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direction to his subsequent career. There happened to come to preach at a church about three miles from Cambridge, a most earnest, heart-stirring preacher. This was Thomas Weld, who was deprived of his living of Tirling, Essex, for not submitting to the “Ceremonies.” A word or two may be said in explanation of these “ Ceremonies.” Even before the close of the reign of James I., the episcopal party in the Church had become very dominant, and certainly very intolerant towards those who—whether clergy or laity-held to a primitive purity of faith, a Puritanic simplicity of worship, and a plain soberness of living. Already this Anglican High Church party were re-introducing “Ceremonies,” which looked to the Puritan vision, suspiciously fashioned and coloured, after the style of the “Scarlet Lady.” These High Churchmen, held in mysterious veneration certain “days' and “seasons.” Moreover, they regarded certain ritescertain objects as crosses-certain designations as “ priests," “bishops,” to be divinely sanctified, whereas the other side looked upon these things as so many superstitious mummeries. Already the old Protestant, Lutheran, and Calvinistic doctrines and their preachers were being fast banished from the Church Pulpits, and Arminian views, more favourable to High Church development, were becoming everywhere more prevalent, especially in higher quarters. According to Macaulay, “the infections soon reached the Court. Opinions, which at the time of the accession of James, no clergyman could have avowed without imminent risk of being stripped of his gown, were now the best title to preferment. A divine of that age, who was asked by a simple country gentleman what the Arminians held, answered with as much truth as wit, that they held all the best bishoprics and deaneries in England.”
STRIKING SERMONS. To return to the Church service that was held near Cambridge, when young Shawe and his college chum went to hear Mr. Weld. They listened, with rapt attention, to a preacher whose soul was aflame with the gospel of salvation, whose one aim was to awaken dormant consciences, to convert the sinful, to save the lost. Though our young listener went more for company than conscience sake (as Austin to hear Ambrose), yet as he says, “ It pleased God in mercy to set on his sermon with much power, and no small terror on my heart (for which I bless that great prophet and soulbp., the Lord Jesus). I felt much heat and power, and from that time forth more and more change in heart, affections, speeches, practices, &c., so that I was much taken notice of in the college, and much opposed for a Puritan.” Many sermons may be forgotten, but a few stick close to heart and conscience. Mr. Weld's sermon did its full effective work. Young Shawe bore bravely the nick-name “Puritan.” He stuck to his college and studies, and stayed till he had taken his degrees first of Bachelor and after Master of Arts. He was now 22 years of age, and ready for ordination, and the Bishop of Peterboro' ordained him about this time for the ministry.” Note, for the office of a “minister," not of a “priest.”
SHAWE'S FIRST MINISTRY. As our now Master of Arts and ordained preaching minister already cherished a very eager desire for the work of the ministry, to which he felt fully persuaded God had called him, he was not likely to remain long unoccupied. His first call came from Brampton, near Chesterfield, for him to accept the position of lecturer and settled minister. He answered the call. Previously, the people had only had a “Reading Minister," probably one who simply read the services and recited a homily. Master Shawe felt himself called to preach, and he always preached his own sermons. But he had first to be licensed before being fully qualified to preach. So he appeared before the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield (Bishop Morton). The mention of Lichfield reminds us that the date 1630 was only about 20 years after Edward Wightman was burnt at the stake in that town. The Bishop, thinking the applicant somewhat young, put him through his theological paces. Says the candidate,“ He set himself to pose me.” The bishop was quite satisfied by his test of Shawe's qualifications. When he had done,” says the applicant, “he gave me my hand full of money, and laying his hand on my head, said, "Your licence shall be this (without demanding any subscription of me) that you shall preach in any part of my diocese when and where you will." Might not many a modern Nonconformist be tempted to hold a Church benefice under such a bishop, who not only excuses from all subscriptions to articles and creeds, but fills your hand with plenty of silver into the bargain ? With all early zeal did our parson take to his Brampton charge, and God gave a “comfortable” blessing to his labours, as he himself specifies.
His MARRIAGE. As Lord's Day followed Lord's Day, and as he looked down from reading desk and pulpit, he constantly encountered the piously admiring eyes cast up to him by Mistress Dorothy Heathcote. Though her family lived at Cutthorpe Hall, two or more miles distant, yet she constantly came to Church every Lord's day, and was neither detained by the scorching heat in summer nor deterred by the coldness of the winter. Now, how could the young preacher resist the evidences of his eyes, supported by the dictates of his heart? What more winning recommendation could a young lady of the present offer to a young Nonconformist minister or Church curate-both, it is said, equally susceptible and sympathetic in one respect, however differing in other respects.—than to be constant at service and brave all weathers, and never miss; and, moreover, always praise every sermon and adore the preacher ? Need it be added that John and Dorothy soon came to a mutual understanding of eyes and hearts, and that ere long the parson took to his parsonage Dorothy, “a sweet and suitable yokefellow," as he very happily describes her. Let us congratulate him.
His CALL TO DEVONSHIRE. Of course our Brampton lecturer went sometimes to preach in great London, as country ministers still have the honour of doing at times. On a certain occasion, there were some Devonshire merchants in a London church when the Brampton minister held forth. Such merchants used to come up to London from their various districts, with their kinds of goods, and some would take up a permanent abode in town. Let it be here explained how such merchants,
making their fortunes in London, appear generally to have
He first, by himself, made the journey of 200 miles-no doubt on horseback-to Chimleigh, and there, after a while, with her first-born in her arms, Mistress Dorothy joined her husband, and worked all ardently with him for the spiritual and social benefit of this place. Now these lectureships, scattered about the country, carried with them large privileges of independent utterance for the lecturers, and of free and simple worship for the congregations. On this account they evoked the suspicion and hostility of the bishops, and more especially the suspicion of Archbishop Laud. He was a good hater, and he thoroughly detested and hated all such Puritanical and Nonconforming societies. So episcopal and