Imatges de pÓgina

family were not so well affected towards him, but felt his presence to be a disagreeable restraint upon them, therefore he thought it expedient to look out for a home of his own. Which as soon as Judge Puleston perceived, he added to his former kindness and generosity, by having a convenient and handsome house built for his accommodation, in Worthenbury; and settled it on him by a lease bearing date March 6th, 1657, for threescore years, if he should continue so long minister at Worthenbury, and did not receive better preferment.

The Judge having thus generously made provision for his comfortable settlement, in the year 1659, by a writing under his own hand, collated and presented Mr. Henry to the church at Worthenbury, in which act he received the approbation of the Parliament's commissioners for the approbation of public preachers. Mr. Fogg, the rector of Bangor, at first made some opposition to his settlement, on account of the claim which Bangor had to Worthenbury, as being a part of the parish, of which he was rector; but this matter was readily settled, by his agreeing to task Mr. Fogg's leave, to occupy that station. Before it was settled, he wrote in his diary, “I do earnestly desire that the Judge may give Mr. Fogg, all reasonable satisfaction, that there be no appearance of wrong to him.”. During the whole time of his residence at Worthenbury, there existed an intimate friendship between him and Mr. Fogg.

The subject of ordination now claimed his attention. The nearest class, or Presbytery, was in Bradford, Shropshire, which had been constituted by ordinance of parliament, in April, 1647. It was his desire to be ordained at Worthenbury, in the presence of the people, but the ministers were not willing to set such a precedent; and on this and other accounts, the ordination was delayed until the 16th of September, 1657. In this solemnity, every thing was conducted according to the Directory of the Assembly of Divines, and the common usage of the Presbyterians. But as his papers contain a full account of the whole proceeding, it will doubtless be gratifying to many, to have the details exhibited.

The first step taken by the Presbytery was to inquire respecting 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. He said, he hoped 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 bowed his will, in some measure, to close with him on his own terms, &c. His skill in the original languages was then tried, and he read and construed two verses in the Hebrew, and two in the Greek Testament. He was 'then examined in logic and natural philosophy; next in divinity, and what authors he had read, and what knowledge he had of the mediation of Jesus Christ. A trial was also made of his skill in exegesis, by propounding to him some difficult texts for his solution. His ability to resolve cases of conscience was also put to the test; and finally he was examined as to his acquaintance with church history. The examinations and trials were not concluded at this meeting of the presbytery; and they gave him as question for a Latin thesis, “ An Providentia Divina extendat se ad omnia ?” On this question he exhibited his thesis, August 3d, and defended it against the objections of the members. Mr. Porter acted as moderator.


He then produced two certificates of good character, &c., the one from the university, signed by Dr. Wilkinson and Dr. Langley; the other from the ministers in his vicinity, Mr. Steel, Mr. Fogg, &c. September 16th was appointed as the day for his ordination. On the preceding Lord's day, a paper was publicly read. in the church, at Worthenbury, and afterwards. affixed to the church door, giving notice of the intended ordination, and signifying, “that if any person could produce any just exceptions against the life or doctrines of the said Mr. Henry, or any sufficient reason why he might not be ordained, they should certify the same to the classis, or the scribe, and it should be heard and considered.”

On the day of ordination, a very great assembly was gathered together. Mr. Porter introduced the service with prayer. Mr. Parsons preached the sermon on 1 Tim. i. 12, "I thank Christ Jesus who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” After sermon he was called upon to give a confession of his faith, which he did in the following words:

“ The ground and rule of my faith towards God, is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. I believe they were written by holy men, immediately inspired by the Holy Ghost. Having found the efficacy of them, in some measure, in my own heart, I believe they are further able to make me wise unto salvation.

“Concerning God, I believe, that he is, and 'that he is the rewarder of those that diligently seek him. The Trinity of the Godhead I receive and own, as a truth. ' I admire and adore the mystery: though no man hath seen God at any time, yet the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath revealed 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.' I believe, that he hath life in himself, and hath given to the Son to have life in himself. I believe, that all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made which 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 also worketh.' I be

« AnteriorContinua »