Try out the new BibleStudyTools.com. Click here!

Samuel Whiting

Samuel Whiting, A.M.—This worthy divine was bora at Boston in Lincolnshire, November 20, 1597, and educated in Emanuel college, Cambridge. He was awakened to a serious concern for his soul by attending upon the ministry of the excellent Dr. Sibbs and Dr. Preston. After he had finished his studies at the university, he became domestic chaplain to Sir Nathaniel Bacon and Sir Roger Townsend, in whose families, by his wise and serious instructions, the interests of religion were greatly promoted. He was next chosen colleague in the ministry with Mr. Price of Lynn in Norfolk, where he continued three years. During this period he was interrupted by the Bishop of Norwich, and prosecuted in the high commission court, where, for the single sin of nonconformity, he expected to lose a considerable estate; but, happily for him, while the cause was pending, King James died, and so for the present the prosecution was dropped. The Earl of Lincoln interceding for him, the bishop promised to molest him no more, if he would remove out of his diocese.*

Mr. Whiting afterwards settled at Shirbick, near Boston, where he remained for some time unmolested, the Lord blessing his labours. In this situation he was among his old friends, and near Mr. Cotton and Mr. Tuckney, by whom he was highly esteemed. He found, however, that there was no continued rest under the government of persecuting ecclesiastics. He was again prosecuted and silenced for rejecting the traditions of the popish fathers. He considered the imposition of human rites and ceremonies in divine worship as involving the very spirit and conduct of the church of Rome. The gospel he thought was insecure, while such rites and ceremonies were imposed; therefore concluded that the parade of human ceremonies, and the preaching of the word of God, had a direct tendency to drive each other out of the church. Having no prospect of being ever restored to his ministry, he resolved to withdraw from the cruel oppressions, when he found an asylum in New England. On leaving his native country, and expecting never to return, he sold all his estates, saying, " I am going to sacrifice unto the Lord in the wilderness, and will not leave a hoof behind." He embarked in the beginning of April, 1636, and arrived in New England towards the end of May, being so sick during the whole voyage that he could preach only one sermon. Upon his safe arrival he made

• Mather's Hist, of New Eng. b. iii. p. 156, 157.

the following pious reflection: "We have left our friends who were near and dear unto us; but if we can get nearer to (Jod, he will be unto us more than all. In him there is a fulness of all the sweetest relations. We may find in God whatsoever we have forsaken, whether fathers, or mothers, or brethren, or sisters, or friends, who have been near and dear to our souls."*

He had no sooner arrived in the new colony than he was chosen pastor of the church at Lynn, where he spent the remainder of his days. The following year Mr. Thomas Cobbet, another puritan minister, going to New England, became his colleague in the pastoral office. They lived together in mutual love and attachment twenty years, until Mr. Cobbet removed to Ipswich. Towards the close of life, Mr. Whiting's youngest son became his assistant; and during the last twenty years he was much afflicted with the stone in the bladder, which he bore with exemplary patience. Though he enjoyed scarcely one day of perfect ease through the whole of this period, he was never hindered one day from attending upon his public ministerial exercises. He died December 11, 1679, aged eighty-two years. He was a person of exemplary meekness, holiness, and peace; a hard student, and an excellent scholar, especially in Latin and Hebrew.t He was author of " A Discourse on the last Judgment," 1664; and " Sermons on the Prayer of Abraham."