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Annesley must be owned to have been one of more than como mon wisdom. [Nor is there any proof of his deficiency in general literature. His works abound with learned quotations and references. See particularly his sermons in the Morning Exercises.]
He had a large soul and a flaming zeal, and his usefulness was very extensive. He had the care of all the churches upon him; and was the chief, often the sole instrument in the education and subsistence of several ministers, of whose useful labours the church had otherwise been deprived. Of all gifts, salary and incomes, he always laid aside the tenths for charity, even before any part was spent. By this means he had a fund always at hand for charitable uses, besides what others furnished him with, for the same purposes, to whom he was a faithful almoner. He was the main support of the Morning Lecture * for which so many have cause io be thankful to God; and after the death of old Mr. Case, he took the care of it upon himself. .
* As this Lecture is so often referred to in this work, some account of it may be acceptable. Its origin, according to Mr. Neal was this. Most of the eitizens in London having some relation or friend in the army of the earl of Essex, so many bills were sent up to the pulpit every Lord's day for their preservation, that the ministers had not time to notice them in prayer, or even to read them. It was therefore agreed to set apart an hour at seven o'clock every morning, half of it to be spent in prayer for the welfare of the public, as well as particular cases, and the other in exhortations to the people. Mr. Case began it in his church in Milk-street, from whence it was removed to other distaot churches in rotation, a month at each. A number of the most eminent ministers conducted this service, in turn, and it was attended by great crowds of people. Aster the heat of the war was over, it became, what was cal. led a Casuistical Lecture, and continued till the Restoration. The sermons were published in six volumes in quarto. Neal's Hist. Purit. vol. 1. 797 4to.
These Lectures treat on a variety of useful subjects, practical as well as doctrinal, in answer to questions proposed, and some of them on cases of conscience; but they are all founded on texts of scripture, in the form of sermons. They are now liale known, but are more valuable than is generally supposed. The authors were the most eminent preachers in their day. It is worihy of notice, that in one of the volumes, (which are not numbered, nor uniform,) there is a discourse by Mr. Tillotson, afterwards Abp. of Canterbury, who then ranked with the Nonconformists. It is in answer to the question, “ Wherein lies that exact righteousness which is required between “ man and man!" Mat. vii. 12. See No. X. in the volume of which the preface is dated Nov. 14. 1661. 4th edit. Most of thesc Lectures are muchi longer than could have been delivered in half an hour. It appears that they were held every morning for one month only, and from the preface to the vol. dated 1689, the time was afterwards contracted to a fortnight. Most of these were delivered at Cripplegate church, some at St. Giles's, and a volume against Popery in Southwark. Mr. Neal observes that this Lecture was afterwards revived in a different form, and continued in his day. It was kept up long afterwards, at several places in the summer, a week at each place, but latterly the time was exchanged for the evening.
His nonconformity created hiin troubles, but no inward aneasiness. God often remarkably appeared for him. One person died as he was signing a warrant to apprehend him. He never feared the utmost malice of any of his enemies, and nothing that he met with from men abated his chearfulness. (Under every affliction, before he would speak of it, or use any means to redress it, he spread it before God in prayer ; which enabled him, though a most affectionate husband, to bear the news of his wife's death with such composure, as calmly to say, “ The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken
away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”] He had uninterrupted peace in his spirit, and assurance of God's covenant love, for the last thirty years of his life, though for several years
before he walked in darkness. In his last illness he was full of comfort. " Blessed be God, said he, I have been “ faithful in the work of the ministry above fifty-five years.". During seventeen weeks pain, though he had before enjoyed an uninterrupted course of health, he never discovered the least degree of impatience. He chearfully resigned his soul to God Dec. 31. 1696. aged 77. His funeral sermon was preached by Dr. Dan. Williams.*
The celebrated Mr. John Wesley was his grandson, who. discovered great veneration for him, and has introduced some of his writings into his Christian Library. See vol. 44. Two sermons ascribed to him, vol. 36. and 38. were not his, but Mr. Kitchen's and Mr. Pool's. The meeting-house in which Dr. Annesley preached was in Little St. Helen's, Bishopsgate-street, where Mr. Woodward succeeded him, and where the worthy Mr. Godwin was afterwards many years minister. It was in this place that the first public or dination-service among the protestant dissenters was performed. Dr. Calamy was one of the ministers then ora dained t. Mr. Annesley was the author of the following
* WORKS. A Fun. Serm, for Mr. Whitaker.-The Life of Mr. T. Brand, with his Fun, Serm.-Pref. to Mr. Allein's Instructions
* As Dr. Calamy refers to Turner's Hist. of Prov. for a copy of his will one might have expected something in it either interesting or curious; but there is neither. Excepting the preamble, it contains but two lines. It is dated March 29, 1693, Norton Falgate.
+ This place being conveniently situated, a number of Lectures were formany years carried on here; and among the rest, Mr. Coward's Friday-Lecture. This ancient building was lately pulled down, the congregation being extinct. The last sermon ever preached in it was by the writer of this note, on Friday, May 15, 1795, who could not but feel some painful sensations upthe occasion,
about Heart-work. Another (with Dr. Owen) to E. Cole's Disc. on God's Sov.--A Serm. before the House of Com. 1648. One at St. Paul's, on Communion with God. -A Serm. at Lawrence Jury to the Gentlemen of Wilts.--Five Sermons in the Morning Exercises.' He was the Editor of four of those volumes, and wrote a preface to each of them, which discover a warm zeal for the best interests of mankind.
Mr. SAMUEL STATHAM, of Christ Church, Oxford, was assistant to Dr. Annesley, and was ejected with himn. Upon the turn of the times, he was offered a good living in the church, by the Huntingdon family, (in which his father had been steward) if he would have conformed; but he preferred sufferings and reproach with a good conscience; and he was indeed a considerable sufferer for nonconformity, He was two years and nine months in the jail at Leicester, where it pleased God to inake him of great use to several of the prisoners, for he ordinarily preached to them every Lord's day. There was one in particular who was sentenced to death for murder, with whom he took inuch pains, and who, when he was going to execution, embraced Mr. Statham with tears, returned hiin his hearty thanks, and with great composure of mind signified to him, that though man would not grant a reprieve, he humbly hoped that God had granted a pardon. There was another who (as afterwards appeared) died innocently, who by his faithful endeavours was so con vinced of the evil of sin, that he could not be prevailed upon to confess himself guilty, though he had a fair prospect of thereby saving his life.
Mr. Statham soon after his enlargement, was invited to Banbury in Oxfordshire, where he for some years preached privately, with great success, and where his name was long Tevered and loved. His health was much impaired in consequence of his imprisonment. Upon a journey towards Loughborough to see his mother and his son, he took cold, and could get no further than Preston in Northamptonshire, where he was confined to his bed at Mr. Butler's, and died in a few days, 1685. [A grandson of his, educated under Mr. Jennings at Kibworth, was a dissenting minister at Loughborough, and was living at Nottingham till 1780. A remarkably Conscientious man. ]
Mr. HENRY ARNOULD was ejected from the Lectureship in this parish, of St. Giles's. He was also Rector of Broniley in Kent.
ST. GEORGE's, SOUTHWARK. (R. 2201.] HENRY JESSEY, M. A. Of St. John's Col. Camb. An account of his life and death was published in 1671, from whence it appears that he was born Sept. 3, 1601, at West Rowton, in Yorkshire, near Cleveland, where his father was minister. He was carefully educated by his parents till he was seventeen years of age, when he went to the univer„sity; where after four years diligent study, it pleased God to work a renewing change upon his heart, by the ministry of the word, whereby he was fitted for the employment for which God designed him, and to which he himself was greatly inclined. Upon the death of his father, who had supplied him according to his ability, he was so straitened as not to have above threepence a day; and yet so did he manage that small pittance, as to spare part of it for hiring books. He continued six years in the university, and often used to recollect the benefit of his well-spent time there, with great thankfulness to God. He became well versed in the Hebrew tongue, and the writings of the Rabbies. He also understood Syriac and Chaldee.
He removed from Cambridge in 1624, (though he often went at term-time till he took his degree of A. M.) and was first entertained by old Mr. Brunpton Gurdon, of Assington in Suffolk. In his family he continued about nine years, improving his time well; and among other studies, applied himself to physic. In 1627 he took orders from the bishop, but was afterwards much concerned for the engagements which he thereby came under. He preached about the neighbourhood as he was invited, and distributed a number of good practical books among the poor. He had several offers of a settlement, but listened to none of them,till in the year 1633 he was called to Aughton, nine miles from York, to succeed Mr. Alder, who was removed from thence for nonconformity. Mr. Jessey was not likely to continue there long, since he durst not conform even so far as Mr. Alder had done. Accordingly the next year he was ejected for not using the ceremonies, and for taking down a crucifix. But he was not useless in God's vineyard, for Sir M. Boyn. ton, of Barneston, in Yorkshire, entertained him to preach there and at Rowsby, a place not far distant.
In 1635 he removed with Sir Matthew to London, and the next year to Hedgeley-house, near U.xbridge, where he VOL. I. NO. 3.
had not been long before he was earnestly importuned to take the charge of the congregation of which Mr. Henry Jacob and Mr. John Lathorp had been pastors, which was gathered by Mr. Jacob, in 1616.* After much consideration and prayer, though he had forined a design of going to New England, he accepted their call about Midsummer, 1637, and continued among them till his death.
(Candour, and indeed justice, oblige the editor to insert the following extract from this good man's life, respecting his sentiments about Baptism, of which the author had taken no notice. Some of his church becoming Baptists, left it the year after his settling among them; and soon after, a greater number of persons, of considerable note, embraced the same opinion. This put Mr. Jessey upon studying the controversy. The result was, that he himself also altered his sentiments, but not without great deliberation, many prayers, and frequent conferences with pious and learned men of different persuasions. His first conviction was about the mode of baptism. Though he continued two or three years to baptize children, he did it by immersion. About 1644 the controversy about the subjects of baptism was revived in his church, when several of them gave up infant-baptism, as did Mr. Jessey himself. However, before he would absoJutely determine on the point, and practise accordingly, he
resolved to consult with several learned and judicious ministers, v. g. Dr. Goodwin, Mr. Nye, Mr. Burroughs, Mr. Craddock, &c. but these giving him no satisfaction, in June 1645, he submitted to immersion, which was performed by Mr. Hanserd Knollys. And it proved no small honour and advantage to the Baptists to have such a man among them. + But notwithstanding his differing from his brethren in this, or any other point, he maintained the same christian love and charity to all saints as before, not only as to friendly conversation, but also in regard to church-communion, and took great pains to promote the same catholic spirit among others.
He diviiled his labours in the ministry according to the catholocisin of his principles. Every Lord's day afternoon he was among his own people. In the morning he usually preached at St. George's church, Southwark, and once in * See Neal's History. Vol. 1. p. 100 and 800.
+ Mr. Neale, in his account of the matter, (which differs from the above) remarks, « Thus a foundation was laid for the first Baptist congregation I bave met with in England." Compare Crosbie's Hist. Bapt. vol. 1. p. 147,&e.