James Noyes.—This excellent minister was born at Chaldrington in Wiltshire, in the year 1608, and educated in Brazen-nose college, Oxford. His father was a learned minister and schoolmaster; and his mother wis sister to Mr. Robert Parker, the famous puritan. Mr. Noyes, after finishing his studies at the university, became assistant to Mr. Thomas Parker, in his school at Newbury in Berkshire. Here he was converted under the united ministry of Mr. Parker and the celebrated Dr. Twisse, when he became admired for his great piety. He afterwards entered upon the ministerial work; but because he could not, with a safe conscience, observe the ecclesiastical impositions in the established church, he fled to New England. He sailed in the same ship with Mr. Parker, and safely arrived in the year 1634. These two worthy ministers preached, or expounded, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon, every day during the whole voyage. The sweetest affection subsisted betwixt them all their lives. They were true brethren, and never separated one from the other, till constrained by death. Upon their arrival in the new colony, Mr. Noyes preached about a year at Mcdford; at the expiration of which period he removed, with Mr. Parker and other friends, to Newbury, where they gathered a church, of which Mr. Noyes was chosen teacher, and Mr. Parker pastor. In this office Mr. Noyes continued above twenty years. Though his views of church discipline were different from some of his brethren, both parties exercised so much forbearance, that peace and good order continued ifninterrupted. And though he was very averse to the English ceremonies, accounting them needless, in many respects offensive and hurtful, and the imposition of them
• Wood'i Athenae Oxon. vol. ii. p. 129.
+ Palmer's Noncon. Mem. To), ii. p. 854.'
intolerable and abominable; yet he could have been satisfied Willi moderate episcopacy. He held a profession of faith and repentance, and a subjection to the ordinances of Christ, io be the rule of admission to church fellowship; but admitted to baptism the children of those who had been baptized, without requiringtlie parents to own any covenant or being in church fellowship. He, as well as his colleague, considered the Kibbath as beginning on the Saturday evening.
Mr. Noyes, at the close of life, endured a long and tedious affliction, which be bore with christian patience and holy Cheerfulness. He died triumphing in the Lord, October 22, 1656, aged forty-eight years. He possessed a quick invention, a sound judgment, a strong memory, and was a good linguist, an able disputant, an excellent counsellor, and one of the greatest men of the age.* He was much beloved by his people, and his memory is there respected at the prrsenl day. He published a piece entitled, " Moses and Aaron, or the Rights of Church and State;" and "A Catechism," for the use of his flock, which, to the honour of his memory, has lately been reprinted.+