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Biography of William Strong (d. 1654):

For he leaves Wethersfield, and away he goes to Finchingfield. In this partial and curious account of Mr. This he did so long as he had any hopes of rising that way. Notwithstanding his conformity, as here represented, after his removal to Finchingfield he was silenced for nonconformity; and he remained a long time in a state of suspension. Upon his restoration to his ministry, in , he did not return to his former charge, but was appointed lecturer at St.

Although he was greatly despised and reproached by the opposite party, he was a man of high reputation, and was often called to preach before the parliament, who consulted him in all affairs of importance relating to religion. Marshall and Dr. The service being closed, the house voted thanks to both the preachers, desiring them to print their sermons; and, to afford them encouragement in future, a piece of plate was, by order of the house, presented to each. Lord Clarendon, with other historians of a similar spirit, brings against him a charge unworthy of any honest man.

Marshall, with whom the petition was lodged, that they never saw the petition to which their names were annexed, but had signed another petition against the canons, Mr. Marshall is said to reply, that it was thought fit by those who understood the business better than they, that the latter petition should be preferred rather than the former. Walker, notwithstanding his extreme bigotry and enmity against the puritans, seems not to give full credit to the noble historian. If, however, the above account had been true, why did not the ministers complain to the committee appointed by the house of commons to inquire into their regular methods of procuring hands to petitions?

The whole affair has, therefore, the appearance of a mere forgery, designed to blacken the memory of Mr. Marshall and the rest of the puritans. Life of Marshall, p. For, sir, is it not apparent that your eminent gifts of preaching have been made use of for the kindling of those flames of rebellion and civil war, and most unchristian bloodshed?

Have not you, with all the earnestness and zeal imaginable, persuaded your hearers to a liberal contribution for the maintaining of this unnatural war? Have not you forsaken your own charge, to accompany and strengthen the general of your army in his resolutions and attempts against the just power and lire of his and your anointed sovereign? Does not the whole kingdom impute almost all the distractions and combustions therein as much to the seditious sermons of the preachers of your faction, as to the contrivances of those persons who set you on work?

While this anonymous calumniator thus reproaches Mr. Marshall, Mr. Calamy, Dr. Burgess, and some others, first whispered in their conventicles, then openly preached, that for the cause of religion it was lawful for subjects to take up arms against the king. He wrote a defence of the side which he took in our civil broils, and I cannot hear that it was ever answered. Marshall, at the same time, took an active part in the controversy concerning church government. The Parity of Bishops and Presbyters in Scripture demonstrated; the Occasion of their Imparities in Antiquity discovered; the Disparity of the ancient and our modern Bishops manifested; the Antiquity of Ruling Elders in the Church vindicated: the Presbytical Church bounded.

The book is concluded by a postscript, in which is contained an historical narrative of the bitter effects of episcopacy, as pride, luxury, bribery, extortion, rebellion, treason, etc. Only we fear, lest the guilt of the blood then shed should yet remain to be required at the hands of this nation, because it hath not quickly endeavoured to appease the wrath of God, by a general and solemn humiliation for it. For it hath been their great design to hinder all further reformation; to bring in doctrines of popery, arminianism, and libertinism; to maintain, propitiate, and much increase the burden of human ceremonies; to keep out, and beat down the preaching of the word, to silence the faithful ministers of it, to oppose and persecute the most zealous professors, and to turn all religion to a pompous outside; and to tread down the power of godliness.

In this year, Mr. Grey, in contempt, denominates him and Dr. Priestly absolution was as remote as possible from the practice of the puritans; and they rejected all claims to the power of it with the utmost abhorrence. In the year , Mr. Marshall was chosen one of the assembly of divines, and was a most active and valuable member.

In this public office it was impossible for him to escape the bitter censures of the opposite party. In which work, or rather drudgery of the devil, our active Stephen needs neither whip nor spur: tooth and nail he bends himself to the overthrow of the hierarchy, root and branch. The truth of this representation of so excellent a person as Mr. Marshall, especially from the pen of Dr. Heylin, is extremely doubtful, if not unworthy of the smallest credit. Marshall frequently united with his brethren in the observance of public fasts, when the services were usually protracted to a very great length.

Twisse having commenced the public service with a short prayer, Mr. Marshall prayed in a wonderful, pathetic, and prudent manner for two hours. Arrowsmith then preached an hour, then they sung a psalm; after which Mr. Vines prayed nearly two hours, Mr. Palmer preached an hour, and Mr. Seaman prayed nearly two hours.

Henderson then spoke of the evils of the time, and how they were to be remedied, and Dr. Twisse closed the service with a short prayer. Upon which stubborn height of pride, what quarrels have been raised? In the year , he attendee! In , he was chosen one of the committee of accommodation, to secure the peace of the church, and promote, as far as possible, the satisfaction of all parties. The year following, he was appointed, together with Mr. Joseph Caryl, chaplain to the commissioners of the king at Newcastle, in order to an accommodation for peace. Removing thence, house in Northamptonshire, the two chaplains performed divine worship there; but his majesty never attended.

About the above period, Mr. Marshall and Mr. Nye were, by order of the parliament, appointed to attend the commissioners to Scotland, whose object was to establish an agreement with the Scots. They conclude their canting letter, as Dr. Marshall was appointed, together with Mr. Vines, Mr.

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Caryl, and Dr. Seaman, to attend the commissioners at the treaty of the Isle of Wight, when he conducted himself with great ability and moderation. The house of commons having now many important affairs under consideration, Mr. Nye, by order of the house, December 31, , were desired to attend the next morning to pray with them, that they might enjoy the direction and blessing of God in their weighty consultations.

Marshall having once petitioned the king for a deanery, and at another time for a bishopric, and being refused, his majesty told him at llolmby, that he would on this account overthrow all. In the year 1 , when the parliament voted a toleration of all who professed to hold the fundamentals of Christianity, Mr. Marshall was either to his wife or his first living; the king, and all who adhered to him, and the church, must be destroyed together: to whose ruin Mr. Marsh ill contributed not a little.

His thundering in all pulpits; his cursing all people who were backward in engaging against him; his encouraging all those whose rillany made them forward in undertaking that great work, warranting them no small preferment in heaven if they would lay down their lives for the cause; his menaces and private incitations, becoming drum-major or captain-general to the army, praying from regiment to regiment at Edgehill. His religion stood most in externals: in a Jewish observation of the sabbath, praying, preaching, fasts, and thanksgivings.

Jeremiah Burroughs, and the presbyterians like Mr. Stephen Marshall, the divisions of the church would soon have been healed. He was, indeed, taken ill, and obliged to retire into the country tor the benefit of the air, when the Oxford Mercury published to the world that he was distracted, and in his rage constantly cried out, that he was damned for adhering to the parliament in their war against the king.

But he lived to refute the unjust calumny, and published a treatise to prove the lawfulness of defensive war, in certain cases of extremity. Upon his retirement from the city, he spent his last two years at Ipswich. His last words when upon his death-bed, according to Mr. Petyt, were, King Charles, King Charles, and testified much horror and regret for the bloody confusions he had promoted.

This representation appears to be void of truth, and only designed to reproach his memory. For Mr. Giles Firmin, who knew him in lite, and attended him in death, observes, in a preface to one of Mr. He was justly accounted an admired preacher, but, to refute this account of his character, Dr. Leave not a rag that belongs to popery. You have received many peculiar to your own persons, to your souls and bodies, your estates and families, privative mercies, positive mercies. Marshall was certainly a useful as well as admired preacher, of which the following instance is preserved on record:—Lady Brown, wife to an eminent member of the long parliament, was under great trouble about the salvation of her soul.

For some time she refused to attend upon public worship, though it bad formerly been her great delight. She asked what she should do there, and said it would only increase her damnation! In this state of mind she was persuaded, and almost forced to hear Mr. Marshall; when the sermon was so exactly suited to her rase, and so powerfully applied to her mind, that she returned home in transports of joy. Another author endeavours to expose Mr. Marshall to public contempt, on account of his sentiments delivered in his sermons before the parliament.

He hath not spoke much in his word how long they shall last, or what he intends to do with them: only this, that all kings and kingdoms that make war against the church, shall be broken in pieces; and that, in the end, all the kingdoms of the world shall be the kingdoms of our Lord and his saints; and they shall reign over them.

Did ever any parliament in England lay the cause of Christ and religion to heart as this hath done? Did ever the city of London, the rest of the tribes, and the godly party throughout the land, so willingly exhaust themselves, that Christ might be set up? And with respect to his rebellion, what is observed above will afford every impartial reader a sufficient refutation of the charge. Although some suspected him of deserting his presbyterian principles; yet upon his death-bed he gave full satisfaction of the contrary.

Hugh Glover, ejected in , was his successor at Finchingfield. Marshall wrote with considerable ability against the baptists, and published many sermons preached before the parliament, the titles of some of which we have collected. A peace-offering to God. A sermon preached to the Honourable House of Commons assembled in Parliament, at their publique thanksgiving, September 7. For the peace concluded between England and Scotland.

Published by order of the said House. London: printed by T. Pauls Church-yard, at the signe of the Swan, Upon 2 Chron. The Lord is with you, while yee bee with him: and if yee seek him, he will be found of you: but if yee forsake him, he will forsake you.

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