Richard Clifton was a person of a grave deportment, and a successful preacher, but severely persecuted for nonconformity^ He was pastor to one of the Brownist churches in the north of England, and by his ministerial labours, many souls were converted to Christ. The celebrated Mr. John Robinson was a member of his' church, and afterwards his successor in the pastoral office.* These worthy persons endured most cruel persecution, and for a long time were exceedingly harassed by the high commission, and were at length driven out of the kingdom. About the year 1606, Mr. Clifton removed to Holland, and settled at Amsterdam ;^ where he became teacher to the church of which Mr. Francis Johnson was pastor. He carried his views of separation much farther than Mr. Robinson, and imbibed many of the opinions of Mr. John Smyth; but it appears that he was afterwards reclaimed from so rigid a separation.) He is denominated the principal scribe among the separatists, and is said to have written most to the purpose in defence of separation.! As his writings were published during his exile in a foreign land, we have not been able to collect the title of more than one of his pieces; which was, " A Plea for Infants and elder People concerning their Baptism; or, a Process of the Passages between M. John Smyth and Richard Clifton," 1610. Having renounced the principles of rigid separation, he wrote, as in the work just mentioned, with great warmth against Mr. Smyth. He is said to have been one of Mr. Smyth's most violent adver
» Smyth'i Character of the Beast, Pref.
t Cotton's Congregational Churches, p. 7.
t Morse and Parish's New Eng. p. 6. ^ Life of Ainswnrtb,p.S7.
[j Clark's Lives annexed to Martyr, p. 56.
1 Paget's Arrow against Separation, p. S.
saries.* Mr. Clifton was probably living when the above piece was published; but when he died we cannot ascertain.