Thomas Brightman was horn at Nottingham, in the year 1556, nnd educated in Queen's college, Cambridge, where he became fellow. Though he was a champion in the cause of nonconformity, he did not despise those of the contrary sentiments, but was charitable to all who differed from him in matters of discipline and ceremonies.* Upon his leaving the university, he was presented by Sir John Osbournc, a man of great learning and piety, to the rectory of llawncs in Bedfordshire, where he spent the remainder of his days in hard stud}', and a constant application to his pastoral duties. Sir John was his constant and liberal benefactor. He was a man of a most angelical life, and uncommon learning, which was acknowledged even by his enemies. He lived so much under the influence of divine grace, that he was never known to be angry; and always carried with him his Greek Testament, which he read through regularly once a fori night. His daily conversation was against the episcopal government, which he declared would shortly come dowii.f Though Mr.
* Biographical Ilitt. vol. i. p. 812.
+ He is, by mistake, called William.— Fuller's Worthiet, part ii. p. 319,320. t Fuller's Church Hist. b. z. p. 49,50.
Brightman wrote against the prelacy and ceremonies of the church, and subscribed the " Book of Discipline,"* he was no friend to separation. He published a " Disputation about Antichrist;" a " Refutation of Bcllarmine;" a " Commentary of the Song of Solomon;" and another on the " Revelation of St. John." " This last," says Granger, " made a great noise in the world." In that book, he makes Archbishop Cranmer the angel having power over the fire, the Lord Cromwell the angel which came out of the temple of heaven, having the sharp sickle, and the Lord Treasurer Cecil the angel of the waters, justifying the pouring out the third vial. The church of England is the lukewarm church of Laodicea; and the angel that God loved, is the anti-episcopal church of Geneva, and that of Scotland: and the power of the prelacy is antichrist. In the reign of Charles I. he adds, when the bishops were expelled the house of peers, and several of them imprisoned, Brightman was cried up for an inspired writer, and an abridgment of his book was printed in 1644, entitled " The Revelation of the Revelation."t He desired to die a sudden death, and the Lord granted him his desire. He died very suddenly, as he was travelling with Sir John Osbourne in his coach, with a book in his hand, August 24, (607, aged fifty-one years. Fuller has classed him among the learned writers of Queen's college, Cambridge.} He was a most pious, laborious, and learned divine; whom Mr. Cartwright used to denominate " the bright star in the church of God."t Dr. Buckley preached his funeral sermon.