Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

Thomas Wilson

/ Thomas Wilson.—This learned and pious divine was (many years minister of St. George's church, Canterbury, one of the six preachers in that city, chaplain to Lord Wotton, and a man of high reputation. He was a person deservedly famous in his time, preaching regularly three times, and occasionally every day, in the week. He was a hard student, endowed with a healthy constitution and a strong memory. As his gifts were more than ordinary, so were his trials. He had to contend with open enemies, false teachers, and notorious heretics, against whom he boldly defended the truth, detecting and refuting their errors. He was troubled with certain false brethren, who secretly endeavoured to promote his ruin; but the Lord delivered him out of their hands. He was once complained of to Archbishop Abbot, for nonconformity; but, through the kind interference and endeavours of Lord Wotton, he escaped the snare. He used to say," That so long as idolatry is publicly tolerated in the land, public judgments will not cease." His great concern for the welfare of his flock was manifest by his frequent preaching, expounding, and catechising, for a great number of years. Nor was he unmindful of them on his death-bed. With his dying breath, he charged Dr. Jackson, his chief patron, as he would answer the same at the bar of God, that he would

provide for them an able and a sufficient pastor. This the doctor promised to do; but added, u that not one of a thousand could be found, like this worthy servant of Christ."*

Mr. Swift, who preached Mr. Wilson's funeral sermon, gives the following account of him: " He was a most painful and careful pastor; a man called forth into the vineyard of the Lord, and well qualified for so great a work. He was a judicious divine, sound in the truth, and an excellent interpreter of scripture; a professed enemy to idolatry, superstition, and all false worship; for which he incurred the displeasure of those who were otherwise disposed. He was richly furnished with excellent gifts, which he fully employed in the Lord's work, being incessantly laborious and faithful in his public ministry. Having received ten talents, he employed them all to the use of his Master. He preached at Canterbury thirty-six years, during the whole of which period he was always abounding in the work of the Lord. Being requested, upon his death-bed, to spare himself in future, if the Lord should be pleased to raise him up, he immediately replied, 4 Were I in health of body, I should always say with the apostle, Woe be unto me, if I preach not the gospel? He was particularly mindful of his flock to the last; and with his dying breath prayed that God would provide for them a faithful shepherd, to feed them with knowledge and understanding. "t He died in January, 1621.

His Works.—1. A Commentary on Romans, 1614't—2. Christ's Farewell to Jerusalem. 1614.—3. Theological Rales, 1615.—4. Holy Riddles, 1615.—5. A Complete Christian Dictionary, with the Continuation by Bagwell and Symson, sixth edition, 1655.§—6. A Dialogue about Justification.—7. A Receipt against Hcresie.

• Christian Dictionary, Pref. Edit. 16*5. + Funeral Sermon for Mr. Wilson.

J This work, which is in the fom of a dialogue, abounds with judicious distinctions, and practical uses.—Williams'$ Ckrutian Preacher, p. 430.

(f This work is said to have been the first that was ever composed in English, by way of concordance.—Granger'$ Biog. Hist, vol.i. p. 869.

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