William Thompson was a lively, powerful, and useful preacher, but much persecuted for nonconformity. He was preacher at some place in Lancashire; where, through a divine blessing upon his zealous and affectionate labours, many souls were converted to God. This worthy servant of Christ having endured manifold interruptions, he, to avoid the furious proceedings of the prelates, retired from the scenes of oppression and persecution; and, in the year 1637, he went to New England.t
Upon his arrival in the new plantation, he was chosen pastor of the church at Braintrec, where he continued for many years in the faithful and successful discharge of his numerous ministerial duties. Some time after his settlement at Braintree, he was sent, by the churches of New England, with the glad tidings of the gospel, to Virginia. But the good effects of his mission became no sooner manifest than persecution was raised against him, and he was driven from the place by those who called themselves The Church of England.% The good man, dicrefore, returned to his stated charge at Braintree, where he continued the rest of his days.
Towards the close of life Mr. Thompson was deeply afflicted with melancholy; and was obliged, several of his last years, to relinquish all public ministerial exercises. It pleased God, however, in his last sickness, to remove the clouds of darkness from his mind, and to administer sweet consolation to his soul. He fell asleep in the Lord, December 10, 1666, in the enjoyment of great peace and comfort. "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace." Mr. Thompson had so warm an affection for the welfare of his people, and was so ardently zealous in the propagation of the gospel among them, that he laid aside his own ease and worldly advantage, and wholly employed himself in promoting the salvation of their souls.*
» Wilson's Hist, and Antiq- of Dissenting Churches, vol. i. p. 432, iSS.
+ Morton's Memorial, p. 181.
t Mather's Hist, of New England, b. iii. p. 119.