History of the Baptist Churches in the North of England, From 1648 to 1845
By David Douglas, 1846
Broughton - Independent Church at Cockermouth - Messrs. Thomas and George Larkhams - Mr. Wilkinson - Newcastle - Hexham - Letters to and from Coleman-street - Hanserd Knollys - Feuds begun - Cheshire Revivals - Henry Angus - The False Jew
In 1652, the first movement towards the formation of a church at Broughton has been already alluded to. "Who the officer in Cromwell's army was who made that movement, we know not, nor yet when he left, nor what was the full result of his labours. It is probable, however, that he was useful to a few of the people in the neighbourhood, who might form a nucleus for others to gather around, when a more permanent teacher could be procured. He laboured, however, and "others entered into his labours."
The only authentic information that we have, of the state of religion in this quarter, is from the archives of the Independent church, at Cockermouth. The following is the account given of the formation of that church: "The foundation of this particular church was laid in the town of Cockermouth, the day and year mentioned in the margent (October 2, 1651,) through the instigation of Mr. Thomas Larkham, pastor of the church of Christ, at Tavistock, - Devon, a blessed instrument in promoting and furthering so good a worke. The foundation stones (i. e. the first stones of this house of God; 1 Timothy iii. 15,) were these seven poor unworthy ones, George Larkham, George Benson, Roger Fieldhouse, Thomas Blethwaite, John Woods, Richard Bowes, and Thomas Jackson. These seven, after solemn invocation
of God, and mutual satisfaction in each other, agreed in the ensuing humble confession and engagement. "Here follows a long confession, &c., of which the following is a part, "Further, we do owne these practices of baptizing the children of covenant believers, and of singing of Psalms, though we do not judge that those that are dark as to these practices, are therefore to be excluded from our communion.
Mr. Thomas Larkham, of Tavistock, was father of Mr. George Larkham, of Cockermouth, both ministers of the state church, in the time of the Commonwealth, and both eminently pious, zealous, and useful men. As it appears to have been common at that time, as evinced in the case of Mr. Tillam, at Hexham, for those who held Congregational or Independent principles, to form a distinct church of those in their congregations that appeared to be true belivers [sic], so it is probable the elder Mr. Larkham had acted on this principle, and had induced his highly promising son, now in the twenty-third year of his age, when he settled at Cockermouth, to do the same.
The seven persons above named were not Baptists, but quite disposed to act on the open communion principle. This circumstance leads us to suppose that there were persons in their own neighbourhood that held Baptist sentiments, and who, in their esteem, were not unlikely to join their communion. One or two other entries in the church book at Cockermouth, may throw some further light on this point.
From October, 1651, to January, 1652, the church had become so numerous that they thought of dividing, and having a branch on each side of the Derwent one at Cockermouth, and one at Broughton; hence the following entry, "The 28th Jan. The church thinking of branching (or rather swarming) forth into two congregations, one on the one side of Derwent, and the other on the other side." "They thought it meet to make choice
of another deacon. John Bowman, of Broughton, was unanimously chosen."
It is evident from the following entry, that Baptist principles had been in the neighbourhood, and had by the middle of the year 1652, been embraced by a considerable number of the members of the congregation at Broughton. "The 16th July, in the year 1652, there was a solemn meeting of both churches, viz., this of Cockermouth, and another, called the church of Broughton, in the public meeting place, at Brigham, when they jointly, humbly, besought the Lord to unite their spirits in love, they differing in judgment in the point of Paedo-baptism: which church (Broughton) began to be generally shaken, most of them inclining to Quakerism! as by their long letter, 1654, to us (Cockermouth) kept among other letters by us, may and doth appear.
From this time, for about two years, religious contention appears to have extended its baleful influence in the country generally, and had made great havock in the church at Broughton. This is clear from another entry, May, 1654. "The 16th of the fourth month, 1654, that deluge of errors that had overflown the country, and had quite shattered to pieces the other congregation about Broughton, only some few of the people have come to land! and kept together in communion!! John Wilkinson, the Pastor of that Church, departed with most of the people, to the Quakers, to his great shame and infamy. The Lord at last convinced him of his sin. Amen. Amen. Amen."
From the whole of the above entries we seem warranted to draw the following conclusions respecting the church at Broughton. 1. That the Baptists in the neighbourhood had either joined the church, at Cockermouth before its division into two congregations, or had, after the division, joined the church at Broughton, as in less than half a year, Baptist principles had chiefly
prevailed among the Broughton people. 2. A Mr. John Wilkinson had become the pastor at Broughton. He was probably by this time a Baptist. Having, for a time, become a Quaker, we find the following reference to him taken from the preface to Backas's works, by W. Penn: "John Wilkinson, of Cockermouth, formerly a very zealous and able independent minister." He may be regarded as the first minister of the church at Broughton, after the officer alluded to. 3. The church, for two or three years, had got into a very unsettled condition, the greater portion leaving with their pastor and going to Quakerism. 4. They, at length, arrived at a more healthy state, under the same pastor, on his penitence and return. But we must now again proceed across the island from the western to the eastern coast.
There are no distinct records of the church at Newcastle at this period. The only information that we have, of its character and transactions, is to be found in the details of the early history of the church of Hexham. Both churches, at that time, came into disagreeable collision, owing to certain differences subsisting between their respective pastors. These differences will hereafter be noticed, and, in the meantime, we shall advert to the progress of the cause at Hexham, under the zealous guidance of its first minister.
During the remainder of year, 1652, eighteen persons more were added, by Mr. Tillam, to the church, the total number of which, at the termination of the year, was thirty-six. Several individuals, belonging to certain London churches, are said to have had communion with the Hexham brethren during the year, among whom we find the name of "Brother Holmes, minister of Bywell, and a member of a church in London."
On the fourth of December this year, the church at Hexham wrote a letter of grateful acknowledgement to the church in Coleman-street, London, for having sent
Mr. Tillam among them. It is written in the style of the apostolic age. We shall give a short extract:
"To the church of Christ walking in communion, with the Reverend and Dearly beloved in the Lord, Mr. Hanserd Knollys, in London.*
"Grace be into you, and peace from God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Beloved of God, as it is just cause of holy rejoicing before the Lord, when saints heare that Sion prospers, and that many are made partakers of the like pretious faith with themselves, so wee know and are persuaded in the Lord that it will be the joy of your spirits, when, by these or letters, you shall understand yt [that] the word of the Lord wch [which] sounded out from you is come unto us, not in word only, but in power, wherein through riches of grace we stand, and rejoyce under it wt joy unspeakable and full of glory : For this cause therefore wee are bound to thanke God always on yr [your] behalf as it is meet: for your debtors verily wee are, for wtsoever appearances of God are risen uppon us since yt yr faithful messenger, and now our dearly beloved brother, in the Lord, Mr. Thomas Tillam, (whom wee love in ye truth, and very highly esteem for his work sake,) has been eminently instrumental in carrying on the Lord's worke amongst us: but that yr hearts may ye more affectionately
* This church is said to have met in Coleman-street, under the care of Mr. Hanserd Knollys, &c., and which probably intimates that the place of meeting was towards the front of the Street, as there was another church in Coleman-street, in Swan's-alley, under the care of Mr. Henry Jessey. The writer supposed in the first instance they were one church, but is now persuaded they were two. 1. Because the signatures of the elders are always different. 2. The one church is always addressed as "in Coleman-street," and the other "in Swan's-alley, Coleman-street." 3. A declaration of the churches in London, at this period, has the church under Mr. Hanserd Knollys distinct form that under Mr. Henry Jessey.
be drawne out to admire ye riches of the father's love to usward, wee desire to show of orselves wht manner of entering your gospel had in unto us and ye [the] blessed success wherewith it hath been accompanied from ye first day untill now. This is ye 12 month since providence first directed Mr. Thomas Tillam into these pts, where, by the encouragement of the commissioners, authorised by prlamt [parliament], for propagating ye gospel in ye 4 northern counties, and by the importunity (especially of some of them) the Lord was pleased to open a doore, effectual, for his preaching ye lecture established heare at Hexham, by the honble [honorable] society of Mercers in London. __________ and the Lord being pleased to be found of them yt scarcely asked after him and in yt place where it was said, these are not a people, are wee (through grace, wherein wee stand) become the people of God." __________ They then state their sufferings from Atheists and Papists, of whom, many, they affirm, "swarm" in these parts, but "their sorest and chiefest trial" they say, "sprang from those in the ministry, probably the Presbyterian ministers in the Church, one of whom had in the parish house preached against believers' baptism." "Though cast down," they farther state, "they are not destroyed," and wish the church in London to "reach unto them the right hand of fellowship."
On the 20th December, 1652, Mr. John Thirlwell already mentioned as under "proofe," or trial, for the deaconate was duly elected as deacon, and a young person, named Edward or Edmund Hickhorngill, was ordained as a minister of the gospel, or evangelist, and appointed the messenger of the church at Hexham, to visit their Christian brethren, holding Baptist principles in Scotland. We shall presently have occasion to advert to this individual, and to the state of the Baptist cause in the northern part of the island.
1653. On the ninth day of the eleventh month, 1652, according to the reckoning at that time, but according to more modern calculation, the 9th January, 1653, the church in London sent a reply to the letter, sent by the church at Hexham. In this epistle, they express their gratitude for their faith and love by the preaching of the gospel, sounded from themselves, by "that messenger of the Lord, and dearly beloved brother, Mr. Thomas Tillam, sent unto them.
"Now therefore," they say, "beloved brethren, we, the elders and brethren, with the whole of the church, being assembled with one accord, doe owne you in the Lord to be a visible constituted church of God, who are made partakers with us, in one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and heareupon we doe give unto you the right hand of fellowship, in token of our communion with you in the faith and order of the gospel, &c." This letter is signed Hanserd Knollys,* John Perry, John Buttinant, Wm. Spier, Henry Parkpointe, Wm. Jennings, Theodore Jennings, Benedict Hunt, Will. Howard, John Amiger.
In the beginning of March, the church at Hexham wrote to the church in London, soliciting them to allow Mr. Tillam, to whom they refer in the most affectionate terms, to become their pastor. They say, " although as a general officer he hath laboured amidst us, yet our hearts' desires are for a nearer interest in him, if by the will of God, this grace may be ministered unto us, by you." Every church, it would appear, at that period, seems to have claimed a special right in its members
* Mr. Hanserd Knollys was born in 1598: he was originally a minister of the establishment, but became a Baptist in 1636. He was forced to flee at different times to Europe and America. He supported himself by teaching; lived to a great age in very troublesome times; died full of joy, in 1691, aged 93, and was buried in Bunhill Fields, London.
and the ministers it ordained, so that none of these, without their sanction, could unite with any other church, either as members, ministers, or pastors. When a pastor then was wanted by "any church, application was made, not to the minister himself, but to the church with whom he was connected, and if he did anything without their concurrence, he was either suspended, or disowned.
To the above request, the church in Coleman-street -- replied, "We have taken into consideration your desire in reference to Mr. Tillam, as the Lord shall direct us. When our brother went out from us, we judged, from the little knowledge we had of him, that the Lord had enriched him with some spiritual gifts, &c., and thereupon we give him our letter of recommendation, and sent him forth to preach the gospel and to baptize them that believe, and to set them in an orderly way; but as to our approbation, that he should be given up to you as your pastor, or elder, it more concerns you than us, you having more knowledge, &c., of his qualifications, whether these answer those scriptures, 1 Timothy iii. 2, 3, &c., Titus i. 6,. 7, &c. If the Lord shall make the way clear, we hope we shall be one with you. We desire that we may hear thereof from you and Mm, espepecially [sic] when our Brother Tillam hath given us an answer to our letter, concerning our judgment of the charges of our brethren of Newcastle against him, and his answers thereto, &c. -- W. Howard, Jo. Perry." Circumstances, however, so transpired that Mr. Tillam never became pastor.*
The good cause still however continued to advance in this place. On the 19th March, three females were
* Thus, so early as the 1st of March, 1653, did the feuds begin between Mr. Goare and Mr. Tillam, and went on increasing, till 1655, when Mr. Tillam appears to have withdrawn from the church.
baptized. One Chas. Bond, a member of Dr. Chamberlain's church, London, was admitted to communion, on the 3rd of April; and on the same day, a member, named John Hudspeth, was excluded; and Mr. Tillam also, at this time, was solemnly commended to the grace of God, (like Paul, when he left Antioch,) in proceeding to Cheshire, on a missionary or evangelistical tour. It is called "the worke in Cheshire;" and it is said that "the church sent their deacon with their minister, ('like John, surnamed Mark, with Paul') in much love, by which many were added to the church in Cheshire." "When this church was formed in this county, we are not told; but from its being called the church in Cheshire, we may conclude that it was the only church in the whole county at that time.*
On the return of Mr. Tillam and the deacon from their mission, it said that "it caused greate joy to the church of Hexham." Another of the members, Mr. Stephen Anderton, at this time was set apart to the ministry, and he, with Mr. Tillam, appears to have been very useful to many persons in the neighbourhood. "Many pretious souls," they say, "fly as a cloud and as doves to their windows."
On the 14th May, this same year, 1653, nine persons were baptized and added to the church. Among these we find the names of Henry and Mary Angus. Mention is made of these particularly, as being the ancestors of the numerous family of the name of Angus, in the North of England, and elsewhere; many of whom, as will appear in the sequel, have been very useful as connected with the cause of Christ. "We mean no foolish flattery to any of them. Some of them have not turned out well,
* This was probably the ancient church at Hill Cliffe, in this county, near to Warrington, Lancashire, and was likely, from this, sometimes called the church at Warrington. Of this church Mr. Looe was pastor in 1689.
but, says God himself, "honour to whom honour is due." Mr. Henry Angus is said to have lived at the Raw House, the name of a farm house about six miles southeast of Hexharn, and lying between Broomhaugh and Broomley, where there are now, (1845,) two Baptist Chapels, chiefly erected by the descendants of Mr. Angus, and where the successors of the Baptist church at Hexham, assemble to worship the same God, and attend to the same ordinances as did their ancestors.
Mr. Angus is said to have been descended from a family that had fled from Scotland at the period of the Reformation. That great event, as in other places, was keenly opposed in that country. The name of Beaton, owing to this, is, in Scottish church history, doomed to immortal infamy. James Beaton, Arcbishop of Saint Andrew's, on February 28, 1528, brought to the stake, the youthful, learned, pious, and high-bred Patrick Hamilton: and his nephew and successor, Cardinal David Beaton, not only succeeded in bringing the zealous, amiable, and truly excellent George Wishart, the instrument of the conversion of John Knox, to the stake, 2nd March, 1546, but actually from the windows of his castle feasted his eyes, by beholding his mortal agonies, and his ears, by listening to his dying groans.*
It was about this time, we are told by tradition, that the grandfather, or rather the great grandfather, of
* The persecution of the Cardinal began in 1543, at Perth, when five men and one female suffered death, because they would not pray to the virgin Mary. The latter, after having being newly delivered of a child, exhorted her husband to die like a Christian. After this, the Cardinal pursued his bloody employment through the counties of Angus, Mearns, and other places, till about three months after, on the 29th May, 1546, he himself was assassinated by the Lesleys and others, to revenge the death of Wishart. His body was exhibited by them to the populace of St. Andrew's, from the very window whence he had, with pleasure, surveyed the fiery tortures of Wishart.
Mr. Henry Angus, left his native land and directed his steps to Northumberland, to obtain that shelter from persecution, in a foreign country, that he could not find in his own. This would be somewhere about a century before his great grandson Henry became a Baptist and, consequently, he himself must have been but a very young man at that time. From what part of Scotland he came, there is no accurate information. Tradition says, it was that county north of the Tay, that bore the name of Angus formerly, and now goes by the name of Forfar. This may, or may not, have been the case. So far, however, as the writer knows, there is no clan of Angus; and the name is a common one both in the north and the south of the island. In Scotland, it is frequently found as (what is called). a Christian name. * A very singular incident occurred in the church at Hexham, at this time. It is noted in the following terms, in the church book: "The 4th m. 4th day, 1653, a child of the divell came from Rome to ruine this church, and with great subtilty made a most glorious
* The following appears to be the most likely descent of this family, so far as it can be traced. Mr. Henry Angus, above mention, had two brothers, William and George, both skinners, and freemen of the town of Newcastle. Their father's name was George, who lived at the Raw House likewise. The father of George is supposed to be Alexander Angus, as there was an ancient record in the family of an Alexander Angus being married to a Miss Taylor. The father of Alexander was probably Richard Angus, farmer, at Dilston, whose will has been lately found at Durham, dated 1603. Supposing this person 80 years of age at this date, he would at the period of the Cardinal's death, in 1546, be in his 23rd year. It is probable then that he may have been the patriarch of the family. If so, Alexander may have been born about 1560, George about 1590, and Henry probably between 1620 and 1630, as his brother William became a freeman of Newcastle, in 1652. He was probably verging on his 30th year when baptized, and supposing him to have lived till his 70th year, he would die
confession of Christ,* pretending that he had been a Jew, and that his name was Joseph Ben Israel. After his declaration in the parish house, he was baptized, but the Holy One of Israel, or gratious protectr, brought the hellish imposture to light before he had any church communion. Ever blessed be his glorious name, for this greate deliverance!"
Nothing more of this remarkable circumstance was known, till a small pamphlet, published at the time, was met with a few years ago, by the writer. It is entitled "A false Jew, or a wonderful discovery of a Scot baptized at London for a Christian, circumcised at Rome to act as a Jew, rebaptized at Hexham as a Believer, but found out at Newcastle to be a Cheat." The work is referred to at different times, by Palmer, in his History of Nonconformity. It is said by him to be the joint
about 1690, ten years after the birth of his grandson Jonathan, afterwards of Panshields. His brother William had no issue. His brother George had two sons, Thomas and John, both of Styford. He himself had three sons and one daughter, whose issue we shall have occasion to refer to hereafter.
[This section to the end of the page seems to be out of place, or misprinted. It is included here as it was in the manuscript - Jim Duvall].
Some have supposed this family connected with the Earls of Angus, but there is nothing, either historical or traditional, to confirm this idea. The honour of the family is not that of being sprung from either noble or royal blood, but from Christian confessors or martyrs. They can therefore say, with Cowper –* The confession is long; we can, therefore, only give a brief account of it, and some short extracts.
"My boast is, not that I deduce my birth,
From loins enthron'd, or rulers of the earth;
But higher far, my proud pretensions rise,
The son of parents pass'd into the skies."
"Men, brethren, and fathers, my purpose is to declare onto this congregation, first, my descent and education; and secondly, the greate worke of my conversion." With regard to his birth, he says, he was a Jew of the tribe of Judah, and born at Mantu
production of Dr. Samuel Hammond, of St. Nicholas' church, Newcastle-on-Tyne; of Mr. Thomas "Wild, of St. Mary's, Gateshead, (both ejected in 1662); and other ministers in the neighbourhood. Vol. I. p. 492, and Vol. II. p. 267.
Mr. Tillam, after the baptism of the professed Jew, had published a small tract relating the circumstance* and containing the confession the pretender had made. This diffused the knowledge of the matter [abroad, and the ministers of Newcastle, above-named, and Mr. William Durant, of All Hallows, of the same town,
* In Italy. He had been taught eight languages, and had become acquainted with the views of Plato, See., respecting the Trinity. He had compared these, and those of the New Testament, with the Jewish scriptures, and found a considerably similarity, particularly in the word Elohim (Gods) being connected with a singular verb, and the expressions "Let us make man," &c. He also alluded to the impressions made on his mind by the prophecies of the Messiah, as fulfilled in Christ, &c. After his first convictions, however, he had had several relapses to Judaism; but, at length, was fully confirmed in the truth. He, however, had disapproved of the several Christian parties he had tried. He had found nothing among the Catholics but the most horrible idolatry; and among the Lutherans in Germany, nothing but consubstantiation; and among the Calvinists of Hesse, nothing but organs and wicked lives. At length he had to come to England, and there he found Christ to the exceeding joy of his soul. "As," said he, "the Lord Jesus has commanded his people to attend to ordinances, I, therefore, conceived myself to be called to arise and be baptized." He then concludes thus, "I do here avow thee, Lord Jesus, my true Saviour; I rejoice in thy church and people thy precious saints, who thus do walk through thy grace, according to thy will and holy commands. Do thou, therefore, convey the grace of ordinances into my heart, that I may live to the honour of thy name, as becometh thy servant waiting for thy coming. So come, Lord Jesus, and tarry not. Barach adonay egalani vanged Amen ve Amen." R. Josephus B. Israel, Heb. Mantua.
This took place in the Parish House, Hexham, 5 day, 4 month, 1653.
afterwards a Congregationalist, together with Mr. Cuthbert Sidenham, suspecting it was a person with whom they had been previously acquainted probably by his calling on them, in the first instance, before going among the Baptists engaged a friend of theirs, who had been deluded by him, to write to him, inviting him to Newcastle, to clear himself of certain forgeries that had been laid to his charge.
The pretended Jew obeyed the summons, and on the 21st of June, seventeen days after his confession and Baptism, came to Newcastle, accompanied by Mr. Tillam and several of the members of the Baptist church at Hexham. He then went to the house of his quondam friend, who immediately sent for the above ministers and two other individuals, one, the master of the vessel in which the Jew had lately sailed from Hamburgh, and the other a fellow passenger. These parties then identified his person, although, it is said, "he was divested of his periwig." They affirmed, that they had come with him from Hamburgh to Shields, in April last. This took place in the house of Alderman George Dawson, whither all the parties had repaired, for the purpose of the identification.
On the same day, the master of the vessel gave evidence, "on oath," before Henry Dawson, esq. Mayor of Newcastle. In doing so, he affirmed, that the person accused had been placed on board his vessel, by the sympathy of a countryman, who had relieved him in the midst of his difficulties. During the voyage, he had been sick, and confessed that he had been under the Pope as a Benedictine Friar. His conscience, however, having accused him, he had made his escape. He had also affirmed, that there were many Jesuits in England, as well as in China. He, himself, he said, had been employed as one, and the more effectually to conceal his designs, he was to carry on the business of a tailor. The master
stated, he had, during the voyage, called himself Thomas Horsley.
To all these statements, the accused acceded, but Mr. Tillam intimated, that he was of opinion, that the present prosecution was the result of envy, and if "his dear brother in Christ," had joined the party to which the plaintiffs belonged, they never would have attempted to blacken his character as they were now doings.
To this they replied, that owing to several circumstances, they had suspected him before he had joined Mr. Tillam. These were, his perfect knowledge of the English language; his leaving Newcastle and going to Col. Hobson, without giving any intimation to them, after they had hospitably entertained him; his intimate acquaintance with a certain family in Newcastle; and lastly, and especially, from two letters which they had seen in the possession of a person resident in Newcastle. Both of these letters were from a Mrs. Ramsay, wife of Dr. Ramsay, in Scotland. One of them was addressed to the person who held the letters, and the other to the pretended Jew, in which she calls herself, his mother; and states that his father had seen a letter from him, under the assumed name of Thomas Horsley.
The pretended Rabbi, aided by his friend Mr. Tillam, attempted, with much ingenuity, to defend himself on the first three of these points; but all his special pleading only tended unalterably to confirm his accusers in the idea that he was, as they affirmed, "a perfect cheat."
On the fourth count, however, they gained a complete triumph. He could make no reply to them; but calling Mr. Tillam aside, he acknowledged to him, that he was not a Jew, but the son of Dr. Alexander Ramsay, at present a physician in Scotland. At another meeting, he disclosed the whole truth to the prosecutors, and said, he was born in London, of Scottish parentage, and had lived with his father sixteen years. He then went to an
uncle's in Glasgow for education, and continued there one year; and after remaining in Edinburgh another year, he went through Germany to Rome, where he was one year in a Dominican Cloister, and another in the college of the Jesuits. He was then sent, with the personal benediction of the Pope, on a special mission to Germany and England. Here, he was to close with the Anabaptists, as the prevailing party; and with this view he had gone to Col. Hobson, who wished him to exercise in a public meeting; but he had only told some stories of the Rabbins, and made some reflexions on the present translation of the Scriptures. The Colonel then recommended him to go to Mr. Tillam at Hexham, who had not only baptised him, but would have him to partake of the Lord's Supper, but at that, he said, his conscience had revolted.
On making this confession, young Ramsay was sent to London, with the evidence against him, to the Lord General (Cromwell,) and the Council of State. No document, however, has as yet come to light, to inform us what ultimately became of him.*
* The whole of this narrative may, perhaps, be affirmed to be more entertaining than instructive. It is, indeed, in perfect keeping with the character of the times, but after all, throws on them but little light, to those previously acquainted with them. It was truly the age of espionage, imposture, and duplicity. The amount of the story itself, only shews us some of the vagaries and extravagances of an eccentric youth, who was respectably connected, and probably well educated, both mentally and morally, but who seems, in his early days, at least, to have been much more attached to a restless and wandering existence, than to one more in harmony with the comforts of home, respectability, and usefulness.
It was on the trial of Ramsay, that Mr. Tillam avowed himself to have been formerly a Catholic, and to have travelled on the Continent. As to the part he took in the affair, it was evidently one much more of zeal than prudence; this, however, he at length discovered, and it is worthy of notice that it was never brought
as a charge afterwards against him, in the midst of all the bitterness entertained towards him by Mr. Gower, of Newcastle.
As to the conduct of the ministers of Newcastle, &c., who interested themselves in the matter, whatever degree of disappointed spleen, as Mr. Tillam suggested, they might have shown on the occasion, they yet acted an upright part to society, and a kind and faithful part to the young man, by bringing his guilty and foolish imposture to light.
[From David Douglas, History of the Baptist Churches in the North of England, From 1648 to 1845, London, 1846, chapter 2. pp. 13-29. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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