John Murcot, A. B.—This very pious man was born at Warwick, in the year 1()25, and educated in Merton college, Oxford, under the tuition of Mr. Ralph Button. Oxford being garrisoned by the king's forces, he, to avoid bearing arms, fled from the place in disguise, and went to live with Mr. John Ley, vicar of Great Budworth in Cheshire, where he continued several years in close application to his studies. Upon his entrance on the work of the ministry, he was ordained according to the presbyterian form at Manchester, and settled first at Astbury in Cheshire; afterwards, he removed to Eastham, and, upon the death of Mr. Ralph Marsden, to West Kirby, both in the same county. In each of these situations he was much beloved, and his labours were rendered particularly useful. About the^time of his last removal, he married Mr. Marsden's daughter. The Oxford historian says, that he at last removed to Chester; where, by
• Calamy'i Funeral Sermon far Dr. Bolton,—Clark's Lives, part I. p. 45-47.
his carriage, (meaning, undoubtedly, his exceeding great piety,) he became ridiculous to the wicked.* It does not appear, however, that he ever settled at Chester. For the wi iter of his life, who is very particular in specifying his various removals, gives no intimation of the kind.
Though he never settled in that city, yet, after labouring some time at Kirby, and finding himself unable to promote church discipline according to his wishes, he went to Ireland and settled in the city of Dublin. He was there chosen one of the preachers in ordinary to the lord deputy and council, and was greatly admired and followed. In this situation he was in labours more abundant than most of his brethren, and the Lord suffered him not to labour in vain. He was instrumental in the conversion of many sinners, and in the establishment of many saints. The Lord, who had prepared him for this service, blessed his endeavours in winning multitudes of souls to Christ. In matters of worship and ceremonies, he was zealous in opposing the inventions and impositions of men, closely adhering in all things to the word of God. A public disputation was held at Cork, May 26, 1652, betweeu the pxdobaptists and the antipxdobaptists, in which Dr. Harding, Dr. Worth, and Mr. Murcot, were particularly engaged, though we have no further account of it.t
During his last sickness his mind was most serene and happy. Apprehending that the hour of his departure was at hand, he said to his friends, "I must now tell you I am not long for this world;" and, raising himself up, he ci ied, " Lord, remember me in this trying hour." To his affectionate wife he said, "Haste, haste, love, for my time is very short. I shall not reach midnight. These raptures tell me I must quickly be gone." His sister, asking him whether he was in charity with all the Lord's people, though in certain things they differed from him; "Yes," said he, stretching forth his arms; and with a loud voice added, " Lord Jesus, draw me up to thyself;" and breathed his soul into the hands of his dear Redeemer, December 3, 1654, aged twenty-nine years. His remains were interred with great funeral solemnity in St. Mary's chapel, Dublin; when the lord deputy, the council, and the mayor and aldermen of the city followed, with great lamentation, his body to the grave.*
Though Wood, with most palpable untruth, denominates him "a forward, prating, and pragmatical precisian, who f;ave up the ghost very unwillingly ;"* it appears from his ife, "that he was an eminently humble, holy, and happy man; and a most zealous, laborious, and useful preacher." Granger says, "he was an admired preacher, a man of great industry in his profession, and of uncommon strictness of life."t Mr. Murcot's works, consisting of various articles, were published at different times; but were afterwards collected and published with his life prefixed, in one volume quarto, 1657
• Wood-, Athens Oxon. vol. ty. p. US.
+ Crosby's Baptists, vol. iii. p. 319.
t Mr. Murcot's Life prefixed to bis Works. Edit. 165T.
Vol. in. o.