Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v3

LYFORD. 161 WILLIAM LYFORD, B. D.-This worthy divine was born nt Peysmore, near Newbury, in Berkshire, about the year 1598, and educated in Magdalen college, Oxford, where he was chosen fellow. While at the university, he entered upon the ministerial function, and in the year 1631 was admitted to the reading of the sentences in the college. Afterwards, by favour of the Earl of Bristol, he became minister of Sherborn in Dorsetshire, where he continued the rest ofhis days. Upon the commencement of the civil wars he espoused the cause of the parliament ; and in 1643 was nominated one of the assembly of divines ; but choosing rather to continue in his stated ministerial exercises, he did not sit among them. He was zealous and laborious in the work of the Lord, taking unspeakable pleasure in every duty of the pastoral Office. He fed the lambs in Christ's flock, and possessed an excellent talent for catechizing youth, wherein he was eminently useful. Mr. Lyford was a divine of an excellent spirit, and an avowed advocate of peace and moderation. He took no active part in the public broils of the nation ; but drew up his thoughts in writing, in a work entitled, " Cases of Conscience propounded in the Time of Rebellion." This work, according to Bishop Kennet, was written with plain- ness, modesty, and impartiality, in discussion of the three following questions :-" 1. Whether it be lawful to keep days of public rejoicing and thanksgiving for victories in a .1 Rm.. war ?-2. Whether it be lawful for the civil magistrate to impose an act of worship in itself unlawful, or esteemed to be so, on men of a different judgment, especially on a minister, whomust needs be not only a passive bearer, but an actor in the business, under temporal pains of seques- tration, imprisonment, deprivation, &c. ? -3. Whether a minister performing such an act of worship, upon such a force or fear, or for temporal ends, does perfinm an accept- able service unto God ? "* He answered each of these questions in the negative, in which he discovered his senti- ments relative to the controversies of the day. Mr. Lyford, during his last sickness, " looked for the appearance of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." This supported and comforted his mind under a long and painful illness. During the whole of it, his confidence was fixed on Jesus Christ, the rock of ages. In his letters written at thisperiod, he thus expressed himself ; "However Kennel's Chronicle, p. 349. VOL. M.