John Sedgwick, B. D —This person was the younger brother to Mr. Obadiah Sedgwick, another worthy puritan divine; born at Marlborough in Wiltshire, in the year 1601, and educated first at Queen's college, then at Magdalen-hall, Oxford; where he made uncommon application in the study of divinity. When he applied for the degree of bachelor of arts, it' was at first denied him, says our author, " because that when he was to be admitted to the order of deacon, he did belie the university by using the title of B. A. before he was admitted to that degree.' If he acted thus, his conduct was base indeed. It is, however, added, that he afterwards begged pardon for what he had done, made a public submission before the venerable congregation of regents, and obtained that degree, as also the others. Leaving the university, he was beneficed in the city of London, and about the same time he became preacher at Chiswick in Middlesex, and was afterwards vicar of Langley in Essex.t Wood mistakes him for his brother, when he observes that he was minister of Coggcshall in this county. Upon the commencement of the civil wars, he became chaplain to the Earl of Stamford's regiment;i was appointed one of the sub-committee for raising money to carry on the war; and chosen rector of St. Alphage, near London-wall. He was an avowed enemy to prelacy and antinomianism. Wood says, " Though he had only one thumb, yet he would not have had one ear, had not his majesty bestowed two upon him; when, about the year 1633, they were sentenced to the pillory. Since which time he hath been so grateful a penitent, that in one day he was proved guilty of simony, sacrilege, and adultery."|
• Nalson's Collet, vol. I. p. 512.
+ Wharton's Troubles of Land, tol. i. p. 198,203.
t Neweonrt's Repert. Eccl.vol. ii. p. 157.
I) Sylvester's Life of Baxter, part i. p. 42.
| Wood's Athene, vol. ii. p. 16, I7.
He might, indeed, be sentenced to the pillory, as one persecuted for righteousness sake. This was no uncommon thing in those days. And that his majesty might reverse the cruel sentence, being founded neither in justice nor sound policy, is not for a moment disputed. But to prove that Mr. Sedgwick was guilty of simony, sacrilege, and adultery, as here alleged, requires better evidence than our author has produced. The heavy charge wholly rests on the testimony of " Mercurius Aulicus," a scurrilous and abusive weekly paper, published during the civil wars, and designed, by malice and falsehood, to blacken the memory of all who espoused the cause of the parliament. But our author adds concerning Mr. Sedgwick, that " after all his actings to carry on the blessed cause, he very unwillingly gave up the ghost," in the month of October, 1643, aged forty-two years. His remains were interred in the chancel of St. Alphage church, when Mr. Thomas Case preached his funeral sermon, of which Wood, upon the above authority, gives the following account: " John Sedgwick (one of the three brothers with four fingers on a hand) hath spent his lungs, and caused Mr. Thomas Case to exercise his, which he did very mournfully in his funeral sermon lately preached, telling the audience, that his departed brother was now free from plunder; and that when he was ready to expire, he would often ask, How docs the army i How docs his excellency ? (meaning the Earl of Essex;) with many such sweet expressions, as moved a certain citizen to send Mr. Case a fair new gown, lest he chance to recur to his old way of borrowing."* The design of this representation is obvious to every reader.
His Works.—I. Fnry fired, or, Craeltie scourged, a Sermon on Amos i. 12., 1625.—2. The Bearing and Burden of the Spirit, in two Sermons on Prov. xviii. 14., 1G39.—3. The Rye of Faith open to God,
1640. —4. The Wonder-working God; or, the Lord doing Wonders,
1641. —6. England's Troubles, 1641.—6. Antinomianisme Anatomized ; or, a Glass for the Lawless, who denie the Moral Law unto Christians under the Gospel, 1643.