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Julines Herring

Julines Herring, A. M.—This worthy minister was born in the parish of Flambcr-Mayre, Montgomeryshire, in the year 1582, and educated in Sidney college, Cambridge. He was a hard student, and an excellent scholar in the various branches of useful literature. Having finished his studies at the university, he employed his first ministerial labours in the city of Coventry, where he preached with, great approbation. At this place he studied divinity under the venerable Mr. Humphrey Fenn, a divine famous in that city, both for his ministry and nonconformity. As Mr. Herring could not, with a good conscience, enter upon the ministry by subscription according to the demands of the prelates, he obtained ordination from an Irish bishop without it. He first settled in the ministry at Caulk, near Melburn in Derbyshire. In this situation he enjoyed the protection and encouragement of Mr. Bainbridge, a gentleman of good estate and great piety. His peace and liberty were preserved for a considerable time from the molestations of the prelates. Multitudes flocked to hear him from all quarters, and many came from a great distance. The

chapel soon became too small to contain so large a company; but having a clear strong voice, great numbers enjoyed the privilege of hearing him who could not gain admittance. He was instrumental in turning many to righteousness. Under his ministry at this place, Mr. Simeon Ashe, afterwards the famous nonconformist in 1662, received his first religious impressions.*

Mr. Herring, after preaching at Caulk about eight years, could be no longer sheltered from the severities of the prelates, but was driven from the place for nonconformity. Previous to his removal he entered into the married state. His wife was his constant comforter under all his future trials. They bad thirteen children; and by the blessing of God upon their appropriate religious instructions, had the unspeakable happiness to behold the indications of piety in the whole of their offspring. To the honour of Mr. Herring, it is observed, that whenever he corrected his children, he previously endeavoured to convince them of the evil of their sin in the sight of God, and then looked up to the Lord for a blessing upon his corrections. This method the Lord seemed to own for much good.

His public labours being interrupted in the above situation, and having no prospect of again enjoying the peaceable exercise of his ministry, the Lord opened for him a door of usefulness at Shrewsbury. Here he preached at St. Alkmond's church every Tuesday morning, and occasionally on the Lord's day. But spies were appointed to watch him, that if possible some advantage might be obtained with a view to his prosecution in the ecclesiastical courts. Vet he conducted himself on all occasions with so much prudence, and invariably prayed so fervently for the king and government, that his very adversaries gave this testimony of him: " That though he was scrupulous in matters of ceremony, he was a loyal subject to the king, and a true friend to the state." His clerical enemies were nevertheless envious of his reputation and popularity, and at length brought complaints against him to Bishop Morton, on account of his nonconformity; but other objections they had none. The bishop committed him to the examination of two clergymen, when Mr. Herring delivered his scruples in writing, and replied to their answers. They, in the conclusion, gave a certificate to the bishop, that they believed Mr. Herring, on conscientious grounds, still re

* CUrk't Lira annexed to hit Martjrologle, p. 160,161.—Palmer'! Noncoo. Hem. Voi. i. p. 94.

mained unsatisfied; to which bis grace replied, «that he was satisfied in bis integrity." He was nevertheless suspended; and though, by the mediation of friends, his' suspension was taken off several times, he was as repeatedly brought under the ecclesiastical censure. He thus continued at Shrewsbury seventeen years, sometimes enjoying bis liberty, and sometimes under the frowns of the persecuting ecclesiastics.* This worthy servant of Christ, at last finding no pros

Eect of public usefulness at Shrewsbury, removed to Wrenury in Cheshire. Nor did he enjoy his hberty there, but went from house to bouse, instructing and comforting the people of God. It was his very meat and drink to do the will of his heavenly Father, and to be useful to souls. Therefore, in imitation of Christ, he went about doing good. His frequent suspension from his beloved work was exceedingly grievous to his active and pious soul. As there was no prospect of his restoration at any future period, he accepted an invitation, in the year 1636, to succeed Mr. John Paget, as co-pastor with Mr. Rulice to the English church at Amsterdam. Notwithstanding this, his difficulties were not ended; for by the power and influence of Archbishop Laud, all ministers were forbidden to leave the country without a license from the council. The faithful servants of the Lord were persecuted, and cast aside as useless, for attempting to worship God according to the testimony of scripture and the dictates of conscience, and were prohibited from retiring into a foreign land where they could enjoy the privilege without restraint. This surely savoured too much of the Romish bigotry and oppressions. In these painful circumstances was Mr. Herring; but he prayed to the Lord for deliverance, and so escaped the snare of his enemies. He took shipping at Yarmouth, and arrived at Rotterdam, September, 20,1637, and went immediately to Amsterdam, where he was most affectionately received by his colleague, the English merchants, and the magistrates of the city. In this situation he continued the rest of his days, and was particularly esteemed for his genuine piety and ministerial usefulness.

Mr. Herring, towards the close of life, especially the night before he died, laboured under the furious assaults of Satan. But the painful conflict was no sooner over, than he arose upon his knees in bed,' and, with his hands lifted up

to heaven, exclaimed, " He is overcome, overcome, through the strength of my Lord and only Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom 1 am now going, to keep a sabbath in glory." The next morning, being the Lord's day, March 28, 1644, he entered upon the joy of his Lord, aged sixty-two years. " He was a pious man," says Fuller, " and a painful and useful preacher, but disaffected to the discipline of the church."* Mr. Clark denominates him " a hard student, a solid and judicious divine, and a workman who needed not to be ashamed. He was one of whom the world was not worthy; a messenger one of a thousand, and a faiihlul minister of Christ. He was a Boanerges to brawny-hearted sinners; and a Barnabas to broken-hearted saints. His sweet elocution pleasantly set forth his holy and judicious sermons. His sermons delivered to the congregation were printed in his actions. In doctrine, he shewed uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity; and in life, he shewed himself a pattern of good works. He was a conscientious nonconformist, and an avowed enemy to the pride and power of the prelates; for which he cheerfully and courageously bore his share of sufferings."t

Mr. Herring was eminently distinguished for meekness and love to his worst enemies. This will appear from the following aneedotes:—Dr. Lamb, a violent persecutor of the puritans, especially of Mr. Herring, being on a journey in the country, and having the misfortune to break his leg, was brought to the same inn where Mr. Herring was stopping all night. The good man was called upon that night to exercise in the family, and prayed so fervently and affectionately for the doctor, as greatly surprised those who were present.. Being asked why he manite»ted so much respect towards a man so unworthy of it, he replied, " The greater enemy he is, the more need he hath of our prayers. We must prove ourselves to be the disciples of Christ by loving our enemies, and praying for our persecutors."—On another occasion, Archbishop Laud having said, " 1 will pickle that Herring of Shrewsbury," the good man meekly replied, " If he will abuse his power, let it teach christians the more to use their prayers: that trie enemies of the nonconformists may see they have a God to trust in, when trampled upon by ill-disposed men."t