« PreviousContinue »
flock held him in great respect, and his preaching was so popular as to draw after him people of all denominations. His audience was usually computed to be near three thousapd; and among them very often six or seven clergymen in their gowns, who sat in a convenient place, under a large gallery, where they were seen by few. The number of bis auditors, and the figure which some of them made, occasioned, after the fire of London, an application from the officers of the parish of Cripplegate to request a collection for the poor, who abounded in that parish. The request was complied with, upwards of fifty pounds was raised, and the church voluntarily continued the collection for above twenty years. His publications were, a small treatise entitled “the Doctrine of Baptism ;” and another concerning “ the laying on of hands." He was buried in Bunhill with this simple inscription :
“ Here lieth the body of Mr. John Gosnold, a faithful minister of the gospel, who departed this life, October thai 3d, 1678, and in the 534 year of his age.”
The History of the Quakers continued. DURING the preceding period, from the declaration of indulgence to the end of Charles the IEd's reign, this society lost several active and eminent members by death.
Among these was William Baily, who died 1875, at sea, in his voyage from the West-Indies. He had preacbed among the baptists at Pool in Dorsetshire, when, covinced by the ministry of George Fox, he embraced the principles of the quakers in 1655, among whom he became a bold and zealous preacher, nor in England only, but while he fol, lowed a seafaring life in distant countries, being concerned to propagate righteousness, whenever an opportunity presented itself, and he displayed a like fortitude in suffering for his testimony; for he was frequently imprisoned in different gaols, both during the time of the commonwealth and after the restoration. He also suffered much corporal abuse by blows, by being thrown down and dragged along the ground by the hair of bis head, trampled upon by a corpulent man, and his mouth and jaws attempted to be rent asunder. On a voyage from Barbadoes be was visited with a disease, which terminated his life and sufferings. Among other sensible observations, expressive of the serenity of his mind, and of devout confidence and hope, ad. dressing himself to the master of the vessel, he said, “ Sball I lay down my head in peace upon the waters ?* Well, God is the God of the whole universe; and though my body sink, I shall live a-top of the waters.” He afterwards added, “ the creating word of the Lord endures for ever.”+
* Gough's History of the Quakers, vol. ii. p. 407-411. This William Baily snarried Mary Fisher, a woman of singular ardor and resolution in the propagation of her religious principles; for, besides going to Boston in America, and meeting severe sufferings there, she engaged, after her return to England, in a more arduous undertaking. This was to pay a visit to sultan Mahomet IV. encamped with
In 1679, died, at Goodnestone Court in Kent, in the 63d year of his age, Isaac Pennington, of Chalfont in Buckinghamsbire, an honorable, useful, and virtuous member of this society. He was heir to a fair io heritance, being the eldest son of alderman Pennington, of London, a noted member of the long parliament, and nominated, thongh he never sat, one of the king's judges. His education had all the advantages the schools and universities of his own country could afford him; his rank in life threw him into the company of some of the most learned and considerable men of the age; his understanding was by nature good; his judgment and apprehension quick; his disposition was mild and affable; and his conversation eheerful, but guard. ed; equally divested of moroseness and lerity. From his childhood he was religiously inclined, and conversant with the scriptures; the wonder of his acquaintance for his awful frame of mind and retired life. When he first met with the writings of the quakers, he threw them aside with disdain; and, when be fell into conversation with some of them, though they engaged his affectionate regard, yet he could not but view them in a contemptuous light, as a poor and weak generation. But, afterwards, being invited to a meeting in Bedfordshire, where George Fox preached, his prejudices gave way; he joined the society, against all the influence of connexions and worldly prospects, and became a very eminent and serviceable member in it. He his army near Adrianople. She proceeded on her way as far as Smyr, Đa, when the English consul stopped her, and sent her back to Venice. Not disheartened from the prosecution of her design, she made her way by land, and escaped any manner of abuse, through a long journey of five or six hundred miles. She went to the camp alope, and obtained an audience of the sultan, who received her with great courtesy, and heard her with much seriousness and gravity, invited her to stay in the country, and offered her a guard to Constantinople. This she declined, but reached that city in safety without the least injury or insult, and afterwards arrived in England." The conduct of the Mahometans towards her, as Gough remarks, was a striking contrast to that of the professors of New-England. “We cannot but regret,” he properly adds, “ that the hest religion the world was ever blessed with,
and in its own purity so far surpassing in excellence, should, on comparison with human inti. delity, be so tarnished through the degeneracy of its professors, who wfder the name of christians, in morality, generosity, and humanity, fall far short of those who game not the pame of Christ." Gough, vol. i.
diligently visited and administered to the afflicted in body aud mind. He opened his heart and house to the reception of friends. His preaching was very successful in proselyling many, and conforming many. He was an excellent pattern of piety, virtue, and the strictest morality. He was à most affectionate husband, a careful and tender father, a mild and gentle master, a sincere and faithful friend, conpassionate and liberal to the poor; affable to all, ready to do good to all men, and careful to injure bone. But neither rank of life, benevolence of disposition, inculpable ianocence of demeanor, nor the universal esteem of his character, could secure him from the sufferings attendant upon his religious profession. His imprisonments were many, and some of them long and severe. These he bore with great firmness and serenity, and the sharp and painful distemper, which put an end to his life, gave no shock to his internal peace.*
In the next year, 1680, died, leaving behind bim deep impressions of grateful respect, and honorable esteem in the hearts of many, Giles Barnadiston, of Clare in Suffolk, aged fifty-six. He was born in 1684, of a respectable and opulent family, and being designed for the pulpit in the establishment, he received a liberal education both in semio. aries of literature, and at the university, where he spent six years. But when he was called on to accept an offer of preferment in the church and to take orders, from a consciousness of wanting the internal purity and spiritual wisdom essential to a minister of the gospel, he resolutely de. clined the proposal. Though, in this instance, he was governed by a just and serious view of things, he had not firmness to resist the allurements of pleasure and sensual gratifications. On the breaking out of the civil war he obtained a colonel's commission in the army; but be soon grew weary of a military life, accompanied with violence and bloodshed, laid down bis commission, and retired to Wormingford Lodge in Essex, cominenced a stricter life than before, and became thoughtful about the way of salvation. In this state of mind he felt an inclination to acquaint himself with the principles of the quakers, and, in 4661, invited some of them to his bouse ; the consequence
* Gough, vol. ii. p. 439, 447.
of his couversation with George Fox, the yonger, and George Weatherly, who paid bim a visit, was his joining himself with this society; and he willingly took part in the storm of persecution to which this people were exposed, and constantly attended their religious meetings in the bottest time of it. In 1669 he removed to Clare, the place of his nativity, and in the same year be made bis appearance in the ministry, in which he acquitted himself with faithfulness, fervency, wisdoin, and success. He bad but a tender constitution ; yet, animated by a devoutness to the glory of God, and by a generous concern to promote the well-being of mankind, he took many journies, and trav, elled into Holland, as well as divers parts of England, to make kpown to others what he judged to be the truth. He died, on bis return from London to Chelmsford, after a short illness, in wbich he expressed his resignation, “that the Lord was his portion, and that he was freely given up to die, which was gain to bím."'*
In 1681 died, at Stafford, where he had resided several years, and left a good report among the inhabitants of the town, Thomas Taylor, aged 65 years, an ancient and faithful minister of this society. He was born, at or near Shipton in Yorkshire, about the year 1616, and received a liberal education at the university of Oxford. He was first a lecturer in this county, and then obtained a living in Westmoreland, which he held till the year 1652, when he voluntarily relinquished it. His audience was principally composed of Puritans, among whom he ranked, for be declined the use of ceremonies, and would neither baptise children at the font, nor sign them with the sign of the cross. On having an interview with George Fox, at Swarthmore, he embraced his doctrine, and joined bim as a companion in his travels and ministerial labors. He resigned his living on a conviction of the unlawfulness of preaching for hire. He travelled through many parts of England, disseminating the doctrine of the quakers, wbich he maintained at Oxford against the learned Dr. Owen, at that time vice-chancellor of the university, with great advantage in the opinion of the academics. But his travels were interrupted by a succession of imprisonments, one of which lasted for ten years,
* Gough, vol. ii. p. 549, 553.