Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v3

COTTON: 153 Mr. James Horrocks, an excellent minister in Lancashire. On the very day of his marriage, it is observed, he first obtained that assurance of his interest in the favour of God, which he never lost to the day of his death. He therefore used to say, " The Lord made that day a day of double marriage." This worthy servant of Christ having been about three years at Boston, began to examine the corruptions in the church, and to scruple conformity to its superstitious cere- monies. He did not keep his sentiments to himself. What- ever appeared to him to be truth, he freely and fully made known to others. Such, indeed, was the influence of his opinions, that nearly all the inhabitants of the town, it is said, espoused his sentiments, and becanie decided noncon- formists. But complaints were presently brought against him to the bishop, and he was suspended from his ministry. During his suspension, his liberty was offered to him, with very great preferment, if he would have conformed to the ecclesiastical ceremonies, though it were only in one act. But he refused to pollute his conscience by the observance of such base, worldly allurements. He did not, however, continue long under the ecclesiastical censure, but was soon restored to his beloved work of preaching.. The storm having blown over, he enjoyed rest for many years ; and, during the calm, was always abounding in the work of the Lord. In addition to his constant preaching, and visiting his people from house to house, he took many young men under his tuition, from Cambridge, Holland, and Germany. Dr. Preston usually recommendedhis pupils to finish their studies under Mr. Cotton. His indefatigable labours, both as pastor and tutor; proved a blessing to many. There was so pleasing a reformation among the people of Boston, that superstition and profaneness were nearly extinguished, and practical religion abounded in every corner of the town. The mayor and most of the magistrates were styled puritans, and the ungodly party became insignificant. Mr. Cotton, after a close and unbiassed examination of the controversy about ecclesiastical discipline, was de- cidedly of opinion, that it was unlawful for any church to enjoin rites and ceremonies not enjoined by Jesus Christ or his apostles; that a bishop, according to the New Testa- ment, was appointed to rule no larger a diocese than one 'I. Mather's Hist. b. iii. p. 17.