must now return to the History of Events that were concerning him, and are obliged to look back to the first Year after his Marriage, which was the Year that King Charles the Second came in; a Year of great Changes and struggles in the Land, which Mr. Baxter in his Life gives a full and clear and Im­partial Idea of; by which it may easily be guess'd, how it went with Mr. Henry in his low and narrow Sphere, whose Sentiments in those things were very much the same with Mr. Baxter's.

Many of his best Friends in Worthenbury Parish were lately removed by Death; Emeral Family contra­ry to what it had been; and the same Spirit which that Year reviv'd all the Nation over was work­ing violently in that Country, viz. a Spirit of great Enmity to such Men as Mr. Henry was. Wor­thenbury, upon the Kings coming in, returned into its former Relation to Bangor, and was look'd upon as a [Page 95] Chappelry dependant upon that. Mr. Robert Fogg had for many Years held the sequestred Rectory of Bangor, to which now Dr. Henry Bridgman (Son to Iohn Bishop of Chester, and Brother to the Lord Keeper Bridgeman) return'd to the Possession of. By which Mr. Henry was soon Apprehensive that his Interest at Wor­thenbury was shaken, but thus he writes. The will of the Lord be done. Lord If my Work be done here, provide some other for this People that may be more Skilful, and more Successful, and cut out Work for me elsewhere; How­ever, I will take nothing ill which God doth with me.

He laboured what he could to make Dr. Bridgman his Friend, who gave him good words and was very civil to him, and assured him that he would never remove him till the Law did. But he must look upon himself as the Doctors Curate, and depending upon his Will, which kept him in continual expectation of a removal; however, he continued in his Liberty there above a Year, though in very ticklish and precarious Circumstances.

The Grand Question now on foot was, whether to conform or no. He us'd all means possible to Satisfy himself concerning it, by reading, and discourse, (par­ticularly at Oxford with Dr. Fell (afterwards Bishop of Oxford) but in vain, his dissatisfaction remain'd; how­ever (saith he) I dare not judge those that do conform, for who am I that I shall judge my Brother: He hath noted, that being at Chester, in discourse with the Dean and Chancellor and others, about this time, the great Ar­gument they used with him to perswade him to con­form was, that else he would lose his Preferment, and what (said they) you are a young Man, and are you wiser then the King and Bishops? But this is his reflection upon it afterwards, God grant I may never be left to consult [...]ith Flesh and Blood in such matters.

[Page 96] In September 1660. Mr. Fogg and Mr. Steel and Mr. Henry were Presented at Flint-Assizes for not Reading the Common Prayer, though as yet it was not enjoyn'd, but there were some busie People, that would out-run the Law. They entred their Appearance, and it fell; for soon after the King's Declaration, touching Ecclesi­astical Affairs came out, which promised Liberty and gave hopes of Settlement, but the Spring-Assizes after­wards Mr. Steel and Mr. Henry were presented again. On this he writes. Be merciful to me O God, for Man would swallow me up. The Lord shew me what he would have me to do, for I am afraid of nothing but Sin.

It appears by the Hints of his Diary that he had Melancholy Apprehensions, at this Time about publick Affairs, seeing and hearing of so many faithful Ministers distur'b, silenced, and ensnared; the ways of Sion mourning, and the quiet in the Land treated as the troublers of it; his Soul wept in Secret for it. And yet he join'd in the Annual Commemoration of the King's Restauration, and preach'd on Mar. 12. 17. Render to to Caesar the Things that are Caesar's,) considering (saith he) that it was his right; also the sad Posture of the Civil Government through Usurpers, and the manner of his coming in, without Bloodshed. This he would all his Days speak of as a national Mercy, but what he rejoy­ced in with a great Deal of Trembling for the Ark of God; and he would sometimes say, ‘That during those Years between forty and sixty, though on Civil ac­counts there were great Disorders, and the Foundati­ons were out of Course, yet in the matters of God's Worship, things went well; there was Freedom, and Reformation, and a Face of Godliness was upon the Nation, tho' there were those that made but a mask of it. Ordinances were administred in Power and Pu­rity, and though there was much amiss, yet Religion [Page 97] at least in the Profession of it did prevail: This (saith he) we know very well, let Men say what they will of those times.’

In November 1660. he took the Oath of Allegiance at Orton, before Sir Thomas Hanmer, and two other Justices, of which he hath left a Memorandum in his Diary, with this added, God so help me, as I purpose in my Heart to do accordingly: Nor could any more Conscientiously observe that Oath of God than he did, nor more sincerely promote the Ends of it.

That Year (according to an Agreement with some of his Brethren in the Ministry, who hoped thereby to oblige some People) he Preached upon Christmas-day. The Sabbath before it happen'd that the 23d Chapter of Leviticus (which treats intirely of the Jewish Feasts, called there the Feasts of the Lord) came in course to be Expounded, which gave him occasion to distinguish of Feasts into Divine and Ecclesiastical; the Divine Feasts that the Jews had were those there appointed; their Ecclesiastical Feasts were those of Purim and of Dedication: and in the Application of it he said, He knew no Divine Feast we have under the Gospel but the Lord's Day, intended for the Commemo­ration of the whole Mercy of our Redemption. And the most that could be said for Christmas was, that it is an Ecclesiastical Feast; and it is questionable with some, whether Church or State, though they might make a good Day, Esth. 9. 19. could make a Holy Day: Neverthe­less, for asmuch as we find our Lord Iesus (Joh. 10. 22.) so far complying with the Church Feast of Dedication, as to take occasion from the Peoples coming together to Preach to them, he purposed to Preach upon Christmas-day, knowing it to be his Duty in Season and out of Sea­son. He Preached on 1 Ioh. 3. 8. For this purpose was [Page 98] the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the Works of the Devil. And he minded his People, that it is double dishonour to Iesus Christ, to practise the Works of the Devil, then when we keep a Feast in Memory of his Manifestation.

His Annuity from Emeral was now with held, be­cause he did not read the Common Prayer: (tho' as yet there was no Law for Reading of it) hereby he was disabled to do what he had been wont, for the Help and Relief of others; and this he has Record­ed as that which troubled him most under that Disap­pointment; but he blessed God, that he had a Heart to do good, even when his Hand was empty.

When Emeral Family was unkind to him, he rec­koned it a great Mercy, which he gave God thanks for (who makes every Creature to be that to us that it is) that Mr. Broughton and his Family (which is of con­siderable Figure in the Parish) continued their kind­ness and respects to him, and their countenance of his Ministry, which he makes a grateful mention of more than once in his Diary.

Many attempts were made in the Year 1661. to disturb and ensnare him, and it was still expected, that he would have been hindred; Methinks (saith he) Sabbaths were never so sweet as they are, now we are kept at such uncertainties; now a day in they Courts is better than a thousand; such a day as this (saith he of a Sacrament Day that Year) better than ten thousand; O that we might yet see many such days!

He was advis'd by Mr. Ratcliff of Chester and o­thers of his Friends to enter an Action against Mr. P. for his Annuity, and did so; but concerning the Success of it (saith he) I am not over sollicitous; for though it be my due, (Luke 10. 7.) yet it was not that which I Preach­ed for; and God knows I would much rather Preach for [Page 99] nothing than not at all; and besides I know assuredly, if I should be Cast, God will make it up to me some other way. After some Proceeding he not only mov'd but sollicited Mr. P. to refer it, having learned (saith he) that it is no Disparagement but an Honour, for the Par­ty wronged, to be first in seeking Reconciliation; The Lord (if it be his Will) incline his Heart to Peace. I have now (saith he) two great Concerns upon the Wheel, one in reference to my Maintenance for time past, the o­ther as to my continuance for the future; the Lord b [...] my friend in both, but of the two rather in the latter. But (saith he) many of greater Gifts and Grace than I are laid aside already, and when my turn comes, I know not, the Will of God be done; He can do his Work with­out us.

The issue of this affair was, that there having been some Disputes between Mr. P. and Dr. Bridgman, a­bout the Tithe of Worthenbury, wherein Mr. P. had clearly the better Claim to make, yet by the Media­tion of Sir Tho. Hanmer they came to this Agreement, Septemb. 11. 1661. that Dr. Bridgman and his Suc­cessors, Parsons of Bangor, should have and receive all the Tithe Corn and Hay of Worthenbury, without the Disturbance of the said Mr. P. or his Heirs (except the Tith-Hay of Emeral Demesn) upon Condition that Dr. Bridgman should before the first of November following, avoid and discharge the present Minister or Curate Philip Henry, from the Chappel of Worthenbu­ry, and not hereafter at any time re-admit the said Mi­nister Philip Henry, to Officiate the said Cure. This is the Substance of the Articles agreed upon between them, pursuant to which Dr. Bridgman soon after dis­miss'd Mr. Henry; and by a Writing under his Hand, which was published in the Church of Worthenbury, by one of Mr. Puleston's Servants October the 27th fol­lowing, [Page 100] Notice was given to the Parish of that Dis­mission. That Day he Preached his Farewel Sermon on Phil. 1. 27. Only let your Conversation be as becomes the Gospel of Christ. In which (as he saith in his Dia­ry) his desire and design was rather to profit then to affect; it matters not what becomes of me (whether I come unto you, or else be absent) but let your Conversati­on be as becomes the Gospel. His parting Prayer for them was, The Lord, the God of the Spirits of all Flesh, set a Man over the Congregation. Thus he ceased to Preach to his People there, but he ceased not to love them, and pray for them; and could not but think there re­mained some dormant Relation betwixt him and them.

As to the Arrears of his Annuity from Mr. P. when he was displaced; after some time Mr. P. was wil­ling to give him 100 l. which was a good deal less, than what was due, upon Condition that he would surrender his Deed of Annuity, and his Lease of the House, which he for Peace-sake was willing to do, and so he lost all the Benefit of Judge Puleston's great Kindness to him. This was not compleated till Sep­tember, 1662. until which time he continued in the House at Worthenbury, but never Preached so much as once in the Church, tho' there were vacancies seve­ral times.

Mr. Richard Hilton was immediately put into the Curacy of Worthenbury by Dr. Bridgman; Mr. Hen­ry went to hear him, (if he were at home) as long as he continued at Worthenbury; and join'd in all the parts of the publick Worship, particularly attend­ing upon the Sacrament of Baptism; not daring (saith he) to turn my back upon God's Ordinance, while the Essentials of it are retained, tho' corrupted circum­stantially in the Administration of it, which God amend. [Page 101] Once being allow'd the liberty of his Gesture, he join'd in the Lord's Supper. He kept up his Corre­spondence with Mr. Hilton; and (as he saith in his Diary) endeavoured to possess him with right Thoughts of his Work, and advis'd him the best he could in the Soul affairs of that People; which (saith he) he seem­ed to take well; I am sure I meant it so, and the Lord make him Faithful.

Immediately after he was Removed and Silenced at Worthenbury, he was sollicited to Preach at Bangor, and Dr. Bridgman was willing to permit it, occasio­nally; and intimated to his Curate there, that he should never hinder it; but Mr. Henry declin'd it: Tho' his Silence was his great Grief, yet such was his Ten­derness, that he was not willing so far to discourage Mr. Hilton at Worthenbury, nor to draw so many of the People from him, as would certainly have follow­ed him to Bangor: But (saith he) I cannot get my Heart into such a Spiritual Frame on Sabbath-days now, as formerly; which is both my Sin and my Affliction. Lord quicken me with quickning Grace.

When the King came in first, and shew'd so good a Temper, as many thought; some of his Friends were very earnest with him, to revive his Acquaintance and Interest at Court, which it was thought he might easi­ly do. 'Twas reported in the Country, that the Duke of York had enquired after him; but he heeded not the Report: nor would he be perswaded to make any Addresses that way. For (saith he) my Friends do not know so well as I the Strength of Temptation, and my own inability to deal with it. Qui benè latuit benè vixit; Lord lead me not into Temptation.

He was greatly affected with the Temptations and Afflictions of many Faithful Ministers of Christ at this time, by the pressing of Conformity; and kept many [Page 102] private Days of Fasting and Prayer in his own House at Worthenbury, seeking to turn away the Wrath of God from the Land. He greatly pitied some, who by the urgency of Friends, and the fear of want, were over perswaded to put a force upon themselves in their Conformity. The Lord keep me (saith he) in the Cri­tical time.

He Preached sometimes occasionally in divers neigh­bouring places, till Bartholomew-day 1662. the day (saith he) which our sins have made one of the saddest days to England, since the Death of Edward the 6th; but even this for good, though we know not how nor which way. He was invited to preach at Bangor on the black Bartholomew-day, and prepared a Sermon on Ioh. 7 37. in the last day, that great day of the Feast, &c. but was prevented from Preaching it; and was loth to strive against so strong a stream.

As to his Nonconformity, which some of his worst Enemies have said was his only fault, it may not be amisshere to give some Account of it.

1. His Reasons for his Nonconformity were very considerable. 'Twas no rash act, but deliberate and well weigh'd in the Balance of the Sanctuary. He could by no means submit to be Re-ordain'd; so well satisfied was he in his Call to the Ministry, and his solemn Ordination to it, by the laying on of the Hands of the Presbytery, which God had graciously own'd him in; that he durst not do that which looked like a Renunciation of it, as null and sinful, and would be at least a tacit invalidating and condemning of all his Administrations. Nor could he truly say, that he thought himself moved by the Holy Ghost, to take up­on him the Office of a Deacon. He was the more con­firm'd in this Objection, because the then Bishop of Chester, Dr. Hall (in whose Diocess he was) besides [Page 103] all that was requir'd by Law, exacted from those that came to him to be Re-ordain'd, a Subscription to this Form. Ego A. B. praetensas meas Ordinationis literas, à quibusdam Presbyteris olim obtentas, jam penitus renun­cio, & dimitto pro vanis; humiliter supplicans quatenus Rev. in Christo Pater & Dominus Dominus Georgius permis­sione divinâ Cestr. Episc. me ad sacrum Diaconatus or­dinem juxta morem & ritus Ecclesiae Anglicanae digna­retur admmittere. This of Reordination was the first and great Bar to his Conformity, and which he most­ly insisted on. He would sometimes say, that for a Presbyter to be Ordained a Deacon, is at the best, suscipere gradum Simeonis.

Besides this, he was not at all satisfied to give his un­feigned Assent and Consent, to all and every thing con­tained in the Book of Common-Prayer, &c. for he thought that thereby he should receive the Book it self, and eve­ry part thereof, Rubricks and all, both as true and good; whereas there were several things which he could not think to be so. The Exceptions which the Mini­sters made against the Liturgy, at the Savoy Confe­rence, he thought very considerable; and could by no means submit to, much less approve of the Imposition of the Ceremonies: He often said, that when Christ came to free us from the Yoke of one Ceremonial Law, he did not leave it in the Power of any Man or company of Men in the World, to lay another upon our Necks. Kneeling at the Lord's Supper he was much dissatisfied about, and it was for many Years his great Grief, and which in his Diary he doth of­ten most pathetically lament; that by it he was debar­ed from partaking of that Ordinance, in the solemn Assembly: For to submit to that Imposition he thought whatever it was to others (whom he was far from judging) would be Sin to him. He never took the [Page 104] Covenant, nor ever-express'd any foundness for it; and yet he could not think, and therefore durst not declare that (however unlawfully impos'd) it was in itself an un­lawful Oath, and that no Person that took it, was un­der the Obligation of it: For sometimes Quod fieri non debuit factum valet. In short, it cannot be won­dred at, that he was a Nonconformist, when the Terms of Conformity were so industriously contrived, to keep out of the Church such Men as He; which is manifest by the full Account which Mr. Baxter hath left to Posterity of that affair; and it is a passage worth noting here, which Dr. Bates in his Funeral Sermon on Mr. Baxter relates; that when the Lord Chamberlain Manchester told the King (while the Act of Uniformity was under debate) that he was afraid that the Terms were so hard, that many of the Mini­sters would not comply with them; Bishop Sheldon being present replied, I am afraid they will. And it is well known how many of the most sober, pious, and laborious Ministers, in all parts of the Nation, Con­formists as well as Nonconformists did dislike those Impositions.

He thought it a Mercy (since it must be so) that the Case of Nonqonformity was made so clear as it was, abundantly to satisfie him in his Silence and Sufferings. I have heard that Mr. Anthony Burgoss, who hesitated before, when he read the Act, blessed God that the Matter was put cut of doubt. And yet to make sure Work, the Printing and Publishing of the New Book of Common-Prayer was so deferr'd, that few of the Ministers, except those in London, could possibly get a sight of it much less duly consider of it before the time prefix'd; which Mr. Steel took Notice of in his Farewel-Sermon at Hanmer, August 17. 1662. That he was silenced and turn'd out, for not declaring his [Page 105] unfeigned Assent and Consent to a Book which he never saw nor could see.

One thing which he comforted himself with in his Nonconformity was, that as to Matters of doubtful Disputation touching Church-Government, Ceremoni [...]s and the like, he was unsworn either on one side or the other, and so was free from those snares and bands in which so many find themselves both ty'd up from what they would do, and entangled that they knew not what to do. He was one of those that fear'd an Oath, Eccl. 10. 2. and would often say, Oaths are Edg-Tools, and not to be played with. One passage I find in his Papers which confirm'd him in this satisfa­ction; 'tis a Letter from no less a Clergy-man than Dr. F. of Whitchurch to one of his Parishioners, who desired him to give way that his Child might be Bapti­zed by another without the Cross and Godfathers, if he would not do it so himself; both which he refus'd: ‘'Twas in the Year 1672/3. For my part (saith the Doctor) I freely profess my Thoughts, that the strict urging of indifferent Ceremonies, hath done more harm than good; and possibly (had all Men been left to their liberty therein) there might have been much more Unity, and not much less Uni­formity. But what Power have I to dispense with my self, being now under the Obligation of a Law and an Oath? And he Concludes, I am much grieved at the unhappy condition of my self, and other Ministers, who must either lose their Parishioners Love, if they do not comply with them, or else break their solemn Obligations to please them.’

This he would say was the Mischief of Impositions, which ever were and ever will be bones of Contention. When he was at Worthenbury, though in the Lord's Supper he used the Gesture of Sitting himself, yet he [Page 106] Administred it without scruple to some, who chose ra­ther to Kneel; and he thought that Ministers Hands should not in such things be tied up; but that he ought in his place (though he suffered for it) to witness against the making of those things the indispensable Terms of Communion, which Jesus Christ hath not made to be so. Where the Spirit of the Lord, and the Spirit of the Go­spel is, there is liberty.

Such as these were the Reasons of his Nonconfor­mity, which as long as he liv'd, he was more and more co [...]firm'd in.

2. His Moderation in his Nonconformity was very exemplary and eminent, and had a great influence upon many, to keep them from running into an Un­charitable and Schismatical Separation; which upon all occasions he bore hi [...] Testimony against, and was ve­ry industrious to stem the Tide of. In Church Govern­ment, that which he desired and wished for, was Arch-Bishop Usher's Reduction of Episcopacy. He thought it lawful to join in the Common-Prayer in Publick Assemblies, and practis'd accordingly, and endeavou­red to satisfie others concerning it. The Spirit he was of, was such as made him much afraid of extreams, and sollici [...]ous for nothing more than to maintain and keep Christian Love and Charity among Professors: We shall meet with several Instances of this, in the progress of his Story, and therefore wave it here. I have been told of an aged Minister of his acquaintance, who being as'd upon his Death-bed, What his thoughts were of his Nonconformity, replied, he was well satisfied in it, and should not have Conformed so far as he did (viz. to join in the Liturgy) if it had not been for Mr. Henry. Thus was his Moderation known unto all Men.

[Page 107] But to proceed in his Story. At Michaelmas, 1662. he quite left Worthenbury, and came with his Family to Broad-Oak, just Nine Years from his first coming into the Country. Being cast by Divine Providence into this new place and state of Life, his Care and Prayer was, that he might have Grace and Wisdom to manage it to the Glory of God, which (saith he) is my chief End. Within three Weeks after his coming hi­ther, his second Son was Born, which we mention, for the sake of the Remark he has upon it. We have no Reason (saith he) to call him Benoni, I wish we had not to call him I [...]habod. And on the Day of his Fa­mily-Thanksgiving for that Mercy, he writes, We have reason to Rejoyce with Trembling, for it goes ill with the Church and People of God, and reason to fear worse, because of our own Sins, and our Enemies Wrath.

At the latter end of this Year he hath in his Diary this Note.‘It is observed of many who have Con­formed of late, and fallen from what they formerly Professed, tha [...] since their so doing, from unblama­ble, orderly, pious Men, they are become exceeding dissolute and profane, and instanceth in some: What need have we every day to Pray, Lord lead us not into Temptation.

For several Years after he came to live at Broad-Oak, he went constantly on Lords days to the publick Worship, with his Family, at Whitewell-Chapel (which is hard by) if there were any supply there, as some­times there was from Malpas, and if none, then to Tylstock, (where Mr. Zachary Thomas continued for about half a Year, and the place was a little Sanctu­ary) and when that string fail'd usually to Whitchurch; and did not Preach for a great while, unless occasional­ly, when he visited his Friends, or to his own Family on Lords days, when the Weather hindred them from [Page 108] going abroad. He comforted himself, that sometimes in going to publick, he had opportunity of instructing and exhorting those that were in company with him, by the way, according as he saw they had need; and in this his Lips fed many, and his Tongue was as choice Silver; and he acted according to that Rule which he often laid down to himself and others, That when we cannot do what we would, we must do what we can, and the Lord will accept us in it. He made the best of the Sermons he heard in Publick; It is a Mercy (saith he) we have Bread, though it be not as it hath been, of the finest of the Wheat. Those are froward Chil­dren who throw away the Meat they have, if it be wholsome, because they have not what they would have. When he met with Preaching that was weak, his Note is, That's a poor Sermon indeed, out of which no good Lesson may be learned. He had often occasion to remember that Verse of Mr. Herbert's:

The worst speaks something good, if all want sense,
God takes the Text, and preacheth Patience.

Nay, and once he saith, he could not avoid thinking of Eli's Sons, who made the Sacrifices of the Lord to be abhorred: Yet he went to bear his Testimony to pub­lick Ordinances; For still (saith he) the Lord loves the Gates of Zion, more than all the Dwellings of Jacob, and so do I. Such then were his Sentiments of things, expecting that God would yet open a door of return to former publick Liberty, which he much desir'd and prayed for, and in hopes of that was, backward to fall into the stated Exercise of his Ministry otherwise, (as were all the sober Nonconformists generally in those parts) but it was his grief, and burthen, that he had not an opportunity of doing more for God. He had scarce one Talent of opportunity, but that one he was [Page 109] very diligent and faithful in the improvement of. When he visited his Friends, how did he lay, out him­self to do them good! Being asked once (where he made a visit) to Expound and Pray, which his Friends return'd him thanks for; he thus writes upon it, They cannot thank me so much for my pains, but I thank them more, and my Lord God especially, for the Opportunity. Read his Conflict with himself at this time: I own my self a Minister of Christ, yet do nothing as a Mini­ster; What will excuse me! Is it enough for me to say, Behold, I stand in the Market place, and no Man hath hired me: And he comforts himself with this Appeal, Lord thou knowest what will I have to thy Work, publick or private, if I had a Call and Opportunity; and shall this willing mind be accepted? Surely this is a Melan­choly Consideration, and lays a great deal of blame somewhere, that such a Man as Mr. Henry, so well qualified with Gifts and Graces for Ministerial Work, and in the prime of his time for usefulness; so Sound and Orthodox, so Humble and Modest, so Quiet and Peaceable, so Pious and Blameless, should be so indu­striously thrust out of the Vineyard, as a useless and unprofitable Servant, and laid aside as a despised broken Vessel, and a Vessel in which there was no pleasure. This is a Lamentation, and shall be for a Lamentation; e­specially since it was not his Case alone, but the Lot of so many Hundreds of the same Chara­cter.

In these Circumstances of Silence and Restraint, he took comfort himself, and administred Comfort to o­thers from that Scripture Isa. 16. 4. Let mine out-casts dwell with thee Moab. God's People may be an Out-cast People, cast out of mens Love, their Synagogues, their Country; but God will own his People when Men cast them out; they are out-casts, but they are [Page 110] his, and somewhere or other he will provide a dwelling for them. There were many worthy, able Ministers there­abouts turn'd out, both from Work and Subsistence, that had not such comfortable Support for the Life that now is, as Mr. Henry had, for whom he was most affectionately concern'd, and to whom he shew'd kindness. There were computed within a few Miles round him, so ma­ny Ministers turn'd out to the wide World, stript of all their Maintenance, and expos'd to continual Hard­ships, as with their Wives and Children (having most of them Numerous Families) made up above a Hun­dred, that liv'd upon Providence; and though oft re­duced to wants and straits, yet were not forsaken, but were enabled to rejoyce in the Lord, and to joy in the God of their Salvation notwithstanding: to whom the promise was fulfilled, Psal. 37. 3. So shalt thou dwell in the Land, and verily thou shalt be fed. The World was told long since, by the Conformists Plea, that the worthy Mr. Lawrence (Mr. Henry's in­timate Friend) when he was turn'd out of Baschurch, and (if he would have Consulted with Flesh and Blood) having (as was said of one of the Martyrs) Eleven good Arguments against Suffering, viz. a Wife and Ten Children; was ask'd how he meant to maintain them all, and cheerfully replied, they must all live up­on the 6th of Matthew, Take no thought for your Life, &c. and he often sung with his Family Psal. 37. 16. And Mr. Henry hath Noted concerning him in his Dia­ry, some time after he was turn'd out, that he bore wit­ness to the love and care of our Heavenly Father, provi­ding for him and his in his present Condition, beyond Ex­pectation.

One Observation Mr. Henry made not long before he Dyed, when he had been young and now was old, that though many of the Ejected Ministers were brought [Page 111] very low, had many Children, were greatly harras­sed by Persecution, and their Friends generally poor and unable to support them; yet in all his Acquain­tance he never knew, nor could remember to have heard of any Nonconfor mist Minister in Prison for Debt.

In October 1663. Mr. Steel and Mr. Henry, and some other of their Friends, were taken up and brought Prisoners to Hanmer, under pretence of some Plot, said to be on foot against the Government: and there they were kept under confinement some days, on which he writes; it is sweet being in any Condition with a clear Conscience: The Sting of Death is Sin, and so of Imprison­ment also, 'Tis the first Time (saith he) I was ever a Prisoner, but perhaps may not be the last. We felt no hardship, but we know not what we may. They were after some Days examin'd by the Deputy Lieutenants, charged with they knew not what, and so dismissed, finding verbal security to be forth-coming upon Twenty four hours notice, whenever they should be called for. Mr. Henry return'd to his Tabernacle with Thanks­givings to God, and a hearty prayer for his Enemies, that God would forgive them. The very next day af­ter they were released, a great Man in the Country, at whose Instigation they were brought into that trouble, died (as was said) of a drunken Surfeit. So that a Man shall say, verily there is a God that judgeth in the Earth.

In the Beginning of the Year 1665. when the Act for a Royal Aid to his Majesty of two Millions and a half came out; The Commissioners for Flintshire were pleas'd to nominate Mr. Henry Sub-collector of the said Tax for the Township of Iscoyd, and Mr. Steel for the Township of Hanmer. They intended thereby to put an Affront and disparagement upon their Ministry, and to shew that they look'd upon them but as Lay­men, [Page 112] His note upon it is, It is not a Sin which they put us upon, but it is a Cross, and a Cross in our Way, and therefore to be taken up and born with patience. When I had better work to do, I was wanting in my Du­ty about it, and now this is put upon me, the Lord is righ­teous. He procured the gathering of it, by others only took account of it, and saw it duly done and deserv'd, (as he saith, he hoped he should) that Inscription men­tioned in Suetonius [...]. To the Memory of an honest Publican.

In September the same Year, he was again by war­rant from the Deputy Lieutenant's fetch'd Prisoner to Hanmer, as was also Mr Steel and others. He was ex­amined about private Meetings: some such (but private indeed) he own'd he had been present at of late in Shrop­shire, but the Occasion was extraordinary; the Plague was at that Time raging in London, and he, and several of his Friends having near Relations there, thought it time to seek the Lord for them, and this was imputed to him as his Crime. He was likewise charged with Administring the Lord's Supper, which he denied, having never Administred it since he was disabled by the Act of Uniformity. After some Days Confine­ment, seeing they could prove nothing upon him, he was discharged upon Recognizance, of 20 l. with two Sureties to be forth-coming upon Notice, and to live Peaceably. But (saith he) our Restraint was not Strict for we had liberty of Prayer, and Conference together, to our mutual Edification: thus, out of the Eater came forth meat, and out of the strong Sweetness, and we found Honey in the Carcase of the Lion. It was but a little before this, that Mr. Steel setting out for London, was by a Warrant, from the Justices, under Colour of the report of a Plot, stop't and search'd, and finding nothing to accuse him of, they seiz'd his Almanack in which he kept his Diary [Page 113] for that Year; and it not being written very legibly, they made what malicious readings and comments they pleas'd upon it, to his great Wrong and Reproach; though to all sober and sensible people, it discover'd him, to be a Man that kept a strict Watch over his own heart, and was a great Husband of his time, and many said they got good by it, and should love him the better for it, Psal. 37. 5, 6. This Event made Mr. Henry somewhat more cautious and sparing in the Records of his Diary, when he saw how evil Men dig up Mischief.

At Lady-day 1666. The Five-mile Act, commenced, by which all Nonconformist Ministers, were forbidden upon pain of Sixth Months imprisonment to come, or be within five Miles of any Corporation, or of any pla [...]e, where they had been Ministers, unless they would take an Oath: of which Mr. Baxter saith, 'twas credibly reported, that the Earl of Southampton then Lord High Treasurer of England said, no honest Man could take it. Mr. Baxter in his Life, hath set down at large, his Reasons against taking this Oxford Oath, as it was called, part. 2. p. 396. &c. part. 3. p. 4. &c. Mr. Henry, set his down in short. 'Twas an Oath, not at any time, to endeavour any Alteration of the Government in the Church or State. He had already taken an Oath of Allegiance to the King, and he look'd upon this to a­mount to an Oath of Allegiance to the Bishops, which he was not free to take, Thus he writes, March. 22. 1665/6.

‘This Day methoughts it was made more clear to me than ever, by the Hand of my God upon me, and I note it down, that I may remember it. (1) That the Government of the Church of Christ, ought to be managed by the Ministers of Christ. It appears, Heb. 13 7. that they are to rule us, that Speak to us the Word of God. (2) That under Prelacy, Ministers [Page 114] have not the Management of Church-Government, not in the least, being only the Publishers of the Pre­lates Decrees, as in Excommunication, and Absolu­tion, which Decrees sometimes are given forth by Lay Chancellors. (3) That therefore Prelacy is an Usur­pation in the Church of God upon the Crown and Dignity of Jesus Christ, and upon the Gospel-Rights of his Servants the Ministers. And therefore (4) I ought not to subscribe to it, nor to swear not to en­deavour in all lawful ways the Alteration of it, viz. by Praying, and Perswading, where there is opportunity. But (5) that I may safely venture to suffer in the re­fusal of such an Oath, committing my Soul, Life, Estate, Liberty, all to him who judgeth righteously.’

And on March 25. the day when that Act took place, he thus writes. ‘A sad day among poor Mi­nisters up and down this Nation; who by this Act of Restraint are forced to remove from among their Friends, Acquaintance, and Relations, and to sojurn a­mong strangers, as it were in Mesech, and in the Tents of Kedar. But there is a God who tells their wan­drings, and will put their Tears, and the Tears of their Wives, and Children into his Bottle, are they not in his Book? The Lord be a little Sanctuary to them, and a place of Refuge, from the Storm, and from the Tempest, and pity those Places, from which they are ejected, and come and dwell where they may not.

He wished their Removes might not be figurative of Evil to these Nations, as Ezekiel's were, Ezek. 12. 1. 2. 3. This severe Dispensation forced Mr. Steel, and his Fa­mily from Hanmer, and so he lost the comfort of his Neighbourhood; but withal it drew Mr. Laurence from Baschurch to Whitchurch Parish, where he conti­nued till he was driven thence too.

[Page 115] Mr. Henry's house at Broad O [...]k was but four reputed Miles from the utmost Limits of Worthenbury Parish, but he got it measured, and accounting 1760 Yards to a Mile (according to the Statute 35 Eliz. cap. 6.) it was found to be just five Miles and threescore Yards, which one would think might have been his Security: but there were those near him who were ready to stretch such Laws to the utmost rigor, under Pretence of construing them in Favour of the King, and there­fore would have it to be understood of reputed Miles: this obliged him for some time to leave his Family, and to sojurn among his Friends, to whom he endeavoured wherever he came to impart some Spiritual Gift. At last he ventured home, presuming among other things, that the Warrant by which he was made Collector of the Royal Aid, while that continued, would secure him, according to a Promise in the last Clause of the Act, which when the Gentlemen perceived, they discharged him from that Office, before he had served out the Time.

He was much affected with it, that the Burning of London happned so soon after the Nonconformists were banished out of it. He thought it was in Mercy to them, that they were removed before that desolating judgment came, but that it spoke aloud to our Gover­nours, Let my People go that they may serve me, and if ye will not, behold thus and thus will I do unto you. This was the Lord's voice crying in the City.

In the Beginning of the Year 1667. he removed with his Family to Whitchurch, and dwelt there above a Year, except that for one quarter of a Year, about harvest he returned again to Broad-Oak. His Remove to Whitchurch was partly to quiet his Adversaries, who were ready to quarrel with him upon the five Mile [Page 116] Act, and partly for the benefit of the School there for his Children.

There in Apr. following he buried his eldest Son, not quite six Years old, a child of extraordinary praeg­nancy and forwardness in learning, and of a very towardly disposition, his Character of this Child is,

Praeterquam aetatem nil puerile fuit.

This Child before he was seized with the Sickness whereof he died, was much affected with some Verses, which he met with in Mr. Whites Power of Godliness, said to be found in the Pocket of a hopeful young Man, who died before he was twenty four Years old. Of his own accord he got them without Book, and would be often rehearsing them, they were these.

Not twice twelve Years, (he might say
Not half twelve years) full told a wearied Breath
I have exchanged for a happy Death.
Short was my Life; the longer is my Rest,
God takes them soonest whom he loveth best.
He that is born to day and die's to morrow,
Loses some hours of joy, but months of sorrow;
Other Diseases often come to grieve us,
Death Strikes but once and that Stroak doth relieve us.

This was a great Affliction, to the render Parents: Mr. Henry writes upon it in the reflection,

Quicquid amas oupias non placuisse nimis.

Many Years after he said, he thought he did apply to himself at that Time but too sensibly that Scripture, Lam. 3. 1. I am the Man that hath seen affliction. And he would say to his Friends upon such occasions, ‘Loosers think they may have leave to speak. but they must have a care what they say, lest speaking amiss to God's dishonour, they make work for Repentance and shed [Page 117] tears that must be wipt over again.’He observed concerning this child, that he had always been very patient under rebukes, The remembrance of which (saith he) teacheth me now how to carry it under the rebuke's of my heavenly Father. His Prayer under this Providence was, shew me, Lord, shew me wherefore thou contendest with me; have I over-boasted, overlov'd, over-priz'd? A Lord's Day intervening between the Death, and burial of the Child, I attended (saith he) on publick Ordinances though sad in Spirit, as Job who after all the evil Tidings that were brought him, whereof, Death of Children was the last and heaviest, yet fell down and worshipped. And he would often say upon such occasions, that weep­ing must not hinder sowing. Upon the Interment of the Child, he writes, My dear Child, now mine no longer, was laid in the cold Earth, not lost, but sown to be raised again a glorious Body, and I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. A few days after his dear Friend Mr. Lawrence (then living in Whitchurch Parish) Bu­ried a Daughter, that was grown up and very hopeful, and giving good Evidence of a work of Grace wrought upon her Soul; how willing (saith he) may Parents be to part with such when the Lord calls; they are not amissi but praemissi. And he hath this further Remark, The Lord hath made his poor Servants, that have been of­ten Companions in his Work, now companions in Tribula­tion, the very same Tribulation; me for my Sin, him for his Trial.

While he liv'd at Whitchurch, he attended constant­ly upon the publick Ministry, and there (as ever) he was careful to come to the beginning of the Service, which he attended upon with Reverence and Devoti­on; standing all the time, even while the Chapters were read. In the Evening of the Lord's day, he spent some time in instructing his Family, to which a [Page 118] few of his Friends and Neighbours in the Town would sometimes come in; and it was a little gleam of op­portunity, but very short, for (as he Notes) He was offended at it, who should rather have rejoyced, if by a­ny means the Work might be carried on in his Peoples Souls.

He observes in his Diary this Year, how zealous People had generally been for the Observation of Lent, a while ago. and how cold they are towards it now. The same he Notes of Processions in Ascention Week; for (saith he) what hath no good Foundation, will not hold up long; but in that which is Duty, and of God, it is good to be zealously affected always.

In this Year (I think) was the first time that he Ad­ministred the Lord's Supper (very privately to be sure) after he was Silenced by the Act of Uniformity; and he did not do it without mature Deliberation. A fear of Separation kept him from it so long; what induced him to it at last, I find thus under his own Hand: I am a Minister of Christ, and as such I am obliged, Vir­tute Officii, by all means to endeavour the good of Souls. Now here's a company of serious Christians, whose Lot is cast to live in a Parish, where there is one set over them, who Preacheth the Truth; and they come to hear him, and join with him in other parts of Worship; only as to the Lord's Supper; they scruple the lawfulness of the Gesture of Kneeling; and he tells them, his hands are tyed, and he cannot administer it unto them any other way; where­fore they come to me, and tell me, they earnestly long for that Ordinance; and there is a competent number of them, and opportunity to partake; and how dare I deny this Re­quest of theirs, without betraying my Ministerial Tr [...]st, and incuring the Guilt of a grievous Omis­sion.

[Page 119] In February 1667/8. Mr. Laurence and he were invi­ted by some of their Friends to Betley in Staffordshire, and (there being some little publick Connivance at that time) with the Consent of all concerned, they adventured to Preach in the Church, one in the Morn­ing, and the other in the Afternoon of the Lords day, very peaceably and profitably. This Action of theirs was presently after Reported in the House of Commons, by a Member of Parliament, with these Additions, That they tore the Common-Prayer Book, trampled the Surplice under their Feet, pull'd the Minister of the place out of the Pulpit, &c. Reports which there was not the least Colour for. But that, with some other such like false Stories, produced an Address of the House of Commons to the King, to issue out a Proclamation, for the putting of the Laws in Execu­tion, against Papists and Nonconformists, which was issued out accordingly; though the King at the open­ing of that Session. a little before, had declared his de­sire, that some Course might be taken, to compose the minds of his Protestant Subjects, in matters of Religion; which had raised the Expectations of some, that there would be speedy enlargement; but Mr. Henry had No­ted upon it, We cannot expect too little from Man, nor too much from GOD.

And here it may be very pertinent to observe, how industrious Mr. Henry was at this time, when he and his Friends suffered such hard things from the Go­vernment, to preserve and promote a good affection to the Government notwithstanding. It was commonly charged at that time upon the Nonconformists in ge­neral, especially from the Pulpits, that they were all a factious and turbulent People, and as was said of old, Ezra 4. 15. hurtful to Kings and Provinces; that their Meetings were for the sowing of Sedition and Discon­tents, [Page 120] and the like; and there is some reason to think, that one thing intended by the Hardships put upon them, was to drive them to this; there is a way of making a wise Man mad: But how peaceably they carried themselves, is manifest to God, and in the Consciences of many. For an Instance of it, it will not be amiss to give some Account of a Sermon, which Mr. Henry Preached in some very private Meetings, such as were called Seditious Conventicles, in the Year 1669. when it was a day of treading down, and of perplexity; it was on that Text, Psal. 35. 20. Against them that are quiet in the Land; Whence (not to cur­ry favour with Rulers, for whatever the Sermon was, the very Preaching of it had it been known, must have been severely Punished, but purely out of Conscience to­wards God) he taught his Friends this Doctrine, That it is the Character of the People of God, that they are a quiet People in the Land. ‘This Quietness he descri­bed to be an orderly, peaceable Subjection to Gover­nours and Government in the Lord. We must maintain a reverent Esteem of them, and of their Authority, in opposition to despising Dominion, 2 Pet. 2. 10. we must be Meek under severe Commands, and burthensome Impositions, not murmuring and complaining, as the Israelites against Moses and Aa­ron; but take them up as our Cross in our way, and bear them as we do foul Weather. We must not speak evil of Dignities, Iude 8. nor revile the gods, Exod. 22. 28. Paul checked himself for this, Acts 23. 5, [...]: I did not consider it, if I had, I would not have said so. We must not traduce their Go­vernment as Absalom did David's, 2 Sam. 15. 3. Great care is to be taken, how we speak of the faults of any, especially of Rulers, Eccl. 10. 20.—The Peo­ple of God do make the word of God their Rule, and [Page 121] by that they are taught, (1.) that Magistracy is God's Ordinance, and Magistrates God's Ministers; that by him Kings Reign, and the Powers that be, are Ordained of him. (2.) That they as well as others, are to have their Dues, Honour and Fear, and Tribute. (3.) That their lawful Commands are to be obey'd, and that readily and chearfully, 1 Tit. 3. 1. (4.) That the Penalties inflicted for not obeying unlawful Com­mands, are patiently to be undergone. This is the Rule, and as many as walk according to this Rule, Peace shall be upon them, and there can be no danger of their Unpeaceableness. They are taught to pray for Kings and all in Authority, 1 Tim. 2. 1. 2. and God forbid we should do otherwise: yea, thô they Perse­cute, Ier. 29. 7. Peaceable Prayers bespeak a peace­able People, Psal. 109. 4. If some professing Religi­on have been unquiet, their unquietness hath given the lye to their Profession. Iude 8. 11, 12. Quiet­ness is our Badge, Coll. 3. 12. ' [...]will be our Strength, Isa. 30, 7, 15. our Rejoycing in the day of Evil, Ier. 18. 18. it is pleasing to God, 1 Tim. 2. 2, 3. it may work upon others, 1 Pet. 2. 12, 13. The means he pre­scribed for the keeping of us quiet, were to get our Hearts fill'd with the Knowledge and Belief of these two things, 1. That the Kingdom of Christ is not of this World, Ioh. 18. 36. many have thought otherwise, and it hath made them unquiet. 2. That the wrath of Man worketh not the righteousness of God, Iam. 1. 20. he needs not our Sin to bring to pass his own Counsel. We must mortifie Unquietness in the Causes of it, Iam. 4. 1. we must always remember the Oath of God, Eccl. 8. 2. the Oath of Allegi­ance is an Oath of Quietness, and we must beware of the Company and Converse of those that are un­quiet, Prov. 22. 24, 25. Thô deceitful Matters be de­vis'd, [Page 122] yet we must be quiet still; nay, be so much the more quiet.’

I have been thus large in gathering these hints out of that Sermon, (which he took all occasions, in other Sermons to inculcate, as all his Brethren likewise did) that if possible it may be a Conviction to the present Generation; or however, may be a Witness in time to come, that the Nonconformist Ministers, were not Enemies to Caesar, nor troublers of the Land; nor their Meetings any way tending to the disturbance of the publick Peace, but purely design'd to help to repair the Decays of Christian Piety.

All that knew Mr. Henry, knew very well that his Practise all his days, was consonant to these his settled Principles.

In May 1668. he return'd again with his Family from Whitchurch to Broad-Oke, which, through the good Hand of his God upon him, continued his set­tled home, without any Remove from it, till he was removed to his long home above twenty eight Years after. The edge of the Five Mile Act began now a little to rebate, at least in that Country; and he was desirous to be more useful to the Neighbours, among whom God had given him an Estate, than he could be at a distance from them, by relieving the Poor, em­ploying the Labourers, and especially instructing the Ignorant, and helping as many as he could to Hea­ven. He made that Scripture his standing Rule, and wrote it in the beginning of his Book of Accounts, Prov. 3. 9, 10. Honour the Lord with thy Substance, &c. And having set apart a day of Secret Prayer and Humiliati­on, to beg of God a wise and an understanding Heart, and to drop a Tear (as he expresseth it) over the sins of his Predecessors, formerly in that estate; he laid out him­self very much in doing good. He was very service­able [Page 123] upon all Accounts in the Neighbourhood, and though it took up a great deal of his time, and hin­dred him from his beloved Studies, yet it might be said of him, as the Bishop of Salisbury saith of Arch-Bishop Tillotson, in his Sermon at his Funeral, that he chose rather to live to the good of others than to himself; and thought, that to do an Act of Charity, or even of Tenderness and Kindness, was of more value both in it self, and in the sight of God, than to pursue the pompous parts of Learning, how much soever his own Ge­nius might lead him to it.

He was very useful in the common Concernments of the Township and Country, in which he was a very prudent Counsellor; it was indeed a narrow Sphere of Activity, but (such as it was) to him as to Iob, chap. 29. 21, 22. Men gave ear and waited, and kept silence at his Counsel, after his words they spake not again; and ma­ny of the Neighbours who respected him not as a Minister, yet lov'd and honour'd him as a knowing, prudent and humble Neighbour. In the Concernments of private Families, he was very far from busying him­self, and further from seeking himself, but he was very much busied, advising many about their Affairs, and the disposal of themselves and their Children, arbi­trating and composing Differences among Relations and Neighbours, in which he had an excellent Faculty, and often good Success, inheriting the Blessing entail'd upon the Peace-makers. References have sometimes been made to him by Rule of Court, at the Assizes, with Consent of Parties. He was very affable and easie of access, and admirably patient in hearing eve­ry ones Complaint, which he would answer with so much Prudence and Mildness, and give such apt ad­vice, that many a time to Consult with him, was to ask [Page 124] Counsel at Abel, and so to end the matter. He observ'd in almost all Quarrels that happened, that there was a fault on both sides; and that generally they were most in the fault, that were most forward and clamo­rous in their Complaints. One making her moan to him of a bad Husband she had, that in this, and 'tother instance was unkind; and (Sir,) saith she, after a long Complaint which he patiently heard, what would you have me to do now? Why truly (saith he) I would have you to go home, and be a better Wife to him, and then you'll find that he will be a better Husband to you. Labouring to perswade one to forgive an injury that was done him; he urged this, Are you not a Christi­an? and follow'd that Argument so close, that at last he prevailed.

He was very industrious, and oft successful in per­swading People, to recede from their Right, for Peace sake; and he would for that purpose tell them Luther's Story of the two Goats, that met upon a narrow Bridge over a deep Water; they could not go back, nor durst not fight; after a short parley, one of them lay down, and let the other go over him, and no harm done. He would likewise relate sometimes a remarkable Story, worthy to be here incerted concerning a good Friend of his, Mr. T. Y. of Whitchurch, who in his Youth was greatly wrong'd by an unjust Uncle of his, being an Orphan; his Portion, which was 200 l. was put into the hands of that Uncle; who when he grew up, shuffled with him, and would give him but 40 l. instead of his 200 l. and he had no way of recovering his Right but by Law; but before he would engage in that, he was willing to advise with his Minister, who was the famous Dr. Twiss of Newberry; the Counsel he gave him (all things considered) was, for Peace­sake, and for the preventing of Sin and Snares, and [Page 125] trouble to take the 40 l. rather then contend; and Tho­mas (saith the Doctor) if thou dost so, assure thy self, that God will make it up to thee and thine, some other way, and they that defraud thee will be the losers by it at last. He did so, and it pleased God so to bless that little which he began the World with, that when he dy'd in a good old Age, he left his Son possess'd of some Hun­dreds a Year, and he that wrong'd him fell into de­cay.

Many very pious worthy Families in the Country would say of Mr. Henry, that they had no Friend like minded, who did naturally care for their State, and so affectionately sympathize with them, and in whom their Hearts could safely trust. He was very Chari­table to the Poor, and was full of Almsdeeds, which he did (as is said of Tabitha, Acts 9. 36) not which he said he would do, or which he put others on to do, but which he did himself, dispersing abroad and gi­ving to the Poor, seeking and rejoycing in Opportuni­ties of that kind: And whenever he gave an Alms for the Body, he usually gave with it a Spiritual Alms, some good word of Counsel, Reproof, Instruction or Comfort, as there was occasion, and in accommoda­ting these to the Persons he spoke to, he had a very great Dexterity.

He was very forward to lend Money freely, to any of his poor Neighbours that had occasion, and would sometimes say, that in many Cases there was more Cha­rity in lending than in giving, because it obliged the Borrower both to Honestly and Industry. When one of his Neighbours, to whom he had lent three Pound, fail'd, so that he was never likely to see a Farthing of it, he writes thus upon it; notwithstanding this, yet still I judge it my Duty to lend, [...], nothing despairing, so Dr. Hammand reads it, Luke 6. 35. [Page 126] Though what is lent in Charity be not repaid, yet it is not lost. When those that had borrowed Money of him paid him again, he usually gave them back some part, to encourage Honesty. He judged the taking of moderate Interest for Money lawful, where the Borrower was in a way of gaining by it: But he would advise his Friends that had Money, rather to dispose of it other ways, if they could.

It must not be forgotten, how punctual and exact he was in all his accounts with Tenants, Workmen, &c. being always careful to keep such things in black and white (as he us'd to say) which is the surest way to prevent Mistakes, and a Man's wronging either himself or his Neighbour; such was his Prudence, and such his Patience and Peaceableness, that of all the time he was at Broad-Oak, he never Sued any, nor ever was Sued, but was instrumental to prevent ma­ny a vexatious Law-Suit among his Neighbours. He used to say, There are four Rules to be duly observed in going to Law; (1. We must not go to Law for Trifles, as he did who said, he would rather spend a Hundred Pound in Law then lose a Penniworth of his Right. Matt. 5. 39, 40, 41. (2) We must not be rash and hasty in it, but try all other means possible to compose differences where­in he that yields most, as Abraham did to Lot, is the better Man, and there is nothing lost by it in the end, 1 Cor. 6. 1 2. (3) We must see that it be without Malice or desire of Revenge. If the undeing of our Brother be the end of our going to Law, as it is with many, 'tis certainly evil, and it speeds accordingly. (4) It must be with a disposition to Peace, whenever it may be had, and an Ear open to all Overtures of that kind. The two Motto's proper for the great Guns are applicable to this, Ratio ultima Regum, and Sic quaerimus Pacem.

[Page 127] Four Rules he sometimes gave to be observed in our Converse with Men: Have Communion with few; Be familiar with one; Deal justly with all; Speak evil of none.

He was noted for an extraordinary neat Husband about his House and Ground, which he would often say, he could not endure to see like the Field of the Sloathful, and the Vineyard of the Man void of Under­standing. And it was strange, how easily one that had been bred up utterly a Stranger to such things; yet when God so ordered his Lot, acquainted him­self with, and accommodated himself to the Affairs of the Country, making it the Diversion of his va­cant Hours, to over-see his Gardens and Fields; when he better understood that known Epode of Horace, Bea­tus ille qui procul negotiis, than he did when in his Youth; he made an ingenious Translation of it. His care of this kind was an Act of Charity to poor Labourers, whom he employed; and it was a good Example to his Neighbours, as well as for the Comfort of his Fa­mily. His Converse likewise with these things was excellently improved, for Spiritual purposes, by occasional Meditations, hints of which there are often in his Diary, as those that Conversed with him had many in Discourse; Instances of this were easie, but endless to give. He us'd to say, that therefore many of the Scripture Parables and Similitudes are taken from the common Actions of this Life, that when our Hands are employed about them, our Hearts may the more easily pass through them to Divine and Heavenly things. I have heard him often blame those, whose irregular Zeal in the Profession of Religion, makes them to neglect their Worldly Business, and let the House drop through; the affairs of which the good Man will order with Discretion; and he would tell sometimes [Page 128] of a Religious Woman, whose Fault it was, how she was convinced of it, by means of an intelligent godly Neighbour; who coming into the House, and finding the good Woman far in the Day, in her Closet, and the House sadly neglected, Children not tended, Ser­vants not minded; What saith he, is there no fear of God in this House? which much startled and affected the good Woman that over-heard him. He would often say, Every thing is beautiful in its Season; and that it is the Wisdom of the Prudent, so to order the Du­ties of their General Callings as Christians, and those of their particular Callings in the World, as that they may not clash or interfere: I have heard it observed from Eccl. 7. 16. That there may be over-doing in well-do­ing.

I cannot omit one little passage in his Diary, because it may be Instructive: When he was once desired to be bound for one that had, upon a particular occa­sion been Bound for him, he writes, Solomon saith, He that hateth Suretiship is sure; but he saith also, he that hath Friends must shew himself friendly. But he always cautioned those that became Sureties, not to be Bound for any more than they knew themselves able to pay, nor for more than they would be willing to pay, if the Principal fail.

His House at Broad-Oake was by the Road-side, which tho' it had its inconveniencies, yet (he would say) pleased him well, because it gave his Friends an opportunity of calling on him the oftner, and gave him an opportunity of being kind to Strangers, and such as were any way distressed upon the Road, to whom he was upon all occasions cheerfully ready, fully answering the Apostles Character of a Bishop, that he must be of good Behaviour, ( [...], decent, affable, and obliging) and given to Hospitality, 1 Tim. 3 2. [Page 129] like Abraham, sitting at his Tent Door, in quest of Opportunities to do good. If he met with any poor near his House, and gave them Alms in Money, yet he would bid them go to his Door besides for Relief there. He was very tender and compassionate towards poor Strangers and Travellers, though his Charity and Candor were often imposed upon by Cheats and Pre­tenders, whom he was not apt to be suspicious of; but would say in the most favourable sense, Thou knowest not the Heart of a Stranger. If any ask'd his Charity, whose Representation of their Case he did not like, or who he thought did amiss to take that Course; he would first give them an Alms, and then mildly re­prove them: And labour to convince them that they were out of the way of Duty, and that they could not expect that God should bless them in it; and would not chide them, but reason with them: And he would say, if he should tell them of their Faults, and not give them an Alms, the Reproof would look only like an Excuse to deny his Charity, and would be reject­ed accordingly.

In a word, his greatest Care about the things of this World, was how to do good with what he had, and to devise liberal things; desiring to make no other Acces­sion to his Estate, but only that Blessing which attends Beneficence. He did firmly believe (and it should seem, few do) that what is given to the Poor, is lent to the Lord, who will pay it again, in kind or kindness; and that Religion and Piety is undoubtedly the best Friend to outward Prosperity, and he found it so; for it plea­sed God abundantly to bless his Habitation, and to make a Hedge about him, and about his House, and about all that he had round about: And though he did not delight himself in the abundance of Wealth; yet which is far better, he delighted himself in the abun­dance [Page 130] of Peace, Psal. 37. 11. All that he had and did observably Prospered, so that the Country oftentimes took Notice of it, and called his Family, a Family which the Lord had Blessed. And his Comforts of this kind were (as he us'd to pray they might be) Oyl to the Wheels of his Obedience, and in the use of these things he served the Lord his God with joyfulness and gladness of Heart, yet still mindful of, and grieved for the Affliction of Ioseph. He would say sometimes, when he was in the midst of the Comforts of this Life, as that good Man; All this and Heaven too! surely then we serve a good Master. Thus did the Lord bless him, and make him a Blessing; and this abundant Grace, through the Thanksgiving of many, redounded to the Glory of God.

Having given this general Account of his Circumstan­ces at Broad-Oak, we shall now go on with his Story, especially as to the Exercise of his Ministry there, and thereabouts; for that was his [...] the thing in which he was, and to which he wholly gave himself, taking other things [...]. After this Settlement at Broad-Oak, whenever there was Preaching at White­well Chappel (as usually there was two Lord's days in the Month) he constantly attended there with his Fa­mily, was usually with the first, and reverently join­ed in the Publick Service; he diligently wrote the Sermons; always staid if the Ordinance of Baptism was Administred, but not if there were a Wedding, for he thought that Solemnity not proper for the Lord's Day. He often Din'd the Minister that Preach'd; af­ter Dinner he sung a Psalm, repeated the Morning Ser­mon, and Pray'd; and then attended in like manner in the Afternoon. In the Evening he Preach'd to his own Family; and perhaps two or three of his Neigh­bours would drop in to him. On those Lord's Days [Page 131] when there was no Preaching at the Chappel, he spent the whole Day at home, and many an excellent Sermon he Preach'd, when there were present only four be­sides his own Family (and perhaps not so many) ac­cording to the limitation of the Conventicle Act. In these narrow private Circumstances he Preached over the former part of the Assemblies Catechism, from di­vers Texts. He also Preached over Psalm 116. besides many particular occasional Subjects.

What a grief of Heart it was to him, to be thus put under a Bushel, and consin'd to such a narrow Sphere of Usefulness, read in his own words, which I shall Transcribe out of an Elegy he made (to give vent to his thoughts) upon the Death of his worthy Friend Mr George Mainwaring, sometime Minister of Malpas, (who was Silenced by the Act of Uniformity, and Dy'd Mar. 14. 1669/70) wherein he thus bewails (feel­ingly enough) the like restraints and Confinements of his Friend.

His later Years he sadly spent,
Wrap't up in Silence and Restraint.
A Burthen such as none do know,
But they that do it undergo.
To have a Fire shut up and pent
Within the Bowels, and no vent;
To have gorg'd Breasts, and by a Law
Those that fain would, forbidden to draw.
But his dumbSabbaths here did prove,
Loud crying Sabbaths in Heaven above.
His Tears, when he might sow no more,
Wat'ring what he had Sown before.

Soon after his Settlement at Broad-Oak, he took a young Scholar into the House with him; partly to teach his [Page 132] Son, and partly to be a Companion to himself to Con­verse with him, and to receive help and instruction from him; and for many Years, he was seldom with­out one or other such; who before their going to the University, or in the intervals of their attendance there, would be in his Family, sitting under his Shadow. One of the first he had with him, in the Year 1668. (and after) was Mr. William Turner, born in the Neighbour­hood; afterwards of Edmund Hall in Oxford, now Vicar of Walberton in Sussex, to whom the World is beholden for that Elaborate History of all Re­ligions, which he Published in the Year 1695. and from whom is earnestly expected the Performance of that Noble and useful Project, for the Record of Providen­ces. Betwixt Mr. Henry and him there was a most in­tire and affectionate Friendship; and notwithstand­ing that distance of place, a constant and endear­ing Correspondence, kept up as long as Mr. Henry liv'd.

It was observ'd that several young Men who had so­journ'd with him, and were very hopeful, and likely to be serviceable to their Generations, dy'd soon after their Removal from him; (I could instance in Six or seven) as if God had sent them to him, to be prepared for another World, before they were called for out of this; yet never any dy'd while they were with him.

He had so great a kindness for the University, and valued so much the mighty advantages of improvement there, that he advis'd all his Friends who design'd their Children for Scholars, to send them thither, for many Years after the Change, though he always count­ed upon their Conformity. But long Experience alter­ed his mind herein, and he chose rather to keep his own Son at home with him, and to give him what help he [Page 133] could there, in his Education, than venture him in­to the Snares and Temptations of the Univer­sity.

It was also soon after this Settlement of his at Broad-Oak, that he Contracted an intimate Friendship with that learned and pious, and judicious Gentleman Mr. Hunt of Boreatton, (the Son of Colonel Hunt of Salop) and with his excellent Lady Frances, Daughter of the Right Honourable the Lord Paget. The Acquain­tance then begun betwixt Mr. Henry and that wor­thy Family continued to his dying day, about Thirty Years. One Lords day in a Quarter he commonly spent with them, besides other interviews: And it was a constant rejoycing to him to see Religion and the Power of Godliness uppermost, in such a Family as that; when not many Mighty, not many Noble are called, and the Branches of it, Branches of Righteous­ness, the planting of the Lord. Divers of the Honou­rable Relations of that Family contracted a very great respect for him, particularly the present Lord Paget, now his Majesty's Ambassador at the Ottoman Court, and Sir Henry Ashurst, whom we shall have occasion afterwards to make mention of.

In the time of Trouble and Distress, by the Conven­ticle Act, in 1670. he kept private, and stirr'd little abroad, as loth to offend those that were in Power, and judging it Prudence to gather in his Sails, when the Storm was violent: He then observ'd, as that which he was troubled at, ‘That there was a great deal of precious time lost among Professors, when they came together, in discoursing of their Adven­tures to meet, and their escapes, which he feared tended more to set up self, than to give Glory to God.’ Also in telling how they got together, and such a one Preached, but little enquiring what Spiritual Benefit [Page 134] and advantage was reaped by it; and that we are apt to make the circumstances of our Religious Services, more the matter of our Discourse, than the Substance of them.

We shall close this Chapter with two Remarks out of his Diary, in the Year 1671. which will shew what manner of Spirit he was of, and what were his Senti­ments of things at that time. One is this, All ac­knowledge that there is at this day a number of sober, peaceable Men, both Ministers and others, among Dis­senters, but who either saith or doth any thing to oblige them; who desireth or endeavoureth to open the Door to let in such; nay, do they not rather provoke them to run into the same Extravagancies with others, by making no difference, but laying load on them, as if they were as bad as the worst. 'Tis true, that about this time the Lord Keeper Bridgman and Bishop Wilkins, and the Lord chief Justice Hale, were making some Overtures towards an Accommodation with them; but it is as true, that those Overtures did but the more exasperate their Adversaries, (who were ready to account such moderate Men, the worst Enemies the Church of Eng­land had) and the event was greater Acts of Seve­rity.

Another is this, If all that hath been said and writ­ten, to prove that Prelacy is Antichristian, and that it is Unlawful to join in the Common Prayer, had been effectu­ally to perswade Bishops to Study and do the Duty of Church Rulers, in preaching and feeding the Flock, according to the Word, and to perswade People to be serious, in­ward, and spiritual in the use of Forms, it had been much better with the Church of God in England, than it now is. Consonant to the Spirit of this Remark, was that which he took all occasions to mention as his set­tled Principle. In those things wherein all the People of [Page 135] God are agreed I will spend my Zeal, and wherein they dif­fer, I will endeavour to walk according to the Light that God hath given me, and Charitably believe that others do so too.


His Liberty by the Indulgence in 1672. and thence forwards, to the Year 1681.

NOtwithstanding the severe Act against Conventi­cles, in the Year 1670. yet the Nonconformists in London, ventur'd to set up Meetings in 1671. and were conniv'd at; but in the Country there was little Liberty taken till the King's Declaration of March 15. 1671/2. gave Countenance and Encouragement to it. What were the secret Springs which produced that De­claration Time Discovered; however, it was to the poor Dissenters, as Life from the Dead, and gave them some reviving in their Bondage, God graciously ordering it so, that the Spirit he had made might not fail before him. But so precarious a Liberty was it, that it should never be said, those People were hard to be pleased, who were so well pleased with that, and thanked God who put such a thing into the King's Heart. The Tenor of that Declaration was this; In Consideration of the inefficacy of Rigor, tryed for divers Years, and to invite Strangers into the Kingdom, ratify­ing the Establishment of the Church of England, it su­spends Penal Laws against all Nonconformists and Recu­sants, [Page 136] promiseth to License separate places for Meet­ings, limiting Papists only to private Houses.

On this Mr. Henry writes, ‘It is a thing diversly resented, as Mens Interests lead them; the Confor­mists displeased, the Presbyterians glad, the Indepen­dents very glad, the Papists triumph. The danger is (saith he) lest the allowing of separate places help to over-throw our Parish-Order, which God hath own'd, and to beget Divisions and Animosities a­mong us, which no honest Heart but would ra­ther should be healed. We are put hereby (saith he) into a Trilemma, either to turn Independents in Practise, or to strike in with the Conformists, or to sit down in former Silence and Sufferings (and Si­lence he accounted one of the greatest Sufferings) till the Lord shall open a more effectual door.’That which (he saith) he then heartily wished for, was, ‘That those who were in place, would admit the so­ber Nonconformists, to Preach sometimes occasionally in their Pulpits; by which means he thought Preju­dices would in time wear off on both sides, and they might mutually strengthen each others Hands against the common Enemy the Papists; who (he foresaw) would fish best in troubled Waters.’ This he would chuse much rather than to keep a separate Meeting: But it could not be had; no, not so much as leave to Preach at Whitewel Chapel when it was vacant, as it often was, though 'twere three long Miles from the Parish-Church. He found that some People, the more they are courted, the more coy they are; however, the Overtures he made to this purpose; and the slow steps he took towards the setting up of a distinct Congre­gation yielded him satisfaction afterwards in the Re­flection, when he could say, we would have been uni­ted, and they would not.

[Page 137] 'Twas several Weeks after the Declaration came out, that he received a License to Preach, as Paul did, in his own House, and elsewhere, no Man forbidding him. This was procur'd for him by some of his Friends at London, without his Privity, and came to him alto­gether unexpected. The use he made of it was, that at his own House, what he did before to his own Fa­mily, and in Private, the Doors being shut for Fear, he now did more Publickly; threw his Doors open, and welcomed his Neighbours to him, to partake of his Spiritual things: Only one Sermon in the Evening of the Lord's Day, when there was Preaching at White­wel Chapel, where he still continued his Attendance with his Family and Friends, as usual; but when there was not, he spent the whole Day, at publick time, in the Services of the Day, Exposition of the Scrip­tures read, and Preaching, with Prayer and Praise. This he did gratis, receiving nothing for his Labours, either at home or abroad, but the Satisfaction of do­ing good to Souls (which was his Meat and Drink) with the trouble and charge of giving Entertainment to many of his Friends, which he did with much cheer­fulness; and he would say, he sometimes thought, that the Bread did even Multiply in the Breaking; and he found, that God did abundantly bless his Pro­vision, with that Blessing, which, as he used to say, will make a little go a great way. He was wont to ob­serve, for the encouragement of such as had Meetings in their Houses, (which sometimes drew upon them in­conveniencies) That the Ark is a Guest, that always pays well for its Entertainment. And he Noted, that when Christ had borrowed Peter's [...]oat to preach a Sermon out of it, he presently repaid him for the Loan, with a great draught of Fishes, Luke 5. [...], 4.

[Page 138] Many thoughts of Heart he had, concerning this use he made of the Liberty, not knowing what would be in the end hereof; but after serious Consideration, and many Prayers, he saw his way very plain before him, and addressed himself with all diligence, to the improvement of this Gale of Opportunity. Some had dismal apprehensions of the issue of it; and that there would be an after-reckoning: but (saith he) let us mind our Duty, and let God alone to order Events, which are his Work, not ours.

It was a word upon the Wheels, which he preached at that time for his own Encouragement, and the En­couragement of his Friends, from that Scripture, Eccl. 11. 4. He that observes the wind shall not sow, and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. Those that are minded either to do good, or get good, must not be frighted with seeming Difficulties and Discourage­ments. Our Work is to Sow and Reap; to do good, and get good; and let us mind that, and let who will mind the Winds and Clouds. A Lion in the way, a Lion in the streets; a very unlikely place (he would, say) for Lions to be in; and yet that serves the Sluggard for an Excuse.

While this Liberty lasted, he was in labours more a­bundant; many Lectures he Preached abroad in Shrap­shire, Cheshire, and Denbighshire, laying out himself exceedingly for the good of Souls, spending, and be­ing spent in the work of the Lord. And of that Neigh­bourhood, and of that Time it was said, that this and that Man was born again, then and there; and many there were who asked the way to Sion, with their Fa­ces thitherwards, and were (not Proselyted to a Par­ty, but) savingly brought home to Jesus Christ. I mean this; such as had been vain and wordly, and careless, and mindless of God and another World, became so­ber [Page 139] and serious, and concern'd about their Souls, and a Future State. This was the Conversion of Souls, aimed at, and laboured after, and through Grace not altogether in vain. Whatever Lectures were set up in the Country round, 'twas still desired that Mr Hen­ry would begin them (which was thought no small En­couragement to those who were to carry them on) and very happy he was, both in the choice and manage­ment of his Subjects at such opportunities, seeking to find out acceptable Words. Take one Specimen of his Address, when he began a Lecture with a Sermon, on Heb. 12. 15. ‘I assure you, (saith he) and God is my Witness, I am not come to Preach, either Sedition a­gainst the Peace of the State, or Schism against the Peace of the Church, by perswading you to this or that Opinion or Party; but as a Minister of Christ, that hath received Mercy from the Lord, to desire to be faithful: My errand is to exhort you to all pos­sible Seriousness, in the great Business of your Eter­nal Salvation, according to my Text, which if the Lord will make as profitable to you, as it is materi­al, and of weight in it self, neither you nor I shall have cause to repent cur coming hither, and our be­ing here to day; looking diligently, lest any of you fail of the Grace of God. If it were the last Sermon I were to Preach, I did not know how to take my aim better to do you good.’

In doing of this Work, he often said, that he look­ed upon himself, but as an Assistant to the Parish Mi­nisters, in promoting the common Interests of Christs Kingdom, and the common Salvation of precious Souls, by the Explication and Application of those great Truths, wherein we are all agreed. And he would compare the Case to that in Hezekiah's time, when the Levites helped the Priests to kill the Sacrifice, which was [Page 140] something of an irregularity, but the exigence of af­fairs called for it; the Priests being too few, and some of them not so careful as they should have been, to sanctifie themselves, see 2 Chr. 29. 34. and wherever he Preached, he usually pray'd for the Parish Minister, and for a Blessing upon his Ministry. He hath often said how well pleas'd he was, when after he had preach­ed a Lecture at Oswestry, he went to visit the Minister of the Place, Mr. Edwards, a worthy good Man; and told him, he had been Sowing a handful of Seed among his People, and had this Answer, That's well, the Lord prosper your Seed and mine too, there's need enough of us both. And another worthy Conformist that came privately to hear him, but was reprimanded for it by his Superiours, told him afterwards with tears, that his Heart was with him.

His Heart was wonderfully enlarged in his Work at this time, the Fields were white unto the Harvest; and he was busie, and God did remarkably own him, setting many Seals to his Ministry, which much con­firm'd him in what he did. He hath this observable passage in his Diary, about this time, which he record­ed for his after Benefit, (and the Example of it may be instructive) Remember, that if trouble should come hereafter, for what we do now in the use of present Li­berty, I neither shrink from it, nor sink under it; for I do therein approve my self to God, and to my own Con­science, in truth and uprightness; and the Lord whom I serve, can and will certainly, both bear me out, and bring me off with comfort in the end. I say, Remember, and forget it not, this 24th day of March, 1672/3.

'Twas at the beginning of this Liberty, that the So­ciety at Broad-Oak did Commence; made up (besides the Neighbourhood) of some out of Whitchurch, and Whitchurch Parish, that had been Mr. Porter's People, [Page 141] some out of Hanmer Parish, that had been Mr. Steel's, and some out of the Parishes of Wem, Prees, and El­lismere, Persons generally of very moderate and sober Principles, quiet and peaceable Lives, and hearty well­wishers to the King and Government; and not Rigid or Schismatical in their Separation, but willing to at­tend (though sometimes with difficulty and hazard) upon those Administrations which they found most live­ly and edifying, and most helpful to them, in the great business of working out their Salvation. To this Society he would never call himself a Pastor, nor was he willing that they should call him so; but a Helper, and a Minister of Christ for their good. He would say, That he look'd upon his Family, only as his Charge, and his Preaching to others was but accidental, whom if they came, he could no more turn away, than he could a poor hungry Man, that should come to his door for an Alms. And being a Minister of Iesus Christ, he thought himself bound to Preach the Gospel, as he had op­portunity.

Usually once a Month he administred the Ordi­nance of the Lord's Supper. Some of his Opportuni­ties of that kind he sets a particular Remark upon, as sweet Sealing Days, on which he found it good to draw near to God.

When about the Years end there was a general Ex­pectation of the Cancelling of the Indulgence: He hath this Note upon a precious Sabbath and Sacrament day, as he calls it; ‘perhaps this may be the last, Father thy will be done; it is good for us to be at such uncertainties; for now we receive our Liberty from our Father, fresh every day, which is best and sweet­est of all.’

[Page 142] On the 3d of March, 1676/7. being Saturday night, the Town of Wem in Shropshire (about six Miles from him) was burnt down; the Church, Market House, and about One hundred twenty six dwelling Houses, and one Man, in little more than an Hours time, the Wind being exceeding violent; at which time Mr. Hen­ry was very helpful to his Friends there, both for their support under, and their improvement of this sad Pro­vidence. It was but about half a Year before, that a threatning Fire had broke out in that Town, but did little hurt; some serious People there, presently after Celebrated a Thanksgiving for their Deliverance, in which Mr. Henry imparted to them a Spiritual Gift (Oct. 3. 1676) from Zech. 3. 2. Is not this a brand pluck'd out of the Fire? In the close of that Sermon, pressing them from the consideration of that remarka­ble Deliverance, to personal Reformation and Amend­ment of Life: That those who had been Proud, Co­vetous, Passionate, Lyars, Swearers, Drunkards, Sab­bath-breakers, would be so no more; and urging Ezr. 9. 13, 14. he added, If this Providence have not this effect upon you, you may in reason expect another Fire; for when God judgeth he will overcome; and minded them of Lev. 26. where 'tis so often threatned against those who walk contrary to God, that he would punish them yet seven times more. The remembrance of this could not but be affecting, when in so short a time af­ter, the whole Town was laid in Ruins. The first time he went thither after that Calamity, a Neighbour­ing Justice having Notice of it, sent to forbid him to Preach, to his own Grief, as well as to the Grief of many others, who came expecting. But (saith he in his Diary) there was a visible Sermon before us, the Ruins Preaching, that Sin is an evil thing, and God a terrible God. However, a few days after, he got [Page 143] an opportunity of Preaching to them a word in Season, which some will not forget, from Hos. 6. 1. Come, and let us return unto the Lord, for he hath torn—And at the return of the Year, when the Town was in the Re­building, he gave them another very suitable Sermon, from Prov. 3. 33. The Curse of the Lord is in the House of the wicked, but he blesseth the Habitation of the just. ‘Though it be rising again (saith he in his Diary) out of its Ashes, yet the burning of it should not be for­gotten, especially not the Sin that kindled it.’He oft pray'd for them, that the Fire might be a Refining Fire.

In the Years 1677, 1678, and 1679, in the Course of his Ministry at Broad-Oak, he Preached over the Ten Commandments, and largely open'd from other Texts of Scripture the Duties requir'd, and Sins for­bidden, in each Commandment. For, thô none de­lighted more than he in Preaching Christ and Gospel-Grace; yet he knew, that Christ came not to destroy the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfil; and that, though through Grace we are not under the Law, as a Covenant; yet we are under it as a Rule, under the Law to Christ. He was very large and particular in pressing second Table Duties, as essential to Christiani­ty. ‘We have known those (saith he) that have cal­led Preaching on such Subjects, good Moral Preach­ing; but let them call it as they will, I am sure it is necessary, and as much now as ever. How earnestly would he press upon People, the necessity of Righte­ousness and Honesty, in their whole Conversations. A good Christian (he us'd to say) will be a good Husband, and a good Father, and a good Master, and a good Subject, and a good Neighbour, and so in other Relations.’How often would he urge to this purpose, that it is the Will and Command of the Great [Page 144] God, the Character of all the Citizens of Sion, the Beauty and Ornament of our Christian Profession; and the surest way to thrive and prosper in the World. Hone­sty is the best Policy. He would say, that these are things in which the Children of this World are competent Iudges. They that know not what belongs to Faith and Repentance, and Prayer, yet know what belongs to the making of an honest Bargain: they are also Par­ties concern'd, and oftentimes are themselves careful in these things; and therefore those who profess Reli­gion, should walk very circumspectly, that the Name of God and his Doctrine be not Blasphemed, nor Re­ligion wounded through their sides. Thus he Preach­ed, and his constant Practise was a Comment upon it. One thing I remember he was more than ordinarily enlarged in the pressing of, which was upon the Ninth Commandment, to speak evil of no Man, from Tit. 3. 2. If we can say no good of Persons, we must say nothing of them. He gave it as a Rule, Never to speak of any ones faults to others, till we have first spo­ken of them to the Offender himself. He was himself an eminent Example of this Rule. Some that have Convers'd much with him, have said, That they ne­ver heard him speak evil of any Body; nor could he bear to hear any spoken evil of, but often drove away a Backbiting-tongue with an angry Countenance. He was known to be as Faithful a Patron of Offenders be­fore others, as he was a Faithful Reprover of them to themselves.

Whenever he Preached of Moral Duties, he would always have something of Christ in his Sermon; either his Life, as the great Pattern of the Duty, or his Love, as the great Motive to it; or his Merit, as making Atonement for the neglect of it.

[Page 145] In the Year 1680. he preached over the Doctrines of Faith and Repentance, from several Texts of Scrip­ture. He us'd to say, that he had been told concern­ing the famous Mr. Dod, that some call'd him in scorn, Faith and Repentance, because he insisted so much up­on those two, in all his Preaching. But (saith he) if this be to be vile, I will be yet more vile, for Faith and Repentance are all in all in Christi­anity.

Concerning Repentance he hath sometimes said, ‘If I were to dye in the Pulpit, I would desire to dye Preaching Repentance; as if I dye out of the Pulpit, I would desire to dye practising Repentance. ’And he had often this saying concerning Repentance; He that Repents every day, for the sins of every day, when he comes to dye, will have the sins but of one day to repent of. Even Reckonings make long Friends.

That Year also, and the Year 1681 he preached over the Duties of Hearing the Word and Prayer; of the former, from the Parable of the four sorts of Ground; of the latter, from Luke 11. 1, &c. when he preached over the Lord's Prayer, in above Thirty excellent and elaborate Discourses. Helook'd upon the Lord's Prayer, to be not only a Directory or Pattern for Prayet, but (ac­cording to the advice of the Assembly of Divines) pro­per to be us'd as a Form; and accordingly he often us'd it, both in Publick and in his Family. And as he thought, 'twas an Error on the one hand, to lay so much stress upon it, as some do, who think no sol [...]mn Pray­er accepted, nor any solemn Ordinance or Administra­tion of Worship compleat without it; and so repeat it five or six times, and perhaps oftner, at one Meeting; so he thought it an Error on the other hand not to use it at all; since it is a Prayer, a compendious comprehensive Prayer, and may be of use to us, at least [Page 146] as other Scripture Prayers; but he thought it a much greater Error to be angry at those that do use it, to judge and censure them, and for no other reason to conceive Prejudices against them, and their Ministry. ‘A great strait (saith he) poor Ministers are in, when some will not hear them, if they do not use the Lord's Pray­er, and others will not hear them if they do; What is to be done in this case? We must walk accord­to the Light we have, and approve our selves to God, either in using or not using it, and wait for the day when God will mend the matter; which I hope he will do in his own due time.’

He was in the close of his Exposition of the Lord's Prayer, when a dark Cloud was brought upon his Assemblies, and he was necessitated to contract his Sails.


The Rebukes he lay under at Broad. Oal [...], betwixt the Years 1680. and 1687.

IN the beginning of the Year 1681. in April and May, the Country was greatly afflicted and threat­ned by an extream Drought; there was no Rain for several Weeks, the Grass fail'd; Corn that was Sown languished, and much that was intended to be Sown could not; the like had not been known for many Years; 'twas generally apprehended that a Dearth would en­sue, especially in that Country, which is for the most [Page 147] part dry. And now it was time to seek the Lord; and (according to his own appointment) to ask of him Rain in the Season thereof: Several serious thinking People being together at the Funeral of that worthy Minister of Jesus Christ, Mr. Malden; It was there said how requisite it was that there should be some time set apart on purpose for Fasting and Prayer, in a solemn Assem­bly upon this occasion. Thomas Millington of Weston in Hodnet Parish in Shropshire, desired it might be at his House; and Tuesday Iune 14. was the Day pi [...]ch'd upon. The Connivance of Authority was presumed upon, because no disturbance of Meetings was heard of at London, or any where else. Mr. Henry was de­sired to come and give his assistance at that Days work. He ask'd upon what terms they stood with their Neigh­bouring Justices, and 'twas answered well enough. The Drought continuing in extremity, some that had not us'd to come to such Meetings, yet came thither, up­on the apprehension they had of the threatning Judg­ment, which the Country was under. Mr. Edward Bury of Bolas (well known by several useful Books he hath Published) Pray'd, Mr. Henry Prayed and Preach­ed on Psal. 66. 18. If I regard iniquity in my Heart, the Lord will not hear me; whence his Doctrine was, that Iniquity regarded in the Heart, will certainly spoil the success of Prayer. When he was in the midst of his Sermon, closely applying this Truth, Sir T. V. of Hodnet, and Mr. M. of Ightfield, two Justices of the Peace for Shropshire, with several others of then Re­tinue, came suddenly upon them; disturb'd them, set Guards upon the House door, and came in themselves, severely ralli'd all they knew, reflected upon the late Honourable House of Commons, and the Vote they pass'd, concerning the present Unreasonableness. of putting the Laws in Execution against Protestant Dis­senters, [Page 148] as if in so Voting, they had acted beyond their Sphere, as they did who took away the Life of King Charles I. They diverted themselves with very abusive and unbecoming talk; Swearing and Cursing, and Reviling bitterly; being told, the occasion of the Meeting was to seek to turn away the anger of God from us in the present Drought: 'twas answered, Such Meetings as these were the cause of God's anger. While they were thus entertaining themselves, their Clerks took the Names of those that were present, in all, a­bout One hundred and fifty, and so dismiss'd them for the present. Mr. Henry hath noted, in the Account he kept of this event, that the Justices came to this good Work, from the Ale-house upon Prees-Heath, about two Miles off; to which, and the Bowling-Green ad­joining, they with other Justices, Gentlemen and Cler­gy-men of the Neighbourhood, had long befor obli­ged themselves to come every Tuesday, during the Sum­mer time, under the Penalty of Twelve Pence a time if they were absent; and there to spend the day in Drinking and Bowling; which is thought to be as direct a violation of the Law of the Land, viz. the Statute of 33. Henry VIII. cap. 9. for debarring, unlaw­ful Games, which was never yet Repealed, as the Meet­ing was, of the Stat. of 22 Car. II. and as much more to the Dishonour of God, and the Scandal of the Chri­stian Profession; as Cursing and Swearing, and Drun­kenness, is worse than Praying and singing Psalms, and hearing the Word of God. It is supposed that the Justices knew of the Meeting before, and might have prevented it by the least intimation; but they were willing to take the opportunity of making sport to themselves, and trouble to their Neighbours. After the Feat done, they returned back to the Ale-house, and made themselves and their Companions merry, [Page 149] with calling over the Names they had taken, making their Reflections as they saw cause; and recounting the particulars of the Exploit. There was one of the Company, whose Wife happened to be present at the Meeting, and her Name taken among the rest; with which upbraiding him, he answered, that she had been better employed than he was, and if Mr. Henry might be admitted to Preach in a Church, he would go a great many Miles to hear him. For which words he was forthwith Expelled their Company, and never more to shew his Face again at that Bowling-Green; to which he replied, if they had so order'd long ago, it had been a great deal the better for him and his Fa­mily. Two days after they met again at Hodnet, where, upon the Oath of two Witnesses, wh [...] (as was sup­posed) were sent on purpose to inform, they Sign'd and Seal'd two Records of Conviction. By one Record they Convicted the Master of the House, and [...]in'd him 20 l. and 5 l. more as Constable of the Town that Year, and with him all the Persons present whose Names they had taken, and Fined them 5 l. apiece, and issued out Warrants accordingly. By another Record they Convicted the two Ministers, Mr. Bury and Mr. Henry. The Act makes it only punishable to Preach or Teach in any such Conventicle; and yet they Fined Mr. Bury 20 l. though he only Prayed, and did not speak one word in the way, either of Preach­ing or Teaching, not so much as Let us Pray; howe­ver they said, Praying was Teaching, and right or wrong he must be Fined; though his great Piety, Peace­ableness, and Usefulness, besides his deep Poverty, one would think, might have Pleaded for him, against so palpable a piece of Injustice. They took 7 l. off from him, and laid it upon others, as they saw cause; and for the remaining 13 l. he being utterly unable to [Page 150] pay it, they took from him by Distress, the Bed which he lay upon, with Blanket and Rug; also a­nother Feather-Bed, Nineteen pair of Sheets, most of them new; of which he could not prevail to have so much as one pair return'd, for him to lye in; also Books, to the value of 5 l. besides Brass and Pewter. And though he was at this time perfect­ly innocent of that heinous Crime of Preaching and Teaching, with which he was charged (for so the Record runs again and again, concerning Mr. Henry and Mr. Bury, Quòd ad tun [...] & ibidem precaverunt, praedi­ [...]averunt & docuerunt.) Yet he had no way to right himself, but by appealing to the Justices themselves in Quarter Sessions, who would be sure to affirm their own Decree (as the Justices in Montgomery-shire had done not long before in a like Case) especially when 'twas to Recover to themselves treble Costs. So the good Man sat down with his Loss, and took joyfully the spoiling of his Goods; knowing in himself, that he had in Heaven a better, and a more enduring Sub­stance.

But Mr. Henry being the greatest Criminal, and ha­ving done the most Mischief, must needs be animad­verted upon accordingly, and therefore he was fined 40 l. the pretence of which was this: In the Year 1679. Oct. 15. Mr. Kynaston of Oatly, a Justice of Peace in S [...]shire, meeting him and some others com­ing as he supposed, from a Conventicle, he was pleas'd to Record their Conviction, upon the notorious Evidence and Circumstance of the Fact: The Record was Fil'd at Salop the next Sessions after; but no Notice was ever sent of it, either to Mr. Henry, or the Justices of Flintshire; nor any Prosecution upon it, against any of the Parties charged (the reason of which Mr. Henry [Page 151] in a Narrative he wrote of this affair, supposeth to be not only the then favourable posture of Publick Af­fairs towards Dissenters, but also the particular Pru­dence and Lenity of Mr. Kynaston) so that having never smarted for this, he could not be supposed to be deterred from the like offence; nor if he were wrong­ed in that first Conviction, had he ever any opportu­nity of making his Appeal. However, the Justices being resolv'd he should have summum jus, thought that first Record sufficient to give denomination to a second Offence, and so he came to be Fined double. This Conviction (according to the direction of the Act) they certifi'd to the next adjoining Justices of Flintshire, who had all along carried themselves with great Temper and Moderation towards Mr. Hen­ry, and had never given him any disturbance; tho' if they had been so minded, they had not wanted op­portunities; but they were now necessitated to Exe­cute the Sentence of the Shropshire Justices. 'Twas much press'd upon him to pay the Fine, which might prevent his own Loss, and the Justices Trouble. But he was not willing to do it, partly because he would give no Encouragement to such Prosecutions, nor vo­luntarily Reward the Informers, for that which he thought they should rather be punished for; and part­ly because he thought himself wronged in the doubling of the Fine. Whereupon his Goods were Distrain'd upon, and carried away; in the doing of which many passages occurred, which might be worth the Noting, but that the Repetition of them would perhaps grate and give offence to some. Let it therefore suffice (waving the Circumstances) to remember only that their Warrant not giving them Authority to break open doors, nor their Watchfulness getting them an opportu­nity to enter the House; They carryed away about [Page 152] Thirty three Cart Load of Goods without doors, Corn cut upon the Ground, Hay, Coles, &c. This made a great noise in the Country, and rais'd the indignation of many, against the Decrees which prescribed this grie­vousness; while Mr. Henry bore it with his usual even­ness and serenity of mind, not at all mov'd or disturb'd by it. He did not boast of his Sufferings, or make any great matter of them; but would often say, alas, this is nothing to what others suffer, nor to what we our selves may suffer before we dye: And yet he rejoyced and blessed God that it was not for Debt, or for evil doing, that his Goods were carried away. And (saith he) while it is for well-doing that we suffer, they cannot harm us. Thus he writes in his Diary up­on it, How oft have we said that Changes are at the door, but blessed be God there is no Sting in this. He frequently expressed the assurance he had, that whatever da­mage he sustain'd, God is able to make it up again: And (as he us'd to say) Though we may be losers for Christ, yet we shall not be losers by him in the end. He had often said, that his Preaching was likely to do the most good when it was Seal'd to by Suffering; and if this be the time (saith he) welcome the Will of God; even this also shall turn to the furtherance of the Gospel of Christ: Benè agere & male pati verè Christianum est.

Soon after this was the Assizes for Flint-shire held at Mold, where Sir George Ieffries, afterwards Lord Chancellor, then Chief Justice of Chester sate Judge. He did not in private Conversation seem to applaud what was done in this matter, so as was expected; whether out of a private pique against some that had been active in it, or for what other reason is not known; but it was said, that he pleasantly ask'd some of the Gen­tlmen, by what new Law they pressed Carts, as they [Page 153] passed upon their occasions along the Road, to carry away Goods distreyn'd for a Conventicle. It was al­so said, that he spoke with some respect of Mr. Hen­ry; saying, he knew him and his Character well, and that he was a great Friend of his Mothers, (Mrs. Ief­fries of Acton near Wrexham, a very pious good Wo­man) and that sometimes at his Mothers Request, Mr. Henry had Examin'd him in his Learning, when he was a School-Boy, and had commended his Profi­ciency. And it was much wonder'd at by many, that of all the times Sir George Ieffries went that Circuit, (though 'tis well enough known what was his temper, and what the temper of that time) yet he never sought any occasion against Mr. Henry, nor took the occasi­ons that were offered, nor countenanced any Trouble intended him, though he was the only Nonconformist in Flintshire. One passage I remember, not improper to be mentioned; there had been an Agreement among some Ministers (I think it began in the West of England, where Mr. Allen was) to spend some time, either in Secret or in their Families, or both, between six and eight a Clock every Monday Morning, in Prayer for the Church of God, and for the Land and Nation more fully and particularly than at other times, and to make that their special Errand at the Throne of Grace; and to engage as many of their praying Friends, as ever they could, to the obser­vance of it. This had been Communicated to Mr. Hen­ry, by some of his Friends at London, and he punctu­ally observ'd it in his own Practise; I believe for ma­ny Years. He also mentioned it to some of his Acquain­tance, who did in like manner observe it. It happen­ed that one in Denbighshire, to whom he had Commu­nicated it, was so well pleas'd with it, that he wrote a Letter of it to a Friend of his at a distance; which [Page 154] Letter happen'd into Hands that perverted it: and made Information upon it, against the Writer and Receiver of the Letter, who were bound over to the Assizes, and great Suspicions Sir George Ieffries had, that it was a Branch of the Presbyterian Plot, and rally'd the Parties accus'd severely. It appear'd, either by the Letter, or by the Confession of the Parties, that they received the Project from Mr. Henry, which (it was greatly fear'd) would bring him into trouble; but Sir George, to the admiration of many, let it fall, and never enquir'd further into it. It seems there are some Men, whose ways so please the Lord, that he makes even their Enemies to be at peace with them; and there is nothing lost by trusting in God.

Mr. Henry, at the next Assizes after he was Distrain'd upon, was presented by one of the High Consta­bles; 1. For keeping a Conventicle at his House; and 2. for saying, That the Law for suppressing Conventicles ought not to be obey'd, and that there was never a tittle of the Word of God in it. As to this latter Present­ment, 'twas altogether false. He had indeed, in Dis­course with the High Constable, when he insisted so much upon the Law, which requir'd him to be so ri­gorous in the Prosecution; objected, That all Humane Laws were not to be obey'd, meerly because they were Laws. But as to any such Reflections upon the Law he suffered by, he was far from it, and had Prudence enough to keep Silence at that time; for it was an Evil time, when so many were made Offenders for a word. But these Presentments met with so little Countenance from Judge Ieffries, that Mr. Henry only entred his Appearance in the Prothonotaries Office, and they were no more heard of; wherein he acknowledged the hand of God, who turneth the Hearts of the Chil­dren of Men, as the rivulet of water.

[Page 155] As to what was taken from him by the Distress, they who took it made what Markets they pleas'd of it, pay'd those they employ'd, and what the remainder was, is not known for certain; but it was said, that the follow­ing Summer about 27 l. was paid to Sir T. V. of which (and the rest that was levy'd in other places, which a­mounted to a considerable Sum) it was c [...]edibly report­ed, (and I have not heard it contradicted) that neither the King nor the Poor had their Share, (which by the Act is to be two thirds) nor the Informers theirs neither; but People said, the Gentleman had occasion for it all. But as they that had it were never the Richer for it, so he that lost it, would often say, that he found that God did so abundantly bless the remainder to him, that he was never the Poorer; which he would mention for the encouragement of his Friends, not to balk Duty, (as he us'd to express it) for fear of Suffe­ring.

In the same Year 1681. happen'd a publick Discourse at Oswestry, betwixt the then Bishop of St. Asaph (Dr. William Lloyd, now Bishop of Coventry and Litchfield) and some Nonconformist Ministers, of which Mr. Hen­ry was one. The Story in short this. That Learned Bishop, at his first coming to the Diocess of St. Asaph, in his Zeal for the Establish'd Church, set himself with vigor to reduce Dissenters to it; and that he might do it with the Cords of a Man, he resolved, before he took any other Methods, to reafon the matter with them, and to endeavour their Conviction by Discourse, in which he had a very great Felicity, both by his Learn­ing and Temper. If there were any that declin'd Discoursing with him, he improv'd that against them very much; urging (as he wrote afterwards to Mr. Henry) That no Man can pretend Conscience for not com­ing when he is requir'd, to give an account of his Reli­gion, [Page 156] to them that have Authority to demand it, by the Laws under which he Lives, and to hear from their Mouths what can be said for the Established Religion. These are things from which Conscience is so far from exempting, that the great Rule of Conscience requires it, as an indispensable Duty; that we should be always ready to give an Account of the Hope that is in us; and that we should hear them that are in Moses's Chair, &c. and therefore those who refused this, he would consi­der as Men Governed, not by Conscience, but Ob­stinacy.

He publickly Discoursed with the Quakers at Lan­villin in Montgomery-shire; their Champion was Dr. Lloyd a Physician; one of the most considerable Non­conformist Ministers in his Diocess, was Mr. Iames Owen of Oswestry, then very young, but well known since by his Learned Book, which he calls, A Plea for Scripture Ordination; proving Ordination by Presby­ters without Diocesan Bishops, to be valid, (Published in the Year 1694) a point of Controversie, which he was then obliged in his own Defence to search into. Several Discourses the Bishop had with him in Private; at last his Lordship was pleas'd to appoint him, to give him the Meeting in the Town-Hall of Oswestry, on Tuesday Sept. 27. 1681. there to give Account by what Right he Exercis'd the Ministry, not having Episcopal Ordination. He directed him also to procure what o­ther Ministers he could to assist him, for he would be glad to hear what any of them had to say for them­selves. The Notice was very short, not above four or five Days: Some whose assistance was desired, ap­prehended it might do more hurt than good, and might be prejudicial to their own Liberty, and therefore de­clin'd it. It was not agreeable to Mr. Henry's mild and modest Temper, to appear in such Circumstances; [Page 157] but he was loath to desert his Friend Mr. Owen, and so with much importunity, he was prevail'd with to come to Oswestry, at the time appointed; and there came no other but he and Mr. Ionathan Roberts of Denbighshire, in the Diocess of Bangor, a plain Man, of great Integrity, and a very good Scholar. The Bishop came according to appointment, and brought with him for his Assistant, the Famous Mr. Henry Dod­well: Mr. Henry, who was utterly a Stranger to the Bishop, press'd hard to have had the Discourse in pri­vate, before a Select Number, but it would not be granted. He also desir'd his Lordship, that it might not be expected from him, being of another Diocess, to concern himself in the Discourse, but only as a Hea­rer: Nay Mr. Henry (said the Bishop) it is not the con­cern of my Diocess alone, but it is the common Cause of Religion, and therefore I expect you should interest your self in it, more than as a Hearer. His Lordship was pleas'd to promise, that nothing that should be said by way of Argument, should be any way turn'd to the pre­judice of the Disputants, nor advantage taken of it to give them trouble. There were present divers of the Clergy and Gentry of the Country, with the Ma­gistrates of the Town, and a great number of People, which if it could have been avoided, was not easie to Mr. Henry, who never lov'd any thing that made a noise; herein like his Master, who did not strive nor cry. The Discourse began about two a Clock in the Afternoon, and continued till between seven and eight at Night; much was said pro and con, touching the i­dentity of Bishops and Presbyters, the Bishopping and Unbishopping of Timothy and Titus, the Validity of Presbyterian Ordination, &c. 'Twas managed with a great deal of Liberty, and not under the strict Laws of Disputation, which made it hard to give any tolera­ble [Page 158] account of the Particulars of it. The Arguments on both sides, may better be fetch'd from the Books written on the Subject, than from such a Discourse. The Bishop managed his part of the Conference with a great deal of Gravity, Calmness and Evenness of Spirit, and therein gave an excellent Pattern to all that are in such Stations. Mr. Henry's Remark upon this Busi­ness in his Diary is this; That whereas many Reports went abroad far and near concerning it, every one passing their Iudgment upon the result of it as they stood affected; for my own part, (saith he) upon Reflection, I find I have great reason to be ashamed of my manifold infirmities and im­perfections; and yet do bless God, that seeing I could ma­nage it no better, to do the Truth more Service, there was not more said and done to its disservice; to God be Glory. But there were others, who said that Mr. Henry was an Instrument of glorifying God, and serving the Church in that affair, almost as much as in any thing that ever he did, except the Preaching of the Gospel. And some who were Adversaries to the Cause, he pleaded, thô they were not Convinced by his Arguments, yet by his great Meekness and Humility, and that truly Christi­an Spirit, which appear'd so evidently in the whole Management, were brought to have a better Opi­nion of him, and the way in which he walk­ed.

The Conference broke off a little abruptly; the Bi­shop and Mr. Henry being somewhat close at an Argu­ment, in the Recapitulation of what had been Dis­coursed of; Mr. Ionathan Roberts whisper'd to Mr. Henry, Pray let my Lord have the last word; which a Justice of Peace upon the Bench over-hearing, pre­sently replied, You say my Lord shall have the last word, but he shall not, for I will; we thank God we have the Sword of Power in our hands, and by the Grace of God [Page 159] we will keep it, and it shall not rust, and I hope every lawful Magistrate will do as I do: and look to your selves Gentlemen, by the Grace of God I'll root you out of the Country. To which a forward Man in the Crowd said Amen, throw them down Stairs. This the Bishop heard with Silence, but the Mayor of the Town took order for their safety.

Two Days after this Discourse, the Bishop wrote a very obliging Letter to Mr. Henry, to signify to him, how very much he was pleased with the good Tem­per and Spirit that he found in him at Oswestry, and that he looked upon him, as one that intended well, but laboured under Prejudices; and to desire further Acquaintance and Conversation with him; particu­larly that he would come to him straitway to Wrex­ham, and about three Months after, sent for him again to Chester; in both which interviews a great deal of Discourse, with much Freedom, pass'd between them in private, in which they seem'd to vye nothing more than Candor and Obligingness, shewing to each other all Meekness. I remember the Bishop was pleas'd to shew him his Plan for the Government of his Diocess, and the Method he intended to take in Church-Cen­sures, which Mr. Henry very well approv'd of; but pleasantly told his Lord-ship, he hoped he would take care that Iuvenal's Verse should not be again veri­fied, (Sat. 2.)

Dat veniam Corvis, vexat Censura Columbas.

which the Bishop smil'd at, and told him he would take care it should not. His Lordship observing his true Catholick Charity and Moderation, told him he did not look upon him as [...], but only as [...], and that if he were in his Diocess, he did not question, but he should find out some way to make him useful. But all his Reasonings could not satisfie [Page 160] Mr. Henry's Conscience of the Lawfulness of being Re­ordain'd and Conforming. The Bishop for some Years after, when he came that way, towards London, ei­ther call'd on Mr. Henry at his House, or sent for him to him, to Whitchurch, and still with all outward expressions of Friendship.

The Trouble which Mr. Henry was in, about the Meeting at Weston, obliged him for a while, to keep his Sabbaths at home, somewhat private; but in the Year 1682. he took a greater Liberty, and many flock­ed to him on Lord's Dayes, through the kind Conni­vance of the Neighbouring Magistrates; but in the Year 1683. when the Meetings were generally sup­press'd throughout the Kingdom, he was again neces­sitated to contract his Sails, and confine his Labours more to his own Family, and his Friends that visited him. He continued his Attendance at Whitewell Chap­pel, as usual; and when he was abridged of his Li­berty, he often blessed God for his Quietness. Once when one of the Curates Preached a bitter Sermon against the Dissenters, on a Lord's Day Morning, some won­der'd that Mr. Henry would go again in the Afternoon, for the second part. But (saith he) if he do not know his Duty, I know mine; and I bless God I can find Honey in a Carcass.

In this time of treading down, and of perplexity, he stirred little abroad, being forced (as he us'd to express it) to throw the Plough under the Hedge; but he preach­ed constantly at home, without disturbance; and of­ten comforted himself with this, When we cannot do what we would, if we do what we can, God will accept of us; when we cannot keep open Shop, we must drive a secret Trade. And he would say, There is a mean, if we could hit it, between Fool-hardiness, and Faint­heartedness. While he had some opportunity of being [Page 161] useful at home; he was afraid lest he should prejudice that by venturing abroad. One of his Friends in London, earnestly solliciting him to make a visit thi­ther in this time of restraint in the Country; he thus wrote to him; I should be glad once more to kiss my Na­tive Soil, though it were but with a kiss of Valediction; but my indisposedness to Travel, and the small prospect there is of doing good to countervail the Pains, are my prevailing Arguments against it. I am here ('tis true) buried alive, but I am quiet in my Grave, and have no mind to be a walking Ghost. We rejoyce, and desire to be thankful, that God hath given us a Home, and conti­nued it to us, when so many better then we, have not where to lay their Head, having no certain dwelling place; ('twas at the time of the dispersion of the French Pro­testants) Why, they Exiles, and not we? they stran­gers in a strange Land, and not we? We must not say we will dye in our Nests, lest God say nay; nor we will multiply our Days as that Bird, the Phaenix, (referring to Iob 29. 18.) lest God say, this Night, &c. Our times and all our ways are at his dispose, absolutely and univer­sally, and it is very well they are so.

At the time of the Duke of Monmouths Descent, and the Insurrection in the West, in the Year 1685. Mr. Henry, as many others, (pursuant to a general Or­der of the Lord Lieutenant, for securing all suspected Persons, and particularly all Nonconformist Ministers) was taken up by a Warrant from the Deputy Lieu­tenants, and sent under a Guard to Chester Castle, where he was about three Weeks a close Prisoner: He was lodg'd with some Gentlemen and Ministers that were fetched thither out of Lancashire; who were all Strangers to him; but he had great comfort in the Acquaintance and Society of many of them.

[Page 162] He often spake of this Imprisonment, not as matter of Complaint, but of Thanksgiving, and blessed God he was in nothing uneasie all the while. In a Sermon to his Family, the day after he came home, he largely and affectionately recounted the Mercies of that Pro­vidence: As for Instance, ‘That his Imprisonment was for no Cause: 'tis Guilt that makes a Prison. That it was his Security in a dangerous time. That he had good Company in his Sufferings, who Pray'd together, and read the Scriptures together, and Dis­coursed to their mutual Edification. That he had Health there, not Sick, and in Prison. That he was visited and Prayed for, by his Friends. That he was very chearful and easie in his Spirit, many a time a sleep and quiet when his Adversaries were disturb'd and unquiet. That his Enlargement was speedy and un­sought for, and that it gave occasion to the Magistrates who committed him, to give it under their Hands, that they had nothing in particular to lay to his Charge; and especially that it was without a Snare, which was the thing he fear'd more than any thing else.’

It was a surprize to some that visited him in his Im­prisonment, and were big with the Expectations of the Duke of Monmouth's Success, to hear him say, I would not have you to flatter your selves with such hopes, for God will not do his work for us in these Nations, by that Man; but our Deliverance and Salvation will arise some other way.

It must not be forgotten how ready he was, nay, how-studious and industrious to serve and oblige such as had been any way instruments of trouble to him, as far as it lay in his Power, and he had any oppor­tunity to do it; so well had he learn'd that great Les­son of Forgiving and Loving Enemies; of this it were easie to give Instances.

[Page 163] When a Gentleman who had sometimes been an In­strument of Trouble to him, had occasion to make use of his help to give him some light into a Cause he had to be tryed, Mr. Henry was very ready to serve him in it; and though he might have declin'd it, and it was somewhat against his own Interest too, yet he appea­red a Witness for him, which so won upon the Gen­tleman, that he was afterwards more Friendly to him. Mentioning in his Diary the Death of another Gentle­man in Shropshire; He Notes, that he was one that had been his professed Enemy; but (saith he) God knows I have often prayed for him.

Some have wonder'd to see how courteously and friendlyly he would speak to such as had been any way injurious to him, when he met with them, being as industrious to discover his forgiving of wrongs, as some are to discover their Resentments of them. It was said of Arch-Bishop Cranmer, that the way to have him ones Friend, was to do him a diskindness; and I am sure it might be said of Mr. Henry, that do­ing him a diskindness would not make him ones Ene­my. This minds me of an exemplary passage, con­cerning his worthy Friend Mr. Edward Lawrence, once going with some of his Sons, by the House of a Gen­tleman that had been injurious to him; he gave a charge to his Sons to this purpose, That they should never think or speak amiss of that Gentleman, for the sake of any thing he had done against him; but whenever they went by his House, should lift up their Hearts in Prayer to God for him and his Family. And who is he that will harm those, who are thus followers of him that is good, in his Goodness. It is almost the on­ly temporal promise in the New Testament, which is made to the Meek, Matt. 5. 5. That they shall inhe­rit the Earth; the meaning whereof, Dr. Hammond [Page 164] in his Practical Catechism takes to be especially this, That in the ordinary Dispensations of God's Provi­dence, the most mild and quiet People are most free from disturbance. Those only have every Man's Hand against them, that have theirs against every Man.


The last Nine Years of his Life in Liber­ty and Inlargement at Broad-Oak, from the Year 1687.

IT was in the latter end of the Year 1685. when the stream run so very strong against the Dissenters, that Mr. Henry, being in Discourse with a very great Man of the Church of England, mentioned King Charles's Indulgence in 1672. as that which gave rise to his stated Preaching in a separate Assembly; and added, if the present King Iames should in like man­ner give me leave, I would do the same again: to which that great Man replied, Never expect any such thing from him, for take my word for it, he hates you Nonconformists in his Heart. Truly (said Mr. Henry) I believe it, and I think he doth not love you of the Church of England neither. It was then little thought, that the same Right Reverend Person who said so to him, should have the Honour, as he had soon after, to be one of the Seven Bishops committed to the Tower by King Iames; as it was also far from any ones Expe­ctation, [Page 165] that the same King Iames should so quickly give liberty to the Nonconformists: But we live in a World, wherein we are to think nothing strange, nor be surprized at any turn of the Wheel of Nature, as 'tis cal­led, Iam. 3. 6.

The Measures then taken by King Iames's Court and Counsel were soon laid open, not only to view but to contempt, being in a short time, by the over-ruling Providence of God broken and defeated: However the Indulgence granted to Dissenters in April, 1687. must needs be a reviving to those, who for so many Years had lain buried in Silence and Restraint; nor can any, who w [...]ll allow themselves the liberty of sup­posing the Case their own, wonder that they should re­joyce in it, though the Design of it being manifest, they could not chuse but rejoyce with trembling. Mr. Henry's Sentiments of it were, Whatever Mens Ends are in it, I believe God's End is to do us good.

There were many that said, surely the Dissenters will not embrace the Liberty which is intended only for a Snare to them. Mr. Henry read and consider'd the Letter of Advice to the Dissenters, at that juncture; but concluded, Duty is ours, and Events are Gods. He remembred the Experience he had had of the like in K. Charles's time, and that did good and no hurt; and why might not this do so too. All Power is for Edi­fication, not for Destruction. Did Ieremiah sit still in the Court of the Prison, because he had his Discharge from the King of Babylon. Nay, did not Paul, when he was presented by his Country-men, for Preaching the Gospel, appeal to Caesar; and find more kindness at Rome, than he did at Ierusalem? In short, the Principle of his Conversation in the World being not fleshly Wisdom, or Policy, but the Grace of God, and particularly the Grace of Simplicity and Godly Sincerity, [Page 166] he was willing to make the best of that which was, and to hope the best of the Design and Issue of it. Doubtless it was intended to introduce Popery; but it is certain, that nothing could arm People against Popery more effectually, than the plain and powerful Preaching of the Gospel; and thus they who granted that liberty, were out-shot in their own Bow, which manifestly appear'd in the Event and Issue. And as they did good Service to the Protestant Religion among Scholars, who wrote so many Learned Books against Popery at that time, for which we return them our best thanks; so they did no less Service among the Common People (who are the Strength and Body of the Nation) that Preached so many good Sermons to arm their Hearts against that strong Delusion, which Mr. Henry (as the rest of the Nonconformists generally did) took all occasions to do. How often would he commend his Hearers (as Dr. Holland Divinity Professor in Ox­ford was wont to do) to the Love of God, and the Ha­tred of Popery.

Besides his Preaching professedly to discover the Er­rours and Corruptions of the Church of Rome, (which he would have taken occasion to do more fully, had he seen those he Preached to, in any immediate danger of the Infection) there could not be a more effectual An­tidote against Popery, than the instructing and con­firming of People in the Truth, as it is in Jesus; and advancing the Knowledge of, and a Value and Vene­ration for the Holy Scriptures; to which, how much Mr. Henry in his place did contribute, all that knew him well bear Record. He us'd to observe, that the Fall of Babylon followed, upon the free and open Preach­ing of the Everlasting Gospel, Rev. 14. 6, 7. He ap­prehended this Liberty likely to be of very short con­tinuance, and to end in trouble; and because he could [Page 167] not see how his not using of it would help to prevent the Trouble; but he did see, that his vigorous improve­ment of it, would help to prepare for the Trouble, he set himself with all diligence, to make the best use he could of this Gleam, both at home and abroad, on Sabbath-days, and Week-days, to his Power, yea, and beyond his Power.

The great Subject of Debate at this time in the Nati­on, was concerning the Repeal of Penal Laws and Tests; Mr. Henry's thoughts were, as to the Penal Laws, that if those against the Dissenters were all Re­peal'd, he would Rejoyce in it, and be very thankful both to God and Man; for he would sometimes say, without Reflection upon any, he could not but look upon them as a National Sin; and as for those against the Papists, if our Law-givers see cause to Repeal them in a regular way; I will endeavour (saith he) to make the best of it, and to say, The Will of the Lord be done.

When King Iames came his Progress into that Coun­try, in September 1687. to court the Compliments of the People, Mr. Henry joined with several others, in and about Whitchurch, Nantwich and Wem, in an Address to him, which was presented when he lay at Whitchurch; the purport of which was, not to Sacri­fice their Lives and Fortunes to him and to his Interest, but only to return him thanks for the Liberty they had, with a promise to demean themselves quietly in the use of it.

Some time after, Commissioners were sent abroad into the Country, to enquire after the Trouble that Dis­senters had sustain'd by the Penal Laws; and how the Money that was Levy'd upon them, was disposed of, little of it being found paid in the Exchequer; they sent to Mr. Henry to have an account from him of his [Page 168] Sufferings; he returned Answer by Letter, that he had indeed been Fined some Years before, for a Con­venticle, and Distreyn'd upon, and his Goods carried away, which all the Country knew, to which he re­ferred himself. But being requir'd particularly to give account of it upon Oath; though, he said, he could be glad to see such Instruments of Trouble legally re­moved; yet he declin'd giving any further Informati­on concerning it; having (as he wrote to the Commis­sioners) long since, from his Heart, forgiven all the Agents, Instruments and Occasions of it; and having purposed ne­ver to say any thing more of it.

It was on Tuesday Iune 14. 1681. that he was di­sturb'd at Weston in Shropshire, when he was Preaching on Psal. 66. 18. and on Tuesday Iune 14. 1687. that day Six Years he Preached there again without distur­bance, finishing what he was then prevented from de­livering, concerning Prayer, and going on to v. 19. 20. But verily God hath heard me,—Blessed be God.—Con­cerning the Duty of Thanksgiving. This Seventh Year of their Silence and Restraint, prov'd, through God's wonderful good Providence the Year of Release.

In May, 1688. a new Commission of the Peace came down for the County of Flint, in which (by whose Interest or procurement was not known) Mr. Henry was nominated a Justice of Peace for that Coun­ty. It was no small surprize to him, to receive a Letter from the Clerk of the Peace, Directed to Philip Henry, Esquire, acquainting him with it, and appointing him when and whither to come to be Sworn. To which he return'd answer, that he was very sensible of his Unworthiness of the Honour, and his unfitness for the Office, which he was nominated to, and therefore de­sired to be excus'd, and he was so, and did what he [Page 169] could, that it might not be spoken of in the Country. There were some, who upon this occasion unhappily remembred, that a few Years before, a Reverend Clergy-man in Shropshire told Mr. Henry to his Face, that he had done more mischief in the Country, than any man that ever came into it; and that he himself hoped shortly to be in the Commission of Peace, and then he would rid the Country of him. But alas, he [...]as quite disappointed. Thus Honour is like the sha­dow, which flies from those that pursue it, and follows those that flee from it.

For two Years after this Liberty began, Mr. Hen­ry still continued his Attendance, as usual, at Whitewel-Chappel, whenever there was Preaching there; and he Preached at his own House only when there was no supply there, and in the Evening of those days when there was. For doing thus he was greatly cla­mour'd against, by some of the rigid Separatists, and call'd a Dissembler, and one that halted between two, and the like. Thus (as he Notes in his Diary) one side told him he was the Author of all the mischief in the Country, in drawing People from the Church; and the other side told him, he was the Author of all the mischief, in drawing People to the Church: And which of these (saith he) shall I seek to please? Lord, neither, but thy self alone, and my own Conscience, and while I can do that, I have enough.

In a Sermon at Whitewel-Chappel, one Lord's-day in the Afternoon, where he and his Family, and many of his Congregation were attending, much was said, with some keen Reflections, to prove the Dissenters Schismaticks, and in a damnable State: When he came immediately after to Preach at his own House, before he begun his Sermon, he expressed himself to this pur­pose; Perhaps some of you may expect now that I should [Page 170] say something in answer to what we have heard, by which we have been so severely charged; but truly I have some­thing else to do; and so, without any further Notice taken of it, went on to Preach Iesus Christ and him Crucified.

It was not without some fear and trembling, that Mr. Henry received the Tidings of the Prince of O­range's Landing, in November 1688. as being some­what in the dark concerning the clearness of his Call, and dreading what might be the consequence of it. He us'd to say, Give Peace in our time, O Lord, was a Prayer that he would heartily set his Amen to. But when secret things were brought to light, and a regu­lar Course was taken to fill the vacant Throne with such a King and such a Queen; none rejoyced in it more heartily than he did. He Celebrated the Nati­onal Thanksgiving for that great Deliverance, with an excellent Sermon on that Text, Rom. 8. 31. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Soon after that happy Settlement, there were Over­tures made, towards a Comprehension of the Mode­rate Dissenters, with the Church of England, which Mr. Henry most earnestly desired, and wished for, if it could be had upon any Terms less than sinning a­gainst his Conscience; for never was any more averse to that which looked like a Separation than he was, if he could possibly have helped it, salvâ Conscientiâ. His Prayers were constant, and his endeavours as he had opportunity, that there might be some healing Me­thods found out and agreed upon. But it is well known, what was the Vox Cleri at that time, viz. That forasmuch as the Oaths, Subscriptions, and Ce­remonies were impos'd only to keep out such Men, they would never consent to their Removal, for the [Page 171] letting them in again. Nolumus Leges Angliae mutari, was a saying perverted to this purpose: And the fixed Principle was, Better a Schism without the Church, than a Faction within it, &c. This was at that time Publish'd and Own'd, as the Sense of the Clergy in Convocation. Which Temper and Resolve, so contra­ry to that which might have been expected, upon that Happy and Glorious Revolution, did a little alter his Sentiments in that matter; and he saw himself per­fectly driven from them. Despairing therefore to see an Accommodation, he set himself the more vigorous­ly to improve the present Liberty. In Iune 1689. the Act of Indulgence pass'd, which not only Tolerated, but allowed the Dissenters Meetings, and took them under the Protection of the Government.

Soon after which, though he never in the least chan­ged his Judgment, as to the lawfulness of joining in the Common-Prayer, but was still ready to do it occa­sionally: Yet the Ministers that Preached at Whitewel-Chappel, being often uncertain in their coming, which kept his Meeting at Broad-Oak at like uncertain­ties, to the frequent disappointment of many of his Hearers that came from far; he was at last prevailed with to Preach at Publick time every Lord's-day, which he continued to do while he lived, much to his own satisfaction, and the satisfaction of his Friends. An Eminent Minister in Lancashire, who did in like manner alter his Practise about that time, gave this for a rea­son, That he had been for Twenty seven Years striving to please a Generation of Men, who after all would not be pleased, and therefore he would no longer endeavour it as he had done.

It may be of use to give some account how he ma­naged his Ministerial Work, in the latter part of his time, wherein he had as signal Tokens of the Pre­sence [Page 172] of God with him, as ever; enabling him still to bring forth Fruit in old Age; and to renew his Youth like the Eagles. Though what he did, he still did gratis, and would do so, yet he was not willing to have any constant Assistant, nor had he any; so much was he in his Element, when he was about his Master's Work: 'Twas his Meat and Drink to do it.

1. As to his constant Sabbath Work, he was Uniform, [...]nd abundant in it. He began his Morning Family-Worship on Lord's dayes, at 8 a Clock, when he Read and Ex­pounded pretty largely, Sung a Psalm and Prayed; and many strove to come time enough to join with him in that Service. He began in Publick just at Nine a Clock Winter and Summer. His Meeting-place was an Out-building of his own, near adjoining to his House, fitted up very decently and conveniently for the purpose. He began with Prayer, then he sung Psal. 100. without reading the Line; next he read and expounded a Chapter in the Old Testament in the Morning, and in the New Testament in the Af­ternoon. He looked upon the Publick reading of the Scriptures in Religious Assemblies, to be an Ordinance of God; and that it tended very much to the Edifi­cation of People by that Ordinance, to have what is Read Expounded to them. The bare reading of the Word, he used to compare to the throwing of a Net into the Water; but the Expounding of it, is like the spreading out of that Net, which makes it the more likely to catch Fish; especially as he managed it with Practical profitable Observations. Some that have heard him read a Chapter with this thought; how will he make such a Chapter as this useful to us? have been surprized with such pertinent useful Instructions, as they have owned to be as much for their Edification [Page 173] as any Sermon. And commonly when he had Expoun­ded a Chapter, he would desire them when they came home, to read it over, and recollect some of those things that had been spoken to them out of it.

In his Expounding of the Old Testament, he in­dustriously sought for something in it concerning Christ, who is the true Treasure, hid in the Field, the true Manna hid in the Dew of the Old Testament. Take one Instance; The last Sabbath that ever he spent with his Children at Chester, in the publick Morning Worship, he Read and Expounded the last Chapter of the Book of Iob: After he had gone through the Chapter, and observed what he thought fit out of it, he expressed himself to this purpose: When I have read a Chapter in the Old Testament, I use to enquire what there is in it that points at Christ, or is any way ap­plicable to Christ; Here is in this Chapter a great deal of Job, But is there nothing of Christ here? Yes; you have heard of the Patience of Job, and have in him seen the end of the Lord. This in Job is applicable to Christ, that after he had patiently gone through his Suf­ferings, he was appointed an Intercessor for his unkind Friends. V. 8. Go to my Servant Iob, and my Ser­vant Iob shall pray for you, for him will I accept. If any one hath an Errand to God, let him go to Iesus Christ, and put it into his hand, for there is no acceptance to be hoped for with God, but by him, who is his beloved Son; not only with whom he is well pleased, but in whom, viz. with us in him: he hath made us accepted in the Be­loved.

After the Exposition of the Chapter he sung a Psalm, and commonly chose a Psalm suitable to the Chapter he had Expounded; and would briefly tell his Hea­rers how they might sing that Psalm with Understand­ing, [Page 174] and what affections of Soul should [...]e working to­wards God, in the singing of it; his hints of that kind were of great use, and contributed much to the right Performance of that Service; he often said, The more singing of Psalms there is in our Families and Con­gregations, on Sabbath-days, the more like they are to Hea­ven, and the more there is in them of the Everlasting Sab­bath. He would say sometimes, he loved to sing whole Psalms rather than pieces.

After the Sermon in the Morning, he sung the 117th Psalm, without reading the Line.

He intermitted at Noon about an Hour and a half, and on Sacrament days not near so long, in which time he took some little Refreshment in his Study, ma­king no solemn Dinner; yet many of his Friends did partake of his Carnal, as well as of his Spiritual things, as those did that follow'd Christ, of whom he was careful they should not faint by the way. The Morning Sermon was repeated, by a ready Writer, to those that staid in the Meeting place, as many did, and when that was done, he begun the Afternoons Exercise; in which he not only Read and Expounded a Chapter, but Catechized the Children, and Ex­pounded the Catechism briefly before Sermon. Thus did he go from strength to strength, and from Duty to Duty, on Sabbath-days; running the ways of God's Command­ments with an enlarged Heart. And the variety and vi­vacity of his publick Services, made them exceeding pleasant to all that joined with him, who never had cause to complain of his being tedious. He us'd to say, Every Minute of Sabbath Time is precious, and none of it to be lost; And that he scarce thought the Lord's day well spent, if he were not weary in Body at Night; wearied with his Work, but not weary of it, as he used to distinguish. He would say sometimes to [Page 175] those about him, when he had gone through the Duties of a Sabbath; Well, if this be not the way to Heaven, I do not know what is. In pressing People to Number their days, he would especially exhort them to Num­ber their Sabbath-days, how many they have been, and how ill they have been spent; how few 'tis like they may be, that they may be spent better; and to help in the Account he would say, that for every twenty Years of our Lives, we enjoy above a thousand Sabbaths, which must all be accounted for in the day of Reckon­ing.

As to his constant Preaching, it was very Substanti­al and Elaborate, and greatly to Edification. He us'd to say, he could not Starch in his Preaching; that is, he would not; as knowing that where the Language and Expression is stiff, and forced, and fine (as they call it) it doth not reach the greatest part of the Hea­rers. When he grew old he would say, sure he might now take a greater liberty to talk, as he call'd it, in the Pulpit; that is, to speak familiarly to People; yet to the last he abated not in his Preparations for the Pulpit, nor ever delivered any thing raw and undigest­ed; much less any thing unbecoming the Gravity and Seriousness of the Work. If his Preaching were talk­ing, it was talking to the purpose. His Sermons were not Common Place, but even when his Subjects were the most plain and [...], yet his management of them was usually peculiar and surprizing. In those Years as formerly, he kept for the most part in a me­thod for Subjects, and was very seldom above one Sabbath upon a Text. And his constant Practise was, as it had been before, when he concluded a Subject that he had been a good while upon, he spent one Sabbath in a brief Rehearsal of the Marrow and Sub­stance, of the many Sermons he had Preached upon [Page 176] it; which he call'd the clenching of the Nail, that it might be as a Nail in a sure place. So very industrious was he, and no less ingenious in his endeavours, that his Hearers might be able, after his Decease, to have these things always in remembrance, 2 Pet. 1. 15. and it is hoped, that by the Blessing of God, the effect did not altogether disappoint his Expectation. In the la­ter times of his Ministry, he would often contrive the Heads of his Sermons to begin with the same Letter, or rather two and two of a Letter; but he did not at all seem to affect or force it; only if it fell in natu­rally and easily, he thought it a good help to Memory, and of use, especially to the younger sort. And he would say, the chief reason why he did it, was because 'tis frequently observed in the Scripture, particularly the Book of Psalms. And though it be not a fashionable Ornament of Discourse, if it be a Scripture Ornament, that is sufficient to recommend it, at least to justifie it against the imputation of Child­ishness; (Mr. Porter of Whitchurch very much us'd it, so did Mr. Malden) But the Excellency of his Ser­mons, lay chiefly in the Enlargements, which were al­ways very solid, grave and judicious; but in expres­sing and marshalling his Heads, he often condescended below his own Judgment, to help his Hearers Memo­ries. Some of his Subjects (when he had finished them) he made some short Memorandums of in Verse, a Distich or two of each Sabbaths work, and gave them out in Writing, among the young ones of his Congregation, many of whom wrote them, and learn­ed them, and profited by them.

It might be of use (especially to those who had the happiness of sitting under his Ministry) to give some Account of the Method of his Sabbath Subjects, du­ring the last Eight or Nine Years of his Ministry; [Page 177] and it was design'd, till 'twas found 'twould swell this Narrative into too great a Bulk.

2. As to the Administration of the Sacraments, those Mysteries of God, which Ministers are the Stewards of.

As to the Sacrament of Baptism, he had never (that I know of) Baptized any Children (except his own) from the time he was turn'd out in 1662. till this last Liberty came, though often desir'd to do it; such was the tender regard he had to the Established Church; but now he reviv'd the Administration of that Ordi­nance in his Congregation. The occasion was this; One of the Parish-Ministers Preaching at Whitewe [...] Chappel, Mr. Henry and his Family, and many of his Friends being present, was earnestly cautioning People not to go to Conventicles, and us'd this as an Argument against it, That they were Baptized into the Church of England: Mr. Henry's Catholick Charity could not well digest this Monopolizing of the great Ordinance of Baptism, and thought it time to bear his Testimony against such narrow Principles, which he ever expressed his dislike of in all Parties and Per­swasions. Accordingly he took the next opportunity that offer'd it self, publickly to Baptize a Child, and desir'd the Congregation to bear witness, That he did not Baptize that Child into the Church of England, nor into the Church of Scotland, nor into the Church of the Dissenters, nor into the Church at Broad-Oak, but in­to the visible Catholick Church of Iesus Christ. After this he Baptized very many, and always publickly, though being in the Country they were commonly car­ried a good way. The publick Administration of Baptism, he not only judged most agreeable to the Nature and End of the Ordinance, but found to be very profitable and edifying to the Congregation; for [Page 178] be always took that occasion, not only to explain the nature of the Ordinance, but affectionately and pathe­tically to excite People duly to improve their Baptism. He usually received the Child immediately out of the hands of the Parent that presented it, and return'd it into the same hands again, with this or the like charge, Take this Child, and bring it up for God. He us'd to say, that one advantage of publick Baptism was, that there were many to join in Prayer for the Child, in which therefore, and in Blessing God for it, he was u­sually very large and particular. After he had Bapti­zed the Child, before he gave it back to the Parent he commonly used these words; We receive this Child in­to the Congregation of Christ's Church, having washed it with Water, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, in token that hereafter it shall not be ashamed to confess Christ Crucified, and man­fully to fight, &c.

He Baptized many adult Persons, that through the Errour of their Parents, were not Baptized in Infancy, and some in Publick.

The Solemn Ordinance of the Lord's Supper he con­stantly Celebrated in his Congregation once a Month, and always to a very considerable number of Commu­nicants. He did not usually observe publick days of Preparation for that Ordinance, other than as they fell in course in the weekly Lectures; nor did he e­ver appropriate any particular Subject of his Preach­ing to Sacrament-days, having a great felicity in adapt­ing any profitable Subject to such an occasion: and he would say, What did the Primitive Christians do, when they Celebrated the Lord's Supper every Lord's day? His Administration of this Ordinance was very solemn and affecting. He had been wont to go about in the Congregation, and to deliver the Elements with his [Page 179] own hand; but in his latter time, he delivered them only to those near him, and so they were handed from one to another, with the assistance of one who sup­plied the Office of a Deacon, as having also the Cu­stody and disposal of the Money gathered for the use of the Poor; Mr. Henry taking, and carefully keeping a particular account of it.

Such as desir'd to be admitted to the Lord's Supper, he first discoursed with concerning their Spiritual State; and how the Case stood between God and their Souls, not only to examine them, but to instruct and teach them, and to encourage them as he saw occasion; gent­ly leading those whom he discern'd to be serious, though weak and timorous: He usually discoursed with them more than once, as finding Precept upon Precept, and Line upon Line necessary: but he did it with so much Mildness and Humility, and tenderness, and endea­vour to make the best of every body, as did greatly affect and win upon many. He was herein like our Great Master, who can have compassion on the ignorant, and doth not despise the day of small things.

But his admission of young People, out of the rank of Catechumens into that of Communicants, had a pe­culiar solemnity in it. Such as he Catechiz'd, when they grew up to some Years of discretion, if he ob­served them to be intelligent and serious, and to set their Faces Heaven-wards; he marked them out to be admitted to the Lord's Supper; and when he had a competent number of such, twelve or fifteen per­haps, or more; he order'd each of them to come to him severally, and discoursed with them of the things be­longing to their Everlasting Peace; put it to their choice whom they would serve; and endeavoured to affect them with those things with which by their [Page 180] Catechisms they had been made acquainted; drawing them with the Cords of a Man, and the bands of Love, into the way which is called Holy. For seve­ral Lord's days he Catechized them, particularly in Publick, touching the Lord's Supper, and the Duty of Preparation for it, and their Baptismal Covenant, which in that Ordinance they were to take upon them­selves, and to make their own Act and Deed. Often telling them upon such occasions, that they were not to oblige themselves to any more than what they were already obliged to by their Baptism, only to bind them­selves faster to it. Then he appointed a day in the Week before the Ordinance; when in a solemn As­sembly on purpose, he prayed for them, and preached a Sermon to them, proper to their Age and Circum­stances; and so the following Sabbath they were all received together to the Lord's Supper. This he look­ed upon as the right Confirmation, or Transition into the State of adult Church membership. The more solemn our Covenanting with God is, the more deep and the more durable the impressions of it are likely to be. He hath Recorded it in his Diary, upon one of these occasions, as his Hearts desire and prayer for those who were thus admitted; ‘That it might be as the day of their Espousals to the Lord Jesus, and that they might each of them have a Wedding Gar­ment.’

3. The Discipline he observed in his Congregation was, not such as he could have wished for, but the best he could get, considering what a scatter'd Flock he had, which was his trouble, but it could not be helped. He would sometimes apply to the circum­stances he was in, that of Moses, Deut. 12. 8, 9. However, I see not but the end was effectually attained by the methods he took, though there wanted the formality [Page 181] of Officers and Church-Meetings, for the purpose. If he heard of any that walked disorderly, he sent for them, and reproved them, gently or sharply, as he saw the Case required. If the Sin had scandal in it, he suspended them from the Ordinance of the Lord's Supper, till they gave some tokens of their Repen­tance and Reformation. And where the offence was publick and gross, his judgment was, that some pub­lick satisfaction should be made to the Congregation, before Readmission. But whatever offence did hap­pen, or breaches of the Christian Peace, Mr. Henry's peculiar Excellency lay in restoring with the Spirit of meekness; which, with his great Prudence and Love, and Condescension, did so much command the respects of his People, and win upon them, that there was a Universal Satisfaction in all his Management; and it may truly be said of him as it was of David, 2 Sam. 3. 36. That whatsoever he did pleased all the People. And it is an Instance and Evidence, that those Mini­sters who will Rule by Love and Meekness, need no Laws or Canons to Rule by, other than those of the Holy Scripture. How forceable are right words? Iob. 6. 25.

4. He was very strict and very serious in obser­ving the Publick Fasts appointed by Authority, and cal­led them a delight. He had seldom any one to assist him in carrying on the Duties of those Days, but per­form'd the Service of them himself alone. He be­gan at Nine of the Clock, or quickly after, and ne­ver stirred out of the Pulpit till about four in the Af­ternoon, spending all that time in Praying and Expoun­ding, and Singing, and Preaching, to the admiration of all that heard him, who were generally more on such days than usual. And he was sometimes ob­served, to be more warm and lively towards the [Page 182] latter end of the Duties of a Fast-day, than at the be­ginning; as if the Spirit were most willing and enlar­ged when the Flesh was most weak. In all his Per­formances on Publick Fast-days; he did, hoc agere, attend to that which was the proper work of the day; every thing is beautiful in its Season. His Prayers and pleadings with God on those days, were especially for National Mercies, and the pardon of National Sins; How excellently did he order the Cause before God, and fill his Mouth with Arguments in his large and particular Intercessions for the Land, for the King, the Government, the Army, the Navy, the Church, the French Protestants, &c. He was another Iacob, a Wrestler, an Israel, a Prince with God, Before a Fast-day he would be more than ordinarily inquisitive concerning the state of publick affairs, as Nehemiah was, Neh. 1. 2. that he might know the better how to order his Pray­ers and Preaching: for on such a day (he hath some­times said) as good say nothing, as nothing to the pur­pose. He made it his business on Fast-days, to shew People their Transgressions, especially the House of Iacob their Sins. 'Tis most proper (said he) to Preach of Christ on Lord's days, to Preach of Sin on Fast-days, and to Preach Duty on both. He went over the third Chapter of the Revelation, in the Fast Sermons of two Years. Another Year he Preached over the par­ticulars of that Charge, Zeph. 3. 2. Hypocrisie in Hearers, and Flattery in Preachers (as he would sometimes say) is bad at any time, but it is especially abominable upon a day of Humi­liation.

5. He Preached a great many Lectures, in the Coun­try about, some stated, some occasional, in supplying of which he was very indefatigable. He hath sometimes Preached a Lecture; ridden eight or nine Miles, and [Page 183] Preached another, and the next day two more: To quicken himself to diligence he would often say, our opportunities are passing away, and we must work while it is day, for the Night cometh. Once having very wet and foul Weather to go through to Preach a Lecture; he said, he comforted himself with two Scriptures, one was 2 Tim. 2. 3. Endure hardness as a good Soldier of Iesus Christ. The other (because he exposed and hazarded his Health, for which some blamed him) was 2 Sam. 6. 21. It was before the Lord. He took all occasions in his Lectures a broad, to possess the minds of People with sober and moderate Princi­ples, and to stir them up to the serious regard of those things wherein we are all agreed. We are met here to­gether (said he once in an Exhortation, with which he often began at his Lecture) not because we think our selves better than others, but because we desire to be better than we are.

He was very happy in the choice of his Subjects for his Week-day Lectures. At one which was stated, he Preached against Errors in general, from Iam. 1. 16. Do not err my beloved Brethren, particularly from di­vers other Scriptures he shewed, that we must not Err; concerning God and Christ, and the Spirit, concerning Sin and Repentance, Faith and Good Works; concern­ing God's Ordinances, concerning Grace and Peace, and Afflictions and Prosperity, and the things of the Life to come. At the Monthly Lectures at his own House, he chose to Preach upon the Four last things Death and Iudgment, Heaven and Hell, in many particulars, but commonly a new Text for every Sermon. When he had in many Sermons finished the first of the Four; one that us'd to hear him sometimes, enquiring of his progress in his Subjects, asked him if he had done with Death? meaning that Subject concerning Death; [Page 184] to which he pleasantly replied, No, I have not done with him yet; I must have another turn with him, and he will give me a Fall; but I hope to have the Victory at last. He would sometimes remove the Lectures in the Country from one place to another, for the benefit of those that could not Travel. Once having adjourn­ed a Lecture to a new place, he began it there with a Sermon on Acts 17. 6. These men that have turned the World upside down, are come hither also; in which he shew'd how false the Charge is as they meant it; for Religion doth not disturb the Peace of Families or Societies, doth not cause any disorder or unquiet­ness, &c. And yet that in another sense there is a great Truth in it; That when the Gospel comes in Power to any Soul, it turns the World upside down in that Soul, such is the Change it makes there.

All this he did gratis, and without being burthen­some to any; nay he was best pleas'd, when at the places where he Preached, nothing was got for his En­tertainment, but he came home (though some Miles) Fasting; as in other places it was a trou­ble to him to see his Friends careful about much serving, tho' it was out of their respect to him.

Lastly, As he was an excellent Preacher him­self, so he was an exemplary Hearer of the Word, when others Preached, though every way his Infe­riours, so reverent, serious, and attentive was he in hearing, and so observant of what was spoken. I have heard him tell, that he knew one (and I suppose it was as Paul knew a Man in Christ) who could truly say, to the Glory of God, that for Forty Years he had never slept at a Sermon. He was diligent also to improve what he heard afterwards by Me­ditation, Repetition, Prayer and Discourse; and he [Page 185] was a very great Encourager of young Ministers that were humble and serious, though their Abi­lities and Performances were but mean. He hath noted in his Diary, (as that which affected him) this saying of a godly Man, a Hearer of his, ‘I find it easier to go six Miles to hear a Sermon, than to spend one quarter of an Hour in Meditating and Praying over it in Secret, (as I should) when I come home.’

As to the Circumstances of his Family in these last nine Years of his Life, they were somewhat diffe­rent from what they had been; but the same Candle of God which had shined upon his Tabernacle, con­tinued still to do so. In the Years 1687, and 1688. he Married all his Five Children, the three eldest in four Months time, in the Year 1687. and the other two in a Year and a half after; so many Swarms (as he us'd to call them) out of his Hive; and all not only with his full Consent, but to his abundant Comfort and Satisfaction. He would say, he thought it the Duty of Parents to study to oblige their Children in that affair. And though never could Children be more easie and at rest in a Father's House than his were, yet he would sometimes say concerning them, as Naomi to Ruth, Ruth 3. 1. Shall I not seek rest for thee? Two advices he us'd to give, both to his Children and others, in their Choice of that Relation: One was, Keep within the bounds of Profession, such as one may charitably hope is from a good Principle. The other was, Look at Suitableness, in Age, Quality, Educati­on, Temper, &c. He us'd to observe from Gen. 2. 18. I will make him a help meet for him; that where there is not Meetness, there will not be much Help. And he would commonly say to his Children, with reference to that choice; Please God and please your [Page 186] selves, and you shall never displease me; and greatly blamed those Parents, who conclude Matches for their Children, and do not ask Counsel at their Mouth. He never aim'd at great things in the World for his Children, but sought for them in the first place the Kingdom of God, and the Righteousness thereof. He us'd to mention sometimes the saying of a Pious Gentlewoman, that had many Daughters. The Care of most People, is how to get good Husbands for their Daughters; but my care is to fit my Daughters to be good Wives, and then let God provide for them. In this as in other things, Mr. Henry steer'd by that Princi­ple; That a Man's Life consisteth not in the abun­dance of the things that he possesseth. And it pleased God so to order it, that all his Children were disposed of, into Circumstances very agreeable and comforta­ble, both for Life and Godliness. He was greatly af­fected with the Goodness of God to him herein, with­out any forecast or contrivance of his own. The Coun­try (saith he in his Diary) takes notice of it, and what then shall I render? Surely this is a Token for good.

All his Four Daughters were Marry'd at Whitewel Chappel, and he Preach'd a Wedding Sermon for each of them, in his own Family after. He would often tell his Friends, That those who desire, in the Mar [...]ied Condition, to live in the Favour of God, must enter upon that Condition in the Fear of God. For it's an ill Omen to stumble at the Threshold; and an Error in the first Concoction, is seldom amended in the second.

While he lived, he had much comfort in all his Chil­dren and their Yoke fellows, and somewhat the more, that by the Divine Providence, four of the five Fa­milies [Page 187] which Branched out of his, were settled in Chester.

His youngest Daughter was Married April 26. 1688. the same Day of the Year (as he observes in his Diary) and the same Day of the Week, and in the same place that he was Married to his dear Wife, twenty eight Years before; upon which this is his Re­mark, I cannot desire for them, that they should receive more from God than we have received, in that Relation and Condition; but I would desire, and do desire, that they may do more for God in it than we have done. His usual Complement to his New-Married Friends, was, others wish you all Happiness, I wish you all Holiness, and then there is no doubt but you will have all Hap­piness.

When the Marriage of the last of his Daughters was about to be concluded on, he thus writes; But is Joseph gone, and Simeon gone, and must Benjamin go also? We will not say that all these things are against us, but for us: If we must be thus in this merciful way bereav'd of our Children, let us be bereav'd; and God turn it for good to them, as we know he will if they love and fear his Name. And when, sometime after she was Married, he parted with her to the House of her Husband, he thus writes; We have sent her away, not as Laban said he would have sent his Daughters a­way, with Mirth, and with Songs, with Tabret, and with Harp, but with Prayers and Tears, and hearty good wishes; And now (saith he in his Diary) we are a­lone again, as we were in our beginning; God be better to us than twenty Children. Upon the same occasion he thus writes to a dear Relation; We are now left as we were, One and One, and yet but one One; the Lord, I trust, that hath brought us thus far, will enable us to [Page 188] finish well; and then all will be well, and not till then.

That which he often mentioned, as the matter of his great Comfort that it was so, and his desire that it might continue so, was, the Love and Unity that was among his Children; and that (as he writes) the Transplanting of them into new Relations, had not lessened that Love, but rather increased it; for this he often gave thanks to the God of Love; noting from Iob 1. 4. That the Childrens Love to one another is the Parents Comfort and Joy. In his Last Will and Testament, this is the Prayer which he puts up for his Children, That the Lord would build them up in Holiness, and continue them still in Brotherly Love, as a bundle of Arrows which cannot be broken.

When his Children were removed from him, he was a daily Intercessor at the Throne of Grace, for them and their Families. Still the Burnt-offerings were of­fered according to the number of them all. He used to say, Surely the Children of so many Prayers will not miscarry. Their particular Circumstances of Afflicti­on and Danger, were sure to be mentioned by him with suitable Petitions. The greatest Affliction he saw in his Family, was the Death of his dear Daughter in Law, Catharine, the only Daughter of Samuel Hard­ware, Esq who, about a Year and a half after she was Transplanted into his Family (to which she was the greatest Comfort and Ornament imaginable) dy'd of the Small-Pox in Child-bed, upon the Thanks giving day for King William's coming in. She dy'd but a few Weeks after Mr. Henry had Married the last of his Daughters, upon which Marriage he had said; Now we have a full Lease, God only knows which Life will drop first. She comforted her self in the extremity of her illness with this word, Well, when I come to Hea­ven, [Page 189] I shall see that I could not have been without this Affliction. She had been for some time before under some Fears as to her Spiritual State, but the Clouds were through Grace dispell'd, and she finished her Course with Joy, and a Cheerful Expectation of the Glory to be reveal'd. When she lay ill, Mr. Henry (being in fear not only for her that was ill, but for the rest of his Children in Chester, who had none of them past the Pikes of that perillous Distemper) wrote thus to his Son, on the Evening of the Lord's Day; I have just done the publick Work of this Day, wherein, before many scores of Witnesses, many of whom I dare say, are no little concerned for you: I have absolute­ly, freely, and unreservedly given you all up to the good Will and Pleasure of our Heavenly Father, waiting what he will do with us, for good I am sure we have received, and shall we not receive Evil also. He Preached at Chester, upon occasion of that sad Breach in his Fami­ly, on Iob 10. 3. Shew me wherefore thou contendest wich me.

When two of his Children lay ill, and in perillous Circumstances, after he had been wrestling with God in Prayer for them, he wrote thus in his Diary; ‘If the Lord will be pleased to grant me my Request this time concerning my Children, I will not say as the Beggars at our Door use to do, I'll never ask any thing of him again; but on the contrary, he shall hear oftner from me than ever; and I will love God the better, and love Prayer the better, as long as I live.’He us'd to say, Trades-men take it ill, if those that are in their Books, go to another Shop; while we are so much indebted to God for past Mercies, we are bound to attend him for further Mercies.

[Page 190] As he was an Intercessor for his Children at the Throne of Grace, so he was upon all occasions a Re­membrancer to them, both by Word and Letter, to quicken them to that which is good. How often did he inculcate this upon them? Love one another, and the God of Love and Peace will be with you. Do all you can, while you are together, to help one another to Hea­ven, that you may be together there, for ever, and with the Lord. When the Families of his Children were in Health and Peace, the Candle of God shining upon their Tabernacles, he wrote thus to them; ‘'Twas one of Iob's Comforts in his Prosperity, that his Children loved one another, and feasted together: The same is ours in you, which God continue. But you will not be offended, if we pray that you may none of you Curse God in your Hearts. Re­member, the Wheel is always in Motion, and the Spoke that is uppermost will be under, and therefore mix Tremblings always with your Joy.’

He much rejoyced in the Visits of his Children, and made that as other things, which were the matter of his Rejoycing, the matter of his Thanksgiving. His usual saying at parting, was, This is not the World we are to be together in, and 'tis well it is not, but there is such a World before us: And his usual Prayer was, That our next Meeting might be either in Heaven, or further on in our way towards it.

He had in eight Years time, twenty four Grand-children Born, some by each of his Children, concern­ing whom he would often bless God, that they were all the Sealed ones of the God of Heaven, and Enroll'd among his Lambs. On the Birth of his Second Grand-Child, at a troublesome time as to publick Affairs, he thus writes, I have now seen my Childrens Children, [Page 191] let me also see Peace upon Israel; and then I will say, Lord, now lettest thou thy Servant depart. Some were much affected with it, when he Baptized two of his Grand-children together at Chester, publickly, and Preached on Gen. 33. 5. They are the Children which God hath graciously given thy Servant. He observed in what a savory, pious, gracious manner Iacob speaks. He had spoken good Sense if he had only said, They are my Children, but then he had not spoken like Iacob, like one that had so lately seen the Face of God. Though our Speech be not always of Grace, yet it must be always with Grace, Grace pour'd into the Lips. There is a kind of Language, the air of which speaks it the Language of Canaan; Christians should speak like Christians.

It was not long after his Children were Married from him, but his House was fill'd again with the Chil­dren of several of his Friends, whom he was, by much importunity, perswaded to take to Table with him. All that knew him, thought it a thousand pi­ties, that such a Master of a Family, should have but a small Family, and should not have many to sit down under his Shadow. He was first almost neces­sitated to it, by the death of his dear Friend and Kins­man, Mr. Benyon of Ash, who left his Children to his Care. Some he took gratis, or for small Considerati­on; and when by reason of the advances of Age he could not go about so much as he had done, doing good, he laid out himself to do the more at home. He kept a Teacher to attend their School-Learning; and they had the benefit, not only of his Inspection in that, but (which was much more) his Family-Worship, Sabbath Instructions, Catechizing and daily Converse, in which his Tongue was as choice Silver, and his Lips sed many. Nothing but the hopes of doing some [Page 192] good to the rising Generation could have prevailed with him, to take this trouble upon him. He would often say, We have a busie House, but there is a Rest remaining. We must be doing something in the World while we are in it; but this fashion will not last long, me­thinks I see it passing away.

Sometimes he had such with him, as had gone through their Course of University Learning, at pri­vate Academies, and desired to spend some time in his Family, before their Entrance upon the Ministry, that they might have the benefit, not only of his Publick and Family Instructions, but of his Learned and Pious Converse, in which, as he was throughly furnished, for every good Word and Work, so he was very Free and Communicative. The great thing which he used to press upon those who intended the Ministry, was to study the Scriptures, and make them familiar. Bonus Textuarius est bonus Theologus, was a Maxim he often minded them of. For this purpose he recommended to them the study of the Hebrew, that they might be able to search the Scriptures in the Original. He also advised them to the use of an inter-leav'd Bible, wherein to insert such Expositions and Observations, as occur occasionally in Sermons or other Books; which he would say, are more happy and considerable sometimes, than those that are found in the professed Commentators. When some young Men desir'd the Happiness of coming in­to his Family, he would tell them, ‘You come to me as Naaman did to Elisha, expecting that I should do this and 'tother for you, and alas, I can but say as he did, Go wash in Iordan; Go, Study the Scrip­tures. I profess to teach no other Learning but Scripture Learning.’It was but a little before he dy­ed, that in reading Isa. 50. he observed from v. 4. The Lord God-hath given me the Tongue of the learned &c. [Page 193] That the true Learning of a Gospel Minister consists not in being able to talk Latin fluently, and to dispute in Philosophy, but in being able to speak a word in Sea­son to weary Souls. He that knows how to do that well, is a learned Minister.


His Sickness, Death, and Bu­rial.

IN the time of his Health, he made Death very fa­miliar to himself, by frequent and pleasing Thoughts and Meditations of it; and endeavoured to make it so to his Friends, by speaking often of it. His Let­ters and Discourses had still something or other which spoke his constant expectations of Death; thus did he learn to dye daily: And it is hard to say, whe­ther it was more easie to him to speak, or uneasie to his Friends, to hear him speak of leaving the World. This minds me of a passage I was told by a worthy Scotch Minister, Mr. Patrick Adair, that Visiting the famous Mr. Durham of Glasgow. in his last Sickness, which was long and lingring; he said to him, Sir, I hope you have so set all in order, that you have nothing else to do but to dye: I bless God (said Mr. Durham) I have not had that to do neither these many Years. Such is the comfort of dying daily, when we come to dye indeed.

[Page 194] Mr. Henry's Constitution was but tender, and yet by the Blessing of God upon his great Temperance, and care of his Diet, and moderate Exercise by walk­ing in the Air, he did for many Years enjoy a good measure of Health, which he us'd to call The Sugar that sweetens all Temporal Mercies, for which there­fore we ought to be very thankful, and of which we ought to be very careful. He had sometimes violent Fits of the Cholick, which would be very afflictive for the time. Towards his latter end he was distress'd sometimes with a pain, which his Doctor thought might arise from a Stone in his Kidnies. Being once upon the Recovery from an ill Fit of that Pain, he said to one of his Friends, that ask'd him how he did, he hoped by the Grace of God, he should now be able to give one blow more to the Devil's Kingdom; and often profess'd, he did not desire to live a day longer than he might do God some Service. He said to another, when he perceived himself Recovering; Well I thought I had been putting into the Harbour, but find I must to Sea again.

He was sometimes suddenly taken with fainting Fits, which when he recovered from, he would say, Dying is but a little more.

When he was in the Sixty third Year of his Age, which is commonly called the Grand Climacterick, and hath been to many the Dying Year, and was so to his Father, he numbred the Days of it, from Au­gust 24. 1693. to August 24. 1694. when he finished it: And when he concluded it, he thus wrote in his Dia­ry. This Day finisheth my commonly dying Year, which I have numbred the Days of; and should now apply my Heart more than ever to Heavenly Wisdom. He was much pleased with that Expression of our English Li­turgy [Page 195] in the Office of Burial, and frequently us'd it. In the midst of Life we are in Death.

The Infirmities of Age, when they grew upon him, did very little abate his vigour and liveliness in Preach­ing, but he seemed even to renew his Youth as the Eagles; as those that are Planted in the House of the Lord, who still bring forth Fruit in old Age; not so much to shew that they are upright, as to shew that the Lord is upright, Psal. 92. 14, 15. But in his lat­ter Years, Travelling was very troublesome to him; and he would say, as Mr. Dod us'd to do, that when he thought to shake himself as at other times, he found his hair was cut; his Sense of this led him to Preach an oc­casional Sermon not long before he dyed, on Iohn 21. 18. When thou wast young thou girdedst thy self, &c. Another occasional Sermon he Preached when he was old, for his own Comfort, and the Comfort of his aged Friends, on Psal. 71. 17, 18. O God thou hast taught me from my Youth, &c. he observed there, That it is a blessed thing to be taught of God from our Youth; and those that have been taught of God from their Youth, ought to declare his wondrous Works all their days after. And those that have been taught of God from their Youth, and have all their days declared his wondrous Works, may comfortably expect, that when they are old he will not forsake them. Christ is a Master that doth not use to cast off his old Servants.

For some Years before he dyed, he us'd to complain of an habitual weariness, contracted he thought, by his standing to Preach, sometimes very uneasily, and in inconvenient places, immediately after Riding. He would say, every Minister was not cut out for an Iti­nerant; and sometimes the manifest attention and af­fection of People in Hearing, enlarged him both in [Page 196] length and fervency, somewhat more then his strength could well bear. It was not many Months before he dy'd, that he wrote thus to a dear Relation, who en­quir'd sollicitously concerning his Health. I am always habitually weary, and expect no other till I lye down in the Bed of Spices. And (blessed be God) so the Grave is to all the Saints, since he lay in it who is the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the Vallies. When some of his Friends perswaded him to spare himself, he would say, It's time enough to rest when I am in the Grave; What were Candles made for, but to burn?

It doth not appear that he had any particular Presa­ges of his Death; but many instances there were of his actual gracious expectation of it, somewhat more than ordinary for some time before. The last Visit he made to his Children in Chester, was in Iuly, 1695. almost a Year before he dy'd, when he spent a Lords­day there, and Preached on the last Verse of the Epi­stle to Philemon, The Grace of our Lord Iesus Christ be with your Spirit. By Grace he understood nor so much the good Will of God towards us, as the good Work of God in us, call'd the Grace of Christ, both because he is the Author and finisher of it, and because he is the Pattern and Samplar of it. Now the choicest Gift we can ask of God for our Friends is, that this Grace of our Lord Iesus Christ may be with their Spirit. This is the one thing needful, the better part, the Root of the Matter, the whole of Man, the Principal thing, the more excellent Way, a Blessing indeed, and the thing that accompanies Salvation. The Grace of Christ in the Spirit, enlightens and enlivens the Spirit, softens and subdues the Spirit, purifies and preserves the Spirit greatens and guides the Spirit, sweetens and strengthens the Spi­rit, and therefore what can be more desirable. A Spi­rit [Page 197] without the Grace of Christ, is a Field without a Fence, a Fool without Understanding; it is a Horse without a Bridle, and a House without Furniture; it is a Ship without Tacle, and a Soldier without Armour; it is a Cloud without Rain, and a Carcass without a Soul; it is a Tree without Fruit, and a Traveller with­out a Guide. How earnest therefore should we be in praying to God for Grace, both for our selves and for our Relations. He had intended to preach upon that Text, when he was at Chester the Year before, but was then prevented, by a particular sad occasion, which obliged him to a Funeral Sermon, Divine Pro­vidence reserving that Benediction (which his Heart was much upon) for his Valediction. The Thursday following, being kept as a Fast in his Sons Congrega­tion at Chester, he Preached on Luke 19. 41. He beheld the City and wept over it, which proved his Farewel to the Town, as the former was his Farewel to his Friends and Relations in it.

It was not many Weeks before he dyed, that he wrote thus to one of his Children, ‘We are well here, thanks be to God, and are glad to hear that you and yours are well also, God in Mercy continue it: But why should we be well always? Do we deserve it? Are there no mixtures in our Obedi­ence? Are there any Persons or Families, at whose door Sickness and Death never knock'd? Must the Earth be forsaken for us, or the Rock removed out of its place? Is it not enough that we be dealt with according to the manner of Men? and that we have a Promise, that it shall end well, everlastingly well.

To another of his Children, about the same time he writes, ‘We are sensible that we decline a pace, but the best of it is, that as Time goes, Eternity comes; [Page 198] and we are in good hope, through Grace, that it will be a comfortable Eternity.’

It was in April, 1696. a few Weeks before he dy'd, that his Sons Father-in-Law, Robert Warbinton, Esq was gather'd to his Grave in peace, in a good old Age; Upon the tidings of whose Death, Mr. Henry wrote thus to his Son; Your Fathers, Where are they? Your Father-in-Law gone, and your own Father going; but you have a God-Father that lives for ever. He was wont sometimes to subscribe his Letters, Your ever-loving, but not ever-living Father.

It was not a Month before he Dy'd, that in a Let­ter to his very dear and worthy Friend and Brother, Mr. Tallents of Shrewsbury, he had this passage; ‘Me­thinks it is strange, that it should be your Lot and mine, to abide so long on Earth by the Stuff, when so many of our Friends are dividing the Spoil above, but God will have it so; and to be willing to live in obedience to his Holy Will, is as true an Act of Grace, as to be willing to dye when he calls, espe­cially when Life is Labour and Sorrow. But when it is Labour and Joy, Service to his Name, and some measure of Success and Comfort in serving him; When it is to stop a Gap, and stem a Tide, it is to be rejoyced in; 'tis Heaven upon Earth: nay, one would think, by the Psalmists oft repeated Plea, Psal. 6. & 30. & 88. and 115. and 118. that it were better than to be in Heaven itself, and can that be?’

A little before his Sickness and Death, being Sum­mer time, he had several of his Children, and his Chil­drens Children about him, at Broad-Oak, with whom he was much refreshed, and very cheerful; but ever and anon spoke of the fashion he was in, as passing away; and often told them, he should be there but a [Page 199] while to bid them welcome. And he was observed frequently in Prayer, to beg of God, that he would make us ready for that which would come certainly, and might come suddenly. One asking him how he did, he answer'd, I find the Chips fly off apace, the Tree will be down shortly.

The last time he Administred the Lord's Supper, a Fortnight before he dy'd, he closed the Administration with that Scripture, 1 Ioh. 3. 2. It doth not yet appear what we shall be; not yet, but it will shortly.

The Sabbath but one before he dy'd, being in the course of his Exposition, come to that difficult part of Scripture, the 40th of Ezekiel, and the following Chapters; he said he would endeavour to explain those Prophecies to them; and added, If I do not do it now, I never shall: And he observed, that the only Prophe­tical Sermon which our Lord Jesus Preached, was but a few days before he dy'd. This many of his Hearers not only Reflected upon afterwards, but took Notice of at that time with a Concern, as having something in it more than ordinary.

On the Lord's Day, Iune 21. 1696. he went through the work of the Day with his usual vigor and liveli­ness. He was then Preaching over the first Chapter of St. Peter's second Epistle, and was that day on those words, add to your Faith Virtue, v. 5. he took Virtue for Christian Courage and Resolution in the Exercise of Faith; and the last thing he mentioned, in which Christi­ans have need of Courage, is in Dying; for (as he was of­ten us'd to say) It is a serious thing to dye, and to dye is a work by itself. That day he gave Notice, both Morning and Afternoon, with much Affection and Enlargement, of the Publick Fast, which was appointed by Autho­rity the Friday following, Iune 26. pressing his Hea­rers as he us'd to do upon such occasions, to come [Page 200] in a prepared Frame, to the solemn Services of that day.

The Tuesday following, Iune 23. he rose at Six a Clock, according to his Custom, after a better Nights Sleep than ordinary, and in wonted Health. Between seven and eight a Clock he performed Family Wor­ship, according to the usual manner; he Expounded very largely, the former half of the 104th Psalm, and sung it; but he was somewhat shorter in Prayer than he us'd to be, being then (as it was thought) taken ill. Blessed is that Servant, whom his Lord, when he comes, shall find so doing. Immediately after Prayer he re­tired to his Chamber, not saying any thing of his ill­ness, but was soon after found upon his Bed in great Extremity of pain, in his Back, Breast and Bowels; it seem'd to be a complicated Fit of the Stone and Cho­lick together, with very great Extremity. The means that had been. us'd to give him Relief in his illness were altogether ineffectual; He had not the least in­termission or remission of Pain, neither up nor in Bed, but in a continual toss. He had said sometimes, that God's Israel may find Iordan rough; but there's no Remedy, they must through it to Canaan; and would tell of a good Man who us'd to say, He was not so much afraid of Death as of Dying. We know they are not the Godly People, part of the Description of whose Condition it is, that there are no Bands in their Death, and yet their End is Peace, and their Death Gain, and they have Hope in it.

In this Extremity he was still looking up to God, and calling upon him, who is a present. Help in the needful Hour. When the Exquisiteness of his Pain forced Groans and Complaints from him, he would present­ly Correct himself with a patient and quiet submission to the Hand of his Heavenly Father, and a cheerful [Page 201] acquiescence in his Heavenly Will. I am ashamed (saith he) of these Groans, I want Virtue, O for Vir­tue now when I have need of it (referring to his Subject the Lord's day before) For give me that I groan thus, and I will endeavour to silence them; But indeed my stroak is heavier than my groaning. It is true what Mr. Bax­ter said in his Pain, there's no disputing against sense. It was his trouble, as it was Mr. Baxter's, that by rea­son of his bodily pain, he could not express his in­ward comfort; however that was it, with which God graciously strengthned him in his Soul. He said to those about him, they must remember. what Instructions and Counsels he had given them when he was in Health, for now he could say but little to them, only to refer them to what he had said, as that which he would live and dye by.

It was two or three Hours after he was taken ill, before he would suffer a Messenger to be sent to Chester for his Son, and for the Doctor, saying, he should ei­ther be better or dead before they could come; but at last he said, as the Prophet did to his importunate Friends, Send. About eight a Clock that Evening they came, and found him in the same Extremity of Pain, which he had been in all day. And Nature being before spent with his constant and indesatigable La­bours in the Work of the Lord now sunk, and did perfectly suceumb under its Burthen, and was q [...]ite dis­abled to grapple with so many Hours uncessant pain. What further means were then us'd proved fruitless, and did not answer the intention. He apprehended himself going a pace, and said to his Son when he came in, O Son you are welcome to a dying Father: I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my Depart [...]e. is at Hand. His pain continued very acute, but he had Peace within. I am tormented (said be once) but bles­sed [Page 202] be God not in this Flame; and soon after I am all on Fire (when at the same time his extreme parts were cold) but he presently added, Blessed be God it is not the Fire of Hell. To some of his next Neighbours who came in to see him (for those at a distance had not notice of his illness) he said, O make sure work for your Souls, by getting an Interest in Christ while you are in Health, for if I had that work to do now, what would become of me? but I bless God I am satisfied. It was a Caution he was often wont to give; See to it, that your work be not undone, when your time is done, lest you be undone for ever.

Towards ten or eleven a Clock that Night, his Pulse and Sight began to fail; of the latter he him­self took notice, and inferred from it the near approach of his Dissolution. He took an affectionate farewel of his Dear Yoke-fellow, with a thousand thanks for all her Love and Care, and Tenderness, left a Bles­sing for all his dear Children, and their dear Yo [...]e-fellows and little ones, that were absent. He said to his Son who sat under his head; Son, the Lord bless you, and grant that you may do worthily in your Generation, and be more serviceable to the Church of God than I have been, such was his great Humility to the last. And when his Son reply'd, O Sir, pray for me that I may but tread in your steps; he answered, yea follow Peace and Holiness, and let them say what they will—More he would have said to bear his Dying Testimony to the way in which he had walked, but Nature was spent, and he had not strength to express it.

His Understanding and Speech continued almost to the last Breath, and he was still in his dying Agonies calling upon God, and committing himself to him. One of the last words he said, when he found himself [Page 203] just ready to depart, was, O Death, where is thy;—with that his Speech falter'd, and within a few Minutes (after, about sixteen Hours illness) he quietly Breath­ed out his precious Soul, into the Embraces of his dear Redeemer, whom he had trusted, and faithfully served in the work of the Ministry, about forty three Years. He deparetd betwixt twelve and one a Clock in the Morning, of Iune 24. Midsummer-day, in the Sixty fifth Year of his Age. Happy, thrice Happy he, to whom such a sudden Change was no surprize, and who could Triumph over Death, as an unstung, disarmed Enemy, even when he made so fierce an on­set. He had often spoke of it as his desire, that if it were the Will of God, he might not out-live his usefulness; and it pleased God to grant him his desire, and give him a short passage from the Pulpit to the Kingdom, from the height of his usefulness, to receive the recom­pence of Reward. So was it ordered by him, in whose Hands our Times are.

After the Account we have given of his great Use­fulness, it is easie to imagine what sorrow and Mourn­ing there was among his Friends, when they heard that the Lord had. taken away their Master from their Head. One that liv'd so much desir'd, could not but dye as much lamented. The surprize of the stroke put People into a perfect astonishment; and many said, the Lord remov'd him so suddenly, because he would not deny the many Prayers that would have been put up for his Recovery, had it been known that he was in Peril. One thing that aggravated this severe Dispen­sation, and made it in the apprehension of many look the more dismal, was, that this powerful Intercessor was taken away just before a Fast-day, when he would have been Wrestling mightily with God, for Mercy for the Land. However it proved a Fast-day indeed, [Page 204] and a day of Humiliation to that Congregation, to whom an empty Pulpit was an awakening Sermon. The Broad-Oak was then like that under which Rebekah's Nurse was buried, Gen. 35 8. Allon-bacuth Bochim, a place of Weepers. They who had many a time fitten with dry Eyes, under melting Ordinances, could not sit so under such a melting Providence, by which the Lord God call'd so loudly to weeping and to mourning, and to girding with Sack cloth. But because Mr. Henry had been wont to give it for a Rule, that Weeping must not hinder Sowing; a Mite was cast into the Treasury of the Nations Prayers, and a word spoken to bring the Work of the day, and the event of the day together, from 2 Kings 13. 20.

The day following being Saturday, Iune 27. the Earthen Vessel, in which this Treasure had been lodg'd was laid up in the Grave, in Whitchurch Church, at­tended thither with a very great Company of true Mourners, all the Country round; many from Che­fler and Shrewsbury, and the Towns about, came to do him Honour at his Death: And besides the Floods of Tears that were shed, there were abundance of Testi­monies given to him, by Persons of all sorts, like that Iehojadah, 2 Chron 24. 16. That he was one that had done good in Israel. And there were those who said, He was a Man that no Body did or could speak evil of, except for his Nonconformity. He was us'd to say to his Relations, when I am dead make little a do about me, a few will serve to bring me to my Grave; but his mind could not be observed in that; 'twas impossible such a burning and shining light could be extinguished, but there must be a Universal Notice taken of it. Mul­titudes came unsought unto, not to fill their Eyes (as Mr. Vines expresseth it) but to empty them; nor was [Page 205] there any other noise there, but that of general La­mentation.

That Morning, before the removal of the Corpse, a most affectionate Sermon was Preached in Mr. Hen­ry's Meeting place, by his dear and worthy Friend Mr. Tallents of Shrewsbury, who was eleven Years elder than he, and through God's goodness still sur­vives him. He was willing to take that opportunity, to testifie the great Love and Honour that he had for Mr. Henry, whom he call'd a Friend that is nearer than a Brother. His Text was Rom 8. 23. And not only they, but our selves also, which have the first Fruits of the Spirit, even we our selves groan within our selves, waiting for the Adoption, to wit the redemption of our Body. In his Application he shew'd excellently, and with much affection, how the consideration of the Spirit and Life of this Eminent Servant of God, would greatly lead us to believe on Christ, and to have the Spirit of Christ and live after it; and to suffer with Christ, and to groan for our Adoption. Seve­ral things were hinted concerning him, which have been mentioned already in this Narrative, and a very honourable Testimony born to him. From a long acquaintance with him, he witnessed concern­ing him, to those who knew his Record to be true, that ‘he was humble and meek, kind and peaceable, wise and charitable, and one in whom the Fruits of the Spirit were eminently: That he was a Friend and a Counsellor, and a Father to many; that his Expound­ing and Preaching was plain and pleasant, warm and savory, full, and such as few could reach, and great­ly blessed by God; and that in it he labour'd more abundantly than any.’And after a great encomi­um of him, it was excellently observed, and must be mentioned here, as that which was highly agreeable to [Page 206] Mr. Henry's Spirit, and his Expressions upon all occa­sions; ‘That it was not his own Righteousness that sa­ved him, nor his own strength that quickned and up­held him, but Christ's Righteousness and Christ's Strength, for to him to live was Christ: And in all his Discourses, Sermons and Letters, he was very careful to ascribe the Honour of all to Christ, and to make Christ his All in-all.’He concluded with some words of seasonable Advice to those of that So­ciety and Neighbourhood.

1. Give thanks to God, that ever you had him or saw him, and that you had him so long, above thir­ty Years in this place. Do not many of you owe even your very Souls to him under God? While you Mourn, give thanks to God that you ever knew him; old and great Mercies must be thankfully re­membred.

2. Rejoyce in the Glory that he now enjoys; weep not for him, but weep for your selves: 'Twas the Text on which he Preached, not much above a Year ago, at the Funeral of that intelligent, holy, useful Man, Mr. William Lawrence of Wem. The Primitive Christians buried their Saints with Hymns and Psalms of Joy. Chrysostom on the Hebrews saith, we are to glorifie God, and give thanks to him, that he hath Crown'd the Deceased, and freed them from their Labours; and chides those that Mourn'd and Howl'd. And the Days of their Death were called Natalitia Martyrum & Sanctorum, the Birth-days of the Saints and Martyrs. And Hierom in his Epitaph on Holy Paula (and in the Lives of other Holy Persons, writ by him) saith, that at her Funeral no Shreeks were heard, but multitudes of Psalms and Hymns were sung in divers languages.

[Page 207] 3. Bewail the Loss, the general Loss, and yours in particular, yet so as to have Hope in God. I need not tell you how great your loss is, you teel it more than I am able to express. If any rejoyce that he is gone, because he tormented them, say as the Church, Mic. 7. 8, 9.

4. Seek out for a Supply; do not mourn and sit still, but up and be doing in your places; you have had a cheap Gospel hitherto; God sent you one that could Preach freely, and which is more that would do so too; one that sought not yours but you; and now God will see what you will do for your selves, that now the Shepherd is smitten, the Sheep may not be scattered. Pray to God to raise up others like him, and graciously to give you one.

5. Take heed of liking no Preacher, now he is gone. This a usual Fault among many that have had excellent Preachers, no Body can please them. But God may bless weaker means, and make your Souls live and thrive under them.

6. Hold fast that which you have; it is the advice given to Philadelphia, the best of the Churches, Rev. 3. 11. Keep that good thing which is committed to you, that savoriness of Heart, that love to Christ and to Saints, to all Saints, that Knowledge of the Truth. Keep to his sober Principles. Remember his dying Counsel, Follow Peace and Holiness; have these things always in remembrance. Take heed of falling off, take heed of falling away; the World will draw you, and Satan will tempt you, and your own busie Hearts will be apt to betray you; but go on humbly and honestly in the strength of Christ, and fear not. Be not like those Jews that turned a­side, when Iohn Baptist was dead, Iohn 5. 35. The [Page 208] Lord keep you from being such, and give you to go on so his Heavenly Kingdom.

It would have swelled this Book too much, if we had inserted the Sermon at large, and therefore we forbear it.

The next day being Lord's day, Mr. Owen of Os­westry Preached a most excellent Sermon in the Morn­ing, agreeable to that sad occasion, upon that patheti­cal Farewel which Elisha gave to Elijah, 2 Kings 2. 12. My Father, my Father, the Chariots of Israel and the Horsemen thereof, and he saw him no more; and he took hold of his own Cloths, and rent them. He obser­ved, ‘1. That faithful Ministers are the Fathers of a People, and their Chariots and Horsemen; the former a Metaphor taken from a Family, a peacea­ble Society; the latter from an Army, a warlike Bo­dy. Fathers to provide good things, Chariots and Horsemen to protect from evil things. 2. There is a time when we shall see these Fathers, these Chari­ots and Horsemen of Israel no more. Their time is appointed, their work cut out for them, and when those are finished they are removed. 3. When God takes away our Fathers, the Chariots of our Israel, and the Horsemen thereof, it is a proper Season for Mourning and Lamentation. Under this he did most affectionately excite us, 1. To be sensible of our Loss, which is better felt than exprest. 'Tis the loss of one that was a Father; a Father to his Family, to whom he was constant, in unfolding the Holy Ora­cles; a Father to the Prophets, for Counsel, and Conduct, and Example; the Sons of the Prophets never Conversed with him, but they were, or might have been the better for him; a Father to his Con­gregation, now left Orphans: 'Tis the loss of one of the Chariots and Horsemen of our Israel; so emi­nent [Page 209] was he for Prevalency in Prayer, Courage in Duty, Conduct in Affairs, Constancy in Religion, and a firm adherence to his Ministerial Vows, and Lastly, a Contempt. of the World, in which, as he that Warreth, he did not entangle himself. 2. To be sensible of those Sins, which have provoked God to deprive us of him. Barrenness and Unfruitful­ness under his Ministry; 'tis for this that God hath a Controversie with us. 3. To bless God that we en­joy'd him so long; eaten Bread must not be forgot­ten. 4. To be Followers of him, as he was of Christ. He was a Pattern for Ministers, excelling in the knowledge of the Scriptures, which made this Man of God perfect, and industrious to advance the Honour of Jesus Christ, whom he made the Al­pha and Omega of his Religion; not addicted to Con­troversies, but walking in the good old way, un­wearied in the Work of God; it was the delight of his Heart, to be laying out himself for the good of Souls. Exemplary for Humility and low Thoughts of himself, and his own Performances, for meekness and readiness to forgive Injuries, for Candor in speak­ing of others, and their words and actions, on which he ever put the best Construction, and was never apt to speak evil of any Man. Eminent for Family-Religion, and in that an excellent Copy to all Ma­sters of Families. Those things therefore which you have heard and seen in him do, and the God of Peace shall be with you.’ These were the Heads which were copiously and excellently enlarged upon in that Sermon.

In the Afternoon of that Sabbath, another Sermon was Preached by a near Relation of Mr. Henry's, on Heb. 11. 4. And by it, he being dead yet speaketh, [...] is yet spoken of by us, and yet speaketh to us.

[Page 210] The Wednesday following, Iuly 1. being the Lecture in course at Danford in Whitchurch Parish, Mr. Samu­el Lawrence of Nantwich, whose turn it was to Preach that Lecture brought up the-long train of Mourn­ers, (as he express'd it) in a most savoury and perti­nent Discourse on Heb. 13. 7. Remember them which have (or have had) the Rule over you, who have spoken unto you the words of God, whose Faith follow, consider­ing the end of their Conversation. Bishops no doubt (saith he) are here meant, Scripture Primitive Bi­shops, the Pastors of particular Congregations, for they were such as had spoken to them the word of God, and watched for their Souls, v. 17. Such a one Mr. Henry was, that great Man, who is fallen this day in Israel, removed from us, but hath left be­hind him a good Name to be remembred, a good Ex­ample to be imitated; many a good word spoken to us, and many a good Prayer put up for us. Re­member him with thankfulness, that God has given such Power, such Gifts and Graces unto Men. I ne­ver knew a Man (said he) in all my Acquaintance, in whom I have seen so much of God as in good Mr. Henry, whose Holy, Humble, Heavenly, Graci­ous Conversation hath been to me, no small Confir­mation of the Truth of the Christian Religion; that God gave him to you, and continued him so long, to see the Church in a better State than he had some­times seen it; that God Crown'd his Labours with such great Success. Many Souls in Heaven, and some on Earth blessing God that ever they saw his Face, and that God continued him in his usefulness to the last. Remember him with a quiet submission to the Hand of God in his Removal from us. Sensible we must be of the stroke; 'tis a publick Loss, a Loss to to the Ministry, our Hands are this Day weak; a [Page 211] Loss to the Nation, for which he was a powerful In­tercessor; a Loss to this Country, in which he was a burning and shining Light; but yet we must acqui­esce in the Divine Will. The Treasure was in an Earthen Vessel, and God will bring us to depend more upon himself; and he is teaching us to live, and live to Christ without good Mr. Henry, though we have sometimes said, we did not know how we could live without him. Remember him to pay all Honour and Respect to his Name and Memory; rise up, and call him Blessed. That's a foul Tongue, as well as a lying one, that can say any thing of him unbecoming a Disciple, Servant, and Minister of Jesus Christ. Remember him, to imitate his good Example. Many of you will be called Mr. Henry's Followers, be so indeed. He was a Pattern to Mi­nisters of Diligence, Zeal, Humility, and great Meekness in dealing with all People, which contri­buted abundantly to his Success; his Preaching af­fectionate, without affectation. To all People he was a Pattern of Faith and Charity, and Contempt of the World, of Zeal and Moderation, patience in Suffering, and of Constancy and Perseverance to the end. Remember him, and remember your Sins which have provoked God to take him away. Have not we grieved this good Man's Spirit? &c. Re­member him, and remember Christ's fulness, who is the same, v. 8. and hath the residue of the Spi­rit. Instruments shifted, Cisterns emptied, but there is the same in the Fountain. Remember him, and remember your own Death, and Heaven where he is: We may think the worse of this World. which is much impoverished, and the better of Heaven which is somewhat enriched, by the removal of this good Man.’

[Page 212] Thus we have gleaned a little out of the Sermons, which very well des [...]ed to have been Published at large some of the Testimonies that were born to him, by such as had had long and intimate acquaintance with him, that knew his Excellencies very much, and knew as little to give flattering Titles; nor was it any invidi­ous piece of Service, to speak thus Honourably of one, who like Demetrius, had a good report of all Men, and of the Truth it self.

Nor was it there only, but from abroad, that very Honourable Testimonies were given of him. Sir Hen­ry Ashhurst (whose great worth and usefulness the World hath been made to know, by some of the best Pens of the Age) besides the personal Acquain­tance he had with Mr. Henry, both at Boreatton and in London, had kept up a constant Correspondence with him, by Letter, for many Years. Read the Character he gave of him, in a Letter to a near Relation of Mr. Henry's, upon the Tidings of his Death. I need not tell you how sadly I received the doleful News of Mr. Henry's Translation, who, I do think, liv'd the greatest Example of sincere Godliness, with Prudenc [...] and sweetness of Temper, of any I ever knew. And i [...] another Letter, not only proposing, but pressing th [...] Publication of an Account of his Life, he professeth he thought there was none like him in his day, at lea [...] of his Acquaintance, which is known to be both o [...] the largest and of the best: And (saith he) if Si [...] Fulk Grevil, would have it inscribed upon his Tomb [...] stone, that he was a Friend to Sir Philip Sidney. I m [...] well be pleased to have it told the World, that I Lov'd an [...] Honour'd Blessed Mr. Henry; a Man of so much Pru­dence, and withal so much Sincerity, of so good a Tem­per, so much a Gentleman, and yet of such strict Pie [...] [Page 213] and Devotedness to God, that I scarce ever knew his Fellow.

The Reverend Mr. William Turner, now Vicar of Walburton in Sussex, (of whom mention was made be­fore) lately sent to me a very kind Letter, Ex mero motu, with his free Consent to have it inserted in this Account; some hints whereof I think sit to sub­join.

Worthy Sir,

I am glad to hear that you have been prevailed with to set upon so good a Work, as Recording the most remarkable Passages of Mr. Henry's Life. I doubt not but you will meet with some, that will give such a History but a cold Reception. All that part of the World that lies in Darkness, will be offended, when Beams of clear Light and Sun-shine first dart into their Faces. Virtutem praesentem odimus.

A little before I went to the University, I was, upon the Commendation of my worthy School-master Mr. E. (yet living) and with my Father's Consent, half a Year a Domestick with him; partly as a Tu­tor to his young ones, and partly as a Pupil to him­self; and in some little Degree as a Companion; where I had the opportunity of informing my self more fully concerning the Humour and Principles, and Conversation of a sort of People (and especial­ly him and his Family) whom I had heard aspers'd very freely in former Companies, and represented to the World, as very Hypocritical and Disloyal Peo­ple. At my first going I resolved to stand upon my Guard, and pry into the Cause, which was then the great Subject of Difference and Dispute; and upon the whole do say, That Mr. Henry was a Man of so clear a Brain, so gentle a Behaviour, so steddy a Con­versation, so regular a Devotion, was so courteous and [Page 214] condescending to Inferiors, so respectful and Dutiful to Superiours, so sweet and obliging to all; was so care­ful to improve his time well, to do as much good as possible to every Body, so constantly affectionate in his Prayers for the King and Government, so de­sirous to keep up a fair Correspondence and Com­munion with his conformable Brethren, so very indif­ferent in making Proselytes to his particular Opinions; and withal, so zealous to promote substantial Good­ness and true Christianity, so mighty inoffensive and peaceable in all his Expressions and Actions; so pru­dent, pure, pious, just, sober, charitable, chearful and pleasant, that I profess I am almost afraid to give him his due Character without some Correctives, lest they that knew him not should suspect my vera­city, and imagine my Pen to be managed by some mercenary Hand. I remember the Worshipful Row­land Hunt of Boreatton, Esq speaking of Mr. Hen­ry, thus expressed himself to me (and if I mistake not, the Lord Embassador Pagett was present) I was (said he) near seven Years resident in the Universi­ties, and seven more at the Inns of Court in London, and had opportunity of knowing and acquainting my self with the most eminent Divines and Preachers in both those places; yet I never found any every way so accomplished, for clearness and quickness of apprehension, solidity of Judgment, and roundness of Style, as Mr. Henry is. I have Noted in my Book of Providences, the Remark I made upon the Tem­poral Blessings God had rewarded him with; viz. a good and virtuous Consort, who brought him a good Estate, gave him a due Reverence, lov'd him with an intire affection, an ingenious and hopeful Off­spring, well affected, well Educated, and well di­spos'd of in the World, the favour of Men, and a [Page 215] quiet undisturb'd Habitation upon Earth, in great measure, &c.

Sic Testatus, sic monet, sic precatur. Amicus maerens, anhelus, superstes.
W. Turner, A. M.

Another very worthy Conformist, formerly of his Acquaintance, but now living at a great distance, ha­ving occasion to mention him in a Letter to a Friend, calls him The Great, Good. and now Glorious Mr. Henry, whose Memory (saith he) shall ever be precious, and even sacred to me.

Such as these were the Honourable Testimonies which all that knew him, and knew how to value true Excellency attended him with. It is part of the Recompence of Charity and Moderation in this World, that it obtains a good Report of all Men. The Kingdom of God (saith the Blessed Apostle, Rom. 14. 17, 18.) is not meat and drink (which were then the matters of doubtful disputation) but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; and he that in these things serveth Christ, is not only acceptable to God, but approved of men; as on the contrary, they that judge will be judged, and with what meas [...]re we meet, it will be measured to us again. And this is the Excellency of a Good Name, that it is out of the reach of Death, and is not Buried in the Grave, but rather grows up from it. It is not for no­thing that Solomon hath joined this good Name, which is better than precious Oyntment, with the day of ones death, which upon that account is better than the day of ones birth, that it compleats the Character of those that finish their Course well, and are faithful unto Death; whereas a Great Name, like the Names of the great Ones of the Earth is often wither'd and blemish­ed [Page 216] by Death. We read of those that bear their shame when they go down to the Pit, though they were the ter­ror of the mighty in the Land of the Living, Ezek. 32. 35.

At a Meeeting of the Dissenting Ministers of Che­shire at Knutford, in May 1696. (a few Weeks before Mr. Henry dyed) it was agreed, that their next Meet­ing should be at Chester (though inconvenient to many of them) upon condition that he would meet them there, and give them a Sermon. It was with much difficulty that he was prevailed with to promise it, but his Master called for him before the time appointed came. Mr. Flavel of Devonshire dyed when he was under a like appointment. But happy they that are come to the General Assembly, and Church of the First Born, and to the Spirits of just Men made per­fect.

As to his Bodily Presence, he was of a middle Sta­ture, his Complexion not approaching to any extream, of a very pleasant Aspect, and an unusual mixture of Gravity and Sweetness in the air of his Countenance, which was the true Index of his Mind. When some of his Friends have sollicited him to have his Picture drawn, he would put them off with this, that the best Picture of a Minister is in the Hearts of his People.


A Miscellaneous Collection of some of his Sayings, Observations, Counsels and Com­forts, out of his Sermons, Letters and Discourses.

MR. Henry, through the excess of his Modesty and Self-diffidence, never Published any of his La­bours to the World, nor ever fitted or prepar'd any of them for the Press; and yet none more valued the Labours of others, or rejoyced more in them; nor have I heard any complain less of the multitude of good Books, concerning which he often said, that Store is no Sore, and he was very forward to perswade o­thers to Publish; and always express'd a particular pleasure in reading the Lives, Actions and Sayings of Eminent Men, Antient and Modern, which he thought the most useful and instructive kind of Writings. He was also a very candid Reader of Books, not apt to pick Quarrels with what he read, especially when the Design appear'd to be Honest, and when others would find fault, and say, this was wanting, and 'tother amiss, his usual Excuse was, There is nothing Perfect under the Sun.

It will be but a small Repair of this want of the publishing of some of his Works, (but I doubt it will prove the best we can make) to glean up some few of many of his Sayings, Observations, and good Instructi­ons (as his Remains) which we shall not Marshal in any Order, but give them as they occur, besides those [Page 218] which have been already inserted into this Narra­tive.

'Twas a saying he frequently us'd, which hath been mentioned already, that Every Creature is that to us, and only that which God makes it to be: And another was, Duty is ours, Events are God's: And another was, The Soul is the Man, and therefore, That is always best for us, which is best for our Souls: And another was, The Devil cozens us of all our time, by cozening us of the present time.

In his Thanksgivings for Temporal Mercies, he of­ten said, If the end of one Mercy were not the beginning of another, we were undone: And to encourage to the Work of Thanksgiving he would say, That new Mer­cies call for new Returns of Praise, and then those new Returns will fetch in new Mercies; and from Psal. 50. 23. He that offers praise glorifies me, and to him that orders his conversation aright.—He observ'd, That Thanks­giving is good, but Thanks-living is better.

When he spoke of a Good Name, he usually descri­bed it to be a Name for good things with good Peo­ple.

When he spoke of Contentment, he us'd to say, ‘When the Mind and the Condition meet, there's Con­tentment. Now in order to that, either the Condi­tion must be brought up to the Mind, and that is not only unreasonable but impossible; for as the Con­dition riseth, the Mind riseth with it; or else the Mind must be brought down to the Condition, and that is both possible and reasonable. And he observed, That no Condition of Life will of it self make a Man content, without the Grace of God; for we find Haman discontented in the Court, Ah [...]b discon­tented on the Throne, Adam discontented in Para­dise, [Page 219] nay (and higher we cannot go) the Angels that fell discontented in Heaven it self.’

The Three Questions which he advised People to put to themselves in self Examination before the Sa­crament, were, What am I? What have I done? and what do I want?

He us'd to recommend to his Friends these four Scripture Arguments against Sin. expressed for Memo­ry sake in four Verses, to be ready in an Hour of Temptation.

Is this thy kindness to thy Friend?
It will be bitterness in the end.
The Vows of God upon me lye;
Should such a Man as I am fly?

He said there were four things, which he would not for all the World have against him, The Word of God, His own Conscience, The Prayers of the Poor, and The Ac­count of Godly Ministers.

‘He that hath a blind Conscience which sees no­thing, a dead Conscience which feels nothing, and a dumb Conscience which saith nothing, is in as mise­rable a Condition as a Man can be in, on this side Hell.’

Preaching on 1 Pet. 1. 6. If need be, you are in Hea­viness.—He shew'd what need the People of God have of Afflictions. ‘The same need that our Bodies have of Physick, that our Trees have of Pruning, that Gold and Silver have of the Furnace, that Liquors have of being emptied from Vessel to Vessel, that the Iron hath of a File, that the Fields have of a Hedge, that the Child has of the Rod.

Preaching on that Prayer of Christ for his Disci­ples, Iohn 17. 21. That they all may be one, which no doubt is an answer'd Prayer; for the Father heard him [Page 220] always: He shewed, ‘That notwithstanding the ma­ny sad Divisions that are in the Church, yet all the Saints, as far as they are Sanctified, are One; one in Relation, one Flock, one Family, one Building, one Body, one Bread: one by Representation, one in Image and Likeness, of one Inclination and Disposition: one in their Aims, one in their Askings, one in Amity and Friendship, one in Interest, and one in their In­heritance; nay, they are one in Iudgment and Opi­nion; though in some things they differ, yet those things in which they are agreed are many more, and much more considerable, than those things wherein they differ. They are all of a mind concerning Sin, that it is the worst thing in the World; concerning Christ, that he is All in all; concerning the Favour of God, that is better than Life; concerning the World, that it is Vanity; concerning the Word of God, that it is very precious, &c.

Preaching on Gal. 1. 16. concerning the Conversi­on of Paul, he began his Sermon with this Remark, to raise Attention: Much is said in Story concerning the seven Wonders of the World, the Temple of Ephe­sus, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Tomb of Mausolus, &c. all which are now no more; but I have been sometimes thinking, whether I could not name seven things which I would call the Seven wonders of the Church; and what do you think of these Seven? are they not wonderful? 1. Our Redemption by Jesus Christ, who is called Wonderful; 2. the Salvation of Noah in the Ark; 3. the Faith of Abraham in Offering up Isaac; 4. the Patience of Iob; 5. the Providences of God towards the Nation and People of the Iews; 6. the pouring out of the Spirit upon the Apostles; 7. the Conversion of Paul.

[Page 221] But it would be endless to gather up such Passages as these out of his Sermons, which were full of them, and we mention these only because they occur first.

He us'd to observe concerning the Nation of the Iews, that before the Captivity in Babylon, no People could be more strongly addicted to Idols and Idola­try than they were, to admiration, considering what clear Warnings they had against it. But after that Cap­tivity, never was any People more averse to Idols and Idolatry than they, that the Promise might be fulfil­led, Ephraim shall say, what have I to do any more with Idols; and he looked upon it, that the Idolatry of the Papists was one of the greatest Obstructions to the Iews Conversion, which he did expect and look for, as not apprehending how the Promises, Rom. 11. have yet had their full accomplishment; not that they shall again be Incorporated into a People, but shall join them­selves to the Churches of Christ, in the several Nations whither they are scatter'd.

The great thing that he condemned and witnessed against in the Church of Rome, was their Monopolizing of the Church, and Condemning all that are not in with their Interests, which is so directly contrary to the Spi­rit of the Gospel, as nothing can be more. He some­times said, I am too much a Catholick, to be a Roman Catholick.

He often exprest himself well pleas'd with that heal­ing Rule, which if duly observed would put an end to all our Divisions: Sit in necessariis Unitas, in non necessariis Libert [...], in omnibus Charitas. Let there be in necessary things Unity, in every thing Charity, and then there need not be in every Punctilio Uniformity.

[Page 222] By the Institutions of the Gospel (he said) he knew of no Holy Place, one Holy Day, two Holy Sacraments, and four Holy Canons. Let all things be done in Cha­rity: Let all things be done to Edifying: Let all things be done Decently and in Order: and let all things be done to the Glory of God.

When his Opinion was asked about any doubtful Matter, as Playing at Cards, the Marriage of Cosin-Germans, or the like, he was very cautious in deter­mining such things to be sinful; but he would say, its good keeping on the safer side; and a Man would not chuse to go upon a Precipice, when he might go up­on even Ground, Prov. 10. 5. He that walks upright­ly, walks surely, in opposition to walking at all ad­ventures.

In the Observations he made of God's Providences, he frequently took Notice in Discourse with his Friends, of the fulfilling of the Scripture in them, for (saith he) The Scripture hath many accomplishments, and is in the fulfilling every day. Speaking of a wicked Son in the Neighbourhood, that was very undutiful to his Mother, he charged some of his Children to observe the Providence of God concerning him; Perhaps (saith he) I may [...]ot live to see it, but do you take Notice, whether God do not come upon him with some remarka­ble Iudgment in this Life, according to the threatning implyed in the Reason annexed to the Fifth Com­mandment: But he himself lived to see it ful­filled not long after, in a very signal Provi­dence.

He observed from Scripture Instances, as well as from some Providences which he had taken Notice of in his own Day, That if any began well in the ways of Religion and Godliness, and afterwards cast off their Profession, and returned to Profaneness again [Page 223] usually God sets a mark of his displeasure upon them, by some visible Judgment in this World; their Estates ruined, their Reputation blasted, their Families sunk, or themselves brought to Misery; so that all who passed by might say, This was an Apostate. If any Man draw back, my Soul shall have no pleasure in him.

He observed from Numb. 10. 12. That all our Re­moves in this World, are but from one Wilderness to ano­ther. Upon any change that is before us, we are apt to promise our selves a Canaan, but we shall be deceived, it will prove a Wilderness.

Once pressing the Study of the Scriptures, he ad­vised to take a verse of Psalm. 119. every Morning to Meditate upon, and so go over the Psalm twice in the Year, and that (said he) will bring you to be in love with all the rest of the Scripture; and he of­ten said, All Grace grows, as love to the Word of God grows.

One asking his advice, what to do when (as often unavoidably) we are in the sight and hearing of the wickedness of the Wicked, and whether we are to re­prove them; why (saith he) you know what an angry Countenance doth, and we may sometimes give a Re­proof by our looks, when we have not opportunity of giving it otherwise.

He would not bear that any should be evil spoken of in his Hearing, 'twas to him as Vinegar to the Teeth. He would mind those who Reflected upon People be­hind their Backs, of that Law, Lev. 19. 14. Thou shalt not Curse the Deaf. Those that are absent are Deaf, they cannot right themselves, and therefore say no ill of them. A Friend of his enquiring of him concern­ing a matter which tended to reflect upon some Peo­ple; he began to give him an account of the Story, [Page 224] but immediately broke off, and checked himself with these words, But our Rule is, to speak evil of no Man, and would proceed no further in the Story. 'Twas but the Week before he dyed, that one desired him to lend him such a Book; Truly (saith he) I would lend it you, but that it rakes in the Faults of some, which should rather be covered with a Mantle of Love, 'Twere easie to Multiply instances of this.

To quicken People to diligence and liveliness in the Worship of God, he would sometimes observe, that the Temple was built upon a Threshing-floor, a place of Labour. He would also urge, that in An­swer to those who turn'd it to his Reproach, that his Meeting place had been a Barn; no new thing (would he say) to turn a Threshing-floor into a Temple.

When some zealous People in the Country would have him to Preach against Top-knots, and other Va­nities in Apparel, he would say, that was none of his Business; if he could but perswade People to Christ, the Pride and Vanity, and Excess of those things would fall of Course; and yet he had a dislike to Vanity and Gaiety of dress, and allowed it not in those that he had influence upon. His Rule was, that in such things we must neither be Owles nor Apes; not affect singu­larity, nor affect modishness; nor (as he used to ob­serve from 1 Pet. 3. 3.) make the putting on of Appa­rel our adorning, because Christians have better things to adorn themselves with. When some complained to him of a Relation of theirs, that would not let them dress his Children with Ribbands, and other fine things, why truly (said Mr. Henry) those things are fit for Children; thereby reproving both him that would not allow them to his Children, and them that perhaps minded them too much themselves.

[Page 225] He often, both in Sermons and Discourses, would press People to fix to themselves some good Principles, and to come off from the Corrupt and Carnal Princi­ples that Worldly People go by. He took all occasions to recommend such Principles as these: That God who is the first and best, should have the first and best; That a Part in Christ is a good Part; That Soul Prosperity is the best Prosperity, and that it is well or ill with us, ac­cording as it is well or ill with our Souls; That Honesty is the best Policy; That those that would have the comfort of Relations, must be careful to do the Duty of them; That All is well that ends everlastingly well; That Time and the things of Time, are nothing compared with Eter­nity and the things of Eternity; That it is better to suffer the greatest Affliction, than to commit the least Sin; That it highly concerns us to do that now, which we shall most wish we had done when we come to dye; That Work for God is its own Wages; That it is folly for a Man to do that which he must certainly undo again by Repentance, or be undone to all Eternity Such as these were the Principles he would have Christians to govern themselves by.

Speaking of the Causes of Atheism, he had this Observation; That a Head full of vain and unprofita­ble Notions, meeting with a Heart full of Pride and Self-conceitedness, dispose a Man directly to be an Atheist.

A Gentlewoman, that upon some unkindness be­twixt her and her Husband, was parted from him, and lived separately near a Twelve-month, grew Melan­choly, and complained of Sin, and the withdrawing of the Light of God's Countenance, and the want of Assurance; he told her, she must rectifie what was a miss between her and her Husband, and return into the way of Duty, else 'twas in vain to ex­pect [Page 226] Peace. Her Friends were against it; but he said, he was confident it would prove so.

He said he had observed concerning himself, that he was sometimes the worse for eating, but never for ab­stinence; sometimes the worse for wearing too few Cloaths, but never for wearing too many; sometimes the worse for speaking, but never for keeping Si­lence.

As to his Letters, he was very free in writing to his Friends. A good Letter, he would say, may perhaps do more good than a good Sermon, because the Ad­dress is more particular, and that which is written re­mains. His Language and Expressions in his Letters were always pious and heavenly, and seasoned with the Salt of Grace; and when there was occasion, he would excellently Administer Counsels, Reproofs or Com­forts by Letter. He kept no Copies of his Letters, and it is impossible if we should attempt it, to retrieve them from the Hands into which they were scatter'd. Mr. Rutherford's, and Mr. Allen's Letters, that (like some of the most excellent of Paul's Epistles) bo [...]e date out of a Prison, have a mighty Tincture of their peculiar Prison-Comforts and Enlargements; we have none such to Produce of Mr. Henry's, no Pa­storal Letters or Prison Letters; he was himself, in his whole Conversation, an Epistle of Christ.

But we shall only glean up some Passages out of such of his Letters as are in our Hands, which may be affecting and edifying.

To his Son when he was abroad for Improvement at London, in the Year 1685, and 1686, with the common business of his Letters, which was always written with a savor of Religion, he would intermix such Lines as these:

We are all well here, Thanks be [Page 227] to God, the Divine Providence watching about our Tabernacle, and compassing us about with Favour, as with a Shield. Our great Enquiry is, What shall we render? Alas! our Rendrings are nothing to our Receivings; w [...]re like the Barren Field, on which must Cost is b [...]wed, but the Crop is not according­ly. Our Heavenly Father is loading us with his Bene­fits, and we are loading him with our Sins, grie­ving him that comforts us; and how long, how long shall it be so? O that it might be otherwise! that our Mercies might be as Oyl to the Wheels, to make us so much the more active and lively in our Masters Work, especially considering how it is with our fellow Servants, they empty and we full, they Marah and we Naomi. There may a Day come, when it may cost dear to be honest, but after all. To fear God and keep his Commandments, is the whole of Man. I therefore commend it to you, and you to God, who is a shield and buckler to them that fear him.

We are well, but in daily expectation of that which we are born, and born again to, and that is Trouble in this World, yet rejoycing in hope of the Glory of God, which we are reaching after, and pressing towards, as we trust you are also. Where you are, you see more of the glittering Vanities of this World in a Day, than we here do in an Age; and are you more and more in love with them, or dead and dying to them? I hope dead and dying to them, for they are poor things, and perish in the using; make many worse that enjoy them, but none better. What is Translated vexation of Spirit, Eccl. 1. 2. may be read Feeding upon Wind, comp. Hos. 12. 1. and can Wind satisfie? The Lord pre­serve and keep you from all Evil, the Lord preserve [Page 228] and keep your Soul. We both send you our Love, and bless you together, and apart, every day, in the Name of the Lord. Amen and Amen.

Be sincere and humble and choice in your Com­pany, always either getting go [...] or doing good, ga­thering in or laying out. Re [...]ber to keep the Heart with all diligence and above all keepings, for there the Fountain is, and if that be well kept and clean, the streams will be accordingly.

'Tis some short Refreshment to Friends and Relati­ons, to see and hear from one another, but it passeth away, and we have here no continuing City, no abi­ding Delights in this World; our Rest remains else­where; those we have, lose much of their sweetness, from the thoughts of parting with them while we enjoy them, but the Happiness to come is Eternal. After Millions of Millions of Ages (if we may so speak of Eternity) as far from an end as the first Moment; and the last of Glory will be Glory (so some read Prov. 25. 27.) keep that in your Eye (my dear Child) and it will as much as any thing dazzle your Eyes, to all the fading deceiving Vanities of this lower World; and will be a quickning Motive to you, to abound always in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know your Labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. The Lord bless you, who bles­seth indeed.

See that you walk circumspectly, not as the Fools, but as the wise; many Eyes are upon you, his especially, who is all Eye; Cave, Deus vi­det, memento hoc agere; our Blessing with 1 Chr. 28. 9.

The same which is yet the Prologue of yours, is of ours also. Ommia bene. laus Deo! but he that girdeth on the Harness, must not boast as [Page 229] that puts it off. While the World we live in is un­der the Moon, constant in nothing but inconstancy; and such Changes are made in other Families, why should we alone promise our selves immunity from the common Lot? There would be no need of Faith and Patience which are Winter Graces, if it should be always Summer time with us. We have three Unchangeables to oppose to all other Mutabili­ties; an unchangeable Covenant, an unchangeable God, and an unchangeable Heaven: And while these three remain the same, yesterday, to day, and for ever; Welcome the Will of our Heavenly Father in all Events that may happen to us; come what will, no­thing can come amiss to us.

Keep the Invisible things of the other World al­ways in your Eye. He that ventures the loss of an Eternal Crown and Kingdom, for a Cup or two of puddle Water (such as all ter [...]ene pleasures in Com­parison are) makes a bargain, which no less a space than that which is Everlasting will be sufficient to be­wail and repent of. How much better is it to lay up in store now a good Foundation for time to come, and to lay hold on Eternal Life? doing those Works which we would be willing should hereafter follow us, yet still making the blessed Jesus our All in all.

The further Progress you make in your Studies, you will find them the easier; 'tis so with Religion, the worst is at first. It is like the Picture that frown'd at first entrance, but afterwards smiles and looks pleasant. They that walk in sinful ways, meet with some Difficulties at first, which Custom con­quers, and they become as nothing. 'Tis good ac­customing our selves to that which is good. The more we do, the more we may do in Religion. Your [Page 230] Acquaintance (I doubt not) increaseth abroad, and ac­cordingly your watch must be; for by that oftentimes, e're we are aware, we are ensnar'd. He that walketh with wise men shall be wise.

The return of the Spring invites our Thanksgi­ving for the mercy of it. The Birds are singing ear­ly and late, according to their Capacity, the Praises of their Creator; but Man only, that hath most cause, finds something else to do. 'Tis Redeeming Love that is the most admirable Love; less than an Eternity will not suffice to adore it in. Lord, how is it! Lord, what is man? As the Streams lead to the Fountain, so should all our Mercies lead us to that. We both of us send you our most affectionate Love and Blessing; Blessing? That is, we pray and be­seech the most Blessed God, even our own God, to give you his Blessing for he only can command the Blessing; and those whom he Blesseth are Blessed in­deed. Let us still hear to our comfort, that you walk in the Truth. living above the things of the World, as dead to them. The Lord in Mercy fit us for his Will in the next Providence, Publick and Personal, for Time is always teeming.

Your Improvement is our Ioy. Be sincere and se­rious, cloathed with Humility, abounding always in the work of the Lord; and when you have done all saying, I am an unprofitable Servant. 'Twas the good advice of the Moral Philosopher, in your Con­verse with Men, [...] (Distrust) but I must add, in every thing towards God [...] (Be­lieve) expect Temptation and a Snare at every turn, and walk accordingly. We have a good Cause, a van­quished Enemy a good Second, and extraordinary Pay; for he that overcomes, needs not desire to be more happy than the second and third of the Reve­lation [Page 231] speaks him to be. The God of all Mercy and Grace compass you about always with his Favour as with a shield.

I would have you redeem time for hearing the word in Season and out of Season; your other studies will prosper never the worse, especially if you could return immediately from it to the Closet again, with­out cooling Divertisements by the way.

See your need of Christ more and more, and live upon him; no Life like it, so sweet, so safe. Christus meus mi­hi in omnia. We cannot be discharged from the Guilt of any Evil we do, without his Merit to satis­fie; we cannot move in the performance of any good required, without his Spirit and Grace to assist and enable for it; and when we have done all, that All is nothing, without his Mediation and Intercession to make it acceptable; so that every day, in every thing. he is All in All. Though you are at a distance from us now, we rejoyce in the good hope we have through Grace, of meeting again in the Land of the Living, that is, on Earth, if God see good, how­ever in Heaven, which is the true Land of the truly Living, and is best of all. The Lord God Ever­lasting be your Sun and Shield in all your ways: See time hasting away a pace towards Eternity, and the Judge even at the Door, and work accordingly, where-ever you are, alone or in Company; be always either doing or getting good, Sowing or Reap­ing. As for me, I make no other Reckoning, but that the Time of my Departure is at hand, and what Trouble I may meet with before, I know not, the Will of the Lord be done: One of my chief Cares is, that no Iniquity of mine may be laid up for you, which God grant for his Mercy sake in Christ Jesus. Amen.

[Page 232] Be careful of your Health. Remember the Rule, Venienti occurrere; but especially neglect not the main matter. The Soul is the Man; if that do well, all's well. Worship God in the Spirit; rejoyce in Christ Iesus, and have no Confidence in the Flesh. God be gracious unto thee my Son. Redeem Time, especi­ally for your Soul: Expect Trouble in this World, and prepare for it; expect Happiness in the o­ther World, and walk worthy of it, unto all plea­sing.

A good Book is a good Companion at any time, but especially a good God, who is always ready to hold Communion with those that desire and seek Com­munion with him. Keep low and humble in your Thoughts and Opinion of your self; but aim high in your Desires and Expectations, even as high as the Kingdom of Heaven it self, and resolve to take up with nothing short of it. The Lord guide you in all your ways, and go in and out before you, and preserve you blameless to his Heavenly King­dom.

Immediately after his Son was Ordained to the Work of the Ministry at London, in the Year 1687. he thus wrote to him: ‘Are you now a Minister of Jesus Christ? Hath he counted you Faithful, put­ting you into the Ministry? then be Faithful; out of love to him feed his Lambs: Make it your [...], as a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly di­viding the word of Truth. I hope what you Expe­rienced of the presence of God with you in the So­lemnity, hath left upon you a truly indelible Cha­racter, and such Impressions, as neither time, nor any thing else shall be able to wear out. Remem­ber Psal. 71. 16. It is in the Eye of Sense, a bad time to set out in; but in Sowing and Reaping, Clouds [Page 233] and Wind must not be heeded. The Work is both Comfortable and Honourable, and the Reward rich and sure; and if God be pleased to give Opportu­nity and a Heart, though there may be Trouble at­tending it, 'twill be easily born. If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him. I am, and shall be, according to my Duty and Promise, earnest at the Throne of Grace, on your behalf, that the Lord will pour out upon you of his Holy Spirit, that what he calls you to, he would fit you for; especially that he would take you off your own bottom, and lay you low in the Sense of your own Unworthiness, Inability and Insufficiency, that you may say with the Evangelical Prophet; Wo is me, I am undone! And with Ieremiah, I am a Child; and with Paul, I am nothing; where this is not, the main thing is want­ing; for God resists the Proud, but gives Grace to the Humble. Now the Lord give you that Grace to be Humble; and then, according to his Promise, he will make you rich in every other Grace.’

It were very easie to Transcribe many more such Lines as these, out of his Letters to his Son, but these shall suffice.

We shall next gather up some few passages out of some of his Letters to a Person of Quality in London, (such of them as are come to our Hands, which are but few of many.) The beginning of his Correspon­dence with that Gentleman, (which continued to his Death, and was kept up Monthly for a great while) was in the Year 1686. and the following Letter broke the Ice.

Honour'd Sir,

HOping you are by this time, as you intended, returned to London, to your Home and Habita­tion [Page 234] there. I make bold, according to my Promise, to Salute you in a few Lines. In the first place to be your Remembrancer of the Vows of God which are upon you, upon the account of the many Mer­cies of your Journey, both in your going out and in your coming in. Was not every step you took hedg'd about with special Providence? Had not the Angels charge over you? Did not they pitch their Tents where you pitched yours? Did not Good­ness and Mercy follow you, and should it not then be had in thankful Remembrance? Where Mercy goes before, should not Duty follow after? If you have Mr. Angier's Life, you will find there, Page 88, 89. a Collection out of his Diary, of ten Heads of Mercies, acknowledged in a Journey, to heighten God's Praises, and to quicken his own and others Hearts therein, and they are certainly very affecting Next (Sir) I am to acquaint you, that I have faith­fully dispos'd of the Money you left with me at parting, to eight poor praying Widows in this Neighbour­hood, as you appointed. And this among all the rest of your Alms Deeds is had in Memorial before God; 'tis Fruit that will abound to your Account, Bread sent a Voyage upon the Waters, which you and yours will find again after many Days; for he is Faithful that hath promised. The Apostles Prayer shall be mine, 2 Cor. 9, 10. Now he that ministreth Seed to the Sower, both Minister Bread for your Food, and mul­tiply your Seed sown, and increase the Fruits of your Righteousness. Amen.

And some time after he writes, ‘Your Acknowledg­ing God in all your Affairs, I cannot but rejoyce in, as an evidence of the uprightness of your Heart towards him; 'tis the Life and Soul of all Religion; 'tis indeed to walk with God: That includes as much [Page 235] as any other Scripture command in so few words, In all thy ways acknowledge him; in every thing thou dost have an Eye to him; make his Word and Will thy Rule, his Glory thy End; fetch in strength from him; expect success from him; and in all Events that happen, which are our ways too (whether they be for us or against us) he is to be acknowledged, that is ador'd: if prosperous with Thankfulness, if otherwise with Submission; as Iob, The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken, and blessed be the Name of the Lord. This is to set the Lord always before us, to have our Eye ever to­wards the Lord; where this is not, we are so far without God in the World.

In another Letter, ‘As to the Accession lately made to your Estate, much good may it do you; that is, much good may you do with it, which is the true Good of an Estate. The Lady Warwick would not thank him, that would give her a Thousand a Year, and tye her up from doing good with it. I rejoyce in the large Heart which God hath given you with your large Estate without which Heart the Estate would be your Snare.

I have lately met with a Letter of Mr. Henry's, to a Couple related to him, who in a very short time had Buryed all their Children of the Small Pox, to their great Grief, 'twas in the Year 1679. What Comfort and Counsels he Administred to them, may be of use [...]o others in their Afflictions, and therefore I shall Transcribe the whole Letter, though it be long.

Dear Cosins,

THis is to you both, whom God hath made one in the Conjugal Relation, and who are one also in the present Affliction; only to signifie to you that we do heartily Sympathize with you in it. The Trial is indeed sharp, and there will be need of all the Wisdom and Grace you have, and of all the help [Page 236] of Friends you can get, both to bear and to improve it aright. You must bear it with Silence and Sub­mission. Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have born Chastisement. He is Sovereign Lord of all, and may do with us and ours as pleaseth him. It is not for the Clay to quarrel with the Potter. It was Mercy you had Children, and comfort in them so long; it is Mercy that yet you have one another, and your Chil­dren are not lost, but gone before, a little before, whither you your selves are hastning after. And if a Storm be coming, (as God grant it be not) it is best with them that put first into the Harbour. Your Children are taken away from the Evil to come, and you must not Mourn as they that have no hope. Sen­sible you cannot but be, but dejected and sullen you must not be, that will but put more bitterness into the Cup, and make way for another, perhaps a sharper stroke. You must not think, and I hope you do not, that there cannot be a sharper stroke, for God hath many Arrows in his Quiver; he can heat the Furnace seven times hotter, and again and again se­ven times hotter, till he hath Consumed us; and if he should do so, yet still we must say, he hath punish­ed us less than our Iniquities have deserved. For Ex­amples of Patience in the like kind, we have two eminent ones in the Book of God, those are Iob and Aaron; of the latter it is said, Lev. 10. 3 He held his Peace; and that which quiered him, was what his Brother Moses said to him, This is that which the Lord hath said I will be sanctified; and if God be Sanctified, Aaron is Satisfied; if God have Glory from it, Aaron hath nothing to say against it. Of the former it is said, Iob 1. 20. he fell down, but it was to Worship; and we are told how he expressed himself, The Lord gave, &c. He acknowledgeth God [Page 237] in all: And indeed after all, this is it (my dear Co­sins) that you must satisfie your selves with under this sad Providence, that the Lord hath done it, and the same Will that ordered the thing it self, ordered all the Circumstances of it; and who are we that we should dispute with our Maker: Let the Pot­sherds strive with the Potsherds of the Earth, but let not the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? And as for the Improve­ment of this Affliction, (which I hope both of you earnestly desire, for it is a great Loss to lose such a Providence, and not be made better by it) I con­ceive there are four Lessons which it should teach you, and they are good Lessons, and should be well learned, for the advantage of them is unspeakable. 1. It should for ever imbitter Sin to you; you know what she said to the Prophet, 1 Kings 17. 18. Art thou come to call my Sin to remembrance, and to slay my Son? 'Tis Sin, Sin that is the old Kill-Friend, the Ionah that hath raised this Storm, the Achan that hath troubled your House; then how should you grow in your hatred of it, and endeavours against it? that you may be the Death of that which hath been the Death of your dear Children; I say the Death of it, for nothing less will satisfie the true Pe­nitent, than the Death of such a Malefactor. 2. It should be a Spur to you, to put you on in Heavens way; It may be you were growing remiss in Duty, begin­ning to slack your former pace in Religion, and your Heavenly Father saw it, and was grieved at it, and sent this sad Providence to be your Monitor, to tell you, you should remember whence you were fallen, and do your first Works, and be more Humble and Holy, and Heavenly, and self-denying, and Watchful, abounding always in the work of the Lord. O Bles­sed [Page 238] are they that come out of such a Furnace thus resined, they will say hereafter, 'twas a happy day for them that ever they were put in. 3. You mu [...] learn by it as long as you live, to keep your Affecti­ons in due Bounds towards Creature Comforts. How hard is it to love and not to over-love, to delight in Children or Yoke-fellows, and not over-delight; now God is a jealous God, and will not give his Glo­ry to any other; and our excess this way doth often provoke him to remove that Mercy from us, which we do thus make an Idol of; and our Duty is to la­bour when he doth so, to get that matter mend­ed, and to rejoyce in all our Enjoyments with Trembling, and as if we rejoyced not. 4. It should be a means of drawing your Hearts and Thoughts more upwards and home-wards; I mean your Everlasting-Home. You should be look­ing oftner now than before into the other World. I shall go to him, saith David, when his little Son was gone before. It is yet but a little while e're all the things of Time shall be swallowed up in Eternity. And the matter is not great, whether we or ours die first, whilst we are all dying; in the midst of Life we are in Death: What manner of persons then ought we to be? Now our Lord Iesus Christ him­self, and God, even our Father, be your support un­der, and do you good by this Dispensation, and give you a Name better than that of Sons and Daughters. We are daily mindful of you at the Throne of Grace, in our poor measure, and dearly recommended to you, &c.

We shall next gather up some Passages out of his Letters to his Children, after they were married and gone from him.

[Page 239] To one of his Daughters with Child of her first Child, he thus writes, ‘You have now one kind of Burthen more than ever you had before to cast upon God, and if you do so, he will sustain you, accor­ding to his Promise.’

And when the time of Travel was near, thus, ‘You know whom you have trusted, even him who is true and faithful, and never yet did, no [...] ever will forsake the Soul that seeks him. Though he be Al­mighty, and can do every thing, yet this he cannot do, he cannot deny himself, nor be worse than his Word: But what is his Word? Hath he promised that there shall be always a safe and speedy delivery? that there shall be no Iabez, no Benoni? No, but if there be, he hath promised it shall work together for good; hath promised, if he doth not save from, he will save through: If he call to go, even through the valley of the shadow of death, (and what less is Child-bearing [...]) he will be with you, his Rod and his Staff shall comfort you, and that's well: There­fore your Faith must be in those things as the Pro­mise is, either so or so, and which way soever it be, God is good, and doth good. Therefore (my dear Daughter) lift up the Hands that hang down, cast your Burthen upon him, trust also in him, and let your Thoughts be established. We are mindful of you in our daily Prayers but you have a better Inte­cessor than we, who is heard always.

To another of them in the same Circumstance; he thus writes, ‘Your last Letter speaks you in a good Frame, which rejoyced my Heart, that you were fixed, fixed waiting upon God; that your Faith was uppermost, above your Fears; that you could say, Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let him do with me as seemeth good in his eyes. We are never fitter for a [Page 240] Mercy, nor is it more likely to be a Mercy indeed, than when it is so with us; now the Lord keep it always in the Imagination of the Thoughts of your Heart. And he concludes, 'Forget not 1 Tom. 2. last.

When one of his Daughters was safely delivered, in a Letter to another of them that was drawing near to that needful Hour, he observ'd, that when David said, Psal. 116. 12. What shall I render? He presently adds, v. 13. I will call upon the Name of the Lord. ‘As if (saith he) calling upon the Name of the Lord for Mercy for you, were one way of rendring unto the Lord, for the great Benefit done to your Si­ster.’

On occasion of affliction in their Families by the sickness or Death of Children, or otherwise, he always wrote some word in season.

‘In the Furnace again? (saith he) but a good Friend sits by, and it is only to take away more of the Dross. If less Fire would do, we should not have it so much and so often; O for Faith to trust the Refiner, and to refer all to his Will and Wisdom, and to wait the Issue—for I have been young, and now am old, but I never yet saw it in vain to seek God, and to hope in him.

At another time he thus writes, ‘Tough and knot­ty Blocks must have more and more Wedges; our heavenly Father when he judgeth will overcome. We hear of the death of dear S. T. and chide our­selves for being so often pleased with his little pret­ty fashions lest we offended therein, by being too much so. No Rival must sit with him in his Throne, who deserves all our Love and Ioy, and hath too little of it.’

[Page 241] At another time, upon the death of another little one, ‘The dear little one (saith he) made but a short Passage through this to another World, where it is to be for ever a living Member of the great Body, where­of Jesus Christ is the ever-living Head; but for which Hope there were cause for Sorrow indeed. If he that gives takes, and it is but his own, why should we say, What dost thou?

At another time upon the like occasion; ‘Our Quiver of Childrens Children is not so full, but God can soon empty it: O for Grace, Grace at such a time, which will do that that Nature cannot. The God of all Grace supply your Need and ours, according to his Riches in Glory. The Lord is still training you up in his good School; and though no Affliction for the present be joyous but grievous, nevertheless after­wards it yields well; your Work is in every thing to bring your Will to the Will of God.

To one of his Daughters concerning her little one, he thus writes; ‘They are but Bubbles: we have ma­ny warnings to sit loose; the less we rely upon them in our Ioys and Hopes, the more likely to have them continued to us. Our God is a jealous God, nor will he suffer the Creature to usurp his Throne in our Affections.’

Upon the death of a little Child but few days old, he thus writes; ‘The tidings of the death of your little one were afflicting to us, but the Clay must nor say to the Potter, What dost thou? If he that took be the same that gave, and what he gave and took was his own, by our own consent, it becomes us to say, Blessed be the Name of the Lord. I hope you have been learning to acknowledge God in all Events, and to take all as from his Hand, who hath given us to know Isay, to know (for Paul saith so) that all things do work [Page 242] together, (not only shall, but do) for our good, that we may be more and more partakers of his Holiness. He can make the two left as comfortable to you as all the three, as all your five could have been. How­ever, if all the Cisterns were drawn dry while you have your Fountain to go to, you are well; you may also by Faith look forward, and say, it was a Covenant-child, and through Mercy, we shall see it again in a better World.’

Upon the sickness of a dear Child, he thus writes to the Parent; ‘You and we are taught to say, It is the Lord; upon his Will must we wait, and to it must we submit in every thing; not upon constraint, but of choice; nor only because he is the Potter and we the Clay; and therefore in a way of Soveraignty he may do what he pleaseth with us and ours: But because he is our Father, and will do nothing but what shall be for good to us. The more you can be satis­fied in this, and the more willing to resign, the more likely to have. Be strong therefore in the Grace which is in Christ Iesus; it is given for such a time of need as this. I hope your Fears and ours will be pre­vented, and pray they may; but thanks be to God, we know the Worst of it, and that Worst hath no harm in it, while the better part is ours, which can­not be taken away from us.

To one of his Children in affliction he writes thus; ‘Tis a time of Trial with you, according to the Will of your and our Heavenly Father. Though you see not yet what he means by it, you shall see. He means you good and not hurt; he is shewing you the vanity of all things under the Sun, that your happi­ness lies not in them, but in himself only; that they and we are passing away, withering Flowers, that therefore we may learn to die to them, and live above [Page 243] them, placing our Hope and Happiness in better things, trusting in him alone who is the Rock of Ages, who fails not, neither can fail, nor will fail those that fly to him. I pray you, think not a hard thought of him, no not one hard thought, for he is good, and doth good in all he doth, and therefore all shall work for good; but then, as you are called according to his purpose (blessed be his Name for it) so you must love him, and Love (you know) thinks no evil, but puts the best construction upon all that the Person loved saith or doth, and so must you, though now for a Season if need be, you are in Hea­viness.’

And at another time; ‘Your Times and the Times of yours are in the Lord's good Hand, whose Will is his Wisdom. 'Tis one thing (as we read and observ'd this Morning, out of Ezek. 22) to be put into a Furnace and left there as Dross to be consumed; and another thing to be put in as Gold or Silver to be melted for use, and to have the Refiner set by. You know whom you have believed, keep your hold of the ever­lasting Covenant: He is faithfull that hath promised. We pray for you, and we give Thanks for you dai­ly, for the Cup is mixed, therefore trust in the Lord for ever, and rejoyce in the Lord always; again I say rejoyce.’

To one of his Sons in Law that was a little engaged [...]n building, he thus writes; ‘Be sure to take God a­long with you in this, as in all other your Affairs; for except he build the House, they labour in vain that build it. Count upon troublesome O [...]crrences in it, and keep the Spirit quiet within: And l [...] nor God's Time nor Dues be entrenched upon, and then all will be well.

[Page 244] 'Twas but a little before he died that he wrote thus to one of his Children; ‘We rejoyce in God's good­ness to you, that your Distemper hath been a Rod shaken only, and not laid on. He is good, and doth good; and should we not love him, and rest in our love to him? He saith, he doth in his to us, and re­joyceth over us with singing, Zeph. 3. 17. And have not we much more cause? What loveliness in us? What not in him? I pray let me recommend him to your Love; love him, love him, with all the Pow­ers of your Soul, and out of love to him please him. He is pleas'd with honest Endeavours to please him; though after all, in many things we come short, for we are not under the Law, but under Grace.

To one of his Children recovered from Sickness he gives this hint; ‘Remember that a New Life must be a New Life indeed; Reprieves extraordinary call for Returns extraordinary.’

The last Journey he made to London was in August 1690. before he went he sent this Farewel-Letter to his Son at Chester: ‘I am going forth this Morning to­wards the great City, not knowing but it may be Mount Nebo to me: Therefore I send you this as full of Blessings as it can hold, to your self, my Daugh­ter your Wife, all the rest of my Daughters, their Husbands, and all the little ones, together and seve­rally. If I could command the Blessings, I would; but I pray to him that hath and doth, and I trust will▪ The Lord bless you, and keep you, and lift up the light of his countenance upon you. As you have received, and you for your part preached Christ Iesus the Lord, so walk in him: keeping Conscience always void of of­fence, both towards God, and towards all Men. Love your Mother, and be dutiful to her, and live in [Page 245] love and peace among your selves, and the God of Love and Peace that hath been, will be with you. Amen.

To one who desired his Direction for the attaining of the Gift of Prayer, he wrote the following Letter of Advice.

If you would be able in words and Expressions of your own, without the help of a Form, to offer up Prayers to God, observe these following Rules of Di­rection, in the use whereof, by God's Blessing you may in time attain thereunto.

1. You must be throughly convinced that where such a Gift is, it is of great use to a Christian, both very com­fortable and very profitable, and therefore very desi [...]a­ble, and worth your serious endeavours; this must first be, or else all that follows will signifie nothing: For it is as the wise Man saith, Prov. 18. 1. Through desire a Man having separated himself, seeketh and intermed­leth with all wisdom; that is, till we are brought in some good measure to desire the end, we shall never in good earnest apply our selves to the use of means, for the obtaining of it. It is a Gift that fits a Person to be of use to others in the Duty of Prayer, according as there is occasion, either in a Family or in Christian Communion. It is also of great advantage to our selves; For how can any Form (though never so exact) be pos­sibly contrived, so as to reach all the Circumstances of my particular case, and yet it is my Duty, in every thing to make my Requests known to God.

2. As you should be perswaded of the excellent use of it, where it is attained, so also you should believe, that where it is not, it may be attained, and that without any great difficulty. No doubt but many are discoura­ged from endeavouring after it by an Opinion they [Page 246] have, that it is to no purpose; they think it a thing so far above their Abilities, that they were as good sit still and never attempt it: This is of very bad Con­sequence, as in other matters of Religion, so particu­larly in this, and therefore watch against this Suggesti­on, and conclude, that (though it may be harder to some than others) yet it is impossible to none: Nay, this wisdom is easie to him that understandeth, where means are used in the fear of God.

2. You must rightly understand and consider who it is, with whom you have to do in Prayer, for your incou­ragement to come to him, though in the midst of ma­ny Infirmities and Imperfections. He is your Father, your loving, tender hearted Father, who knows your Frame, and remembers you are but dust; who is not extream to mark what we do amiss, in manner and expression, where the Heart is upright with him. You may judge a little concerning his Love, by the Disposi­tion that is in you towards your Children, when they come to ask things needful of you: And believe him to be infinitely more merciful and compassionate, than the most merciful and compassionate of Fathers and Mo­thers are or can be: especially remembring that we have an Advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the Righ­teous, who is the great High Priest of our Profession, and whom he heareth always.

4. You must pray that you may pray; beg of God the Father of Lights, from whom every good and per­fect Gift comes, to bestow this Gift upon you. We read, Luke 11. 1. that one of the Disciples came to Je­sus Christ upon this Errand, Lord teach us to pray, and he had his Request granted presently. Go you to him on the same Errand. You may plead the Relation of a Child, from that Scirpture, Gal. 4. 6. And because you are Sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son [Page 247] into your Hearts, crying, Abba, Father: And the Pro­mise also from that Scripture, Zech. 12. 10 I will pour upon the House of David, and the Inhabitants of Jerusa­lem, the Spirit of Grace, and of Supplication; which two, Relation and a Promise, if they be not suffici­ent to encourage your Faith and Hope in this Address, what is or can be?

5. It is good before you address your self to the Duty, to read a portion of Holy Scripture, which will be of great use to furnish you both with matter and words for Prayer, especially David's Psalms, and Paul's Epi­stles. The Holy Spirit hath provided for us a Treasury or Store house, of what is suitable for all occasions, and where both the word and the matter are his own, and of his own framing, and inditing, if affections be stir­ring in us accordingly, we have great reason to believe he will accept of us. In divers places he hath himself put words into our Mouths for the purpose, as Hos. 14. 2. Take with you words; Matth. 6. 9. After this man­ner therefore pray ye, and often elsewhere.

6. There must be some acquaintance with our own Hearts, with our Spiritual State and Condition, our Wants and Ways, or else no good will be done in this Matter. 'Tis sence of Need, Hunger, Thirst, Cold, Nakedness, that supplies the poor Beggar at your Door with pertinent Expressions and Arguments, he needs not the help of any Friend or Book to furnish him; so if we know our selves, and feel our Condition, and set God before us as our God, able and ready to help us, words will easily follow wherewith to offer up our Desires to him, who understands the Language even of Sighs and Tears, and groanings which cannot be ut­tered, Rom. 8. 26.

[Page 248] 7. It is of use in stated Prayer, ordinarily to observe a Method, according to the several parts of Prayer, which are these Four:

1. Compellation or Adoration, which is the giving of due Titles to God in our Addresses to him, and therein ascribing to him the Glory due unto his Name. With this we are to begin our Prayers, both for the working of a Holy aw and dread upon our Hearts towards him, on the account of his Greatness and Majesty; as also for the strengthning of our Faith and Hope in him, upon the account of his Goodness and Mercy.

2. Confession; Sin is to be confessed in every Prayer: Original Sin as the Root, Spring head and Fountain; and Actual Sin as the Fruit and Stream proceeding from it. Herein you must not rest in generals, as the most do, but especially when you are in secret before the Lord you must descend to particulars, opening the whole Wound, hiding nothing from him, also aggra­vating the Fault from the Circumstances of it, judging and condemning your self for it in the sight of God; and for your help herein, you must acquaint your self with the Divine Law, the Precepts and Prohibitions of it, especially their Extent and Spiritual Nature, as the Rule, and then bring your own Thoughts, Words, and Actions to it daily, to be tryed by it.

3. Petition, for such good things as God hath pro­mised, and you have need of, both concerning this Life and that which is to come. As to the latter, you are to pray for Mercy to pardon, and Grace to help in time of need. As to the former, for Bread to eat, and Raiment to put on, and a Heart to be therewith contented. You are to pray for others also, the Church of God, the [Page 249] Land of your Nativity, Magistrates, Ministers, Re­lations, and Friends, not forgetting the Afflictions of the Afflicted.

4. Thanksgiving, which should have a considera­ble share in every Prayer; for our Duty is, in every thing to give thanks for Mercies received, Publick and Personal, which is the Will of God in Christ Iesus concern­ing us.

This Rule of Method is not so necessary to be ob­serv'd in Prayer, as in no case to be varied from; but it is certainly very useful and expedient, and a great help to young beginners in that Duty.

8. My advice is, that you would delay no longer, but forthwith apply your self in the strength of Jesus Christ, to this sweet and excellent way of Praying [...] and I dare say, in a short time you will find, through the aids and supplies of Divine Grace, what is at first hard and difficult, will by degrees be easie and de­lightful. The promise is, that to him that hath, i. e. that hath, and useth what he hath, more shall be gi­ven. Though you cannot do what you would, yet fail not to do what you can, wherein the Lord will accept of you, according to his Everlasting Covenant in Christ Jesus, for we are not under the Law but un­der Grace.


A short Account of some of his Friends, espe­cially his Brethren in the Ministry, that dyed before him.

WE think our selves obliged to add this Account out of his own Papers, partly as an Evidence of the great esteem he had of the Gifts and Graces of o­thers, to whom he delighted to do Honour; (an Instance of that Humility, which he was in all respects a great Example of); and partly that we may preserve the re­membrance of some in that Country, whose Names ought not to be bury'd in Oblivion. It is part of that Honour which we owe to them that fear the Lord; to mention them with respect when they are dead and gone, that we may contribute something to the fulfil­ling of the Promise, That the Righteous, and especial­ly they who turn many to Righteousness, shall be had in everlasting remembrance. While their glorified Souls shine as the Stars in the Firmament of our Father, it is fit that their embalmed Memories should in these lower Regions go forth as a Lamp that burneth. The Jewish Rabbins read Prov. 10 7. as a Precept, Let the Memo­ry of the Iust be Blessed. We will take them in the Order wherein we find them in his Diary, according to the time of their Death, premising only this Note of his, occasioned by a particular instance; ‘Such a day I read the Life of old Mr. Bruen of Stapleford, in which I met with some things that shame me, [Page 251] some things that confirm me, and some things tha quicken me. Blessed be God for that Cloud of Wit nesses we are encompassed about with.’

Mr. Iohn Machin was buried at Newcastle, Septemb. 8. 1664. a worthy instrument in Gospel Work: La­borious, Faithful, and Successful above his Fellows; taken away in the midst of his Days; the first Candle I have heard of put out by God, among the many hun­dreds put under a Bushel by Men. [An account of his Holy Exemplary Life was Printed many Years af­ter, drawn up, I think, by Mr. Newcome.]

Mr. Heath, late Minister of Iulians Church in Sa­lop, was buried May 28. 1666. He was of Christ's-Colledge in Cambridge, where he was much valued for his great Learning, especially in the Oriental Tongues, in which he was one of the greatest Masters of his Age. He was employed to Correct the Syriac and Arabick of the Polyglot Bible, which was sent down to him in Sheets for that purpose, for which Bishop Wal­ton gave him a Copy. He read the Liturgy till August 24. 1662. and then was Silenced, because he could not come up to the imposed Terms of Conformity. When the Five Mile Act Commenced, March 25. 1666. he removed to Wellington, and there within a few Weeks Dyed, and was Buried. When he lay up­on his Death bed, Mr. Lawrence asked him what Re­flections he had upon his Nonconformity; Truly (said he) I would not but have done as I did for a Thousand Worlds. He had great Confidence, that God would provide for his Widow and Children, according to Promise. [The Character Mr. Baxter gives of him is, that he was moderate, sedate, quiet and Reli­gious.]

[Page 252] Much about the same time Mr. York dyed in Sa­lop, a Holy good Man, and well approved in the Mi­nistry, who wasted his own Candle in giving Light to others, even after he was removed out of the Candle­stick. Lord, Is this the meaning of Rev. 11. 12 concern­ing the Witnesses.

Mr. Thomas Porter, late Minister of Whitchurch, dyed at Salop in a good old Age, Iune 19. 1667. he was born in Northamptonshire, bred in Cambridge; he was settled Minister of Hanmer in Flintshire, long be­fore the Wars, by the means of Sir Iohn Hanmer, the Patron, who was a very worthy, pious Gentleman, and a great promoter of Religion in that Parish (but dyed in the midst of his days.) Here Mr. Porter's Ministry was blessed with wonderful acceptance and success, both in that and the Neighbouring Parishes; and a great Harvest of Souls was there gathered in to Christ. After the Wars were over (during the Heat of which he was forced to withdraw) he procured Mr. Steel for Hanmer, and he removed to Whitchurch, where he continued an Instrument of much good, till the King came in, and then he gave way to Dr. Ber­nard, a worthy moderate Man. He preached his Fare­wel-Sermon at Whitchurch, August 28. 1660. on Col. 1. 24. and spent the rest of his Days in Silence and Affliction. He was exercis'd long with pain upon his Bed, and the multitude of his Bones with strong pain: If this be done to the green Tree, what shall be done to the dry? His dying Counsel to the Lord's People, was to stick to Christ, and not to let him go, come Life come Death.

The worthy Colonel Thomas Hunt dyed at his House in Shrewsbury, April 12. 1669. a true Nathaniel, an Is­raelite indeed, in whom was no Guile: One that like Caleb, followed the Lord fully in difficult trying times; [Page 253] he was a Member of the long Parliament for Shrewsbury, and very active for God in his Generation, abound­ing in good Works, and his Memory is blessed. I was going to Shrewsbury upon an appointment of his, and by the way met the sad news of his Death, which was sudden, but not surprizing, to one that was al­ways ready. He was twice at publick Ordinances the day before, being Lord's day, worshipped God with his Family in the Evening, went to bed well as at other times; but about two or three a Clock in the Morning wak'd very ill, and before five fell asleep in the Lord. Help, Lord, for the Godly Man ceaseth.

Mr. George Mainwaring, a Faithful Minister of Je­sus Christ, and my worthy Friend, dyed in a good old Age, March 14. 1669/70. gathered as a shock of Corn in his Season. He was born in Wrenbury Parish in Cheshire, supported at the University by Mr. Cot­ton of Cumbermere, where he had the Reputation of a good Scholar; he was brought acquainted with the ways of Religion, by means of Mr. Buckly his Uncle, a strict Puritan. He was first Chaplain to Sir Henry Delves, afterwards Rector of Baddely, and Chaplain to Sir Thomas Mainwaring. After the Wars he was removed to Malpas, whence he was ejected upon the King's coming in. His Conversation was exemplary, especially for plainness and integrity; he was eminent for expounding Scripture. While he was at Malpas, he constantly gave all the Milk which his Dairy yield ed on the Lord's day to the Poor.

Mr. Iohn Adams of Northwood, was buried at Elles­mere, April 4. 1670. he was a faithful Minister of the Gospel.

[Page 254] Mr. Zechariah Thomas, my worthy Friend, dyed of a Consumption at Nantwich, September 14. 1670. in the forty first Year of his Age. He was bred up for a Tradesman in Suffolk, but always addicted to his Book, and was ordained a Minister after the King came in, and entertained Curate at Tilstock, under Dr. Bernard, but by reason of his Nonconformity could not continue there long. On the Monday before he Dyed, he said to those about him, that towards Wed­nesday he should take his leave of them, and did so. He was Buried at Acton, Mr. Kirkes Vicar of Acton, Preached, and gave him a worthy Character (and such as he deserved) for Uprightness, Humility, Mode­ration, Prayer, Faithfulness in reproving, Pati­ence under Affliction; and in saying he was an Israelite indeed without Guile, he said all. The Lord make me a Follower of him, and of all the rest, who through Faith and Patience inherit the Pro­mises.

Mr. Ioshuah Richardson, my truly worthy Friend and Brother, dyed at Alkinton in Whitchurch Parish, September 1. 1671. Blessed be God for his Holy Life and Happy Death. He was several Years Mini­ster of Middle in Shropshire, and was turned out thence for Nonconformity. He was a holy, lo­ving, serious Man. Dr. Fowler Preached his Fu­neral Sermon at Whitchurch, on Dan. 12. 3. highly praising him (as he deserv'd) for Wisdom, Piety and Peaceableness.

Mr. Samuel Hildersham dyed near Bromicham in April 1674. the only Son of Mr. Arthur Hildersham of Ashby (whose works praise him in the Gates) Fel­low of Emanuel Colledge in Cambridge, Batchelor of Divinity, 1623. settled Rector of West-Felton in Shrop­shire, in the Year 1628. and continued there till Si­lenced [Page 255] by the Act of Uniformity. He was one of the Assembly of Divines; a Father to the Sons of the Prophets in and about Shropshire. He was learned, loving, and charitable, an excellent Preacher, an e­minent Expositor, and very much a Gentleman; he was about Fourscore Years of Age when he Dyed. He ordered by his Will this Inscription upon his Grave­stone: Samuel Hildersham, B. D. Rector of West-Felton, in the County of Salop, 34 Years till August 24. 1662.

Mr. Richard Sadler, my worthy Friend and Fellow Labourer, dyed at Whixal in Prees Parish, April—1675. He was born in Worcester; went, when young, with his Father into New-England; after the Wars he returned into England; was Ordained at Whixal Chap­pel, May 16. 1648. and was removed thence to Ludlow. Being turned out there upon the King's coming in, he spent the rest of his Days in Privacy at Wrex­al: A Man of great Piety and Moderation.

Mr. Rowland Nevet dyed at his House near Os­westry, December 8. 1675. and was buried at Morton Chappel. I Preached his Funeral Sermon at Swinny, on 2 Pet. 1. 14. Knowing that I must shortly put off this my Tabernacle: Thence shewing that the Mini­sters of Christ must certainly and shortly dye. He was born in Hodnet Parish, Anno Dom. 1609. brought up at Shrewsbury School, was afterwards of Edmund-Hall in Oxford, Commenced Master of Arts, in the Year 1634. he was Episcopally Ordained; and Anno 1635. He was presented to the Vicaridge of Stanton in Shrop­shire, where he continued many Years, with great Success in his Ministry. While he was single, he kept House, judging that more for the furtherance of his Work among his People, than to Table. After the War he removed to Oswestry, where he laboured abun­dantly [Page 256] in the work of the Lord; and even after he was silenced for Nonconformity, he continued among his People there to his dying Day, doing what he could, when he might not do what he would. He would say, he thought most of his Converting Work was done at Oswestry, the first Seven Years of his being there. He loved to Preach, and to hear others Preach concern­ing the great things of Religion, Redemption, Re­conciliation, Regeneration, &c. for these (said he) are the main matter. When the Plague was at Oswestry, he continued with his People, and preached to them, and it was an opportunity of doing much good.

His Conversation from his Youth was not only blameless, but Holy and Pious; he was exemplary for Family Religion, and great care and industry in the Education of his Children. He was looked upon as Congregational in Judgment and Practise, and was not satisfied to join in the Common Prayer; but he was free to Communicate with those that did. It was his Judgment, that Ministers should be Ordain­ed by Ministers; and that a Minister is not only a Mi­nister of the particular Congregation in which he la­bours. He greatly bewailed the Divisions of the Church, and the intemperate Heats of some of all Perswasions. He was exceeding kind and loving to his Friends, very frequent in pious Ejaculations to God. Being often distemper'd in Body he would say, he was never better than in the Pulpit, and that it was the best place he could wish to dye in. He often blessed God for a fit of Sickness which he had, which he said, he would not have been without for a World, the Foundation of his Comfort, and Hope of Heaven being laid then. When he was sometimes much spent with his Labours, he would appeal to [Page 257] God, that though he might be wearied in his Service, he would never be weary of it. His dying Prayer for his Children (after many sweet Exhortations) was, That the Mediator's Blessing might be the Portion of every one of them: adding, I charge you all, see to it, that you meet me on the right Hand of Christ, at the great Day. A little before he Dyed he had this Expression, Go forth (my Soul) go forth to meet thy God; adding by and by, It is now done; Come Lord Iesus, come quickly. One present saying to him, that he was now going to receive his Reward, he replied, It is free Grace. [Mr. Henry was much importun'd to Print his Sermon at Mr. Nevet's Funeral, with some account of his Life and Death, which he was somewhat inclined to do, but was discouraged by the difficulties of the Times, and it was never done. But some Materials he had for it, out of which we have Collected these hints.]

Mr. Robert Fogg, my old dear Friend, was bu­ried at Acton near Nantwich, April 21. 1676. he dy­ed in a good old Age, about Eighty. He was Mini­ster of Bangor in Flintshire, till after the King came in, and thence forward to his Death, was a poor silent Nonconformist, but of a bold and zealous Spirit, gi­ving good Counsel to those about him. A little before he dyed, he had this weighty saying among others, As­sure your selves the Spirit of God will be underling to no Sin.

[Mr. Andrew Parsons, sometimes Minister of Wem, dyed at London, October 1. 1684. He was Born in Devonshire, and was Minister there some Years before the War; being driven thence to London, he became well known to Mr. Pym. who sent him down to Wem, when that Town was Garrison'd for the Parliament; there he continued in the Exercise of his Ministry, [Page 258] till the Year 1660. He was an active, friendly, gene­rous Man, and a moving, affecting Preacher. Mr. Bax­ter in his Life, Part 3. Page 94. commends him for a moderate Man, and speaks of his being in trouble, for seditious words Sworn against him, which were these: Preaching from 2 Tim. 3. 13. he said, The Devil was like a King that courted the Soul, and spoke fair till he was gotten into the Throne, and then play'd pranks. The Witnesses deposed contrary to the Coherence of his Discourse, that he said the King was like the Devil. He was tryed at Shrewsbury before my Lord Newport, Mr. Serjeant Turner and others, May 28. 1662. It was also charged upon him, that he had said, there was more Sin committed now in England in a Month, than was heretofore in seven Years: And that there had been more and better Preaching in England for Twen­ty Years past, then was ever since the Apostles days. He had Council assigned him, who pleaded that the time limited by the Stature, in which he was Indited was Expired: The Court yielded it was so, allowing Twenty eight Days to a Month; but they would understand it of Thirty Days to a Month; so he was found Guilty, and Fined Two hundred Pound; and ordered to be Imprisoned till it should be paid.

Mr. Hugh Rogers, a worthy Faithful Minister of Jesus Christ, turn'd out for Nonconformity from Newtown in Montgomery-shire, was buried at Welsh­pool, March 17. 1679/80. he was look'd upon as Con­gregational; but his declared Judgment was, ‘That Ministers ought to be Ordained by Ministers, and to give themselves wholly to that Work; and that none but Ministers have Authority to Preach and Go­vern in a Constituted Church; and that Christ's Ministers are his Ministers in all places; and that [Page 259] where the word of Christ is Preached, and his Sa­craments administred, there is a true Church.’ He was a Man of Excellent Converse, and whose peculi­ar felicity lay in pleasant and edifying Dis­course.

Iuly 2d and 3d, 1680. these two days brought tidings of the Death of Mr. Haines, sometime Mini­ster of Wem in Shropshire, and since at New Chappel in Westminster; and of Mr. Richard Edwards Mini­ster at Oswestry, both worthy Conformists, pious, peace­able and good Men, whom I hope, through Grace to meet shortly in Heaven. The Lord raise up others in their room to be and do better.

Mr. Robert Bosier, my dear Friend and Kins­man, having just compleated the Twenty third Year of his Age dyed, of a Fever, September 13th 1680. at Mr. Doelittle's House in Islington, whither he was gone but a few Weeks before for Improvement in Learn­ing; being formerly a Commoner of Edmund-Hall in Oxford; and since having spent some Years in my Fa­mily, and designed himself for the Service of Christ, in the Work of the Ministry. He was a young Man of Pregnant Parts, great Industry, and exemplary Seriousness and Piety; and likely to be an eminent Instrument of good in his day. His Friends and Re­lations had promised themselves much comfort in him, but we know who performeth the thing that is appoint­ed for us, and giveth not account of any of his Mat­ters.

Mr. Iohn Malden, my dear and worthy Friend, turned out from Newport in Shropshire, for Nonconfor­mity, dyed at Alkington near Whitchurch, May 23d, 1681. a Man of great Learning, an Excellent He­brician, and of exemplary Piety, and a solid Preach­er; [Page 260] as he lived so he dyed, very low in his own Eyes; esteeming himself good for nothing, though really good for every thing, which was manifestly a prejudice, both to his Comfort, and to his Use­fulness. He said, he was far from repenting his be­ing a Sufferer against Conformity. The Relicks of so much Learning, Piety, and Humility, I have not seen this great while laid in a Grave: But blessed be God we had such a one so long.

Dr. Ioshua Maddocks, a beloved Physician, our ve­ry dear Friend and Kinsman, dyed of a Fever at Whitchurch, in the midst of his Days, Iuly 27th, 1682. a very pious Man, and especially eminent for Meekness; an Excellent Scholar, and particu­larly learned in the Mathematicks: he lived much desired, and dyed as much lamented.

Mr. Thomas Bridge, who had been Rector of the higher Rectory of Malpas about fifty seven Years, be­ing aged about eighty two Years, was buried at Mal­pas, Octob. 7. 1682. In his last sickness, which was long, he had appointed Mr. Green, one of the Curates there, to preach his Funeral Sermon on 1 Tim. 1. 16. Howbeit, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Iesus Christ might shew forth all long-suffering: And to say nothing in his Commendation, but to give a large Account of his Repentance upon his Death-bed, &c. He was a taking popular Preacher, preaching oft [...]n, and almost to the last. When old, he could read the smallest Print without Spectacles.

Mr. William Cook, an aged, painful, faithful Mini­ster of Jesus Christ in Chester, finished his Course with Joy, Iuly 4. 1684. in the midst of the cloudy and dark Day. [See Mr. Baxter's Character of him in [Page 261] his Life, Part 3. Pag. 98.] And an honourable Ac­count given of him by Mr. Samuel Bold, of Steple in Dorsetshire, in a large Preface to his Book of Man's great Duty]. He was eminent for great Industry, both in publick and private Work; great self-denial, mor­tification, and contempt of the World, and a strict ad­herence to his Principles in all the Turns of the Times. [He was first Minister at Wroxal in Warwick-shire; there he published two Treatises against the Anabap­tists. From thence he was by the Advice of the Lon­don Ministers, removed to Ashby in Leicestershire, whence he was turn'd out for refusing the Engagement, and afteward settled in Chester, where he was Minister of Michael Church, 'till he was outed by the Act of Uniformity. He was an active Man for Sir George Booth, when he made that attempt to bring in the King, in 1659. for which he was brought up a Prisoner to London, and continued long in Confinement in Lam­beth-house; and had not the Times turned had been tried for his Life. During the Usurpation, his fre­quent Prayer was; That God would pull down all usurped Power, and restore the Banished to their Right. After he was silenced by the Bartholomew Act, he continued to his Death, in a Pastoral Relation to a Society of many worthy eminent Christians in Chester; though during the heat of the Five-mile Act, he was forced to withdraw to Puddington in Wirral, where (as in Che­ster, 'till King Charles's Indulgence) he constantly at­tended on the publick Ministry; and he himself prea­ched in the Intervals. He would say sometimes to his Friends, when he was in that Retirement, that he thought what little peace and quietness there was in this World, God's People enjoyed it in their Corners. Soon after he was silenced, he was committed to the com­mon [Page 262] Goal of Chester for preaching in his own House; by the Mayor, at the Instigation of the then Bishop Hall. He was very indefatigable in his ministerial Labours, in which he never sought the Assistance of a­ny other Minister; though while he had liberty, he constantly kept a publick Fast in his Congregation eve­ry Month, as he did also a private Fast in his own Clo­set and Family every Week. He usually set apart one Afternoon every Week, to visit the Families of his Congregation, and to Catechise their Children and Servants, and discourse with them personally about their Souls; his Visits were short and edifying (and he managed them as one that was a great Husband of his Time) and he seldom or never parted without Prayer. He was not free to joyn in the Common-Prayer, and bore his Testimony against Prelacy and the Ceremo­nies with something of Zeal; but his great Piety, In­tegrity, Mortification, and Charity, recommended him to the Respects even of many that differed from him. If any ask'd his Advice to any thing which might draw Suffering upon them, he would be very tender, and desire them not to depend upon his Judgment; but since it was a matter of suffering, to be fully perswaded in their own minds. He was a great Scholar, and a hard Student to the last; and was far from entangling himself in the Affairs of this Life, not knowing ought he had, save the Bread that he did eat. In worldly Matters he was not very conversable, but in Discourse of the things of God none more free and affable, or more ready to do Good. He lived and died a great Example of strict and close Walking with God, and a heavenly Conversation; and his Memory is very pre­cious with many. He died in the Seventy Third Year of his Age. When he lay on his Death-bed, an aged [Page 263] Friend of his asking him if he had not Comfort in re­flection upon his Labours in the Work of God, he pre­sently replied, I have nothing to boast of. He was bu­ried in Michael's Church in Chester; and though for some time before he died, such was the heat of the Per­secution, that he durst not shew his Face in the City, yet many considerable Persons were very forward to do him Honour at his Death.]

Mr. Ionathan Roberts of Slanvair in Denbighshire, my dear and precious Friend, and a faithful Minister of Christ, died at Mr. Titus Thomas's House in West-Felton, and was buried there Sept. 26. 1684. A true Nathanael, an Israelite indeed, for Plainness and Inte­grity; a silent Sufferer for his Nonconformity, for which he quitted a good Living in Denbighshire. He was a learned Man, a Master of Arts of Oxford; he died with comfort in his Nonconformity, and with con­fidence of a return of Mercy in God's due time. The Summer before he died he had been at Oxford, Cam­bridge, and London, where he heard and saw that which much confirmed him in his Dissent.

Mr. Zechariah Cawdrey, Minister of Bart [...]mley in Cheshire, a learned and godly Divine, was buried Decemb. 24. 1684. a Conformist, and formerly a great Sufferer for the King, but in his later Times much ma­ligned and reproached by some People for his modera­tion towards Dissenters, for his Book of Preparation for Martyrdom, and for his Zeal in keeping up the Month­ly Lectures at Nantwich and Tarvin. But he is gone to the World of Peace, and Love, and everlasting Prai­ [...]es.

Mr. Titus Thomas, Minister of the Independent Con­gregation in Salop, was buried at Felton, Decemb. 10. 1686. He was a worthy good Man, and not so strait [Page 264] laced as some others; we were six Nonconformist Mi­nisters there at the Funeral and the seventh dead in the midst of us, saying to us, Therefore be ye also rea­dy.

Mr. Iohn Cartwright, my worthy Friend and Bro­ther, a faithful Minister of Jesus Christ, was buried at Audlem in Cheshire, Feb. 17. 1687/8. formerly Mini­ster of West-Kirby in Wirral, afterwards Chaplain to the pious Lady Wilbraham at Woodley.

Mr. Edward Greg of Chester, a worthy Gentleman, and my dear Friend, died Iuly 9. 1689. of a Fever, in the midst of his Days. He was one that feared God above many, of a meek and quiet Spirit, and eminent­ly active and useful in his Generation. The Lord is pulling our Earthen Props from under us, that we might lean upon, and trust in himself alone, and might learn to cease from Man.

Mr. Daniel Benyon of Ash, my dear Friend and Kindsman, died Iune 25. 1690. a very serious pious Gentleman, and an Israelite indeed, a true Lover, and ready Benefactor to all good Men, especially good Mi­nisters. He told me a little before he died, God had made use of me (though most unworthy) as an Instru­ment of his Conversion; for which I bless his Holy Name. He had a long and lingering Sickness, which he bore with great Patience.

Mrs. Crew of Utkinton in Cheshire, an aged Servant of the Lord, was buried Iuly 8. 1690. She kept her Integrity, and abounded in Works of Piety and Cha­rity to the last, and finished well; to God be Praise.

Mrs. Hunt of Shrewsbury, the Relique of Colonel Hunt, another rare Pattern of zealous Piety, abound­ing Charity, and eminent Usefulness in her place, fi­nished [Page 265] h [...] Course October 23. 1690. after two days Sickness.

The Reverend, and Learned, and Holy Mr. Ri­chard Baxter, died at London, December 8. 1691. aged Seventy Six, and one Month; as much vili [...]ed by some, and magnified by others, as most Men that ever were; but it is a small thing to be judged of Man's Day. He was Buried at Christ Church, Lon­don, with great Honour.

Mr. Iohn Wood, my good Friend, died September 19. 1692. at Mitton in Shropshire, aged about Seven­ty; he was sometime Fellow of Magdalen College in Cambridge, where he was outed for Nonconformity; a learned Man, but wanted the Faculty of Communi­cating; one that feared God, and walked in his Inte­grity to the last; had no certain Dwelling place on Earth, but I trust hath one in Heaven. Hic tandem requiescit.

Mr. Richard Steel, my old and dear Friend, and Companion in Tribulation, and in the Kingdom and Patience of Jesus Christ, died at London, November 16. 1692. in the Sixty Fourth Year of his Age; a Man that had been greatly useful in his Generation, both in the Country and at London.

Mr. Thomas Gilbert, died at Oxford, Iuly 15. 1694. formerly Minister of Edgmond in Shropshire, aged 83. a learned good Man.

Luke Lloyd, Esquire, of the Bryn in Hanmer Parish, my aged wor [...]hy Friend, finished his Course with Joy, March 31. 1695. being Lord's Day. He was in the Eighty Seventh Year of his Age, and had been Marri­ed almost Sixty Nine Years to his pious Wife (of the same Age) who still survives him. He was the Glory of our little Congregation, the Top branch in all re­spects of our small Vine, and my Friend in­deed.

[Page 266] [When he made his Will, under the Subscription of his Name he wrote, Iob 19. 25, 26, 27. On which Text of Scripture (I know that my Redeemer liveth, &c.) Mr. Henry, at the Request of some of his Rela­tions, preached a Sermon at the Licensed House near Hanmer, some time after his Funeral; in which Ser­mon, he bore a very honourable Testimony to that worthy Gentleman, who (as he saith) went to Hea­ven without a Blot, held fast his Integrity, and was lively and zealous in the Christian Profession to the end of his Days. He was very Exemplary for his Love to the Ordinances of God, and his Delight in attending on them, his living upon Christ for Strength and Righteousness, his great Humility and Condescen­ding obliging Carriage in all his Converse. He was a Man of great Courage and Resolution; and yet in Prayer, Tender and Self-abasing, to admiration, of­ten melting into Tears in the Confession of Sin; and his Charity and Moderation were known unto all Men.

He lived and died a Pattern of Piety, and Primi­tive Christianity, and still brought forth Fruit in Old Age; his Vigour, both of Body and Mind, being wonderfully preserv'd to the last; and by the Grace of God he finished well, and his Sun set under no Cloud. Such good Men are intended to be to us as the Star that led the wise Men to Christ; and as far as they do so, we are to follow them. Mark the per­fect Man, and behold the upright, for the end of that Man is Peace.

Mr. Samuel Taylor, an aged Minister of Jesus Christ, and my true Friend, and fellow Labourer, died at Wem, Iune 26. 1695. He was turned out from Edstaston Chappel near Wem, by the Act of U­niformity; choosing rather to beg his Bread than [Page 267] to wrong his Conscience. He continued in Wem ever since, and preached there as his Strength and Liberty would permit. He had his House burnt in the dreadful Fire that was there in 1676. and had a Child born that very Night. He was a Man of a very tender Spirit, humble and low in his own Eyes, of approved Integrity, and finished well. [Mr. Henry preached his Funeral Sermon at Wem, on 2 Cor. 4. 7. We have this Treasure in Earthe [...] Vessels].

September 21. 1695. I heard of the Death of Two holy, aged Bartholomew Witnesses. Mr. Ri­chard Mayo of London, and Mr. Henry Newcome of Manchester, Psal. 12. 1.

Mr. Edward Lawrence of London, my dear and worthy Friend, and a faithful Minister and Wit­ness of the Lord Jesus, died November—1695. a­bout the Seventieth Year of his Age; born at Mo­ston in Shropshire, of Magdalen College in Cambridge, turned out from Baschurch in Shropshire, by the Act of Uniformity, in 1662. was driven from Whit­church by the violent Persecution of the Convenricle Act, in 1670. when he removed to London, and there spent the rest of his Days.

He had many Children, but great Affliction in some of them, which gave occasion to his Book, Entituled, Parents Groans over their wicked Children. [It is a very high but just Character, which Mr. Vin­cent hath given of him in his Sermon at his Fune­ral; of which, let me take leave to add some few Instances that occur to us, which may be instru­ctive, besides those which we have already menti­oned occasionally. At his Meals, he would often speak of using God's Creatures as his Witnesses that he is good; and we cannot conceive how much good [Page 268] our God doth every moment. An Expression of his great regard to Justice, was that common Caution he gave his Children, Tremble to borrow Two-pence; and of his Meekness and Tenderness this, Make no Man angry nor sad. He often said, I adore the Wisdom of God, that he hath not seen meet to trust me with Riches. When he saw little Children play­ing in the Streets, he would often lift up his Heart in an ejaculatory Prayer to God for them, calling them the Seed of the next Generation. When his Friend chose to Ride the back-way into Town, he pleasantly check'd him, telling him, that his Heart had been often refreshed, when he hath look'd out at the Window, and seen a good Man go along the Streets. He us'd to say, That Cromwell did more real Prejudice to Religion by his Hypocrisie, than King Charles the Second did, that never pretended to it. As also, that he feared the Sins of the Land more than the French.

A Friend of his in the Country, writing to him not long before he died, desired his Thoughts con­cerning the Differences among the London Dissen­ters, to which he return'd this Answer: I can say little concerning our Divisions, which, when some mens Iudgments and Tempers are heal'd, will be also healed. But, When will that be? They that have most Holiness are most Peaceable, and have most Comfort.

M. S.

PHILIPPUS HENRY, de Broad-Oak, in Comitatu Flint, A. M.
Sacri Minister Evangelii; Pastor olim Worthenburiensis;
In Aulâ Regiâ natus piis & honestis Parentibus;
Scholae Westmonasteriensis, indé (que) Aedis Christi Oxon.
Alumnus Regius:
Vir priscâ Pietate & verè Christianâ,
Judicio subacto & limato,
Memoriâ prastanti, magno & soecundo Ingenio,
Eruditione perpolitâ, summo AnimiCandore, Morum Venustate
Inprimis Spectabilis, & in Exemplum natus:
Cui Sacra semper sua Fides aliorumque Fama:
Divini Numinis Cultor assiduus;
Divini Verbi Interpres exquisitissimus;
Aliorum Affectûs movere non minùs pollens,
Quam suis moderari:
Concionando pariter ac Vivendo palàm exhibens
Christi Legem & Exemplar Christum:
Prudens peritusque rerum; Lenis, Pacificus, Hospitalis,
Ad Pietatis omnia Charitatisque ossicia usque paratus;
Suis Jucundus; Omnibus Humanus;
Continuis Evangelii Laboribus succumbens Corpus,
Nec tantae jam par ampliùs Animae,
In Dormitorium hîc juxtà positum demisit,
Jun. 24o. Anno Dom. M DC XCVI, Aetatis LXV.
Viro opt. multùmque desiderato moerens posuit Gener ejus
J. T. M. D.

Books Printed for Tho. Parkhurst, at the Bible and Three Crowns, Cheapside.

A Body of practical Divinity, containing 176 Ser­mons on the Assemblies lesser Catechism. By Tho. Watson, formerly Minister of St. Stevens Wal­brook, London. Fol.

Sermons and Discourses on several divine Subjects, by the late Reverend and Learn'd David Clarkson, B. D. and sometime fellow of Clare-Hall Camb. Fol.

Mr. Pool's Annotations upon the Holy Bible, in two Vol. Fol. The third Edition, with an Addition of a Concordance, and Contents to each Chapter. By Mr. Sam. Clark.

Theological Discourses in 8 Letters and 3 Sermons, on the Sacred Trinity. Part 1st. 4to. Theological Discourses and Sermons on several occasions, Part 2d. 4to. Both by Iohn Wallis, D. D. Professor of Geometry in Oxford.

Mediocria: Or the middle way between Protestant and Papist, in a Paper of Justification. The 2d. Edit. with additions of a Letter to Mr. Williams. 4to.

Peaceable Disquisitions in some Animadversions on a Discourse, writ against Dr. Owen's Book of the Holy Spirit. 4to.

Pacification touching the Doctrinal Dissent among our United Brethren.

The Righteousness of God revealed in the Gospel: Or, an impartial Enquiry into the Genuine Doctrine of St. Paul, in the great, but much controverted Article of Justification: To which are prefixed the Epistles of the right Reverend the Bishops of Worcester, and Chester, These four by Mr. Iohn Humfrey.

[Page] The glorious Reward of faithful Ministers declared and improved in a Sermon, upon occasion of the Fu­neral of that excellent Minister of Jesus Christ Henry Newcomb, A. M. late Pastor of a Congregation at Man­chester. By Iohn Chorlton. 4to.

A Funeral Sermon on the Death of that pious Gen­tlewoman Mrs. Iudith Hammond, late Wife of the Re­verend Mr. George Hammand, Minister of the Gospel in London. By Mr. Iohn Howe.

A Sermon Preached at St. Mildred Poultrey, Ian. 3d, 1696, 7. by Iohn Lord Bishop of Chichester, and late Rector of the said Church, upon his leaving the said Parish.

The Fountain of Life opened: Or, a display of Christ in his Essential and Mediatorial glory. contain­ing 42 Sermons on various Texts. 4to.

Pneumatalogia, or a Treatise of the Soul of man. 4to. Both by Mr. Iohn Flavel, late Minister of the Gospel in Dartmouth.

Discourses upon the rich Man and Lazarus. By Tim. Cruso, in 8vo.

The Swearers Doom: Or, a Discourse setting forth the great sinfulness and danger of vain and rash Swear­ing; By Iohn Rost, A. M. Rector of Offwel and Gitti­sham in Devon.

Scripture Light about the Gospel Ordinance of Bap­tism, in a Letter to some scrupulous Friends, by a sin­cere lover of the Christian Community. 12ves.

The Church Catechism enlarged and explained, in an easie and familiar method; with the Scripture Proofs annexed. 8vo.

The good and faithful Servant set forth, in a Sermon preached at Hatfield, Broad-Oak in Essex. August 2. the day before the Funeral of Mr. Iohn Warren, some­time [Page] Minister of the Gospel there, with a brief Ac­count of his Life and Character. By Henry Lukin.

A Paraphrase on the New Testament, with Notes, Doctrinal and Practical, fitted for the use of Religious Families, in their daily reading of the Scriptures. By the late Reverend Mr. Richard Baxter. 2d Edition Corrected, 8vo.

Jehovah our Righteousness: Or, the Justification of Believers, by the Righteousness of Christ only, as­serted and applied in several Sermons; By Sam. Tomlins A. M. and Minister of the Gospel. 12ves.

Prayers for the use of private Families, with Grace both before and after Meat. 8vo.

Rules and Motives to Holy Prayer. By Daniel Bur­gess. 8vo.

The Golden Snuffers: Or Christian Reprovers and Reformers Characterized, cautioned and encoura­ged: a Sermon preached to the Societies for Refor­mation of Manners in London. By D. Burgess. 12ves.

Proofs of God's Being, and of the Scriptures Divine Original, with 20 Directions for the profitable reading of them. By D. Burgess. 12ves.

A most familiar Explanation of the Assemblies shor­ter Catechism, Corrected and much amended, by Ios. Allein. 12ves.

Spiritual Songs, or Songs of Praise to Almighty God, upon several Occasions; together with the Song of Songs which is Solomon's, first turn'd, then Paraphras'd in English Verse; to which may be added Penitential Cries. 8vo.

The Psalms of David in Metre, commonly called the Scots Psalms. Recommended by divers Mini­sters.

BOOKS Printed for John Lawrence. at the Angel in the Poultrey.

MR. Pool's English Annotations. Folio.

The Life of the Reverend Mr. Richard Bax­ter. Folio.

Mr. Lorimer's Apology for the Ministers, who Sub­scribed only unto the stating of the Truths and Errors in Mr. William's Book, in answer to Mr. Trail's Letter to a Minister in the Country. 4to.

An Answer of Mr. Giles Firmin to Mr. Grantham, about Infant Baptism. 4to.

Some Remarks upon two Anabaptists Pamphlets. By Giles Firmin. 4to.

Mr. Firmin's Review of Richard Davis his Vindi­cation. 4to.

Mr. Shower's Winter Meditations: Or, a Sermon concerning Frosts and Snow, and Winds, &c. and the wonders of God therein. 4to.

Mr. Slater's Thanksgiving Sermon, October 27th 1692. 4to.

—His Sermons at the Funerals of Mr. Iohn Rey­nolds, and Mr. Fincher, Ministers of the Gospel. 4to.

Dr. Burton's Discourses of Purity, Charity, Repen­tance, and seeking first the Kingdom of God. Pub­lished with a Preface, by Dr. Iohn Tillotson, late Arch­bishop of Canterbury. 8vo.

Remarks on a late Discourse of William Lord Bi­shop of Derry, concerning the Inventions of Men in the Worship of God. Also a Defence of the said Remarks against his Lordship's Admonition. By I. Boyse. 8vo.

[Page] Bishop Wilkin's Discourses of the Gifts of Prayer and Preaching; the latter much enlarged. By the Bi­shop of Norwich and Bishop Williams. 8vo.

Mr. Samuel Slater's Earnest Call to Family Religi­on; being the substance of 18 Sermons. 8vo.

Mr. Addy's Stenographia: Or, the art of short Writing Compleated, in a far more compendious way than any yet extant. 8vo.

The London Dispensatory, reduced to the practise of the London Physicians: Wherein are contained the Me­dicines both Galenical and Chymical, that are now in use: Those out of use omitted; and those in use, and not in the Latin Copy, here added. By Iohn Peachy of the Colledge of Physitians in London. 12ves.

A Sermon Preached at a publick Ordination, to a Countrey Congregation. By Mr. S. Clark. 4to.

Cambridge Phrases. By A. Robinson. 8vo.

Mr. Hammond's Sermon at Mr. Steel's Funeral. 8vo.

Mr. Shower's Discourse of Tempting Christ. 12ves.

—His Discourse of Family Religion, in Three Letters. 12ves.

Mr. Daniel Burgess's Discourse of the Death, Rest, Resurrection, and blessed Portion of the Saints. 12ves.

Mr. George Hammond's, and Mr. Matthew Barker's Discourses of Family Worship. Written at the Request of the United Ministers of London. 12ves.

The Triumphs of Grace: Or the last words and edifying Death of the Lady Margaret de la Musse, a Noble French Lady, aged but Sixteen Years, in May, 1681. 12ves.

The Map of man's Misery: Or the poor man's Pocket Book, being a perpetual Almanack of Spiritu­al Meditations; containing many useful Instructions, Meditations and Prayer, &c. 12ves.

[Page] Man's whole Duty, and God's wonderful intreaty of him thereunto. By Mr. Daniel Burgess. 12ves.

Advice to Parents and Children. By Mr. Daniel Burgess. 12ves.

Mr. Gibbon's Sermon of Justification. 4to.

Mr. Nathaniel Vincent's Funeral Sermon. Preached by Mr. N. Taylor. 4to.

Mr. Addy's Short Hand Bible.

Mr. Shower's Sermon on the Death of Mr. Nat. Oldfield, who departed December 31, 1696. 8vo.

The Dying Man's Assistant: Or, short Instructi­ons for those who are concerned in the preparing of sick Persons for Death. 12ves.

Mr. Shower's Thanksgiving Sermon, April 16th, 1696. 4to.

Mr. Samuel Clark's brief Concordance to the whole Bible, of the most usual and useful places, which one may have occasion to seek for. In a new Method. 12ves.

Mr. Stephen's Sermon before the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, at St. Mary le Bow, Ian. 30. 1693. 4to.

—His Thanksgiving Sermon, April 16. 1696. 4to.

Mr. Woodhous's Sermon, Preached to the Societies for Reformation of Manners, at Salters-Hall. 8vo.

Sir Robert Howard's free Discourse, wherein the Do­ctrines that make for Tyranny are displayed; the Ti­tle of our Rightful and Lawful King William vindica­ted; and the unreasonableness and mischievous ten­dency of the odious distinction of a King de facto and de jure, discovered. 8vo.

Mr Lorrimer's Answer to Mr. Goodwin's 4to.

Mr. Calamy's Discourse of Vows. 8vo.

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