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Containing a concise View of
Now abridged and corrected, and the Author's Additions inserted,
with many further Particulars, and new Anecdotes,
TO WHICH IS PREFIXED
of the Times in which they lived, and the GROUNDS of
Embellished with the Heads of many of those venerable Divines.
ών ουκ ήν άξιος ο κοσμος"
Нев. хі. 38.
ing out a very great number of worthy, learned, pious, and
Printed for W. HARRIS, No. 70, St. Paul's Church-Yard.
EMOIRS of the lives and characters of wife and good men, have been generally
esteemned some of the most entertaining and useful publications. Perhaps no body of men ever lived who better deserved to have their history handed down to pofterity, or the accounts of whom are more adapted to please and profit serious minds, than the ministers ejected out of the church of England, foon after the restoration of Charles II. and particularly by the Act of Uniformity; the whole number of whom was upwards * of two thousand. " I do not believe (says “Mr. Pierce t) that any where in history an equal “number of clergymen, voluntarily leaving their all “ for a good conscience, can be produced.”--." If they “ did not act from a principle of conscience, they were “ the weakest people in the world, for they were active
in their own ruin :" when, had they but roundly declared their aflent and consent to the new terms of conformity, they might have continued in their livings, as well as others, and avoided the poverty, disgrace,
The enemies of these men have affected greatly to reduce their number. One of them, having counted the names in Dr. Calamy's Index to his first edition, (in which all those are omitted whose names only are mentioned in the account) reports, with triumph, “ that the 2000 sufferers, so much cried up, cannot be made more than 696, of whom a 4th part afterwards conformed.” See Cal. Pref. to Contin. p. 19. But from the accurate manuscript catalogue, which is mentioned in the 14th page of this Preface, it appears the number really was 2257. + Vindication of the Diffenters, p. 232. A 2
and persecution, which most of them suffered. Their integrity, their fortitude, and their faith, cannot be too warmly celebrated. “ To let the memory of such men
die, is injurious to pofterity.” Especially as they not only in this instance shewed themselves to be men of principle, but appeared from their general deportment men of singular piety; peculiarly qualified for their office as ministers, and uncommonly successful in it.
The Protestant Disenters, of all denominations, have ever been wont to reyere their memories, as the fathers of their interest, and the worthy patterns of their conduct. Those who have differed the widest from the generality of them in their doctrinal sentiments have spoken of their piety and zeal with rapture. The words of the late Dr. Taylor are remarkable in this view, and deserve ever to accompany their memoirs. In remonstrating against the design of some Dissenters in Lancashire to introduce a Liturgy, he refers them to these their forefathers, as having set them a better example; of whom he gives the following character : “ The principles and worship of Disfenters are not formed upon such Night foundation as the unlearned and thoughtless may imagine. They were thoroughly considered, and judiciously reduced to the standard of Scripture, and the writings of antiquity, by a great number of men of learning and integrity : I mean the Bartholomewj-divines, or the ministers ejected in the year 1662 : men prepared to lose all, and to suffer martyrdom itself, and who actually resigned their livings, (which with most of them were, under God, all that they and their families had to subsist upon) rather than sin against God, and desert the cause of civil and religious liberty; which, together with serious religion, would I am persuaded have funk to a very low ebb in the nation, had it not been for the bold and noble stand these worthies made against imposition upon conscience, prophaneness and arbitrary power. They had the best education England could afford; most of them were excellent scholars, judicious divines, pious, faith