Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

David Whitehead

David Whitehead, B. D.—This famous divine, greatly

cated at Oxford, and chaplain to Queen Aime Bullen. Archbishop Cranmer says, " he was endowed with good knowledge, special honesty, fervent zeal, and politic wisdom;' for which, in the year 1552, he nominated him as the fittest person to become Archbishop of Armagh. The nomination, however, did not succeed; for another was chosen to the place.* In the beginning of the bloody persecution of Queen Mary, he fled from the storm, and retired to Frankfort, where he was chosen pastor to the English congregation. Here he was held in high esteem by his fellow exiles. He discovered his great wisdom and moderation, and answered the objections of Mr. Horne, relative to church discipline, and the worship of God, and used his utmost endeavours to compose the differences among his brethren. +

Upon the accession of Queen Elizabeth, Mr. Whitehead returned home; and, the same year, was appointed, together with Drs. Parker, Bill, May, Cox, Grindal, Pilkington, and Sir Thomas Smith, to review King Edward's liturgy. The same liturgy was published the following year. This was the third edition of the English liturgy ever published, the two former editions having come forth in the reign of King Edward.t In the year 1559, he was appointed one of the public disputants against the popish bishops. The subjects of disputation were,—1. " Whether it was not against the word of God, and the custom of the ancient church, to use, in the common prayers and administration of the sacraments, a tongue unknown to the people.—2. Whether every church hath authority to appoint, change, and take away, ceremonies and ecclesiastical rites; so the same were done to edification.—And 3, whether it could be proved by the word of God, that in the mass there was a propitiatory sacrifice for the quick and the dead." The other disputants on the side of the protestants, were, Dr. Story, bishop of Chichester, Dr. Cox, Mr. Grindal, Mr. Home, Mr. Sandys, Mr. Gest, Mr. Aylmer, and Mr. Jewel; most or all of whom afterwards became bishops, and some of them archbishops.S On this occasion, Mr. Whitehead had a fine opportunity of displaying his great learning, piety, and moderation; and he shewed himself to be so profound a divine, that the


moderation, was cdu

queen offered him the archbishopric of Canterbury. This he declined, as some thought, from a desire of privacy ; but as others thought, from a disaffection to the ecclesiastical discipline. The mastership of the Savoy, which he might have accepted without subscription, was also offered him about the same time; but he would accept of no preferment in the church, as it then stood. Refusing to embrace these offered promotions, he excused himself to the queen, by saying, ne could live plentifully by the preaching of the gospel without any preferment.* While others exerted themselves to obtain dignified titles and worldly emolument, he was content with deserving them. Accordingly, he went up and down like an apostle, preaching the word where it was most wanted; and spent his life in celibacy, which gained him the greater reputation in the eye of the queen, who was never fond of married priests. It is observed, that Mr. Whitehead coming one day to the queen, her majesty said to him, " I like thee the better, Whitehead, because thou livest unmarried." " In troth, Madam, replied Mr. Whitehead, " I like you the worse for the same cause."t

In the year 1564, Mr. Whitehead shared the same fate wilh many of his brethren. He was ciled before the ecclesiastical commissioners, and suffered deprivation, for nonconformity to the rites and ceremonies of the church.j Though it does not appear how long he remained under the ecclesiastical censure, Bishop Maddox is greatly mistaken, when he asserts, " that Mr. Whitehead always continued preaching, that he approved the constitution of the church, and died a member of the church of England."^ The celebrated Lord Bacon observes, that though he was much esteemed by Queen Elizabeth, he was not preferred, because he was against the government of the bishops.|| During his deprivation, he most probably united with the other nonconformist divines, in presenting to Archbishop Parker, a paper of reasons for refusing the apparel. This excellent paper, now before me, is entitled a Reasons grounded upon the Scriptures, whereby we are persuaded not to admit the use of the outward apparel, and ministering garments of the pope's church."i Mr. Whitehead died in the year 1571. According to Wood, he was a great scholar, and a

* Fuller's Worthies, part ii. p. 12. + Ibid.

% Strype's Grindal, p. 98. S Vindication of tbe Church, p. 337.

jj Bacon's Works, vol. it. p. 419. Edit. 1803.

S MS. Register, p. 57—60.

most excellent professor of divinity.* In the opinion of Fuller, he was a man of great learning, a deep divine, and a rare example of moderation and self-denial, t It is observed of Coverdale, Turner, and Whitehead, three worthy puritans, " That they were the most ancient preachers of the gospel, and the most ancient fathers of this our country; and that from their pens, as well as their mouths, most of Queen Elizabeth's divines and bishops first received the light of the gospel."} Mr. Whitehead was author of " Lections and Homilies on St. Paul's Epistles," and probably some other works.

California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information  California - CCPA Notice